The Eleventh Hour: Invisible Borders and Moral Boundaries.

Hello again, it’s been quite some time since I wrote anything. At the moment, I’m still not feeling the need or the inclination to write like I did before the death of my brother Mick. However, after watching the news concerning refuges, I’m disgusted and ashamed of the UK government’s intention to turn the small boats back from mainland Europe, effectively leaving those poor people in no man’s land.

I wrote the following piece a few years ago for someone who paid me to write an article for them. I maintained intellectual rights, which is why I’m putting this out to press. It will do no good and will probably go unnoticed, but I’m going to publish it anyway.

“Hope and faith work hand in hand, however, while hope focuses on the future, faith focuses on the now”. David Odunaiya (2013)

What must be going through the minds of the thousands of refugees and immigrants that are currently fleeing war torn countries? These inspirational words arguably express the mindset of the majority of refugees and immigrants that are currently searching and fighting for a better life across the world. The crisis of choice, or more accurately the lack of choice they are facing is unfathomable to the common men and women who live in the free western world. In todays’ day and age there is a divide; People either live in relative safety or live in fear of their lives. The people of the western world take the privilege of safety and relative indulgence for granted, a fact that is depicted perfectly in Jean Raspails’ 1973 predictive and apocalyptic novel The Camp of The Saints. This essay is not intended to be a literary assessment of Raspails’ novel in relation to the current crisis, but is instead intended to be an assessment of how his novel illustrates how we, as a generic western people view the plight of the refugee/immigrant 42 years after he wrote his controversial but great and thought provoking novel.

Without doubt, the human race has and will always evolve through the gradual improvement in the conditions of society. Therefore, how can the people who live in war torn societies possibly improve the condition of their lives when the regimes they are forced to live under prevent them from doing so? The simple answer is they go in search of the safety and happiness they have the right to experience and participate in. The immigrants in The Camp of The Saints are in contrast portrayed as arriving in mainland Europe with the intention of invasion and eventually overpowering western civilisation and their way of life. The novel is essentially apocalyptic, depicting the mass immigration of thousands of people from the third world, which ultimately leads to the destruction of western civilisation, as people who have no desire to assimilate into western culture. This is the threat that resonates emphatically throughout the novel. This theme is arguably seen as a threat in the real world today regarding the refugee crisis, which is being covered by the media, particularly seen by the refusal of the Hungarian government in their refusal to allow refugees and immigrants to cross their borders. At last count there are estimated to be around 19 million worldwide refugee s and immigrants from war torn countries that include Syria, Honduras, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, Eritrea and Myanmar to name but a few. The majority of these refugees and immigrants, in their quest for freedom more often than not end up in camps that are overcrowded and unsafe. The crisis that effects the refugee and the countries that build these camps prevents integration and keep individuals and families in limbo for months, years and generations, no wonder they decide to march in their masses to find their promised land. Incredibly one in five Syrians have or are fleeing their country.

The boats that carry the refugees in the novel are replaced in real life by the human land train that is carrying them to the borders of European countries. In the novels first chapter the professor looks out to the horizon and observes ‘ the incredible fleet from the other side of the globe, the terrible stench of latrines heralded the fleets arrival, like thunder before a storm’.

This passage of thought by Jean Raspail, comparing the immigrants in the novel to the toilet of humanity is unfair and controversial, yet somehow disturbingly correspondent to how refugees and immigrants are viewed by many suspicious people who live in the western world. There is a deep rooted fear that the mass exodus and influx of refugees and immigrants will alter the demographics of Europe and adversely effect cultural identity, many people who live in the western world are afraid that the comforting familiarity and the sense of community in their villages, towns and cities will be lost forever. In an interview with Jean Raspail, conducted by Katherine and Gavin Betts, which was printed in the Social Contract Press, Raspail described the book as symbolic. Raspail explained his reasoning, saying ‘The third world invasion of the west is unavoidable. It is race that gives culture its mark in the beginning’. Certainly, the influx of refugees and immigrants has and is affecting European culture, however it is controversial to suggest it is an encroachment on Western society. Raspail went on to say ‘race isn’t really a question of colour, its a whole mental outlook, a state of mind’. In my opinion, cultural differences, if given the chance can merge naturally and actually compliment each other. Indeed, the route of the problem is probably the state of mind, meaning, how we see things effects how we react. European reaction to the current crisis has maybe some indium of logic behind it, but the actions are most certainly unwise and unhealthy for everyone as a whole.

Islam verses Europe also printed an interview from the French magazine Valures Actelles with Jean Raspail. When asked if he believed it was possible to assimilate foreign people into French culture he answered with a resounding no! Raspail said ‘the model of integration isn’t working. It will not change the progressive invasion of France and Europe by a numberless third world’. Furthermore, when asked how Europe could deal with these migrations he said ‘There are two solutions, We accommodate them and our culture will be erased, or we don’t accommodate them which means we stop giving a damn about these depraved human rights and take steps to distance ourselves to avoid the dissolution of our country into a metissage’. Jean Raspail’s opinion is arguably reflected in how some European countries are reacting to the needs of the refugees and immigrants. The information we receive via all forms of the media is largely understood and viewed in an emotional context thus influencing how we relate and react to other people. The great Oscar Wilde once said ‘an unbiased opinion is of no use to anybody’. Raspails’ opinion is most certainly not unbiased but his opinion is of little use to the current situation.We should, as part of the human race, have a biased opinion about the welfare and safety of refugees and immigrants. We should not think or make decisions like the politician, who seem to first and foremost act on cold, inhumane facts, figures and numbers. We have an obligation to concentrate on relationships and values, putting the safety of those in dire need first.

We live on a planet that is abundant with resources, man made and natural. The decision to limit and deny these abundant supplies limits the potential of every human being to thrive and grow together as one race. We all have differences, but it is discovering and embracing those differences that ultimately define who we are.

Jean Raspail, although a brilliant and talented writer, is obviously reluctant to embrace different cultures into a French society he is keen to keep uniquely French. Unfortunately, his patriotism is fiercely intense, moreover, some would say, radically opinionated to the point of racist.

We could and should flourish together by helping each other, not because it is seen as the right thing to do, but because it is what we want to do and what we should do. The current crisis will ultimately cause us to reflect on who we are as individuals and as a whole. It is such a pity that it takes inhuman suffering and a mass movement of biblical proportions from war torn countries to bring about our conscience and the opportunity to change.

However, it is encouraging to see that actions of brutality do not always instigate actions of retribution, which is evident by the fact that people would rather leave their homeland than retaliate with the same violence that has been inflicted upon them. This fact is evidential through the willingness to undertake arduous and dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean Sea. The basic human instinct is first and foremost about self preservation, yet this is a double edged sword for refugees and immigrants. All of humanity is by nature and definition, equal, this being the case, we all have the right to live a happy a fruitful life, especially a life not marred by gratuitous violence. When people are forced or find themselves living in a society rife with pain and suffering they have two options, fight back or flee in order to preserve life. This is all the refugees and the immigrants want, to preserve their life regardless of the fact that at times they sacrifice their dignity. By seeking asylum from other countries far away, they often find their dignity in tatters. What kind of society are we to deny them the right or the chance to regain at least some of their dignity by gifting them a safer environment in which to live their lives.

I make no apologies for this essay because I have spoken from the heart, but I believe the current situation can be resolved if we all remember we are all the same, we are all equal. I will end this essay with a slogan from The Camp of The Saints. Towards the end of chapter thirty-two, printed in bold type, are the words, “Workers, Soldiers, Ganges Refugees, United Against Oppression”. Even in this novel of apocalyptic messages, there is a ray of hope. As David Odunaiya said, “Hope focuses on the future”. Let us hope that the refugee and immigration crisis is resolved before the clock strikes 12, for the sake of us all.  


45 thoughts on “The Eleventh Hour: Invisible Borders and Moral Boundaries.

  1. There is nothing in the essay to apologize for, you are 100% right! (In my eyes at least.) What makes it worse is that the countries that don’t want the immigrants are more or less co-creators of the wars that are going on. Denmark is, unfortunately, one of the worst countries for immigrants … unless they are from Ukraine, meaning white and Christians. That’s what it’s all about.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I am sorry for the loss of your brother Mick, my condolences, but am happy to see you posting once again John. Very moving essay, and yes to this in particular: “Hope and faith work hand in hand, however, while hope focuses on the future, faith focuses on the now”. David Odunaiya (2013)

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Time inures us to the idea of loss I think John, we get used to doing without ones we love. But the out of thin air comes a memory so jarring it hurts like hell all over again. Time applies bandaids, memory rips them off. Gentle love to you and yours.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m sorry for the loss of your brother. 🙏🏻 this essay is straight from the heart and no apology is necessary for your unselfish and compassionate care for immigrants who are denied basic human needs. I stand in faith with your thoughts. 💕

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Dear John,

    Your incredible post has not gone unnoticed by me; and I am most glad that it didn’t. It is rich with heart, insight, and deep understanding. You make so many good points, that its difficult to know where to begin, but begin I shall:

    First, this, a quote from you: “In my opinion, cultural differences, if given the chance can merge naturally and actually compliment each other.” So true! How quick the human race is to forget that all of us have our beginnings somewhere else; but when we are ruled by egoic traits, we are often quick to point out that this is “ours”–not yours! This often includes resources, finances, and food and basic needs; and when humans are collectively motivated to protect what they deem theirs, or take what isn’t, they are willing to go to war.

    In my humble opinion, the whole issue of an “us” against “them” mentality is that we are seeing with our minds–not our hearts. In our heart, we are united in our divinity; but humanity is divided because of the mind’s polarity–right/left; up/down; hot/cold.

    Thank God, there are beings such as YOU. I see YOU, John, beyond the name and form that masquerades as your identity.

    God bless. Sincerely, Art 🙏🏻

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you very much for your comments my friend. I agree with everything you say.
      Wouldn’t it be great for everyone to get along with each others differences without fighting. Differences in opinion can be healthy and lead to understanding and positive change without squabbling over what people think they own. We all belong to the the same massive, abundant land, we don’t own the land.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. John, I’m very sorry to hear about your brother. Thank you for sharing this. I don’t think we’re much better here in the US when it comes to immigrants and refugees. It’s disheartening that so many are willing to treat others this way. Please take care.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Welcome back, John. Our sincerest condolences on the lose of your dear brother. I hope you settle to jot down a few things. Your friends have missed you 🤗 perhaps you my find comfort in writing. Kindness 🤗 Shalom 😔


  7. Brilliantly written John. Our country is in a terrible mess. It always amazes me that the people in charge cannot dig into their humanity to work out ways to look after every single inhabitant of these islands and to welcome all new entrants. Must admit I think it will get worse before it improves. Hope you and the missus are keeping well 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kev 👍 yea, it’s beyond me. I really don’t understand how some people live with their consciousness. Maybe they don’t have one.
      We’re getting by mate cheers. It’s been one trial after another for both of us but hopefully turning a corner. How’s you and yours ?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s good to see you writing again John. Your words are important and missed.
    I salute your words and agree with your well written plea.
    “we are all equal.”

    Take good care. Hope your Daughter and son in law are doing well! ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry for your loss, John.

    Thank you for posting this heartfelt essay. I agree with your point of view. All of us are members of the human family. Americans all came from somewhere else, even Native Americans, who are thought to have come from Asia. And it is believed by some scientists that all of us are descended from African ancestors in the very beginning. We should all follow the Golden Rule and treat immigrants as we wish to be treated. While many Americans have gone out of their way to help immigrants, others persecute them. I guess it is the same in the UK and other European countries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is Cheryl. Most people from 3rd world, war torn, despotic countries are regarded as 3rd class citizens with no rights and no given right to live free and safe. Man’s inhumanity to man. It never stops.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. If all the good, faithful, hopeful, peaceful people leave a place then who will uphold the moral integrity there? If we abandon our homes then what choice does evil have but to move in?
    Just a thought.
    I have thoughts all the time.
    I’ve been trying to stop them for a good while now.
    They keep coming regardless.
    Thoughts; gah!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. John, I would very much like to reblog your article on my blog at a point, it fits completely into my theme of no labels, no prejudices, just people, only much better written. You know the kind of stuff I am publishing. Will you give me permission?

    Liked by 1 person

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