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Suicide in the Cathedral:
The Death of Dominique Venner

VennerNotreDame1,289 words

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.

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.



  1. Petronius
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink


  2. Wulf Grimsson
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    I am homosexual and yet see gay marriage as a farce. Sure have same sex unions but marriage is a traditional rite to celebrate reproduction and family. In most pre Christian cultures there was a clear difference. Reproduction involves passing on your genes, culture and traditions and by allowing mass same-sex adoption (and IVF) this changes the structure of a society and I do not think it is valuable. However I am more perturbed by the effects of inter racial marriage and the dysgenic effects of our lifestyles than homosexual unions. Immigration, multiculturalism and related issues are by far more destructive. At times I worry gay marriage has become a deliberate “liberal” trap to keep the right focused on something which is not, at the heart of it, the major threat. The Old Right seems obsessed with homosexuality and needs to get over it before it is run over by more dangerous problems.

  3. Kerry Bolton
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Nicely stated.

  4. DL
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Dominique Venner devotio?

    “In ancient Roman religion, the devotio was an extreme form of votum (an offering in fulfillment of an advance promise) in which a Roman general vowed to sacrifice his own life in battle along with the enemy to chthonic gods in exchange for a victory.”

  5. Stronza
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Here is the “prolife” take on Venner’s suicide. The article is entitled “French pro-marriage figure committed suicide to protest immigration, not gays; saluted paganism”. See – that takes care of your Item #1! Too bad the wrong bunch will be reading this.

    • Jaego
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 2:21 am | Permalink

      Here two articles from Amren translated from French. The huge Gay Marriage protest in France has disturbed a lot of people: they thought France was farther along (gone) than this. Venner said the ruling was “execrable” – a passionate word. Basically, Gay Marriage is a potent symbol for the overall descent of the West. Just because it’s a symbol doesn’t mean he wasn’t against it strongly and specifically – as the word execrable indicates.

  6. Daybreaker
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Well said.

    May Dominique Venner’s sacrifice of devotion be crowned with ultimate victory, and may we all do our part to make that happen.

  7. Bobby
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    After reading so many of Dominique’s articles, it became clear to me sometime before last Christmas, how much the man longed for the Europe and France of yesteryear.

  8. Mark
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    Your finest short essay – thank you for writing what’s been in my heart.

  9. Posted May 25, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    The “one more bullet fired at the enemy” argument is one I’ve heard a lot. One needs only to refer to Venner’s classic “For a Positive Critique,” available on this site, for the reasons why he would never have considered an action:

    “The faulty analysis of a situation, the absence of doctrine and formation that push some towards opportunism, throw others into counterproductive violence and terrorism. The poor digestion of primitive studies, devoted to certain aspects of the communist subversion of the FLN, has increased this tendency. The detonators set under the concierges’ windows did not bring a single partisan to the cause of French Algeria. Blind terrorism is the best means to cut oneself off from the population. It is a desperate act. As much as clandestine action and the calculated use of force can be indispensable when a nation has no other means of defending itself, in which case the action aims at making the people participate in the struggle, terrorism places those using it outside the popular community and is condemned to failure.”

  10. Petronius
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    The point being, “gay marriage” has nothing to do with either “gays” or marriage. It is a mere leftist tool to deconstruct the institutions of marriage and family. A strategic chess figure. If you oppose it, their advocates ridicule you as “homophobic” or vilify you as being nastily and inhumanely unkind and offensive to gay people. As far as I can see, even among the minority of homosexual people only a minority of them actually wants it, and if so, rather to satisfy needs of revenge or resentment or power. I also think that Gavin McInnes at Takimag has a point as well, that the marriage and family institution are already damaged enough by divorce etc. and there is a problem to consider as well. And another thing: looking at the uber-dumb titty twister cretins of “Femen”, I come to think that maybe even the Sharia has some bright points to offer…

    • reiner arischer Tor
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Femen is financed by an American called Jed Sunden. Can we know anything about his ethnicity..?

      In any event, as far as I know, Femen activists get paid way more than the average Ukrainian salary, and it’s also more “respectable” than being a prostitute. They are not even cretins, they get paid for it, they are like pornographic actresses.

    • reiner arischer Tor
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Venner obviously was a great man.

  11. Sandy
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    1) My initial reaction to Venner’s suicide was negative but as time goes by I see that his political statement was well thought out and I have to commend him for his brilliance.

    2) Wulf (“I am a homosexual”) Grimsson you are so right. It is easier for the old right to focus on a topic that holds no temptation for them while ignoring the damage to the future that divorce, pornography or rampant promiscuity is achieving.

  12. DKD
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    “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.”

    Indeed. That is the most interesting aspect of these protests.

    From BBC:
    “Among those due to take part are members of a radical new movement called French Spring (French: Printemps Francais), which the interior ministry has threatened to dissolve due to its inflammatory rhetoric…On Saturday evening, a group of protesters chained themselves to metal barriers they had placed in the middle of the Champs-Elysees. Some released smoke bombs before police moved in and arrested them.”

  13. rhondda
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    How apropos. Thomas a Becket died for his beliefs as did Dominique Venner.

    • rhondda
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Perhaps I should add that Murder in the Cathedral is a play written by T.S. Elliot. I think it was made into an opera too. I wonder if some brilliant new right artist will create a play about Monsieur Venner with the appropriate name Suicide in the Cathedral.

  14. MrDislaw
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Dr. Johnson, you have succinctly delivered to our people one of the most moving panegyrics I have ever read. It almost rivals Pericles’ funeral oration. This should have been read as the eulogium at Venner’s funeral…he deserved nothing less.

  15. Petronius
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I can’t agree with anyone who doesn’t agree with this article or who doesn’t “get” an act like Venner’s instantly, no matter how much I might agree with him about other things.

  16. Verlis
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I can’t agree with anyone who doesn’t agree with this article or who doesn’t “get” an act like Venner’s instantly, no matter how much I might agree with him about other things.

    Yes, it’s an even better litmus test than Breivik. With Breivik one might have doubted the effectiveness of his course of action, or lamented that such actions are what things have come to, but to fail to grasp the straightforward nature of what he was attempting, instead resorting to kooky fringe theories, was a sure sign that something was mentally lacking. Venner’s case is even more straightforward.

    • reiner arischer Tor
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      I agree. I also agree that although Breivik’s method was doomed to failure, I can at least understand his motives and his thought process.

  17. de Tourville
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    By advance, I demand indulgence for this comment posted in french. I hope I could find here some gentlemen which yet understand french language.
    Dominique Venner restait un de nos rares historiens français engagés, pétri de courage et d’abnégation. Il butait sur la question religieuse et les quelques approches qu’il s’autorisait passaient presque inaperçues tant il laissait la parole à d’autres historiens qui ne pensaient pas comme lui. Dominique Venner n’était pas chrétien mais il ne vomissait pas de haine contre les Chrétiens ; il ne menait pas une vie de débauche ; il avait probablement une conception de la vertu qui était celle des vieux patriciens romains, héritière du stoïcisme. Mais cela vaut au fond mille fois mieux que pas de morale du tout, à l’instar des Cohn Bendit, Strauss Kahn, Richard Descoings, ex directeur de Science Po Paris, disparu honteusement dans une chambre d’hôtel new yorkaise et qui reçut des obsèques religieuses voire nationales !
    Quant au scandale, au sein de Notre Dame de Paris, qui a crée un début de polémique, il a eu lieu depuis longtemps : que ce soit par la tentative de prédication d’un rabbin, par les messes mondialistes ou par la présence régulière des Femens. Il semble au contraire que l’acte de Dominique Venner, par sa violence, ait conduit à montrer un autre scandale : celui des voix que l’on fait taire et d’une civilisation qu’on assassine. Le contenu de la lettre qu’il a laissé est clair : “Je choisis un lieu hautement symbolique, la cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris que je respecte et admire” Ce n’est pas une vulgaire Femen qui aurait écrit cela (mais savent elles écrire ?…).
    Dans ces temps de chaos que traverse mon pays, je ne peux qu’admirer ce geste de Romain. Et je relis, affrontant l’abîme, le grand discours d’Enoch Powell.

  18. Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Informative and inspiring. Linked and quoted here:

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