Where is Alain Soral coming from? Or, from “Game” to Social Conservatism
Born on October 2, 1958, Alain Soral had by all accounts a miserable family life, beaten by his father, a downwardly-mobile déclassé who was convicted of fraud and lost his properties. He went to Paris in 1976 doing odd jobs. Despite having no high school diploma, he found work in the cultural-media-advertising world through his sister Agnès Soral, who as an aspiring actress had a growing network in the mondain world of Paris show business and commercial culture (e.g. marketing).
Alain apparently hated this work as unfulfilling and morally bankrupt, finding it terribly boring. He seems to have been motivated by a sharp sense of humiliation as a bourgeois-turned-proletarian (saying he had a “double consciousness” as both proletarian and bourgeois as a result), a sharp intellect, an acute sensitivity to the nuances of social life around him, and a hunger to prove himself and be loved. Those who have followed the careers of Roissy/Heartiste and RooshV may find it interesting that the young Soral was a dragueur de rue (a street pick-up artist), apparently coming to bed over 800 women, especially enjoying young, narcissistic bourgeois women as a form of “class struggle.”
Jonathan Bowden, who stressed the link between art and radical, dissident politics, might not be surprised to learn that Soral’s first interest was in the arts, going on to study at the Paris Beaux-Arts. He read a large amount of political literature, mainly Marxist, including Michel Clouscard, Lucien Goldmann, György Lukács and others. He would later write in the third person: “Alain Soral, former dragueur de rue who loved books as much as girls, so much so that he has not chosen between them.” Here is clearly a “cultured thug”…
Depressed and reportedly contemplating suicide, he co-authored a book on fashion (Les Mouvements de mode expliqués aux parents, 1984), apparently as a challenge to himself, which became a surprise best-seller. It soon became Soral’s ambition to liberate himself from wage slavery by living modestly from books. Over the next decades he would publish the following works:
- La création de mode: Comment comprendre, maîtriser et créer la mode(1987)
- Le Jour et la Nuit, ou la vie d’un vaurien(1991): An autobiographical novel he wrote while being a castle caretaker; did not sell well.
- Sociologie du dragueur(1996): His guide to “game,” really a kind of autobiographical essay with powerful meditations on epistemology (theory vs. practice, intellectual vs. practitioner), male-female roles, and human existence.
- Vers la feminization ? : Démontage d’un complot antidémocratique(1999): An attack on official and narcissistic bourgeois feminism.
- Jusqu’où va-t-on descendre ? Abécédaire de la bêtise ambiante(2002): Politically incorrect analyses of various aspects of contemporary politics and society.
- Socrate à Saint-Tropez: texticules(2003): The same as above, with legally risqué critiques of communautarisme(e.g., the rise of lobbying by gay/feminist/Jewish elites), the subtitle being a pun on “small-texts” and “testicles”.
- Misères du désir(2004): A novel.
- CHUTe ! Éloge de la disgrâce(2006): A novel on the decline and fall of an “honest journalist” (or on the inevitability of official journalism as propaganda).
Soral has also directed a film, Confession d’un dragueur, based on his books on seduction.
I will not attempt to psychoanalyze Soral to try to determine what has made him choose the remarkable and difficult path he has taken. But it is important to know the man’s biography given the nature of Soralian epistemology.
One might say that Soral’s writings are genuinely non-positivist, which makes them a remarkably rare thing these days. He is distinctly uninterested in statistics or dry academic writing. Soral reaches his conclusions by the interaction and contrast of three sources: his visceral lived experience, his reading of philosophical and sociological “great works,” and his own high-level dialectics. (The latter in particular is remarkable — and quite intimidating — reasoning by logical backs-and-forths that are so extreme that one is tempted to call it “hysterical dialectics.” But I gather this was once the norm in philosophical reasoning.)
As such, Soral’s lived experience is critical to his world view — in particular, his experiences conquering women, his disgust at working with bobo elites, his time in the French Communist Party and later the National Front, and finally his persecution by the politico-media Establishment for raising the issue of Jewish ethnocentrism.
As an aside, I do not believe it is a coincidence that Soral, Heartiste and RooshV have all gone from drague to social conservatism and a certain “dissidence.” For two reasons: First, this direct, lived experience of women as they are obviously contradicts the crude regime propaganda of male-female equivalence and interchangeability, thus discrediting regime propaganda in general. A rocket scientist cannot well ignore Heliocentrism (whatever the regime says) if he plans on sending something into outer space, and the Catholic Church’s prestige has never recovered from Galileo and Darwin. Second, men who are willing to conquer women have a very unbourgeois hardness as they have the will to get what they desire despite either fears of rejection or the feelings of the other, all qualities which arm a man with the courage needed to state the truth as he sees it, even if it will hurt others’ feelings or make him suffer as a dissident. Perhaps Schopenhauer would not be surprised to learn that, in this strange way, European Man’s rebelliousness against the regime, his fight for truth and freedom, derive from his relentless will to life.
What is Alain Soral’s political experience? Or, from Communism to Nationalism
Some time in the late 1980s or early 1990s, Soral joined the French Communist Party (PCF). Little is known about this period. It seems he joined due to his hatred of bourgeois work and people, and his common feeling with proletarians. Soral campaigned against the 1992 Maastricht Treaty creating the European Union and, indeed, the Communists were among the few parties to oppose it with the National Front (FN). In addition, the PCF had in the 1970s had opposed immigration as hurting workers. Soral has noted that blue-collar workers tend to be nationalist and these increasingly joined the National Front at roughly the same time Soral did. Strange as it may seem, Communists are often nationalists even if Communist parties have generally been run by more globalist-minded individuals.
Soral was mainly known however for his acerbic social critique, particularly of feminism and minority activism (ethnic, homosexual, feminist). He became a minor television personality, appearing in talk shows as the token social conservative in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Soral would later say that a place was ready for him to be “the System’s” social conservative critic, but in fact he was evidently too thin-skinned for that, being totally intolerant of what he saw as lies or unjust criticism, and overflowing in every TV appearance with things to say, seemingly trying to correct every wrong he had heard. Soral not only criticizes, he often says what he sees as the truth in the harshest, cruelest way possible.
Soral’s overt turn to nationalism apparently dates from his disgust with the unfair media coverage of FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen (particularly in 2002 when he went to the second round of the presidential elections) and of Franco-Cameroonian comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, and his own persecution by the Zionist Establishment.
In December 2003, Dieudonné performed a sketch spoofing a fundamentalist Jewish Israeli settler, urging his audience to “join the Americano-Zionist axis” and concluding “Isra-heil!” He suffered a massive campaign of defamation and ostracism as a result, with the usual escalatory spiral: the weary defendant lashes back at is his assailants in frustration, the defendant has difficulty explaining why offense of the Jewish community carries such a heavy price, as opposed to the Black, Muslim or White communities without falling into what the regime has defined as “anti-Semitism.” (The answer, obviously, is the combination of Jewish over-representation in politically, culturally and economically influential positions, and Jewish ethnocentrism, i.e. racism.)
Soral was one of the few to defend Dieudonné. This earned him few friends, but he was not himself unpersoned until a fateful September 20, 2004 documentary broadcast. Speaking to journalists, Soral said:
When with a Frenchman, a Jewish Zionist, you start to say: ‘there are maybe some problems which came from you. You have maybe made a few mistakes. It is not systematically the other’s fault, not completely, if everyone hates you wherever you have set foot.’ Because that’s basically their history, you see. It’s been 2,500 years that every time they set foot somewhere, after 50 years they get their asses kicked. One has to say, how strange! It’s that everybody is wrong, except them. The guy, he starts to bark, to scream, to become crazy, you see. You can’t have a dialogue. That is to say, I think, there is a psychopathology, you see, of Judaism-Zionism which is akin to a mental illness.
Soral was opposed to broadcasting the interview. All the same, he was eventually found guilty by the courts of “incitement of racial hatred” and fined 6,000 euros (around $8,000). More significantly, he was made persona non grata.
Dieudonné and Le Pen — persecuted by the same ethnically-biased media-political Establishment — became closer. Soral joined the FN in autumn 2005 and was put in charge of social and ethnic minority issues. Le Pen was evidently fond of Soral and soon catapulted him into the Central Committee, the party’s executive body. The FN was then in a weak position as a large proportion of the FN’s local elected officials and professional cadres, such as Bruno Mégret, had defected in the 1990s. Further, Le Pen’s breakthrough into the second-round of the 2002 presidential elections had led to a massive and total mainstream media backlash (suggesting a hopeless situation), and Le Pen himself was aging, with the party’s future succession and even existence uncertain.
Soral would later boast of having been the speechwriter for both Dieudonné and Le Pen at the same time. As a former Communist, he was proud that the National Front had become the leading party among workers, but was also sympathetic to second-generation immigrants, saying that “if the National Front could also become the leading party among immigrants [i.e. non-Whites], I would completely love it [je jouirais intégralement].”
The FN had already come a long way since the 1980s — when it was a fairly banal right-wing party, appealing to the electoral niche of everyone to the right of the ruling center-right, adopting basically populist Reaganite rhetoric and policies (anti-immigration, tough on crime, social conservatism, anti-government, anti-welfare, pro-NATO, anti-communist). With the fall of Communism and the rise of American wars and European integration, the FN became euroskeptic and antiwar (opposing notably the wars in the Balkans and Iraq).
The FN had therefore already begun its anti-globalist turn in the 1990s. Soral brought a new dimension by attempting create a sort of left-wing nationalism: progressive economic policies (appealing to workers) and appeals to French of immigrant origin (while still staying anti-immigration). He co-authored Le Pen’s famous September 2006 Valmy speech, at the site of the French revolutionary regime’s first military victory, in which the nationalist leader declared: “From Gergovia to the Resistance and from the Capetian monarchy to the Napoleonic adventure, I take everything! Yes, everything!”
The 2007 presidential elections were a small disaster for the FN. Their vote was cut in half. This was likely more to do with Nicolas Sarkozy’s successful campaign ripping off nationalist themes on immigration and crime than Soral’s influence over the FN program. The party has largely kept Soral’s progressive economic and “all-French” themes, even if his line on Islam has been ignored.
Following the elections, Soral founded Equality and Reconciliation (E&R), apparently in a conciliatory spirit, seeing it as a sort of left-wing nationalist think-tank. An obscure dispute prior to the 2009 European parliamentary elections led him to leave the FN, giving a speech accusing Marine Le Pen of wanting to rejoin “the System” by abandoning authentic nationalism. He later regretted this, showing Soral’s tendency to over-generalize from possibly anecdotal events, and seeing everything in terms of his own intellectual “system.”
Soral and Dieudonné went on to lead an “anti-Zionist” list in these EU elections, getting 1.3% of the vote in the Parisian Île-de-France region, thus showing the limits of even popular metapolitics in direct elections. (There was recently a similar failure in Belgium with Laurent Louis’ Debout les Belges, a strange quasi-nationalist party, which had tried to riff on Dieudonné and Soral’s fame. The two gave some support to Louis but his party still failed to get a representative in the 2014 EU elections.)
What are Alain Soral’s relations with other French nationalists?
Soral and E&R happily promote all intellectuals and movements (notably by giving visibility on their website or selling their books on Kontre Kulture) that make valid points as they see it, even if they don’t agree on everything. Thus, anti-Zionist though Soral is, he has promoted Jewish journalist Éric Zemmour (no doubt the most popular mainstream nationalist-conservative pundit), part-Jewish intellectual Emmanuel Todd (for his apology of the French Nation-State, even though he is pro-immigration, somewhat Germanophobic and oddly tolerant of Anglo-financialism), and the White racialist writer Hervé Ryssen.
This “big tent” (re)conciliatory attitude is sometimes in conflict with Soral’s viciously brilliant criticisms of anyone he sees as being hypocritical, lying or covertly ethnically-motivated. This, along with Soral’s own controversial ideas, has meant he has often had strained relations with other nationalists.
Since his departure from the FN and notwithstanding the initial dispute, Soral consistently supported the National Front. Marine Le Pen and, and especially her spokesman Florian Philippot, are clearly closer to his progressive economic and civic nationalist line than was the old FN (although he agreed with the old FN’s antiwar, sovereignist, and anti-immigration policies). By all accounts, however, Soral has better personal relations with the old guard leaders including Jean-Marie Le Pen and the conservative-Catholic Bruno Gollnisch.
Soral has had conflicts with Marine’s FN on certain questions, especially Muslim-baiting and her aggressive secularism (laïcité). He dislikes some of the new FN notables such as Gilbert Collard, a Freemason. In addition, Soral is in a legal dispute with Marine’s boyfriend and FN veep Louis Aliot. Soral had made Aliot his “con du mois” (“twat of the month”) and said he was “a Zionist-[cock-]sucker” for having gone to the West Bank and praised Israeli settlements. Aliot is suing Soral for “defamation and public insult.” Beyond the personal dispute is a substantive issue: Should the FN bow to the politico-media regime’s “political correctness” in general and to Zionism in particular in its struggle to get elected? The question is all the more significant given the recent spat between Marine and Jean-Marie over the media’s latest manufactured controversy.
Given Soral’s multiracialist brand of nationalism, it is not surprising he has generally had poor relations with the Identitaires. He also has irreconcilable differences with the equivalent among Africans and Muslims, the Indigènes de la République (roughly corresponding to Black Power movements in the U.S., a sort of Fanonian multiracial anti-colonialism… in the French metropole). It seems a significant number of former Identitaire and Indigène sympathizers end up joining E&R.
In terms of the traditional French New Right intellectuals, Soral has fairly good relations with Alain de Benoist. On the other hand he has had very poor relations with Guillaume Faye, who has said of him:
Alain Soral is an ex-Marxist ne’er-do-well who contributed to the collapse of the National Front with his delirious ideas. He is not serious at all. He admires the Arabs for their virility and all that. I don’t go looking for my solutions in others. I look for my solutions in my own people. On whose side is Alain Soral? We don’t really know who he is. It’s nonsense. He hasn’t produced a concrete, constructed work. There is nothing serious. He’s a buffoon-sociologist who is furious because he wasn’t accepted by the higher circles [presumably of the French cultural establishment – GD].
This no doubt reflects the completely opposed priorities of the two. For Faye: Ignore the Jewish Question, focus on anti-Islamization. For Soral: First topple international Zionism, then Islamization will be much easier to tackle.