A translation by Fred Scrooby of an interview with Yves-Marie Laulan, author of Les Nations Suicidaires (1998). Yves-Marie Laulon, economist and banker, has had a varied career that has taken him from French government cabinet posts to such international institutions as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and NATO, as well as positions with Société Générale de Banques and Crédit Municipal of Paris. He has taught in a number of universities, including the Institute for Political Studies in Paris. He has published a dozen works on economics and geopolitics in France and abroad.
The interview was conducted by Xavier Cheneseau, and was published Dec. 28 at Robert Steuckers’ Euro-Synergies website. The original entry doesn’t give the interview’s date. (Judging by certain details in the text, it may be a few years old.)
Xavier Cheneseau: With regard to demographics you seem willfully pessimistic …
Yves-Marie Laulan: It isn’t the author’s comments that are violent but the situation that is violent.
In fact it’s already nearly too late. Demographic phenomena — the ones I’m dealing with, at any rate — have this special characteristic, that they are slow and they proceed largely unnoticed, precisely until it is too late.
Wartime ravages can be repaired in a few years — Germany and France managed it. Recovery from the consequences of an economic crisis doesn’t take long. But demographic damage can take decades, even centuries, to recover from — when recovery is possible at all. […]
But you’re partly right: I’ve deliberately taken a provocative tone, because you need to make a loud racket to awaken the deaf. And look at the dumbed down, dullened public opinion we are dealing with, anesthetized by daily bombardment with mass media! Where filtering of information is concerned, today’s France resembles Ceaucescu’s Romania, only a more efficient version.
Faced with this situation, a dissident having ideas that are out of the ordinary, such as myself — Soviet Russia’s Samizdat, as Pierre Chaunu calls it — humbly cherishes the hope, perhaps, of being, if possible, the watcher at dawn spoken of in the Bible (Isaiah), the one who remains alone at his post all night waiting for the dawn to break.
XCh: How do you explain that we are faced with one of the most terrible demographic winters?
YML: Why, when living standards are breaking all records and humanity in general — Western women in particular — have never been so well off, are we seeing a birth-rate collapse? This phenomenon is of course denied or obfuscated by those certified liars, our official demographers, who are to today’s demographic realities what Radio Paris was to the news during the German Occupation.
The following are the phenomenon’s main causes:
Western women don’t want, or are unable, to have children.
The famous Barbie doll we hear so much about these days represents very well the way in which women are viewed in our satiated, sterile societies. Neither mother nor wife, but girlfriend on and off, she reigns supreme in her own enchanted universe based on sex (a little), sports (a lot), career (enormously), and finally, her body (totally). She aspires to be a man in every respect, for Western society has been incapable of giving a satisfactory answer to the great 20th-Century challenge: How to achieve the emancipation of women? How to arrange for women to reconcile in reasonable ways their roles of mother — indispensable, both biologically and culturally, for the perpetuation of the species — and career, no less necessary? Go put that question to Monsieur Juppé.
There has also been the shameless success of homosexuals — who aren’t exactly known for their natural fecundity. Acceptable in private when engaged in with decent discretion, homosexuality has instead become aggressive and proselytizing, as seen with homosexual “civil unions.” Homosexuals demand society’s recognition and consideration normally reserved for fathers and mothers of families, nay even greater consideration — which says a lot about the reversal of values in our societies that seem bent on suicide.
We could add lots of other factors, such as the culture of death so rightly denounced by Pope John Paul II, with mass abortions paid for by government health insurance — no less! — and the mass media’s “humanitarianism” which endlessly attacks the strong traditional values of honor, hard work, dignity, family, sacrifice and being satisfied with what you have, etc. Don’t even get me started on that subject, or you’ll think you’re talking to a flesh-and-blood preacher!
XCh: Isn’t this demographic winter a manifestation of abdication of responsibilities?
YML: That’s the fundamental cause. For thirty years we’ve sat helpless and resigned as we watched a generalized abdication of responsibility at all levels. Irresponsibility on the part of young men who no longer want to take on the responsibilities of fatherhood and being heads of families. Irresponsibility on the part of young women who no longer want to bring babies into the world but prefer buying little dogs to keep them company (it’s true dogs don’t pay into Social Security but hey, no one’s perfect). Irresponsibility on the part of politicians who are ready to sacrifice our nation’s future if it means safeguarding their precious chances in the next election (“Don’t get anyone mad at you, and ‘Après moi, le déluge!’ “). Irresponsibility on the part of officials and bureaucrats who always want more employees for their offices, more salary increases, more perks and bonuses, and shorter work-weeks.
France is transforming itself, guided by socialists (but the right has scarcely been any better), into a gigantic camp of welfare recipients of every variety. Furthermore, in view of the fact that 57% of gross domestic product is redistributed, one can confidently say that one Frenchman out of two is on welfare, therefore irresponsible.
XCh: By combining individualism with a certain numbing comfort isn’t France putting itself on the slippery slope that leads to exiting history altogether?
YML: In our time France has already exited history. On tiptoe. She’ll re-enter it perhaps, one day, but that’s another story — for now, we’ve already given up two major attributes of sovereignty, things which make it that a nation exists in the world, namely our currency, replaced by the euro […] (whose rate of exchange is decided in Frankfurt) […and] the French army, now more like a police auxiliary in the service of NATO and our allies.
Europe today is not on an ascent toward something better but is stumbling forward while our politicians seek to preserve their generous parliamentary incomes as they shift all hard decisions onto Brussels. It is no longer the borderless Europe of François Perroux but the faceless Europe of Jacques Delors, the Europe of quitting, of cowardice, of shirking. The amazing thing is how the French, as if in a daze, stay mute and fail to react in the face of such mutilations of their sovereignty as are being imposed on them. They’ll demonstrate en masse against dove hunting but have no reaction to homosexual “civil unions” or the Amsterdam Treaty. They are no longer a population of sheep but a lemming colony. And it’s claimed they are “ungovernable.” Not true. They are manipulated exactly as is wished, and made to swallow anything.
XCh: Is there no sign of a healthy reaction?
YML: None for the moment. The electroencephalogram tracing shows a flat line and the patient is profoundly comatose.
XCh: Do you think France will survive the 20th Century?
YML: It depends on what you mean by “survive.” If it’s a question of a population provided with more or less recent national ID cards together, of course, with national health-service cards, Frenchmen may well survive — after all, the recipes for cassoulet, duck magret, and tripes à la mode de Caen won’t disappear. And there’s also soccer.
But if it’s a question of a people proud of its past and concerned for its destiny as a nation, taking pride in its presence in the world and in its place among the nations of Europe, that’s a completely different story. Because of its demographic evolution characterized by internal demographic collapse, the shortfall to be made up by massive immigrant populations, France stands a good chance of becoming what could be called an unfortunate society which will have difficulty overcoming the internal contradictions she herself has created. Populated by large minorities aspiring to be majorities, very different in their culture and values and therefore rivals, France will become a country in which simply maintaining public order will require the mobilization of all domestic resources to preserve a semblance of social order. Furthermore, unlike the United States which has accepted the harsh disciplines of a liberalism that has created wealth and jobs, France adopts inept measures, for example the disastrous 35-hour work-week, the laughing stock of the civilized world.
Such societies cannot pretend to have a foreign policy or a national defense but will be limited to (what is already a lot for them) simple preoccupations of maintaining order, within the framework of a régime that more and more resembles a police state, and a more and more nationalized economy, as seen in the cases of many African countries and Lebanon.
If that’s what is meant by “survive” then yes, France has a chance to survive — but in what condition!