Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Excerpted from a longer
book-review by Michael O’Meara of
Histoire et tradition des européennes (2002)
by Dominique Venner:
In Venner’s view, the European of history is best seen as a warrior bearing a sword, symbol of his will. The virtù of this warrior is affirmed every time he imposes his cosmos (order) upon a world whose only order is that which he himself gives it. History, thus, is no immobilizing determinism, but a theater of the will, upon whose stage the great men of our people exert themselves. Both as intellectual discipline and individual act of will, it seems hardly coincidental that history is Europe’s preeminent art form.
In Defense of Who We Are
Like history, life has no beginning or end, being a process of struggle, an overcoming of obstacles, a combat, in which the actor’s will is pivotal. While it inexorably ends in death and destruction, from its challenges all our greatness flows. The Hellenes entered history by refusing to be slaves. Bearing their sword against an Asiatic foe, they won the right to be who they were. If a single theme animates Venner’s treatment of Europe’s history and tradition, it is that Europeans surmounted the endless challenges to their existence only because they faced them with sword in hand—forthrightly, with the knowledge that this was not just part of the human condition, but the way to prove that they were worthy of their fate. Thus, as classical Greece rose in struggle against the Persians, the Romans against the Carthaginians, medieval and early modern Europe against Arabic, then Turkish, Islam, we too today have to stand on our borders, with sword in hand, to earn the right to be ourselves.
Europeans, Venner concludes, must look to their history and tradition—especially to the honor, heroism, and heritage Homer immortalized—to rediscover themselves. Otherwise, all that seeks the suppression of their spirit and the extinction of their blood will sweep them aside. The question thus looms: In the ethnocidal clash between the reigning nihilism and the white men of the West, who will prevail? From Venner’s extraordinary book, in which the historian turns from the drama of the event to the scene of our longue durée, we are led to believe that this question will be answered in our favor only if we remain true to who we are, to what our forefathers have made of us, and to what Francis Parker Yockey, in the bleak years following the Second World War, called the primacy of the spirit.
First published in The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 4, no. 2, Summer 2004.