What Can Come After

June 27, 2016

I’m currently in Bretagne again, after a week in Strasbourg.  I’ll have a pilgrimage journal on that soon.

In the meantime, here’s a piece just published at Gods&Radicals, entitled “The Death of Liberal Democracy?”  It’s the beginning of a series on the subject, and this first essay addresses the relationship of Capital and the State through the Brexit vote, the French general strikes, and the massacre in Oaxaca:

All of these cases are symptoms of the impending death of Liberal Democracy, and a crisis of Capital. For Pagans, queers, transfolk, disabled folk, people of color, immigrants, and every other minority who relies upon the State for their protection, this should be very worrying—and also a wake-up call to build something more resilient, and soon.

Quite a few of my friends in the United Kingdom are panicked over the recent vote. I think they should be, just as Americans should be terrified of the rise of Fascism in the United States through the campaign of Donald Trump. I’m actually forbidden by law to write about the election on Gods&Radicals, as non-profits are forbidden from influencing elections. Churches and religious institutions are under the same interdiction.

Of course, I can write about it here, and I may, but more interesting to me currently is what can come after, rather than what probably will. To get there, though, much of the isolationism of Americans would need to end, and quickly. Conservatives and particularly many reactionaries are quite isolated on purpose, which only tends to make them more xenophobic and jingoistic. For them, I doubt there’s any hope, but the isolationism of leftists is fatal.

In Paganism, there haven’t been many internationalist connections until Gods&Radicals, which is one of my favorite accomplishments, That internationalism provides an incredible corrective to a lot of the foolishness borne from American exceptionalism. It’s easy to tell another US Pagan that you have an exclusive right to the name of a god from Europe, or are living out your Germanic/Celtic/Whatever ancestral heritage, or that you think we should return to a conservative monarchy, or that you alone know the secrets of standing stones; as long as no one living in lands of which you speak reads your writing, you’re safe.

Worse, that isolationism is precisely why New Right writers are able to claim apoliticism. As long as no-one looks too deeply into the source of their theories on race, or hierarchy, of the gods themselves, they remain unchallenged. Like cult-leaders who forbid their followers from reading outside media or having contact with people outside their cults, isolationism–particularly within American Polytheism–can create nothing but fanaticism.