Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Camp


It began with tents in a small clearing.  They decided they wanted a place to gather, spend some time.  Maybe do a little hunting and fishing.  A few of them might want to start a small garden. 

Eventually, a few built homes.  They set aside some areas for parks and recreation.  They decided to build a pool – open to any members of their little community.  They left a good amount of land in its natural state, as many of their members enjoyed hiking through the hills and fields.  Over time, most decided to settle permanently. 

They would welcome visitors, but only on their terms.  It was not an uncommon event when they would allow a new member – usually someone who visited regularly in the past and demonstrated his goodwill.  It gave them a reason to have a party.  They liked having parties; they enjoyed having new members.

They wanted to ensure that new members held certain things in common with those in the community – could be business interests, recreational endeavors, perhaps religion, and most certainly language.  Whatever the case, every new applicant was to be screened and vetted before acceptance into the community.

Then one day they were told that the rule-making and defense of their camp was to be taken out of their hands…


The old professor had a rather simple thought. Given the wholly abnormal conditions, he had read, and reasoned, and even written too much—versed as he was in the workings of the mind—to dare propose anything, even to himself, but the most banal of reflections, worthy of a schoolboy’s theme. It was a lovely day, warm but not hot, with a cool spring breeze rolling gently and noiselessly over the covered terrace outside the house. His was one of the last houses up toward the crest of the hill, perched on the rocky slope like an outpost guarding the old brown-hued village that stood out above the landscape, towering over it all, as far as the tourist resort down below; as far as the sumptuous boulevard along the water, with its green palms, tips barely visible, and its fine white homes; as far as the sea itself, calm and blue, the rich man’s sea, now suddenly stripped of all the opulent veneer that usually overspread its surface—the chrome-covered yachts, the muscle-bulging skiers, the gold-skinned girls, the fat bellies lining the decks of sailboats, large but discreet—and now, stretching over that empty sea, aground some fifty yards out, the incredible fleet from the other side of the globe, the rusty, creaking fleet that the old professor had been eyeing since morning. The stench had faded away at last, the terrible stench of latrines, that had heralded the fleet’s arrival, like thunder before a storm. The old man took his eye from the spyglass, moved back from the tripod. The amazing invasion had loomed up so close that it already seemed to be swarming over the hill and into his house.

Some will recognize these words from the opening chapter of Camp of the Saints, by Jean Raspail.  The story is of a migration – a massive migration from India into Europe.  A migration destined to overrun those who came before.

The title of the novel is taken from the Biblical Book of Revelation, chapter 20:

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  9a And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city:


Since reading the novel I have wondered about the situation presented.  The Indians from the sub-continent came unarmed – certainly not an invasion in the classic sense of the term.  They came at the behest of the various European governments – no aggression.

So…is there justification under the non-aggression principle to repel this invasion?  This is my question.

The answer is quite clear if all land were privately owned – a most certain “yes.” 

If only the Indians stayed on government owned land.  One could say the private landowners were free to defend their property, but there were so many immigrants – by the hundreds of thousands and millions, a never-ending stream of every imaginable floating craft.

The answer would be quite clear if there was no government making the rules – again, a most certain “yes.”

But the government was making the rules, and the government invited the newcomers.

We don’t live in a world where all land is privately owned; we don’t live in a world where the property owner is free to make his own rules.

What is one to do when the power to enforce your rules for access to your property is taken from you?  Is self-immolation the only alternative consistent with the NAP? 

That is what I wonder.


Can one own “culture”?  Of course, it seems clear the answer is “no.”  Yet it was this culture that the members valued most.

At first there was little change – a trickle of newcomers, for the most part fitting in quite well.  But then came more – eventually a never-ending stream.  The prior members lost control of their community.  The criterion for membership was now quite different than before. 

Without the ability to make and enforce their own rules, the members of the community were left only one legal possibility – to plead to the usurper.


Walter Block is having published a new piece on immigration, where he considers arguments from both Hans Hoppe and me.  He has promised to send a link once it is available online.  I have quickly scanned a draft but have decided not to address it as Walter has rightly asked me not to cite anything until it is formally published.

In the meantime this issue as presented in Raspail’s novel continues to swirl around in my head. 


  1. I'm with you. The modern nation-state both bars and subsidizes migration across "its" borders. Why so many professed libertarian bitterly oppose the first while cavalierly shrugging off the latter escapes me.

  2. One must remember that all of this immigration, legal and illegal, into white lands is not by chance, but rather by design. Very few American Whites and Europeans and Australians know this, but they really need to know...
    And it is very easy to know and fully understand just be reading a review, from 1999, of a Professor's book:
    Review of 'The Culture of Critique'

  3. Bionic, I remember the long quote in Section One as coming from the Camp of the Saints, but not what is written in the Prologue. Are those your thoughts?

    1. The prologue and epilogue are my own.

    2. Great writing, by the way. Please continue. As in do us all a favor, and please continue.

  4. When you frame it as a question of the NAP, I think it makes things substantially simpler. As you say, if all land is privately owned, people have the right to defend their property, regardless of whether immigrants are invited by a government or come freely. Yet, government does not have a legitimate claim to anything, since all its "property titles" are acquired fraudulently (that is, by theft). Under the NAP, governments are a criminal organization. They have no right to hold title to any land, as the title they claim originates from an act of theft. Likewise, they have no moral claim to welcome people to "their" lands, since they are an immoral organization.

    If we take governments as a given, at least for the time being (since no one has, as of yet, found Rothbard's button that would end governments overnight), then it would seem that there are only two possible choices. The agorist solution, which is to promote and accelerate government collapse, or the gradualist solution. Gradualism requires a world that more resembles the world under the NAP. If a policy moves a gradualist anarchist away from that goal, he should oppose that policy. The agorist should only support the policy if he can establish proof that the policy will speed the collapse of the state (and implicitly, its elimination, since the agorist should oppose the establishment of a new government).

    As for the question of defending culture, I made a few posts reasoning about this over the weekend on Twitter. I suggest that a community would be able to enforce its customary law on passers-through and new residents consistently with the NAP by means of a process similar to easements. If a community has an established customary law (or a contract) that the citizens all agree to, they've effectively established an easement (or an actual contract) to live under that law. (This could be sharia law, or it could be a voluntary commune, or something of that sort.) An outsider who chooses to live among them should know of this law and, by moving there, agrees to be bound to it. Granted that there would be strong economic incentives to adopt the NAP as a community's law, but they would still have the ability to choose another law.

  5. "Granted that there would be strong economic incentives to adopt the NAP as a community's law, but they would still have the ability to choose another law."

    If it's written out as the Non-agression Principle instead of as an acronym, the NAP, it seems to me that the principle would be kind of resistant to being made a law.

    I view a principle as something commonly held, by a group or community, as a desirable tradition to be adhered to, rather than a statute enforceable by a government.

    Excuse the quibbling, but this is something that comes to mind when I read a reference to "making the NAP a law".

  6. This is perfectly compatible with the time, and place, of the laws of Moses. There were trade routes, and benefited the residents.. But there was no government. The priests ministered the rites and served as sometime arbiters. Imperfect success till the idiots demanded a ling.m

    1. It was still a state. A different kind of state but a state nonetheless.

    2. Matt, I would disagree - but the disagreement might be based on either definition or belief.

      I say it was not a state because the judges and executives did not make the law. The law came from something transcendent: God.

      Now, you might not believe the law came from God. Fair enough. Maybe it was a codification of tradition - still transcendent, therefore still not a state (in my definition).

      Maybe the law was just made up - like what is done today. In this case, the term "state" would be reasonable.

  7. I posted this review of Camp of the Saints on Amazon in 2015: "This book is not about poor versus rich. Nor, as purported by some of the other reviewers on this website, is it about whites and non-whites and their respective status in the world. To call it racist is to miss the point. Instead, its theme is nothing less than the end of Western Civilization. It’s about throwing away with both hands the ideas of individual liberty, the right to life, the rule of law, and not least, the inviolability of property.
    Even now I can sense the horror of some readers at that last item, and that’s why this book is an important one. It is property rights that are basic to civilization, for without them other rights will wither away. It’s my opinion that even the author didn’t understand this.
    The story uses the parable of a colossal invasion of poor people onto the southern shores of France. The impotence of the people of the western world to appropriately respond to this invasion of other people’s property delivers the coup de grace." Peg in Oregon