Long-time readers will remember Max Denken, who contributed a number of essays here several years ago. Mr. Denken retired from the scene to write books about our civilizational crisis. Fjordman has kindly reviewed the first one for Gates of Vienna readers.
The Camp of the Sane and The Camp of the Saints — A Book Review
It is not every day that you come across a book dedicated to the continued survival of an entire civilization. Yet the author Max Denken has written just such a text. He has previously written under the pen name Takuan Seiyo for dissident online publications such as Gates of Vienna, The Brussels Journal, The New English Review, Quarterly Review, Takimag and others. His well-written and carefully researched book about the future of European civilization is called The Camp of the Sane and The Camp of the Saints: Poland and the erosion of Western sanity, 2015—2020.
The title is a reference to The Camp of the Saints (“Le Camp des Saints”), a novel from 1973 by the French author Jean Raspail. It predicted a Third World mass invasion of Europe, causing the downfall of Western civilization. This process was compressed in time so that what might take fifty years in real life took fifty days in the book. In addition, the bulk of illegal immigrants in the novel came from India. Today, while immigration to Europe comes from every corner of the planet, much of it comes from the Islamic world and Africa.
Apart from that, the novel was remarkably prescient in describing the dysfunctional mindset of the modern Western world. We have become so wedded to unsustainable humanitarian ideals that we are mentally incapable of defending our national existence. When faced with millions of people coming from the global South, we simply raise a white flag and say that they are welcome to colonize our countries. At least, that is what our leaders and mass media do. The EU and Pope Francis react to illegal mass migration in the Mediterranean in almost exactly the manner described in Raspail’s book decades earlier. Europe risks committing suicide because of abstract humanitarian ideals and a Globalist ideology of open borders.
Jean Raspail died in June 2020, shortly before he would have turned 95. He lived to see his native France and other Western countries being partly overrun by migrants. Max Denken completed The Camp of the Sane in the summer of 2020, just as the author of The Camp of the Saints died. Western cities were then engulfed in Black Lives Matter protests, attacks on statues and European monuments and sometimes violent riots. Western mass media presented U.S. President Trump as an extremely evil man, as they had been doing continuously for five years. Some Western media said more positive things about the Communist dictator Fidel Castro when he died in November 2016 than they said about Donald Trump when he won free elections that some month.
Max Denken has Polish ancestry, has lived in California for many years and worked in other parts of the world. He considers the entire Western world to be deeply sick and heading for some form of collapse. This applies to North America as well as Western Europe. Against this crumbling Camp of the Saints, Denken pits what he terms The Camp of the Sane. Roughly speaking, this encompasses much of the eastern half of Europe, or at least the eastern quarter. Ironically, these are countries that were squeezed and bloodied between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during the Second World War and endured generations of repressive Communist rule during the Cold War. Perhaps their recent historical experiences have provided these nations with a stronger resistance against ideological indoctrination.
Western Europe still has some brave political leaders such as Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini, but they may have emerged too late to save their countries from collapse. The Western world and what remains of its civilization are in freefall. Denken does not rule out the possibility that something sensible can be created in North America out of the disunited Multicultural mess that is present-day USA and Canada. However, he believes that the best future prospects for European civilization lie in Central and Eastern Europe.
The countries of Central and Eastern Europe no doubt believed that they had joined a sensible project for European cooperation and joint prosperity when they joined the EU. Some of them have come to realize that the increasingly repressive EU now resembles a cultural suicide pact. Money from the EU may seem tempting to nations that were left impoverished after decades of Communist rule. Yet these are silver coins laced with ideological poison. For 1400 years, the forces of Islam have been the collective enemy of the peoples of Europe. Now, the EU wants to force formerly independent European countries to take in Muslim immigrants.