To: Rhyd Wildermuth, and the crew of Gods & Radicals.
Much has been said over the last several weeks by both sides. Some of it has been clear, some of it has not. Some of it has been inflammatory, some of it spoken from places of vindictiveness and vindication. It has been spoken with words, with memes, with ideals, and with violence. On all sides.
I’m not writing this today to try and refute your position, your beliefs, or your augment. I have done that already, as have many others. I am not writing this today to try and have you defend your position, your beliefs, or your arguments. You have done that already as well.
Instead, I come to you today with a question:
How to you determine you have the right to enforce your position on others?
I do not mean this in a pedantic way. I do not mean this in an angry “What give you the right to do this?” way. I mean it as an honest and sincere question.
I do not care that you are a Marxists. I do not care that you are Anarchists. I don’t care that you’re feminists. I really don’t care what “ist” you are or what “isms” you believe in. I myself have a number of “ists” and “isms” that I follow myself. Where as many people would say that “ists” and “isms” a problem I do not.
It is all well and good to be an anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist, a Marxist, anarchist, or whatever you please to be at the of the day. By and large, I do not even care that these things influence your Paganism at the end of the day. I do not care, by an large, what any of the things you believe hold to be true or needed.
As long as they are for you.
This may be hard to believe, given the things I have said, and the memes I have memed. Truth be told, I held no punches back. Your arguments I did my best to cast down, your martyrdom I did mock, and your positions I refuted with my own. But I did not do this with any inherent malice towards you, or even towards your position’s existence. I did this, because you and your companions have made it clear that the “isms” you believe are not just for you, but must be spread to everyone else.
You spoke of “tearing down” hierarchies, traditions, and structures. You say that because a group of people (the alt-right) hold these things to be important, and you hold them to be inherently immoral, that they must ultimately done away with.
Ultimately, You have argued for the destruction of people’s cultures because you find them offensive.
Why you find them offensive doesn’t really matter.
Now as I said earlier, I don’t care what political or religious holdings you have or how they influence each other. If you wish to be a Marxist and live a Marxist life, by all means do so. But there are ways to do that personally either here in the USA (where I take it most of us live) or by immigrating to a nation where Marxism is already practiced. If you wish to be an anti-capitalist, there are ways to do that here or ways to go abroad to where those things already exist.
But instead, through your words and your actions, you show that it is not good enough to live your beliefs by yourself. It is not even enough to create a space of your own for like minded people to come together and practice your anarchism, your marxism, etc. Instead, in a series of posts, you have attempted to push beyond yourself, and your group, into other groups and insist that they also follow your ideals.
So again, I ask my question, by what right do you seek to make this Rule.
You mock and disparage the Alt-Right and some Pagan traditions for beliefs in such things as “Divine Right to Rule” or even “Rule of the Fittest” (also known as meritocracy). But at least they have some guiding principle which may be examined for why an individual or group may make such rulings for themselves, and then on occasion enforce their rule upon others.
But you have rejected these “alt-right” ideals. You cannot then claim that the Gods have set you upon this path to bring reckoning unto Paganism for it’s “social ills.” You cannot then claim that you are the “best man for the job.” In denying “sacred kingship” you also truthfully deny “moral kingship.” You have dismissed these ideals and their validity.
If you say you have the right to rule because of your beliefs, your “isms,” because of what those things stand for and what they seek to accomplish, then your “right to rule” is neither more just or unjust than any other opposing side seeking the same thing. In which case “how are you empowered to rule them, but they are not empowered to rule you?”
But that being said, the only guess I can make is that you do feel you have the right to enforce your beliefs on others based on some moral imperative to “create and sustain egalitarianism.” To treat all people equally. Certainly, this is a moral reason to fight, and many would consider it noble.
Were you not advocating destruction of the things of one group in order to create things for another group on top of the ashes.
For that is colonialism, which you say you are against.
I would like to believe we are all intelligent peopel. Though we have reached philosophically different conclusions, I have respected your intelligence in the past. Though misguided, I do not take you for fools. So then why do you insist on using the tools of evil in order to accomplish good? Equality of peoples cannot be obtained by force of ideologies or arms when used against another people. To conquer a people is not to liberate them, nor to make them your equal.
Yet this is what you propose. In order for an “egalitarian society” Paganism must “ask uncomfortable questions” about the sacred ideals of many paths. Meritocracy, obeying the Divine, self-determination, preservation of peoples and cultures, and so forth, with the idea that if these things mirror some political ideal of the “alt-right” they should be rejected as “fascist” and promoting “inequality.”
You cannot bespeak to equality for all, and then insist on cultural destruction for some. Not and retain any moral standing. Sure, you can justify it because certain systems create an inequality, that some might rise above others, but ultimately you are insisting on unequal treatment of peoples in order to create “equality.” You say you are not a fascist, and I will believe you. But you have spoken words of totalitarianism, and practice belief systems like Marxism which to judge by historic example can only be enforced through totalitarian means upon a populace.
So I am honestly confused. By what right do you have to insist that certain ideas and practices, which can and are sacred to many peoples and define entire religious structures in Paganism, be forcibly removed either by their participants or by pagans at large?
If you have the right to be a Marxist Pagan, why then should other Pagans not be allowed the rights to be Alt-Right Pagans, or Cultural Libertarian Pagans, or any other kind of Pagan they wish to be? One of the foundation ideals Paganism grew from was the fundamental idea that no one had the right to dictate the beliefs of another. Yet you seek to shatter this foundation.
How do you justify this, based on your own beliefs?
If you are anarchists (and if I understand anarchism correctly) you are inherently against a person or persons enforcing their rule onto other peoples. Which means you cannot then enforce your rule onto others without violating this belief.
If you are Marxists who believe in an egalitarian society, how can you justify raising you and yours into a place of unequal privilege needed to enforce your beliefs onto others and determine which beliefs are and are not acceptable?
If you are anti-colonialists, why then do you seek to colonize other Pagan traditions and reform them to your own ways, rather than letting them live as they please under their own rule by their own determination, traditions, and culture?
How? Why? And by what Right?
Lucius Svartwulf Helsen
Son of Helheim and Olympus.