There comes a time in one’s life when the Gods look down upon a mortal and say “I’m going to give you exactly what you need.” Typically, this hasn’t always been a pleasant experience, but sometimes a real golden egg appears. As we have people claiming that G&R is the “greatest theology project” in Paganism right now, well I wanna look at some of this project. And like Loki, I do what I want.
And what should I find, oh Gods of Olympus and Asgard, oh great queen of Helheim, but this most golden and juicy of totalitarian positioning. Now, I don’t think I’m going to have to go over all of it, but I do recommend you read all of the post I’m talking about. Needless to say though, it can really be summed up in this image:
You don’t say?
I’ve waded through some of the back-and-forth – are Pagans inexcusably blasé towards the extreme right?…
According to Rhyd and other G&R people. Yes. Yes we were.
…Does anti-fascist zeal suppress free speech?…
According to me, a lot of other people, and a shit ton of videos by cultural libertarians on Youtube…
…Is truly apolitical religion impossible, or does putting the Gods first imply leaving social concerns second?…
False correlation. If you have an apolitical religion, then social concerns (i.e. politics) are not a part of it. If social concerns are a primary part of your religion, then it is not apolitical. An apolitical religion cannot exist having a primacy of social concerns as part of its focus.
I’m skipping the next bit because it’s mostly the writer’s personal experience dealing with political Christians (who put a primacy on social concerns as part of their religion, guess lessons not learned), but safe to say it influences the writer when it comes to how they view counter political movements in religion and “fascism.”
Much of the outrage at the New Right essay has referred to McCarthyism, the Satanic Panic, and notions of censorship and “enforced ideological conformity” in general. If the Pagan left is really against fascism, the critics claim, then why do they want witch hunts and political purges?
Legit question. I mean, I’ve pointed out that one can be a totalitarian and still hate fascism. But most people equate Fascism and Totalitarianism as the same thing and tend not to realize that one is an ideology and one is a system.
I’ve yet to hear a good response to this question though, even after the massive dig through of what Rhyd wrote. I’m hoping future articles give an answer. Fair warning…this one doesn’t.
The article in question actually calls for none of those things. However, that line of thought still falls back on a central moral claim of classical liberalism, the Enlightenment political current associated with the West’s electoral-capitalist governing structures. As expressed by the English philosopher John Stuart Mill, classical liberals asserted:
“[T]here ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it may be considered.“
True, it never called for it. But it heavily implied it should be done. The joy of soft words is you can say what you want, without saying what you want.
But why do I get the sinking suspicion or writer is about to argue against Classical Liberalism and tolerance for different opinions?
Mill and his 19th-century fellows mainly concerned themselves with state restrictions on religious meetings and political publications. Nonetheless, the broad acceptance of that ethic has led to its application well beyond public policy. Pagan anti-fascists say that racism has no place in our religions, but we all know that no one is about to get arrested for saying “Thor dislikes immigrants.” Censorship, properly defined, isn’t at stake. Rather, the classical liberal “live and let live” attitude has been expanded to suggest that Pagan organizations, events, and communities have no more right to treat certain ideas as unacceptable than the government itself does.
Interesting that they chose Thor in the example.
Also, here we get the first inklings of what our author is going to drive at. I’ve emphasized the relevant part. Now, I’ve actually read all the way through the article and maybe that’s biasing me here.
But doesn’t it feel like there’s a subtle edge of “the idea that pagan organizations should be politically tolerant in the same way our liberal government has to be is a bad idea?”
Holding this classical liberal attitude implies little about anyone’s actual political program. Generally speaking, it represents the “common sense” consensus across most belief systems in electoral-capitalist countries. Left, right, or center, virtually everybody in these societies shares the classical liberal sensibility that people should be able to form and express their own particular opinions about things, and no one has any business stopping them. But what does this outlook have to do with the fascist presence in Paganism?
“What does tolerating ideals I find absolutely intolerable have to do with being part of a tolerant society?”
The goals of fascists and reactionaries of any sort (whether New Rightists or old-fashioned blackshirts) aren’t liberal in any sense. However, the Pagan far right knows that the classical liberal ethic can be manipulated for their benefit. When reactionaries invoke coexistence, the toleration of disagreement, and setting aside political differences in religious settings, don’t accept it on face value. The far right’s raison d’être is the disempowerment of social minorities. They might pursue this through racist theology in one place and street violence (or electoral politics) in another, but they never genuinely accept inclusivity or tolerance.
Le’ts try something here.
“The goals of marxists and radicals of any sort (whether Progressives or old-fashioned Communists) aren’t liberal in any sense. However, the Pagan far left knows that the classical liberal ethic can be manipulated for their benefit. When SJW’s invoke coexistence, the toleration of disagreement, and setting aside political differences in religious settings, don’t accept it on face value. The far left’s raison d’être is the disempowerment of social systems (economics, government, legal, etc). They might pursue this through “diverse” theology in one place and street violence (or electoral politics) in another, but they never genuinely accept individual liberty or tolerance.”
Huh. Wow, historically and currently accurate. That feeling when “your enemies” are really no different from you. No wonder Marxists are angry all the time.
However, some currents – for instance, New Right-aligned Pagans – have wised up to the fact that few people who aren’t already reactionaries will accept those goals if they’re plainly stated. So, they get clever. Pagan far rightists know that most other Pagans would never agree with a policy of “whites only, no queers.” They also know that the Pagan left will never stop calling their ideas what they are: racist and misogynistic.
Actually, one of the most popular figures in the Alt-Right is Milo Yiannopoulos, and though not alt-right himself, he is the most fabulous, black d*ck taking, crazies mother f*cking gay man you will ever come across. He even titled his speaking tour “The Dangerous Faggot Tour,” and his fans (myself included) have been known to call ourselves (straight, bi, pan, or omini-sexual) Faggots.
Kinda ruins the whole “whites only, no queers” slander you’re going for. But hey, nice effort going for the low hanging fruit.
As for Pagan alt-right, since McNallen and his AFA tend to be the go to targets…I can’t recall in all my years of being a heathen anywhere where the AFA said “no gays.” Honestly, I can’t think of any time when they actually said they cared about the issue. I could be wrong, but I can’t recall it. The only time I heard a “no-queers” thing was maybe the Dianics, but they had no problem with “queer” women, just non-cis women.
But hey, never let truth get in the way of ideology and insults, G&R
So, clever reactionaries triangulate. They suggest that they only want to coexist with non-fascist Pagans, but that those nasty left-wingers are trying to kick people out just for disagreeing. They invoke the classical liberal conscience of the majority and frame their practices as basically harmless, only a threat to people who can’t handle freedom of speech.
“So, clever Marxists triangulate. They suggest that they only want to coexist with non-Marxist Pagans, but that those nasty right-wingers are trying to convert people to racism. They invoke the classical liberal conscience of the majority and frame their practices as basically harmless, only a threat to people who can’t handle freedom of speech and egalitarian ideals.”
You know, I could literally do just this for the entire article? It’s uncanny.
Of course, their practices are not harmless. Reactionaries aim to suppress social minorities however they can. While, through calculated appeals to “free expression,” they use liberal largesse as cover and try to discredit their critics, they keep quietly carrying out their goals all the while. Let’s glance at a few examples:
“Of course, their practices are not harmless. Marxists aim to suppress social systems however they can. While, through calculated appeals to “free expression,” they use liberal largesse as cover and try to discredit their critics, they keep quietly carrying out their goals all the while. “
See! What did I tell you! 😄
I swear, it’s like the author is writing G&R’s playbook down on paper for us.
Folkish Heathens don’t simply advocate for the exclusion of people of color – they practice it. There is nothing abstract about the way that Folkish Heathen groups turn away non-white seekers and tell Heathens of color that they should not practice their chosen religion. While they materially enact a program of racist exclusion, though, their mainline coreligionists shield them by behaving as if the issue at hand is merely one of belief and disagreement. So, for the sake of “tolerance,” racist discrimination continues – and meanwhile, Folkish Heathenry spills over into secular political racism.
I’m almost afraid to ask what our author thinks Heathenism should do. Now, Jon Upsal’s Garden has had a series of posts talking about how Heathenry in America is, and was, originally folkish. Now, apparently Folkish Heathenism is no different from Nazism to our author. And apparently Heathens don’t do enough to get rid of it.
What does the author suggest Heathens do, kill off the folkish? Literally? Like with swords and guns? Heathen groups split up. Hel, they’ve split up because of the Folkism issue. But no amount of splitting up is going to prevent the other guys from (rightfully) insisting they are Heathens who believe in Folksih Heathenism. As long as they live, they will be folkish and nothing will change that.
Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) don’t limit themselves to rhetorical attacks on trans women. For decades, TERF factions of Dianic Witchcraft have actively turned away trans seekers and told trans women that we have no place in feminism, women’s spaces, or feminist-oriented Paganism. When they hide behind classical liberal notions of “reasonable people disagreeing reasonably,” they obscure the reality of discrimination behind their words. And, of course, this also contributes to larger public policy; Goddess Movement TERFs align with secular TERFs and even, sometimes, with right-wing Christians to oppose trans rights. “Civility” is a red herring meant to obscure their actions’ destructive consequences.
So yeah, being exclusionary is bad. Of course I could just link any “This Week In Stupid” by Sargon of Akkad, or most of his shows, TL:DR’s shows, or the shows of a good couple dozen other YouTube people and shower you with videos of Marxists being completely sexist, racist, and exclusionary. But hey, remember, those things are evil.
As previously discussed on this site, the leadership of the Left Hand Path Consortium, in the name of “opposing censorship” and permitting “controversial” ideas to be expressed, invited a neo-fascist politician to speak at its conference. His graphic threats of violence eventually led them to withdraw the invitation for legal reasons, but they have already publicly equated “free expression” with their collaborating with someone who himself works with the swastika-sporting, sieg-heiling National Socialist Movement.
“Remember children, believing a person has the right to speak their mind, and allowing them to speak their mind, means you believe everything they say. Because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t let them speak such offensive things.”
Btw, that “neo-Fascist” was Libertarian senate candidate Augustus Sol Invictus. I’ve listened to a few of his things now. He’s pretty anti-authoritarian and does speak of revolution against the state. Much the same way our Marxist friends at G&R have actually done with their anarchism. He’s also mentioned in some of his stuff how he’s basically been silenced because of threats made against him and venues hosting him by Marxists and Anti-Fasicsts. So these “violent threats” that made the LHCP cancel his talk…not sure if they were truly “his threats.”
Make of that what you will.
But remember, the LHCP is now a racist, fascist organization, because they were going to let a Pagan Politician speak.
Each time, we see reactionaries invoking classical liberal ideas to deflect criticism, and successfully winning over large groups of non-fascist Pagans. While lauding tolerance and freedom as a defensive strategy, the reactionaries are already implementing an agenda of exclusion, discrimination, and targeted disempowerment. Further, in each case, these far rightists are translating their bases of social support within parts of Paganism into larger, secular political projects aimed at imposing their beliefs on everybody.
If the “Alt-right” is wining over Pagans, it has nothing to do with their “abuses” of classical liberalism. I think it has everything to do with the abuses Marxists have done via classical liberalism and we’re damn tired of it.
And don’t go acting like you G&R folks aren’t wanting to disempower shit. Heck, so much of your website is completely about the disempowerment of shit. And it’s a disempowerment you want to impose on everyone!
Bellona’s armpits, it’s that stupid law again. “The thing you hate most in others is the thing you are most guilty of yourself.”
Most of the people objecting to the New Right essay, like most Pagans generally, believe in free speech as a matter of principle. Intuitively comparing strident anti-fascism to censorship would seem to follow from that value. Fascists, however, don’t believe in free speech. They don’t believe in free and open participation, and their invocation of classical liberal values is purely opportunistic.
Whenever fascists are tolerated, they enact discrimination. When the rest of us put up with them, we become complicit. Who actually threatens free speech and diversity of opinion: the people who actively drive minority groups away, or the people who point out how wrong that is?
Freedom of Speech only requires the existence of individual people (regardless of who or what those people are) and their ability to speak their minds freely.
Freedom of speech doesn’t disappear simply because there are no Pagans in the room. Or Gays. Or Blacks, or Whites, Cis, or Men. Heck, you can have one person in a room and have complete freedom of speech. Now, what you might not have is a whole host of differing view points, but Europeans recognized the validity of free speech, pushed for it’s practice, and utilized it without any “minority” peoples being around for it.
Does this mean that “minority” voices should be silenced? No. Does it mean that discrimination is right? No. But allowing someone who believes differently, who believes those things, to speak isn’t going to end free speech. Not allowing them to speak…is actually silencing and ending free speech.
Pagan reactionaries may reject classical liberal values, but they’re canny enough to manipulate them. However, they know they can’t do the same with radicals who commit themselves to explicit anti-fascism. They know that for reactionary Paganism to flourish, the Pagan left needs to be pushed out.
“Pagan Marxists may reject classical liberal values, but they’re canny enough to manipulate them. However, they know they can’t do the same with Liberarians who commit themselves to explicit anti-totalitarianism. They know that for reactionary Paganism to flourish, the Pagan non-left needs to be pushed out.”
So, they get shrewd: invoking freedom and pluralism, they mischaracterize the left as anti-liberty and (with no sense of irony) McCarthyite, then sit back. The well-intentioned liberal majority attacks the left for them. Suddenly, there’s no need to spend much time dealing with critics. Instead, they can get back to doing what they wanted all along – implementing their policies of exclusion and building support for racist and chauvinist politics. They outsource their fights to the liberal majority.
Ah, and we come to a true gem in all this “HARAM!” mess. Sargon’s video about the Alt-Right (which I posted at the start of all this) basically broke it down that the Alt-Right and Progressive Left are virtually identical in tactics and desires, the only except being that SJ wants victories against “cis-white hets” and the AR defends “cis-white hets.” Or something like that.
And here we have our Marxist author literally crying tears of black rage that the Alt-Right has managed to use the exact same tactics as the Progressive Left to achieve their ends. How must it feel, to watch your own sword turn against you and cut you down.
The Marxists created their own perfect enemy. In trying to form and mold society as they wished, they taught the children their tactics so they could carry on the fight. But the children are learning that the Marxists are not their liberators, but their enslavers. So they take the tools of their oppressors and use them against them.
And now, with the “liberal majority” having finally seen the end game of Marxists, the Liberals are all to willing to join with the Fascists against the totalitarian Marxists.
The notion that the far left is a uniquely dangerous threat retains enormous cultural resonance. After all, it’s not as if the capitalist-owned media has much inclination to portray socialists and communists as anything but spies and traitors, or anarchists as much besides domestic terrorists…
It’s not like that’s an inaccurate image though. G&R has made it very clear they hard line Marxism and anarchism, both of which are ideologies that demand the destruction of the Nation-State and it’s present economy. To replace a democratic government with either a totalitarian marxist one, or the aboslute chaos of no government at all, either way, our government as we have it now would cease to exist and you are advocating it.
That’s called being a traitor.
And given the long history of left wing terrorism (yeah, it was a thing from the 60’s into the 90’s), it is completely accurate to paint you guys as having been terrorists.
If each one of us, far left or not, said, whenever we encountered reactionary ideas, “As your coreligionist and a fellow practitioner of our tradition, these notions don’t belong here,” then crypto-fascist groups would be unable to discriminate, unable to recruit, and eventually unable to survive. They need the tacit complicity of the non-fascist majority in order to keep existing (and recruiting). Among Pagans, they’ve been getting it. Of course, the majority retains the power to reject them.
When presented with a totalitarian ideology based on exclusionary ideas, it seems much of the Pagan community has decided to rise up and say “these ideals have no place in our religion.”
The only thing is, that after looking at the ideals presented and demanded by G&R, and the “supposed” ideals of the Alt-Right (which, Ironically, I can’t seem to really find anywhere in this discussion), Classically Liberal Pagans, such as myself have sat down and said enough.
We’re just saying it to you. And you can’t stand that, can you, G&R crew. You can’t stand the idea that, despite using the exact same tactics you claim the Alt-Right is using, the same infiltration, abuse of our tolerance, and same totalitarian desire for power you claim the alt-right has.
Ultimately though I’m left with two take away from this person’s post, both of them having to do with cowardice.
The first has to do with the fact that despite writing an entire article basically trying to justify G&R and their follower’s ability to persecute people different from them, and implying that freedom of speech and tolerance of dissenting views is bad, the Author never actually comes out and says it. There’s a lot of wiggling, a lot of implying, a lot of hinting, and a lot of subtext all driving to a certain point, but never actually admitting that point. The Author (and G&R who published this thing) feel that they have the right to persecute and harass people who do not agree with them on the ground those people “support fascism” and that the right of free speech should be removed from those people.
The second goes back to something I pointed out with the Heathenism bit, but extends really to other mentioned groups as well. Folkish Heathens, in my experience, are some of the most resolute in their faith. They have to be. To withstand over four decades of constantly being ostracized, vilified, denounced as racists, kicked out of conventions, censored off websites, and slandered as a whole…you gotta have some strong convictions to face that kind of abuse.
After all that, Folkish Heathenism hasn’t gone away. In fact, it seems to be growing. And what our author insists should happen (the complete removal of folkish heathenism) isn’t going to happen by any of the means already tried. The only way it could be removed is with…lethal force. To physically purge it from “Heathenism.” And really, it’s the same for any “alt-right” or “Fascist” person out there. No amount of “reasoning” aka ostracism and name calling, is going to work anymore. And the author isn’t willing to admit what they want. Maybe they don’t realize it’s what they want yet. But that’s what they’re calling for, ultimately.