PARIS, France: Influential French think tank boss and “new right” political philosopher Alain De Benoist believes the only solution to Islamism lies in controlling migration and that politics is now about elites against the grass roots.
Mr De Benoist is known as one of the founders of the “Nouvelle Droit” or “new right” movement, which has worked to give an intellectual discourse for what has become the European populist right wing in France.
De Benoist has long been a fierce critic of globalisation and mass migration. He said that immigration is a significant factor when it comes to the rise of radical Islam in France. He said there must be a solution between what historian and sociologist Jean-Louis Harouel called the “human rights religion” which claims that no problem exists, and the opposite of xenophobia and racism.
“I think immigration is normal within certain limits. There is a moment where it’s too much, too rapid, too different,” De Benoist said. He added mass migration has turned places like Parisien suburbs into “areas where police cannot go” and noted that “most of the people in jails are from immigrant backgrounds”.
Like Harouel, he said that the best way to stop mass migration is to cut welfare spending and “control the borders as much as it is possible”.
He then slammed globalists who claims to be “world citizens” saying: “You cannot be a citizen of the world, that does not mean anything.”
“I think it is sad that more and more you travel in the world and you see the same buildings, the same songs, the same films,” saying it was a “loss of diversity”.
The school system, De Benoist said, was part of the problem when it came to the lack of integration of immigrants. “It’s completely destroyed, more or less,” he said.
“As long as the school system is part of the problem, it cannot become a part of the solution,” he said. He comments are in opposition to those of French academic Gilles Kepel who said education is a critical part of creating French identity.
The political philosopher’s opinion on the European Union is that he is not opposed to the idea of a more unified Europe, but believes the elites in charge are “cut off” from the people. He criticised the fact the EU is built solely on economics rather than political power and said it is now “paralysed” with “no money” and is becoming weaker and weaker.
“The temptation for many countries is to close in on themselves,” and named Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as an example. “I understand this reaction. It is better to be like that, sovereign, instead of dissolved” by the EU, he said.
Regarding newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, De Benoist said: “I think that Macron is the typical heir of Tony Blair.” He described the new president as a “French Blair with a touch of [Bill] Clinton and Justin Trudeau”.
De Benoist also talked about U.S. President Donald J. Trump saying there was a clear distinction between what he called the “Trump phenomenon” and the president himself. The “Trump phenomenon”, he said, was a “push from the grassroots against the establishment”, and added: “The person of Donald Trump, is still for me, a mystery.”
When asked what he saw as the biggest challenges facing France in the next decade, De Benoist said: “The whole political class has to go. We will see new movements and also new kinds of political actions. The classical political party is already obsolete.”
“We are in a deep crisis which is everywhere, financial, economic, political, ideological, spiritual, and so on. We are in a state of transition. There is the world which we have known which is slowly disappearing and a new world which is coming but we don’t know the form,” he said.
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