I came across what appears to be a new blog the other day called Son of Skadi, which peaked my interest. Son of Hel, Son of Skadi, I think you can see why. And I will admit some polite interest in to where this blog is going to go and if his journey will have any similarities to my on going one. So I clicked on, glanced through, and came across his post “How to be a true modern viking.”
Part 1 was about good hygiene, so fair enough. The Norse were very keen on hygiene and personal grooming. Part 2 was about considering practicing Paganism. All good. Part 3 was living a greener life, as in dropping processed foods and using more natural things. I like.
Then we get to part 4:
4) Be more left leaning.
Gasp! shock! Vikings were liberals!?! Yes, they were… which is part of why I said just having a bad attitude and a beard does not make you a viking. The Norse were remarkably far forward in gender and racial equality. They were known as raiders but also got into trading relatively early on as well. They met peoples from Asia, Africa and the middle east and sources show that they respected and honored their people and traditions as much as their own. Women could and often did lead clans and fight alongside their husbands. It wasn’t until Christianity took hold in Scandinavia that racism and sexism became prevalent. but I’ll get into that in the next section.
While it is certainly true that the Norse held many ideas that fall under Classical Liberalism (the same branch of liberalism that brought us the American and French revolutions), they are not a people I would describe as “Liberal.” The reasoning for this is two fold. 1) Just as they had many ideas that we would consider “liberal” the vast majority of their ideas would realistically be considered “Conservative,” at least as we considered these positions 20-30 years ago. 2) what actually counts a “left leaning” and “liberal” by today’s standards.
Let’s take the position of women in Norse society, since Son of Skadi brings it up. Yes, women held remarkable liberties in Norse society, compared to virtually everywhere in the world. They could own property, divorce their husband, etc. As for politics, yes, some women were involved and led their clans, but that isn’t as remarkable and egalitarian as he makes it out to be given that such things happened in just about every society around the world, even the most “sexist” ones. Ancient China, for example, had extremely “sexist” view towards women, but there were powerful Empresses all the same. As for the Norse, women were largely excluded from the Thing, and the proper place for a woman was in the home.* Hardly “left leaning” ideals.
As for racism and sexism not being present until Christianity showed up, that’s really going to depend on your perspective and what you consider racism or sexism.
For example Odin got a lot of shit for learning Seith magics because that was “woman’s magic” and it was “unmanly” to learn such things. Thor got some shit and was humiliated when he had to disguise himself as a bride. Freya got a lot of shit because she fucked four dwarves in order to obtain a necklace. Loki got a lot of shit for getting pregnant by a horse. More examples exist, and all these examples are to many people, examples of “sexism.” I don’t recall where, but I think at one point I even saw the story of Thor dressing up as a bride used as both an example of the Norse supporting transgenderism, and elsewhere as an example of the Norse being transphobic.
As for the Norse being “racist” the same holds true. Son of Skadi insists “they weren’t racists” because they traded with a bunch of different people. I’ve seen others insist the Gods aren’t racist because they took wives and husbands from the Jotun. But then I’ve also seen people insist the Norse were racists because of how they viewed and treated the natives of Greenland and the Americas, and that the Gods are racist because they constantly go to war with other races, attempt to ethnically cleanse the Jotuns, view the Dwarves as inferior life forms, etc, etc, etc.
The Norse also practiced slavery, hardly an idea that could be considered liberal. Though given the way the Political Left treats and views “minorities” and basically uses them as slave labor in the voting booths, I suppose one could make the argument that such is a “left leaning” idea. I’m pretty sure that’s not what Son of Skadi meant, but as in all things multiple perspectives can be used to view the same thing.
In all honesty, you could make an equally solid, if not more solid case to be “Right Leaning,” if you wanted to be a proper modern Heathen. After all, the Norse were very much about what we would consider the “nuclear family” in today’s terms, with your average Norse family looking like the Waltons**. They believed that a person had a right to bear arms with no real restrictions that I know of in terms of what arms a man (or woman) could own. They believed in a representative government, the use and right to warrants for searches, that a woman’s place was running the home, that faith and religion were important***, largely believed that homosexuality was “unmanly” (and tantamount to being immoral), that one’s oaths were sacred, one’s honor must be kept true, that men should be men and women should be women (i.e. ‘traditional gender roles’), etc, etc, etc.
Given that such beliefs were very foundational to Norse/Germanic society, and given the general attitude the “left” and “left leaning” have towards these beliefs, it is hard for me to honestly believe that being a good Heathen has much of anything to do with “leaning left.” And I say this because I have seen a lot of “left leaning” Pagans and Heathens denounce these foundational beliefs as….basically evil.
1) Use Heathenry or Viking culture as a front for white supremacy.
It ties obviously into the previous section, but it deserves its own mentioning. As I have mentioned previously the Norse never forced their religion or ways onto others. They had relatively little interest in the idea of race. Many Arabs and people of non-Germanic descent actually happily integrated themselves into their culture, and the Sami of the extreme north were at peace with the Norse for centuries. In fact it is even suggested that the Norse viewed the Sami peoples as superior in some ways. So if you are one of those people who believes that your precious “white master race” has anything to do with the Norse culture or the will of the gods you are simply arrogant and DEAD-ASS-WRONG. All the children of Midgard are equal in the eyes of the ancestors and the gods and only your own insecurity and stupidity makes you think otherwise.
Personally I would like some citations for this, but I highly doubt I’m going to get any. Given what I know of Islam and Islamic history, I highly doubt “many” Arabs happily integrated into Norse society, and I suspect those that did were Arabs taken as slaves by the Norse because they would have been made to integrate. Same with most other non-Norse people who “integrated” into Norse society. Oh, I’m sure there were outliers who came willingly and eagerly and integrated, but let’s not just erase the impact slavery had here.
Still, the whole “white supremacy” thing is something I’ve talked a lot about on this blog (much to my disappointment) and will continue to talk about (much to my dismay). The first thing I would like to start by addressing is the idea that the Norse were not “racial supremacists.”
This is technically true, the Norse did not believe they were part of the “white master race” and all that jazz. Of course, this probably has more to do with the fact that the concept of “race” didn’t form until the late middle ages/renaissance era at best, at least as we know it. However, the Norse were like everyone else at the time in that they were ethno/nationalist supremacists. To side step slightly across the landmass for an example, the Romans didn’t think they were the master race because they were White, they thought they were the master race because they were Romans (and the thousands of years their republic/empire stood did little to dissuade them of their superiority). It was much the same with the Norse. The “Norwegians” believed themselves superior to the Swedes, The Danes thought themselves superior to the English, and the Swedes thought they were superior to everyone. Just like the English thought they were superior to the Welsh, Scots, and Irish. Or the Normans thought they were superior to the Anglos and the Saxons.
Literally everyone thought their people were the “superior” people. Race as we understand it didn’t matter because literally everyone was the same race, but ethnicity were different and so the lines were drawn much more narrowly than we’re used to, but they were still drawn. Hel, in the lore the Aesir and Jotuns are basically the same “race” but both factions view themselves to be largely “superior” to the other in a way that has been repeatedly described and denounced as racist.
The bigger issue in the modern era in terms of what “racism” and “white supremacy” is/are, and this does relate back to the “left leaning” vs “right leaning” issue from earlier in the post. An important thing to know (that virtually never gets talked about) is where the whole “racism” and “racism is bad” things really play in. One of the first uses of the term “Racist” comes from Trotsky, the famous bolshevik communist who really coined the term and used it as a weapon to try and destroy the ethnic identity of eastern europeans in order to facilitate the erasure of all cultures except for bolshevik communism. To put it in plane terms in a historical context, the term “racist” is a weapon of genocide, as the horrific body count of the bolshevik and communist rule shows. It was then later used in the united states to shame, humiliate, vilify, and dehumanize people who were against racial integration.****
In the “current year” era, what counts as “racism” and “white supremacy” has only grown. A great example of this is the “It’s Okay To Be White” campaign that happens annually at this point on Halloween, where people dress up in costumes to disguise their identity and post simple white poster saying “It’s okay to be white.”
Twenty or thirty years ago, the statement “it’s okay to be white” wouldn’t have caused any reaction. Being a 90’s kid myself, asking “is it okay to be white” would be like asking “is it okay to be brown/black/asian/jewish/etc” with the answer being a resounding “yes.” It was okay to be whoever you were, in fact it was cool. Being a black kid made you cool. Being a white kid made you cool. It was just cool (or occasionally radical!) because it was the 90’s and we were all about it being okay to be who we were.
These days, saying “it’s okay to be white” is a statement of “white supremacy” and “racism” and the reason people post the posters while wearing costumes is because there can be real world consequences for doing so. Hell, one kid got expelled from school just because the school believed he was behind the posters that appeared on their campus and called the FBI on him. Dozens of media outlets have denounced the posters as “racism” and hate speech. The largest Heathen organization in the USA, the Asatru Folk Assembly, has basically been denounced for decades as a racist organization because McNallen and the organization took the radical stance that “it’s okay to be white and practice a white ancestral religion.”
The position of the “left” or “left leaning” is that the mere idea of “white being okay” is white supremacy. This is not something our ancestors would have supported. This is not something our Gods support. Son of Skadi says “don’t use Heathenry as a front for white supremacy,” but by the Left’s definition the mere existence of Heathenism is an act of white supremacy, since the mere act of existing while white is an act of white supremacy. Which honestly would make Heathenism an act of supreme white supremacy.
I reject this. I embrace this. I am nothing they say I am. I am everything they say I am.
The problem of the “left-right” dichotomy when it comes to Heathenism is that its a modern invention that doesn’t fit an ancient way of life. Yes, there are “left leaning” ideas in Heathenism. There are “classically liberal” ideas in Heathenism. There are “Conservative” ideas in Heathenism. There are “Fascist” ideals in Heathenism. Because Heathenism had the ideals and they spread down through the centuries, like the branches and roots of Yggdrasil does through the Nine Worlds. And then ideals shift from left to right and right to left and so on. What was treated as a left wing view fifty years ago is an alt-right view today. What was once a perfectly moral position thirty years ago is an immoral position to hold today, and vice versa.
There’s a really great meme I’m going to post here that works a lot of ways and a lot of people can identify with, I think.
Something I’ve experienced, and something I’ve seen a lot of people say is this. “I didn’t change, the world did.” While certainly my views have changed somewhat over the years, on certain ideas they haven’t, I’ve stayed pretty consistent. But I’ve watched as I went from being a “Classical Liberal” to being a “Fascist”…for the exact same view. Views I’ve held because of my Heathenism, or because Hel taught them to me. My belief in the 90’s that everyone was okay regardless of their race in 2019 makes me a racist. My belief from the 90’s that everyone deserves to be able their ethnic ways (Free Tibet!) makes me a white supremacist in 2019. My belief from the 90’s that a man should go to prison if he commits a crime makes me a racist in 2019.
Hell, in the meme it’s ’15, ’17, ’19, and you can take that as age, or you can take it as years, and it’s 100% accurate. From 2015-2019 shit that was 100% moral suddenly became 100% immoral, racist, white supremacist, alt-right, fascism.
Son of Skadi says “Be left leaning” but let us look at what the left leans to. Child sexual exploitation. Child sexual mutilation. The decriminalization and normalization of infecting people with lethal diseases. The industrialized slaughter of the unborn. The expulsion and legal harassment of people for believing their race is okay. The violation of constitutionally protected Gods given civil rights. etc, etc, etc.
Do you think our ancestors or our Gods would be pleased with the idea of dressing one’s children up in clothing of the opposite gender and performing strip shows for the pleasure of adults? Do you think they would be pleased by carving up their children’s genitals to “make them the correct sex?” Do you think they would be pleased with allowing a person to fuck another and infect them with a lethal disease, essentially murdering them, without knowledge or consent? Abortion kills 56 million infants a year, do you think this is pleasing? Do you think our Gods or Ancestors are pleased to see the existence of their people denounced as not only not okay, but outright evil? The Havamal states that a man should always go armed, so do you think things like “red flag” laws which allow the government to go in and strip you of your weapons and rights in is pleasing?
It is not. Nor should it be.
Son of Skadi says “Don’t use Heathenry as a front for White Supremacy.” But look at everything that is considered “white supremacy.” Dating in your same race/ethnicity. Being okay with your skin color. Desiring to have children of the same race/ethnicity as you. Wanting to practice your ancestral ways. Hel, even desiring “heterosexual sex” is basically white supremacy to some people. etc, etc, etc.
Reject the modern. Do not try to be a “modern day viking,” because such a thing is impossible. Embrace the ways of your ancestors, reject the left, reject the right, reject this dichotomy. If you came to Heathenism it is because it Is Heathenism, and exists beyond and before such things.
I could be good in the eyes of modern Men, but evil in the eyes of the Gods. Or I could be good in the eyes of the Gods, but evil in the eyes of modern Men. It seems Son of Skadi says “be good in the eyes of men,” but I would counsel him and all others that it is better to be Good in the eyes of the Gods. For Their Good is what created us, it is what can sustain us, and it is the Good that will endure after us.
*Yes, she ran the home completely, but the same could largely be said for wives throughout the history of the United States, for example, that that hasn’t stopped Feminists from screaming “misogyny!” at the top of their lungs for a century or more.
**The Waltons was a movie and tv series about a large family all living together under the same roof during the great depression and ww2. As I remember it, to put in terms of the chans, it was very “comfy.”
***Drawing from the works of Roman historians in regards to the Germanic people, it was noted that the Romans should feel ashamed for their lack of piety to the Gods in comparison to the Germanic peoples.
****As a child learning this stuff I never really questioned anything about it. Being a “Classical Liberal” I believed that all people were created equal and thus it was morally wrong to oppress and segregate people based on race and that anyone who believed in doing so was a racist. So why not call them that and push forwards towards equality. Now that I’m older and have learned more, while I do question if we are all created equal (science does tend to show this might not be the case) I do still believe we should all at least seek to treat each other equally regardless. This equal treatment, however, does seem to lead towards unequal outcomes for debatable reasons. And is also denounced as racist too.
One thing I have noted though in those who “lean left” is something that does provide me with some bemusement when it comes to “gun control.” See, the 2nd amendment states that the populace has the right to bear arms, with no qualifiers on types of arms. Hell, going by the example of the founding fathers, a free man was allowed to own literally any weapon he could afford, including a warship. Yet the left brings up things like mass shootings and school shootings with the attitude of “fuck your civil rights, and fuck you if you think they’re a good idea, children are dying.” I’ve always wondered what would happen if one took say the number of children who died at say the hands of african americans, held those numbers up and used the same argument: “you say civil rights are unequivocally good and must be respected, but look at all these dead children and the crime rates involving african americans which have spiked repeatedly since they were given civil rights, and you stand on the bodies of the dead and tell me it was worth it.”
To be clear I’m not supporting or endorsing that argument, and I’m not saying we should strip anyone of their civil rights, I just think it would be amusing to watch the reaction as the Left’s pet argument against guns was used against their biggest voting block, which lets be honest has produced a disproportional amount of crime and violence compared to everyone else. 13/50 isn’t just a meme, it is a reality.