My thoughts concerning a recent controversy among pagans online

An author on Patheos by the name of Cyndi Brannen posted some reflections lately on the white supremacy she perceives in American paganism and witchcraft. A response against her conclusions was later posted by Kenaz Filan, author of a website entitled “Europa’s Children”.  This sort of contention between pagan thinkers leaning to the Right or the Left has been going on in many forms, and for far too long. Being someone who usually seeks a middle and mixed way, I find myself almost always isolated and alone when I try to participate. My aim in remaining neutral is not to be a provocative individualist (far from it because I am more on the side of collectivism, albeit in smaller rather than groups), much less an indecisive shifty person who follows the crowd, nor indeed a self-appointed judge who utters the final word. If all pagans can agree, in opposition to monotheism, that there is no one single Truth, the conclusion must be that there are Truths, and these exist on several sides. This is what I seek, however difficult it may be to attain. In spite of sporadic faults, I am attracted to the idea of reconciliation and confederation in cases of unnecessary disagreement among pagans, but this is beyond my power to convey as a relative newcomer or indeed a single voice. I remember an anecdote from the English Civil War, in which Prince Rupert (on the King’s side) at the head of some troops saw a man going about his business in an isolated area. So, the Prince asked “You, fellow, are you for King or Parliament?”. The man’s reply was as reasonable as it could be in itself, but it was immediately misinterpreted in times of war: “I am for both King and Parliament, sir”. This caused the poor man’s death, because the Prince shot him immediately. What happened then is being repeated, albeit differently: The division between Left and Right is becoming quite akin to a cultural and ideological civil war, in which middle voices are put aside as traitors or fools. And when the battle has to do with identity, the heat will only increase by mutual opposition.  

Below are excerpts from the two posts abovementioned, and I have consciously put them in the form of a dialogue to illustrate (a rather mild example of) the disengagement and disagreement that pervades pagan discourses online:

Brannen: White advantage is everywhere in modern witchcraft, from pop culture to the common Wheel of the Year. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it is problematic when all this whiteness blinds us to the problems it causes for those who are from marginalized groups. However, there are ways those of us who want a more diverse witchcraft can be true allies. Diversity strengthens us personally and witchcraft as a whole…Look at your bookshelf and the thought leaders you follow on social media. I did just that. So much whiteness. This launched me on a quest to better understand the problems this causes and ways I can possibly help give space to those who aren’t white. I’m not putting myself on the cross here. My interest in dismantling whiteness in witchcraft is selfish.

Filan: Brennan offers some ways in which White Witches can fight this system.  Some of her pointers are quite good.  I am all for treating other cultures with respect: I encourage everyone to honor their Ancestors and to work toward uplifting their Folk.  It’s always good to sit back and listen. Looking for a Little Brown Holy Person to fill your spiritual emptiness rarely ends well.  Neither do we disagree on the importance of developing one’s own identity and figuring out one’s personal truth.

Brannen: Check your privilege. Basically, asking ourselves if we are coming from a place of dominance over the individual or group with whom we are interacting. Also, if we believe that we are inherently better than another group or individual. In addition, having an attitude that we are the “chosen ones” can also be a sign of privilege. In other words, be humble.

Filan: To all this chest-thumping and rending of garments there is only one proper response.  So I helpfully reassured Brennan, and her readers, that “It’s Okay to be White.”  And because I am an inveterate shitposter I appended those five problematic words with fourteen that are even more controversial.  The results, which we will explore in our next entry, are both predictable and amusing.

 

I had examined the problem of group identity, white supremacy and indigenism before on this site (see, among others, here and here). Looking through the two opposing posts, it appears there is an original problem with definitions and premises (leading to problematic conclusions) further reinforced by a lack of direct discussion. Aristotle has a wise quote that I love to bear in mind in such circumstances: “How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms”. In pursuance of his advice, I will attempt to define the following terms:

Racism

What everyone agrees it is: the belief in the superiority of one race above another together with the resulting practice, directly or indirectly, of favoring that race above others.

What some mistakenly believe it to be: A) the belief in the priority of serving and preserving one’s ethnic people, as in Europe  B) the belief in favor of endogamy within one’s ethnic or close groups (N.B. “White” is not an ethnic group-see below)

What we should further agree on as to what it is: A) the belief in the existence of a collective heritage, ethnos or culture belonging to a whole race of people (as in the white race).  B) the belief in the priority of serving and preserving one’s ethnic people in spite of past & continuing colonialism, as in the New World

 White supremacy

What it is: A) The belief in the superiority of the white race above others B) The belief that the whites should maintain the status quo and cultural ascendancy in areas they colonized

What it is not: The belief of Europeans in Europe against immigration and multiculturalism within their own soil

Whiteness

What it is: the collective mentality of Western Civilization and Eurocentrism in relation to other cultures, especially in the New World

What it is not: every person of white complexion (unless that person subscribes to the above)

Privilege

This has an obvious definition but once again I would distinguish native privilege from colonial privilege

 

My conclusion in one paragraph, in the style of Aristotle:

Both authors don’t fully understand each other’s position, nor even the groups they are attempting to speak on behalf of. It is necessary to separate Old World European systems and cultures from those of the New World. Although Old World Europeans have yet to remove their influence from former colonies completely, New World Europeans are still using (and cannot escape from) colonizing systems. Part of the latter system is the concept of “whiteness”, and it has also crept into Europe through American socio-political influence as well as natively through the expanding project of the European Union. Paganism should be helping us in either case, since the knowledge we have of indigenous practices is sufficient, if not vast, to heal past wounds and reform identities. Colonial systems should be opposed and dismantled as much as possible, but there is an effective & persuasive way to achieve this (tone is always a good beginning); unfair institutions and bad ideas must not be mixed with the people who happened to grow up following them, otherwise this will lead the people to hold onto such institutions and ideas all the more strongly*. The New World is not European, but it is inhabited by Europeans who must be gradually brought to the realization that they have separate origins in distinct parts of Europe that they must reconnect with and allow others with different origins to do the same. Identities based on continents (European/African/Asian) make very little sense in general and certainly no sense at all in paganism; they only lead to confusion and misunderstanding. It is therefore not OK to be “White”, but it is OK to be Greek, Irish, German, etc. And yet it is OK to “Black” (in a collective sense) until whiteness is dismantled (because Whiteness created Blackness). After many centuries of domination, the dangerous idea of a collective Western/European/White culture must end and give way to native and indigenous systems.

_____________

*In colloquial terms, “don’t throw away the baby with the dirty bathwater” 

 

 

19 thoughts on “My thoughts concerning a recent controversy among pagans online

  1. jim-

    The goal seems to be this boring and dull monochrome world. Going coast to coast and seeing all the same things, fashions, restaurants—even the people and their behavior. Wouldn’t life be much more beautiful with indigenous peoples dressed in their traditional clothing working side by side with us all?
    I have a place in Panama, and it is much closer to that than here. The Ngobe Bügle and their traditional garb, the import Panamanians and their mixtures If Spanish, black, Chinese, Arabic’s (and Canadians) lol. But it really is neat when people can dwell in their natural state and be so much more to our world that what we’ve created.

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    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      Well said! Unfortunately the “dull monochrome” stretches not only coast to coast, but is spreading all over the world. Everybody is moving to the large or capital cities and those have already been centers of diffusion for western culture. You ask a beautiful rhetorical question. But alas, tribes are throwing off their native clothing and traditions in favor of jeans, an iPhone, and YouTube/popular culture. This is not to mention what is happening to invaluable languages, dialects, food, crafts, customs, and even behaviors. Even in countries like France, the Celtic language of Brittany is not recongnized and thus shrinking (because it’s associated with lower status). I was in Egypt last summer visiting monuments in Cairo and it struck me (as it did my father decades ago) that the disparity between ancestors and descendants was so vast. I thought “why are Egyptians wearing jeans and imitating the West? It only makes them look like inferior Europeans!” It turns out, this is all a result of power. The West makes all the rules and sets all the standards because it has a bigger voice backed by bigger guns and bigger wealth.

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      1. Melas the Hellene Post author

        Thank you! I read your excellent post and perused the comments also. Write more of these! I know your website is dedicated to battling religion (hopefully, as I gathered from your post, the prevailing big ones that seek domination) but some sort of spiritual alternative must be offered to fill the void, otherwise you get more of the monochrome “humanism”! I will be following your blog for future observation and commentary.

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  2. neptunesdolphins

    The American culture is based on assimilation and conformity. Consider the “melting pot” vrs the Canadian idea of the “tossed salad.” The various groups who originated here or came here were all exhorted to meld into the society or remain as far away from it is as possible. What has happened is that generations of people have lost their ethnic beginnings and am now stuck with “American.” The hyphenated people such as Native American, African-American, and Asian-American are coerced into becoming something “safe” for everyone else to be comfortable.

    I believe that is will be a struggle between maintaining one’s ethnicity and ethos and blending in. I am not sure how this will play out in the long run. I do believe that the tension between Brennan and Filan is how to deal with what is ethnicity and what is generic. You are right, they both see things quite differently and work off of different definitions.

    My problem with white privilege discussions is that they are so vaguely defined as to what the author means, that I am confused. Does Witchcraft have a white privilege problem? If so, what examples could be made? Using spiritual technology that belongs to another group?

    I do know that from growing up in Maine as French Canadian, it was tempting to loose the language and customs. I disliked being called frog and being told how dirty I was. My family have been in the area since the 1600s.

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    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      Good points. If one looks closely, it will be seen that every culture naturally requires assimilation and conformity from those who seek to live permanently in their land. The huge problem with America (and the New World in general) is, the culture is not native to the land. And I consider the dominance of cultures on non-native land to be supremacy. To add to the problem, the “Hispanics” who are coming in (which I support totally), while having some native ancestry (and less culture), they are bringing a largely European culture (Spanish) with them. So now, the reasoning changes from Somewhat Native vs non-native to Spanish vs English. And all the while the Natives here have little say, and are intermixing because they feel inferior from years of oppression and mockery. I foresee this complication only growing, but with “white” culture happily declining in its ascendancy. There must be more pluralism, but not violently enforced or rudely preached. I wish Native culture was in the ascendant as before, rather than this Black/Muslim vs White/Christian game of dualism. Perhaps the American Empire is in decline, and so be it, if that is the case.

      I know that white privilege can be poorly defined but I think it simply means that “whites” have an advantage by virtue of their cultural ascendancy. If witchcraft and paganism are generic New Age pursuits, there probably are more whites there, but that wouldn’t be the case with ethnic reconstructionism.

      So many, including myself, can sympathize with your experience of assimilation. This sort of thing happened even among “whites” with deep roots, because it was the WASPs (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) who used to have cultural ascendancy. I remember being bullied a little for my accent (I grew up abroad part of my early years) in High School and not quite fitting in with the “whites” (or being allowed to), so I stuck with Greeks and Palestinians mostly. I still feel the difference and long to go back to Greece where my people and culture are dominant.

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  3. Paul

    I am waiting for this whole mythology of supremacy and fragility and privilege etc to collapse and eat itself alive. It’s tempting to infiltrate it and make it even more absurd.

    “As a second generation white (intentional lowercase) Green Witch and descendant of colonists, I am troubled by popcorn. By continuing to purchase and consume popcorn, not only do we continue to benefit from the stolen efforts of countless generations of Native Americans, but we also perpetuate white (again intentional lowercase) supremacy and privilege by doing so. If you must purchase popcorn, please do so by engaging respectfully with Indigenous (intentional uppercase) farmers and consider your purchase as a reparation. Blessed Be!”

    All of these PC people and PC Pagans need to stop embarrassing themselves by trying to gain social brownie points with people who despise them. All of this going on about how inclusive they try to be and deal with so-called “privilege” and “fragility,” how many black/gay/Muslim/trans/minority-of-the-moment friends they have, how they wonderfully set their own interests aside for others, etc etc etc etc etc. No other people on the planet except indoctrinated Whites and those who hate Whites talk like that.

    As for “White” not being OK, I must cheerfully disagree on this point and stress that it’s more than OK, it’s fantastic and beautiful. Both are important, but race is more important than ethnicity by far. In most cases, good luck telling one ethnicity from another and virtually all of them are very recent developments against the greater backdrop of history. Race, on the other hand, is clear in an instant and soundly rooted in biology. Ethnicity has a biological basis as well, but less so. “White” is not a recent term, but has been in use for many centuries as a way of describing the collective and wider European and Caucasoid peoples.

    As for the indoctrinated, they have my love and I wish them all a swift deprogramming.

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    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      I will give an earnest response, my friend. I know that swift social changes cause discomfort and I hinted at that in my post. I believe I have been fair and consistent thus far in my treatment of this difficult subject. I am afraid these grievances of “non-whites” towards “whites” are not mythology, otherwise they would not have spread so far and wide- there is truth in it. We can say what we will (in favor of either side), but at the bottom of it all, the truth remains that native land was taken & native people were replaced. But this is a general truth; polytheism (in my view) should allow to interpret this in a particular manner, hopefully one that is fair and reasonable. Remember that polytheists look back 2000 years into history, if not more; is it just to claim that right while denying others to look back 400-500 years? It is easy to dismiss what others are thinking if we look at it from one side, but in such a case, the problem will never be understood and therefore never resolved. In fact, it will adversely affect other areas like Europe as we see today.

      The demographics of America are changing, that’s certain. Non-Hispanic Whites made up 62% of the total population in 2015. Some see this are alarming, but I don’t at all. A few even have the audacity to call it “white genocide”. If America were populated with Greeks instead of “whites”, I would wish for ALL the Greeks to go home or at the very least accept that their long-held power will now give way to others. It’s fair. Imagine it reversed. What if the Persians had colonized Greece and replaced most of the people? As a Greek, I would wage war until the last Persian is removed. Didn’t Vercingetorix nobly attempt to do the same with the cunning Romans? I can’t say this for my people and set another standard for others; that’s where the supremacy comes from. The native Americans have no voice, and whenever they speak, few listen and most dismiss them or worse, mock them. It is the height of injustice. Those who speak against it are not “indoctrinated Whites” but un-indoctrinated Whites. I wish this term “white” were never created out of bad ideas and historical circumstances. But do you know a strange thing? If you dislike globalism, as I suppose you do (like myself), you should also dislike whiteness. Why? Because they are part and parcel of the same historical process, i.e. empire and modernism. The term “white” may have been used within a few centuries ago (early modern period), but it was certainly not used by the ancients. To an ancient Greek, anyone non-Greek was a “barbarian” meaning someone who spoke unclearly. Certainly, a Thracian was closer genetically than a Persian or an Ethiopian, but they were still the same in their difference, i.e. non-Greeks. The term white began to be used only AFTER European powers became *globalized* enough to deal with other “races” extensively. And in the colonies, it’s no secret that race replaced social class, to facilitate production. That was the whole dream and temptation of the New World: “Life will be much easier here than in Europe because land is dirt cheap and so is labor, so that if you work hard enough and rise up as an entrepreneur, you’ll achieve in one lifetime what Europeans achieve in several. Opportunity is everywhere because the natives did nothing and left this whole continent empty, and it is the Lord’s will as well as the will of our intelligence that that will change”. But once race was used, it still proved problematic. Greeks and Italians were considered not white for some time (thankfully), and there was even a judicial statement about whether a man from Finland was to be considered white. Now that white is synonymous with Caucasian, perhaps Europe should no longer complain about Middle Eastern immigrants?? And let’s not pretend I can’t tell apart “whites” according to their nations. Sometimes, with a trained eye, one can tell them apart according to regions (I can). And yet this doesn’t mean anything…The Athenians fought the Spartans and the Celtic Sequani fought the Germanic Suebi. You think they didn’t look generally alike? Only culture could tell them apart. It’s called regionalism and tribalism, my friend. Confederation is temporary. If you make it permanent and big (nationalism), you get some form of imperialism. Make the alliance even bigger (race) and you get the height of imperialism and globalization, with adverse consequences from people who were formerly oppressed or marginalized. Please reconsider your position about whiteness and indigenism, or at least temper it.

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      1. K

        I never was able to get the regionalism vs nationalism thing. I understand the basic point, but I don’t see anything different in it from scaled down and more specific nationalism. I suppose it would be possible to break up every nation-state in Europe into distinct regions. Instead of Germany we could have Swabia, Saxony, Bavaria, Prussia, and so on. France could be Aquitaine, Burgundy, Anjou, Normandy, Brittany, and so on. Belgium could be Wallonia and Flanders. Ireland, you would have to get into a big fight about that.

        What you or I think right now won’t change anything about the sociopolitical situation. But what theoretical basis ethnic polytheistic movements adopt in the future will matter. Nascent movements always go through a phase where factions with different ideas for direction struggle to get their hands on the rudder. In the future, I don’t expect European power to be nearly as widespread. Maybe we will be back to a state like it was prior to colonial empires, or maybe Europeans will be under the power of some other group. We can’t really afford the latter option. How would some hypothetical heathen country the size of Liechtenstein defend itself?

        You know which people in Europe held out the longest against Abrahamism? The Lithuanians. What is not often emphasized is that Lithuanians formed a rather centralized state under a monarch(and a powerful priesthood), and it was expanding even in the face of crusades, the (often) hostile princedoms of Rus and the Mongol hordes. It captured so much territory that at one time it was the most powerful nation in Eastern Europe, and a heathen one. It took a jihad by Muslim Mongols concurrent with the Teutonic Knights attacking backed by multiple nations to finally bring their leaders to the point of surrendering to conversion. Even that did not have an immediate effect, as the conversions were not sincere in many cases, and the majority of the people remained unconverted for centuries. Old traditions lasted into modern times because of the lateness of conversion and the stubbornness of the people(multiple rebellions over conversions happened).

        If they had remained a bunch of small tribes and did not form a powerful nation under a monarch, they would have quickly ended up like the Irish, Germans, and Norse did. There was resistance, but in the end later centralizing monarchs supported Christianity, and in any case they were strong armed into it by Christian subversion within and Christian military and economic pressure without(see the case of the Danes). Look at how they got the Icelanders. Why so I bring all this up? Because nothing prevents Abrahamism from trying to knock over any future heathen enclave. Nothing prevents invasion by some non-European people. Nothing prevents the Middle East from spawning another prophet with a book whose followers will come to kill or convert us. Nothing stops southerners from coming to exploit us for some new empire of theirs. I expect the future to resemble the past, and by now we ought to have learned some lessons. I am for a smaller state in the sense of government, I don’t want a tyrannical mega-state like the Roman empire became. But we need some degree of nationalism. I think of the Swiss model here. They managed to retain a state of liberty with a decentralized, non-intrusive state while fighting off bigger enemies. I am not sure if you had something like that in mind.

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      2. Melas the Hellene Post author

        The adoption of regionalism instead of nationalism is a theory that is now in a state of idealism, but it may well become more convincing in times to come. It is a serious and beneficial alternative to the conflicts fueled by the struggles of nationalism against globalism. So I will continue to develop the theory accordingly. I know there is a temptation to object to its simplicity, but scaling down is exactly what the world needs at this juncture; there is too much excess, competition and dreams of incessant growth that are plaguing the balance of things. Permaculture is better than agriculture, localism better than cosmopolitanism, communalism better than mass individualism/collectivism, small monarchies better than empires and indeed regionalism is better than nationalism/globalism. See my previous post “10 reasons the world needs polytheism” for more on this theme. It’s all a matter of scale, my friend. I know this idea seems far fetched at the moment, but we can always think, work and hope towards future improvement not only for polytheists but all others.

        The Lithuanians first formed a centralized kingdom under Mindaugas, obviously at a time of invasions. This change was a natural consequence to circumstances, and I think their resistance was largely owing to their geographic isolation from trade as well as their scarcity of resources and prosperity. Nowadays Europe is entirely stabilized in its territories, but there is a great fear that it could be thrown back to the political problems of the earlier 20th century. The fear is fueling blind short-term policies by those who lead, which in turn are fueling more fear and blind short-term ideologies on both sides of those affected. The fear on all sides is legitimate in several respects, but there is not enough understanding and compromise, but too much conflict and misuse of terms & definitions (as shown above). Regionalism would solve many of the major problems, if not most, and in the case of some unlikely invasion from the Middle East, national (or even meta-national) confederations and centralized authorities could arise for the time being. But it is to be hoped that with the power that Europe and “the West” still have, they can prevent rather than cure these problems in the Middle East. I refuse to believe that monotheism is on the rise; the West is winning the cultural war by far and that is causing “Abrahamism” to resist. The Islamic state is over, but a few elements will always remain. I have a gay friend in Syria who is alive & well, and he says there is even more freedom for homosexuality in Iraq. I was shocked when I heard that and it speaks volumes. Things are rapidly changing everywhere, sometimes for the better and other times for the worse. Now it is time for some sort of long-term reform and reconsideration of prior principles. The history of the world is at a crossroads and polytheism can be a great part in setting all the peoples of the world on a better path. What that better path is must be the task of many thinkers and well-wishers to arrive at.

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      3. Paul

        Thank you for your words. My thoughts remain the same, but I am glad we can discuss politely. In the past, I hated participating in forums and blogs as so many use the anonymity of the internet to be as nasty as they please. Polite disagreements and discussions are always wonderful. I have a few comments.

        Firstly, demographics expand and contract, it happens. My problem with the surge of current immigration that is happening is the underlying causes, which is a topic unto itself. Secondly, I must be clear that I said the entire White privilege and fragility etc complex was mythology, not grievances. I am well aware that historical grievances are entirely real and not false. I wish for a more balanced picture amongst all of these people who are constantly going on about Europeans, and ignoring the historical injustices in their own backyards. Africans gleefully (and very profitably) sold other Africans into slavery. Amerindian tribes, contrary to what so many think, were quite good at overpowering and exterminating others, not to mention building great empires. Scores of people seem to think that it was a land of people growing corn and beans, offering up tobacco and passing around the pipe, no concept of tribal territory or land, and endless chatting about how wonderful the Great Spirit is until the White Man showed up. A better scenario would be a general recognition that all peoples have done horrific things, rather than this singling out of Europeans in particular that is so fashionable nowadays.

        About the term “White” not being used until colonization is a point I have made before. That the ancients didn’t have such a distinction is because the ancients didn’t have such extensive contact. There was no need for such a term whilst Europeans only had dealings amongst themselves (save perhaps the odd slave and the later invasions from the east and south), but this doesn’t diminish its reality. New discoveries and concepts happen all of the time and need to have terms coined to explain them properly. There was no need for terms like White, Black, etc prior to contact, but after contact they became necessary. I personally prefer the terms Europid or Caucasoid over White. White tends to be limited to Europeans in particular whereas the other two are broader in reach and meaning, but granted they sound rather cold and scientific.

        Regarding appearances, yes, some different general looks between ethnicities exist. If you look at photos of the actress Claudette Colbert, she had an ideal French face shape. People can usually tell someone of Germanic ancestry from someone of Slavic, someone from northern from someone of southern European, and so on. But how many can tell a German from a Norwegian? A Finn from an Estonian? Line up a Spaniard, an Italian, a Greek, even a Syrian or a Turk along with them and show me someone who can tell the difference. Many Levantines and Turks are very light indeed, even the majority in many places, as are many Iranians (not just Persians) and Berbers. As far as those in the past who said that Greeks, Italians, Finns weren’t White (they often also included peoples from the Iberian peninsula), they were fools who probably didn’t know a single individual from either group. I wouldn’t be surprised if they also hung up “Irish Need Not Apply” signs in their windows.

        Regarding immigration from the south, I would like to pose a serious question: by yourself having no issue with people in their move northward, isn’t this accepting the continued occupation of foreign people over native land? Here in California, we have plenty of indigenous tribes who still live on their Ancestral land, as does every state along the border where they end up arriving and most (if not all) other states, besides. Couldn’t this be considered as accepting and welcoming the continued colonization of their land by outsiders, especially if one subscribes to indigenism and regionalism in particular? The factual argument can be made that they also have indigenous ancestry, but as we well know, indigenous comes in many forms and is not monolithic in any way. I mean this as a serious question and not as sarcasm, in the event that it sounds as such.

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      4. Melas the Hellene Post author

        Thank you for thinking well of me and offering your thoughts politely. I am sure we will look back at these discussions as time goes and compliment ourselves for the manner of them as well as aid ourselves by using them for further reflection.

        After several exchanges with you on this topic, I believe I am now familiar with the nature of your position, as perhaps you are with mine. I know what is going through your thoughts and the concerns you have. We seem to be using different definitions based on different premises. Future examination will perhaps allow us to join on a common path, united by a common vision of polytheism, one that will be moderate and fair in itself and so for all peoples. Let us in the meantime look to fables for more guidance!

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    2. K

      It must be frustrating for you. I know you get attacked by both sides over multiple issues, but particularly this one. There are those out there that would respond to what you say by saying you are not white, which is an easy way for them to dismiss someone. Sometimes this is out of disdain for southern Europeans. Others would call you a racist white supremacist. Or maybe a Greek supremacist, though I have never heard of one of those.

      I remember what you said about the “proven Germanic ancestry” requirement for being involved in Germanic polytheism. I said it would just make the accusations of racism even louder, you disagreed with that. You said that, since the standard would be Germanic and not a general category of “white”, that would make it unassailable to accusations of racism. That made me think that you have a very different point of view from most. I could not comprehend using that argument on the opposition, they certainly would not accept it.

      I recently found that the Irish side of my family has a lot of Scandinavian ancestry, and my Y-chromosome haplogroup is from an I1 subclade most densely found in Sweden(but also across Germanic areas). This is on top of my German ancestry.

      “What some mistakenly believe it to be: A) the belief in the priority of serving and preserving one’s ethnic people, as in Europe B) the belief in favor of endogamy within one’s ethnic or close groups.”

      You say this is not racism, but all of the universalists out there would define that as racist. I have yet to find one that would accept this. Endogamy in particular seems to be a problem for them. Why would you only marry a member of your own group? Because the others aren’t good enough for you. That is what they think when you say that. Ever notice how they equate separatism with supremacy?

      Germanic equals white, that is the problem. Other categories also equate to white, such as Irish, or French, or Welsh, or Polish. I am aware that this is partly a colonial construct, and that Anglo-Saxons sat on top of the hierarchy in America in the past. That is not how it is thought about now, white does have a meaning and the opposition understands that. They have a problem with heathenry even being Germanic, not just “white”. They have made this clear for years. Whiteness refers to European peoples in general and is always associated with privilege that must be deconstructed. They don’t care about peoples like the Finns or Lithuanians either, even though they have been oppressed greatly for 500 years or more. Finns and Lithuanians never even had colonies. The opposition sees them as “white oppressors” regardless of actual history. They can’t even escape the race and immigration propaganda in their countries. The same could be said of the marginalized Irish, or the Bretons of France, or the Basque of Spain. The opposition lumps all that into “white” the same way they lump all sorts of disparate and often opposed groups into “people of color” or “the oppressed”.

      White is not a meaningful category compared to real European ethnic cultures, that I can agree with. It is a broad generalization based on phenotype and genetic closeness that is only pertinent when dealing with completely foreign groups of people. There are many peoples in Europe and not all get along, especially certain closely related ones. Pan-Europeanism would probably work out as well as Pan-Arabism or Pan-Slavism did. “The West” is a very general and vague concept too. All it refers to now is a political ideology of some sort. It is about as vague as the concept of “Rome” was by the end of that empire. That is one of my major problems with those Alt-Righters and nationalists; they want to defend “the West” but don’t understand the problem. What we have right now is the culmination of “Christendom” and “the West”, decadence, demographics, and all.

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      1. K

        I wanted to respond to Paul’s comment.

        “I am well aware that historical grievances are entirely real and not false. I wish for a more balanced picture amongst all of these people who are constantly going on about Europeans, and ignoring the historical injustices in their own backyards. Africans gleefully (and very profitably) sold other Africans into slavery. Amerindian tribes, contrary to what so many think, were quite good at overpowering and exterminating others, not to mention building great empires. Scores of people seem to think that it was a land of people growing corn and beans, offering up tobacco and passing around the pipe, no concept of tribal territory or land, and endless chatting about how wonderful the Great Spirit is until the White Man showed up. A better scenario would be a general recognition that all peoples have done horrific things, rather than this singling out of Europeans in particular that is so fashionable nowadays.”

        This is what I am constantly trying to get the other side to understand. They have this idea that somehow Europeans are responsible for everything they don’t like. The truth is a lot of these modern liberals and progressives would hate the cultures of their “people of color” if they actually looked at them objectively and judged them by their own set of liberal values. Hawaii is one of my favorite examples here. Their society was strictly hierarchical, everyone had a place and knew it. Men and women had roles and they were expected to abide by them. Ritual prohibitions were often enforced with the death penalty, their equivalent of blasphemy was a capital offense. What we would call morals(who could eat together, intoxication, marriage, respect for elders) were enforced strictly. So far I see the sins of inequality, patriarchy, and general lack of freedom. And the Hawaiians were not a bunch of pacifists either. To be the equivalent of a lord, a man had to be able to catch a spear thrown full force at him, and use it to parry more spears that were incoming. I don’t have a problem with any of that, but the other side ought to.

        There are a bunch of cultures though, so you could probably find one that is or was actually made up of feminist, egalitarian, democratic pacifists. Usually this is not found to be the case on closer inspection. The Mayans were once thought to have been these idyllic pacifistic people focused only on farming and studying the stars. This definitely was not the whole picture. Native Americans are often held up as exemplary, but this ignores how diverse that category really is. We are talking about dozens of different cultures and languages. The things that are brought up most is something like living in harmony with the land, being more egalitarian, having more respect for women, and for being more peaceful. Oh, and supposedly they did not commit the ultimate sin of slavery, even though they actually did.

        Peoples in the Americas like the Mexicans, Mayans, and Peruvians who were capable of large scale imperialism and slavery, did it. Others just did it on a smaller scale because of their lack of capability. The natives were also quite adept at extracting resources, building on a large scale, and putting their land(and swamps and lakes) to economical use. As for being more peaceful, if we compare the body counts, I will admit the natives would lose. The World Wars were Europeans massacring Europeans for the most part, killing millions. We have had conflicts like the 30 Years War that make even the larger scale wars of peoples like the Mexicans and Incas look tame. Think of all those 18th and 19th century wars between European nations and empires. Only certain peoples in Asia might be able to even come close to competing here, and even then I am not certain. In terms of drive toward fighting and conflict, I don’t think the natives are any more peaceful though. They fought often, but did not have the mass armies and industrial warfare that Europeans developed. If only that had not been developed, but it is too late now.

        The “living in harmony with the land” idea has got me thinking more than once. Isn’t it a funny thing to contrast natives with Europeans with this? As if Europeans were born with some kind of spiritual detachment from the land. This is just not true, but having Christian assumptions drummed into you might make it seem that way. I never lose an opportunity to bash Christianity, Protestantism in particular, but that did a lot to separate what is “natural” from what is “spiritual” in a way that is quite foreign to other peoples and to our own ancestors. I think trying to process this change has damaged Europeans a lot, maybe it is part of the reason we are messed up.

        They like to yap about white privilege all the time, but their set of assumptions and values are very “white”. The whole progressive project was originally racist as well, the other races were considered lower morally and intellectually because they had not “progressed”. The white man’s burden was to drag them toward progress. This obsession with privilege they have is very white liberal and middle or upper class. People with little real privilege don’t make moral shows of giving up their privilege.

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      2. Melas the Hellene Post author

        Allow me to comment briefly on your thoughts. The romanticization of the Native Americans in general is indeed something that happens and is part of the fog (so to speak) that exists between the two sides of the debate. Anyone with a modest knowledge of anthropology will know that the Natives belonged to either of two social structures: tribes and chiefdoms. The latter kind is where all the hierarchy and violence comes from, and the former (largely peaceful, but still capable of a little bloodshed) is where the romanticization comes from. (See quick source: http://abuss.narod.ru/Biblio/service.htm) On the other hand, the whites (aka modern Christian Europeans) belonged to a “state” society, the most complex in the world at that time. I believe that, after misunderstandings on both sides are cleared, it will appear that the scale of wrongdoing and harm done by colonizing whites is what is in question, not really that others did not do wrongdoing and harm. Although distinct peoples have distinct cultures, it is an anthropological truth that there are “cultural universals”, traits shared by all peoples and groups, among which is violence and wrongdoing. So, a simple and natural answer to the question of why whites get most of the blame would be “because they have/had most of the power”. What they are doing/did with that power doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things because people have the right to self-determination and don’t like to be controlled by other powers. The Celts didn’t care about what the invading Romans morally believed regarding human sacrifice. They desired freedom above all and a right to choose their destiny. No Native American would kiss a European gun that forcibly stops the practice of scalping the heads of the slain. Even if a colonizer offers chains made of gold to the colonized, what does it matter? All our polytheistic ancestors likewise suffered from this hypocritical reasoning under the monotheistic yoke. Freedom is a cultural universal, and it was once totally synonymous (as opposed to partially now) with liberalism. At a time when whites are beginning to share power, they are feeling that others are controlling them. This is natural, but I would add in the case of the New World, fair and therefore desirable. Power must be returned somehow to the indigenous people, and this should hold true *everywhere*, including in Europe.
        And to repeat the point I made with your earlier comment, I believe the world would be better off after a strict reform of modernity, something (it must be said again) that was invented by “whites”.

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      3. Melas the Hellene Post author

        I appreciate the sympathy and understanding you offer with your response. The path of moderation and compromise is always a difficult but worthy one, and I will continue to pursue it as best I can. Perhaps one day both sides will see through the benefits of this pursuit. I maintain that unnecessary conflicts arise through a misuse and misunderstanding of terms, definitions and the intentions that go along with those. But behind all this confusion is the deepest source of the problem: modernity. The modern mentality and the world it has created for the past several hundred years, in the shadow of Christianity, must be seriously reformed before the world can adopt polytheism and rise to its true harmony. Perhaps we have overlooked this point directly, although it could be argued (and I have hinted at this already in a reply to Paul) that “white culture” and modernity are part and parcel of the same thing.

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