Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Conversations We Need To Be Having: An Ongoing Discussion with Galina Krasskova (Pt. II)

As White Americans become a plurality rather than a majority, we're going to have to redefine ourselves. Right now I see two equally wrong-headed efforts toward that end. The first is the "mighty Whitey" approach. This defines White as inherently superior to non-White and features lots of complaining about blacks, Jews, "mud races" &c. It's rooted in a Manichean binary that's pure Monotheism filter: Civilized/Savage, Good/Evil, White/Mud. And it's as dangerous and as prone to misuse as any other Monotheistic creed.

GK: I think it's the stupidest most ill thought out, idiotic thing possible to focus on race or to think that one is superior because of one's race. Just completely idiotic. moreover, as a Classicist, i can tell you that race as we view it today is a child of modernity. you don't really see it becoming a divisive issue like this, or a category of any relevance until the 18th and 19th centuries. And of course it's rooted in monotheism (and the Doctrine of Discovery). Any time you have people preaching 'unity' they're preaching monotheism. This need to be all "one" is incredibly dangerous. The corollary that no one ever wants to acknowledge or explore is that if we are all 'one,' than anything different is dangerous at best and bad at worst. Think about the dynamic that is setting up not just with respect to race, but intellectually, spiritually? It's cultural insanity is what it is.

The second is this ritualized White self-abasement. I'm not talking about acknowledging crimes committed by our White ancestors: if we're going to practice an ancestral tradition we need to acknowledge ancestral sins as well as ancestral achievements. I'm talking this incessant bleating about "privilege" as an original sin. Saying "your privilege is causing you to miss this injustice" and then doing something about said injustice is great. But when you have Ivy League students telling unemployed workers to "lose their privilege" then accusing them of feeling "entitled" to a working wage or "racist" toward the illegal immigrants driving down those wages -- well, that's not really appealing either. While the "cuck" slur has been used in some really disgusting ways, the alternative.right was on to something when they came up with it. There is this almost sexualized ritual humiliation: I'm a bad White person, but I will confess my privilege, condemn my racist White ancestors and become a Good Person. Correct me, mistress: tell me how awful I am, make me grovel in my entitlement and I will be healed. And all that may be useful for dealing with liberal White guilt but it does less than nothing to address the conditions spurring said guilt.

GK: i think in many cases the 'bleating about privilege" is used to shut down useful discussion. Someone is always privileged, always. So what? Use your privilege to make useful change. Instead of attacking each other for it, why not look how you can use it to do good in your world, because you can. I think we have people getting tied up in knots over their privilege -- which isn't going away because they're tied up in knots over it -- when instead they could be out doing useful things. I think also as an ancestor worker, all this ritual self abasement is a fucking excuse to not have to deal with that ancestral debt. It's a distraction, a way of entrenching the system as it stands even more fully in its inequities. Stop bitching and whining and deal with the underlying ancestral debt -- trust me, that's going to be vicious, and nasty and ugly enough to serve anyone's masochism. but that's something that would actually pick apart this systemic structure of injustice and horror from its foundations. It might actually make essential changes, changes that are not going to happen while we're whining and reinforcing hostilities on both sides. That self abasement just mires a person in inaction. It serves no useful purpose. ...which is perhaps it's point: i can feel good about myself. I have confessed, mea culpa, mea culpa...and now I can move on with other things. and nothing has changed.

Can folkish religions -- honoring the Gods of our ancestors, while acknowledging and respecting other Gods -- help us create a White identity rooted neither in hatred nor self-hatred?

I could give a rat's ass about creating a white identity. I don't think that's the way it ever worked for our ancestors. There was a tribal identity that had to do with shared kinship by birth, adoption, marriage, etc. but it was never ever based on the color of one's skin. That's an artificial construct of modernity. If we're really going back to a tribal awareness, that's the first thing that needs to go. 

For me, it comes down to this: honor your ancestors whoever they were, whatever color they were, wherever they came from. Celebrate their accomplishments. Celebrate their culture. work hard to preserve the good things in their culture while at the same time acknowledging their faults, their narrowness, their prejudices, their crimes. They were people trying to make their way in the world just as we are and they were no brighter or more enlightened than we. Death may have taught them, elevated them, but they were still just faulty human beings. There are beauties and horrors in all of our lines and that is for us to own and go forward, learning from these things how to be better fucking human beings today. 

My impression of folkish religions is that it is far, far less about the color of one's skin than about the cultures from which one's ancestors hailed. that always, always gets lost in these folkish vs non-folkish debates. It's not about being white so much as about being of German descent, or Swiss, or French, or Russian, or X, Y, Z. Everyone should be proud of their ancestors. They're why we're here. I think that folkish religions are tapping into firstly that pride and secondly the connection of a specific community to a specific place and its history. It's a tribal mindset and that's not a bad thing at all. 

I don't know that we can ever develop a 'white' identity per se because both sides of that equation have muddied those waters with rhetoric and pain and anger -- some justified i might add--that perhaps like certain symbols that were once very sacred-the term can never be reclaimed. I don't know. I don't have an answer for that. I don't know that we should want a 'white' identity. In fact, I very much think it's pointless: it erases the uniqueness and diversity of those different tribal cultures that make up our conception of 'whiteness' today. you should be Irish, French, Swedish etc. and take pride in that, not the fucking level of melanin in your skin.  

The problem I see is that the "White" identity has already been created. We're White whether we like it or not: the question now is "what does it mean to be a White American?" I suspect many of the divides we see today in American culture -- Black, White, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American, Desi (South Asian), etc. -- will harden into cultural/ethnic identities in the future the way i.e "Serbian" and "Croatian" or "Swede" and "Norwegian" came into being. And as those cultures form, the disparate elements therein are going to blend together the way African and Caribbean elements have found their way into the "Black American" identity. Black Americans were able to reclaim Blackness as something other than a tool of insult and degradation. Can we reclaim Whiteness as something other than a tool of oppression? I don't know how we can -- but I know we have no choice.

Unfortunately, the Nordic Gods were co-opted in the mid-20th century and beyond by people who used Them for political ends. As a result they have unjustly been connected to the worst sorts of bigotry. I'm hoping that Heathens will lead by example and Heathen communities will provide a working model for White Americans redefining Whiteness for a new era. Among cultural Marxists "White" has literally become a swear word and a club you beat opponents with, especially when combined with "poor" or "rural." We need an alternative that looks back to European culture and acknowledges both its strengths and its weaknesses. We don't need White Pride but neither do we need White Self-Abasement. And I hope we can find cultural myths that will let White Americans take their place with the other participants in the Great American Experiment. Because I shudder at the consequences should we fail.

I think it important to be clear that the Nazis were NOT heathens. In fact, those who venerated the Norse Gods were sent to concentration camps. the only God Hitler was interested in was Hitler himself. They did co opt certain symbols, but not the Gods. Beyond that, i stand by what i said. I think even trying to create a 'white' identity is barking up the wrong ideological tree.