One of the objectives of The Europeans is to republish in English translation articles written originally in French or German by or about people who know what they’re talking about. One such is Stephen Smith, the American journalist, academic, Francophone, and Africa specialist. Smith’s view on migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe might be summarised in the American vernacular as: you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! The richer Africans become, the freer they will be to migrate to Europe. Both development in Africa and “co-development” of Europe and Africa through one-way migration — a sly form of practical progressivism — will contribute to stalling their own ostensible objectives by actually promoting an African middle-class exodus, rather than rendering it unnecessary.
Managing the now rare trick of scholarly detachment, Smith simultaneously keeps in mind the three contradictory paradigms at play in the migration ‘debate’: the progressive, the conservative, and the third that always imposes itself on the other two: objective reality. The spectre of sustained mass migration from Africa hangs in Europe’s future as a portent of the great demographic substitution: Le Grand Remplacement, as described, feared and resisted by the French writer Renaud Camus. As Camus never ceases to point out — in a continual da capo made necessary by constant references to the Great Replacement as a mere theory that remains unsupported by “statistics” — the substitution is already well advanced in western Europe and clearly visible to every naked eye. And there is another perspective to be recognised here: whereas the contemporary Islamisation of Europe and the continuing threat of Islamist terrorism have taken the lion’s share of media attention, these are merely aggravating factors that serve to eclipse the main theme: the extinction of European civilisation through the replacement of European peoples by exotic populations, principally from Africa. It is not obvious that Stephen Smith and Renaud Camus would disagree on any substantial point.
FIGARO/INTERVIEW : According to the American journalist Stephen Smith, migration from Africa, which weighs so heavily on Europe, constitutes the grand challenge of the 21st century. He says that the scale of the migratory pressure will submit our Continent to a trial without precedent, leading to the final rupture between the cosmopolitan elite and the populations who are attached to their identity.
The French-speaking American journalist, Stephen Smith, directed reporting on Africa at Libération from 1988 to 2000, then at Le Monde from 2000 to 2005. Since 2007, he has been professor of African studies at Duke University in the United States. He has just published La Ruée vers l’Europe [The Stampede for Europe], Editions Grasset ⇑.