Polemical topics for polytheists (part 9): Politics

***As a very brief preface, I am most pleased to return once again to writing here after a very busy term at college. I have greatly missed all the excellent learning I gain through reflection, writing and discussion, which are always a blessing to my spirit.

First view: Polytheism ought to follow Liberalism on the left, because religious monotheists tend to take the right.

Second view: Polytheism ought to follow Conservativism on the right, because Liberalism is often antithetical to tradition, religion and culture.

Balanced view: Polytheism needs both right and left, and at the same time, must move beyond this often stifling dualism.  

 The origin of the political left and right parties has already been mentioned previously. Within the faulty Athenian system of democracy, which lacked the balancing presence of a king, the nobles were divided against the commons. This was later transferred to Rome upon the overthrow of the monarchy in 509 BCE, after which the Senate found itself constantly at odds with the Plebian common classes.* This situation in politics has earlier (though not necessarily related) origins in monotheistic morality and ideology, i.e. the good against the evil. Although a form of this dualism existed in Egyptian and other polytheisms, it differed from the monotheistic in that it assigned an eternal God to both sides, to suggest an inherent balance and cycle in the forces of nature and reality, a notion well illustrated by the symbol of yin and yang. Monotheism on the other hand placed supremacy for a single universal good that was to battle with a single universal devil (who represented matter and native Gods) and win in a linear fashion towards the end of times. The purpose of mentioning this here becomes evident when we reflect on the current state of political ideology and activity, particularly in the West; the Left and the Right are at total war for domination and are acting with the same sort of reckless and linear behavior that makes monotheism dangerous. There is hardly any room for dialogue and exchange; the use of a particular expression, sometimes a single term, can mark someone out as a member of the other side, and that often leads to immediate conflict and little understanding. What deepens and perpetuates this division is that the “liberalism” and “conservatism” have gone beyond politics and established themselves firmly in culture and language. But where does polytheism stand here? A simple answer: both above and in the middle. The Left has the wisdom of condemning the modern world’s assaults and pollutions against nature, and they do very well to support indigenous people, reduce the excesses of monotheistic domination, and advocate for population control. On the other hand, the great value of the Right comes from their deep concern for the family, ethnic culture, security and prosperity. Polytheism requires both to flourish, and although this is difficult, it is possible and reasonable to shift our support from one party candidate or platform to another, according to the nature of the occasion and urgency of time. No one party or politician is an “angel” or “devil”, in spite of how disappointed we may be. Polytheism is a balanced identity and way of life that can bring the balance desperately needed in modern politics. The more we look into history and understand its complex events and ideas, the more we will see value in not being firmly partial to one outer group or the other. Our inner groups, that form the basis of our identity, must be stable and constant, but politics shifts with time, because it has to do with the needs and concerns of a huge, complicated and unstable group like a nation.

 

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* A condition that led to several conflicts in the history of the Roman Republic, most notably that between Julius Caesar and Pompey which created the even more oppressive and unstable Roman Empire. 

 

18 thoughts on “Polemical topics for polytheists (part 9): Politics

  1. K

    So you are still around. I thought you might have been taken by elves.

    Looking at America, I would conclude that the political choices set before me leave no real option.

    The Left is out of the question. It is anti-traditional, anti-family, anti-religion(mostly), and all sorts of other things I can think of. Given any leeway, it will make a religion or movement into a tool for pushing its destructive social agenda. About the only good thing I can think of is that most environmentalism is at least vaguely on the Left here.

    The Right here is still dominated by Christians, typically the worst of them. They mainly care about serving corporations and promoting certain foreign interests in the country. Outright contempt for the environment is still normal. They also push harmful forms of individualism on more radical ends, like with anarcho-capitalism and Randian Objectivism.

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    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      Yes, I am still around and glad to have you join once again; the elves were not to blame for my absence! I can understand that American politics are desperately and dangerously polarized with two permanent parties that leave no room for a middle or alternative choice. The European model of many parties is without question better and more stable. Perhaps we polytheists should go back to the Old World? 😛

      But seriously, I hope to see America imitating Europe one day and setting up a solid third party and others to follow. More and more people are growing sick of the dualism, as shown lately in the contest between Trump and Clinton. In the meantime, I would propose that we participate more actively in local & municipal elections that directly affect our communities and which we can affect also. This was the model of our ancestors and we will find it more worthy of our time than merely casting one vote of 300 million to elect a leader who is so far removed from our daily affairs.

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  2. neptunesdolphins

    I fail to understand why religion has to be tied to politics. It seems to be a Monotheistic idea that took root in the U.K. and later in the U.S. Some Gods do protect people’s rights, while others protect the state.

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    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      An interesting theoretical point you raise there. I have read some scholarship that suggested religion among polytheists was always connected to politics, not from any arbitrary decision, but rather because they didn’t distinguish the two. As you hint, the Gods were both concerned with the state and with the people therein. So, “religion” permeated everything. If I am not mistaken, the idea of the separation of religion and state was British (John Locke), a protestant idea which spread from there to America and the rest of the world. I think part of this problem began because of the ambitious, interfering nature of monotheism and the Christian church in particular. When Henry Viii broke with Rome, he merely followed the ancient Roman model of the emperor being pontifex maximus. Whereas Locke’s notion of separation proceeded from his “enlightenment views” which were anti-religion.

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    2. K

      Britain and the US are the last places I would accuse of tying religion and politics together. The modern idea of a secular state comes from those two countries

      American politics involves religion because the majority of people are religious in a Christian sense and politicians have to pander to that even if they are not that religious. If someone were to offend against my religious standards I would not vote for them. Same reason why Christians won’t support things that their religion is against. That is only a small example, but if you make a political decision based on religious values at any point then you are mixing the two.

      Ancient societies did not distinguish between state and religion so strictly. Look at ancient Egypt where there was no distinction at all. China, Japan, and Korea within the past 150 years had government departments devoted to ancestral rites and offerings to the gods. Today, Saudi Arabia is a great example of a country with no such separation; the constitution outright says it is based on the Quran and Sunna. The US is very secular in comparison to any state in history that I can think of. Even the UK has a state church which the US never had.

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      1. Melas the Hellene Post author

        You are absolutely right and the great danger is that both the Left and Right believe themselves to be the saviors. It’s this sort of linear and apocalyptic thinking that is ruining politics and culture in a country that already has a problematic history. This thinking is also evidently connected to cultural imperialism and the supremacy of American power in the world, since it acknowledges America to be the highest example for all to follow. If we polytheists could only find a way to show them a third and better way, because they are both partly right and partly wrong. Let’s do more of what we do: write, reflect and discuss among ourselves and teach the curious. Political participation for us won’t lead to much (unless we have some politician blessed by the Gods who can rouse the multitudes), not that we shouldn’t be active within our municipalities and districts.

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  3. Paul

    Ah, Melas, blessings of your Gods to you! Elves, indeed 😄 I was beginning to wonder if the Greek cousins of the sí had spirited you away 😉 that, or whether you had ceased blogging or something was going on to keep you occupied. I’m glad all is well! Welcome back, friend, and I hope things are more relaxed and settled for you now. I was cheered to see another piece from you upon checking today.

    I agree with K’s summary of the left and right and share those views. The Left is unthinkable and the Right is deeply flawed. I would also add that nowadays the Alt-Right crowd seems to be growing and gaining more supporters. They are promising in some ways and certainly very interesting, but still leave much to be desired. They strike me in many ways as a variant or offshoot of the various Identitarian movements one finds in Europe and elsewhere. What the future will bring regarding them, I do not know.

    Part of the viciousness one can witness when it comes to the political realm is that one’s political views are usually considered to be a reflection of one’s social and moral values. If you are in disagreement, then you surely consider the other’s person’s very worldview and beliefs to be incorrect or flawed and they thus consider themselves to be under attack. This last presidential election here in the States was most definitely an example of the clash between the two; I had members of my own family arguing and even refusing to speak to each other like ill-mannered children. And let us not forget the ferocious arguing and fighting over Brexit not all that long ago.

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    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      Slantia my good friend! I am so glad college is over for me because I was growing quite tired of it at the end as well as disappointed that it ate up so much of my time, keeping me from here. I am the sort of person who can’t write and engage unless I am in spirits to do so. I thank you for your kind welcome and believe me, I am very pleased to have you join once again.

      The alternative paths now appearing in politics are interesting to consider, the alt-right being a notable one. I think their growing presence in America can be explained partly by the troublesome & fruitless rivalry between the two parties. I am for identity movements but I’m afraid the alt-right is taking a wrong course. Imagine if they became polytheists; how much wiser and better and fairer would they seem to the world. Britain would benefit from more polytheism too, even though they have some of the highest numbers of any country in Europe already. I dare say we could contribute (at least in America) to the formation or expansion of some third party. All what we need is a vocal and bold politician who is ambitious, honest and skilled. Dan Halloran is an example of a dishonest heathen politician. Augustus Sol Invictus has good spirit & ambition, but he is too controversial to do much good. But as I told K above, we should (in the meantime) be engaging politically at the local and communal level; in such a case, there is real opportunity for getting a polytheist elected or at least making influence.

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      1. K

        I don’t have much hope for the alt-right. It will likely run itself into the ground. Then again, it is not a single coherent group. It is full of “crusaders” though. A bunch of them see more Christianity as the solution, not much different than a Republican voter. There are even those among them pushing Eastern Orthodoxy. I am very suspicious of that.

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      2. Melas the Hellene Post author

        Well said, my friend. Many in the alt-right are also racists in the true sense of the word, i.e. they think their race is superior to others. It’s part of the monotheistic thinking that they exhibit in a dangerous manner, as in believing they are the “chosen people” who have a duty to guide the world and the right to colonize it. It is absolutely despicable and akin to Nazism. I wish I could debate their leader Richard Spencer and expose him for the ignorant rat he is. The same goes for anyone on the extreme left who believes race mixing is an essential and necessary form of cultural expression.

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  4. Paul

    Or even running for office ourselves, if one has the drive and inclination to do so.

    Augustus Sol Invictus is a very interesting man. I don’t know all that much about his path of Thelema beyond the utter basics, and so can’t offer my thoughts on it. I will say, however, that his poetry is enthralling and I have no doubt that he loves his countrymen, but sometimes one can be too open and honest. I am speaking, of course, about the whole goat sacrifice thing.

    Regarding those advocating Eastern Orthodoxy, I had come across that as well before. I suppose because they see it as more traditional (my own thought), but I don’t ever see it becoming a widespread phenomenon, myself. The Orthodox churches tend to run along ethnic lines and most people would likely feel out of place whilst attending one. Catholicism is pointless as it is fairly well infested with left-wing minds at this point. Even where one would not expect them, and I speak from personal experience both as a former devout and someone with experience at a Jesuit school.

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    1. K

      I think much of leftism is just Christianity returning to its destructive roots. It has run out of cultures and religions to cannibalize. Jesuits seem to have a reputation for crypto-Marxism today. The current Pope is a good example.

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  5. K

    I am surprised that you both like Augustus Sol Invictus. I have heard of him and I have seen some of his material. I can’t say I like Thelema or anything like it. It is based on the works of Aleister Crowley. It is like a mish mash of different occult ideas from Kabbalah and Hermeticism, ritual magic, tantrism, and various religious systems(a lot of Egyptian deities). Then again, maybe its followers find it edifying. I am not going to act like a Christian and outright accuse them of being “satanic” without knowing anything. They would treat me the same way as they would a Thelemite, no doubt.

    That goat sacrifice thing really did hurt him when he talked about while running for something. I wonder if he intended to lose, or if he just wanted to be open about that for some reason. I think people are a bit hypocritical about it. If he had said that he worked in a slaughter house or eats meat, or kills animals for food in hunting or from his herd, there would have been little problem. He just had to say that he ritually sacrificed a goat and drank its blood. I see this attitude among Christians all the time; they associate animal sacrifice with Satan(!). I remember one telling me that only Satan would demand blood sacrifices. I then directed them to the entire Old Testament, particularly the sacrificial laws in Leviticus. The Christian actually denied the existence of such passages, though I found that they had never read any of the Bible.

    I don’t like the chosen people narrative even when my people want to adopt it. I particularly do not like the Christian Identity element often found among the alt-right for this reason. The secular “chosen people” and “secular millennialism” are derived from the same source in my opinion. There is already a group of people that thinks they are chosen and should own the whole world, we don’t need to be so deluded as them. Despite this, I will still be called a racist. I meet the basic standards for being declared a racist nowadays.

    I am not going to be running for anything. I am not going to be winning any popularity contests.

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    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      I had heard of this Augustus Sol Invictus some time ago, and I wouldn’t say he had a good impression on me. His name strikes me immediately as being arrogant; why would he consciously name himself after a God, unless he were extremely full of himself? He loses more credit in my eyes when I discover that the goat sacrifice and drinking of its blood were not a traditional ritual, but an invented esoteric one, as you point out. At the very least, the thing should have been done privately, but he chose to be provoking and performed it recorded. So, let him bake what he brewed. This mish-mash of traditions often leads to individualistic behavior because it has little ancestral and traditional foundation, and is based on some twisted idea of “devotion”. He might have done something worthy and balanced to represent his beliefs in a good light, but his actions only gained him notoriety. A pagan or polytheist running for public office must always be aware that his constituents need to be respected or at least prevented from unnecessary misunderstanding. I have yet to look into this man’s poetry or other accomplishments, but this is what I have to say about his political activity as I know it.

      I agree with you about secular millennialism and its associated way of thinking. One thing I have noticed about racism: nobody can successfully accuse you of it, if you a) believe no race is superior to another b) speak for polytheists of all races throughout the world c) avoid using the universal term “white” or referring to them as your people. It’s quite simple. Those are safeguards that cannot be penetrated by any logical argument. I would add advocacy for indigenism too, including in the New World. We don’t need you for public office; put your knowledge to good use for the common benefit and that will be even better!

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  6. Pingback: Why Celtic Paganism is not usually Alt-Right friendly | The Lefthander's Path

  7. Pingback: Left/Right is a False Divide for Polytheists | The Lefthander's Path

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