In the aftermath that was “Confronting the New Right,” Rhyd came out as the author and wrote a follow up piece to it. I am now going to go over that piece, as we have gone over the original post, and some of the back ground ideologies involved here. Let us step through the looking glass and into: The Uncomfortable Mirror
(Before we get into this article, I am going to explain a couple of the memes in here referring to Autism. In many internet communities, the term Autism doesn’t refer as much to the medical condition of autism, as to a certain type of behavior that could be described as a childish, pedantic insistence that something has to be the way the “Autist” insists it be. This can be an insistence that is retained in the face of differing views, disproving facts, or physical impossibility for the thing to be. It is not meant as a slight to actual autistic peoples).
A piece I wrote has created a bit of an internet furor, and so I’d like to clarify some things.
You don’t say?
My name is Rhyd Wildermuth. I am the co-founder of Gods&Radicals, a non-profit Pagan Anti-Capitalist publisher, where I am currently the Managing Editor. I’m also a monthly columnist for The Wild Hunt and co-founder of (but am not involved in organising this year) Many Gods West, a polytheist conference in Olympia, Washington. You may also recognize my name as one of the contributors to the group blog, A Sense of Place here on Patheos, and my writing can also be found at Paganarch.
You know, I’m really glad to find out G&R is a non-profit publisher. I mean, how on earth would it have looked if an anti-capitalist website was working to turn a profit? Of course, I’ve had enough experience with “non-profit” organizations to know that just because you don’t have a “profit” doesn’t mean you aren’t making money and your staff isn’t getting paid. So…I guess we’ll reserve judgement on to just how non-capitalist our “Anti-capitalist” G&R really is.
Also, remember what I said about Rhyd and his group being not the radicals, but the establishment in Paganism? This really to show it. Gods & Radicals is a fairly big website in the pagan community, Many Gods West is one of the largest events, the Wild Hunt has been the mainstay of Pagan News for about a decade or more, Rhyd is a contribute to Patheos (one of the biggest religious sites on the planet), and then we finally get to what I think is Rhyd’s own personal blog.
Oh king, look upon the vastness of your kingdom, and tell me again that thou art small and non-establishments.
I identify as a Polytheist, both ‘devotional’ and ‘relational.’ I have also studied druidry with OBOD, have identified somewhat with Welsh Reconstructionism, and consider myself an Awenydd. Politically, I identify as a Marxist and an anarchist, and have always been quite upfront about those identifications (thus ‘Paganarch,’ the title of my blog).
Right, so he’s a polytheist devotinal/relational (which he said were potentially alt-right), he’s studied with the Druids (again, potentially alt-right), and a reconstructionist (pretty clearly alt-right). So in his “Confronting” post, Rhyd literally defamed three of the things he is as potential alt right.
But it’s cool people, it’s cool, he’s a Marxist and an Anarchist, so I’m sure he’s immune to alt-right ideas.
Though why the heck he didn’t just call his blog Paganarchy or Paganarchist has always confused the crap out of me.
So, with all that upon the table, I’d like to talk about the matter of the New Right and the criticisms levied against myself on account of something I wrote.
Actually, the criticisms were leveled against the site “Gods & Radicals” because they didn’t list you as the author and instead presented it as a site wide statement and their unified view on the Matter. But as I mentioned, Rhyd now comes forwards to take the blame (and the target) so that G&R can have “deniability” should things fail to work out the way they want. I’ve also seen criticism about how badly presented what the “alt-right” even was (I had to make an entire post explaining it before I could discuss it, that should tell you how badly information was presented).
But go ahead, Rhyd, raise yourself above the other Marxists of G&R and take the privileged position of spokesperson and grand designer. I’m sure that will never come back to bite you.
Confronting The New Right
The piece in question was posted on the 24th of March as a resource supplement to a long-read article by Shane Burley on Augustus Sol Invictus. Invictus is a libertarian candidate, a self-identified Thelemic Pagan, and also a Fascist. More information about his political and religious views can be found in that article, as well as others written by Shane Burley.
You cannot be a Libertarian and a Fascist at the same time. I’m sorry, but they are direct polar opposites. I’m sorry, but no. Libertarians are a lot like anarchists, except that they accept the necessity of a minimal form of government (unlike anarchists who insist on no government). Fascists are a lot like Communists, they have to have complete governmental control over society. Saying that some one is a Libertarian Fascist is like saying a all pork hotdog is kosher.
So what we have here is Rhyd writing a post, to justify writing another post, to explain a third post, which was all about how a Libertarian Pagan candidate is in fact a Fascist.
Okay, so a guy by the name of Augustus Sol Invictus (and I thought my name was overly long and complicated) has decided to run for public office. Normally, I thought this was supposed to be a good thing (getting Pagan representation in government) but I guess he’s the “wrong kind of Pagan.” And also, apparently of a kind of political ideology that cannot exist.
The information page, called Confronting The New Right, was crafted by me in order to provide more information about the New Right to readers who were unfamiliar with that ideology. I consulted with several others regarding the information therein, who helped refine the language and provided additional resources; however, I claim full responsibility for its contents. In fact, according to the bylaws of the non-profit which runs Gods&Radicals, I (as the Managing Editor) am fully responsible for all content on the site, including what’s written by others. Though the opinions, political stances, and spiritual affiliations of Gods&Radicals writers and board-members vary widely, all editorial responsibility falls upon me, not them.
If that was an information page, it was a terrible information page. I have written information pages and they do not tend to ever look like CtNR did. Rhyd did a terrible job (I have been told I supplied much more information about the New/Alt right with much less space and two youtube videos than Rhyd did in his entire post.
Also, this is apparently Rhyd right now.
“It was me! It was all ME! I alone am responsible! Please, do not punish the others for what I have done!!!!! I shall be the martyr you desire, the blood to slake your thirst! Please oh violent horde of angry Pagans, make me your sacrifice and leave my people alone!!!! Yes, we all made the great bomb, but it was I who flew the plane, take me!”
I honestly don’t know if Rhyd is going for some glorious martyrdom of his own free will, or if G&R decided to sacrifice him. But hey, if he’s going to nail himself up on the traitor’s cross, I’ll take it as a first offering. I don’t think it will change anything though, because G&R made it pretty clear initially that they as a whole were behind the post in question, regardless of who gets blamed by the “by laws.”
Also, if Rhyd has that much individual power over the site, it’s not really living up to its anarchist theme now is it…
I continue to stand by everything which is written there, though there is one sentence I would like to correct. I will discuss that in a bit.
First, though, I’d like to clarify some misunderstandings and to address a few of the criticisms regarding my piece. While the vitriol and falsehoods contained in some of the critiques make it a little difficult to dissect their arguments, I believe they fall into three categories:
“Vitriol and Falsehoods.”
Okay, I am not going to claim at all that I have read every single post that has been in respond to “CtNR”. But I have read a lot of them. And while there is certainly Vitriol (Rhyd implied a hell of a lot of pagans and their religions were proto-fascists or crypto-fascists), I cannot, for the life of me, out of any of the dozens I have read, spotted a single falsehood in any of them.
So please, oh great king, will you link me some damn evidence to these “falsehoods” so we may discover the truth of the matter.
Guilt by Association: the analysis I provided directly equates Pagan and Polytheist beliefs with the New Right
Yeah, you did Rhyd. This is a fair critique of your post.
Leftist Infiltration: that I am part of a leftist infiltration of Polytheist belief, and not a Polytheist myself.
More like “Leftist Establishment” seeking to purge polytheistic believe, but okay. Also, when you state that the Gods are not the ultimate authority, but instead should be questioned and even disregarded if they speak in “alt-right” ideas…yeah, I’d say it’s pretty fair to question how much of a polytheist you are.
“Red Scare” or “Witch Hunt”: by discussing intersections between New Right ideology and some Pagan beliefs, I am attempting to demand ideological or political purity.
There was no “attempting” about it. The language was pretty clear that’s what was supposed to be done, Rhyd.
But we’ll go over this in Part 2