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In Paganism, there are many discussions, but perhaps one of the ones dearest to my heart is the discussion of Universalism vs “Folkism.” Are religions for everyone who is called to them, or are they only for a select group. It’s a question that doesn’t have easy answers.

Most of us are familiar with the Abrahamic religions of Christianity and Islam…both of which are extremely universality. Sometimes violently so, forcing people to join them regardless of race, gender, etc. The Message is for Everyone. On the other hand, most of us are also familiar with Judaism, the first of the Abrahamic religions, which is…insanely Folkish. The Covenant IS NOT for Everyone. I spent close to six years of my childhood working to convert to Orthodox Judaism and was ultimately rejected (which was good, because pretty early on I realized it wasn’t for me, but everyone is also familiar with a crazy obsessive Parent who won’t take no for an answer).

So even in a religious grouping with a single God, there isn’t even a clear answer about what should be. In Paganism, where we have many Gods, the situation is more complicated. Some religions like the Religio Romana (non-demoninational here) were Universalist in that anyone could worship their Gods so long as they practiced the Rites correctly. On the flip side, you have the Germanics who, while not claiming anything was Verbotten, also didn’t make a practice of having outsiders come in to worship (to my knowledge). Even within Pantheons, some Gods support a universalist approach, while others dismiss it.

Lately though, as I have commented on things from G&R and other Pagan sites as well as watching videos on political and social “Progressivism” outside of the Pagan Realms, it has struck me that the whole idea of Universalism vs Folkism extends out there as well.

Of course, they go by different names: Globalism and Nativism.


Globalism is the Idea that we should all be one, big united peoples and planet. And it’s not a terrible idea. As we grow more and more connected, as the world “shrinks” due to the ability to travel and communicate vast distances in ever shorter time periods, the flow of ideas and cultures increases exponentially again and again. We understand that the price of bread in China can literally effect the price of everything in Canada, etc.

It’s an idea we’ve been sold on more and more over the last few decades, especially by Science Fiction. In a reality where we and other beings live on multiple planets, the petty infighting of national divisions weakens the entire globe, which must respond to the petty infighting between entire worlds. We’re all one species anyways, so that is what matters more than anything else.

It’s an idea espoused by Marxists and Capitalists alike. Capitalists like it because it opens up new markets for trade. Marxists like it because it opens up new markets to unify the workers against the exploiters. Both groups grow in power the more unified the planet is.

But Globalism comes with a cost. The More Unified people become, the more their differences are, and indeed must, be erased. The beliefs of the Brittan are different from the beliefs of the Arabian…in many regards they are mutually exclusive on many ethical and cultural issues. On an objective level, we cannot say which group is morally correct over the other…but their differences are mutually exclusive realities.

So…one group, the other, or both, must give up their “Differences” for the sake of unification. Cultural Erasure, then, is the order not just of the day, but of eternity, until there is only the Mono-culture of Globalism.

Nativism, then, is the opposite Idea. That a People’s Native Ways must be preserved at all costs, even the cost of other “Tribes.” It’s not a terrible idea either, after all its our differences that make us unique, and each unique group of people has it’s own languages, philosophies, psychologies, arts, crafts, etc. It’s been the historic norm for civilization since the start.

And it’s like can be found often in Fantasy literature if you want examples. Take the Lord of the Rings, which is all about a group of nativist peoples (Mirkwood Elves, High Elves, Hobbits, Rohirim, Gondorians) fighting against another group of nativist peoples who want to wipe them out (Orcs, Goblins, Men of the East {I forget their name, sorry}). Any fantasy story where there is a group of “Good Guys” from one nation fighting to preserve their nation from another group of “Bad Guys” of another nation is an example of Nativism. Hell, one of the biggest MMOs out there, World of Warcraft, is all about the Nativism of the Horde and Alliance Conflict, and often sub conflicts by the nativism of the various races that make up both factions. And you can find a fair bit of nativism in the player base regarding the factions, especially the Horde.

In a fair bit of modern politics, you can find this idea labeled a few things, though one of the most popular is “Diversity.” The idea that groups of people need to have their native ways protected and preserved against the forces of “homogenization” and even “Globalism.”


The Truth is though, that Globalism and Nativism are mutually exclusive ideas. You cannot preserve the identity of a people’s native heritage, and bind them all together as one giant, unified species. There’s too many mutually exclusive differences between the groups. It would be like trying to fuse Asatru with Islam, when at every turn they differ on absolutely every issue, from how many Gods there are to how you treat women, to what is the appropriate way to regain lost honor.

Which has led to some hilarity in recent posts I’ve reviewed by G&R. Rhyd and Sean both speak highly of Nativist ideals when say the Oaxacan peoples engage in them against the Mexican Government…but speak extremely negatively of Nativist Ideals when talking about how the UK is leaving the EU. It’s the same thing, the same ideals, the same principle that a native culture must be preserved in the face of a globalist unification.

There’s other articles on that site where they’ve talked about the need to unify oppressed peoples all over the world (especially “workers”) but at the same time realize that the very globalization that allows this unification has only allowed further exploitation of the workers…many of whom lose many of the benefits and rights they fought so hard for when the jobs leave them behind for cheaper labor elsewhere in the globe. I think I was told that the recent strikes of French workers Rhyd mentioned was in fact due to them fighting to keep rights in the face of the French government trying to lower restrictions placed to protect workers that were driving jobs off to places like Poland. Leading ultimately the French workers to lose their jobs completely (and the rights that went along with those jobs).

It’s not unlike what happened to the American Auto Workers decades ago.

The solution is to enact “Nativist” policies to keep businesses and Jobs in a nation so that not only to the workers have their “rights” they also have jobs to go with those “rights.” The flip side of this is that Nativist policies are by their very nature exclusionary and privilege one “Ethnicity” of people above another. So for example, allowing immigrants to come into a nation supplies “cheap labor” but drives down the pay for everyone towards the bottom end of the social ladder that needed those “cheap labor” jobs to support their families which harms “local” workers. But to deny immigrants entry into your nation is Racist (or so I am told) and goes against the global unification of humanity by dividing us on “Ethnic” lines.


Which brings us to a fact that is part of what has so politically divided nearly every Western Nation and has fulled the Rise of Trump, the Brexit and all the other ‘exits’ that are suddenly spawning up across Europe, and even spreading to Mexico and the Middle East.

And it’s a choice that every individual person is going to have to make both inside and outside of Paganism.

Are you a Globalist…or are you a Nativist.

And it’s not going to be as simple as our Marxist comrades might have us believe. Nativism is often denounced as Racist, where as Globalism is often termed Inclusive.

If you’re a globalist, there can be no Diversity in humanity. No “native peoples” with their “native ways.” Not unless you want to put them in literal Zoos and deny them access to your globalist world. All different cultures would have to be erased. All different economies would have to be erased. The EU as we speak is calling and working for the abandonment of national currencies and governments in favor of the singular EU currency and government. Even the USA is a good example, because most states no longer have “native” cultures like they used to, but belong to a single “American” Culture, with a few “Sub” cultures straggling along.

If you’re a nativist, there must be protectionism. There must be actions taken to defend your culture from attack, dissolution, invasion, etc. This will necessitate actions taken against other cultures and their peoples. Actions that could be harmful to those other peoples in various ways.

And it isn’t as simple as saying “well, Nativisim = Racism, therefore nativism is by default the bad choice” because Globalization is also “racism” in that it destroys all races except for the “mono-culture.” Neither one is clean if that’s how you want to judge it.

You can believe in homogenization…or in exclusivity. Globalism or Nativism. Universalism or Folkism. Neither one is inherently good or bad. But they are mutually exclusive


Here’s the ultimate thing.

Trump, Brexit, Oaxacan, the French Laborers, etc, are all examples of Nativism. Insisting that the local population’s native ways, cultures, and rights be protected.

Imperialism, colonization, the EU, the Mexican Government, Hillary Clinton, international trade (both capitalist and marxist), and the destruction of “minority” cultures are all examples of Globalism.

To denounce say Trump, but praise Oaxaca, is an act of paradoxical nature. Nativism cannot be both good and evil. And its good or evil nature should not be based on the ethnicity of the group practicing it (as has happened so often as of late in Progressive and Marxist circles).

To denounce the Mexican Government, but praise the EU, is the same paradoxical act. Globalism, the unification of cultures, cannot be both good and evil. Nor should its good or evil nature be based on which group it is being used by or applied to.

The truth is, Humans are inherently tribalistic. And the time’s coming where you have to pick your tribe here. Are you going to be part of the mono-culture tribe that unites the world at the cost of every native culture on the planet…or are you going to be part of the nativist tribes that divide the planet at the cost of unification?

Being Nativist doesn’t mean you hate people outside your native culture. Just like being a globalist doesn’t mean you love everyone on the planet. Each side destroys the validity of the other. But both sides have The Other.

So pick, but pick fast, because the present ceasefire isn’t going to last much longer. And being stuck between the two sides is a sure fire way to be destroyed in the crossfire.

 

 

Hela Bless

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