The post-industrial, black metal, and neofolk music scene has been defined by fascist plausible deniability. The earliest days of the black metal scene were defined by iconoclastic misanthropic malaise, a generalized anger against everyone and everything. The scene was mired with early days of violence, but also embarrassing interviews from early bands about their obsessions with death and “evil.” This culminated in the murder of Euronymous by Varg Vikernes of Burzum, as well as the dozens of church burnings. The burnings themselves were both begging for some kind of high-schoolesque rebellion as well as a resistance against the past Christianization of Scandinavia, namely in Norway. Virknes eventually came out as a racial Odinist and white nationalist, with the church burnings being an act of religious war both against a “universalist/non-ethnic” religion and against an ethos that says “turn the other cheek.”
The black metal community was largely defined later by fellow far-rightist Michael Moynihan, who wrote the book Lords of Chaos about the early years. The book, largely built on interviews with the band, see the movement as being the manifestation of an Odinic demonic spirit welling up in them. This draws on an idea from Carl Jung that people have archetypical spirits in their collective unconscious based on race, with white “Aryans” having the spirit of Nordic gods inside of them. This is the foundation of racial heathenry and is an idea that both animated much of Nazi occultism and the contemporary ethnic Asatru and Odinic sects.
While National Socialist Black Metal is certainly a phenomenon, racism is not the permanent state of the black metal community. Instead, there are very real problematic elements in terms of violence and nihilism, some of which taking an elitist and masculanist obsession, but the vast majority of bands do not share nationalist sympathies openly. What people tend to pick up on is instead that they share many themes with genres like neofolk and martial industrial, both of which have strong ties to the far-right.
Neofolk broadly can be defined by resurrecting musical styles inspired by early pre-Christian music synthesized with modern post-industrial. You might find throw backs to Renaissance, Romantic, Medieval, and other eras mixed with traditional European “folk music.” This is then paralleled with a lyrical obsession with pre-Christian myths, paganism, warrior stories, fairy tales, along with general themes of occultism, religion, decadence and decline, and romanticism of the past. This has often been associated with fascism in as much as many of the prominent bands have lyrical and aesthetic content that draws both on Nazism and on broader fascist themes, of which fans often use plausible deniability to say that it is more about lurid obsessions rather than their own fascist politics. This might be accepted if the lyrics were not often a straight line to Pan-European nationalism, as well as seeing prominent bands directly associated with fascist movements. The most obvious of these has been Death in June, but Sol Invictus, Fire + Ice, Ostara, Allerseelen, and Waldteufel, among many others, have been shown to not only play with imagery, but to have aligned themselves with the far-right. This often ranges between Nordic racial paganism to the traditionalism of Julius Evola to right-wing interpretations of Aliester Crowley’s Thelema and Chaos Magick, all focused on hierarchy, power, strength, and elitist control.
It has often been difficult to verify these sorts of allegiances, mainly because they are incredibly subtle references. Much of the inspiration for neofolk is in resurrecting a European romanticism, yet the neofolk scene attracts many who have anti-racist sympathies yet also enjoy the mythos and themes of early Europe. If a person wants to verify exactly what this musical scene is delving into we luckily do not have to jump into esoteric Gothic magazines or foreign press because a few Americans have created a website to dumb down their own pan-pagan racism.
Heathen Harvest is a music website focusing on “post-industrial” for over a decade. Here you are really going to find news, interviews, features, and reviews about music spanning the “Dark genres” and “extreme music.” Though this could broadly include metal and industrial, it seems to have carved a niche for itself in the music associated with dark religious obsession, paganism, and the occult. If you know what you are looking at, even just a quick survey will reveal that there are racial sentiments boiling under the surface.
In almost every interview on the site they will begin referencing racial and neo-fascist themes. Often times questions reference the perennial traditionalism of Julius Evola, books like Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West, or racial paganism. While some musicians resist these associations, many play into them directly, even if not incredibly deeply. Ostara, for example, gets prompted repeatedly by the interviewer to discuss Spangler and traditionalism, which they oblige, but it is clear that they are having a difficulty making their way through the list of fascist texts that have been provided for them by the scene. What drives a common spirit is a disgust for the “modern world,” a term that has become in popular use from Evola. Some interpret this as things like industrial capitalism and environmental destruction, but in the traditionalist school this more aptly means multiculturalism, democracy, and equality.
Their podcast, The Forest Passage, drops much of the pretense and takes us directly back to the racism of the Alt Right. In Podcast #12, they open with jokes like calling our current period the “current year,” a joke from the rabidly racist and anti-Semitic podcast The Daily Shoah. They go on to deride “liberals” for their universalizing morality, they admire nationalism instead of “globalism,” and certainly side with the idea that elites should be running society. They had on Florida Libertarian Party candidate Augustus Sol Invictus, where they rapped about Left-Hand Path occultism and nationalism. In this episode one of the hosts discusses Germany’s choice to let in Syrian refugees, which they say is “destroying” Europe. They present contemporary politics as “Nationalism vs. Globalism,” presenting the common straw-man argument from fascists that to be against nationalism is to be in favor of global corporate capitalism. One of the hosts derives his name GJ Anarch from far-right philosopher Ernst Junger’s concept of the Anarch, which means a “sovereign person.” At almost any point on their website you can find references to the coming collapse, when the western decadence of the “Kali Yuga” will bring us back to a possible Western Golden Age. While they rarely jump into openly “racist” language, they have a consistent voice in favor of white racial nationalism. They functionally make the same arguments as places like the Radix Journal or The Daily Shoah, but have recolored it with esoteric, pagan, and counter-cultural language so as to provide an intellectual mirage that provides a feeling of rebellious superiority to their audience. Plainly put: They are white nationalism with an occultist lens and inside of a musical scene.
VICE Magazine did a recent article called “How a Thor Worshipping Religion Turned Racist” looking briefly how the resurrection of Nordic paganism became racially inclined. HH responded to this by stating that they mischaracterized racial paganism, going into the tired rhetoric about “love for your own doesn’t mean hate for the other.” They specifically come to the support of Asatru Folk Assembly founder Stephen McNallen and the band Changes, whose members were also members of the Third Positionist American Front.
If you claim to favour the global patchwork that is multiculturalism then you cannot set about removing chosen patches from that quilt. You also cannot take it upon yourself to redefine any of those patches lest the cultures that they represent have set out to harm you—and even then you’ll be fighting the force of a million forefathers who have slowly woven that world for their descendents. This goes for any folk around the world—all of whom deserve control over the culture of their ancestors. In practical terms this control may manifest as a sense of exclusivity, but consider this: exclusivity maintains the boundary between one thing and another—forest and field; football and rugby; public and private. It is no more hateful an act than it would be to reject D♯ from a musical composition in the key of A-minor.
The website goes on to have reviews of Julius Evola’s Fascism Viewed from the Right, a tome where Evola observes the points where fascism diverted from a true right wing path, as well as his autobiography, The Path of Cinnebar. Their commitment to “folksih” Heathenry, meaning racially defined Heathenry, is near complete, though they do hold a single article containing arguments in favor of universalist heathenry and against folkishness . Their reviews extend to right-wing journals, like the “radical traditionalist” TYR, also edited by Michael Moynihan. That occasional journal publishes work looking at the “pre-Modern European traditions,” though this is very eschewed. In reality it publishes articles on Odinism, Evola, and right-wing interpretations of myths and folktales, featuring white nationalist Heathens like Colin Cleary. HH are often covering Arktos Media, a traditionalist publisher run by white nationalist John Morgan. The publisher was founded to translate and publish works of the French New Right like Alain De Benoist and traditionalists like Julius Evola for an American audience. They have really gotten behind neofolk, both as a popular right-wing musical scene and one that focuses on the traditionalist and romantic themes of Europe rather than just the vulgar racism of the skinhead Oi! and Rock Against Communism scene(Though they include interviews with RAC musicians like Vapaudenristi.). They regularly review books with racial content, especially as it applies to edge political scenes like National Anarchism. This includes a shining review of A Life in the Political Wilderness by Welf Herfurth, which draws on the work of Troy Southgate, Tomislav Sunic, and Alain De Benoist. They follow similar queues to other nationalist website in reviewing the work by controversial French author and Islamophobic iconoclast Michel Houellebecq, giving a “traditionalist” review of his book Submission. All of this really is just a snippet as this content is such a regular feature that even a survey of it would be incredibly dense. HH is likely to counter these claims, citing reviews of books like The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement by Robert Forbes where they show little sympathy, but this should only be persuasive to those who do not have a firm understanding of what the new trends in neo-fascism are and how they differ from the antiquated skinhead gang culture. HH represents a vision of nationalism and anti-egalitarian thinking that grounds itself in spiritual and philosophical themes, and so its own self aggrandizement is likely what allows it to feel as though it is not in the same camp as Combat 18 and those that clashed with Antifa in Dover.
What is most insidious about HH is that is has crossover appeal, which is to say that it is not explicitly a racial website. Many bands refuse to take the bait on the racism, including bands like Agalloch. It should be noted that HH absolutely does not interfere with bands with left and post-left leanings, and gives them an open platform to speak up from this perspective. An example of this would be an interview they have BRUT, where the band members discuss the way that female musicians have been marginalized in the industrial and dark music scene. This runs in contrast to the way that many authors, editors, and podcast hosts make fun of the concept of “toxic masculinity,” and often discuss the need for men to come together in tribes(or, in particular, “white men”) against the modern world(Jack Donovan comes up more than once, and his books are reviewed on the site.). Given the fact that they focus on “extreme” music, you are going to get a lot of anti-authoritarian left bands as well, though there seems to be little differentiation done by them when it comes to HH’s affiliations.
What should be noted is that even the non-racist crowd inside much of these circles have supported and joined up with problematic musicians like Michael Moynihan, Boyd Rice, and Death in June. The boundaries are not set inside of neofolk as they would inside of the anti-racist world, so we have to keep that in mind so as to see them for their intentions rather than just their associations. While Agalloch may be willing to support Sol Invictus, they have also stated that their opposition to the “modern world” is exclusively because of techno-industry and not because of multiculturalism. This makes their associations equally problematic, but notes that not everyone inside of this musical subculture share the nationalist political roots.
Heathen Harvest has now prepared a tour across the U.S. of popular European neofolk and post-industrial bands, though they are only one of the sponsors along with Annihilvs Power Electronix. Operation Equinox 2016 will include the Danish bands Of The Wand and the Moon and Die Weisse Rose, the U.S. based Blood and Sun, and Vril Jager, Destroying Angel, and Scout Pare-Phillips. Blood and Sun also joined bands like Waldteufel at Stella Natura, a questionable neofolk music festival put together by the Asatru Folk Assembly. Luke Tromiczak of the band was interviewed on Episode 13 of The Forest Passage, where he talks about the romanticism and opposition to modernity in neofolk. According to New York City Antifa, Luke Tramicza has dressed as a Nazi brownshirt at shows, collaborates with Nazi bands, and has “associates in White Power circles.” Fascism Watch, who wrote a letter trying to have a New York City venue cancel a show with Blood and Sun and Death in June listed that he had “neo-Nazi connections in his native Minnesota.”
Die Weisse Rose actually naming themselves after the German pacifist student movement that resisted the Nazis, yet they list their politics as Revolutionary Conservative on MySpace. This puts them in line with people like fascist legal scholar Carl Schmitt, another obscure philosopher popular with this strain of the far-right.
Of the Wand and the Moon, the project of Kim Larsen, has often gotten painted with the same brush because of their focus on romanticism and runes, and while there is not strong indications from his music, his use of fascist symbols is so dense that it is hard to argue with these allegations. Larsen has especially been targeted for using the same runic Algiz necklace as members of the neo-Nazi Heathen Front. With situations like this it is quite difficult to determine exactly how to approach it, as well as his collaborations and compilations with bands like Death in June, Sol Invictus, and Allerseelen(She was also featured at Stella Natura). What this says very clearly is that even if Larsen does not hold racial ideas, he is certainly not an ally to the aims of anti-fascist progress and standards. Vril Jager takes its name from a Nazi-era fighter plane, and also a project of Kim Larsen.
This tour provides an opportunity for anti-fascists to either confront the concerts directly or to pressure the bands not associated with racist causes to distance themselves from the more problematic elements. If bands like Die Weisse Rose eschew racist politics, then it is reasonable to hold them to the same standards of association that we would in any other community. No one wants to be culturally policed, but instead it is critical to continue to show the reactionary power that fascist music can have and how it is mobilizing a very dangerous white nationalist movement that is leading to mass violence against refugees across Europe. Segregating bands like Blood Axis and Death in June from the rest of the musical movement, putting them in the same camp as skinhead “white noise” scenes, will help to keep the organized racism out of subcultural and Goth spaces. With this kind of creeping sub-cultural fascism, anti-fascists need to confront them directly and build a movement that is not going to allow it to seep in under vague philosophical arguments that attempt to divert our attention from the reality of their genocidal racism.
This gives you an opportunity to contact the venues to tell them that the community does not want to deal with racist bands and promoters, as well as to contact the bands directly to tell them that this music community will not accept fascist associations. The shows will be on the east coast and midwest, so local counter-organizing can happen drawing on the larger anti-racist movements of the regions. Below some of the dates below is the venue contact information.
3/25/2016 Machines With Magnets – Pawtucket, RI
Address: 400 Main Street Pawtucket, RI 02860
- 1728 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD, 21201
- email: TheDepot.email@example.com
32 thoughts on “NeoFascist: Heathen Harvest, Neofolk, and Fascist Subcultural Entryism”
This thread pretty much spells it all out http://www.heathenhideout.com/viewtopic.php?t=9214
Yes, they are pretty up front. It has been pointed out that I should have mentioned that they publish national anarchist Troy Southgate as well(which they again message in that message board thread). He is a former member of the National Front, fellow traveler of other various white racial revolutionary organizations in Britain and Europe proper, and put together what we now know to be national anarchism. The fact that they try to say he is not racist and just a “racial separatist” shows the kind of inane dissonance that they operate on, on top of the just sheer ignorance and stupidity.
I have a friend who writes for Heathen Harvest, and he is about the least racist, least sexist, least ageist, least ablist, least homophobic, and most critically-analytical person I have ever met (while at the same time, very much against the modern corrupt corporatocracy). There may be other journalists who have right-wing leanings, but to tar them all with the same brush seems dangerously simplistic. I’m pretty sure the Crowleyian “Do What Thou Wilt” axiom – basically, “live how you want to live, and don’t stop others living how they want to live” – is how Heathen Harvest operate.
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We don’t doubt that there are good people writing for Heathen Harvest, as there are non-fascist bands covered by them. However, the website itself is founded on these nationalist and far-right ideas, representing them as a legitimate point of view. The purpose of this article is to actually confront those “good people” who write for or associate with Heathen Harvest and to compel them to stand with their values and disassociate with a website that has consistently made themselves a voice and organizing tool for some of the most disgusting racist, violent, anti-democratic, and anti-egalitarian movements in history. We also want to say that when it comes to the Crowley quote(which is again often associated with a real ugly Social Darwinist fascist strain), they are publicly advocating for fascist politics, and so in the name of community defense we will absolutely not let that stand. And we never will.
Except this premise don’t fit into fascist standards. As the fascist premise is not “live and let live” but kill or repress anything that doesn’t fit my standards.
That’s where most crypto fascist and “democratic” wannabes like heathen harvest fail.
It is not possible to coexist with fascists as they give a fuck about you and as soon as they get the power they will destroy you.
Thanks for mentioning Arktos. However, I must take exception with you describing me as a “white nationalist,” since I have never called myself by that label (nor would I). Likewise, we have never “partnered” with Heathen Harvest, apart from the fact that they’ve reviewed a few of our books and did an interview with me two years ago. Lastly, we’re Arktos Media, not Arktos Publishing.
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John, we will not label you as a “white nationalist” if that is not how you describe yourself, we have a policy of not referring to people by that label unless they self apply it. Would it be fair then to call you a “radical traditionalist” in the Evolian sense? I have heard you refer to yourself in that way, which it seems to us would necessitate some type of European racial nationalism.
It also seems to us that what you have is a partnership in that you seem to only have music on your site that is also reviewed at Heathen Harvest and they, in turn, review your books. So if partner is not a good word, then perhaps a close relationship would be.
If there is something else you would like to illuminate us on about your relationship to neofolk, then we are all ears.
I don’t apply labels to myself. After all I’m a book publisher/editor and to some extent a writer, not a politician or an ideologue. I reject “white nationalism,” both because the concept of “whiteness” is rather meaningless, and also because there is no “nation” I am trying to defend or establish. Also I don’t particularly care for some of the ideas propagated by many of the self-proclaimed white nationalists. “Radical traditionalist” comes closer to the mark but I am far from being a doctrinaire Evolian, even if Evola has influenced me. I used to say “New Right” since Alain de Benoist has had a lot of influence on me, but that term has now been used to describe so many disparate individuals and groups, from neocons to “national anarchists” to neo-Nazis, that it’s also become meaningless.
I’m not a racial nationalist because I think ethnicity is a far more crucial factor when it comes to culture and politics than race. I believe that all ethnicities should defend and renew themselves against the homogenizing onslaught being imposed everywhere by multiculturalism and globalization. I myself am more active in defending the ethnicities of the European peoples given that I am of European descent myself,
There has never been any formal relationship between Arktos and Heathen Harvest whatsoever. If the music on our site happens to coincide with things they have reviewed, that’s purely a coincidence. Although I suppose it’s possible that my former colleague who originally ordered most of our music back in 2010 may have consulted the reviews on the HH Website while making his selections.
Arktos has or is in the process of producing music by a couple of bands, such as Winglord, although I wouldn’t say that we have a strong connection to the neofolk scene. People think of us as more of a book publisher than as a music site, which is hardly surprising since we’ve published about 120 books so far and only produced three albums by one band. As for me personally, I have no connection to neofolk, as my field is books, not music.
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I guess, just to be blunt then, do you think that a preferable society would be one that is ethnically diverse, or mono-ethnic? Do you believe in racial differences in IQ?
It depends on what you mean by “diversity.” There has never been an absolutely ethnically/racially pure civilization or society at any point in history (perhaps in prehistory). Such a thing would be terribly sterile and inbred, if it could even come about today, which I doubt. However, any people can defend their own sovereignty and cultural integrity, and when we see literally millions of immigrants and “refugees” coming from other civilizations and settling, as we see in Europe today, obviously that is more than any civilization can be expected to absorb and still survive on its own terms.
I’m not interested in ideas and studies related to biological racialism. As Spengler once wrote, “Those who talk too much about race no longer have it in them.” IQ is an invented measure, at any rate. The point isn’t about any group being better or worse than others, by which there is no objective criteria to judge such a thing anyway, but about retaining a plethora of identities in the face of the onslaught of the rootless identity of consumerism.
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A point of clarification regarding Stella Natura: the event was not organized or run by the Asatru Folk Assembly, though they did have a presence there.
A very, very active presence. So we think it is pretty fair to say that they had an organizing hand, even if there were promoters that were more responsible.
The Heathen way is NOT one of hate. In fact, quite the opposite.
The lore and sagas contain stories of the gods themselves travelling, interacting with, and breeding with different tribes and races. Frey and Njord, for example, married Jotunn females, even though Jotunns are typically considered enemies of the Gods.
The Norse placed great emphasis on virtues of honor and hospitality. Neither of these things suggest or support a hateful or discriminatory standpoint. Oh, and the people held their women in very high respect and they were thought to have great power (contrary to how women were treated once Christianity took over).
Yes, some people claim that we who are of certain Scandinavian bloodlines are descendant of the Gods, but even so, that is not to say we’re better than anyone else; our belief system is largely revolved around respect for the ancestors, and the Gods and Goddesses are thought to be our eldest kin. It is no different than someone from Isreal claiming to be related to a biblical character, or an Egyptian claiming to be a descendant of Osiris, or a Greek claiming to be a descendant of Demeter, etc. And it certainly does NOT mean that others cannot respect or follow our gods/goddesses or find favor with them. Just because I am blood related to my parents, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love other people who are not their blood descendants. I am of Norwegian blood, and my husband is not, but I strongly believe my ancestors, Gods, and Goddesses love him just as they love me. My family loves my husband as one of their own. Point being, my saying that I’m from a certain family/bloodline/whatever is not hateful of those outside of that line; it is simply a respectful recognition of those who’ve paved the way for my very existence. It’s an important connection to have no matter who you are or where you’re from.
I welcome anyone who feels drawn towards our way and who respects our lore and values, regardless of their social or racial background.
We true heathens are simply trying to revive a very old religion that has been oppressed and stomped out out for centuries. Allies are needed and welcome. Afterall, it was NOT “non-whites” who slaughtered our people and tortured our priests and priestesses for still practicing our ways; it was white Catholics from other lands who were trying to convert everyone in Europe to their new religion.
As with every organization, there are of course always some simple-minded idiots who don’t study vital material of the belief system and/or misinterpret the entire thing based on their own insecurity and lack of identity.
I spend hours of my days studying the runes and lore, and I particularly seek out the teachings of those who actually know the ancient languages and have thoroughly studied the runes and all of the earliest sources available, so I’m not talking out of my ass here.
I have to say, for people who claim to be “anti-fascist”, it sickens me that you target and slander my religion, usually based on nothing but a few idiots who have likely never actually studied it (trust me, those of us who are serious about the religion and devoted to it are much more annoyed with those types than you are); we have already been oppressed for nearly 2000 years. Yet I can’t do an internet search for things regarding practices within my religion without one of your pages coming up. I have always been a fair, non-discriminating person, always stood against wrong when I see it (I probably did more anti-racist projects in highschool than you did), I’ve always been fascinated by the lore, mythology, and ancient religions of ALL lands. So I ask you; where is your outcry about Christianity still having so much power when the only reason it came to power in the first place was the Roman Catholics torturing and slaughtering the Pagans of all lands? Tiny history lesson; my Norse ancestors did not just go Viking because they were bored or greedy; those things would be highly against the honor codes within our faith. They constantly traveled to various lands, and actually had positive relations with other countries. It is through these travels that they found out about the Catholics who were moving through Europe and slaughtering everyone who wouldn’t convert to their new religion, and thus they formed a defensive force, and they stood against this mass oppression as long as they could, but sadly, eventually our priests and priestesses were eventually tortured and killed as well (along with countless innocent men, women, and children of Pagan families). They didn’t “rape and pilllage” everyone, contrary to popular belief; the accounts written about them by Catholics were extremely biased and discriminatory, and now archeological evidence shows that the majority of what we had been taught about them was not true.
My point is, you are focusing on the wrong things and you need to get your priorities in order, because now you have a brand of idiots following you who think that our religion is racist when it is NOT. Oh, and don’t relate us to Nazis anymore, please; a German political party (which was secular and not actually motivated by Pagan religion or values) has nothing to with an ancient religion that is proven to be at least 44,000 years old. And I want ALL of the ancient, nature-respecting religions brought back to life, not just my own. The world would be a better place if we all respected it and each other more. But, as it stands, the biggest, longest-running form of facism and racism still thrives, and you are doing nothing about it. And if you’re going to judge all of us by a small group of people or an irrelevant political group of the past, you should also be judging ALL Catholics and forms of Christianity stemming from Roman Catholicism by the horrible, disgusting deeds of Constantine, Charlamagne, and their followers (people who are still laregly viewed as respectable figures by the Catholic church, by the way).
Whoa, you should look through our Facebook and website a bit. We have the utmost respect for Heathenry, especially anti-racist heathens. The article you are commenting on is about a racist music website who only uses heathen images, they are not heathens themselves. We do not believe there is anything racist or fascist about heathenry, and we will stand in support of heathers.
I like your blog! I thought it was going to be another one of those heavily biased blogs that had no academic resolution what-so-ever. Also, thanks for supporting heathens. It’s hard to come by people who do. Do you perhaps have some kind of educational area for why fascism is bad itself? I had a teacher who was fascist and told me that it could help and I want to see the opposite side of the coin.
As the author of the essay “Arguments in Favor of Universalist Heathenry” I am obliged to take you to task. you say “they even include a long essay outlining the arguments for Universalist Heathenry and how to challenge them.” This indicates you did not read the article. The article is an exhaustive explanation of why universalism makes more sense than folkism. It goes so far as to argue that folkish beliefs undermine Heathen spirituality even for those who profess them. The haters came out, and I got plenty of right wing flack (some of it being unintentionally hilarious). This all makes me wonder: if those idiots understood I was challenging them, how did you miss it unless you didn’t actually read the article?
(I’ve also gotten lots of thankful emails from universalists and ex-folkists, so there you go. Their reading comprehension must again have been better than yours…or maybe they just bothered to read the damn essay).
So let’s be absolutely clear: the title of the essay is exactly what it says it is, a systematic attack on the justifications people make for folkism, with the express goal of convincing them to stop being folkish.
Heathen Harvest is much less ideological than you think, as their ready embrace of my essay demonstrates. In another essay on that site about the Norse myth Grimnismal I make no bones in criticizing racism, which again they were all for. I am incredibly time poor but I certainly intend to write more politically progressive Heathen articles and I am certain that Heathen Harvest will be glad to print them. I like the idea of bringing such points of view into spaces where they supposedly can’t exist. Because they can, do, and should, and Heathen Harvest have been encouraging me to keep it up.
One of the reasons that I write these articles for Heathen Harvest is because within the Heathen and neo-folk/post-industrial/etc. communities are many people like myself who have progressive, anti-racist, etc. politics, but we don’t tend to get nearly as much representation. It is important to change that and Heathen Harvest have certainly been supportive of my attempts to do so. You seem to be saying that folks like myself should boycott HH…but if we do that we are just ceding ground to the people on the “other side.” Well I say fuck that, they can’t have it! You should be more ambitious. Running away and hiding is not a way to promulgate one’s point of view.
If you bothered to read the essay, you’ll notice it took a rather moderate stance on the politics of folkism. There are folkish folks who just haven’t thought their beliefs through, and there are card carrying haters. There is little hope of persuading the latter (though that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try) but the essay does have a reasonable chance of convincing the former…but if it went in guns blazing and shaming left, right, and center, I doubt it would be particularly effective. The essay was, however, written prior to the new leadership of the AFA coming out with straight up racist, transphobic, homophobic, sexist statements, and if I were writing it now I think I would find it harder to suspend my disbelief. You might think me not hard enough on the folkists; I would rather win someone over than push them further into the direction of opposition. This doesn’t mean not holding individuals accountable for their actions, of course.
Particularly as we seem to enter more turbulent, frightening, and fascistic times, it is more than ever important for people on the progressive end of the spectrum to apply sound methodology. Guilt by association, and worse, criticizing an article without reading it, is ineffectual, and frankly dishonest. It makes the progressive response to right wing extremism look incompetent and silly. It makes it look like you don’t really hold the convictions you claim to hold, that you don’t think your views can truly hold water. Personally, I would rather plant a flag of resolution, reason, and compassion in turf that might seem uncontested, and speak out. I truly believe that racism is an implacable foe of the Heathen spirit, and so my stance against it runs deep. Perhaps instead of taking ill-informed pot shots, you could join me in submitting thoughtful and compelling articles to sites like Heathen Harvest that are willing to present views from across a wide spectrum. There is a strong case I think, for example, for arguing that progressive politics are more harmonious with anti-modernism than are the politics of hate.
Incidentally, a retraction of the offending statement and an apology would be nice. And maybe some deeper thought about just what you think HH is about, too.
We are going to change it after re-reading the tone of your article, but only in the air of accuracy not because we think that the article’s place at HH is appropriate. By you continuing to support HH and act as if there is a debate to be had with folkish heathens you continue to support the idea that folkishness is anything other than a white nationalist concept. We agree that many folkish heathens are confused and do not see through to the conclusion of their ideas, but to write these articles at a place like HH is to continue to propose the idea that this fascist corner of the internet is a reasonable part of discourse. It’s not, and there is a lot in your article that makes us incredibly uncomfortable and is why we referenced it the way we did.
We are also not going to debate what we think about HH, it is written here really clearly and even since this article was published they have pushed even further to the right. While they may be a great source of news about these music genres, they are helping to destroy them through their fascist political connections.
While I appreciate you choosing to modify your article, I am saddened by your lack of accountability (and you don’t mention that my “single article” runs to over 10,000 words and comprises in all likelihood the most comprehensive critique of folkism ever written).
If I understand correctly, you are not at all phased or even embarrassed at being outed as not actually having read an article before speaking to its content. It is these kinds of short-comings that feed plausible deniability for actual fascists: “look,” they can say, “clearly these antifa know nothing.” You’re letting the team down big time, and then it seems like you’re trying to cover over your mistake by accusing me of doing the same.
So I think it is pretty rich that you dismiss my attempt to systematically dismantle folkism from every conceivable angle as though it were nothing, or even somehow supportive of folkism! I don’t want to just preach to the choir, I want to get the message out there. In my observation people across the whole political spectrum read articles on HH, so it was the perfect vehicle. I could have just put the article on, say, my site, and that would have been a lot easier, but I’m pretty sure we only attract the choir.
You mention that I am supporting the idea that folkism is anything other than a “white nationalist” concept, and this is something that specifically needs to be addressed. My goal in the article is to undermine the use of Heathenry as a buttress for racism, whether it be the racism of unconscious white privilege or the racism of intentional white nationalism. These two kinds of racism are the extremes of a continuum. In my observation, individual folkish Heathens can fall at various points on this continuum, a point on which you concurred in your comment.
All points of the folkish continuum need to be challenged vigorously, which is exactly what my article does. I’m not sure why you think there are bonus points to be scored in pretending this continuum doesn’t exist, particularly when in the same breath you acknowledge that it does. I would rather spend my energies critiquing the racist appropriation of Heathenry than quibbling about the metrics of how despicable that racist appropriation might be. Or are you saying that some forms of racism in Heathenry are acceptable to you? I hope not.
I have my own criticisms of some of the decisions that Heathen Harvest has made in terms of who it covers, and at times I am very much troubled and vexed by those decisions. I know that if I were running HH, I would not be able to resist shutting out certain bands, etc., from coverage. Given that is not within my power, I have made considerable effort to challenge those influences on the content of the site and within the underground music scene. Meanwhile, you aren’t even reading the material that you’re dismissing. No wonder that my efforts have had more of an impact in challenging right wing Heathen ideology than yours have.
You yourself seem to equivocate insofar as you acknowledge HH’s pivotal role for post-industrial music regardless of politics. Perhaps less effort on rhetoric and more on logic would be helpful. Personally I see HH as contested ground, and again it seems to me like you lack the intellectual courage to fight for that ground. You’d rather stay in the safe shelter of preaching to the choir.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump is about to become president. I hope you people get a LOT better at fighting fascism real quick, because we need all hands on deck in the dark years about to hit.
One thing to note.
As result of the exposure that HH got after this article, they came out if the closet and now are in full far right wing mode.
They became openly pro Trump.
They supressed their only public debate space (even though sage Weatherford) still claims in his profile he is all up for debates. Heathen harvest just pose as democratic then, as soon as debates start to show the inconsistencies and real fascist leanings of HH, he closes the discussion board!
Yeah, he is very open about debates… In the underworld.
He is not up for debates, in private he is a mysoginistic and racist person who claims the US needs women back in the kitchen and less in migrants to be better.
He is a living contradiction. He says he hates corporate plutocracy yet he is all voicy about his Trumpism. What a paradox.
After been denounced as a proto fascist he became all itched and replied in his website that he is not the enemy that people should better attack CEOS, yet he is so imbecile as to not realize that supporting Trump is like idolizing CEOs. As he has been a CEO all his life, one that suffers from extreme crony capitalism.