Michel Houellebecq and the “Political Triangle”: The Republic, the Radical Right, and the “Ultimate Other”

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This article uses Submission’s political plot as a trigger to analyze the political and spiritual situation in France. Following the traditionalist theories of René Guénon, Houellebecq’s main focus is the decay of the republican left, and of secular modernity in general. Like Guénon himself, Submission finds Islam to be a response. Using articles and interviews of Houellebecq since 2015, this chapter claims that he in fact believes in a possible national Catholic renaissance and, against all odds, believes in a reversal of the plot of Submission. That means that Muslims would accept being recognized as a minority religion in France only under a dominant national Catholic state. Houellebecq’s dystopian alternatives are a democratic liberal state clashing violently against Islam rather than surrendering to it, and an authoritarian national Catholic state as the only type of state equipped with the tools to accommodate and subvert Islam by making it recognized second-class religion, rather than waging a civil war against it.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFaux Titre
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameFaux Titre
ISSN (Print)0167-9392


  • Guénon
  • Houellebecq
  • Islam
  • political Catholicism
  • political parties
  • republicanism


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