BBC: France Shaken Up by ‘New Reactionaries’

The BBC has a piece worth reading on the burgeoning neo-reactionnaires (new reactionaries) movement taking place in France (Hat tip: AmRen):

For their enemies they are rabble-rousers, providing spurious philosophical cover for the extremism of the National Front (FN).

Most famous of the exponents is journalist Eric Zemmour, whose new book French Suicide reads like a desperate cavalry charge, sabre aloft, into the massed ranks of the progressives.

Zemmour is scorned by most of the Paris establishment but his book is a runaway bestseller. To date it has sold 400,000 copies…

Ironically, Zemmour’s inspiration is not some right-winger but Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci wrote that for the left to win, it had first to take over popular culture.

And that, according to Zemmour, has indeed been the French left’s greatest achievement…

Other well-known figures in the movement include philosopher Alain Finkielkraut. Formerly identified with the political left, he was nearly blackballed this year from the prestigious Academie Francaise because of his writings on national identity.

More controversial is aesthete and prolific writer Renaud Camus, who lives in self-imposed isolation in a 14th-Century fortress in the wilds of Gascony.

Camus was ostracised from French literary society after he said he would vote for the far-right’s Marine Le Pen at the last election. Lacking a publisher, he now produces his own books…

Back in Paris, a new magazine called Causeur has been created to disseminate the views of the “neo-reactionnaires”.

Founders Gil Mihaely and Elizabeth Levy say that mainstream publications are too scared to discuss issues such as immigration and national identity.

“France has had a very troubled history. And all that troubled past is still alive in people’s minds today,” says Mihaely.

“It means that people instinctively feel they have to be very careful what they say – or it could end in violence.

“But by not talking about real issues like immigration, we drove people to voting for the extremes. It is far healthier to broaden the spectrum of debate, which is what we are doing.”

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