So the other day, the UK voted to Leave the European Union. This has been something that ultimately was watched and concerned over by more than just the UK, but all through Europe and America. Would the UK decide to leave, protecting its national sovereignty at a potential price, or would it remain, hoping to keep the economic and other benefits of membership even as its national sovereignty was removed to become but a part of the larger whole in what is rapidly becoming a Pan-European national government with absolute power over the member states.
Essentially, as Sargon of Akkad put it in a video, would the UK chose Principles over Pragmatism. Because on the Remain side you had very pragmatic arguments about how things would cost more, how travel would be more difficult, how the UK economy might suffer, and how no one would know what would happen if they left the EU. On the Leave side you had arguments of principle: the EU does not have a representational government, as all the governing bodies with power are staffed with unelected officials. The EU time and again violates the soveren rights of it’s member states, not just the UK’s. That the British people have the right to representation when it comes to their laws and how they will be ruled, which is something they do not have in the EU and will completely lose in their own nation as the EU grows in power.
And, it’s something that got me thinking about what’s been happening in Paganism a lot lately, especially with the G&R Marxist faction.
Now, I’m not going to say only one side has principles and only one side has pragmatism. Because that’s not true, both sides have their principles in different ways. But I find myself often enough on the resistance of them not because my principles are against their principles, but because their pragmatic solutions violate my principles. I’m going to look at three areas quickly: Environmentalism, Poverty, and Politics.
Presuming that the environment really is as bad off as they say it is, the general “environmentalist” community has some very pragmatic solutions. Get rid of industrialization, curb population, become sustainable with the environment.
These are, in the case they are right about both the problems and the cause, practical and pragmatic solutions. The problem for me, however, is that these solutions violate my principles.
To remove industrialization would be disastrous for much of humanity. I’m not going to really go into why because that would be an entire book, but let’s just say that I’d buy stock in horses, because that’s going to be your primary means of transport, war, and agriculture. Oh, and you might wanna get used to the idea of slavery again. Cause, that would come back fast.
Of course, that would be after the billions of people die from lack of medical care, sufficient food, and open warfare over what rapidly dwindling resources would be left. I mean, sure, you’d save the planet, but you’d probably end up killing two thirds of the human population before you were done. And you’d likely bring back racism as tribal groups became a necessity to fight of other warbands. But, I guess that would answer where the slaves would come from.
Look, I’m not going to say industrialization is all roses and rainbows, but you have to remember what the world was like to live in before that. Sure, we might have had cleaner air and safer water, but our fellow human beings were a lot more brutal and violent. At least as we progress with industry we have the chance to make those things safer.
But on principle, I’m against reverting the world back to a more primitive and violent age filled with murder, mass death, and plague, mostly because if humanity is going to fry either way, I’d at least like to do it in comfort surrounded by gentlemen, not in suffering and brutality.
Rhyd, and some of the others, like to make a big deal about homelessness and poverty. They grew up poor, and to them the worst thing to be in the world is poor. So, they offer the pragmatic solution. If someone has a lot and they don’t need it, then it should be given to someone who has nothing and does need it.
Look, I’m not going to deny that’s a pragmatic solution.
But it is not a solution I can respect with my principles. Because I believe a person has the right to own themselves, and by extension, own the things they create. Regardless of that creation and even to an extent regardless of how they created it (though I do prefer it to be by lawful means). To take from someone their creation, by force, and give it to another human being, is an act of slavery and/or theft. I am, on principle, opposed to slavery (except for consensual BDSM relationships, anyways), and absolutely opposed to theft.
Ultimately, from reading them, I get the impression that the G&R folks hate democracies and republics. It’s not surprising. If you give people the choice to choose, they will often “choose wrong.” One need only look at the salty flow of the Remain camp over in the UK to see a lot of people screaming about how “all the bad things in this world won today.”
When people have a voice, there are going to be people who use that voice to serve their self interests. Some will choose what serves them pragmatically, some will choose based on principle, and in the end one group is always going to feel the other is wrong.
However, looking at G&R and many like minded peoples, it is apparent that they or of a camp that feels humanity would be better off without the ability to choose their own fates. Now, I know Rhyd and friends bespeak of anarchism, and have their issues with people like Krasskova because of her apparent monarchism, but regardless I am left with the ultimate feeling as they call for the complete destruction of a democratic republic that they…do not want people to have the right to vote their opinions. Taht they feel there are too many “backwards” people with too much “racism, homophbia, xenophobia, islamophobia, etcphobia.”
They want the kind of leadership that would enforce their pragmatic solutions to what they see as problems. And this is a pragmatic view point. If you need something accomplished, you give those who will accomplish it the power and you deny the power of resistance to those who would oppose.
But on principle, I believe that people have the right to a representative government that is bound by laws and whose power flows from the citizenry, not from a pragmatic moral prerogative. And so, we are ever at odds, it seems.