"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 “equal rights” and the “struggle for emancipation” of pretend-victimized groups have been for more than 60 years a nauseating cloak for a project of controlled demolition at the civilizational scale: an assault, rooted in malice and envy, 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 out of Plutarch, a man of ancient virtù, who could not be tamed into bourgeois bug life. At fifteen, in the thick of the Indochina War, he attempted to abscond with a friend to join the Foreign Legion and find adventure, but was caught at the eleventh hour and dispatched by his unimpressed parents to a special school verging on the reformatory, where he could nonetheless earn his stripes by leading comrades on raids on the local headquarters of the Communist Party, guilty at the time of defaming the French troops fighting in Vietnam. Still a beardless youth, he volunteered to join the fight against the Arab separatists in Algeria, then integral part of France and home to hundreds of thousands of French families who had lived between the high plateau of Oran and the lambent sea for many generations. In 1956, he made his way back to Paris, where he became embroiled in street fights, plots, and a daring attempt to storm the Presidential Palace and assassinate De Gaulle before the traitorous old geezer could surrender Algeria. After his release from political prison, he realized that the struggle could only be won in the realm of ideas and culture. The New Left was then in the middle of its unresisted takeover of the universities and the mass media, with the ultimate aim of imposing its “cultural hegemony”—a way of undermining the vital energies that, in the West, had prevented marxist revolution. The success of this strategy would birth 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 the Final Hour, when our replacements usher in the utopia of Perfect Equality (viz, the Universal Slum). Against this, Venner set out to create a counter-hegemony—in other words, a spiritual antidote to the nihilism of the Left, with which to mend the people. Only then, he predicted, would the movement 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 intesified. The “opponents with interests and intentions that only grow bolder”—in other words, the regime of allied plutocracy and neomarxist left ruling behind the facade of “liberal democracy”—, have engineered constant migrant crises, in a context of cultural dissolution of which the iconoclastic fury against the symbols of the European past is only the most blatant symptom. The French banlieue, just like American inner cities, is a 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 the people that erected it seven centuries ago, “on the site of cults still more ancient, recalling our immemorial origins”.

There are also glimmers of awakening and resistance: rumblings of discontent among the French military, and Eric Zemmour’s unexpected success in electoral politics. It is ultimately for the sake of this great awakening that Venner 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 final 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 wishes. “Europeans” means “all the children of our great Borean homeland”, wherever they may have been born. 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 kinduncomprehending worshipers of death!

We will reclaim our exalted right to a future.