Houellebecq goes to some lengths to explain how the brilliant Muslim politician rises to power. Just as George W. Bush called for much more immigration on the grounds that “€œfamily values don”€™t stop at the Rio Grande,”€ Houellebecq’s narrator explains of Ben Abbes:

He appealed to the Third World types simply by being who he was, but he also knew how to win over conservative voters…. When he campaigned on family values, traditional morality, and, by extension, patriarchy, an avenue opened up to him that neither the conservatives nor the National Front could take without being called reactionaries or even fascists by the last of the soixante-huitards, those progressive mummified corpses”€”extinct in the wider world”€”who managed to hang on in the citadels of the media, still cursing the evil of the times and the toxic atmosphere of the country. Only Ben Abbes was spared. The left, paralyzed by his multicultural background, had never been able to fight him, or so much as mention his name.

When Ben Abbes takes power in Paris, he quickly expands the E.U. southward to include Turkey and Morocco, with Algeria and Egypt waiting in the wings. Granted, when Submission was published in January, the inclusion of Turkey in the E.U. seemed absurd, a bad American idea that had been defeated by the French a decade before. But since then, Europe has inflicted its own massive goal upon itself. October saw the humiliation of Chancellor Merkel flying to Turkey to offer President Erdogan inclusion of 75 million Muslim Turks in Europe’s free-migration Schengen zone if only he were to help her shut off the flow of Syrians and pseudo-Syrians she had loosed.

Ironically, since the original publication of Submission, Houellebecq’s Darwinian interpretation of Islam as more demographically vital has largely been adopted by Ms. Merkel’s center-right defenders, who see her opening of the floodgates as an economic masterstroke that will do what’s most important: keep German workers”€™ wages down.

By the end of the book, the E.U. secretariat is being relocated from Brussels to the more central Rome, and Ben Abbes appears on his way to being elected president (or perhaps emperor) of Europe by one man, one vote. (As for the feminists of Europe, well, they probably should have thought about the implications of multiculturalism while there was still time.)

One of Houellebecq’s more daring, but now seemingly accurate, conceptions in the wake of Christian Democrat Angela Merkel’s blunder is that Christendom will be betrayed less by its traditional enemies on the left than by conservatives.

Strikingly, Submission expends little effort upon satirizing the left. In the near future envisioned by the novel, the 68ers have run so far out of intellectual gas that Houellebecq’s hero, a Parisian professor, seems to know only a single leftist, Steve, another professor of literature, but also a buffoon who obviously plagiarized his dissertation on Rimbaud.

François does little, but intelligent people seem to enjoy confiding in him. His insightful interlocutors range from a centrist secret policeman impressed by the deftness of the anti”€“National Front alliance’s maneuvers to a magnetic young literature professor, Godefroy Lempereur, who may be secretly the leader of a far-right death squad trying to provoke a civil war with the Salafists. (My guess is that Lempereur is modeled on the delusional Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik’s inflated self-image.)

Houellebecq has sometimes implied that converting to Islam is a genuine possibility for him. Depressed by the death of his parents and dog, he had decided to become a Catholic like the 19th-century Decadent novelist J.K. Huysmans, whom his protagonist researches. But Catholicism didn”€™t take.

Submission presents Islam as a more streamlined religion for modern misogynists than French Catholicism, which is centered upon the Virgin Mary. Indeed, a look at the list of converts suggests that Islam mostly appeals to men of the right, such as black jocks, eccentric military men, and mystics.

They can”€™t put the author on trial again for saying that, right? Significantly, as Houellebecq has pointed out in interviews, there is no mention whatsoever of immigration in Submission, presumably because that would call to mind Jean Raspail’s now very prophetic 1973 novel, The Camp of the Saints.

Of course, having Houellebecq’s horrible hero endorse the Islamification of France isn”€™t exactly the best PR that diversity can get…

An alternative interpretation of Submission is that Houellebecq is a French patriot”€”the book is replete with references to French writers like Huysmans and Bloy whose international stars have faded in the Anglophone 21st Century”€”trolling the conventional wisdom by presenting his horrifying scenario as something that would appeal, of course, to a character like him.



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