Tag Archives: Dominique Venner

The Metapolitics of Arktos – Morgan

The Metapolitics of Arktos

By John Morgan

 

The following is the text of a speech delivered by Arktos Editor-in-Chief John Morgan at Identitarian Ideas VII in Stockholm, Sweden on 7 November 2015.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for having me back. It’s great to be back in Sweden. The fact that Sweden, a country which has come to be identified with the most extreme forms of liberalism, has managed to develop one of the most thriving nationalist movements in Western Europe is a fact that is inspirational to activists all over Europe and North America. So it’s an honor to be addressing some of those who made that happen here today.

I want to say a few words about the project that Daniel Friberg and I have dedicated most of our time, energy, and dedication towards over the past few years – specifically, what it is that we are trying to do with Arktos. As many of you are no doubt aware, Daniel Friberg and I, and also Mick Brooks who is here with us today, founded Arktos Media six years ago, at the end of 2009. Since then we’ve published over 100 unique titles in eight languages. For the first four years of our operations, we were based in India as a way of reducing our overhead costs, but since the beginning of 2014 we’ve been based in Budapest, Hungary in order to make it easier to connect with our core readership.

I imagine a question that exists in many people’s minds is, why are we doing all of this, and what are we trying to accomplish? This is something that really needs to be clarified, since many people have been more than happy to answer this, uninvited, on our behalf. To name but a few theories I’ve come across online, I’ve learned that Arktos is a Christian publishing company, a neo-pagan publishing company, a Eurasianist publishing company, an American conservative publishing company, a liberal publishing company, and a fascist publishing company. Likewise I’ve read that Arktos is “controlled” by American paleoconservatives like Paul Gottfried, by the Kremlin, by the CIA, by the Ukrainian nationalists, by the Indian government, by the international Zionist conspiracy, by Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents, and my personal favorite, by the Soviet KGB. It’s unfortunate that I need to do this, but for the purposes of clarity, I state for the record that none of these is in fact true.

While several of those ideas are obviously crazy, and some of them clearly designed as a pathetic attempt to try to discredit us, I think part of the confusion stems from the fact that Arktos is involved in so many different types of projects. Indeed, while we are often thought of as a political publishing house, only perhaps half of our books could be described as overtly political in nature, and we have always envisioned Arktos as being much more than merely a political venture. Many are works of pure philosophy or literature, or relate to various forms of traditional spirituality. In terms of political thought, we have published many works from the European “New Right” school, but we have also published works from both Christian and non-Christian perspectives (including works related to Hindu nationalism), by the identitarians, by Alexander Dugin of Russia’s Eurasia Movement, and by American and English conservatives.

The truth is that there is no single ideological, philosophical, religious, or any other system of belief that we are trying to propagate through Arktos. As I once expressed it, what Arktos is trying to do could perhaps be summarized as trying to find alternatives to modernity – which basically means alternatives to the current liberal order based on individualism and materialism and the dominance of the state over every aspect of the lives of its people, and which runs contrary to anything traditional or communitarian, that has spread everywhere across the world. This can take many forms. Some of our authors would like to see us return to the ways of life of some previous age. Some of them, such as Mr. Faye, advocate for nationalists embracing the most radical forms of new technology and radical social thought and producing a new synthesis with the traditional values that first made our civilization great that will represent something entirely new in Europe. Many of them fall somewhere in between.

Arktos’ idea is that we should take a broad approach to the desire to seek an alternative to liberalism. While we think that each and every one of our authors has something valuable to contribute to this quest, we do not seek to win converts to any particular cause or way of thinking, especially since it remains unclear at this stage as to which ideas will take root in order to bring about the revival of the West. Rather our books should be seen as points of inspiration to hopefully inspire a challenge to new ways of thinking, even if it may sometimes take the form of opposition in some regards, among our readers. Adopting a specific belief system would limit what we can do and also limit the number of people to whom we can appeal.

We do not even see ourselves as being exclusively a “Right-wing” publisher. Indeed, the dichotomy of Left and Right seems today as something outdated and meaningless, particularly as many mainstream Rightists today are essentially liberals and thus not on our side, and some Leftists share many of our concerns about the modern world and liberalism. I would suggest that the dichotomy of liberal and anti-liberal is a more useful classification today. This is something we embrace in Arktos. We seek to create an alternative to liberalism, but not necessarily a new ideology, and we are open to anyone who has something useful to contribute.

Of what importance is this intellectual work in a struggle which is primarily taking place in the real world, one may ask? I would answer that the political struggle is only the outward form of a battle that is really more cultural, and culture rests on what lies within the soul of each individual who participates in it. In order to build individuals willing to sacrifice the comforts of modern life for the sake of an ideal, a solid sense of identity and purpose must first be present. This is the essence of metapolitics: it is the attempt to redefine culture, or one might more accurately say in the case of nationalists and traditionalists an attempt to restore culture, by making a particular set of suppositions seem entirely natural to the people in a society. One can find out more about this in the books New Culture, New Right by Michael O’Meara andAgainst Democracy and Equality by Tomislav Sunic. This is what the Left has been doing so well over the past half century. In fact, the entire West today is in the grip of a radical political ideology which has set the average individual against the traditions of his forefathers, against the needs of his community, and even against the interests of himself and his people. It is quite amazing, in fact. Two centuries ago it would have seemed like something strange, if not insane. And yet by establishing control over the cultural institutions of our nations, the radical liberals have managed to convince the vast majority of people that the mode of life we are in today is something completely normal, and in fact superior to anything that came before it, when in fact we are in a time in which Western man is more alienated from his society and his fellow man than ever before.

Therefore, what we need to do is to imitate their example in our own way. This means waging war on the cultural as well as the political level. It may be difficult to discern on the surface how books of political philosophy, or on spirituality or literature, help in this endeavor. And yet I would argue that it is very difficult to motivate people simply using straightforward political arguments, and certainly not merely by criticizing society as it is (something the Right is all too good at). Something positive is needed as well. People need a vision of the future that can inspire them and give them something not only to fight for, but to give them motivation in their daily lives. I believe that books remain the best way of instilling this sort of vision in people. And given the enthusiastic response we’ve received from many of our readers over the years, I think this strategy is working.

As should be clear by now, there is no single label that one could apply to Arktos with any accuracy, given the vast range of ideas that we engage with. If I had to pick one, however, I would borrow the term “true Right,” which was first coined by the Italian traditionalist philosopher Julius Evola, who defined it as “those principles which were accepted and seen as normal by every well-born person everywhere in the world prior to 1789.” I can think of no better definition than that. It is obviously very different from the false Right that participates in the meaningless spectacle that passes for politics throughout much of the West today. Of course, one could point out that Arktos benefits from many of the features of the world of globalist liberalism: given the sort of technology that our operations rely on, such as the Internet and easy international travel, it would have been unimaginable even just 15 years ago. But I believe it is possible to use the tools of modernity against it, in an effort to reform it.

The other question that I frequently get is why Arktos is based in such exotic locales as India and Hungary. In the case of India, where we were based for the first five years of our corporate existence, the short answer is simply that we needed to be in a place where we could afford to operate with the meager funds we had at our disposal in our early days. Although at the same time it was good to be in a place where daily life is still for the most part an expression of the traditional spirit rather than a liberal one. But after doing this for a while, we began to grew tired of the many challenges that everyday life in India presents (imagine what it’s like to try to get somebody to come out and fix your Internet in a country where you don’t know the language and where cows and other livestock are wandering in the street outside your apartment), and we also had a growing desire to strengthen our connection to where most of our readers are.

Given the fact that our profits had been steadily increasing from the beginning, by 2014 we finally had enough funds to make this a reality. So, why Hungary, you may ask? Part of it is certainly the fact that it is possible to operate inexpensively there as well, and also simply because those of us on the Arktos staff have been charmed by the country’s beautiful aesthetics and culture, and its excellent cuisine, among other aspects. But we were also drawn to it due to the fact that Hungary has established itself as the greatest opponent to liberalism in the European Union today. Indeed, Hungary’s current Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, who has recently garnered a great deal of praise due to his handling of the migrant crisis, gave a speech last year in which he called for Hungary to become what he termed an ‘illiberal democracy’, citing China, Turkey, and Russia as examples. Indeed, we have made fruitful contacts with people in Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party; the more radical nationalist party, Jobbik; and even with the Magyar Munkáspárt, or Hungarian Workers’ Party, which is the Communist party. It is important to stress that the latter party, while Communist in name, could more accurately be described as a National Bolshevik party, meaning that it combines elements of nationalism with Communism; while it retains Communist economic ideas, it remains a staunch opponent of immigration and globalism. Such syntheses are not unusual in Hungarian politics; indeed, Marton Gyöngyösi, the International Secretary of Jobbik, said to me recently that many of the parties in Hungary today, and even in other countries, escape easy classification along the Right/Left spectrum, and similar to what I said earlier, he suggested that liberal and non-liberal is a more constructive way of understanding European politics today.

People associated with all of these parties have expressed enthusiasm for the work that Arktos is doing, and we in turn have been inspired by their commitment and originality in pursuit of a better Hungary. They are actually enacting the sort of metapolitics that Arktos is also working with in its own way, and with great success, as indicated by the fact that two-thirds of Hungary’s voters selected either Fidesz or Jobbik in the last election. Hungarian politicians are also frequently visionary in how they understand how Hungary’s struggle against liberalism must fit into the struggle of similar parties across the globe. To cite an example close to home, in 2013, while we were still in India, we facilitated a meeting between representatives from Jobbik and the BJP, the Hindu nationalist party which was swept to power on a tide of enthusiasm from voters the following year. And I think it is correct that if we are to defeat our liberal globalist enemy, we ourselves must adopt an alternative form of globalism, seeking alliances and common ground with individuals and groups who share our desires everywhere, even outside of Europe. While we stand for the traditions and interests of our own people, we must put aside our differences and open ourselves to those taking a similar approach from among other peoples. The narrow, ethnocentric viewpoint is a relic of the past. Only together, by working with nationalists and traditionalists everywhere, can we succeed. Toward this end, Arktos seeks to represent as many of these facets of the struggle as possible, which is one reason why we have published several books pertaining to the traditions of India, for example.

Some of you may wonder what our most popular titles are. Generally, our bestselling titles tend to be those by Guillaume Faye, whom you met here today; Alain de Benoist, the founder and leader of the French New Right movement, and the inventor of the concept of Right-wing metapolitics; Alexander Dugin, the Russian philosopher and geopolitician, and former advisor to Vladimir Putin; the Italian traditionalist philosopher Julius Evola, who sought to re-establish the mindset and wisdom of the ancient world amidst the ruins of the modern world; Markus Willinger, the Austrian identitarian author; Brian Patrick, a professor at the University of Toledo who specializes in the science of propaganda and the American gun rights movement; and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who is India’s most popular yoga guru today. Recent titles that have done well also include Dominique Venner’s The Shock of History. Venner was a renowned historian and veteran paratrooper of the Algerian War and the OAS who infamously committed suicide in Notre Dame Cathedral in May 2013 as a protest against mass immigration and the increasing liberalization of France, and he actually wrote The Shock of History specifically for Arktos as a means of introducing his worldview to the audience outside of France, so we were quite honored to be the ones to present that in English. And I would be amiss if I didn’t mention The Real Right Returns by my friend and colleague Daniel Friberg, which became an instant bestseller; in fact it sold more copies in the first three days of this month than any other book of our has sold in any three-day period to date. And soon we will be publishing a Swedish translation of How to be a Conservative by the English author Roger Scruton, who is the most important philosopher of conservatism today. (I understand that the Chairman of the Sweden Democrats is a fan of Scruton.)

What I think Arktos’ success indicates is that we are presenting a message that resonates with people. People in Europe and America are getting tired of the same old slogans presented by liberals that go against what everyone sees with their own eyes. They haven’t been able to come up with anything new since the 1960s; they just keep harping on the same old tired clichés that are falling into ruin around them. The attempt of liberals to convert the world into a gigantic shopping mall where everyone is the same is ending in failure. Intellectual and cultural vigor is passing, if it hasn’t already passed, to the Right. We can see this in the rising popularity and electoral success of Rightist parties across Europe. This is a trend we can ride. The future belongs to us. In Arktos and Motpol, and similar organizations, we are forging a new vision for the West. Many difficult challenges yet lie ahead of us, but we shouldn’t despair; rather, we should welcome the fact that we are presented with an opportunity for adventure. Please join us as we forge a new world.

 

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Morgan, John. “The Metapolitics of Arktos.” Speech delivered at the “Identitarian Ideas VII” Conference, held in Stockholm, Sweden, 7 November 2015. Text of transcript retrieved from <https://www.righton.net/2015/11/22/the-metapolitics-of-arktos/ >.

 

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Interview with Dominique Venner – Gérard

An Interview with Dominique Venner

Translated by Giuliano Adriano Malvicini

 

Translator’s Note: The following is an interview with Dominique Venner from 2001, originally published on the occasion of the release of his book Dictionnaire amoureux de la chasse. It seems fitting, as a last farewell, to let Dominique Venner himself speak.

***

Christopher Gérard: Who are you? How do you define yourself? A werewolf, a white falcon?

Dominique Venner: I am a Frenchman of Europe, or a European whose mother tongue is French, of Celtic and Germanic ancestry. On my father’s side, I am of old Lorraine peasant stock, but they originally emigrated from the German part of Switzerland in the seventeenth century. My mother’s family, many of whom chose military careers, is originally from Provence and Vivarais. I myself was born in Paris. I am a European by ancestry, but birth isn’t enough on its own, if one doesn’t possess the consciousness of being what one is. I exist only through roots, through a tradition, a history, a territory. I will add that I was destined to dedicate myself to arms. Certainly, there is a trace of that in the steel in my pen, the instrument of my profession of writer and historian. Should I add to this brief portrait the epithet of werewolf? Why not? A terror to “right-minded” people, an initiate of the mysteries of the forest, the werewolf is a figure in which I can recognize myself.

CG: In Le Cœur rebelle (The Rebellious Heart, 1994), you sympathetically evoke the memory of “an intolerant young man who carried within himself, as it were, the scent of a coming storm”: that was you when you fought first as a soldier in Algeria and then as political activist in France. So who was that young Kshatriya, where did he come from, who were his teachers, his favourite authors?

DV: That’s what the “white falcon” in your first question alluded to, the memory of intoxicating and dangerous times, during which the young man I was thought he could invert a hostile destiny through a violence that he had accepted as necessary. It may seem extremely presumptuous, but at the time, I didn’t recognize anyone as a teacher. Certainly, I looked for stimulus and recipes for action in Lenin’s What is to be Done? and in Ernst von Salomon’s The Outlaws. I might add that the readings of my childhood had contributed to forging a certain world-view that in the end remained rather unchanged. In no particular order, I’ll mention Military Education and Discipline Among the Ancients, a small book about Sparta that belonged to my maternal grandfather, a former officer, The Legend of the Eagle by Georges d’Esparbès, La Bande des Ayaks by Jean-Louis Foncine, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and later the admirable Martin Eden. Those were the formative books I read at the age of ten or twelve. Later, at the age of twenty or twenty-five, I had of course gone on to read other things, but the bookstores back then were poorly stocked. Those years were a time of intellectual penury that is hard to imagine today. The library of a young activist, even one who devoured books, was small. In mine, besides historical works, prominent works were Reflections on Violence by Georges Sorel, The Conquerors by Malraux, The Genealogy of Morals by Nietzsche, Service inutile by Montherlant, and Le Romantisme fasciste by Paul Sérant, which was a revelation for me in the sixties. As you can see, that didn’t go very far. But even if my intellectual horizons were limited, my instincts went deep. Very early, when I was still a soldier, I felt that the war in Algeria was something very different from what the naive defenders of “French Algeria” said or thought. I had understood that it was an identitarian struggle for Europeans, since in Algeria they were threatened in their very existence by an ethnic adversary. I also felt that what we were defending there — very poorly — were the southern frontiers of Europe. Frontiers are always defended against invasions on the other side of oceans and rivers.

CG: In this book, which is something of an autobiography, you write: “I am from the land of trees and forests, of oaks and wild boars, of vineyards and sloping roofs, of epic poems and fairy-tales, of the winter and summer solstices.” What sort of a strange fellow are you?

DV: Very briefly stated, I am too consciously European to in any way feel like a spiritual descendant of Abraham or Moses, but do I feel that I am entirely a descendant of Homer, Epictetus, and the Round Table. That means that I look for my bearings in myself, close to my roots, and not in faraway places that are entirely foreign to me. The sanctuary where I meditate is not the desert, but the deep and mysterious forest of my origins. My holy book is not the Bible, but the Iliad, [1] the founding poem of the Western psyche, which has miraculously and victoriously crossed the sea of time. A poem that draws from the same sources as the Celtic and Germanic legends, and manifests the same spirituality, if one goes to the trouble to decode it. Nevertheless, I don’t ignore the centuries of Christianity. The cathedral of Chartres is a part of my world as much as Stonehenge or the Parthenon. That’s the heritage that we have to make our own. The history of the Europeans isn’t simple. After thousands of years of indigenous religion, Christianity was imposed on us through a series of historical accidents. But Christianity was itself partially transformed, “barbarized” by our ancestors, the barbarians, Franks and others. Christianity was often thought of by them as a transposition of the old cults. Behind the saints, people continued to celebrate the old gods without asking too many questions. And in the monasteries, monks often copied ancient texts without necessarily censoring them. This continuation of pre-Christian Europe still goes on today, but it takes other forms, despite all the efforts of biblical sermonizing. It seems especially important to take into account the development of Catholic traditionalists, who are often islands of health opposing the surrounding chaos with their robust families, their numerous children and their groups of physically fit youths. Their adherence to the continuity of family and nation, to discipline in education, the importance they place on standing firm in the face of adversity are of course things that are in no way specifically Christian. They are the residue of the Roman and Stoic heritage which the church had more or less carried on until the beginning of the twentieth century. On the other hand, individualism, contemporary cosmopolitanism, and the religion of guilt are, of course, secularized forms of Christianity, as are the extreme anthropocentrism and the desacralization of nature in which I see a source of a Faustian modernity gone mad, and for which we will have to pay a heavy price.

CG: In Le Cœur rebelle, you also say that “dragons are vulnerable and mortal. Heros and gods can always return. There is no fatality outside of the minds of men.” One thinks of Jünger, whom you knew personally, and who saw titans and gods at work . . .

DV: Killing all fatalist temptations within oneself is an exercise from which one may never rest. Aside from that, let’s not deprive images of their mystery and their multiple radiations, let’s not extinguish their light with rational interpretations. The dragon will always be part of the Western imagination. It symbolizes by turns the forces of the earth and destructive forces. It is through the victorious struggle against a monster that Hercules, Siegfried, or Theseus attained the status of hero. In the absence of heroes, it isn’t hard to recognize – in our age – the presence of various monsters which I don’t think are invincible, even if they appear to be.

CG: In your Dictionnaire amoureux de la chasse (Plon, 2000), you reveal the secrets of an old passion and you describe in veiled terms the secrets of an initiation. What have those hours of tracking given you, how have they transformed, even transfigured you?

DV: In spite of its title, this Dictionnaire amoureux is not at all a dictionary. I conceived it as a pantheistic poem for which hunting is only a pretext. I owe my most beautiful childhood memories to hunting. I also owe it the fact that I have been able to morally survive the periods of ghastly despair that followed the collapse of the hopes of my youth, and reestablish a balance. With or without a weapon, in the hunt, I return to the sources that I cannot do without: the enchanted forest, silence, the mystery of wild blood, the ancient comradeship of the clan. To me, hunting is not a sport. It is a necessary ritual in which each participant, predator or prey, plays the part assigned to it by its nature. Together with childbirth, death and seeding, I believe that hunting, if it is performed in accordance with the right norms, is the last primordial rite that has partially evaded the disfigurements and the deadly manipulations of modernity.

CG: Elsewhere in this book, you evoke several ancient myths, several figures from still clandestine pantheons. I’m thinking of the myth of the Wild Hunt and the figure of Mithras. What do they mean to you?

DV: We could add to the list, most notably Diana-Artemis, the goddess of childbirth, the protector of pregnant women, of cows in calf, of vigorous children, of life in its dawn. She is both the great predator and the great protector of animality, which is what the best hunters also are. Her figure corresponds to the ancients’ idea of nature, which is the complete opposite of the saccharine notions of a Jean-Jacques Rousseau and of sunday strollers. They knew that nature was fearsome to the weak, and pitiless. It is through force that Artemis defends the inviolable realm of the wild. She ferociously kills those mortals who through their excesses put nature in danger. That’s what happened to two furious hunters, Orion and Acteon. By violating her, they had transgressed the limits beyond which the order of the world falls into chaos. That symbol hasn’t aged, on the contrary.

CG: If there is an omnipresent figure in your book, it is the forest, the refuge of outcasts and rebels . . .

DV: The whole literature of the Middle Ages – the chansons de geste or the Arthurian legends – saturated as it is with celtic spirituality, invariably embellishes on the theme of the forest, that dangerous world, that refuge of spirits and fairies, hermits and rebels, which is also a place of purification for the tormented soul of the knight, whether his name be Lancelot, Percival, or Yvain. In chasing a deer or a wild boar, the hunter penetrated its spirit. By eating the animal’s heart, he appropriated its strength. In the lay of Tyolet, by killing the roebuck, the hero gains the ability to understand the spirit of wild nature. I feel that very strongly. For me, entering the forest is much more than a physical need, it is a spiritual necessity.

CG: Could you recommend a few great novels about hunting still in print?

DV: The first that comes to mind is Les Veillées de Saint-Hubert by the Marquis de Foudras, a collection of short stories recently re-published by Pygmalion. Foudras was a marvelous story-teller, as was his countryman and successor Henri Vincenot — whose La Billebaude one of course has to read. He was to the world of castles and hunting with hounds what Vincenot is to that of thatched cottages and poaching. Among the great novels that initiate the reader into the mysteries of the hunt, one of the best is Le Guetteur d’ombres by Pierre Moinot, which transcends well-crafted literary narrative. In the abundant production of Paul Vialar, who was made famous by La grande Meute, I have soft spot for La Croule, a term that refers to the mating call of the woodcock. It’s a pretty novel, a quick read. The main character is a young woman, the kind one would like to meet once in a while, one who possesses a passion for the ancestral domain. I also suggest reading La Forêt perdue, a short and magnificent medieval poem in which Maurice Genevoix lets us re-experience the spirit of Celtic mythology through the impossible pursuit of a huge, invulnerable deer by a relentless huntsman, in whom we discover a young and daring Knight with a pure soul.

Vernal equinox MMI

Notes

[1] Dominique Venner adds that the harsh and rhythmical translation of Leconte de Lisle (from around 1850) is his favourite. This version of the Iliad and the Odyssey is available in two volumes from éditions Pocket.

 

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Venner, Dominique. “An Interview with Dominique Venner.” Interview by Christopher Gérard. Eurocontinentalism Journal, 5 October 2013. <http://eurocontinentalism.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/an-interview-with-dominique-venner/ >.

 

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Secret Aristocracies – Venner

Secret Aristocracies

By Dominique Venner

Translated by Greg Johnson

 

Jean-Paul Sartre once said of Ernst Jünger: “I hate him, not as a German, but as an aristocrat . . .”

Sartre had some grave defects. In his political impulses, he was mistaken with a rare obstinacy. Fairly cowardly during the Occupation, he turned into an Ayatollah of denunciations once the danger had passed, castigating his colleagues who did not commit themselves with all necessary blindness to Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot. Along with an infallible instinct for error, he had a keen sense for any elevation of spirit, which horrified him, and, conversely, for any baseness, which attracted him.

He was not wrong about Jünger: “I hate him, not as a German, but as an aristocrat . . .” Jünger was not an aristocrat by birth. His family belonged to the cultivated middle-class of Northern Germany. If he was an “aristocrat”—in other words, if he continually showed nobility and poise, moral and physical—it was not because he was born with a “von,” for that alone does not shelter one from baseness in one’s heart or deeds. If he was an “aristocrat,” it was not a matter of rank, but of nature.

Heroic warrior in his youth, sensational writer of the “conservative revolution,” who then became a contemplative sage of sorts, Jünger had an exceptional life, traversing all the dangers of a dark century and remaining free of any stain. If he is a model, it is because of his constant “poise.” But his physical poise did nothing more than manifest a spiritual poise. To have poise is to hold oneself apart. Apart from base passions and the baseness of passion. What was superior in him always repelled the sordid, infamous, or mediocre. His transformation at the time of On the Marble Cliffs might be surprising, but there is nothing vile about it. Later, the warrior-botanist reinvented himself, writing in his Treatise on the Rebel that the age required recourse other than the schools of yoga. These are the sweet temptations that he now kept at bay.

I have just written that Jünger was not an aristocrat by birth. I was wrong. He was. Not by family origin, but by a mysterious inner alchemy. In the manner of the little girl and the concierge in Muriel Barbery’s novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog (L’élégance du hérisson, Gallimard, 2006). Or in the manner of Martin Eden in Jack London’s novel of the same name. Born in the depths of poverty, Martin Eden had a noble nature. Mere chance puts any young person in a refined and cultivated milieu. He fell in love with a young woman who belonged to that world. The discovery of literature awoke in him the vocation of writer and a fantastic will to overcome himself, to completely leave his past behind, which he accomplished through tremendous ordeals. Having become a famous writer, he discovered simultaneously the vanity of success and the mediocrity of the young bourgeois woman whom he thought he loved. Thus he committed suicide. But that does not affect my point. There are Martin Edens who survive their disillusionment, and there always will be. They are noble, energetic, and “aristocratic” souls. But for such souls to “break out of the pack,” as one says of good hunting dogs, and rise to the top, role models are absolutely necessary. Living exemplars of inner heroism and authentic nobility down through the ages constitute a kind of secret knighthood, a hidden Order. Hector of Troy was their forerunner. Ernst Jünger was an incarnation in our time. Sartre was not wrong about that.

 

From Nouvelle Revue d’Histoire, no. 45

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Venner, Dominique. “Secret Aristocracies.” The Occidental Quarterly Online, 5 November 2009. <http://www.toqonline.com/blog/secret-aristocracies/ >.

 

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Can History Address Problems of the Future? – Venner

Can History Address the Problems of the Future?

By Dominique Venner

Translated by Greg Johnson

 

Men have always felt the need to peer into the future. The Greeks asked the Pythia of Delphi. The obscurity of the oracle’s pronouncements lent them to multiple interpretations. Bowing to custom, Alexander consulted her before undertaking the conquest of Asia. As she was slow to return to her tripod, the impatient Macedonian dragged her there by force. She exclaimed: “One cannot resist you . . .” Having heard these words, Alexander let her go, saying: “This prediction is enough for me.” He was a sage.

Every age has its prophets, soothsayers, haruspices, astrologers, palmists, futurologists, and other charlatans. Today we use computers. Then, they used mediums. Catherine de’ Medici consulted Nostradamus. Cromwell listened to William Lily. Stalin questioned Wolf Messing. Hitler questioned Eric Hanussen. Briand and Poincaré shared the talents of Mrs. Fraya . . . The destiny of an individual, however, is one thing; the destiny of a civilization is another.

Preceded by the optimism inherited from the Enlightenment, the 20th century began with promises of a glowing future, in the certitude that science and knowledge led to progress and wisdom. were progress factors and of wisdom. Man would truly become “Master and possessor of nature” and acquire self-mastery too. After the victory over things, peace and harmony between the men would establish themselves.

The pitiless 20th century shattered these illusions. Nobody, or almost nobody, had foreseen the catastrophic consequences of the murder in Sarajevo in the Summer of 1914. All the belligerents expected a short, fresh, happy war. It was interminable, terrible, and deadly as never before. It was the unforeseen gift of industrial progress and mass democracy to mankind—two new factors that had transformed the very nature of war. Beginning as a traditional conflict between States, it finished as an ideological crusade, dragging down the old European order, incarnated by the three great empires of the Center and the East. And the butchery of Europe and the conditions imposed on the vanquished after 1919 carried the germ of another more catastrophic war.

At the dawn of a new century and a new millennium, the illusions of progress have been partly dissipated, so much so that one hears about “fatal progress” or “economic horror.” Marxism and its certitudes foundered in the collapse of the system to which it had given birth. The optimism of yore often yields to a kind of overpowering pessimism, nourished by anxiety over a future we have every reason to fear. One turns to History to ask for answers.

But the interpretation of History escapes neither fashion nor reigning ideas. Thus one always needs strength of mind and character to free oneself from the weight of one’s own time. With a little drive, any curious, free, and cultivated spirit can grasp the unforeseeable character of History, which the last hundred years of facts make unavoidably clear, and see through the deterministic theories resulting from the Hegelian vision.

On January 22nd, 1917, a Lenin who was almost unknown and permanently exiled, spoke before a circle of socialist students: “We old men,” he said of himself, “will perhaps never see the decisive battles of the Revolution . . .” Seven weeks later, Tsarism was overthrown, and Lenin and the Bolsheviks had nothing to do with it. The “decisive battles” in which he no longer believed were commencing, to the misfortune of Russia and the whole world. I know few anecdotes so revealing of the difficulty of historical forecasts. This one is in a class by itself.

During the academic year 1975–1976, Raymond Aron, one of the most perspicacious minds of our time, gave a course at the Collège de France on “The Decline of the West,” which was already a whole curriculum. Here is his conclusion: “the decline of the United States of 1945 to 1975 rose from irresistible forces.” Let us note the word “irresistible.” In his Memories, published the year of his death, in 1983, Aron returned to this reflection and amplified it: “What I have observed since 1975 was the threat of disintegration of the American imperial zone . . .” To those who live under the shadow of the American world imperium, this analysis makes one question the author’s lucidity. And yet, he never doubted himself. Our astonishment is due to the fact that History galloped on unbeknownst to us, showing us a world today that is very different from what it was twenty years earlier, which nobody had foreseen.

By no means do I suggest ignoring the threats looming on our horizon: devouring globalization, demographic explosions, massive immigration, the pollution of nature, genetic engineering, etc. During an age of anxiety, it is healthy to repel happy illusions; it is salubrious to practice the virtues of active pessimism, those of Thucydides or Machiavelli. But it is just as necessary to reject the kind of pessimism that turns into fatalism.

The first error regarding future threats would be to regard them as inescapable. History is not the domain of fate but of the unforeseen. A second error would be to imagine the future as a prolongation of the present. If anything is certain, it is that the future will be different from how one imagines it today. A third error would be to lose hope in intelligence, imagination, will, and finally ourselves.

 

Source: Le Figaro, January 19th, 2000. Online: http://euro-synergies.hautetfort.com/archive/2011/08/02/l-histoire-repond-elle-aux-problemes-de-l-avenir.html

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Venner, Dominique. “Can History Address the Problems of the Future?” Counter-Currents Publishing, 9 August 2011. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/08/can-history-address-the-problems-of-the-future/ >.

 

 

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Interview with Venner – L’action française 2000

L’action française 2000 Interview with Dominique Venner

 

Translated by Giuliano Adriano Malvicini

L’Action française 2000: You define yourself as a “meditative historian.” What precisely do you mean by this term?

Dominique Venner: To meditate is not to daydream, but to intensely fix one’s thoughts on a precise object. I have always been astonished by the fact that people are so little astonished. Above all when it comes to history. And yet, astonishment is the first condition of thought. In the conventional interpretation of History, one describes a succession of events as though they were necessary or self-evident. But that’s false.

Nothing is ever necessary or self-evident. Everything is always held in suspense by the unforeseeable. Neither Richelieu nor Mazarin, for example, neither Caesar nor Octavius, nor the Chinese emperor Shi Huangdi, the great founder, were necessary or pre-ordained by Providence. They could all have never existed or have died before completing their work. In the face of facts and unforeseeable historical events, I ask myself the questions that lazy history doesn’t ask, I meditate.

For example: Louis XIV was called le Roi Très Chrétien (“the Most Christian King”). Despite this, he had Versailles and his park built as a hymn to the divinities of ancient paganism. Surprising, isn’t it? And the source of new reflections on the representations of the king and the religion of his time, which has nothing to with the pious story invented in the nineteenth century.

Let’s dwell for a moment upon the Great King, who witnessed the English Revolution and the execution of Charles I, in January 1649. An astonishing revolution! In the following century, Edmund Burke could oppose the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the French Revolution of 1789. Why did a “conservative revolution” take place in England and a destructive revolution take place in France? That’s a good question, and there are a hundred answers. There’s something to meditate upon.

Moreover, since I was born in troubling times for a Frenchman and a European, a time that has seen the collapse of our old power and the destruction of certainties that were considered eternal, I meditate by studying History outside of all conventions. Following the example of Ulysses, I believe that thought is a prerequisite for action. I even believe that it is action.

AF: Europe today is “dormant,” as you nicely put it. Why is that?

DV: When I think of Europe, I’m not thinking about political or technocratic structures. I’m thinking of our multi-millenial civilization, our identity, a certain “European” way of thinking, of feeling and of living, across time. Yes, Europe is historically “dormant.” Since when? Since the second half of the twentieth century, after the catastrophe of the two wars that started in 1914 and ended in 1945. When the universal exhibition opened in Paris in 1900, Europe was the intellectual and spiritual center of the world. She dominated everything, almost everywhere. The United States was still only a marginal power. Fifty years later, everything was reversed! After Yalta, a Europe bled of its strength was divided up between the two new powers that had emerged in the Century of 1914: the United States and the USSR. Two messianic powers that wanted to impose on her their models: Americanism and communism. I might add that Europe has not only lost its power and its colonies, worse still, it has lost faith in itself, eroded by an unheard of moral crisis and manipulation by guilt. She is “dormant.”

AF: You are nevertheless optimistic with regard to her identitarian awakening. So what are, this time, the reasons for hope?

DV: Those reasons are above all connected with the “shock of History” that we are currently experiencing without knowing it. This “shock” heralds a new era. It began with the collapse of the USSR and of communism in 1989. At the same time, old powers and old civilisations, previously thought to be dead, went through a spectacular revival, China, India, Islam (despite its conflicts), South America, to speak only of large entities. The unipolar world that the power of the dollar wanted is being replaced by a multipolar world, and that will give Europe its chance. However, she is confronted with a huge and unprecedented historical danger, the mass immigration of populations that bring with them another civilization. Mass immigration is producing, on European soil, a shock of civilizations that could end up being deadly. But, in an astonishing historical surprise, it could also reveal itself to be our salvation. From the alterity represented by the immigrant populations, their customs, and their treatment of women, which deeply shocks us, we are seeing a new awareness being born among Europeans of their identity, an awareness that they rarely possessed in the past. Let me add that in spite of all these dangers, I also believe in the survival of the fundamental qualities of energy and innovation that are characteristic of Europeans. For the moment, they are not being exercised in the realm of politics, which is why we can’t see them.

AF: How may the lessons of the great masters of the dawn of European civilization, Hesiod and Homer, be salutary for us?

DV: Homer has bequeathed to us, in its pure state, the model of a specific mental morphology — our own — prior to the distortions of contrary influences. We need to impregnate ourselves with it if we are to be spiritually reborn, as a precondition to other forms of renaissance. The consequences of the Century of 1914 have cast the French and Europeans into an immense disorder. Nothing escapes it. This disorder affects both churches and laymen. So much so that we we are witnessing apparently bewildering attempts on the part of the upper hierarchies of the church to come together with the Islam of the immigrants. These attempts rightly shock many Catholics. They go beyond the “obligation of hospitality” invoked by the pastoralism of submission, and also have to do with a kind of solidarity between monotheistic “believers” in the face of the growing religious indifference of society. That is the explicit meaning of meetings like the one in Assisi. In short, when disorder has become general, you have to go back to what is completely pure, to the fundamental sources of our civilization, which go back much farther than Christianity, as Benedict XVI reminded us in his Regensburg speech. That is why we have to go back to Homer and the granite foundations of our founding poems, nature as a bedrock, excellence as a goal and beauty as the horizon. That’s a truth that Charles Maurras had seen clearly since his youth.

AF: You speak, not without admiration, of the “intractable character” of Maurras. Did he influence you intellectually?

DV: I have never concealed my admiration for Maurras’ bravery in the face of hardship. But I have also been a close reader of his early writings and an observer of his development. Just recently I read the correspondence between Charles Maurras and the Abbé Penon (1883-1928), published by Privat in 2008. It’s a primary source. As you know, Abbé Penon, who later became the bishop of Moulins, had been the private tutor and later the confessor of the young Maurras. He saw his task compromised by development of his pupil and the inflexible autonomy of his mind. The Abbé had introduced the boy to Greek and Roman literature, which little by little turned him away from Christianity. The young Maurras’ stay in Athens on the occasion of the first Olympic games in 1898, completed the transformation. It’s all summed up in a letter of June 28, 1896, which I can quote for you: “I return from Athens more remote, more hostile to Christianity than before. Believe me, it was there that the perfect men lived . . .” After having referred to Sophocles, Homer, and Plato, the young Maurras concludes: “I am returning from Athens as a pure polytheist. All that was still vague and confused in my thought has become sparklingly clear . . .” Right until his death in 1928, the Abbé Penon tried to make Maurras go back on this conversion. All he could get out of him were purely formal concessions, but also Maurras’ argument that in his eyes, the Catholic church had once corrected, through its principle of order, the pernicious nature of primitive Christianity.

AF: You are a Jüngerian practitioner of the “recourse to the forest.” Have you found peace there, or a way to prepare for the wars of the future?

DV: Before writing so many books, Ernst Jünger started out by living, in the trenches of WWI, certain ideas that he later articulated. Jünger was authenticated by his life. That made me take his writings seriously. I should also add that the image of the “recourse to the forest” resonates very strongly with me. I don’t see it as an incitement to go underground, but to discover the noble spirituality manifested in trees and nature, or as Bernard de Clairvaux said: “You will find more in forests than in books. The trees will teach you things that no master will speak to you of.” That’s proof that in him, the spirituality of his Frankish and Gallic ancestors was still alive. That is what I call tradition. It makes its way through us, unbeknownst to us.

French original: http://www.dominiquevenner.fr/2011/12/entretien-avec-louis-montarnal-publie-dans-laction-francaise-2000-n-2827-du-3-au-16-novembre-2011/

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Venner, Dominique. “L’action française 2000 Interviews Dominique Venner.” Counter-Currents Publishing, 24 September 2014. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/09/laction-francaise-2000-interviews-dominique-venner/ >.

 

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Living with Our Tradition – Venner

Living in Accordance with Our Tradition

By Dominique Venner

Translated by Giuliano Adriano Malvicini

 

Every great people own a primordial tradition that is different from all the others. It is the past and the future, the world of the depths, the bedrock that supports, the source from which one may draw as one sees fit. It is the stable axis at the center of the turning wheel of change. As Hannah Arendt put it, it is the “authority that chooses and names, transmits and conserves, indicates where the treasures are to be found and what their value is.”

This dynamic conception of tradition is different from the Guénonian notion of a single, universal and hermetic tradition, which is supposedly common to all peoples and all times, and which originates in a revelation from an unidentified “beyond”. That such an idea is decidedly a-historical has not bothered its theoreticians. In their view, the world and history, for three or for thousand years, is no more than a regression, a fatal involution, the negation of of the world of what they call “tradition”, that of a golden age inspired by the Vedic and Hesiodic cosmologies. One must admit that the anti-materialism of this school is stimulating. On the other hand, its syncretism is ambiguous, to the point of leading some of its adepts, and not the least of them, to convert to Islam. Moreover, its critique of modernity has only lead to an admission of impotence. Unable to go beyond an often legitimate critique and propose an alternative way of life, the traditionalist school has taken refuge in an eschatological waiting for catastrophe. (1) That which is thinking of a high standard in Guénon or Evola, sometimes turns into sterile rhetoric among their disciples. (2) Whatever reservations we may have with regard to the Evola’s claims, we will always be indebted to him for having forcefully shown, in his work, that beyond all specific religious references, there is a spiritual path of tradition that is opposed to the materialism of which the Enlightenment was an expression. Evola was not only a creative thinker, he also proved, in his own life, the heroic values that he had developed in his work.

In order to avoid all confusion with the ordinary meaning of the old traditionalisms, however respectable they might be, we suggest a neologism, that of “traditionism”.

For Europeans, as for other peoples, the authentic tradition can only be their own. That is the tradition that opposes nihilism through the return to the sources specific to the European ancestral soul. Contrary to materialism, tradition does not explain the higher through the lower, ethics through heredity, politics through interests, love through sexuality. However, heredity has its part in ethics and culture, interest has its part in politics, and sexuality has its part in love. However, tradition orders them in a hierarchy. It constructs personal and collective existence from above to below. As in the allegory in Plato’s “Timaeus”, the sovereign spirit, relying on the courage of the heart, commands the appetites. But that does not mean that the spirit and the body can be separated. In the same way, authentic love is at once a communion of souls and a carnal harmony.

Tradition is not an idea. It is a way of being and of living, in accordance with the Timaeus’ precept that “the goal of human life is to establish order and harmony in one’s body and one’s soul, in the image of the order of the cosmos.” Which means that life is a path towards this goal.

In the future, the desire to live in accordance with our tradition will be felt more and more strongly, as the chaos of nihilism is exacerbated. In order to find itself again, the European soul, so often straining towards conquests and the infinite, is destined to return to itself through an effort of introspection and knowledge. Its Greek and Apollonian side, which are so rich, offers a model of wisdom in finitude, the lack of which will become more and more painful. But this pain is necessary. One must pass through the night to reach the dawn.

For Europeans, living according to their tradition first of all presupposes an awakening of consciousness, a thirst for true spirituality, practiced through personal reflection while in contact with a superior thought. One’s level of education does not constitute a barrier. “The learning of many things”, said Heraclitus, “does not teach understanding”. And he added: “To all men is granted the ability to know themselves and to think rightly.” One must also practice meditation, but austerity is not necessary. Xenophanes of Colophon even provided the following pleasant instructions: “One should hold such converse by the fire-side in the winter season, lying on a soft couch, well-fed, drinking sweet wine, nibbling peas: ‘Who are you among men, and where from?” Epicurius, who was more demanding, recommended two exercises: keeping a journal and imposing upon oneself a daily examination of conscience. That was what the stoics practiced. With the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, they handed down to us the model for all spirtual exercises.

Taking notes, reading, re-reading, learning, repeating daily a few aphorisms from an author associated with the tradition, that is what provides one with a point of support. Homer or Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius or Epictetus, Montaigne or Nietzsche, Evola or Jünger, poets who elevate and memorialists who incite to distance. The only rule is to choose that which elevates, while enjoying one’s reading.

To live in accordance with tradition is to conform to the ideal that it embodies, to cultivate excellence in relation to one’s nature, to find one’s roots again, to transmit the heritage, to stand united with one’s own kind. It also means driving out nihilism from oneself, even if one must pretend to pay tribute to a society that remains subjugated by nihilism through the bonds of desire. This implies a certain frugality, imposing limits upon oneself in order to liberate oneself from the chains of consumerism. It also means finding one’s way back to the poetic perception of the sacred in nature, in love, in family, in pleasure and in action. To live in accordance with tradition also means giving a form to one’s existence, by being one’s own demanding judge, one’s gaze turned towards the awakened beauty of one’s heart, rather than towards the ugliness of a decomposing world.

Notes

(1) Generally speaking, the pessimism intrinsic to counter-revolutionary thought – from which Evola distinguishes himself – comes from a fixation with form (political and social institutions), to the detriment of the essence of things (which persist behind change).

(2) The academic Marco Tarchi, who has for a long time been interested in Evola, has criticized in him a sterile discourse peopled by dreams of “warriors” and “aristocrats” (cf. the journal “Vouloir”, Bruxelles, january-february 1991. This journal is edited by the philologist Robert Steuckers).

Excerpt from the book Histoire et traditions des Européens: 30,000 ans d’identité (Paris: Éditions du Rocher, 2002).

 

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Venner, Dominique. “Living in Accordance with Our Tradition.” Eurocontinentalism Journal, 5 Octoboer 2013. <http://eurocontinentalism.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/living-in-accordance-with-our-tradition-dominique-venner/ >.

 

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Tribute to Venner – Benoist

Tribute to Dominique Venner

By Alain de Benoist

Translated by Greg Johnson

Translations: CzechGreek

The reasons for living and the reasons for dying are often the same. This was definitely the case for Dominique Venner, whose gesture aimed at bringing his life and death into deep accord. He said he chose to die in the way that was the most honorable in certain circumstances, particularly when words become powerless to describe, to express what we feel. Dominique Venner ultimately died as he had lived, with the same will, the same lucidity. Most striking to all who knew him was to see how the whole trajectory of his existence is a pure and right line, a perfectly straight line of extreme righteousness.

Honor above Life

The gesture made by Dominique Venner is obviously a move dictated by a sense of honor, honor above life, and even those who, for personal or other reasons, oppose suicide, even those who, unlike me, do not find him admirable, must have respect for his actions, because we must have respect for all that is done from a sense of honor.

I am not talking about politics. By July 1967, Dominique Venner had definitely broken with any form of political action. He was a careful observer of political life, and of course he made his feelings known. But I think that what was essential for him lay elsewhere, as amply shown by many things already said today.

Dominique Venner put ethics above all, and this was already his view as a young activist. It remained so, when gradually the young activist turned into a historian, a meditative historian, as he said. Dominique Venner was quite interested in the Homeric texts, the Iliad and the Odyssey, in which he saw the founding of the great immemorial European tradition, primarily for ethical reasons: the heroes of the Iliad never teach moral lessons, they give ethical examples, and ethics is inseparable, of course, from aesthetics.

The Beautiful Determines the Good

Dominique Venner was not one of those who believe that the good determines the beautiful, he was one of those who think that the beautiful determines the good; he believed that ethical judgments that focus on men are not so much based on their opinions or ideas, but are a function of their greater or lesser qualities of being, and first and foremost the quintessential human quality that he summed up in one word: comportment.

Comportment

Comportment, which is a way of being, a way of life, and a way of dying. Comportment which is a style, the style of which he spoke so beautifully in The Rebel Heart, a book published in 1994, and, of course, in all his works, and I think especially in the book he published in 2009 on the German writer Ernst Jünger. In this book, Dominique said very clearly that if Jünger gave, and gives, us a great example, it is not only through his writings, but also because this man, who had a long life and died at the age of 103, never failed the demands of comportment.

Dominique Venner was a secretive, attentive, demanding man—demanding of himself first of all. He had somehow internalized all the rules of comportment: never let go, never give up, never explain, never complain, because comportment (tenue) brings to mind and derives from reserve (retenue). Obviously, when we talk about such things, we must seem like men from Mars to many dwellers in this age of smartphones and Virgin Megastores. To speak of equanimity, nobility of soul, high-mindedness, comportment, is to employ words whose very meanings escape many, and this is probably why the Philistines and the Lilliputians — those who write these parochial newsletters for right-thinking people that the mainstream media have become today — were unable for the most part to comprehend the very meaning of his gesture, which they tried to reduce to petty considerations.

A Way of Protesting Against the Suicide of Europe

Dominique Venner was neither an extremist nor a nihilist, and, above all, he never despaired. Indeed, his long reflections on history led him to develop a kind of optimism. He held that history is unpredictable and always open, that it both makes men and is made by men. Dominique Venner rejected all fatalism, all forms of despair.

I speak paradoxically, because it has not been sufficiently noticed, that his desire to commit suicide was a way to protest against suicide, a way to protest against the suicide of Europe which he observed for so long.

A Suicide of Rational Hope as a Founding Act

Dominique Venner simply could no longer stand the Europe he loved, his homeland, fading bit by bit from history, forgetful of herself, forgetful of her memory, her genius, her identity, somehow drained of the energy for which she was known through the centuries. Because he could not stand the suicide of Europe, Dominique Venner opposed his own, which he was not suicide of collapse, of resignation, but rather a suicide of hope.

Europe, said Dominique, is in dormition. He wanted to awaken her. He wanted, as he said, to rouse slumbering consciences. We must be very clear on this point: there was no despair in Dominique Venner’s gesture. There was a call to act, to think, to continue. He said: I give, I sacrifice the rest of my life in an act of protest and foundation. We must, I think, hold onto his word “foundation.” This word “foundation” was bequeathed to us by a man whose last concern was to die standing.

A Western Samurai

Dominique Venner was not nostalgic, but he was a true historian who was interested, of course, in the past with a view of the future; he did not study the past as solace or shelter; he simply knew that peoples who forget their past, who lose all consciousness of their past, are thereby deprived of a future. You can’t have one without the other: the past and the future are two dimensions of the moment, neither more important than the other: dimensions of depth.

And in this process, Dominique Venner remembered, of course, a number of memories and images. He remembered the Homeric heroes and gods; he remembered the old Romans, those who preceded him on the path of voluntary death: Cato, Seneca, Regulus, and many others. He bore in mind Plutarch’s writings and Tacitus’ histories. He had in mind the memory of the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima, whose death in so many ways is similar to his own. And it certainly is not a coincidence that his last book, that will soon appear from Pierre-Guillaume Roux, is called A Western Samurai: a Western samurai!

And on the cover of this book, A Western Samurai, we see an image, a print, a famous engraving: “The Knight, Death, and the Devil,” by Albrecht Dürer. Dominique Venner deliberately chose this engraving. Some time ago, Jean Cau devoted to the character of the knight a wonderful book that also bore the title: The Knight, Death, and the Devil. In one of his latest columns, written just days before his death, Dominique Venner paid tribute to this very knight who, he says, on highways and byways, will continue always onward toward his destiny, toward his duty, between death and the devil.

“The Knight, Death, and the Devil”: Engraved by Dürer in 1513

And in this column, Dominique Venner spoke of an anniversary. It was in 1513, 500 years ago exactly, that Dürer engraved this print “The Knight, Death, and the Devil,” and this emphasis gave me a very simple idea that anyone could have: I looked up the dates of birth and death of Albrecht Dürer, the man who engraved “The Knight, Death, and the Devil,” 500 years ago exactly, and I realized that Dürer was born in 1471; he was born May 21, 1471. Dürer was born on May 21; Dominique Venner chose to die on May 21. If this is a coincidence, it is extraordinary, but one is not forced to believe in coincidences.

The Rebel Heart Will Always be There

That’s what I wanted to say in memory of Dominique Venner, now departed on a great wild hunt, in a paradise where you can see the wild geese fly. Those who knew him, and I knew him for 50 years, those who knew him will probably say that they have lost a friend. But I think they are wrong. On the contrary, I believe that they should know that, since May 21, 2013, at 2:42 p.m., he will necessarily always be there. Still there alongside the rebellious hearts and free spirits who have always faced the eternal coalition of Tartuffes, Trissotins, and Torquemadas.

 

Source: http://www.polemia.com/les-raisons-de-vivre-et-les-raisons-de-mourir-sont-bien-souvent-les-memes/

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De Benoist, Alain. “Tribute to Dominique Venner.” Counter-Currents Publishing, 26 June 2013. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/06/tribute-to-dominique-venner-2/ >.

Note: See also the article “Reasons for a Voluntary Death” by Dominique Venner.

 

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Tribute to Venner – Faye

Tribute to Dominique Venner

By Guillaume Faye

Translated by Greg Johnson

Translations Czech, Greek

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 bluster, 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.

 

Source: http://euro-synergies.hautetfort.com/archive/2013/06/24/g-faye-hommage-a-dominique-venner.html

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Faye, Guillaume. “Tribute to Dominique Venner.” Counter-Currents Publishing, 25 June 2013. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/06/tribute-to-dominique-venner/ >.

 

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Dancing on a Hero’s Grave – Gottfried

Dancing on a Hero’s Grave

By Paul Gottfried

As a college student I would buy copies of The New Yorker to sample the sparkling prose of James Thurber and S. J. Perelman and to appreciate the clever cartoons that graced each issue. Despite the magazine’s veering toward the trendy left thereafter, I could still find material in it worth reading well into the 1980s, such as John Updike’s elegantly phrased erotica or the occasional vignettes of interwar Hungary by John Lukacs. Then The New Yorker took a further slide into sheer madness, and the results are visible in a libelous obit that came out last Wednesday by a certain Judith Thurman. Seething with rage syndrome, Thurman announced the “Final Solution” of my onetime correspondent and one of France’s most illustrious historians of the last century, Dominique Venner (1935-2013).

On May 21, Venner, acting desperately in the face of events he could no longer control, committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Venner left behind a suicide note explaining his horror at the gay-marriage law that French President Francois Hollande had just pushed through the National Assembly. Venner further lamented the self-destruction of his country and of European civilization that he ascribed to gay marriage and to Western Europeans’ unwillingness to keep Muslims from resettling their countries.

It continues to be disputed whether Venner was a believing Catholic, although the “Catholic traditionalists” in whose company Thurman places Venner admired his cultural stands and continue to hope that he’ll make it into heaven despite the mortal sin he committed by hastening his departure from this world.

Venner was also a hero to the neo-pagan European right, and since the 1960s he was active in laying and extending the foundations of the emphatically anti-Christian French new right, together with his frequent collaborator Alain de Benoist. Venner had a clear record of standing defiantly in the face of the French Communist Party. Unlike the communists and other French leftists who supported the Algerian rebels, Venner fought gallantly and was decorated as a sergeant in the French forces in Algeria.

Contrary to what Thurman tells us, Venner did not get his political start as a fan of the Nazis and their French collaborators (although his parents had once rallied to Jacques Doriot’s French fascist party). He rose to fame as a fervent anti-communist and European nationalist. The young Venner risked his life as a volunteer in the Algerian War, went to Budapest in 1956 to stand with the outnumbered Hungarian rebels against the Soviet occupational forces, and later was caught sacking the premises of the French Communist Party, whose allegiance to the Soviets he detested.

In the last twenty years of his life, this “unapologetic Islamophobe,” to use Thurman’s phrase, showed the audacity to characterize both the takeover of European inner cities by a hostile Muslim population and “the declining white birthrate in France and Europe” as “a catastrophic peril for the future.” Several blog respondents to this screed noted the embarrassing coincidence that Thurman’s expression of rage against the “Islamophobe” Venner appeared at the very time that predominantly Muslim riots had broken out in Sweden and a Muslim convert cut off the head of a hapless off-duty soldier in London.

In a final nod to PC, Thurman tells us that Venner’s commentaries “evoked the racist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic rhetoric of the Fascist European right between the two World Wars, which has been moderated, though not abolished, by postwar hate-speech laws.” Thurman does not offer even a sliver of proof that Venner imitated the style of Hitler’s Mein Kampf; having read both Venner and Hitler, I would have no trouble distinguishing between the two, even if I’m not a certified “antifascist.” But we should be grateful for small improvements: Now we have the enforcement of “hate-speech laws” in Europe to protect us from what Ms. Thurman doesn’t care to hear. As one of her respondents asks very much to the point: Is Ms. Thurman out to ban as reminiscent of fascism any oral or written communication that doesn’t meet her criteria of sensitive speech?

Thurman’s treatment of Venner as a trained historian specializing in military affairs is almost as perplexing as it is glaringly biased. Thurman tells us that Venner wrote a work “admiring of the Vichy collaboration with Hitler” and other presumably pro-Nazi polemics, but she then identifies the dead author with “a history of the Red Army that received a prize from the Académie Française.” Venner was widely respected for his objective two-volume Histoire de L’Armeé Rouge, which starts with the creation of the Soviet army during the Russian Civil War and then examines the further development of Soviet military forces through World War II. Venner also compiled an eleven-volume encyclopedia on firearms that continues to enjoy academic favor. The works that obviously irk Thurman, however, are Venner’s sympathetic studies of the white forces that combated the Red Armies and his work on French divisions that fought alongside the Wehrmacht in Russia during World War II.*

Perhaps most inexcusably for his leftist critics, Venner published a critical work on the French Resistance in 2000, presenting its shadow side in a way that the French left or its American journalistic appendix do not care to hear about. Venner reminded us of the frequency with which communists in the Resistance carried out assassinations against political enemies, a tendency that became pandemic after the Liberation. He also dwells on isolated terrorist acts by the Résistants that did little to advance the cause of freeing France from a foreign occupation.**

I knew Venner best for having edited two stimulating journals that I would devour whenever I could get my hands on them: Enquête sur l’histoire (in the 1990s) and its recent successor La Nouvelle Revue d’Histoire, a publication that displays the same willingness to defy leftist taboos as everything else Venner wrote.

A kindly leftist historian Benoît Rayski wrote after he heard of Venner’s death:

I rarely agreed with his ideas, but he was a man who escaped with his courage and nobility from the usual ideological trappings and he wore his independence as a badge of honor.

Too bad our leftist hacks in Midtown can’t show a similar generosity toward a dead, non-conformist scholar.

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Added Notes:

* Gottfried is referring here to Venner’s Les Blancs et les Rouges: histoire de la guerre civile russe, 1917-1921 (Paris: Pygmalion Gérard watelet, 1997.).

** Gottfried appears to be referring here to Venner’s Histoire critique de la Résistance (Paris: Pygmalion/G. Watelet, 1995).

 

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Gottfried, Paul. “Dancing on a Hero’s Grave.” Taki’s Magazine, 29 May 2013. <http://takimag.com/article/dancing_on_a_heros_grave_paul_gottfried/print#ixzz2UnYjBhkH >.

 

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Reasons for a Voluntary Death – Venner

The Reasons for a Voluntary Death

By Dominique Venner

Translated by Greg Johnson

Introductory Note: This is the full text of the suicide note left by the French historian Dominique Venner in the Notre Dame Cathedral, where he committed suicide on May 21, 2013.

Translations in other languages: Czech, Danish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish

 

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.

Source: http://www.ndf.fr/poing-de-vue/21-05-2013/exclusif-les-raisons-dune-mort-volontaire-par-dominique-venner?fb_source=pubv1

 

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Venner, Dominique. “The Reasons for a Voluntary Death.” Counter-Currents Publishing, 21 May 2013. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/05/the-reasons-for-a-voluntary-death/ >.

Note: Dominique Venner’s last book before his suicide was Un Samouraï d’Occident: Le bréviaire d’un insoumis (Paris: Pierre-Guillaume de Roux Editions, 2013), which had been translated into German as Ein Samurai aus Europa: Das Brevier der Unbeugsame (Bad Wildungen: Ahnenrad der Moderne, 2013). Other important works by Dominique Venner are Histoire et tradition des Européens: 30,000 ans d’identité (Monaco et Paris: Éd. du Rocher, 2002), Le Choc de l’Histoire: Religion, mémoire, identité (Versailles: Via Romana, 2011), and Le Siècle de 1914: Utopies, guerres et révolutions en Europe au XXe siècle (Paris: Pygmalion, 2006), which has been translated into Portuguese as O Século de 1914: Utopias, Guerras e Revoluções na Europa do Século XX (Porto: Civilizaçao Editora, 2009). Also, an exclusive Spanish book covering similar topics to Le Choc de l’Histoire and Le Siècle de 1914 had been published as Europa y su Destino: De ayer a mañana (Barcelona: Áltera, 2010).

Additional notes: See Alain de Benoist’s comment on Dominique Venner’s suicide in French (he said that Venner was “a man who has chosen to die standing”): http://www.bvoltaire.fr/alaindebenoist/dominique-venner-un-homme-qui-a-choisi-de-mourir-debout,23784

See also Greg Johnson’s commentary on Venner’s death (“Suicide in the Cathedral: The Death of Dominique Venner”): http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/05/suicide-in-the-cathedralthe-death-of-dominique-venner/

 

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