Sunday, April 6, 2014

Racialist Pagans discussion at Pantheacon

Artist's reconstruction of the Pantheacon panel
So I finally got around to listening to the Racialist Pagans discussion that was held at this year's Pantheacon. It was about what I expected. Rather than a reasoned discussion that aimed at advancing a dialogue between two groups of people with radically different points of view (folkish Heathens and universalist neopagans), it was ninety minutes of innuendo, name-calling, and flat-out wrong information.

I won't bother Fisking the discussion, although the temptation is strong, given that not a minute went by when there wasn't something deserving of rebuttal. What would be the point? When they're bound and determined to plaster the label "Fascist" on me and others who happen to agree with me, no matter how little the label actually applies (despite their admonition at the beginning of the talk, where they say "I'm not going to use the word 'Fascist' just to mean someone I don't like", they proceed to do precisely that), there seems little point.

That said, when they display a pitiful lack of historical information about actual Fascism (equating it unthinkingly with racism, which was absolutely not the case in most examples such as Spain, and Italy until the Germans exerted more control over the country), and their soft-pedaling of Communism (one panel member actually says, begrudgingly, in reciting why "fascist" states are evil, that “some communist states have been totalitarian" - it would be fascinating to hear his list of ones that weren't).Their command of facts both broad and specific was lacking, and it's hard to take someone seriously in their big points when the consistently get the little details wrong. “Fascism was voted in by very enthusiastic voters"? Really? Someone needs to read up on the March on Rome.

They also seem to have a complete disregard for what folkish Heathens actually believe, preferring instead to hammer against straw men of their own devising that no folkish Heathen would even remotely recognize. At one point, one of the panelists wonders why, if metagenetics is real, he can't speak Old Scottish or Swedish, hyuk! Now, I don't buy into the entirety of metagenetics myself, but at least I know what it is, and what it isn't, and what its implications are. If you're going to be critiquing it, the very least you can do is to understand it. And when one of the panelists actually said that folkish Heathens think that a "proper ruler will emerge who is the collective folk-soul” I nearly fell out of my chair. That's just leftist fear-mongering of the worst sort, rooted in nothing save their own imagination.

To be fair, one of the questioners did ask about my point that "folkish doesn't mean racist." The response was completely incoherent; apparently the fact that there's no single monolithic definition of "folkish" (which is actually something else I specifically addressed, and count it as a strength) is enough to undermine the entire argument that one can be folkish and not racist at the same time. This, despite the fact that the "pagan community" can't even agree on what the word "pagan" is supposed to mean! Goose, may I present the gander.

Not racist, apparently
What was perhaps most disappointing was their myopic focus on folkish Heathenry. Folkish Heathens actively eschew the "neopagan" label, which calls into question the whole point of a panel on the subject at Pantheacon labeled "Racialist pagans". One might as well have a panel on "Mysogynistic pagans" and spend the entire ninety minutes talking about arranged marriages in Hinduism. Considering there are actual pagans who fall into the "racialist" spectrum (in fairness, they do mention the Greek Golden Dawn party in passing), and a lot of non-pagan religions that are based on heritage and race, as I've written of before, the silence on African or Asian religions that are folkish is deafening. For progressive leftists, it's easy to have their Two Minute Hate against a white enemy. They get queasy when the same logic might be turned against one of their protected classes.

Racist, apparently
But perhaps it is also understandable. This panel was not an attempt to learn anything new. It was not intended to advance any sort of conversation. It had one purpose, and one purpose only - to reinforce the stereotypes that the progressive left has against anyone who doesn't share their ideology. To add another brick to the wall surrounding their echo chamber. The one thing they cannot abide is the idea that anyone can actually disagree with them without being either deluded or actively evil. To do so would be to admit that those with whom they disagree could possibly be right, even if they are right only for themselves, and to admit that would be to admit that they themselves might be wrong, and that is something they simply cannot abide.

Heathens are heathens, and neopagans are neopagans. We disagree on a number of issues, the role of ancestry in religion among them. If I may make so bold, if the neopagans really want to have a productive conversation, the first step might be to actually engage some of us in conversation, rather than just hurling labels, incorrect facts, and hyperbole at us.

1 comment:

  1. I am thrilled to see that I am not the only person who has noticed that those on the so-called "left" or "liberal" end of the spectrum are, quite often, not even close to being as "liberal" as they claim they are.

    I am thinking of sharing this post on Facebook but I am not sure there'd be much point; I suspect that those eclectic neopagans I know, who are very universalist in their walk, would just get their defenses up and not even recognize the very important points you have brought up here.

    Meanwhile, let's not allow the nonsense to get us down. Yes, it is frustrating, but we and the Holy Powers know what the truth is, so we soldier on.

    Have a great weekend