"A Handbook for Dissidents", Preface to the English Edition

“A religious fanatic obsessed with other people’s freedom” – this was the eulogy broadcast by the regime media across the West on the evening of May 21st 2013, the day Dominique Venner chose to end his life, amid the mass protests then under way in France against a “gay marriage” law.

The American public knows better than the European counterpart how “minority rights” and the “struggle for emancipation” of pretend-victimized sexes and races have been for more than 60 years a nauseating cloak for a project of controlled demolition at the civilizational scale: an assault, rooted in hatred and resentment, against the culture, the language, the living conditions, the historical memory, and now the families and the very prospect of national survival of the peoples of the West. Americans know this because they can look upon the ruins that were once their clean and flourishing cities. Europeans are rapidly catching up.

So who was, really, Dominique Venner? In an age of bugmen, Venner was a character straight out of Plutarch, a man of thumos, someone who could not be tamed into bourgeois bug life. At fifteen he attempted to enlist in the Foreign Legion to find adventure. It was the age of the Indochina War, precursor to the American Vietnam conflict. He was caught at the eleventh hour before he could abscond, and dispatched by his unimpressed parents to a special school verging on the reformatory, where he distinguished himself leading raids on the local headquarters of the Communist Party, guilty at the time of defaming the French troops fighting in Vietnam. At nineteen, he volunteered to join the fight against the Arab separatists who were trying to take over Algeria (then part of France and inhabited by hundreds of thousands of French families who had lived there for many generations). He returned to Paris in 1956, and became embroiled in street fights, plots, and a daring attempt to storm the Presidential Palace in order to stop the weaselly de Gaulle from surrendering Algeria. After his release from political prison, he realized that the struggle could only be won in the realm of ideas and culture: he understood that the New Leftists were taking over, by guile and purges, the universities, the mass media, and the foundations, in order eventually to impose their “cultural hegemony”—a way to undermine the vital energies that had prevented the success, in the West, of marxist revolution. The result of this “long march through the institutions” was the birth of our current regime of “political correctness”, dedicated to our collective debasement into atomized individuals without a history and without a future: livestock, in effect, to be managed until our replacements can usher in utopia. Against this, Venner proposed to build over time a counter-hegemony—in other words, a spiritual antidote to the nihilism of the Left, with which to inoculate the people. Only then, he predicted, would the movements and the leaders arise to carry out the great lustration of our ruling class, and the renewal of our civilization.

What is this spiritual antidote? Clearly, in his words, not “more of the same” that led us here. This might prove to be the hardest lesson to accept for many among us. In any case, the work you are about to enjoy contains Venner’s lucid answer to this question, presented not with crepuscular brooding, but with passion, esprit, and at times moving lyricism.

The hour is undoubtedly late. After Venner’s death, the assault on civilization has only accelerated. The “opponents with interests and intentions that only grow bolder”—in other words, the alliance of oligarchical right and neomarxist left—, have engineered constant migrant crises, in a context of cultural dissolution of which the statue-smashing iconoclasm is only the most obscene symptom. The French banlieue, just like American inner cities, are powder kegs of ethnic conflict, spilling over as terrorism and endemic crime against the natives. The holy place where Venner ended his life, Notre Dame Cathedral, was itself set on fire in April 2019, and nearly destroyed. It continues to be a symbol of the spiritual life of our people.

There are also signs of awakening and resistance: rumblings of discontent among the French military, and Eric Zemmour’s unexpected success in electoral politics. It is for the sake of this great awakening that Venner really gave his life. As an example of the heroism needed in the coming age of upheavals. And, above all, to authenticate the work you are about to read with the ultimate act of sacrifice.

This edition makes the text available for the first time to the English-speaking community of Europeans around the world, fulfilling Venner’s express wishes. “Europeans” means “all the children of our great Borean homeland”, in other words, it includes European-Americans, European-Australians, and anyone else who traces his descent from the peoples of Europe. It is not the magic soil of Nebraska or Tasmania that makes the man, as our enemies know only too well. You may ask the French of Algeria.

The book ends with a profession of faith in the indestructibility of our multi-millennial civilization, with an exhortation to heroic lifeto “truly will one’s destiny”, and finally with a prophecy of internal reconquest. As Venner reminds us, history is the domain of the unexpected, perpetually open to the virtù of great men. And so, in the time of trials ahead, “the spirit of our spirit” will triumph over those who long for an end to history, of whatever kind—uncomprehending worshipers of death! We will reclaim our exalted right to a future.