Monthly Archives: March 2016
When angst percolates in one’s soul it becomes the antithesis of what you truly are. Recently, I’ve written some rather negative things in the heat of anger which wasn’t right at all. Keep calm and don’t say negative shit should be my new motto.
Though we may not see eye to eye I do invite one day soon for a Skype “tea time” and discuss these issues I have, since I don’t speak for all of the Pagansphere. Since I don’t know you, I would love to have the opportunity to do so. I’m not a rude person nor will I make any conservation in fight. I despise fighting. “An eye for an eye makes the world blind.” So you can either accept my olive branch and plan a virtual meeting or ignore this attempt at understanding someone who I tend to disagree with. I’d rather not assume negative things about people that may in reality be in possession of a good heart. So please let me via a comment on here on what you wish to do or ignore it. Your choice.
Cheers and good tidings.
When people say things, it tends to need a mirror held up to it and taken apart. Perhaps this is the scientist in me to inspect the various parts of an idea or article. Recently, this blike named Rhyd Wildermuth painted polytheists in a broad brush stroke and for good reason it sparked the ire of many polytheists. I tackle this is my previous post, which includes a link to the article in question. Rhyd Wildermuth has posted another article titled The Uncomfortable Mirror which I will inspect and take apart.
The information page, called Confronting The New Right, was crafted by me in order to provide more information about the New Right to readers who were unfamiliar with that ideology. I consulted with several others regarding the information therein, who helped refine the language and provided additional resources; however, I claim full responsibility for its contents.
Now, I can respect someone who ends on the note that they take responsibility for their words. I must ask, though, about those others he consulted with. Did they not see the pompous rhetoric that was flowing? I would say perhaps they ignored it because they agreed with it which doesn’t ever help in creating constructive dialog. In order to do so you need to step down from the holier than thou nonsense and come at it with a full spectrum of ideas to posit to the masses. People don’t like being talked down to nor having sweeping generalizations being made. If I were Rhyd, I would have consulted both those who are on the Left and Right that way I establish a better understanding from differing perspectives instead of only gaining insight from one perspective.
While the vitriol and falsehoods contained in some of the critiques make it a little difficult to dissect their arguments, I believe they fall into three categories:
• Guilt by Association: the analysis I provided directly equates Pagan and Polytheist beliefs with the New Right
• Leftist Infiltration: that I am part of a leftist infiltration of Polytheist belief, and not a Polytheist myself.
• “Red Scare” or “Witch Hunt”: by discussing intersections between New Right ideology and some Pagan beliefs, I am attempting to demand ideological or political purity.
I’ve read the article over and over again and it does equate Pagan and Polytheistic beliefs with the New Right. Also, there’s the idea that being apolitical is fascistic in itself, which is nonsense. As a practice, I keep my religion out of my politics just like I keep my religion out of science. I think others would benefit from such an idea, but that’s me. As a former Leftist infiltrating certain groups was always discussed and if applicable encouraged, but such an idea isn’t confined to Leftism, but also Right Wing as well. You can’t blame people who might assume that you’re trying to dismantle Paganism by positing the idea for all of the world to see that basically all Pagan traditions are inherently fascist. It’s bad enough that we get bad press when the media gets the chance and also the long period of climbing our way up from the abyss of history. We have enough struggles as is and to have this hung around necks now is not fair to those of us who don’t perch our personal politics next to the statues of our Gods. If you wish to place your politics next to the Gods, be my guest, but don’t admonish people for not doing the same by calling them closet fascists.
I am also not accusing all polytheists (or anyone else) of being Fascist. If I were, then I would also be a Fascist. The piece I wrote draws no equivalency between specific Pagan-aligned traditions and the New Right. Rather, I draw attention to places where New Right ideology intersects, could influence or currently influences Paganism, including the traditions I am a part of.
Language means a lot and if used properly or improperly can mean different things despite it having the same meaning to it. I can say that I wish to kill myself, but it can differ in context. Maybe I made an error on a test I figuratively want to kill myself and not literal. So with that in mind, the way you utilize language needs to be observed and that’s why consulting with others outside of your boxed in world helps a great deal because then this whole mess could have been avoided. Language, people, language!
Do I put my politics first? I don’t actually know what that means. Do I favor political ideology over what the gods say to me? Do I favor political action over spiritual activities? This is not a question I can answer, because in my world, they inform each other and are inextricably linked. My gods help me understand my relations to politics, and my politics helps me understand my relationship with my gods. There is no wall between them for me.
So in Rhyds world politics and religion goes hand in hand, which sounds much like the problem over in the MidEast with radicals combining religion and politics into the age old concept of theocracy. We Pagans know what happens when theocracies occur, other beliefs seen as heresies are attacked and burned at the stake. However, today the stake is on the internet and public/cyber shaming spectacles are becoming the new normal. I mean if that’s how you conduct your life, so be it, but don’t shame those who are apolitical and have their religion separate from their politics. Some of us prefer walls between our religion and politics.
Or did I, by gathering information about the New Right hold an uncomfortable mirror up to a tradition I am a part of? Have I violated sacred traditions, or merely revealed their political aspects?
No and no, to answer both questions. The mirror isn’t uncomfortable because being a part of quite a few Heathen groups ( one which has been founded by a Jewish convert to our religion) and following many Heathen and Pagan blogs I have seen the arduous task of keeping the fascist element out of our beliefs. We are being scrutinized by various groups such as Leftist ran organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center to Right wing organizations who want to prove that their Christian religion is far more moral than ours. So, we have to, by our own means, fight against the fascist elements attempting to usurp our religion for their political advancement (sound familiar?). While I believe vigilance is important, and that is the ultimate takeaway with Rhyds article, we certainly don’t need to be chided by those who feel like they have to be the impromptu “nannies”.
The ‘Red Scare’ was a time when artists, intellectuals, writers, actors, and many others were investigated by the House UnAmerican Activities Commission, led by Joseph McCarthy and influenced by J. Edgar Hoover and powerful business people. Radicals of all sorts—particularly civil rights activists—were investigated for potential associations with the Communist Party. People with suspected associations with Communist organisations or even sympathies (‘fellow travelers’) were blacklisted from trade unions, actors guilds, publishers, and many other artistic and professional organisations, effectively silencing radical voices for decades.
The Witch Trials have been variously described by many authors, but Feminist author Silvia Federici’s Caliban & The Witch perhaps best elucidates the historical and political processes which led to the arrests, trials, imprisonments, and burnings of heretics and witches.
In regards to the Red Scare and Witch Hunts, isn’t this what you have pretty done yourself with stating that anyone who is apolitical and in disagreement with your views as fascists and agents of the New Right? I believe so. Enough said.
Happening upon a blog entry that made me do a double take: Polytheism is Fascism?! At first, my blood boiled at such an insinuation that anyone who is a polytheist is a fascist, however I collected myself, read the article Confronting the New Right and took a microscope to it. I originally did this as a response to the blog, but believe it deserves a blog entry of my own. So here it is.
I don’t consider myself Left Wing or Right Wing. I believe such labels further divide us on invisible lines that are easily blurred. For example, using myself as such, believe in Universal Healthcare and Gay Marriage, but I also believe in limited capitalism and individualism. I’ve been called a leftist by the Right and I’ve been a right winger by Leftists. Now, with that out of the way, lets begin.
“Our Decadent Society: New Right theorists criticise modern civilization as being in a state of ‘decay.’ They tend to be heavily anti-Modern and sometimes anti-civilisationist, believing that society needs to return to a more noble, healthy, and ‘natural’ order.”
Modern civilization is in a state of decay and if anyone inside and outside of polytheism can’t see that then they are willfully blind. Our society has become more separated by class, race, gender, sexual orientation and religion more than ever. We have social media, but we’re less social these days. I’m sure you need an abacus in order to count the cellphone zombies you encounter daily. Now, do I believe we should do away with modern society? Gods no, that’s romanticism at its greatest height. We will never return to such conditions ever. However, if an individual or group of individuals wish to live like their ancestors then I believe they should be given the opportunity to do so and with respect to everyone else with everyone else giving them respect in return. That’s easier sad than done though. Human beings aren’t courteous creatures. We think we know better than others.
“And while we don’t believe that every Pagan needs to believe the same way we do (that’d be really fascist of us!), we think there are some important values that any resistance to Fascism (Pagan or otherwise) should consider embracing.”
You have to give them credit for at least having being aware of what they say. No one can disagree with the fact that fascism from Left and Right needs to be confronted no matter what your ideology is. Haven’t we learned from history that discriminating against one group has a dominoe effect that leads to discrimination of others whether it’s religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, class, political ideology…etc.?
“Often times, people espousing their ideas remain unclear about their ultimate motives, often hiding their political goals behind claims that they are ‘apolitical.’ ”
This is a bully tactic by stating that people who are apolitical are often hiding political goals. How fascistic.
“what’s the hierarchy of a forest?”
Ok, this question is relatively easy to answer: First there is the Sun that provides plant life the means of energy production which leads to higher organisms such as insects and animals to feast on it which are in turn eaten by other much higher lifeforms such as humans. The higher life form dies and is composted into the dirt by a plethora of microorganisms and broken down into key nutrients which is then taken up by plants. This presents an hierarchy split into two categories: producers and consumers. Which then have their own hierarchies in the form of the various branches of the animal kingdom. Another example is the establishment of the Alpha and Omega castes within wolf packs. And there are plenty of other examples out there that show that nature does indeed impose hierarchies. However, I will concede that these hierarchies are developed for survival purposes rather than for the means of exploitation and profit mongering by greedy human beings, but to say that the natural world has no hierarchy is a misleading idea when a class in Biology shows otherwise.
Recently, Wild Bill for America laid out a “plan” to indoctrinate public schools with his vision of monotheistic collectivism. Now what religion a person practices is of no concern to me, but when blast Leftist indoctrination in schools while supporting monotheistic indictrination then I tend to have a problem. Remember these are the same people who say take responsibility for your own children and that public schools shouldn’t be some daycare that does your job as parents for you. While I doubt such a plan would ever take hold in any sane society, it does show how the extreme Right is willing to negate their own beliefs for the sake of their own brand of collectivism. Collectivism, as any ideology becomes extreme, will rear its head no matter if it is radical Leftism or radical Rightism. Wild Bill, Trump and their cohorts want to impose on our society their version of collectivism. I am againsy nonsense like this since it is the antithesis of freedom and what our Constitution stands for. Wild Bill for America and Trump are both anti-freedom collectivists that should be challenged at every turn.