Suicide in the Cathedral:
The Death of Dominique Venner
Dominique Venner is too big for me to judge. Thus I am not going to criticize or second-guess his decision to end his life with a bullet at the altar of the Cathedral of Notre Dame on May 21, 2013.
But I have no qualms about judging the reactions of smaller men to his suicide.
1. Venner’s Suicide was not a Protest Against Gay Marriage
Venner made it clear in his final blog post that he believed that the gay marriage protests were merely a distraction. Venner was opposed to gay marriage, but without passion and without “homophobia.” He was, however, intrigued by the massive protests, as well as France’s pervasive cynicism about the political establishment, phenomena that he judged to have revolutionary potential. But he believed that this potential was being wasted on the issue of gay marriage when a much greater threat to France was looming unopposed: the replacement of the French people with non-white immigrants organized under the banner of Islam. Venner made it clear that his suicide was not a protest against gay marriage but an attempt to awaken people to the danger of demographic displacement through non-white immigration.
The gay marriage statute, after all, is only a law. Laws can be changed. And this particular law clearly will be abolished, along with the rest of liberalism, when Sharia law is imposed by France’s rising Muslim majority. Sharia law, of course, is not forever either. But Sharia law will be imposed only by the demographic swamping of the French, which will lead to their genetic and cultural obliteration. And extinction is forever.
Of course the mainstream media wish to keep our people unaware of this very danger. So naturally they are reporting that Venner killed himself simply to protest gay marriage. Venner has even been described as a traditionalist Catholic, although a traditionalist Catholic would not commit suicide at all, much less at the altar of Notre Dame. Beyond that, Venner makes it clear in his final writings that he was an atheist and a cultural pagan.
But when people on the Right, who should be both sympathetic to Venner and skeptical of the press, repeat these false claims at face value, what is their excuse?
2. “One more bullet that will not be fired at the enemy.”
Many of Venner’s Right-wing critics fault him for killing himself rather than one of our enemies. But Venner was right, for two reasons. First, as I have argued elsewhere, revolutionary violence today is premature and thus pointless. Second, if Venner had killed another individual, the primary focus would be on the victim, and Venner himself would simply be dismissed as another crazed, embittered Right-wing loser. By killing himself, he knew that he would still be vilified and mocked. But he also knew that it would be far more likely that at least some people would actually take his ideas seriously. Very few people have convictions they will die for, thus some people will want to learn what those convictions were.
3. Venner’s Career as Activist and Intellectual
Some of Venner’s Right-wing critics reproach him for killing himself, as opposed to engaging in political or metapolitical activism. But from 1956 to 1971, Dominique Venner was very much a political and metapolitical activist.
According to Wikipedia – which all of Venner’s critics could have read before attacking him in online forums — after serving in the Algerian War, Venner was demobilized in 1956 and joined the Jeune Nation (Young Nation) movement, which later folded into the Organisation de l’Armée Secrète (OAS, Secret Army Organization). On November 7, 1956, Venner took part in the ransacking of the office of the French Communist Party as a protest against the Soviet repression of the Hungarian Revolution. Venner then helped found a short-lived Parti Nationaliste (Nationalist Party).
Venner strongly opposed the French decolonization of Algeria. Thus he took part in General Chassin’s pro-colonist Mouvement populaire du 13-mai (Popular Movement of May 13). Venner was also a member of the OAS, which used bombings and assassinations to try to halt the betrayal of European colonists in Algeria. Members of the OAS took part in the attempted military coup of April 1961 and tried to assassinate Charles De Gaulle in August of 1962. Because of his OAS membership, Venner was jailed for 18 months and was released in 1962.
After prison, Venner became increasingly involved in metapolitics: writing essays and books; founding intellectual organizations, journals, and publishing houses; networking with other Right-wing intellectuals, and the like. In the autumn of 1962, Venner wrote For a Positive Critique (online at Counter-Currents), a manifesto analyzing the failure of the coup and outlining a new, somewhat “Leninist” model for a revolutionary, militant Right wing.
In January of 1963, Venner and Alain de Benoist created a movement and magazine called Europe-Action. Venner then founded the publisher Éditions Saint-Just, which was associated with Europe-Action. Venner was also an early member of the flagship organization of the French New Right, Alain de Benoist’s Groupement de recherche et d’études pour la civilisation européenne (GRECE) (Research and Study Group for European Civilization) from its beginning until the 1970s. With Thierry Maulnier, Venner founded the Institut d’études occidentales (IEO) (Institute of Western Studies), and its journal, Cité-Liberté (City-Liberty), founded in 1970.
In 1971, the IEO was dissolved and Venner withdrew from political entanglements to focus entirely on his career as a historian, a metapolitical activity in itself. He wrote and edited some 50 books, edited two journals, authored countless essays, gave many print and broadcast interviews, and mentored and promoted numerous writers.
In short, at the age of 78, Dominique Venner had done more for our people as a writer or political activist than practically anyone else. Thus it is absurd, if not obscene, to claim that “he could have done more” and that his suicide was somehow a dereliction of duty.
4. The Rationale for a Revolutionary Suicide
Venner decided, evidently after long deliberation, that there was one more thing he could do for his people, i.e., that a spectacular public suicide would (a) raise public awareness of the danger of white race replacement, and (b) encourage people who are already aware of the danger to do more to stop it.
And maybe, just maybe, Venner thought, his death would be enough to make a difference.
Because as a historian, Venner knew that individual actions can and do change history. But as a historian, he also knew that such actions and their consequences are contingent and thus unpredictable. Thus, in the end, it was a gamble. But it was his own life that he was gambling with, and I, for one, do not feel it is my right to second-guess him.
I should note, however, that the first of Venner’s predictions has already been proven right. His death has won enormous publicity for our cause. That can be verified by anyone with a simple web search. But I have additional evidence: because Counter-Currents/North American New Right is the primary source of English translations of Venner’s essays, our traffic increased dramatically due to his death. Indeed, on Tuesday the 21st and Wednesday the 22nd we had the highest traffic in our history so far.
As for Venner’s second prediction: whether he is proved right or wrong is in your hands, dear reader. No, Venner did not wish to inspire the rest of us to take our lives, which would be absurd. But he did want to inspire us to take courage in moving our flag forward. All of us know of some constructive steps toward saving our race, constructive steps that we could take if only we were not afraid. But if Dominique Venner conquered the fear of death to serve our people, then surely you can conquer the lesser fears that are holding you back. Our duty is to make sure that his sacrifice was not in vain.