|Born||Alain Bonnet de Soral
October 2, 1958
|Occupation||Essayist, journalist, film maker|
|Alma mater||École des hautes études en sciences sociales|
|Subjects||Capitalism, communitarianism, feminism, zionism|
Alain Bonnet de Soral a.k.a. Alain Soral (French: [alɛ̃ sɔʁal]; born October 2, 1958) is a Franco-Swiss essayist, and film maker, as well as being the author of several polemical essays. He is the brother of the actress Agnès Soral. Soral lives in the French Basque Country. Since June 2004, he has been a boxing coach. Alain Soral considers himself to be in the political "avant garde" of French society, claiming that his remarks and comments are always at first condemned and later widely accepted by the mainstream French public.  Soral is widely critisised for his anti-zionist and antisemitic political stands in France.
Life and career
Soral was born in Aix-les-Bains, Savoie and grew up in the suburbs of Annemasse (department of Haute-Savoie), where he attended a local primary school. When Soral was about 12, his family moved to Meudon so that he could go to a reputable private Catholic high school, the Collège Stanislas de Paris. Soral spent two years doing small jobs before being accepted into the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts at 20, where he studied for two years. Soral was then taken in by a family of academics, who encouraged him to enrol at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, where he attended lectures given by Cornelius Castoriadis.
Following his studies, and working with Hector Obalk and Alexandre Pasche, Soral wrote a book on the sociology of trendiness: Les mouvements de mode expliqués aux parents, as well as a fictionalised autobiography: Le Jour et la nuit ou la vie d'un vaurien. The latter work sold badly, and this led Soral to turn away from writing for a time.
Soral then focussed on cinematic techniques, and after 2 promotional films, wrote and directed his first short film: Chouabadaballet, une dispute amoureuse entre deux essuie-glaces. After a stint as a reporter in Zimbabwe, Soral wrote and directed his second short film: Les Rameurs, misère affective et culture physique à Carrière-sur-Seine.
In the mean time, Soral had joined the French Communist Party. He became interested in the works of Karl Marx and other Marxist thinkers such as Georg Lukács, Henri Wallon, Lucien Goldmann and Michel Clouscard. He published Sociologie du Dragueur ("sociology of the womaniser"), his most successful sociological essay to date.
Soral performed in Catherine Breillat's 1996 film Parfait Amour !, in the role of Philippe.
He then published another polemical essay: Vers la féminisation ? - Démontage d'un complot antidémocratique ("Towards feminisation? analysis of an antidemocratic plot"), and spent the following couple of years writing and directing his first full-length movie: Confession d'un dragueur ("Confessions of a womaniser"), which was a commercial and critical failure. Disgusted by what he called "a lynching", Soral gave up cinema altogether and returned to writing. He published Jusqu'où va-t-on descendre? - Abécédaire de la bêtise ambiante ("Down to where are we descending? ABC of ambient stupidity"), followed by Socrate à Saint-Tropez (2003), and Misères du désir (2004).
Soral's penultimate book, CHUTe ! Éloge de la disgrâce (subtitled Roman (novel)), was published in France on 6 April 2006.
In the 2007 he became part of the central committee of Front National, trying to place social issues in the program of the party. He left the party in the 2009.
His latest essay Comprendre l'Empire was published in France on February 10, 2011.
Besides the sociological Marxist analysis of the modern-day society, Soral's books tend to focus on seven main themes:
- criticism of communitarianism
- criticism of feminism, especially neo-feminist movements
- criticism of the media and the society of spectacle in general
- criticism of capitalism and USA imperialism
- criticism of mainstream culture
- the Arab-Israeli conflict
- the dismantling of Yugoslavia, and possibly of France
Notably, Soral has written:
|“||In France, all forms of growing communitarianism (gay, Islamic, etc.) form and strengthen through imitation of, hostility towards and opposition to Judeo-Zionist communitarianism, whose privileged status constitutes the communitarian jurisprudence by which their revendications to the Republic are supported||”|
Soral's analysis of society focuses on what he terms "desire society", promoted by the media and the cult of celebrity. He has especially criticised monthly women's publications, which he believes alter the conscience and relegate women to the status of "objects".
Soral defined himself as a Marxist, and was a member of the French Communist Party in the early 90's. He left the PCF because of his opposition to the party's renunciation of revolutionary content. Soral supported left-wing dissident candidate Jean-Pierre Chevènement during the 2002 presidential election.
In 2005, Soral turned to the far-right, joining the National Front's campaign committee; he was given responsibility for social issues and for the suburbs under the authority of Marine Le Pen. Soral's personal journey has led some to compare him with Jacques Doriot, one of the neo-socialists in the early 1930s and Collaborationist under Pétain. He supported the Bloc identitaire's distribution of food in January 2006.
Since 18 November 2007, Soral has been a member of the central committee of the National Front which he left in early 2009 because of some ideas he was in conflict with (especially the menace of Islam which is not an actual threat for him).
In 2007, he founded the group "Egalité et Réconciliation", a think tank led by the ideas he developed in his books and his several interviews (an innovative mix between social and economic ideas from Left, and Values like Nation or morality from Right).
Alain Soral and "gay communitarianism"
Alain Soral has denounced communitarianism as a "poison". He has been especially critical of the rise of communitarianism in the gay community, a term that he has sharply criticised, arguing that many homosexuals have nothing to do with Gay Pride ideology. For Soral, Gay Pride involves promotion of the "Gorgeous Guy" model, youth, parties, drag queens, etc., and obscures homosexuality as experienced by older or working-class homosexuals.
The association Act Up rounded on his publisher, Éditions Blanche. Act Up stated that through books like those of Alain Soral or Éric Rémès, Éditions Blanche spread negative feelings and even hatred towards homosexuals. Act Up asked the director of publication at Éditions Blanche to stop publishing books by Soral and Rémès, and vandalised Éditions Blanche's offices. The head of Éditions Blanche claimed that members of Act Up physically assaulted his executive assistant, and threatened to press charges. Act Up denied those accusations. No legal action has so far been pursued.
Alain Soral and feminism
In his book Vers la féminisation ? Démontage d'un complot antidémocratique, Alain Soral argues that women have always worked (in trade or agriculture, for example). To him, they would have invented feminism by tiring of their role as mothers. Soral distinguishes two types of feminism: that of the "flippées" ("freaked-out") such as Simone de Beauvoir, and that of the "pétasses" ("bitches") like Élisabeth Badinter. Soral claims that the most problematic inequality is not between men and women, but between rich and poor, and that feminists, who generally come from the upper classes of society, attempt to distract attention from this struggle.
Accusations of anti-Semitism
In a report on the television programme Complément d'enquête (in its episode devoted to the controversial French humorist Dieudonné M'bala M'bala), broadcast on the French television channel France 2 on 20 September 2004, Alain Soral said:
|“||When you're talking with a Frenchman who is a Zionist Jew, and you start to say, well maybe there are problems coming from your side, maybe you might have made a few mistakes, it's not always the fault of other people if no-one can stand you wherever you go… because that's basically their general history, you see… for 2,500 years, every time they settled somewhere, after about fifty years or so, they get kicked. You'd think that's strange! It's as though everyone is wrong except them. And the guy will start shouting, yelling, going mad… you won't be able to carry on with the conversation. Which, to sum it all up, tells you that there's a psychopathology with Zionism Judaism, something that verges on mental illness…||”|
These comments sparked much controversy and Soral estranged himself from his show-bizz friends like Thierry Ardisson, a French TV host and producer, though they knew each other for more than 25 years. Anti-Semitism is the subject of Soral's latest book: CHUTe ! Éloge de la disgrâce. Soral defended himself some days later on the website oumma.com, claiming that his words had been taken out of context.
Following this programme, on 29 September 2004, Soral and several others were the victims of an attack by about twenty people wielding baseball bats, while he was signing copies of his book Misères du désir in a book shop called Au Pays de Cocagne in Paris's IIIe arrondissement. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and the police investigation has found no leads so far.
In a 2005 interview given to the magazine VSD, Soral announced his intellectual support for the equally controversial Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, with whom he worked on the Euro-Palestine list for the European elections of 2004, before his withdrawal led Dieudonné to do likewise. During the France 2 programme mentioned above, Dieudonné is visible in the background, listening to Soral.
Break-up of Yugoslavia and France
Alain Soral believes that Yugoslavia was dismembered by the USA, which saw an opportunity to gain political ground and influence in South-Eastern Europe by arming Albanian separatist movements in the Serbian province of Kosovo.
Soral believes that community-ism in France could have a similar effect, if the French Republic fails to apply its prestigious 1905 Law of Separation of Church and State, which is enshrined in the French constitution.
According to a recent TV interview (Direct 8 / 88 minutes), Alain Soral stated; "that today, no-one was surprised to see French presidents, prime ministers and other high French political figures meet elusively with the Jewish representing body every year in Paris, meetings that go against the laws of France and send mixed signal to the Republic".
Soral finished by stating that such a course could only push other minorities to form political religious movement in order to be heard. According to Soral, this would be a step likely to divide France into its various religious communities, which would then weaken the independence of the country.
- Les Mouvements de mode expliqués aux parents, with Hector Obalk and Alexandre Pasche, Robert Laffont, 1984
reissued by France Loisirs and Le Livre de Poche
- Le Jour et la nuit ou la vie d'un vaurien, roman, Calmann-Lévy, 1991
reissued under the title La vie d'un vaurien, Éditions Blanche, 2001
- Sociologie du dragueur, Éditions Blanche, 1996
- Vers la féminisation ? Démontage d'un complot antidémocratique, Éditions Blanche, 1999
- Jusqu'où va-t-on descendre ? Abécédaire de la bêtise ambiante, Éditions Blanche, 2002
reissued under the title Abécédaire de la bêtise ambiante, Pocket, 2003
- Socrate à Saint-Tropez : Texticules, Éditions Blanche, 2003
- Misères du désir, Éditions Blanche, 2004
- CHUTe ! Éloge de la disgrâce, Éditions Blanche, 2006
- Comprendre l'Empire, Editions Blanche, 2011.
- 1990 : Chouabadaballet, une dispute amoureuse entre deux essuie-glaces (5 minutes)
- 1993 : Les Rameurs, misère affective et culture physique à Carrière-sur-Seine (10 minutes)
- 2001 : Confession d'un dragueur, avec Saïd Taghmaoui et Thomas Dutronc
- Alain Soral Direct 8, 88 minutes 2008
- (French) « Du communisme au nationalisme : itinéraire d’un intellectuel français », allocution prononcée à Vénissieux le vendredi 2 March 2007.
- "En France, tous les communautarismes montants : gay, islamique... se créent et se renforcent par imitation, hostilité et opposition au communautarisme judéo-sioniste, dont le statut privilégié constitue la jurisprudence communautaire sur laquelle s'appuient leurs revendications face à la république"
- "société du désir"; Alain Soral, Misères du désir.
- "femme-objet"
- in an article on oumma.com « je préfère le voile au string »
- Alain Soral: le sous-Marine du Front National, Amnistia.net, 4 December 2006 (French)
- « Alain Soral attaque les communautarismes à l'oeuvre contre la République », 5 May 2003.
- « Act Up et les éditions Blanche », editorial by Victoire Patouillard, president of Act Up, published in L’Humanité, 21 April 2003.
- Act Up-Paris | Zap des Éditions Blanche : précisions
- Alain Soral on feminism
- «Quand avec un Français, Juif Sioniste, tu commences à dire qu'il y a peut-être des problèmes qui viennent de chez vous, vous avez peut-être fait quelques erreurs, ce n'est pas systématiquement la faute de l'autre, totalement, si personne ne peut vous blairer partout où vous mettez les pieds… parce qu'en gros c'est à peu près ça leur histoire, tu vois… ça fait quand même 2.500 ans, où chaque fois où ils mettent les pieds quelque part, au bout de cinquante ans ils se font dérouiller. Il faut se dire, c'est bizarre ! C'est que tout le monde a toujours tort sauf eux. Le mec, il se met à aboyer, à hurler, à devenir dingue, tu vois… tu ne peux pas dialoguer. C'est-à-dire, je pense, c'est qu'il y a une psychopathologie, tu vois, du judaïsme sionisme qui confine à la maladie mentale…»
- Alain Soral Direct 8, 88 minutes 2008