Happy days in the fjord country. A painting from Norway's romantic nationalist
period titled "The Bridal Procession" by the Norwegian artist Hans Dahl, 1890.
Asatru: Questions and Answers
A discussion about "political correctness" and "world view"
issues, science and our religion, and the kinds of people who
have the best fit for Asatru
William B. Fox
Orginally published in
Winter, (Runic Era) 2243 (1993) Vor Tru Magazine
under pen name "Thor Sannhet"
Note: This series was originally designed as a written supplement to the comments made by Oak Thorgeir and myself during our presentation to the Leif Erikson Society of New York on Monday, March 25, 1991. A transcript of that talk was printed in the winter 2242 issue of Vor Tru. The views expressed in this article are purely my own personal interpretations and do not necessarily reflect the offjcial views of the Asatru Alliance or the personal views of Oak Thorgeir.
Rimstock 1993, published by the Odinic Rite of England, commented "Vor Tru is a quarterly, gives extensive coverage to the Alliance's Althing gatherings and is anything but `politically correct' ---quite the contrary in fact." I take responsibility for being "quite the contrary," perhaps more so than most other Vor Tru writers. However, I am "contrary" for good reason. What particularly bothers me about neo-Marxist "PC" crusaders in America today is their lack of respect for science. They have attacked eminent scientists such as Dr. Arthur Jensen, Dr. Raymond Cattell, and Dr. William Shockley. These scientists have documented areas in which human behavior is more genetic than environmental; as an example, all of them claim that intelligence is approximately 80% genetic.
In Western history, the most authentic, enduring, and cherished forms of radicalism have consisted of attempts by scientific thinkers to transmit their ideas to the public. Many of the greatest heroes of the Renaissance, such as Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Leonardo Da Vinci, were dissidents of this kind. Over time, men of science have revealed the foolishness of "politically correct" conformists.
A perfect example of a "PC coward" is depicted in the play "Erasmus Montanus" by the Norwegian-born playwright Baron Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754), in which a university student tries to tell some villagers that the earth is round and not flat. The villagers eventually apply so much pressure that the student finally recants and gives the "politically correct" opinion that the earth is flat. This play is a satire and comedy, so we can safely laugh at the cowardly student. But can we laugh at Asatruar today who do back flips to conform to the "politically correct" view that intelligence is 100% environmental, who promote the lie that race is "man's most -dangerous myth," and who prostitute themselves by referring to all mention of race or genetics as "racial propaganda"?
Fortunately there are currently no Khymer Rouge-style killing fields in operation in the U.S. for conservatives like myself who refuse to throw 80% of reality out the window in their writing (if indeed intelligence is exactly 80% genetic, give or take a few percentage points). For some people in certain occupations, speaking freely may be risky, but it still is not yet dangerous. It can become dangerous if Nordic peoples fail to recapture their identity, organize themselves, and stand up for the same rights for themselves that other groups in America have demanded and received for themselves all along.
I personally feel that until speaking up becomes dangerous, Asatruar have a moral duty to speak "truth to power" and get as much of the truth out to other people as they can. If enough people do this, we can halt the corruption of our society. If not enough people do it, America's corruption will proceed that much faster. If no one has the guts to do it, it will become virtually impossible for "Northernkind" in America to salvage anything at all, to include even themselves as a distinct people.
If the Nordic presence in the strategic choke points of power (media, banking, government, military, etc), continues to slip, and whites continue to decline towards minority status in a matter of decades in America, Nordics could even become targets of genocide. No doubt that may sound far-fetched to certain readers, especially since the concept of a republican government that guards basic human rights has stemmed from indigenous Nordic institutions. But I would ask, how would the same idea have sounded to the average French citizen only a few years prior to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people during the French Revolution or to the average Russian citizen just a few years before the slaughter of untold millions of Russians after the Bolshevik Revolution?
The bottom line is that if "PC pagans" can talk about saving whales, I feel strongly that I should have the right to talk about saving Nordics. If practitioners of an indigenous ancestral faith are too cowardly to talk about defending their own people, what have you got that is of value?
That, incidentally, is the kind of question that was put to Malcolm X in the movie recently released about him; the Muslim leader responded by organizing a march of Blacks on a police station to protest its detention of a battered Black Muslim who was not receiving justice or proper medical care. If Black Muslims can organize for Black people, why can not white Asatruar organize for their own kind as well?
In this article I wish to explore the concept that Western science itself stems from a fundamental religious impulse that is Asatru in nature. Of course we typically consider science and religion to be opposites, so this is a paradox that I will attempt to explain later in this article. But first, I wish to create an adequate sense of context by analyzing the "world view " concepts described by an editor of Christianity Today magazine. I will start by posing a loaded lead-in question:
Bronze group by Gustav Vigeland
bridge at Frogner Park in Oslo, Norway
QUESTION: Why do you believe that dead paganism can compete with contemporary religions like Islam, Christianity, or Buddhism?
Harold Lindsell, editor emeritus of Christianity Today magazine, does not think paganism is dead. To the contrary, he wrote in the "Introduction" section to his book The New Paganism (Harper and Row: San Francisco 1987) that it is actually more alive than Christianity:
The Post-Christian Age is here. . .The purpose of this book is to document the fact that Western culture today is dominated by paganism. The word "paganism" is far better than the term popularly bruited abroad, secular humanism. The reason is plain enough. The term "humanism" has many meanings and not all of them are bad. There is a Christian humanism that is biblical and should not be sacrificed on pagan alters by misuse. The choice of the word "paganism" can best be discussed in terms of two weighty words: Zeitgeist and Weltanschauung.
Webster defines Zeitgeist as 'the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.' The West at one time could be described as committed to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Today that is no longer true. It is now committed to a New Paganism that has effectively displaced the Judeo-Christian tradition and brought into being what I have called the Post-Christian Era. I cannot speak of the Post-Christian Era for places like Japan, China, and India, for they have never had their paganism supplanted by the Judeo-Christian tradition as the ruling and reigning constituent in their culture.
The second word, Weltanschauung, is defined by Webster as "a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world, especially from a specific standpoint." Different groups or cultures have different Weltanschauungs, different world and life views, and there probably always will be any number of them wholly different from the Judeo-Christian option. This opens up for discussion the question whether Christianity is the only true option or whether some other option is to be preferred above Christianity or whether all options, including Christianity, are unacceptable.
Frog Princess by Russian romantic nationalist painter Viktor Vasnetsov
(While the "Frog Princess" fairy tale itself has almost no relevance to Asatru, the
nationalist flavor of the folk art is, I believe, quite relevant.
and folk customs are often part of the social
that indirectly or
supports an indigenous tribal religion
"The Justice of the Rus" Ivan Bilibin 1876-1942; The Rus were Vikings
who ruled Russia, and from whence Russia gets its name.
Asatru was their religion.
QUESTION: You should be happy then. Aren't you now with the pagan trend?
I can summarize the problem that exists today as follows: wrong paganism, wrong Weltanschauung, and wrong Zeitgeist. Our society has really jumped the track. We Asatruar have a lot of work cut out for us to help set things right.
Sounds like it. Let's start with modern paganism: What is wrong with it?
Most modern pagan' philosophies such as Existentialism, the Playboy Philosophy, Secular Humanism, leftist Feminism, and Marxism all have one thing in common: They are fundamentally environmental (leftist), self-indulgent, and rootless in nature. The Asatru viewpoint focuses on the importance of ancestral, cultural, and religious roots and the full development of a sense of responsibility and loyalty towards ones immediate kindred (and kindred-related community and nation) as well as the full development of ones individuality. This is not to say that we shun pleasure. We glory in physical prowess and sensuous delights, as did the Norsemen and their earlier Indo-European cousins such as the ancient Romans, Greeks, and early Indo-European settlers of the Indus Valley. But we temper these tendencies with strong feelings of responsibility to our kindred and an identification with the values of self-sacrifice, honor, and valor.
And why the wrong Weltanschauung?
Most contemporary viewpoints assume that human behavior is largely environmental (learned) in nature. I accept the growing consensus of the scientific community that human behavior is actually more genetic than environmental. This was pointed out in the April 13, 1987 article in U.S. News and World Report titled: "The Gene Factor". Twin studies have revealed that such traits as extroversion are 61% genetic, conformity 60%, worry 55%, creativity 55%, paranoia 55%, optimism 54%, cautiousness 51%, aggressiveness 48%, ambitiousness 46%, orderliness 43%, and intimacy 33%. Dr. Arthur Jensen and numerous other researchers claim that intelligence is approximately' 80% genetic. Scientists such as Dr. Edward O. Wilson, author of Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, explain how the innate temperamental traits that exist within various gene pools are sculptured by the selective characteristics of the evolutionary environment.
Genealogical knowledge plays an important role in the saga literature. When saga authors introduce a character, they not only briefly describe his or her characteristics, but also quite frequently describe who he or she is related to and something about what their ancestors were like. The saga writers also focus very much on the characteristics of individuals, as opposed to the collectivistic characteristics of "the masses." A focus on individuality has strong overtones of recognizing the importance of innate personal differences.
In the, classic book The Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans, Dr. Hans F. K. Gunther points out on page 17:
...Indo-European religiosity is always directly linked with the conviction of the value of birth and pride in hereditary nature and an inborn nobility which it is his duty to society to maintain --as is particularly apparent, for example, in the truly Hellenic religiosity of Pindar.
The liberal national media, undoubtedly the most powerful single influence which creates America's liberal weltanschauung, tries to program us with a purely environmental viewpoint. It uses a "top down" cultural approach that appeals to the lowest common denominator. It often cleverly distorts our cultural values by pairing our positive emotional reactions with leftist ideological points and by pairing conservative views with negative stimuli. In contrast, the "bottom up" genetic approach ingathers organically similar people and utilizes indigenous cultural and religious expression that best fits innate shared temperamental traits and folk traditions. If Nordic Americans could ingather and learn about their folk traditions, they would not be so vulnerable to liberal national media disinformation. Most Nordic Americans do not understand how their instincts, which may at times seem nebulous or contradictory in nature (like opposing muscle groups for pull-ups and push-ups) nevertheless form distinct patterns which are unique to their race and give rise to indigenous religious values.
"Nordic Summer Evening" (1899-1900) by Richard
Goteborgs Konstmuseum, Sweden
No honest discussion of the influence exerted by the national media can avoid at least a brief explanation of why it is considered so "liberal. "; According to "Media and Business Elites" (Public Opinion, Oct/Nov 1981, published by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.). and "Hollywood and America: The Odd Couple" (Dec/Jan 1983 Public Opinion) by professors S. Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman, 43% of the television elite endorse a complete [liberal] overhaul of American institutions. 56% say the people they work with are mostly on the left, and only 8 percent on the right, a margin of seven-to-one.
According to the Lichter and Rothman research described in "TV's Killer Businessmen" (Forbes, 23 Dec 1991), " ... it is perhaps unsurprising that whereas FBI statistics indicate that about half of America's murders are committed by blacks, in TV-land the proportion is around 3%. Instead, 90% of TV murderers are white, with seven out of ten from `a generic northern European background.'"
Interestingly enough, Lichter and Rothman point out that 59% of the members of the television elite do not share the "generic Northern European background" of the bad guys; instead they have a Jewish background (3% of the national population). In 1990, eight out of ten of the Chief Executive Officers of the ten largest media firms in the U.S. also came from a Jewish background (Ross of Time-Warner, Eisner of Disney, Davis of Paramount, Tisch of CBS, Diller of Fox, Kaufman of Columbia, Redstone of Viacom, and Wasserman of Universal).
The Roots of Radicalism: Jews, Christians and the New Left by professors Lichter and Rothman (who are themselves Jewish) provides a scholarly analysis of the psychology of Jewish "marginality" that pushes Jewish political behavior towards Gentiles to the left and promotes alienation. The upshot is that many conservatives feel that the national media goes far beyond Jeffersonian liberalism; it programs an irresponsible "selective democratic conscience" in which Nordics are made to feel that it is evil and "racist" for them to have the same racial pride in themselves that other peoples, such as Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asians, routinely display for themselves.
We should also be reminded that three times in American history, the United States Government has encouraged forms of subtle or even overt anti-Nordic hatred on an official level. The "anti-Toryism" of the American Revolution and War of 1812 (England was 80% light white Nordic and 20% Mediterranean [Editor's 2009 note: This was an estimate made by a source reported in Wilmot Robertson's classic book The Dispossessed Majority; more recent DNA studies suggest that the English may have a significant percentage of Celtic genes as well]) helped to alienate Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Americans from their ethno-racial roots. Abolitionist hate propaganda during the War Between the States and Reconstruction era promoted nasty "white trash" stereotypes as opposed to "Southern Gentleman" images of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic-descended Southerners. The anti-Germanism of World War I and II has also created enormous confusion (Germany is actually 60% Alpine and only 40% Nordic according to Dr. Lothrop Stoddard). World War I Allied propagandists confused Germans with Asiatic "Hun." During World War II, Allied propagandists tied Hitler's admiration of Nordics to his dictatorial methods, despite the fact that jack boot totalitarianism is alien to Nordic traditions of parliamentary government and individual rights. Before Asatruar can make any real spiritual progress, we must overcome various forms of ugly anti-Nordicism, white liberal guilt and self-hatred, and Western Civilization-bashing and learn to love and accept ourselves, while at the same time retaining a humanitarian and intellectual appreciation for other races and cultures.
"Mother and Child" by Finnish romantic nationalist
painter Albert Edelfelt
Why the wrong Zeitgeist?
We live in a commodity-oriented, "instant" society that promotes immediate gratification. "If it feels good, do it." The instant services that reflect technological innovation are fine. The cultural tone that reflects an infantile approach to life, or puts monetary greed before all other social values, is not sustainable.
Our Zeitgeist has changed dramatically for the worse since this country was founded. In 1790 white people comprised 82% of the total population. 77% of these white people were of a Nordic/Anglo-Saxon background (p. 70, The Dispossessed Majority). They included almost all of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the men who created the Constitution. America had a native-organic Nordic ethos beneath its Christian veneer. Unfortunately these Americans did not know how to define and protect their indigenous Indo-European culture, guard their population from the intrusion of dynamic outsiders, and prevent future generations from suffering from dispossession.
Wilmot Robertson's classic work The Dispossessed Majority (Howard Allen, Box 76, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920) points out how Nordics have been a declining percentage of the total population since the War Between the States. Whites are now down to about 70% of the national population. Anglo-Saxons are down to less than 41% of the white population. The 9 April 1990 Time cover story "America's Changing Colors" talks about how the entire white population is on track to become a minority in less than fifty years. There is no "gut culture" of one particular people that gives a sense of coherence to American society anymore. The old Nordic/Anglo-Saxon cultural norms have become a hollow shell. America increasingly gravitates towards the feel of a chaotic bazaar in ancient Babylonia.
The April 1992 American Renaissance article "The Late Great City of New York" (Part II) talks about how 80% of the students in New York City are nonwhite, and fewer than half can read at grade level and 40% fail to finish high school. The Dec 1992 issue reports that "In New York City, during the 1988-89 school year, students were taught in 82 languages, including such exotica as Kpelle, Nyanga, Twi, Gurma, Ewe, and Cham. A child who speaks absolutely any obscure language under the sun has a right to demand instruction in his native tongue." Is this New York "Babylon" or a growing New York "Tower of Babel?"
The Zeitheist of today is the Zeitheist of the lowest common denominator: money. The people or class of people with the most power in America are those who hold "the terrible power of the purse."
The threat of financial monopolists first became a matter of public alarm during the Robber Baron era of the late 1800's and has remained a major concern among conservatives ever since. Nordic inventors and industrialists such as Henry Ford sounded the alarm but could not achieve a turn-around. Today, across various regions of America,. a bewildering variety of peoples hold the purse strings: they include not only old line WASPs, but Jews, Arabs, Japanese, Columbian drug lords, and other peoples. Everyone and everything has its price. Nordic concepts of honor and integrity and even Jeffersonian ideals are sneered at as "old fogey stuff" in this era of mega-media, Big Government, and other forms of finance (and tax)-driven monopoly power.
A drawing by Fridtjof Hansen,
Norwegian arctic explorer,
scientist, and statesman
Honor and integrity are still workable in modern societies. These qualities work particularly well in racially homogeneous societies such as Norway or Japan where businessmen can still do deals on a hand shake. The problem in America is that during the 1800's, honorable, self-restrained, and far-sighted Nordics increasingly lost influence. Now that America has been run by dishonorable men for so long, it is literally falling apart. Millions of Third World immigrants are flooding across our borders every year, our cities are headed towards bankruptcy, and our standard of living is stagnating. The Japanese are beating us in many areas; for example every year Japan installs more robots than our entire installed base. Often American managers who try for a longer term view get sabotaged by corporate raiders or shareholders greedy for instant cash. We got a good look at their character traits when multi-billion dollar stock swindlers Ivan Boesky, Mike Milken, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine were convicted (cf. the national best-seller Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart, who, incidentally, was blasted by the liberal media as an "anti-Semite" for discussing the background of these scoundrels). It would nice if we could rationalize the tone set by these people as the necessary growth pains of Darwinian progress, in which the tougher, smarter, and more ambitious men rise to the top to guide American enterprise with greater shrewdness and realism. The problem is that our society is giving more evidence of retrograding into chaos and reduced levels of competency than enjoying true progress. More and more of our cities seem poised to go up in flames like Los Angeles in spring 1992 and the Federal deficit is climbing out of sight.
I have not even addressed the ultimate bottom line: how does the Zeitheist impact on our survival as a people? Even here, the signals are negative. A process of self-liquidation was explained in the book The Birth Dearth by Ben J. Wattenberg, as described in the 6 July 1987 Fortune magazine article "Where Have All the Babies Gone? A social theorist argues that falling birthrates in the U.S. will lead to the decline of the West." According to the article,
What disturbs Wattenberg is that American fertility rates have plunged 54% in 19 years, from 3.77 to 1.74 per woman. For the past ten years the rate has remained at 1.8 per woman, well below the replacement level of 2.1. Fertility rates are even lower in Europe. West Germany (1.27) and Denmark (1.4) are losing population, and Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands (1.5) are in danger of doing so.
Wattenberg quotes French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac who said, "Europe is vanishing." Wattenberg concluded: "The Birth Dearth is due to low fertility among the white middle and upper middle class." The article pointed out, "White households earning between $20,000 and $25,000 have 1.7 children per woman. The rate for households with incomes over $35,000 is 1.3". Something is clearly very wrong.
The only good news about the negative trends in America is that they can not continue indefinitely. At some point the pendulum will swing back in our favor. From our vantage point as Asatruar, we need to make sure that as things work themselves out, we have created a position for our own people that prevents them from becoming further dispossessed, alienated, and suppressed. To create that position, we have to ingather, organize, support each other, and be conscious of our roots.
We do not have to be violent or ever advocate anything illegal. We can continue to show humanitarian concern, tolerance, and appreciation for other cultures and races. We do not even have to try to "take over" any existing organizations. All we need to do is create our own alternative organizations and institutions and retain control of them as they grow and provide leadership for our own people.
A good example of a religious group that has already done something like this are the Mormons, who moved to Utah, founded their own self-sufficient communities, and prospered. We can do similar things for ourselves.
"Saint John's Eve Bonfire on Skagen's Beach" by Peder Severin Krøyer, 1903
based upon the pagan Midsummer's Eve or Summer Solstice bonfires
What about the Zeitheist of scientific advancement? Remember the excitement of the space program? Why not make science your religion?
One of the best efforts that I am aware of that tries to derive religion from science are the two landmark books A New Morality From Science: Beyondism and Beyondism: Religion From Science by Dr. Raymond Cattell. Dr. Cattell believes that human behavior is more genetic than environmental. If genetics are important, then the gene pool that underlies a society can not be neglected. The religious practices of a society should acknowledge genetic realities.
Science. is based on reason. The use of reason may seem very nonreligious and secular to the reader. However, in The Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans Dr. Gunther explains (page 27):
In the Indo-European realm God is again and again regarded as Reason ruling through world phenomena. Thus before Keanthos of Assos, Euripides (Troades, 884) in Hecabe's prayer equated Zeus to the natural law and reason. The Stoics were convinced that the same law of destiny bound both Gods and men, that therefore freedom for man was only possible as the moral freedom of the wise man who had overcome his desires through rational insight. Here Stoics have again expressed, what Buddha had already taught in India centuries before, although both Stoics and Buddhists fell short of pure Indo-European religiosity by rejecting and condemning the world. Such reason (Sapientia) was also regarded by Cicero (de Legibus I, 58) as the connecting link between Gods and men; to him it was the "Mother of all Good," the priceless gift of the immortals to mortals. An equation of God with reason was expressed by Goethe towards the end of his life in a conversation with Eckermann on 23rd February 1831, in which he described the "highest being" as "reason itself" ...The Indo-European belief in a coming together, almost a union of God and man in reason which is common to both, can be called, in a derogatory manner, rationalism; but the Indo-Europeans have always tended to logos and ratio --to a logos and ratio which through fullness of knowledge is elevated far above the realm of arid good sense or dull hair-splitting.
Dr. Gunther also points out (page 39), "The Indo-European has confidence only in those spiritual powers which are to be exercised when the soul is in equilibrium, that is to say, in proportion and prudence. He also mistrusts all insight and knowledge and experience, which the believer acquires only in some state of excitement."
I would argue that a scientific approach is native-organic to our people, and in that sense is definitely religious in nature. When one reads the efforts by people of other races to approach philosophical questions, one notices a distinctly different style and cognition. In contrast, Nordics, regardless of their acculturation, have tended towards a rationalistic approach in not only solving technological problems, but also in examining religious issues.
Interestingly enough, Thomas Jefferson intuitively came to a pagan and rationalistic worldview that is very close to Asatru. He spoke of "Nature's God" in the Declaration of Independence --definitely a more pagan conception than the Hebrew tribal deity of Yahweh-- and showed his thoroughly rational approach to life by going through the four Gospels, editing out all supernatural events, and consolidating them into a secular story of Jesus called the Jefferson Bible.
A love of science makes the religious/philosophical statement that one is spiritually at home in an orderly cosmos in which man is at harmony with nature rather than removed from it. One spiritually finds resonance with things that reflect order and logic rather than chaos and escapist emotion. One can face the impersonality of an infinite cosmos with the same pluck that a Norseman feels the sting of cold in the glacier country.
Once a professor described "science" as more than knowledge, it is a community of people with shared values of rationality and gentlemanly debate who support each other. Another professor described "philosophy" as the "love of wisdom." "Love of wisdom," rationality, and gentlemanly debate are qualities that are part of the religious emotions of Asatru.
According to Dr. Gunther in The Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans (page 28):
Paul distinguishes the religiosity of the Indo-Europeans from that of the Semites, when he asserts (1 Cor. i 22-23) that while the Hellenes strove for knowledge (sophia), the Jews desired revelations (semaia), and Aurelius Augustinus, the Bishop of Hippo (Patrologiae cursus completus, Vol XXXVII, ed. J.P. Migne, 1845), attempts by citing Bible passages, to disparage the wisdom (sapientia) of the Hellenes, alien to him as a Christian, as a folly before God and to find the highest wisdom only in the obedient humility (humilitas obedentiae) of the faithful.
Porilaisten Marssi, by Finnish artist Albert Edelfelt
What is the scientific worldview?
We live in a cosmos governed by natural laws and mathematical relationships and not supernatural intervention. Humans, like any other mammalian life forms, are essentially "biounits" consisting of continually reacting complex carbon molecules activated by DNA that have resulted from billions of years of evolutionary struggle and selection from more primitive life forms.
To some people the idea of billions of years is frighteningly vast. They prefer a more confined sense of things. In contrast, the concept of infinity conjures up in my mind a religious feeling of awe of the cosmos, just like the Viking voyager who felt invited by the horizon to sail over it. I greet the infinite with a desire to traverse and explore it and forever broaden my own horizons.
According to Dr. Gunther, in The Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans (p. 22)
The Indo-Europeans believed --revealing a premonition of the knowledge and hypotheses of physics and astronomy of our present day --in a succession without end or beginning, of world origins and world endings, in repeated twilights of the Gods and in renewals of the world and of the Gods in grandiose display, exactly as is described in the Voluspa of The Edda.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics informs us that the Universe is winding down in that energy tends to flow from higher to lower grades and randomness (entropy) tends to increase. Humans exist in a high state of complexity as a result of a long Darwinian process in which each generation continually produced many more offspring than the environment could support, and savage sculpturing left only the very few who were the most fit. This was particularly true up until certain human groups began to build civilizations, at which point evolution went into reverse because of the unique tendency of civilizations to shelter the weak and nonproducers and tax the capabilities of the fit. The trend in which unfit people reproduce at a faster rate than fit people is called dysgenic decay. At this point evolution goes into reverse, and if the dysgenic decay process is not halted, the civilization will eventually collapse from the weight of accumulated numbers of incompetent people. Dr. Elmer Pendell describes this process in his classic book Why Civilizations Self-Destruct.
Two Nordic couples on a winter day
near Oslo in the late 1800's.
We can marvel at how, as "Northernkind," we have inherited a marvelous intelligence and spirituality that is the product of hundred of thousands of years in a frost zone. After our ancestors migrated from warmer to colder climates, where the problems of survival became much more severe, individuals who could not plan ahead, delay gratification, and create winter survival technology got killed off by the winters. The survivors lived under highly dispersed conditions in rugged lands. Those who felt wanderlust had an advantage in canvassing game. Those who felt romantic sentimentality were more likely to overcome their individualistic traits and have children. This frost zone environment sculptured other traits such as self-sufficiency, robustness, heroism, and rationality, all of which show up in our approach to religion called Asatru.
The concept of dysgenic decay gives us another perspective on the Indo-European concept of tragedy. It involves the degradation of man to lower grades of innate quality in the absence of frost zone selection created by a primitive environment. It also involves the failure of heroic efforts to maintain innate quality in a modern technological environment. According to Dr. Gunther, an inherent sense of struggle for the sublime in the face of the forces of decay is common to our people (page 31):
It is the spiritual strength of the Indo-Europeans --and this is witnessed by the great poetry of these peoples, and above all by their tragedies --to feel a deep joy in destiny --in the/tension between the limitation of man and the boundlessness of the Gods. Nietzsche once called this joy amor fati. Particularly the men rich in soul amongst the Indo-European peoples feel --in the very midst of the very blows of destiny --that the deity has allotted them a great destiny in which they must prove themselves.
How does science explain religion? Today, sociobiologists look at "religion" much as they look at any instinctive behavior, be it hunger, thirst, or altruistic behavior. Basic genetic traits survive in a gene pool because they have adaptive value that increase the probability of survival compared to other traits. The "religious" gene is more complicated to explain, just like "altruistic" traits. These traits have a paradox to them. Although they may be destructive to an individual, such as a warrior who sacrifices his life in combat, they have net survival value for the group at large. One set of genes down, but there is a net gain if that sacrifice allowed the remainder of the tribe to survive. Without that sacrifice, the tribe might have perished. When fighting over territory, the tribe that has warriors who are willing to risk death may completely vanquish the tribe that is filled with cowards who can not risk anything. The ability to risk ones life can also apply to a fight against nature, such as against marauding saber tooth tigers, or it can apply to the case of a mother who risks her life to rush into a burning building to save her infants. "Religion" like "altruism" or even "sex" is a genetic trait that gives rise to certain sensations and perceptions that urge us get on with the business of sustaining life for our people rather than just ourselves.
Heroism is a form of altruism that has been particularly celebrated and revered among Indo-European peoples. According to Dr. Gunther (page 34), the very fact of being heroically bound to destiny has from the beginning proved to be a source of spiritual existence:
`The heart's wave would not have foamed upwards so beautifull;y and become spirit if the old silent rock, destiny, had not faced it.' This certainty, expressed by Holderlin in his Hyperion, was presaged by the tragedies of Sophocles and of every great poet of Indo-European nature. It is the same certainty, which Schopenhauer has expressed in a hard remark: 'A happy life is impossible, the highest to which many can attain is a heroic course of life.' (Parerga and Paralipomena, Vol XI, Chapt 34).
I would remind the reader that a scientific approach to explaining religion is itself religious in nature. Rather than try to do a "head trip" on the reader by substituting supernatural mumbo jumbo for scientific reasoning, I am providing scientific explanations as a first recourse to help him deal with the world on a more self-sufficient and rational level. That right there is a form of altruistic and religious caring for a fellow Asatruar. In contrast, alien religionists are often not interested in imparting truth to their co-religionists. Their real objective has been to squeeze revenues out of them. Instead of telling people how life really is, they only tell people enough of what they want to hear to gain control and offerings. At heart, these parasites are more interested in running a slave-god racket than a religion.
Most religious theologies created by imperfect and emotional humans tend to anthropomorphize nature (assign human characteristics to the inanimate). Dr. Gunther talks about how Indo-Europeans have been able to find a spiritually satisfying sense of ultimate meaning through abstract concepts (page 79):
After their early period and in the middle age of their development --on the way "from myth to Logos" (W. Nestle)--the Bronze Age idea of the Gods and God gradually grew dim among logical and resolutely thinking men in the Indo-European peoples, whose hereditary dispositions directed them towards reason. This school of free thought recognized that it was childish to imagine that the Gods lived somewhere out in space, reaching down into the human world, and these ideas necessarily carried less and less conviction to thinking men, when they became convinced that the gods too were governed by destiny. Thus there gradually evolved the ideas of an inner-spiritual deity (Pantheism) and of a God working within us (Mysticism) --the dominans ille in nobis deus, as Marcus Tullius Cicero (Tusculanae disputationes I, 74) called this divinity. Thus Pantheism was joined by rational mysticism, perception and inner experience, which postulates that the individual immersing himself in himself experiences self-comprehension in its ultimate form as the universal soul, and concludes that atman, or individual soul, is, in the final analysis as part of brahman, as the Indians [the early Indo-European settlers in the Indus valley] described such mysticism.
The ability to view the universe in these non-anthropomorphic terms is once again evidence of the way in which Asatru religiosity and science harmonize.
The problem with being a "scientific agnostic" is that it does not help a person to handle his "religious genes." Forswearing religion is like forswearing sex or eating. It is a basic instinctive need. You can not one day simply say, "I am a robot, I will no longer feel a need for food, sex, or religion." So the question remains, what kind of ideology and set of religious symbols have the best fit for satisfying ones religious instincts, that provide maximum emotional inspiration while at the same time creating a minimum warping of ones ability on an intellectual level to perceive and handle reality.
In Asatru, a person can intellectually start on a scientific level and then back into the lore of our Norse ancestors to inform his spiritual instincts. What is particularly nasty about dogmatic "revealed" Semitic religions is that they demand that each person function only within their confined thought universe, which are filled with miraculous and totally unscientific phenomena. In contrast, Asatru has always been the religion of valorous and worthy men and women. It was never designed to cunningly "turn the world upside down" with inverted values. It was never designed to subvert empires or pacify slave masses. Nor was Asatru ever designed to rationalize totally out of control social decay or sabotage realism in favor of mysticism, unlike many religions of the festering Fertile Crescent area and of India.
"Hipp, hipp, hurra! Kunstnerfest på Skagen," Peder Severin Krøyer,
Göteborgs Konstmuseum, Denmark
How do you define the people whose religious instincts make up Asatru?
Religion is a living, organic thing. To know our religion, one must intimately know the people from which it organically springs forth. Since religion is a means to inform religious instincts, one must first have a feeling for the innate rhythms and quality of the religious instincts of a people. In response to the question "What people?" for Asatru I would say the Nordic people, whose indigenous habitat includes Scandinavia, England, the Netherlands, northern Germany, northwest Russia, and other northern parts of Europe. By appearance, Nordic peoples tend to be light and fair. By temperament, they tend to be reserved, rationalistic, light-hearted, adventurous, chivalrous, and humane. We tend to think in terms of unlimited horizons. We are more inclined to live and let live. We like science and technology and exploration.
Some people might ask: what about closely related peoples like Celts and Alpines? My response is that religion is such a personal thing, emanating from personal instincts, that for closely related peoples it is up to them to decide whether the style of our religious approach is suitable for them. No one puts a gun to anyone's head and tells them to be an Asatruar. If something about it is not quite right, a person should by all means get into ancient Celtic Druidism, the early Greco-Roman religion, early Aryan Hinduism, or some other Indo-European-based religion that is more satisfying to him. Perhaps for a Celtic person Druidism is more appropriate. Perhaps it is Asatru. I will let him decide. I am certainly not out to try to suppress Druidism in an effort to win Asatru converts!
I believe that a self-respecting person does not "crash" the indigenous religion of another people, just like it is impolite to walk into a neighbor's house uninvited and camp out in his living room or eat out of his refrigerator. People of other races have their own indigenous religions that fit their distinctive temperamental rhythms and cognition. Turning them into Asatruar "kidnaps" them away from their own indigenous faith. Conversely, for them to infiltrate us would be to show a lack of respect for our privacy. It could be a form of spying or else show that they have such a pathological self-hatred for their own race that they want to give up their own indigenous ancestral religion. None of this is healthy for anyone. We can certainly do better by encouraging everyone, to include our own kind, to be true to themselves. How depressing to belong to a religious fellowship that is really a zoo of spies, self-haters, and the "kidnapped!"
"Winter night in the Rondane Mountains" by Harald Oskar Sohlberg
Unfortunately we have been bombarded by pro-integration and affirmative action arguments so often in our society that we are made to feel guilty for wanting a normal sense of privacy for our own kind. These propaganda sources include the liberal national media, gay and lesbian organizations, the NAACP, the ADL, the Revolutionary Communist Party, the UN, the Communist Party, USA, and the United States Government. Sometimes they all sound alike. Integrationist propagandists tell us that all humans are [allegedly] more similar than different; dropping barriers [allegedly] leads to economies of scale and greater compatibility and racial harmony through uniformity. Racial pluralism [allegedly] brings special intellectual and cultural enrichment. Whites must perpetually atone for their [alleged] oppression of all other races.
All of this liberal dogma is now challenged by the escalating urban blight and other symptoms of continued downhill slide in New York City, Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and other showcases of unfettered "pluralism."
Kullervo Departs for the War, 1901 by Akseli Gallen-Kallela
"Kalevala" Finnish folk art painting
Now let us look, with open minds, at some arguments for homogeneity:
(a) One advantage of homogeneity, and the policy of not jumping into bed with everyone we meet, is that we avoid mixing up the world, robbing it of its variety, and creating chaos. When different peoples live in close proximity, they tend to intermarry and have hybrid children, who in turn tend to have confused loyalties and are harder to pull together into a cohesive group. In order to maintain true diversity worldwide, different peoples have to live in homogeneous social orders in which they preserve their unique genetic traits and maintain their indigenous culture.
Homogeneous peoples like the Japanese have demonstrated that they can absorb a "diversity" of foreign ideas to stay "up to date" without absorbing a diversity of foreign peoples. They have also shown that by remaining cohesive, they can remain productive enough to not only take care of themselves, but also provide charitable assistance to other peoples.
Homogeneity gives society the coherence necessary to reach its highest cultural pitch. In contrast, New York City has absorbed such a diversity of innately unassimilable peoples that it is turning into a lawless and dysfunctional "Tower of Babel" or "Beirut" society too uncivilized to implement a diversity of highly civilized ideas. The city is run so inefficiently and is so close to bankruptcy that it has no real capacity, unlike the homogeneous Japanese society, to help others --not to mention itself.
(b) Another advantage of indigenous loyalty, and the policy of wisely choosing the objects of our affections, is that we avoid the risks of unilateral psychological and social disarmament. From a game theory viewpoint, trying to assimilate alien peoples can be an "unstable" and "high risk" strategy.
Agreements are unstable when there is a tremendous payoff for one side to unilaterally defect. If an alien group superficially agrees to assimilate, but then maintains mafia-like organizations after infiltrating a host who has dropped its guard, it retains a destructive advantage over the disarmed host.
We can turn to our Bibles for a good Sunday School lesson on this topic in the book of Genesis, 34th chapter. Jacob [later renamed "Israel"] and his sons were squatting on the land of the Hivites in Canaan when the son of a Hivite prince met a daughter of Jacob and made love to her. The son felt an honorable love for the daughter, 'and through his father as an intermediary, asked Jacob for the daughter's hand in marriage. The Hivite father said to Jacob that the Jews were invited to intermarry and share the land with his people. Jacob agreed, but only on the condition that Hivites circumcise themselves in order to adhere to Jewish religious customs. The Hivite prince obliged Jacob and had all of his men circumcise themselves. While the Hivite men were still immobilized from their self-inflicted wounds (definitely a form of disarmament), two of the sons of Jacob led an extermination team into the Hivite city and slaughtered all the males. The Jews proceeded to completely plunder the city and all the Hivite livestock.
Get it? Unilateral psychological disarmament and integration can prove to be disastrous for the side that prematurely gives up its cohesion, unity, watchfulness, and exclusivity before obtaining verifiable evidence that the same has occurred among all of its potential competitors.
History is filled with cases where various peoples suddenly stopped treating each other as individuals and suddenly started to act as if they were in a warlike army in which their uniform was their skin color. One good example is the French Revolution in Haiti, in which Blacks ruthlessly killed off all the white people on the island. The pure blacks then started to kill off the mulattoes.
Another example, according to Dr. Lothrop Stoddard in his book The Rising Tide of Color, involved the wars of Simon Bolivar. Mestizos joined with Indians through out South America to kill off or throw out pure white Spaniards. According to Stoddard in his book Racial Realities in Europe, during the French Revolution in France, the Alpine, Mediterranean [and Jewish] populations ganged up on the Germanic-descended aristocracy and the Celtic population of Brittany. In all of the aforementioned cases, deteriorating demographics and various forms of white naivete and incohesion only encouraged the unexpected horrors that took place.
(c) Another advantage of ancestral loyalty, and the policy of not making ourselves naked to the entire world, is that we avoid parasitic use of our altruistic genetic traits. This is a point emphasized by Dr .. Raymond Cattell in his book: Beyondism: Religion from Science. In order for altruistic traits to perpetrate themselves, they have to protect the very gene pool that gives rise to them. When we invest our altruism on alien peoples, we are expending resources we could have spent on having children and tending to our own kind who reflect our own distinctive biological nature.
(d) Another advantage of tribal loyalty, and the policy of avoiding indiscriminate relations, is that Asatruar can be truer to themselves, to the extent that racism and tribalism have an instinctive basis that exists in all men of all races, and society and religion can only go so far in suppressing this. This is the point made by Dr. E. Raymond Hall in his landmark article "Zoological Subspecies in Man" (October 1960 Mankind Quarterly) when he pointed out that virtually all mammalian subspecies (a "subspecies" is the same thing as a "race"), tend to displace each other rather than integrate in nature, hence all of the various subspecies of lions, tigers, and bears and all other mammals are also "racists." If in fact racism and tribalism have an instinctive element, perhaps one can only go so far in trying to suppress or "re-educate" it before it comes roaring back.
This point was reinforced in an article titled "The Fallacy of the Multiethnic State: The Case of Yugoslavia" that appeared in the May 1990 issue of the Conservative Review. The writer, Tomislav Sunie, pointed out that:
As the case of Yugoslavia clearly points out, meshing disparate ethnic groups in artificial patchworks, in the name of some higher ecumenical goals, can function as long as force is applied or as long as economic affluency is available for all. Once they fade, racism and ethnic disruptions invariable follow suit. Ethnic identities cannot be shrugged off by Marxian internationalist preaching, nor can they be supplanted by liberal global democracy. The reality of the "territorial imperative, as suggested by eminent anthropologists Konrad Lorenz and Robert Ardrey, is still a constant of human behavior and not a flimsy cultural construct that can be changed at random. Forcing different peoples of different cultures into artificial and promiscuous states, in the name of egalitarian philanthropy, does not lead to less racism but more racism. The tragic example of teetering Yugoslavia could shed more light on the fallacy of the multiethnic state as a political construct which out of necessity denies freedom to a major portion of its captive peoples.
(e) Another advantage of folk loyalty, and the policy of resisting Marxist "political correctness" conformity, is that we avoid the destruction of the biological basis of our religious culture. As an example, Dr. Gunther believed that the heroic Indo-European attitude itself can not be transferred. (page 37)
'This above all: to thine own self be true!' (Hamlet I, 3, 78). From the moral command to remain true to oneself, however, it again follows that Indo-European religiosity is of an aristocratic character: one does not advise the degenerate to remain true to himself.
On page 34 Dr. Gunther explains:
It is clear that a religiosity arising from such an attitude towards life can never become universal. Indo-European religions can never be transferred to other human breeds at choice. To them belongs mahatma (India), megalethor (Iliad XVI, 257, Odyssey XI, 85), megalophron or megalopsychos (Hellenic) (cf. Aristotle: Nichomachian Ethics II, 7,7 ,IV, 3, 1-34), magnitudo animi (Ulrich Knoche: Magnitudo animi, Philologus, Supplement and XXVII, 3, 1935), magnanimus (Roman), the mikilman and the storrada (North German), of the ancient Nordic mikilmenska or stormenska, of the men of hochgemute (lofty heart), as it was called in the German Middle Ages --all descriptions which could be a translation of the other. Religiosity is here the maturing hero in the face of destiny, which he confronts alongside his Gods. This is also the meaning of Shakespeare's "Readiness is all" (Hamlet V, 2, 233) and "ripeness is all" (King Lear V, 2, 33).
Dr. Gunther continues his discussion of the importance of heredity on page 51:
Family, nation and state, worship and law, the seasons of the year and festivals (cf. Johannes Hertl, Die Awestischen Jahreszeitenfeste) the customs and spiritual life, farmland, house and farm; all were related in a world order, and in this order man lived as a member of his race, which was perpetuated permanently in ordered procreation. This appears with the Hellenes as the Hestia idea, and was symbolized with all Indo-Europeans in the worship of the fire of the hearth (in Indian, Agni, in Latin ignis; in Iranian Alar; in Celtic, Brigit). Thus within the all-embracing world order, disciplined and selective procreation plays a divine role for the preservation of racial inheritance, the God-given racial heritage. Thus care of race is both a consequence and a requirement of the world order a direct assertion of the Indo-European religious heart.
"In the Indian Law Book of Manu X, 61, may be found the idea of order in procreation: 'The inhabitants of the kingdom, in which disorderly procreation occurs, rapidly deteriorate.' Hence the Indo-European holds sexual life sacred, enshrining it in the family and the woman, honoring the mistress of the house (despoina, matrona) as the guardian of their racial Heritage. The worship of the divi parentes sprang naturally from the pride and reverence in which they held their ancestors. It follows that Indo-European religiosity calls for disciplined choice (luchtwahl), in selecting a husband or wife, (a eugeneia) and that Indo-European families strive to preserve good breeding.
To keep a sense of perspective, we must take note of the exclusionary and predatory behavior of other tribes who make our own ancestors look like liberal-leaning moderates by comparison. As an example, I provide the following quote from the religious literature of a certain well known tribe:
When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites [who spoke an Indo-European language], the Girgashites, the Amorites [an Indo-European-related people], the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater than yourselves, and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them; then you must utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, and show no mercy to them You shall make marriages with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters from your sons..."
That is from chapter 7 of Deuteronomy. We might also reflect on a more up-to-date quote on page 345 of the book The Self-Chosen by author Jean Baer. Laurence Tisch, who is currently Chief Executive Officer of CBS, advised his four sons, "You'll never marry anyone you don't take out. Take out only Jewish girls and you'll never have a problem." His sons took his advice and are now happier for it .. (I might add that even Dr. Joyce Brothers points out that interreligious and interracial marriages have vastly higher failure rates than same-kind marriages, pp. 78-84 in What Every Woman Needs to Know About Love & Marriage).
Yes, the children of Odin have chivalrous and humanitarian instincts to be sure, but we had better listen to what the children of Israel and other tribes say to their own kind. We do not want to be so naive that we get "taken" like the Hivites. We maximize our chances of happiness by courting only our own kind, just like what Dr. Brothers and Mr. Tisch advise.
"The Dance of Life" (1899-1900) by Edward Munch,
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo, Norway
* * * * * * *
William B. Fox is a former Marine Corps officer with experience in logistics, public affairs, and military intelligence. He is an honors graduate of the Harvard Business School and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Southern California. He is also publisher of America First Books at www.americafirstbooks.com
Short URL for this web page: http://tinyurl.com/d8n2bb