De Gaulle on race

Charles de Gaulle’s interesting statement on race and nationhood, translated here into English by a VFR reader, is frequently quoted at French nationalist websites, though I’ve been unable to ascertain for sure when de Gaulle said it, or whether he said it at all. I hadn’t read this quote when I wrote The Path to National Suicide in 1989, but de Gaulle’s “layered” view of the relation of race to nationhood is the same as mine, namely that our society can include individuals of different races on a basis of equality of citizenship, but that we are a white-majority country with a white-majority culture and that we must remain so, or else change into a very different country, and ultimately cease to exist altogether. By coincidence, France being the paradigmatic Western nation, I even used France in The Path to National Suicide as an illustration of my point, arguing that if France became, say, ethnically Chinese, even if all the newcomers strove to adopt French language and culture, it would no longer be France.

Such views are seen today as utterly outside the bounds of decent society. But would any mainstream Western or American political leader prior to the mid-twentieth century have felt any differently? And what, in fact, have been the consequences of our abandoning the racial consciousness that was once a part of the common sense of the West? The growing presence and power of minority and alien peoples who do not know or love America or the West, cheered on by traitorous whites who, even if they describe themselves as “conservatives,” do not love America or the West either. At best, they just love an idea. America—the actual, historical America—they despise or regard with indifference.

It is very good that there be yellow Frenchmen, black Frenchmen, brown Frenchmen. They prove that France is open to all races and that she has a universal mission. But on the condition that they remain a small minority. Otherwise, France would no longer be France. We are after all primarily a European people of the white race, of Greek and Latin culture, and of the Christian faith. Try to mix oil and vinegar. Shake the bottle. In a moment they will separate again. Arabs are Arabs and French are French. Do you believe that the French nation can absorb ten million Muslims, who perhaps tomorrow will be twenty million and the day after forty million? If we adopt integration, if all the Arabs and Berbers of Algeria were considered as Frenchmen, what would prevent them from coming to settle in mainland France where the standard of living is so much higher? My village would no longer be called Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, but Colombey-les-deux-Mosquées!

C’est très bien qu’il y ait des Français jaunes, des Français noirs, des Français bruns. Ils montrent que la France est ouverte à toutes les races et qu’elle a une vocation universelle. Mais à condition qu’ils restent une petite minorité. Sinon la France ne serait plus la France. Nous sommes quand même avant tout un peuple européen de race blanche, de culture grecque et latine, et de religion chrétienne. Essayez d’intégrer de l’huile et du vinaigre. Agitez la bouteille. Au bout d’un moment, ils se sépareront de nouveau. Les Arabes sont les Arabes, les Français sont les Français. Vous croyez que le corps français peut absorber dix millions de musulmans qui demain seront vingt millions et après-demain quarante? Si nous faisions l’intégration, si tous les Arabes et les Berbères d’Algérie étaient considérés comme Français, comment les empêcherait-on de venir s’installer en métropole alors que le niveau de vie y est tellement plus élevé ? Mon village ne s’appellerait plus Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, mais Colombey-les-Deux-Mosquées ! (Général de Gaulle, rapporté par Alain Peyrefitte).

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 25, 2005 10:04 AM | Send

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