“The European of history is best seen as a warrior bearing a sword, symbol of his will.”
by Michael O’Meara
Excerpted from his book-review “The Shock of History”
originally published in 2011 at the old Alternative Right:
Dominique Venner’s thesis is that: Europeans, after having been militarily, politically, and morally crushed by events largely of their own making, have been lost in sleep (“in dormition”) for the last half-century and are now—however slowly—beginning to experience a “shock of history” that promises to wake them, as they are forced to defend an identity of which they had previously been almost unconscious.
Like cascading catastrophes (the accelerating decomposition of America’s world empire, Europe’s Islamic colonization, the chaos-creating nihilism of global capitalism, etc.), the shock of history today is becoming more violent and destructive, making it harder for Europeans to stay lulled in the deep, oblivious sleep that follows a grievous wound to the soul itself—the deep curative sleep prescribed by their horrendous civil wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945), by the ensuing impositions of the Soviet / American occupation and of the occupation’s collaborationist regimes, and, finally, today, by a demographic tsunami promising to sweep away their kind.
The Second European Civil War of 1939-1945, however it is interpreted, resulted in a cataclysmic defeat not just for Hitler’s Germany, but for Europe, much of which, quite literally, was reduced to mounds of smoldering rumble. Then, at Yalta, adding insult to injury, the two extra-European super-powers partitioned the Continent, deprived her states of sovereignty, and proceeded to Americanize or Sovietize the “systems” organizing and managing the new postwar European order.
As Europe’s lands and institutions were assumed by alien interests, her ancient roots severed, and her destiny forgotten, Europeans fell into dormition, losing consciousness of who they were as a people and a civilization—believing, as they were encouraged, that they were simply one people among the world’s many peoples—nothing special—except in their evil.
Worse, for their unpardonable sins—for what Europeans did to Jews in the war, to Blacks in the slave trade, to non-White peoples in general over the course of the last 500 years—for all the terrible sins Europeans have committed, they are henceforth denied the “right” to be a “people.” In the Messianic spirit of Communism and Americanism, the Orwellian occupiers and collaborators have since refused them a common origin (roots), a shared history, a tradition, a destiny. This reduces them to a faceless economic-administrative collectivity, which is expected, in the end, to negate the organic basis of its own existence.
The postwar assault on European identity entailed, however, more than a zombifying campaign of guilt-inducement—though this campaign was massive in scale. Europe after Jahre Null was re-organized according to extra-European models and then overwhelmed with imported forms of mass consumerism and entertainment. At the same time and with perhaps greater severity, she was subject to an unprecedented “brain-washing” (in schools, media, the so-called arts, public institutions, and private corporations)—as all Europe’s family of nations, not just the defeated Germans, were collectively made to bear a crushing guilt—under the pretext of the Shoah or the legacy of colonialism / imperialism / slavery—their sins requiring the most extreme penance. Thus tainted, her memory and identity are now verboten…
In one sense, Venner’s Europe is the opposite of the America that has distorted Europe’s fate for the last half-century. But he is no knee-jerk anti-American (though the French, in my view, have good cause to be anti-US). He’s also written several books on the US War of Secession, in which much of America’s Cavalier heritage is admired. Knowing something of the opposed tendencies shaping American “national” life, he’s well aware of the moral abyss separating, say, Jesse James from Jay Gould—and what makes one an exemplar of the European spirit and the other its opposite.
Modeled on the Old Testament, not the Old World, Venner claims America’s New World (both as a prolongation and rejection of Europe) was born of New England Calvinism and secularized in John O’Sullivan’s “Manifest Destiny.”
Emboldened by the vast, virgin land of their wilderness enterprise and the absence of traditional authority, America’s Seventeenth-century Anglo-Puritan settlers set out, in the spirit of their radical-democratic Low Church crusade, to disown the colony’s Anglo-European parents—which meant disowning the idea (old as Herodotus) that Europe is “the home of liberty and true government.”
Believing herself God’s favorite, this New Zion aspired—as a Promised Land of liberty, equality, fraternity—to jettison Europe’s aesthetic and aristocratic standards for the sake of its religiously-inspired materialism. Hence, the bustling, wealth-accumulating, tradition-opposing character of the American project, which offends every former conception of the Cosmos.
New England, to be sure, is not the whole of America, for the South, among another sections, has a quite different narrative, but it was the Yankee version of the “American epic” that became dominant, and it is thus the Yankee version that everywhere wars on Americans of European descent.
Citing Huntington’s Who Are We?, Venner says US elites (“cosmocrats,” he calls them) pursue a transnational / universalist vision (privileging global markets and human rights) that opposes every “nativist” sense of nation and culture—a transnational / universalist vision the cosmocrats hope to impose on the whole world. For like Russian Bolsheviks and “the Bolsheviks of the Seventeenth century,” these money-worshipping liberal elites hate the Old World and seek a new man, Homo oeconomicus—unencumbered by roots, nature, or culture—and motivated solely by a quantitative sense of purpose.
As a union whose “connections” are horizontal, contractual, self-serving, and self-centered, America’s cosmocratic system comes, as such, to oppose all resistant forms of historic or organic identity—for the sake of a totalitarian agenda intent on running roughshod over everything that might obstruct the scorch-earth economic logic of its Protestant Ethic and Capitalist Spirit. In this sense, Europe’s resurgence implies America’s demise.
What will awaken Europeans from their sleep? Venner says it will be the shock of history—the shock evoking the tradition that made them (and makes them) who they are.
Such shocks have long shaped their history. Think of the Greeks in their Persian Wars; of Charles Martel’s outnumbered knights against the Caliphate’s vanguard; or of the Christian forces under Starhemberg and Sobieski before the gates of Vienna. Whenever Europe approaches Hölderlin’s “midnight of the world,” such shocks, it seems, serve historically to mobilize the redeeming memory and will to power inscribed in her tradition.
More than a half-century after the trauma of 1945—and the ensuing Americanization, financialization, and third-worldization of continental life—Europeans are once again experiencing another great life-changing, history-altering shock promising to shake them from their dormition.
The present economic crisis and its attending catastrophes combined with the unrelenting, disconcerting Islamization of European life (integral to US strategic interests) are—together—forcing Europeans to re-evaluate a system that destroys the national economy, eliminates borders, ravages the culture, makes community impossible, and programs their extinction as a people. The illusions of prosperity and progress, along with the system’s fun, sex, and money (justifying the prevailing de-Europeanization) are becoming increasingly difficult to entertain. Glimmers of a changing consciousness have, indeed, already been glimpsed on the horizon.
The various nationalist-populist parties stirring everywhere—parties which are preparing the counter-hegemony that one day will replace Europe’s present American-centric leadership—represent one conspicuous sign of this awakening. A mounting number of identitarian, Christian, secular, and political forces resisting Islam’s, America’s, and the EU’s totalitarian impositions at the local level are another sign.
Europeans, as a consequence, are increasingly posing the question: “Who are we?,” as they become conscious—especially in the face of the dietary, vestimentary, familial, sexual, religious, and other differences separating them from Muslims—of what is distinct to their civilization and their people, and why such distinctions are worth defending. Historical revivals, Venner notes, are slow in the making, but once awakened there is usually no going back. This is the point, Venner believes, that Europe is approaching today.
History is the realm of the unexpected. Venner does not subscribe to notions of historical determinism or necessity. In contrast to Marxists and economic determinists, anti-Semites and Spenglerians, he believes there are no monocausal explanations in history, and unlike liberals such as Fukuyama, he believes there’s no escape from (no “end” to) history.
The future of history is always unknown. Who would have thought in 1980 that Soviet Russia, which seemed to be overtaking the United States in the 70s, would collapse within a decade? Historical fatalities are the fatalities of men’s minds, not those of history.
History, moreover, is the confluence of the given, the circumstantial, and the willful. This makes it always open and hence potentially always a realm of the unexpected. And the unexpected (that instance when great possibilities are momentarily posed) is mastered, Venner counsels, only in terms of who we are, which means in terms of the tradition and identity defining our project and informing our encounter with the world.
Hence, the significance now of husbanding our roots, our memory, our tradition, for from them will come our will to power and any possibility of transcendence. It’s not for nothing, Dominique Venner concludes, that we are the sons and daughters of Homer, Ulysses, and Penelope.
by Guillaume Faye
Translated by Greg Johnson
Dominique Venner’s suicide on May 21 at Notre Dame: Marine Le Pen bowed to this gesture of awakening consciousness, which may seem surprising, but it is to her credit. A topless representative of Femen, a group of feminist buffoons, tried to smear his memory the next day, mimicking his suicide in the choir of Notre Dame. On her flat chest was painted: “May Fascism rest in Hell.” It is the second time that these naked groupies entered the cathedral with impunity, even though there is security screening at the entrance. AFP journalists were notified in advance to cover this “happening” and are therefore probably complicit.
The Leftist media and politicians (especially the pathetic Harlem Désir) together accused Venner, post mortem, of incitement to violence, of provocation. Spitting toads. Clearly Venner’s Roman gesture, as tragic as history itself, scared these people, who spend their whole lives crawling.
Venner has given his death as an example, not from despair but from hope: the symbolic sacrifice encourages our youth, in the face of the ongoing foundering of European civilization in its bloodlines and its values, to resist and fight at the cost of death, which is the price of war. A war that has begun. Venner wanted us to understand that victory can be achieved in the history of peoples if the fighters are ready to die for their cause. It is for the future generations of resistant and fighting Europeans that Dominique Venner gave his life. He was an “awakener of the people,” in the words of his friend Jean Mabire.
And he killed himself, though he was not a Christian in the ordinary sense, on the central altar of Notre Dame de Paris, that is to say, the heart of one of the busiest sacred and historical places of all Europe. (Europe: Venner’s real, authentic homeland, not the marshmallow sham of the current European Union.) Notre Dame, a place of memory much richer than, for example, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe. He wanted to give his sacrifice a special meaning, like the old Roman traditions in which the life of a man, to the end, is devoted to the country he loves and must serve. Like Cato, Venner never compromised on principles. Nor on matters of necessary style—of comportment, writing, and ideas—which have nothing to do with posturing, looks, and pedantry. His sobriety displayed, in essence, the power of his lesson. A distant master, which was not unrelated to the Stoic tradition, a rebel with heart and courage not vanity and imposture, a complete man of action and reflection, he never deviated from his path. One day he told me that you should never waste time criticizing traitors, cowards, self-interested bellwethers; nor, of course, should you forgive them; just ignore them and press on. The silence of contempt.
This is the Dominique Venner who, in 1970, brought me into the Resistance, which I have never denied or left since. He was my recruiting sergeant. His voluntary death — echoing Mishima’s more than Montherlant’s – is a founding act. And it filled me with a joyful sadness, like a flash of lightning. A warrior does not die in bed. The sacrificial death of this man of honor demands that we honor his memory and his work, not to mourn but to fight. But fight for what?
Not just for resistance, but for reconquest. The counter-offensive, in other words. After one of my essays in which I developed this idea, Venner sent me letter of approval in his elegant handwriting. His sacrifice will not be vain or ridiculous. The voluntary death of Dominique Venner is a call to victory.
Because Counter-Currents/North American New Right is the primary source of English translations of Venner’s essays, our traffic increased dramatically due to his death. Indeed, on Tuesday the 21st and Wednesday the 22nd we had the highest traffic in our history so far.
So wrote Greg Johnson in today’s article.
I could say the same. WDH’s traffic almost doubled since then, reaching an average of 1,500 hits each of those two days.
Dominique Venner has left us for the symbolic space toward the sky where our ancestors dwell. He has left the witness of his life, and a testament that I interpret from these words:
À défaut de posséder une religion identitaire à laquelle nous amarrer, nous avons en partage depuis Homère une mémoire propre, dépôt de toutes les valeurs sur lesquelles refonder notre future renaissance… (What we lack is an identitarian religion that unites us, that makes us share a common memory that goes back to Homer, a repository of all the values on which our future rebirths will be founded…)
We do not need a new religion, but be aware of our pre-Christian cultures.
We must have Aryan schools for our small children. We need to develop appropriate pedagogical texts to push our values. Our theological or literary texts are a good source for the moral education of our children. We don’t need to resort to any foreign tradition. We have more than enough knowledge and wisdom and I even think that no people can excel us in this.
From Iranian and Indian branches founded by Aryans about four thousand years ago we take the linguistic and archaic cultural legacy (The Vedas) and adopt them as our own. I recommend reading all The Vedas (especially the Rig-Veda).
Pure Aryan (whites) groups disappeared there about three thousand years ago. The Aryans who came to the area should have been few in number. They were absorbed in a few centuries by the indigenous breeds. Shortly later appeared Hinduism and other ideologies of salvation (Buddhism, Jainism) absolutely contrary to the spirit and all our Aryan and Vedic cultural traditions.
The Vedic or Aryan spirit (epic, heroic, warlike, active, and affirmative) that ran through the Rig Veda absolutely disappeared throughout all post-Vedic Indian literature (Hinduist, Buddhist or Jainist). Hinduism and other similar (nihilist) ideologies apparently have more to do with Indian, pre-Aryan cultures that with the cited Vedas.
(Excerpted from a longer article in Spanish)
Maybe his act will provide the inspiration that Anders Breivik could not.
Just sent this link to everyone in my e-mail list. Make sure people read it, so the sacrifice of this man is not forgotten.
The media reports are just making it out as a protest against gay “marriage”, but as we can see, Venner’s sacrifice was more than that. Either the media are just that pedestrian they can’t pick up on the wider issues that gay “marriage” was merely symptomatic of, or they have and are frightened by such an erudite and moving articulation of “far-right” views being given attention in the mainstream.
Sylvanus Carpenter said…
I have been disappointed by the comments of some online to the effect that Venner has thrown his life away, or is acting exactly as “our enemies” would like as all to do, or even that he was cowardly in his choice.
As to why he would have chosen to voluntarily give himself over to death, he states his case rather straight-forwardly in his earlier writing: “It certainly will require new, spectacular, and symbolic gestures to stir our somnolence, shake our anesthetized consciousness, and awaken the memory of our origins. We are entering a time when words must be authenticated by deeds.”
Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods
(translated by Greg Johnson)
I am healthy in body and mind, and I am filled with love for my wife and children. I love life and expect nothing beyond, if not the perpetuation of my race and my mind. However, in the evening of my life, facing immense dangers to my French and European homeland, I feel the duty to act as long as I still have strength. I believe it necessary to sacrifice myself to break the lethargy that plagues us. I give up what life remains to me in order to protest and to found. I chose a highly symbolic place, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, which I respect and admire: she was built by the genius of my ancestors on the site of cults still more ancient, recalling our immemorial origins.
While many men are slaves of their lives, my gesture embodies an ethic of will. I give myself over to death to awaken slumbering consciences. I rebel against fate. I protest against poisons of the soul and the desires of invasive individuals to destroy the anchors of our identity, including the family, the intimate basis of our multi-millennial civilization. While I defend the identity of all peoples in their homes, I also rebel against the crime of the replacement of our people.
The dominant discourse cannot leave behind its toxic ambiguities, and Europeans must bear the consequences. Lacking an identitarian religion to moor us, we share a common memory going back to Homer, a repository of all the values on which our future rebirth will be founded once we break with the metaphysics of the unlimited, the baleful source of all modern excesses.
I apologize in advance to anyone who will suffer due to my death, first and foremost to my wife, my children, and my grandchildren, as well as my friends and followers. But once the pain and shock fade, I do not doubt that they will understand the meaning of my gesture and transcend their sorrow with pride. I hope that they shall endure together. They will find in my recent writings intimations and explanations of my actions.
Note. For more information, one can go to my publisher, Pierre-Guillaume Roux. He was not informed of my decision, but he has known me a long time.
by Dominique Venner,
translated by Greg Johnson
Translator’s note: The term “dormition” refers to the Eastern Christian tradition of the “falling sleep,” i.e., the death, of the Virgin Mary, who then immediately rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. In Venner’s sense, Europe appears dead but is merely sleeping and will soon awake.
The Virgin’s Dormition in Stockholm Nationalmuseum
Since the end of the two World Wars and their orgy of violence, Europe “entered into dormition.” Europeans do not know it. Everything is done to conceal this fact. But this state of “dormition” continues to weigh us down. Every day, European impotence is clear. The latest proof came during the Euro zone crisis in the spring of 2010, which demonstrated profound divisions and the powerlessness of a unanimous political will. The proof of our “dormition” is equally visible in Afghanistan, in the humiliating role of auxiliary forces assigned to European troops at the disposal of the United States (NATO).
The state of “dormition” is the consequence of the catastrophic excesses of the murderous, fratricidal frenzy perpetrated between 1914 and 1945. It was also the gift of the US and USSR, the two hegemonic powers resulting from the Second World War. These powers imposed their systems, which were foreign to our intellectual, social, and political tradition. Although one has since disappeared, the toxic effects are still felt. We are, moreover, wallowing in a guilt without equivalent. According to the eloquent word of Elie Barnavi, “The Shoah has risen to the rank of civil religion in the West.”
But history is never motionless. Those who reach the summit of power are condemned to go down again.
It bears repeating, moreover, that power is not everything. Power is necessary to exist in the world, to be free for one’s destiny, to escape subjection to political, economic, ideological, or criminal empires. But power is not immune to the maladies of the soul capable of destroying nations and empires.
Although threatened by many quite real dangers and ever sharper conflicts of interests and intentions, Europeans today are first and foremost victims of these diseases of the soul. Unlike other peoples and civilizations, Europeans are deprived of all self-awareness. It is the decisive cause of their weakness. If you believe their leaders, they are without past, roots, destiny. They are nothing. And yet what they share is unique. They are privileged with the memory and the models of a great civilization attested since Homer and his founding poems.
The many heavy trials on the horizon, the weakening of the powers that dominated us for so long, the upheavals of a henceforth unstable world, indicate that the Europe’s “dormition” will not be eternal.
Dominique Venner (1935-2013)
Today French author Dominique Venner, whose writings have been featured prominently at Counter-Currents, entered the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, placed a sealed envelope on the altar, and shot himself in the head.
Read his last post,
where Venner explains
the Islamization of France
& the acceptance of fag marriage
by Dominique Venner
Europe since earliest antiquity has always been ruled by the idea that each individual is inseparable from his community, clan, tribe, people, city, empire, to which he is linked by a bond more sacred than life itself. This unquestioned belief, of which the Iliad offers the oldest and most poetic expression, took various forms. Think of the worship of ancestors for whom the city owed its existence, or the loyalty to the prince who was its visible expression.
The first threat was introduced by the individualism of early Christianity. The idea of a personal god emancipated men from the hitherto unquestioned authority of ethnic gods of the city. Yet the Church itself reimposed the idea that the individual will could not order things as it pleased.
Yet the seed of a spiritual revolution had been sown. It reappeared unexpectedly in the religious individualism of the Reformation. In the following century, the rationalist idea of absolute individualism was developed forcefully by Descartes (“I think, therefore, I am”). The philosopher also made central the biblical idea of man as the master and possessor of nature. No doubt, in Cartesian thought, man was subject to the laws of God, but God set a very bad example. Unlike the ancient gods, He was not dependent on a natural order anterior and superior to him. He was the single all-powerful and arbitrary creator of all things, of life and nature itself, according to His sole discretion. If this God was a creator free of all limits, then why not man, who is made his image, as well?
Set in motion by the scientific revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries, this idea has no known limits. In it lies what we call “modernity.” This idea assumes that man is his own creator and he can recreate the world as he pleases. There is no other principle than the will and pleasure of each individual. Consequently, the legitimacy of a society no longer depends on its compliance with the eternal laws of the ethnos. It depends only on the momentary consent of individual wills. In other words, society is legitimate only as a contract resulting from a free agreement between parties who are pursuing their own advantage.
Still, despite this individualistic and materialistic logic, we have long maintained communal ties of birth and fatherland and all the obligations these imply. These ties have been progressively destroyed across Europe in the decades following World War II, while the triumphant consumer society arrived from the United States. Like other European countries, France has gradually ceased to be a nation (based on nationality, common birth) to become an aggregate of individuals united by their pleasures or the ideas they have of their interests. The former obligation to “serve” has been replaced by the general temptation to “serve oneself.” This is the logical consequence of the principle that founds society solely on human rights, thus on each individual’s interests.
And now, before our eyes, this repulsive logic faces a revolt from the depths. We are witnessing the unexpected awakening of all those who, through atavistic reflexes, feel deep down that unquestionable ancestry is what make a clan, a people, or a nation.
(Excerpted from a Counter-Currents article)