The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 PodcastsJared Taylor Archive
Written by a European for Europeans
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Dominique Venner was a French historian, essayist, and activist who, on May 21, 2013, took his own life – in the Cathedral of Notre Dame — in protest against the degradation of the West. In the suicide note he left on the altar, Venner wrote:

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 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.

Several of his books are now available in English. His most recent, A Handbook for Dissidents, has just been made available in a lovingly illustrated edition available here. I was honored to be asked to write the following.

“This Handbook was written by a European for Europeans,” writes the French patriot and essayist Dominique Venner. “Others, coming from other peoples, other cultures, other civilizations, will be able to read it, of course, but only out of intellectual curiosity.” A handbook is a guide or a set of instructions, and this is a guide to meeting the greatest threat Europeans have ever faced: “The Great Replacement” — the process of demographic substitution named by another great Frenchman, Renaud Camus.

Venner calles it “unlike anything ever seen in the past.” This is because, unlike the potentially mortal threats Europeans met at Marathon in 490 BC, at Tours in 732, and before the gates of Vienna in 1683, The Great Replacement is something we permit. Venner writes: “If this monstrous enterprise . . . can be carried out, it is because of the connivance of twisted or decadent elites, but also and above all because Europeans, unlike other peoples, have lost their identitarian memory, their awareness of what they are.”

Venner is confident that his people will rise and save their civilization, but he warns that “there are no political solutions outlined in this volume, but a different view of the world and of life.” This book is therefore a challenge – a challenge to today’s Europeans to be worthy of their past and to build a future of which their ancestors would be proud. I believe this book was also a challenge to Venner himself, a reminder of the standards by which a true European lives and – in Venner’s case, especially – the standards by which he dies.

Venner says he writes for Europeans, but he also writes mainly for men, because we have let male and female fall out of balance:

The masculine alone would yield a world of brutality and death. The feminine alone is our world: fathers have disappeared, and children have become spoiled, weak, and tyrannical little monsters; criminals are not guilty, but victims of society or sick people that we must nurse. . . . [U]nder the cloak of advancing women, feminism has spread hostility to manhood and debasement of femininity . . . . To speak, as we sometimes do, of a “feminization” of our societies seems inappropriate to me. The real issue is emasculation.

Venner even writes, “[T]he presence of war, even if only as a shadow, is what gives a society its meaning and poetry. This is what allows it to coalesce and maintain itself as something more than a shapeless mob—a people, a city, a nation.”

Dominique Venner
Dominique Venner

Today’s Europeans fight absurd wars meant to turn all people into interchangeable consumers of pointless goods and ideological fetishes. Venner explains why:

The belief in our universal calling is wrong and dangerous. It imprisons Westerners in a paradoxical ethnocentrism that prevents them from recognizing that other men do not feel, do not think, and do not live like them . . . .

Venner adds: “Men live only by what distinguishes them: clans, peoples, nations, cultures, and civilizations—not by what they have superficially in common. Common humanity is mere animality.”

Anyone who understands this and raises his voice against capitulation finds himself at war with his own people. Venner writes that he:

discovered that the courage required of a radical dissident in a time of civil war dwarfs that of the heroes of regular wars. The latter receive from society legitimacy and attestations of glory. On the contrary, the radical dissident must find within himself his justification, and face covert repression as well as the blame and hate of the masses.

Anyone who fights for Europe today knows this.

How do we rediscover who we are? For Venner, the answer is in Homer, for The Iliad and The Odyssey are not just the founding stories of our civilization; they are scripture. Homer reveals “the core of European civilization:”

Who am I? What are we? Where are we going? To these questions, Homer has given us ever-valid answers, and he is the only one to do so with such depth. To the Europeans who question themselves and their identity, his two great poems offer a mirror in which to find our own true inner face, stoic courage in the face of the inevitable, the fascination for what is noble and beautiful, the contempt for baseness and ugliness. . . .

For Homer, life, this small, ephemeral and so common a thing, has no value in itself. It becomes worth something only because of its intensity, its beauty, and the breath of greatness that everyone can give it—above all in his own eyes.

Although most of Homer’s heroes are men, Penelope is likewise a paragon of strong, faithful, admirable womanhood.

“Odysseus and Penelope” by Johann H.W. Tischbein, 1802.
“Odysseus and Penelope” by Johann H.W. Tischbein, 1802.

In a just a few words about Homer, Venner describes everything that today’s European is not: “[Homer] awakens in us a thirst for heroism and beauty. . . . To the Europeans, the founding poet reminds that they were not born yesterday. He hands down to them the kernel of their identity, the first perfect expression of an ethic and aesthetic heritage of tragic courage in the face of an inescapable destiny.” Homer also stresses “the importance for an individual to feel a vital sense of belonging to a people or a city that precedes him and will outlive him.”

Venner also admired the Stoics who believed that “everything that does not depend on our freedom of action (e.g. accidents, illness, sometimes even wealth or poverty) is neither good nor bad in itself; it is indifferent. We must then stop worrying about it.” Venner paraphrases Epictetus: “People, things can kill me, not affect me in my soul, because I have made it invulnerable, inviolable.”

Venner cites a passage from one of André Maurois’ novels about young British officers Maurois met during the First World War:

Their youth served to thicken their skin and harden their heart. They fear neither fist nor fate. They consider exaggeration as the worst of vices, and coldness as a sign of aristocracy. When they are despondent, they wear the mask of humor. When they are ecstatic, they say nothing not all . . . .

Venner adds, “Unable to control fate, they were taught to control themselves.”

We cannot read some passages in Samurai of the West without thinking of Venner’s own tragic-heroic end. He writes that it was the Romans “who turned suicide into the philosophical act par excellence, a human privilege denied to the gods” who can never die. Venner also admired the Japanese warrior ethos.

Altar of Notre Dame Cathedral. (Credit Image: Nmillarbc, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Altar of Notre Dame Cathedral. (Credit Image: Nmillarbc, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

“Seppuku [a warrior’s ritual suicide] was not just a means of escaping dishonor for the bushi [warrior],” he writes. “It was also an extreme way of demonstrating their authenticity with a free, heroic act.” He quotes from the 18th century guide to the warrior, the Hagakure: “It is necessary to prepare for death all day long, and day after day,” adding in his own words, “Thus we will outgrow the angst of living and the fear of dying. . . . Only if we are subjected to it is death meaningless. If it is willed, it has the meaning we give it, even when it has no practical use.”

In a milder passage, Venner writes: “Death brings an end to cruel diseases and the decay of old age, thus giving way to the new generations. Death can also prove to be a liberation when one’s fate becomes too painful or dishonorable.”

For Venner, Christianity has become an obstacle to European heroism. He quotes Celine:

Spread among the virile races—the hated Aryan races—the religion of “Peter and Paul” performed its duty admirably: it reduced the subjugated peoples to poor and submissive sub-humans, starting from the cradle; it sent out these hordes, confused and stultified, drunk with Christ-literature, on quests for the Holy Shroud and magical hosts; it made them forsake forever their blood-gods, their race-gods . . . . Here is the sad truth: Aryans never knew how to love or worship but other peoples’ god, never had their own religion, a white religion . . . .

Venner also quotes Jean Raspail, author of The Camp of the Saints: “[Immigrants] are protected by Christian charity. In a way, Christian charity is leading us to disaster!”

But if Venner is an atheist, he is a respectful, Christian atheist: “I do not scratch out the Christian centuries at all. Chartres Cathedral is as much a part of my world as is Stonehenge or the Parthenon. This is the inheritance we must receive.” He also writes that “It is not necessary to be a Christian to enter [a church] . . . . Calm, silence, and architectural beauty make a church a beneficial retreat. . . . Sit apart, and let the silence enter you.”

But Christians must change:

I hope that in the future, from my village church as well as our cathedrals, we will continue to hear the reassuring chime of bells. But even more I hope that the prayers heard under their vaults will change. I hope that people stop begging for forgiveness and mercy, and ask instead for vigor, dignity, and energy.

It was, of course, in one of the most famous churches of Christendom that Venner took his own life.

Dominique Venner believed that so long as European man does not go extinct, his degenerate outward forms can be brought back into conformity with his ancient, indomitable spirit. He bought this book to a close with words for us to live by:

Whatever you do, your priority must be to cultivate within yourself, every day, like an augury of good fortune, an indestructible faith in the permanence of the European Tradition. . . .

We know that individually we are mortal, but that the spirit of our spirit is imperishable, as is that of all great peoples and all great civilizations. When will the great awakening occur? I do not know, but of this awakening I have no doubt.

(Republished from American Renaissance by permission of author or representative)
• Category: History • Tags: European Right 
Hide 17 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Wokechoke says:

    Interesting idea, but couldn’t he have masterminded a more decisive exit? Those cold stoic young officers didn’t tend to kill themselves did they? they killed zulus, fuzzy wuzzies, boxer rebels, pashtuns, Arabs and so on. maybe they got killed doing that task but surely that’s the way to burn out rather than butcher yourself on an altar?

  2. Joaquin says:

    An excellent article on a great mind hitherto unknown by myself.

    • Agree: mark green
  3. Venner cites a passage from one of André Maurois’ novels about young British officers Maurois met during the First World War:

    Their youth served to thicken their skin and harden their heart. They fear neither fist nor fate. They consider exaggeration as the worst of vices, and coldness as a sign of aristocracy. When they are despondent, they wear the mask of humor. When they are ecstatic, they say nothing not all . . . .

    Venner adds, “Unable to control fate, they were taught to control themselves.”

    How diametrically opposed to current-year notions of “virtue” —not to mention virtue signaling.

    I’m reminded of nothing so much as the traditional “Prussian Values” which frankly I’m surprised Wikipedia hasn’t yet deleted. Nearly every one of which is now vilified as symptomatic of white supremacy. Well, I suppose they are indeed.

  4. appreciated this article

  5. Really interesting guy. But he left out the most motivating part of Roman suicide: the family often got to keep its wealth. Typically the alternative was state execution, followed by confiscation. Not that honor didn’t play into it; it was honorable to consider posterity in both the abstract and material sense.

    Suicide for purely abstract reasons seems to be more like martyrdom, and therefore (at least in the West) owes more to a Christian influence. Also one might consider it a bit showy and self-important, in the sense that you believe your death will be significant enough to provide more value than your continued (and presumably insufficiently noticed) work.

    Whether ’tis nobler…

  6. Fox says:

    Just recently, I read Venner’s book about the Free Corps, right now I am reading A Samurai from Europe and The Shock of History. His Century of 1914 is on my list, likewise his book about Ernst Jünger. Venner, a Frenchman, understood his life to be that of a European, comprehending the common fate and achievement European peoples share, and also recognizing the immense catastrophe that was brought by the pointless wars of the 20th century. In his journey he reached a high point from where he could overlook the total of European civilisation, recognize the mortal danger posed to it by the willful dissolution of the bonds that created and maintained it. That he came to view Christianity as a destructive ideology puts him in the phalanx of the reconquering force of Europe (wherever her sons and daughters may be).
    Thank you for this short essay on him, his life and his work.

  7. Christianity as a destructive ideology


    Some time ago, a most rabid “Allan” wrote about what the Chinese ought to do with all religions, not only Tibetan Buddhism:

    “(…) the Chinese must totally extinguish all Christian assemblies in their territory, however submissive those assemblies may be to the central government. The pious idolator, whose main contribution to civilization has been insanity, needs to be eradicated by reeducation, expulsion, or death.”

    My reply:

    “Insanity”: let’s look to Blumenberg’s “Inkarnationsgedanke” [“…der Inkarnationsgedanke war – gleichgültig dass das nicht intendiert sein konnte – eine unendliche Bestärkung der menschlichen Selbstachtung / the concept of incarnation was — irrespective of the fact that this could not be intended — an infinite reinforcement of the human self-respect” (Hans Blumenberg, Die Legitimität der Neuzeit, suhrkamp taschenbuch wissenschaft 1268, FFM 1999, p. 699)] and to the developments it generated due to a very specific dynamic inherent to the said “Inkarnationsgedanke”. In the words of Hans Blumenberg: “(…) vielmehr hatte die theologische Spekulation selbst sowohl die Notwendigkeit herbeigeführt als auch die Systemverbindung geliefert, um die in der Gottesspekulation gewonnenen Kategorien mit der Vorstellung vom Menschen in Kommunikation zu setzen”, in: Die Legitimität der Neuzeit,op.cit., Section Four, “Aspekte der Epochenschwelle”. My translation may be approximative: “(…) rather it was the theological speculation itself that brought about the necessity as well as the systemic liaison (needed) to put into communication, the categories won in the theological speculation with the representation of Man”. So one can read in in Marie-Dominique Chenu, in ST THOMAS D’AQUIN et la théologie, collection “Maîtres spirituels”, éditions du Seuil 1959, p. 126: “ainsi chaque substance (etc.) / so each substance realizes, according to its nature, its own finality in the general finality of the universe (…) liberty inscrives itself in the nature, and the natural law comprehends the imperative of a free will. The person, absolute value in regard to this liberty (etc)”, emphasis (bold) mine. BTW, Thomas Aquinas, in “Summa theologica”, quaestio 97, art. 1 also had spoken of “…eigen gezagdragers te kiezen / elect their own representatives”, in: Over de Wet, Uitgeverij Ambo/Baarn 1996, p. 120.

    However, all this only was a prerequisite to a development which ONLY could occur in Europe, see Ralph Raico… : “(…) the key to western development is to be found in the fact that, while Europe constituted a single civilization — Latin Christendom — it was at the same time radically decentralized. In contrast to other cultures — especially China, India, and the Islamic world — Europe comprised a system of divided and, hence, competing powers and jurisdictions. — After the fall of Rome, no universal empire was able to arise on the Continent. This was of the greatest significance. Drawing on Montesquieu’s dictum, Jean Baechler points out that ‘every political power tends to reduce everything that is external to it, and powerful objective obstacles are needed to prevent it from succeeding’ (Baechler 1975, 79). In Europe, the ‘objective obstacles’ were provided first of all by the competing political authorities. Instead of experiencing the hegemony of a universal empire, Europe developed into a mosaic of kingdoms, principalities, city-states, ecclesiastical domains, and other political entities. — Within this system, it was highly imprudent for any prince to attempt to infringe property rights in the manner customary elsewhere in the world. In constant rivalry with one another, princes found that outright expropriations, confiscatory taxation, and the blocking of trade did not go unpunished ”.

    Thereupon came the aforementioned evolution triggered by the “Inkarnationsgedanke”. Again Ralph Raico: “As Anderson has summed up the evidence, ‘the scientific and technical stasis that followed the remarkable achievements of the Song dynasty, or of the flowering of early Islam, indicates that scientific inquiry and technology do not necessarily possess in themselves the dynamism suggested by the European experience’ (Anderson 1991, 46). On the contrary, technology and science emerged out of an interrelated set of political, legal, philosophical, religious, and moral elements in what orthodox Marxism has traditionally disparaged as the ‘superstructure’ of society”. Elsewhere in the text, Raico speaks of “Lord Acton’s analysis of the central role of the Catholic church in generating Western liberty”. So, the said “interrelated set” precisely is what made possible the existence of each and every human being currently living, insofar as without the said set, none of the modern scientific achievements would have been possible. This concretely means that without the vaccinations commenced around 1800, a great many of our direct ancestors wouldn’t have survived, which concretely means that the “dissemination of genes” would have taken another course in each family, which concretely means that you and I and your and my neighbors simply would not exist. Thanks to the Catholic Church as shown above, we DO exist, however.

    PS: as to “religion” more generally, “(…) l’expérience de l’espace sacré rend possible la ‘fondation du Monde’: là où le sacré se manifeste dans l’espace, le réel se dévoile, le Monde vient à l’existence / the experience of the sacred space makes the ‘foundation of the world’ possible: where the sacred manifests itself in the space, reality unveils itself, the world comes into existence”, Mircea Eliade, Le sacré et le profane, éditions Gallimard, Paris 1965 p. 60.

    So much as to Christianity being a destructive ideology.

    • Replies: @Fox
  8. Hacienda says:

    Yi Sun Shin. The only bad boy anyone ever needs.

  9. Tsigantes says:

    Anglin’s description of Penelope shows that he hasn’t read Homer.

  10. Fox says:
    @René Fries

    Christianity has come to ts logical conclusion: Total unselfishness and self-denial doesn’t allow for either personal or national (you can also call it tribal) freedom. Human freedom and wellbeing depends on autonomy, and Christianity denies such a right, at least to white people. Hence the fact that our white homelands are overrun by aliens from every corner of the globe and that this invasion is enforced by political power that conceives of itself as ideologically bound to the idea that the victim has to give assent to being victimized is an effect of Christian teaching. There is no obligation to open our borders to whomever wants to come and settle among us, yet the construct of ‘human rights’ conveys such a right to whomever wants to cross the border. Once among us, we have to change our behavior so as to not ‘offend’ the intruder. Even if an atheist takes such a position, he will be subterraneously motivated by Christian ethics.
    It is destructive of our communities and their coherence, of our (our = people belonging to the occidental culture space) way of life, our way of thinking of right and wrong and it is all based on Christian ideas. Self-defense against alien intrusion in such a world is selfishness, rejection of alien mindsets and behaviors is bigotry or hypocrisy.
    There is no doubt that Christianity has given inspiration to great works of art and architecture, and the Catholic Church may have been the decisive force to bring the ‘interrelated set’ of human activities and believes to become a force that acted in synergy and cooperation as a whole and thus ultimately brought about our world of now (focusing for the moment on the great aspects of it). We must not overlook at the same time that it introduced itself with conniving, political gaming, violence and a great amount of disrespect for the pagans’ mores , customs and believes. Think of the Donar Oak felled by Bonifazius, or the laws enacted in the 4th century in the Roman Empire through Christian finagling, making it a crime to worship the gods who had been the faithful companions and advisers of the pagans.
    However, Christianity is now a force that shows both the way and is leading to the road to regression. Hence, we will soon be at a stage of no liberty at all, and of no satisfaction with the material, scientific or technical progress because we will be forced to give it up so as to welcome, not make feel alienated or inferior the people who are asked to occupy our lives.

    • Agree: Lucius Vanini
    • Replies: @René Fries
  11. Cf. “Rabbi Saul’s Gift That Keeps On Giving,”


    “White Advocates & Religion.”

    • Replies: @Fox
  12. We Europeans are a family, and need to start thinking of ourselves as one, and accordingly cultivate the solidarity and cohesion characteristic of healthy families.

    Cf. “Nietzsche and the ‘Good European,’ ”

    • Replies: @René Fries
  13. @Fox

    Self-defense against alien intrusion in such a world

    in such a world as you and I are witnessing right now. OK. But then, remember the crusades, remember the reconquista, remember the countless wars fought by the Habsburgs against the Ottomans. This is to say that, until quite recently, if anything, the Church BLESSED the weapons.

    • Replies: @Fox
  14. Fox says:
    @René Fries

    I wrote that Christianity has reached its logical conclusion. Before that time, especially now, under the latest Popes (perhaps with an attempted opposition by Benedikt XVI.,) the peoples of Europe have been deprived by Christian teachings of self-defense. There was a time when the Church leadership had an imperial, yet European outlook. This was the time of repulsion of the Saracene invasions, the Crusades, the repulsion of Turkish incursions and when it was strongly bound to Germanic myths.
    But already t the time of Spanish and Portuguese imperialism the Church promoted the dissolution of racial bonds inbetween Europeans by encouraging intermarriage with other, subjugated races. The weakness was always there, it was merely not actionable while world politics was taking place on the European continent. What we re seeing now is, however, not just gentle urging for tolerance and universal brotherhood, we have now a hostile, condemnatory ideology that denies white people to be who they are by making self-interest sinful. For people who want to live heir life with dignity this is unacceptable, hence the churches are being deserted in a steady stream of people who won’t attend anymore; since, however, the Christian sects have supplied today’s western (liberal) ideology of self-dissolution of western societies, there is no escape.

    • Replies: @René Fries
  15. Fox says:
    @Lucius Vanini

    I will pay the websites you indicated a visit.

  16. @Fox

    encouraging intermarriage with other, subjugated races – yes, look at (“Catholic”) Brazil.

    As a churchgoing Catholic (my health, at this very moment, forbids attending, however), I’m perfectly aware of the truth of your analysis of “what we are seeing now”. Nevertheless, it is not the first time nor will it be the last, that “insupportable” deviations or “bad” popes are doing mischief – the present one being not only an idiot but also a criminal, see but then again he is not the first. Then also, that ” the churches are being deserted” has nothing to do with (non-)faith, as Nicolaus Cusanus already knew (Gesammelte Schriften, Exc. II, 397) but with the simple fact that social coercition as formerly prevalent, has ceased to exist (gradually) from the French revolution onward.

  17. @Lucius Vanini

    I am not paying a visite to the site you indicated because I have the complete works of Nietzsche, but I remember that being a true philosemite, he INCLUDED the Jews in his “Europeans”, albeit, at his time, he couldn’t or wouldn’t express this view but as under the form of a hope.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Jared Taylor Comments via RSS
The Surprising Elements of Talmudic Judaism
Becker update V1.3.2