So I did five posts (Gods Help Me!) breaking down Rhyd’s defense of his “Confronting the New Right” post. Now, in this defense “The Uncomfortable Mirror” Rhyd said something that got on a lot of people’s bad side. I commented on it, mostly to make mockery (as it rightly deserves), but today I’m going to actually look at it. I’m calling this a TL:DR (too long, didn’t read) because it’s going to reference stuff I’ve talked about in the last several posts, but much briefer. So if you skipped them, you can get the shorter version here.
I’m going to break down the relevant paragraph as we go along.
Paganism in general—and apparently Devotional and Reconstructionist Polytheism in particular—have been long overdue for a reckoning…
Of those I’ve seen responding to this, I can put into largely two camps.
The first: “How dare he say this about us!”
The second: “The Fuck is he talking about.”
Generally though, both elements are to be found in most of the responses I’ve read. I am now going to attempt to explain this position by Rhyd (and G&R).
It was made very clear that G&R (via Rhyd) are diametrically opposed to the ideas of the Alt-Right. Particularly, because they are anarchic marxists, they are directly opposed to the ideas within the Alt-Right of heirarchies, and other systems which “privilege” certain individuals or groups above others. Marxism is egalitarian in that it believes everyone should be socially, economically, and politically equal, with no person rising up above others. Ultimately, this tends to mean no person will be allowed to rise above others, and if they do (for any reason) this privileged position is to be taken away from them.
…How do we differentiate our own practices and beliefs from someone whose identical practises and beliefs actually lead them to advocate for racial purity or separtism, the primacy of European gods, eugenics to prevent the birth of disabled people, and even human sacrifice?…
Paganism, nearly all forms of ancient and even modern Pagainism, exist with internal hierarchies. We have newbies, we have elders, we have worshipers, we have priests, and we have gods, and we all arraign them in certain ways depending on each individual Pagan religion.
In nearly all polytheistic, reconstructionist, and traditionalist Pagan religions, the Gods are at the top of the proverbial food chain. Then there are the Priests (who may have internal hierarchies of their own), group leaders or Elders (who may or may not be priests depending on religion, and may or may not have greater social/religious positions than the priests), and then the populace of the faithful under them. People who are faithful, but live ordinary lives and leave the running of religious workings to those with the time and knowledge to do them while the average joe puts food on his table.
To a Marxist, this system is the opposite of “egalitarian.” To the Marxist, these hierarchies are inherently oppressive to those nearer the “bottom” and privileges those nearer the “top.” Regardless of reason, function, tradition, or natural evolution that created these hierarchies, they are inherently oppressive and should be done away with to promote “equality” for everyone (namely, equality of social, economic, and political outcomes).
Meaning that any tradition, any Gods, no matter how sacred or precious to its people, if it creates a heirarchy, it is evil and to be removed at all costs.
To a Marxist, there is should be no difference between the average joe and the God in terms of social, political, economic, or religious power. Anyone off the street should have the same weight in commmunal judgements as that of a God. Education, understanding, wisdom, life experience, etc, these things are unimportant and should not be taken into account. That a God knows more than a Mortal, can see things Mortals cannot, is no excuse to put the voice of a God above the voice of a Mortal.
Or in lay-man’s terms. When trying to run a nuclear plant, the voice of Jimmy the bagger at your local market should be given the same weight and importance as Michael the Nuclear Engineer. And failure to do so, for any reason, is an immoral act of inequality which creates a hierarchy that oppresses people like Jimmy.
In giving an important to the words of our elders, our priests, and most importantly our Gods, we Pagans fundamentally violate the morality of Marxism. We engage in an act of immorality, of evil, by refusing to not just give up these “unjust hierarchies,” but engage in the even worse act of supporting and defending them.
Thus our “reckoning” has come. A time where in we must face judgement and punishment for our immoral actions: Keeping our religions.
And to justify this “reckoning” Rhyd is using very powerful “buzzwords.” “Separatism,” “Primacy of White Gods,” “Eugenics,” “Human sacrifice.” He uses these words to paint the maintenance of these hierarchies, the traditions, as in inherently evil.
But these words are starting to have no power behind them.
…What is really the difference between the Fascism of Augustus Sol Invictus, or New Right ideology of Stephen McNallen and Alain de Benoist, and the rest of polytheist belief?
This last part tells us more about the mind of Rhyd and G&R than it really slanders Polytheists or Pagans.
To him, there is no difference between the Fascist who ethnically cleanses (Not saying Invictus is a fascist, we’ll try and get to that later), the guy who just wants his people left alone in piece, and the guy who doesn’t give a shit about any of it.
I’m trying to think of a good example here, and the best i can come up with is basically “What difference is there between the KKK, the Republicans, and the Independents, when they all believe in the 1st amendment!”
The sad thing is that when you get right down to it, under this perspective there is no difference between a Fascist, an Isolationist, and a Libertarian. Because all three desire autonomy for either themselves, or even for everyone, to live and practice their desired way of non-Marxist life, they reinforce the non-marxist hierarchies which “oppress” people.
Which a very Us vs Them situation. You’re either with Us (Rhyd, G&R, Marxists) or you’re part of those evil, fascists (Them). And just as deserving of whatever happens to you in the name of creating “Equality.” To Rhyd and G&R, we polytheists, even apolitical ones, not only are no different from “fascists” like the Alt-Right, we’re tanamount to being allies with them already simply because we refuse to automatically adopt the Marxist perspective of Rhyd and G&R.
A lot of Rhyd’s language in his defense left me with the feeling of “only those who are in fact well on their way to being fascists would dare be offended that I implied they were fascists.”
Rhyd and G&R desires to bring a reckoning upon Polytheism and Paganism, because we Pagans and Polytheists uphold ancient traditions (and their hierarchies) given to us by the Gods as sacred. We live in “sin” and promote “evil” which harms a “socially just and equal society.”