The myth of the conspiracy in France

The conspiracy never stopped throughout history to animate societies and in particular French society in times of change, of profound upheavals which have led to change in society in the more or less long term. Through the feelings of anguish, fear, worry that arise directly from these periods of uncertainty, the myth of the conspiracy appears as an escape for society. The myth would be in this, at the same time explanation, fabulation, factor of mobilization but also particular mode of speech, similar to the dream (Raoul Girardet).

The birth of the myth can therefore be interpreted as the sign of a disruption of society, of a loss of identity, which then carries with it the reaction against the aggression that individuals feel during these periods. We can identify three major types of conspiracies through the speech of the rabbi, Eugene Sue's Wandering Jew, and Alexandre Dumas's Joseph Balsamo account.

The Rabbi's speech: "The Jewish conspiracy"

It is advisable to give the floor to the text and then to explain its content:

“We are in Prague, around the middle of the 19th century, among the tangled graves of the old Jewish cemeteries. Midnight will soon strike, the silence hangs over the city, the darkness grows deeper. The doors of the cemeteries are ajar; shadows creep in, wrapped in long coats, then gather around a gravestone. These are the twelve representatives of Israel who, in accordance with a thousand-year-old custom, must all the centuries come together in secret on the means implemented to ensure the greater glory of the chosen people. One of them, the oldest, the most venerable, speaks: Our brothers bequeathed to the elect of Israel the duty to meet once every century around the tomb of the great Master Calab, holy Rabbi Simeon -Ben-Judah whose science gives to the elect of each generation power over all the earth and authority over all the descendants of Israel. Israel's war has already been going on for eighteen centuries with this power which had been promised to Abraham, but which had been taken from him by the cross. Trampled underfoot, humiliated by their enemies, ceaselessly under the threat of death, persecution, kidnappings, rapes of all kinds, the people of Israel succumbed and they were dispersed throughout the earth, it was is that all the earth must belong to him ... ”. (Work: Biarritz published in Berlin in 1868)

The foundation of the Jewish conspiracy is based on society's fear of establishing a methodically prepared plan to conquer and enslave the world. The fight must take place on all levels of society, whether political, economic, social ...

The text presents a gloomy atmosphere of death, which are attached in the minds of individuals to the Jewish conspiracy. This fear was expressed particularly in the 19th century in France, in particular with the virulent anti-Semitism that reigned there. Many caricatures present the Jews with plotting, deceitful, petty, miserly features, an original deal with the figure of a judas that betrays Jesus, but also a traitor to the country as the Dreyfus affair clearly expressed in 1898. From then on, the The environment of this conspiracy is established in all that results from the obscurity, the animal representation of the serpent, the spider, the vampire who sucks blood, the wealth to leave men and countries bloodless.

The Jesuit conspiracy

“We are in a lonely street in Paris in 1831, in the gray of an October morning. A banal facade pierced with two window frames furnished with thick iron bars, a narrow and dark courtyard onto which opens a large room with tiled floors. Poor and sad furniture, a few chairs, a table, shelves of blackened wood, but in the middle of which stands an imposing planisphere, about four feet in diameter, placed on a pedestal of solid oak, one noticed on this globe a crowd of red crosses scattered over all parts of the world, from north to south, from sunrise to sunset, from the most barbarous countries, the most distant islands, to the most civilized nations, up to France, he There was not a country which did not offer several places marked with these small crosses, obviously serving as landmarks. Added to this, a figure bent over in front of the work table, it is an old man with a livid mask, dressed in an old grated gray frock coat, with a greasy collar. Humbly, he presents to his interlocutor, a young, elegant man with a sharp and domineering gaze, a thick bundle of messages from all over the world. (Errant Jew by Eugene Sue).

This passage shows us that once again the scene takes place in a dark and gloomy place. Surveillance takes place in the four corners of the world and this phenomenon is made possible by the origin of the power of our two characters, the society of Jesus. The myth of the Jesuit conspiracy is therefore based on their desire to dominate the world, through an established intelligence system on subversion and espionage.

The Masonic conspiracy

“Far from the grayness of Paris, here we are in Germany, in the month of May 1770, in the tragic light of a spring twilight, in the heart of the darkest of the forests bordering the left bank of the Rhine, a mysterious traveler is introduced into the underground room of an abandoned castle. Dozens of masked men are gathered there, in front of whom the stranger agrees to submit to disconcerting trials, to take strange oaths. I drink, he said, to the death of any man who betrays the secrets of holy association. But suddenly, raising his voice, the stranger interrupts the interrogation to which he finds himself delivered. There is nothing else, he announces, than the One we expect, the One to whom Providence has entrusted the grandiose task of starting the salutary fire which must light up the world. It is in France, he explains, that the flame must first be carried: an old king, timorous, corrupt, even less desperate than the monarchy he represents, sits on the throne of France. He has barely a few years to live. The future must be suitably laid out for us for the day of his death. France is the keystone of the building; that the six million hands which rise at a sign from the supreme circle uproot this stone and the monarchical edifice will crumble, and the day when it will be known that there is no longer a king in France, the sovereigns of Europe, the most insolently seated on their throne, will feel the vertigo rising to their foreheads, and of themselves they will rush into the abyss which will have hollowed out this great collapse of the throne of Saint-Louis ”(Joseph Balsamo, Alexandre Dumas).

This conspiracy explains to us that the chain of events which will lead to the French Revolution is inscribed in fate. In the secrecy of the plot, a man will execute a methodically prepared plan of which only he knows the inexorable outcome.

These three accounts taken from separate works therefore show us the omnipresence of the myth of the conspiracy within French society. Faced with a situation of anguish, of concern for the future of this community, it is necessary to find and identify an enemy, in the decades 1920-1930, in a situation of economic and social crisis, of mistrust of with regard to the political class, themes such as anti-parliamentarism and anti-Semitism will dominate the political debate of the time.


- Raoul GIRARDET, Political Myths and Mythology, Seuil, 1986.