Right, just jumping in as Smith decides to talk “structures.”
The second, which is covered somewhat by Gods & Radicals and sadly has escaped deeper discussion, is the question of structural factors. The presence or lack of specific cultural factors in enabling New Right takeovers of groups do not operate in a vacuum. Even if there are elements in a specific community, organization, or group New Rightists could use as cover and justification for their rhetoric these alone are not sufficient to enable total conquest….
…There are two main structural environments where this is possible. The first are highly authoritarian, hierarchical settings with little to no real accountability for those in positions of power. The other major structural avenue for fascist co-optation is when a sufficient critical mass of otherwise liberal, tolerant individuals and groups feel cooperating with the New Right is the most effective means of securing their own positions, influence, and respectability.
Okay, as far as the first group goes, they’re actually going to do a pretty good job of avoiding being co-opted, assuming their authoritarian leaders actually keep to the religion rather than getting corrupted by the “new right.”
As for the second group, pretty sure he’s talking about me and everyone else who protested Rhyd’s piece and who have come out and said “given the way you guys act and your goals, maybe the alt-right isn’t the worst option.” So you know, talking about cooperating with the New right to secrue our own positoins (being free to practice without Marxist oversight or intrusion), influence (retaining our autonomy in the face of marxist totalitarianism), and respectability (because we don’t want to be the Marsist’s bitches).
That’s right people, saying you’re not guilty of being alt-right is just further proof that you’re guilty being alt-right!!!!!!!
But basically, Smith is arguing that the two most “At risk” structures are hierarchical leaderships and baseline democracies. So…anything that’s not anarchist and maxists in nature. Huh.
I’m going to skip over his “hierarchical” paragraph because it’s a lot of waffling (x doesn’t necessarily mean corruption, but) type stuff. Instead, I’m going to focus on his “corruption of a liberal populace” one.
The other major structural problem, namely the presence of otherwise tolerant individuals who feel their interests are better served through cooperating with or refraining from challenging the New Right, is a far more complex situation…
It’s only complex if your mind is so addled you can’t grasp the concept of “the enemy of the guy coming to enslave me and destroy my people’s ways is a better option for me to join with right this second.”
…For those who are swift to claim even raising this problem is a veiled attempt at inciting a witch hunt history offers two powerful rebuttals with the actual facts of Mussolini and Hitler’s rise to power. Mussolini was swept into power not due to his infamous March on Rome but thanks to deals he struck with powerful conservative politicians and the last minute refusal by the King of Italy to use force against the already faltering and vulnerable Blackshirts. …
Notice Smith completely fails to give any context as to why the “conservative leaders” and king were willing to make deals and not strike down these blackshirts. No, the entire point of this bit seems to be “Mussolini played politics and won, and that means politics is bad, making deals is bad, and you should kill fascists regardless simply because they are fascists.”
…Hitler, for his part, became Chancellor thanks to the internal rivalries between conservative German politicians. Prior to von Papen’s “backstairs conspiracy” that put Hitler in the Chancellor’s office the Nazi Party’s finances were crumbling and they were losing critical public support.
Yo, guys, Hitler played politics! Politics is Fascist!
Look, I know a lot more about Germany pre-WWII than I do Italy, but I’m guessing what is true with one is true with the other and Smith here is seriously oversimplifying things.
The recent history of Heathenry, in spite of great strides being made in effective resistance to the New Right, gives a more direct and potent example…
“Great strides.” I really could make a Two and a Half Men joke here, but even I have standards when it comes to humor. These “great strides” as best I can think of consist of labeling every heathen group not HUAR as racist, and managing to get themselves ingratiated with the SJW and Marxist factions in Paganism, and get their point of view about Heathenism as the “mainstream” one.
While having virtually no members, being universally reviled in the actual Heathen community, and a joke to people like me on the borderlands. Truly, a victory worthy of Comrade Stalin himself.
…Nearly all of the active opposition to neofascist impulses within Heathenry in the United States and Canada has come from grassroots organizations, local kindreds, and communities who are refusing to allow the New Right to advance unopposed…
I have not heard of any of this. And I check a bunch of blogs, I check the Heathenism tag on wordpress, I even keep touch with Upsal’s Garden. I’m getting the impresson that Smith is either completely delusional, or thinks the tumbleweed that rolled pass his last protest counted as “grassroots.”
…The one institution many would expect to be leading this fight, the Troth, has not only refused to do so but has seen their Steer openly denounce such efforts earlier this year. Their governing board has taken no action regarding this statement and even more distressingly there is nothing in the Troth bylaws prohibiting Troth members from also being members of racist, fascist groups such as the AFA, the Soldiers of Odin, or the Hammerskins…
“My gods people, it’s 2016, how have you not dictated who and what your members can believe with a totalitarian iron fist! It’s Current Year!”
So, the AFA is a fascist group now. Because…reasons. I mean, not “alt-right” or “right leaning” just full on Fascist. I’ve already talked about the Soldiers of Odin who…appear to be just a group of people who got together to patrol their cities in the face of a massive crime wave (remember kids, resisting rape is an act of fascism). And I don’t know much about these Hammerskins beyond a quick Google Search, but they claim to be basically anarchist skinheads…and anarchism is both something Rhyd and co claim to be embracing as well as being the complete opposite of fascism.
But Hey, the Troth is evil now guys because it won’t remove the freedoms of its members to assemble and believe what they want. That means they’re basically fascists! The Troth is no different than the AFA guys!!!
Which really makes me have to agree with Abell, said Steer of the Troth, who likened talking to Smith as an experience much like this:
Which, after reading through this piece, I completely agree with. Smith isn’t so much talking as his mouth is open and random sounds come out. If you take it apart, it doesn’t really mean anything to a reasonable, rational, open minded person. But to his “like kind” it is an attack signal, a vocalization no different that that of a pod person, calling for others to swarm and devour.
Because yes, reasonably, Abell should be one of those leading the fight against the “alt-right” and “fascist ideals” but instead what did he do? He stood against Smith. He pointed to Smith as the totalitarian, the deceiver, the corrupter. Which, apparently, is a clue that flies right over Smith’s head. But to someone like me, it is just one more link in a chain of evidence showing who it is that is using these “Evil tactics” to “influence paganism.”
…Now I want to be clear I am not claiming the Troth itself, its leadership, or its members are in any way racist or fascist. I am only pointing out their leadership isn’t doing terribly much to oppose such influences and seem to be more comfortable working with the devil they know than they’ll publicly admit.
It’s a legal term that means “enemy of all mankind.” It originally referred to things like Pirates, something that at the time was considered so vile, so destructive, that their complete destruction was warranted even if they had not attacked you. Similar to the original concept of an outlaw, which was a person who wasn’t just a criminal, but was someone from whom all legal protections had been stripped and who anyone could attack, rape, and kill with complete legal impunity.
This is what Rhyd, Smith, and friends have decided Fascists are. Fascism is not a differeing political view point. It not a thing like them, totalitarian in nature but essentually “Seeking the good for their group.” No, Fascism is the enemy of all mankind, and it must be destroyed utterly and completely even if a “fascist” is minding their own business and not even doing anything. Anyone who aids a fascist is abetting an enemy of all mankind and thus as bad as said enemy. Anyone who doesn’t stand up and fight the fascist at every turn is just as bad as the person abetting the Fascist. Only via the complete destruction of this enemy of all mankind can one save the world and prove themselves not a Fascist.
Smith doesn’t have to say that the Troth and it’s leadership are “Fascists or Racists” because to Smith, the simple fact that they are not actively helping him to destroy the enemy of all mankind makes it implicitly clear. He doesn’t have to say it because it is so obvious that it needn’t even be said. The fact that Abell and probably other members of the Troth’s leadership are still on speaking terms with McNallen is all the proof Smith will ever need to know they are Fascists as well. But he’s smart enough to just give his attack cry in the language of his peoples, but not to outright say it where it could easily refuted by those who base their lives on Facts.
The best solutions to these structural problems are quite simple. Communities founded on accountability, transparent and participatory decision making processes, and who take strong, unapologetic stands for inclusivity, hospitality, and diversity are communities where the New Right has little influence or means for gaining ground…
Well, I’m going to go with 99% of pagan groups actually have communities founded on the first, second, and third principles. As for an “unapologetic stance for includivity, hospitality, and diversity” well…
We saw how well that worked for the Folkish and the Dianics. Paths that cannot exist under the Marxist definition of those terms. Paths that, in order to keep true to their faith, must have the right to be exclusive, defensive, and even mono-cultural.” This doesn’t make the “fascists” or “alt-right.” It just makes them…them. And not marxist.
…Again Reclaiming and Feri are both living proof this approach works as are the elements of modern Heathenry who are actively taking a stand against the New Right and for inclusive, hospitable practice. All of this can be done without surrendering the Gods, sacred mysteries, mysticism, or any of the other core tenets of modern Pagan and polytheistic practice.
Reclaiming, a religion whose spokewoman felt that Transgender people should be kicked out of the GLBT community (for some legit reasons).
Fari, a path blatant in its cultural appropriation (and whatever that other issue of their was, really wish I could find it. I have the feeling it would be important here…)
And…some unnamed elements of “modern Heathenry” which does not include any of the major organizations and may in fact include the three or so people who make up HUAR.
Much success. Great example. Living proof you say.
In conclusion only by having robust discussion and dialog, confronting our assumptions, and being willing to challenge them in a constructive, open fashion can we build a community that is effectively immune to the New Right’s work…
well, it’s going to make a lot of us immune to someone’s work.
Not sure “new right” is the group that’s going to happen to though.
…Before us is the question of whether Paganism and polytheism will be hollowed out by an odious ideology where the Gods and all that is holy are reduced to mere trappings for justifying power over others at all costs or if we will flourish and grow on our own merits leaving such beliefs, ideas, and people behind….
Honestly, I couldn’t have put it better myself.
…Around the world a hydra* of New Right groups are seeking to impose their ideologies on their communities and society at large by any means necessary. If we, as a movement, are to effectively resist these attempts we must understand them, be prepared to meet them, and repel them decisively wherever they rear their heads.
All around the world, people are rising up to seek their own liberty, self determination, and self defense against groups who have for years sought to subjugate them and exterminate their ways and culture. And now, these people are rising up like a Hydra to defend themselves and we need to crush this hydra!
Well, Honestly, I don’t think I could have been handed a better memetic and trolling end for this post if I’d asked for it. So really, there’s only one way to end this.
And Hail Hydra everyone.
*Wait, does Smith think he’s actually fighting Hydra?