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PostUS, Russia, and a de Benoist Quote (Alain de Benoist, France, 08/28/12 9:23 am)
Though it is an obvious loss of time, this is my answer to the latest remarks made by Nigel Jones (NG) in his post of 26 August.
NG: "Alain de Benoist's place of domicile is of course a matter for him. (Though I note that, very sensibly, he prefers to remain among the agreeable civilised amenities of his native land rather than actually migrate to Russia or Iran.)"
AdB: Why Iran? Did I say anything about Iran? No, I did not. That was gratuitously added by Nigel. Does Nigel believe that Russia and Iran are the same thing?
To suggest that I live in my native land to enjoy some "agreeable civilised amenities" is an insult to me. As for myself, I would not have the idea to ask Nigel why he still lives in England instead of migrating to the USA, which he considers as "the land of the free." (sic!) I live in my native land because my work and most of my friends live here. Nothing more, nothing less.
Moreover, I did not express any intention to migrate to Russia. I just said that, should I have to choose, I would choose to live in Russia rather than the US. To believe it is a matter of "civilised amenities" is laughable. I am completely indifferent to standard of living, commercial aspects of daily life, tax exemptions, real estate prices, money, quality of burgers, and the rest. I am only interested in history and philosophy. I would rather choose to live in Russia because I think that European/Eurasian history for the next years and decades is going to be made more in Russia than in the US.
NG: "[Alain de Benoist] expressed preference (August 25th) to live in Putin's Russia rather than Obama or Romney's USA, if not an example of Gallic humour, is, shall we say, a desire not widely shared by the rest of the human race."
AdB: I do not know exactly what "the rest of the human race" means for Nigel. Nor do I know if he has the habit of conforming his desires to those "widely shared by the rest of the human race." I do not. All historical periods are submitted to a dominant ideology. The Western present dominant ideology (commercial life, commodities, market and "human rights") is obviously supported by Nigel, not by me. To accept or support the dominant ideology is always very easy, and sometimes quite profitable. Being of the "Waldgänger" (Ernst Jünger) type, I have chosen another way. I fight against the present Western dominant ideology as I would have fought against Nazism under Nazism or Stalinism under Stalinism.
Now, for something else.
When commenting Nigel's post, John Eipper wrote: "I am struck by the similarity of Alain's words of 25 August with probably the most quoted AdB statement of all: ‘Better to wear the helmet of a Red Army soldier than to live on a diet of hamburgers in Brooklyn' (from 1982)."
Until now, I have published 91 books, more than 2000 articles and around 400 interviews. I am sure there are plenty of things which could be quoted from such an amount of published works. But I did not expect John to quote a 30-year old statement of that kind, as it is nothing other than a falsification and a hoax. John gave no reference, which is not astonishing because there is none. In other words, I have never written such a stupidity.
Here is exactly what I wrote: "To have to wear someday the cap of the Red Army would be an awful perspective [in French: "une perspective affreuse"]. This is not a reason to have the desire to spend the rest of our life living on a diet of hamburgers in Broolyn's surroundings." Here is the reference: Alain de Benoist, Orientations pour des années décisives, Paris: Labyrinthe, 1982, p. 76). Such a lapidary formulation can certainly be debated, but the meaning was very clear: in the time of the Cold War, I wanted to express that I did not have sympathy either for the Soviet system nor for the American system. Anyway, the forgery in this "most quoted AdB statement" is also very clear. The "awful perspective" has been changed in a desire to wear a Soviet helmet! "Quotations" should be checked before being quoted. Shame to the falsifiers, and to those who propagate falsifications.
This will be my last answer to Nigel Jones.
JE comments: I cribbed the quote straight from Alain's English language Wikipedia biography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_de_Benoist), although I am fully satisfied that Alain's original meaning has been distorted. In a footnote, Wikipedia attributes the quote to a 1991 article in The Independent. So why did I bring it up in the first place? Probably twice a year I receive an inquiry about Alain from a public reader of the WAIS website, and more than once they've cited this specific quote. It's very memorable, if inaccurate.
In any case, I hope I haven't offended anyone in this exchange. Perhaps someone can make the correction in Alain's Wikipedia bio. A cleaner translation from the French original should suffice.
So can I ask for a truce? Tomorrow (28 Aug.) is the sixth anniversary of my taking over the Editorship, and I'd like nothing more than a few days of peace, goodwill and WAISly harmony.