Thursday, April 7, 2016

Over the Rainbow, Part Two: the Folkish Trajectory

Shane Burley's post over at G&R on "Rainbow Heathenry" asks an interesting question:

"But what is it about Asatru that creates a trajectory towards the folkish interpretation? Is Asatru today possible of having distinctly left-wing and multiracial interpretations?"
I realize that his phrasing of the question is entirely self-serving, because it feeds into his attempt to set up folkish Heathenry as a boogie-man that needs to be fought and destroyed, but the fact that he (in my opinion, correctly) identifies the fact that Heathenry, at least in the United States, as a folkish trajectory, is quite telling.

Of course, he doesn't really answer the question; he gives a rather muddled interpretation of Asatru history in the United States, and attempts once again to conflate folkish and racist Heathenry through the worst sort of guilt-by-association tactics:
"It is the clear association between Heathenry and an openly racialist subculture, one that has taken on Norse myth and symbols as a primary form of identification. Hundreds of neo-Nazi and white nationalist bands and magazines take their names from the Northern Tradition. Some of the most militant racist prison gangs, skinheads, and open fascists venerate the same Gods of the Aesir. Across the far-right spectrum you will see the stories of Vikings and their pantheon represented as Gods of a purely white constituency, bound by blood and soil. Even amongst the more moderate view the “folkish” ideal–that says this tradition is unique only to those of Northern European ancestry–attempts to soften the blow of racial separatism."
Basically, some racists use Heathen symbols and reference Heathen myths, so that's the association people make, and folkishness is just "moderate racism".

But of course, as we have seen, folkish Asatru, as embodied by the AFA, deliberately eschews racism of the sort described; the neo-Nazis were tossed out in the mid-70's, before "universalist" Asatru was even a gleam in the milkman's eye. That's been a steady theme of McNallen and the AFA for literally decades, and remains in place today with the firm injunction that people who hate other races aren't welcome.

But of course none of that matters, because "the Marxists know better". But we've seen that before, too.

What I'd like to look a little further into, though, is the folkish "trajectory" of Asatru, as he puts it (which I think is actually a pretty great turn of phrase, and he may consider it viked).

Asatru's roots in America are unquestionably folkish. Asatru, as originally conceived (and separate from the overtly racialist Odinism that preceded it). Although the division between folkish and universalist wasn't present, and thus the need for some sort of differentiating language did not yet exist, that was Asatru's default setting. It was only much later, after the original AFA had dissolved and after Edred Thorsson was removed from the Ring of Troth (thus removing the explicitly apolitical nature of the organization, and, in his words, "It seems that once the door to "tolerance" was opened, the Ring of Troth was quickly and completely transformed into a "politically correct" version of the troth.")

In short, Asatru started folkish, and it was only later that the forces of political correctness came in and took over a part of it, and now we're seeing the logical progression of that event. Having established their beach-head, the SJW's and Marxists (and that's not hyperbole; that's how their loudest voice describes himself) are looking to transform it completely into a vehicle to further their Marxist egalitarian agenda. And for "egalitarian", read "totalitarian".

But there's one thing in their way; most Asatruar (and that includes both the folkish and non-folkish) don't want to see it transformed. And that just completely baffles and infuriates them.

On the one hand, they see undeniable successes being racked up over and over on the folkish side lately. The fundraising for, purchase, and opening of New Grange Hof in California. The reprinting of one of the seminal works of practical Asatru, A Book of Troth. The establishment of thriving independent regional gatherings of folkish Asatruar. The AFA having enough support and active volunteers to have no fewer than three regional gatherings of its own on top of the ones that are just spontaneously happening. The fact that the AFA has hundreds of more members than the leading voice of universalist Heathenry, the Troth. The list of recent folkish successes goes on and on. It must scare the bejeezus out of them that we're winning "on the ground" where it matters.

On the other hand, the universalists aren't exactly lining up to be part of the Glorious New Egalitarian Future that G&R are peddling. Much of the (dare I say, counter-revolutionary) resistance stems from the ham-fisted attacks that G&R has doled out, accusing reconstructionists, traditionalists, and polytheists of being fascists (which seems to be their default label for anyone they don't like, regardless of whether or not the term actually applies - their terminology is stuck in the 1930's, like their Stalinist ideology); they're seeing push-back from some of the most non-folkish voices in the Heathen (and even Pagan) communities, who are quite naturally offended at being thus labeled, no matter how G&R might try to simultaneously walk back and double down on their accusations later on.

But to bring this back to the question at hand; "what is it about Asatru that creates a trajectory towards the folkish interpretation?"

I have a simple answer, but they're not going to like it.

Asatru has a trajectory towards the folkish interpretation because it's the interpretation that best fits Asatru as a religion.

For the sake of argument, let's assume that the ancient Germanic peoples didn't have a concept of "race" as we know it today (although certain of the historical lays in the Poetic Edda can be interpreted to the contrary). Fine. It would be folly, however, to say that they didn't have a concept of tribe. Tribal identity, established almost overwhelmingly through blood and marital relations, formed the core of Germanic group identity, and the religion of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples reflects this.

The written lore itself tells us that the gods are our ancestors in a very literal sense. Heimskringla, Rígsþula, the genealogies of the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian kings; all show the gods as being our ancestors. They define at least a part of our tribal identity.

But let us further set aside the historical arguments and speak purely of the present day. Many people of European descent feel under siege. They are routinely blamed for every ill of the world, unjustly in many cases (in all cases, if one doesn't buy into the notion of collective guilt based on race, which I thought wasn't a "real thing" anyway). Academics argue for the extermination of white people. Traditional homelands of European nations are overrun with immigrants and refugees, who insist that the host nation change its ways to accommodate them, rather than attempting to integrate into the host culture. People of European descent are castigated over and over and over, and their contributions to the world downplayed or even deliberately ignored.

Is it any wonder that, in such an environment, a religion that says, "It's okay to be white; you have a great culture and history, and it's something to be proud of" is succeeding when people are constantly bombarded with "white is bad" messages?

So why does folkish Asatru succeed? Why does the trajectory of Asatru lead to us? Two reasons in my opinion:

First, it really does more closely follow the original way our Germanic ancestors saw the world; tribally, which is largely based on blood relations. That blood speaks to us, because it is the blood of the Gods that flows within us.

Second, it speaks to a need that's been building up in the hearts of people of European descent, fueled by the relentless attacks by the forces of the Left who see us as the source of all the world's problems. People are just fucking tired of that shit, and want to stand up against it.

We're succeeding. They hate and fear that simple fact, so they attack us. And in attacking us, not only do they continue to malign and lump us in with the real racists, but they also catch everyone who doesn't subscribe to their ultra-left-wing political agenda in their net. And in so doing, they get people to ask themselves uncomfortable questions. Questions to which they might not like the answers.

1 comment:

  1. It's time to ignore the relentless whining by the enemies of our Folk and focus on the work that needs to be done. No need to convince unbelievers, why should we be so concerned about their opinion?