You know what I love? When I find something that makes me laugh. That perfect opportunity to potentially talk about something I’ve had rolling around in my head, and the chance to get back at someone who has defamed my character. Not because I care about my character or reputation all that much, but because like really does deserve like.
So when I’m passing by Gods & Radicals and I see an article titled: Strong Toward the Powerful: A Warrior Path for Radical Pagans, I just know I’m going to be able to have some fun here. The fact that it is written by the same man who has decided to call me a racist because I made the factually true statement that Black Live Matter is a Racist Hate group, based on the factual evidence of them going around assaulting kids in libraries, harassing people having breakfast, calling for the murder of cops, which has lead to the murder of cops, and other crimes all based on not just their race but the race of their victims, well…
Oh, and if you think he looks familiar, it’s because the author is Christopher Scott Thompson, who wrote that wonderful Praxis post I responded to with my Doxy post. And btw, that is relevant here.
Let us begin.
The Issue of Violence
In my article “Praxis,” I briefly mentioned my commitment to never initiate the use of force. Despite the plain language I used to express myself, my words were willfully misinterpreted by a critic of Gods and Radicals. Before I go any further with a discussion of pagan warriorship, I want to express my position on this topic again.
Actually, there was no willful misinterpretation going on. Thompson said “I only use violence to defend myself and others.” And I rightly pointed out that so did every other “anti-fascit” out there who goes around beating up fascists, and that the “defense of others” can excuse a lot of violence. You can go read it yourself, it’s in Doxy.
Also, I’m pretty amazed at this point that he even mentioned me (even if it is as a “critic”), you’d think after everything Rhyd and Halstead would see this happening and try and tackling Chris screaming “NOOOOOO!!!!” I have to ask what’s next for them. Starting land wars in Asia? Maybe messing with a Sicilian when death is on the line.
But please, tell us about the path of a pagan warrior who doesn’t use violence! I’m sure this will not in anyway be full of contradictions, double think, and other such cross purposes.
I have made a personal commitment to fight only in self-defense or in direct defense of another person. If someone attacks me physically, I will defend myself. If I see someone being physically assaulted in front of me, I will jump in to help the victim. As an anarchist, I pay attention only to right and wrong and I consider the law to be irrelevant…
So already we’re running into problems here. Now, as a deus of Law, I find saying that one considers the law irrelevant here to be troublesome (I almost said problematic, but then I caught myself). The first thing this tells me is that Chris has no Idea what the Law really is, why we have it, and why it should play a factor in our actions. Especially those actions and situations regarding violence.
Let’s take for example the “seeing someone being assaulted in front of me” thing. Let’s say our hypothetical Chris is walking along, and he sees a Hispanic guy being beaten up by three white guys. No doubt, hypo-Chris will rush in and try to beat up the white guys who are assaulting the Hispanic guy. He will do this because he feels it is right.
But what if, a few minutes before hypo-Chris comes along to find this three on one beating, that Hispanic guy had tried to rape a black woman, and the three white guys jumped him to prevent the rape? Suddenly, hypo-Chris, with his “righteous actions” of kicking ass…is now aiding a wannabe rapist against a potential rape victims defenders.
Ohhh, not so good or right there.
Now, it also shows me that Chris inherently is going to be driven by his feelings of “right and wrong” more than any facts of law (or even legal evidence, and maybe even objective facts). Now, I am all for a Nietzchian style “defining and enforcing your own morality,” but law is not about morality. Law is about evidence, crime, and the constraint of violence within a society.
However, nothing he says here is anything different that he said in Praxis, which I pointed out leaves him morally open to use “Defensive violence” against anyone he perceives as being a threat to someone he desires to defend. Maybe that part comes later?
…However, it happens to be the case that the circumstances under which I will fight are exactly those circumstances allowed by law – to protect myself or another from a violent assault. I also happen to believe that nonviolent mass resistance is a more effective strategy in most circumstances than the use of force, as it avoids the huge strategic error of pitting weakness against strength in a direct confrontation.
Translation: “I’m not going to use violence because I’d get my ass handed to me by more powerful foes. So non-violence is the best answer.”
Well…at least he’s honest in this regard, I guess.
That being said, that whole “it happens that I’d fight under circumstances allowed by law” isn’t…exactly true. For example under Chris’s rules he could see a bunch of cops beating a protestor, and then go jump the Cops. But that is illegal. Also, a lot of anti-fascists like to beat up “fascists” because the fascists are going to “hurt people” but until a fascist actually throws the punch, that “Defensive violence” is in no way lawful. Not saying Chris is one of them that does this, but they use much the same logic he is using at the moment.
However, I also refuse to condemn people who fight back against violent oppression, as in the heroic struggle of the Rojava Cantons against Daesh or the Zapatista uprising of 1994. Real life is complicated, and sometimes people have little choice but to fight back. This article will address radical pagan warriorship in the context of both strategic nonviolence and actual fighting, but I remain committed to nonviolent protest actions.
Now, see, you can’t say that Chris. Because Daesh is made up of Muslims and I have been repeatedly told that being against Muslims is an act of racism and Islamophobia. Because I am against Daesh/ISIS as well. And I have been told this. Repeatedly. And I really don’t think you want to be on the side of us “racists” who hate the evils of Daeshian society and our Islamophobic bigotry to their Islamic religion. And seeing as the Rojava are Kurds, and the Kurds tend to not be Muslims, you are only supporting their own Islamophobia and racism against the Muslim nation of Daesh.
Honestly, I have no idea how a racist, bigoted Islamophobe is being allowed to write for Gods & Radicals.
Our myths and legends tell fascinating though often tragic stories of great warrior heroes. Many pagans find these stories inspiring, and some look for ways to recreate a “pagan warrior path” in the modern world.
Yeah, and a lot of them are Heathens.
You know, the guys you keep calling racists, fascists, and other various names denoting their inhumanity, their threat to society, and how that justifies the use of Anti-fascist violence against them?
I swear, if this whole Marxism/anti-fascism/anti-capitalism thing ever starts coming to physical blows, I am just gonna have to sit back with some pop-corn and have me a good old time. Because I’m pretty sure you G&R folks would get your asses handed to you by real warrior fanatics. But go on Chris, tell us about warrior dreams.
Some pagans treat the concept of the warrior entirely as an archetype, and use phrases such as “peaceful warrior.” Others reject this as inauthentic, and insist that no one can claim the name of warrior without being “initiated” through violent conflict.
Or initiating. I’m not picky at this point.
Look, at this point I’m not going to say if a warrior has to be peaceful or warmongering to be a warrior. Plenty of examples go both ways.
Both perspectives treat the word “warrior” as something special, a myth to live up to, a status to earn. I’d like to examine the relevance of these ideas for pagan radicalism, and explore how we might be able to make these concepts work for us. I’m going to be looking at several different aspects of what warriorship might mean to us – including the definition of the word “warrior,” the benefits of focusing on victory, the importance of strategic decision-making and tactical discipline, the potential danger of treating warriorship as an archetype and the usefulness of building a martial mindset through martial training. I’ll wrap it all up at the end by looking at a pagan warrior code from Irish lore, and adapting it to our purposes as modern radicals.
Well, just gonna warn you Chris. This is probably going to be used by a lot of people on your side of the fence for a lot of violence you claim to be against doing.
I mean, you’re talking to a bunch of “radicals” about how they can have a “warrior code” to guide them in violent situations, when its justified, and so forth.
What is a Warrior?
Anti-capitalist pagans are committed to seeking radical social change. Many of us are also uncomfortable with the whole concept of the warrior, associating it with violent masculinity. Unfortunately, some pagans do make a simplistic connection between the “warrior archetype” and the “sacred masculine,” ignoring the reality that these are two separate concepts.
Oh gods, but this is one of the reasons it is so hard for me to take these Marxists seriously. You want to over throw systems of oppression, you want to destroy the very laws and governments of nations, you want to transform society into the way you think it must be….and you’re scared to throw a fucking punch.
“well that’s masculine violence!” “Warriors enforce masculine stereotypes!” “MEN ARE EVIL!!!!!!!!”
The revolutionary women defending the Rojava cantons from Daesh are obviously warriors by any definition, yet they are also fighting for gender equality in their own society…
Actually, I’m pretty sure that they’re mostly fighting to avoid being gangraped to death or sold as sex slaves. But way to appropriate women’s struggles for you own ends. As a man, I’m sure you’re the authority on women’s issues and why women would be fighting a totalitarian Islamist state whose only goal is to wipe their people off the map and rape all their women for the rest of their lives.
Which I suppose you could describe as “fighting for gender equality.”
…The peasants who marched on Versailles with their pikes in 1789 were mostly women, and there are many other examples….
First off, the peasants who marched on Versailles were not warriors. They Were A Mob. A mob which captured their King and Queen and took them as hostages back to the city of Paris…where they were later murdered by public, mob driven, execution. But hey, you know, yay for the peasant warrior overthrowing their systems of oppression.
But this is what I’m talking about. Chris is using mob violence to support his position on the righteous use of violence (and that said warrior violence is not the property of men). Someone is going to read this and decide “Hey, you know what, it worked great in Paris, we should do something like that here!!!!” And because its defending people from systems which oppress them…it’s perfectly acceptable by Chris’s logic, argument, and position.
…The concept of warriorship doesn’t really have anything to do with masculinity. Of course, the existence of warrior women in ancient pagan Europe is especially relevant to us. If we reject the idea that warriorship is an expression of masculinity, then what exactly is it?
An excuse to justify calling yourselves heroes while you drown the streets in blood for the furthering of your political ends. I mean, if we’re going by your examples and the examples of previous Marxist revolutions.
You know, for an article that was supposed to be refuting my “willful misinterpretations” of his position on violence, Chris really is doing a fantastic job of proving my point for me. How about we give him a round of applause.
Can “pagan warriorship” be something real and practical, not just a symbol or an archetype? To answer that question, we have to define the word “warrior,” knowing that the definition we settle on will have implications for our own lives and actions as radicals.
Sure. I mean, you’re probably going to have to start throwing some punches. Maybe shooting a few people. Stabbing them probably wouldn’t hurt. Over all, I’m sure there can be a completely accurate and functional “pagan warriorship” that isn’t just a symbol or an archetype.
But you’re going to have to start killing people.
Look, I am all for there being Pagan warriors. But Warriors are people who practice the arts of War. The Arts of War are all about killing people. Because you think they’re a threat, because they tried to kill you, maybe just because you wanted their stuff, and their things. And until you start killing people…it’s gonna be a real joke if you call yourself a warrior.
Much less if you’re someone who is so squeamish about using violence to enforce your beliefs on people. Especially since the vast majority of people are not going to agree with your Marxist believes because they are inherently harmful to those people you’re coming after to tear down their systems.
In the most down-to-earth terms, a warrior is a person who fights in a war. To define what a warrior is, we have to define what a war is. The Oxford English Dictionary gives a number of different definitions, of which the first naturally refers to armed conflict in the literal sense.
Well, at least he can read a dictionary. Thank you for proving my point.
Two of the other definitions are more relevant to our current situation: “A sustained effort to deal with or end a particular unpleasant or undesirable situation or condition” and “A state of competition, conflict, or hostility between different people or groups.”
Both of which are typically resolved through violence.
Because honestly, I don’t see diplomacy getting us a conclusion to this situation.
Most anti-capitalist pagans would probably see themselves as being in a state of conflict with the capitalist system, and would see themselves as being part of a sustained effort to put an end to it. Therefore, our struggle against capitalism can be seen as a war in the broad sense, although we are not engaged in armed struggle and many of us would reject the idea of armed struggle for moral reasons.
You want to overthrow our present government, all our laws, the entire economic system of the western world, all the means of producing goods, and leave us in a state of complete lawless, anarchic violence where the only things we have are the things we can scrabble from the earth with our bare hands and the broken remains of our existing technology…leaving billions to die of starvation and war…
and you object to the idea of armed struggle for “moral reasons.”
Bloody fucking Hela man. You either have absolutely no idea about what kind of world you’re advocating for or you do but you’re so weak willed and pathetic that you refuse to make such a monstrous outcome happen by your own hands. You are literally demanding a world where the streets are paved with blood and corpses, where people are taken from their homes and murdered for what they possess, where people die because they can’t get medical help or because some dickwaffle liked something they had and there was nothing to stop him, but you have a problem with armed struggle, and your band of merry peoples have a problem with “armed struggle.”
But please, give us a lawless, non-capitalistic world where there are no governments to oppress us!!!
Activists with roots in the anti-war tradition might be uncomfortable describing our struggle against capitalism in terms of war and conflict even symbolically. However, many pagan activists already worship warrior deities or feel themselves to be on a warrior path.
Or a goddamned 1st world idiot with no idea how society or their world actually operates, advocating for the massive killing of billions of people, the destruction of governments, the abolition of rule of law, and the right of no one telling them what to do, to receive whatever they feel is their due, all while not wanting to get their hands dirty with “armed violence.”
If a war is a state of conflict to end an unacceptable situation, then you could say that a warrior is a person who engages in conflict with the goal of achieving victory.
Yeah, except you have already stated that you and many of your fellow believers have issues with “armed struggle.” At which point you’re not willing to go out and fight for you dreams and visions, you want them to be handed to you by someone else. For people to just, naturally give up and give you what you want and live the way you want. We people of the real world have a word for that, and it isn’t Warrior.”
It’s two words actually.
You’ll whine, and you’ll scream, and your stamp your feet on the ground, and you’ll call people racists, and fascists, and any number of names, but at the end of the day you’re no different that a screaming child pitching a fit because mommy and daddy won’t let him have a toy. And frankly, you need a belt taken to your ass. Because it’s time to grow the fuck up.
However, in any war there are many different roles, and not everyone is on the front lines or exposed to high levels of personal risk. The term “warrior” does seem to imply that you have accepted a higher level of personal risk. If we factor that concept into our definition, what we get is this:
A warrior is a person who takes significant personal risks in a conflict, with the goal of achieving victory.
You are retarded.
Actually no, you’re not retarded, because people who are listed as medically retarded are capable of greater mental abilities and have a better grasp of reality than you do Chris.
What risk are you taking? Huh? Are you going to get your head stoved in? Doubt it, you seem to run away from fights you can’t win. You gonna get arrested? Doubt it, despite the fact that you’re advocating the compete destruction of your home nation, you’re surprisingly not getting arrested for that. You gonna lose your job? Doubt it. As far as I can tell, there are absolutely no consequences for your actions and no risk to yourself or your loved ones except for people like me pointing out you’re a brain dead idiot who is to scared to make his vision a reality and excuses it for “moral reasons.”
Look, I despise Marxism, but I can at least admit that it had a lot of people who were willing to fight and kill for what they believed in. You? You’re as limp as a wet dishrag, and without the usefulness. You want to bang on about how you’re a “warrior” fighting in a “conflict” against “Capitalism,” but the best I can tell you’re a whiny bitch on a blog griping about how no one respects him and his beliefs, because if they did they’d agree with him, and oh the world be so much more beautiful in our anti-capitalist, marxist utopia.
The risks will vary. In some protest actions we risk being hit in the head with a nightstick or choked by teargas or arrested and sentenced to prison time. Depending on where we are and who we are and when it happens, there is sometimes the risk of live ammunition being used on the crowd as at Kent State – or more recently, in Minneapolis. A protest isn’t usually much like a literal war, but in the worst case scenario it’s exactly like one. If we’re thinking about being at the front of the line, we need to ask ourselves why.
Yes, how terrible for you. You are just like those brave souls sent to Siberia because they denied the Glorious Revolution of Marx.
Well the why is easy. You want to destroy everything you have ever known in your lives for a set of ideologies that have proven functionally impossible and grotesquely inhumane. Your “why” is you want to either oppress everyone under a Marxist system of communal production and possession…or you want to drop us right back into the wartorn days of anarchism, where there was only hope that your violent, rape-filled death was at least over quickly.
My question is “why would you want to return to that,” but apparently you guys have your answer already to the point where this is what you want. And maybe you’ll get it. At which point I’m just going to say okay and show you what happens when there is no longer a lawful society that I am a part of and there are no laws to keep me in check.
At which point in time you’re going to find out what happens when you take away a man’s video games, porn, easy (if small) paychecks, steady supply of food and beer, and present him a world where he can earn a fortune, a harem, and a kingdom by the tip of a sword and the end of a gun. But I will warn you
We’ll carry on in part two.