Rethinking Europe

Eric Zemmour: France’s New Elitist-Extremist Menace

In next year’s presidential election, will France retreat from reason and science to embrace radical politics?

Credit: shutterstock.com

Takeaways


  • Zemmour´s rendition of “Muslims taking” over is like something out of a 1930s Goebbels Nazi promotion film against Jews.
  • Eric Zemmour is sometimes compared to Donald Trump as he is a white supremacist. But Zemmour makes Trump look like a moderate centrist.
  • No one running for high office in France has ever said it would have better if the Kaiser and Prussian Junkers had won World War I or singled out the anti-Jewish collaborator Pétain for praise.
  • Zemmour is an advocate of the “Great Replacement” theory, according to which the white Christian race – Zemmour himself is Jewish – is being replaced by non-white non-Christian people.
  • France, the nation of Descartes and Pasteur, of reason and science, has fallen prey to a man who babbles endless noxious nonsense. In the world of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and Joao Bolsonaro, should we be surprised?
  • Zemmour’s assertion across the social classes: “I am a member of the elite. Only an alliance of the patriotic elite and the lower classes can save France.”

Suddenly, the French election is coming to life – but not in the way anyone imagined only two months ago.

At that point in time, the French and European commentariat assumed, the world would see a re-run of the 2017 election between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, resulting in an easy win for President Macron, the incumbent.

A very different race now

There was also an expectation that the French left and the country’s Greens would make good showing at the polls.

After all, that is what has happened in other European countries of late, including in Germany, Spain or the Nordic states.

However, none of the left or Green party candidates have made any breakthrough.

As things stand, France’s once-great Socialist Party that in 2012 won the Elysée and the National Assembly will be lucky to get five per cent in the presidential contest.

Enter the far-right loudmouth

Instead, a loud-mouth far right polemicist, Eric Zemmour, is dominating all the airwaves and newspaper columns.

Monsieur Zemmour has never been elected to anything. He is sometimes compared to Donald Trump as he is a white supremacist. But Zemmour makes Trump look like a moderate centrist.

The elite/lower classes nexus

In an interview on French public radio on November 22nd, Zemmour spent time mocking and denouncing Marine Le Pen as a sell-out.

While that was predictable enough, he also proclaimed “I am a member of the elite. Only an alliance of the patriotic elite and the lower classes can save France.”

A revisionist and extremist

Only he, a 63-year-old journalist, with a penchant for eccentric historical comparisons could stop French civilization “being replaced by another civilization.”

Some months ago, Zemmour has praised Marshall Pétain, the war-time collaborationist leader of France, who cooperated with the Nazis to send many thousands of French Jews to extermination camps.

He said it was a national tragedy that the Allies lost WWI. As he wrote in a book, it would have been better if a “Pax Germanica” (a German peace) had been established in Europe after 1918.

The anti-Anglo spirit

That would have stopped, Zemmour argues, the dominance of the United States of America and Britain.

It is not unusual in France to complain about “les Anglo-Saxons” but no one running for high office has said it would have better if the Kaiser and Prussian Junkers had won World War 1 or singled out the anti-Jewish collaborator Pétain for praise.

A misogynist and macho as well

Zemmour told listeners to the major French radio news station FranceInfo that the “feminization” of judges was bad for France.

Moreover, the arrest of Dominique Strauss Kahn for sexual crimes in New York in 2012 represented “the castration” of France. “French presidents like Mitterrand or Chirac who seduced women magnified their power.”

It is true that Mitterrand and Chirac put Bill Clinton and even Boris Johnson to shame with the number of women they used their power and prestige to sleep with.

But can this be considered serious language from a man who wants to run France?

The re-industrialization of France

Zemmour calls for re-industrialization of France. To that end, he argues that all foreigners working and living in France should lose rights to social transfer payments. These should be reserved only for French citizens.

According to official statistics, about 10% of the French population are immigrants or foreign-born.

It is not clear how denying them rights to hospital care, family benefits (if they have children), or unemployment pay (if they lose jobs and paid into social security funds) will help realize his supposed goal – which is to have the manufacturing jobs that have gone to China returning to France.

Anti-vaxxer to boot

Unsurprisingly, Zemmour is against vaccinations. He says they are not very effective against polio and flu. He adds: “If I am president, I will get rid of Covid pass.”

That document is currently obligatory and must be shown in France to enter cafés, public transport, cinemas or football matches.

Booster jabs should only be for people over 65. Zemmour says the pandemic has allowed President Macron “to change the agenda from immigration.”

The immigration obsession

Fighting immigration remains his Number One obsession.

He is an advocate of the “Great Replacement” theory, according to which the white Christian race is being replaced by non-white non-Christian people. Zemmour himself is Jewish.

Putin’s boy

He has been endorsed by Vladimir Putin as Zemmour is clear he will have nothing to do with the European Union.

Weakening the EU after Brexit is Putin’s Number One foreign policy objective.

For now, Zemmour has got more publicity for his new book and for his views than any other candidate.

Watch the video

Zemmour’s campaign launch video is worth finding and watching. Even without knowing the French language, the visual images of today’s France are clear enough in their nastz messaging.

In his own perverted way, Zemmour essentially celebrates a France full of shantytowns, street drug dealers, riots and cars burned, police being attacked. His rendition of “Muslims taking” over is like something out of a 1930s Goebbels Nazi promotion film against Jews.

To many, it will appear deranged. But it is the same style of designer-crafted fake news hate aimed for social media viewing voters who never read a paper that won Brexit and put Trump in the White House.

Conclusion

Even Zemmour fails to get to the second round, he is now established as the go-to commentator for the anti-Macron populist, racists and vax-deniers. They see him as their champion.

France, the nation of Descartes and Pasteur, of reason and science, has fallen prey to a man who babbles endless noxious nonsense.

But, in the world of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Joao Bolsonaro, should we be surprised?

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About Denis MacShane

Denis MacShane is a former UK Minister for Europe, a Contributing Editor at The Globalist -- and author of “Brexiternity: The Uncertain Fate of Britain”.

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