Guillaume Durcoher is an author, essayist and translator who focuses, among other topics, on history and politics. He writes for several alternative media websites such as Occidental Observer, The Unz Review, Counter Currents and others. He has also recently published his first book, The Ancient Ethnostate: Biopolitical Thought in Classical Greece. We talked with him about his new book and current socio-political issues in Europe and the USA.
As an author and translator you have been writing and translating for various alternative media websites. For the beginning please tell us a bit about the main topics of your work.
I write at the crossroads of history and politics. For the latter, that mainly means the politics of France and the European Union. For history, I roam widely, having written about French history, fascism, and, most recently, the ancient Greeks. I am among those who believe that history is a necessary and excellent foundation for moral thinking and political action. Through history we learn from the whole human experience, we begin to understand our collective trajectory, and we learn of past struggles and experiences which can prepare and fortify us in our own endeavors.
Which are some of your favorite authors and writers?
I owe much to many authors. When a writer strikes me, when I feel he has real insight lacking to the common discourse, I devour him. I mine that seam to exhaustion. There are too many to mention. But for contemporaries, I owe most to Kevin MacDonald and Dominique Venner, for the ancients, Marcus Aurelius and Aristotle. I add that we should each attentively learn all we can from “the book of life,” our own subjective experience.
Recently you published your first book, titled The Ancient Ethnostate: Biopolitical Thought in Classical Greece. Could you give us a short summary of the book?
This book is the fruit of a confrontation: between my own status as a heretic in the era of liberal-egalitarianism and my readings of the ancient Greeks classics, from Homer to Aristotle. I discovered that the Greeks were emphatically and unabashedly biopolitical. They were immensely proud and conscious of their Greek ethno-civilizational identity, considered the begetting and rearing of children to be a familial and social duty, and promoted values of martial virtue and solidarity so as to triumph in conflicts with other groups.
In short, this is an analysis of Hellenism by the lights Darwinism. This is an unforced reading. There is no question that later Western traditions – Roman, Christian, liberal – are far less biopolitical in this sense.
More generally, this book is an introduction to ancient Greek values and political thought, and to the remarkable mindset that enabled them to expand, survive, and thrive in the violent world of the ancient Mediterranean. We all need to spiritually secede from modern liberal assumptions, judging societies and cultures by the yardstick of individual choice and fictitious equality, the spirit of entitlement. Refresh yourself by conversing with the old Greeks: theirs was the spirit of excellence, of flourishing, and of the common good bien compris!
Many “mainstream” historians claim that “race” is a relatively “modern” concept, unknown in ancient Greece or Rome. Could you tell us a bit about this subject, what was the attitude of the ancient Greeks toward their racial or ethnical identity?
The Greeks had a very strong sense of the importance of their ancestry and ethno-civilizational identity. It simply is pervasive from Homer to Aristotle. These identities were multilayered and concentric: a Greek was a member of his patrilineal family, his city, his tribe (Dorian, Ionian…), and finally a Hellene. The most salient identity differed depending on the context, but in each case the identity was essentially defined by shared blood and culture. In conflict with outsiders, such as the Persians and Carthaginians, there was a strong sense that Greeks ought to be united to defend their race and civilization against common threats.
So the Greeks were quite aware of racial differences and of their own identity in that sense?
The Greeks also had some precocious racial ideas. It was believed that geography could change a race’s character and cause the emergence of hereditary traits. For instance, Ethiopians were believed to be black because of the heat of the sun. The Greeks did not develop systematic racial theories as did modern Europeans, but this is unsurprising, given that colonialism meant modern Europeans constantly came up against radically different human beings. In the ancient Mediterranean, by contrast, racial-ethnic differences tended to be gradual and less striking.
Still, the Greeks were struck by the physical differences of the occasional black Africans they encountered. The Greco-Romans would occasionally tell jokes about blacks and some were attributed to Diogenes the Cynic. It’s striking how far back racial ideas go, long before European colonialism. Medieval Arab and Persian thinkers for example long had very similar opinions of blacks as later Europeans did.
As U.S. society seems more and more polarized, some authors on the Right are suggesting that the dissolution of the American Empire into different ethnostates would be the best solution. Do you agree with such views, and more importantly, do you think that it could become a real possibility in the future?
I have no claim to insight here. It seems clear that the U.S. federal government cannot be reclaimed by patriotic forces. As such, partition seems like the most desirable option and, in fact, an increasingly plausible one given the hysterical degree of polarization. Certainly, for Europe, the collapse of the United States would eliminate a major vector of liberal globalism in the Old Continent and put enormous pressure on European statesmen to up their game geopolitically.
Red America and the “Flyover Country,” held in such contempt by coastal liberals, seems to be asserting its autonomy more and more. If secession were to occur, it is crucial that the new leaders be ethnically aware, politically vigorous, and cognizant of the particular conditions, strange and fluctuating, of our century. Amerikaner leaders might want to consult the memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew, the late prime minister of Singapore, who had great insights on how to build and preserve a nation in an age of transformation.
Mass migrations have been a big problem for Europe for decades now. Beside the ongoing migrations through the Mediterranean, we are also witnessing a new “migration crisis” on Polish borders, which was caused by the Belorussian president Lukashenko, who the Poles are accusing of “hybrid warfare”. What is your opinion about this current crisis on the Polish-Belorussian borders?
The EU took offense at fraudulent elections in Belarus and, I believe has imposed sanctions, notably at the behest of Poland and Lithuania. The Belarusian government has retaliated by flooding the region with Middle-Eastern migrants. This is an umpteenth example of instability caused by a Wilsonian foreign policy that cannot tolerate alternative forms of government. We ought to forget demoliberal obsessions – which are often quite harmful in their consequences – and work for stability and cooperation among all Europeans.
Within the European Union there is an ongoing conflict between Brussels and the V4 and some other Central European countries. Especially Hungary, and recently also Slovenia, is being criticized by Brussels and the international press. Mostly, they claim that there is s lack of freedom of the media in those countries. How do you view such attacks or accusations, and this widening gap between Eastern and Middle Europe on one side, and the Western Europe on the other?
There is clearly a huge cultural divide between Western and Central-Eastern Europe today. This is essentially because the Westerners have radicalized, adopting extreme interpretations of human rights that deny biological sex, heteronormativity, and the ethnic foundations of the nation-state. Many deny the legitimacy of lawful borders in general. Governments should be judged by the degree to which they serve the interests of their people. To that extent, it is obvious that West-European regimes have proven bankrupt and are in no position to judge their Central-Eastern neighbors.
You have also written extensively about French politics, so maybe you could tell us how do you view the recent announcement of Éric Zemmour about joining the next year’s presidential elections in France as a candidate?
This is an exciting moment. Éric Zemmour’s discourse is simply remarkable in the politics of both France and the West as a whole. He is pro-French, incidentally pro-white, and, while Jewish himself, quite completely free of the organized community’s taboos on the Shoah, the Vichy Regime, and ethnic lobbying itself. His central campaign plank is explicit opposition to the Great Replacement. There are defects in Zemmour’s rhetoric. He still promotes assimilation – impossible and undesirable at this stage – and makes an untenable distinction between Muslims and Islam. Still, on the whole, this is an extraordinary development.
Do you think Zemmour could win?
Zemmour has a chance of winning. We of course cannot say how he would govern – he has no experience in that area and much will depend on unpredictable power dynamics. We can be sure the bulk of the media and “cultural” industry will be constantly at war with him. Still, we can legitimately hope that a President Zemmour would rather thrive like Orbán or Salvini (until the parliamentary coup against him), rather than flounder like Trump. Of course, there are the risks of failure and disappointment, but qui ne tente rien n’a rien ! That’s life!
When we talk about the great replacement, usually the name of Richard Coudenhove von Kalergi comes up…
The water is murky here for two reasons: Firstly, Kalergi is a complex figure. And secondly, he was a bogeyman of the National-Socialist movement. He led the main ‘civil society’ organization calling for European unity in the interwar period and was recognized as a spiritual forefather of the EU by being the first recipient of the Charlemagne Prize by the city of Aachen in 1950.
Many identitarian groups and websites, including our own, mention the so-called Kalergi plan, and his “vision” of a new racially mixed man ruled by the new European “Jewish aristocracy”. But you have written a very interesting article on the subject, where you claim that although Kalergi was “pacifistic” and “cosmopolitan”, there were some positive aspects of his ideas, and that the truth of the matter is a bit more complex. Can you tell us a bit more about this subject?
Kalergi predicted the emergence of a cosmopolitan mixed-race humanity and was extremely philo-Semitic (seeing in the Jews a superior people suited for the spiritual leadership of Europe). At the same, in the 1920s he wrote against importing black Africans into Europe. Kalergi also had an aristocratic and not particularly democratic sensibility. He hence flirted with Mussolini’s Italy for a time. He gave a remarkable interview, to Julius Evola of all people, in 1933 in which he called for extending Fascism to Europe “as it expresses a wise mixture of the authoritarian aristocratic principle with what can be healthy in the democratic principle.” We see then that history is complicated!
My impression is Kalergi was opportunistic, or perhaps open-minded. I don’t think he had a very specific plan for Europe, though he often mentioned Switzerland as a model. These cosmopolitan “pan-European” civil-society movements tend to be wishy-washy. In any case, notwithstanding Kalergi’s winning the Charlemagne Prize, the EU has basically followed its own trajectory – quite independent of whatever Kalergi advocated – driven by economics and liberal ideals, occasional leaps driven by Franco-German statecraft, and the perennial lowest common denominator.
Thank you for the interview. For the end tell us, as a person who regularly follows and writes about the European affairs, how much are you familiar with our country Slovenia, and do you have any last message for the Slovenian readers and our activists?
I have never been to Slovenia but I know a few Slovenes and am struck how much they resemble their Austrian neighbors rather than Balkan peoples. I have tasted many a good Slovenian wine. I urge patriots in Slovenia to not be intimidated by the wealth, prestige, and culture encroachment of Western liberals: stay true to your instincts and your country! No madness lasts forever.