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Fascist “pagan” Varg Vikernes arrested in France

July 29, 2013

-An analysis of the events and its meaning to the heathen community-

Kristian Vikernes AKA Count Grishnackh AKA Varg was arrested recently in France on the suspicion he was planning a “massacre”. A statement by the French Interior Minister said both Kristian and his wife were a “potential threat to society”. That’s right, the most infamous White Power “pagan” is at it again, this time, he is in France.

Vikernes house in France

Vikernes house in France

Some may remember an odd, charismatic, young Norwegian musician of the pioneer black metal bands Burzum and Mayhem, who was found guilty of murdering his band-mate Øystein ‘Euronymous’ Aarseth by stabbing him to death in 1993 and of burning down Christian Norwegian Stave churches (the arson of Åsane Church, Storetveit Church, Skjold Church and Holmenkollen Chapel in Oslo) beginning with his suspected arson of Fantoft stave church. These events all helped to contribute to the “Satanic Panic” of the late 80s and early 90s when the western world media mistook his “pagan” reasoning for the arsons as “satanic” and “occult” in origin. He is also suspected of forming small radical nationalist racialist pagan cells which burned other churches as well as founding and participating in a Neo-völkisch prison gang after his incarceration called the “Norsk Hedensk Front” (“Norwegian Heathen Front”). The reasoning for the arsons, as he writes in his book Vargsmål was that:

“For each devastated graveyard, one heathen grave is avenged, for each ten churches burnt to ashes, one heathen Hof is avenged, for each ten priests or freemasons assassinated, one heathen is avenged.”

To Kristian, Christianity is responsible for the moral decay of society (including race mixing, international monied interests, and the subjection of the individual to religious authority), specifically in regards to Norwegian society. This corrupting influence stems, according to Vikernes, from the Jewish origins of Christianity (amongst other things). Thus we find the origin of his anti-Semitism and Nationalist tendency. Really his ideology is a right-wing/fascist reaction to encroaching modernity that was felt during the “McDonaldization” of Norway in the late 80s and early 90s as a result of globalization. Kristian’s participation in the revolutionary violent far Right European political scene and his self-expressed links to “paganism” and “heathenry” have caused long term damage not only to the image of paganism but also contributes to anti-pagan sentiment all over Europe and North America as well as continued suspicion of all self-identified heathens as secretly subscribing to neo-Nazi ideologies.

Kristian was released in March 2009 on parole he served 15 years of his 21-year sentence under Norwegian law. Days after his release a church in Våler was destroyed by arson perhaps the work of his sycophants of a self-styled “Einsatzgruppen” he once hired to break him out of prison.

It is important to note that when “Varg” was arrested, for the murder of Øystein, he was found to have 150 kg of explosives and 3,000 rounds of ammunition in his house with the intent of blowing up an anarchist community center and squat in Olso called “Blitz House”. To us this shows his clear intent to escalate from arsons of empty buildings to mass murder.  In the documentary Until the Light Takes Us Kristian retells stories from his childhood:

“Rode our bikes up to McDonald’s and we set down and started to fire on their windows. You know, we were sneaking up and “Boom!”  We were shooting at McDonald’s. We stockpiled weapons, munitions to prepare for war.”

The Norwegian government shows how it deals with racist terrorists: lock them up and let them go. Kristian’s recent arrest in France shows that the Norwegian government, known for its progressive social democratic state, let a known racist terrorist walk free to take his reign of racially motivated terror international.

The Vikerneses

The Vikerneses

We were at first surprised to find Kristian in France. Then we quickly realized why he might have picked up and moved residence from a small Norwegian farm in in Bø, Telemark to modern, multicultural France. The New Right and associated crypto-neo-fascist groups are coalescing in France (as well as England) stoking anti-Muslim and anti-foreigner sentiment in hopes of building political and military power to ‘take back Europe’. This particular brand of fascism draws heavily on the fascist idea of “Europe for Europeans” and a “Grand Euro-ethnic awakening”. Obviously the new fad in fascist organization is based around exchanging the racially charged term “white” for a pseudo ethnic pan-European identity similar to the Pan-Germanicists of the late 1800s in Northern Europe. This mirrors the approach of most racialist tendencies in the American Heathen community to gather followers under the banner of pan-Europeanism (of course always mixed with a heavy dose of patriarchy and unchallenged misogyny). Despite the obvious fact that Europe and thus Europeans are a diverse mix of people, beliefs, and origins, this holdover ideology from the 19th century still is a pervasive belief.  Mirroring again modern fascist groups, racialist authoritarian heathens typically reject Christianity on metaphysical and cultural grounds using it as a scape goat for the ills of modernity and to explain their withdrawal from mainstream culture into idealized racial enclaves and small tight knit white communities.

Again the basic idea promoted by the “Count”, other fascist groups in the US and Europe and racialist heathens is that because Christianity came from Judaism (and because Jews are the classic bogey man of the White Right), Christianity is a cultural poison with the cure being a race war of some sort (sometimes couched in cultural terms and sometimes posed as a calamitous event cause either by corrupt political or economic forces controlled by other races) which results in a purge the ‘desert God’s poison’ from society. Replace Christianity with Islam and you find the other half of a modern fascist organizers coin. We were also less than shocked to find out Kristian was possibly stock piling arms and munitions in France, a hallmark of race warriors everywhere. The main take away is that modern fascist ideological currents are mirroring that of racialist Heathens and their organizations in hopes of creating a base of which to recruit from.

Another aspect of this story central to us, and the Heathen community (as well as our physical communities), is how locals in his French community dismissed him “I didn’t notice anything strange other than that he liked to wear military costumes and liked Gothic music“. This is exactly what covert and overt white nationalists depend on: the apathy and ignorance of their physical communities to dangerous fascist cultural flags or markers. Fascists want people to think white revolutionaries are simply eccentrics and really nothing more than people who have passing weird or dark interests.  They count on our communities’ ignorance of things like their symbology to catch the community into their ideological web. Our inoculation from these unwanted incursions is education and dissemination of information about fascist culture so others can identify and expose them for what they are.

We sincerely hoped that the French government might be successful in prosecuting and imprisoning Kristian so French antifascists can catch up with him behind bars. Despite arguments about unfair State repression against “innocent” Kristian, we do not mind seeing State power used to tie up the funds and movements of known fascists. Although as they showed, in typical fashion, the State failed to do anything real except add to the martyr complex “Varg” banks on to sell records and books. The rule that rarely does any State move to prosecute fascists in any real way is proved yet again. Typically governmental powers utilize the desire of fascists to kill others to fill the ranks of their military, police and security apparatus and ignore their violent organizing until it boils over into a mass shooting or bombing which they claim as an isolated event of someone who was mentally ill. This is what is known as the medicalization of violent racists which is used by a system of institutions to reinforce white supremacy as a pervasive element within both North American and European societies. Even in the U.S. rarely are people such as neo-Nazis prosecuted for obvious hate crimes in relation to their criminal political activity.

The story of “Varg”s life should be a wakeup call to all pagans and heathens around the world. If these Outlaws go unchecked they will continue to gain footholds in our communities. These jötunn are amongst us, they help run national heathen organizations and are helping to build a movement of white race radicals very quietly by leeching our communities of their power to fill their ranks with disposable race warriors. Our counter message is simple:

If you express racist/fascist beliefs or views, you are not welcome in our communities! Freedom of speech does not protect you from the consequences of your speech!

The work that the Circle Ansuz Collective and our allies do, are in part, to undermine the organizations, like those started by Kristian and others, and to prevent and disrupt their violent anti-social agenda. We will not back down to Outlaws who wish to use our community as a base to build violent fascist organizations. By building a culture, and a community based on anti-fascist heathen values we show our strength. When fascists see a circled Ansuz rune they will know that they are not welcome and that Outlaws cannot hide.

-the Circle Ansuz Collective


The general theory of Heathen anarchism

July 4, 2013

There are two main pillars that serve as the foundations of Heathen anarchism. The first is the justification based on historical data, the social practices of the ancient Germanics, and modern archeology. The second justification is rooted in the most commonly accepted creation epic, the Voluspol, and in the spiritual truths inherent in a cyclical cosmology.

The first element is based on the surviving records, evidence, and known practices of the pre-Christian Germanic cultures of Northern Europe.  Their societies developed organically and free of states and state-like institutions. Prior to the establishment of the power of the warrior-aristocracy before the fall of the Roman Empire and in the later years of the Viking Age the peoples of the Germanic tribes governed themselves through popular assemblies known as Things or Dings. These assemblies allowed all free people, men and women alike, to speak, vote, and seek peaceful redress for grievances. Along with self-governance came self-policing; in these ancient societies all free people were expected to take part in the defense of the community and maintaining of order. One of the best manifestations of this was the widely-held custom requiring all free people to possess and know how to use arms.

The self-governing pre-Christian Germanic societies had no coercive, oppressive state to rule them or socio-economic institutions, like churches or corporations, to dictate their daily lives. Lands were held in common by the families that lived on them.  Their economy was founded on producing to meet the needs of people and not for the purposes of accumulation of massive personal wealth at the expense of the people. Trade was conducted for the purposes of acquiring useful goods and commodities.

The second element is the spiritual one. In the Voluspol it is stated at one point in the distant past the world was nothing but a yawning void stretched between fire and ice. One day the fire and ice collided, creating a massive cloud of steam from which came the giant Ymir and the cow Audumla. Ymir would sire the frost giants living in a world that was nothing but tundra and frost until Buri, the grandfather of Odin and his brothers, was released from the primordial ice. For three generations the sons and grandsons of Buri would intermarry with giants and live in these circumstances until one day Odin and his brothers, Vili and Ve, rose up and slew Ymir. Working in conjunction with the other gods they used the giant’s corpse as source material for building Midgard in the howling void. In the future it is said in the Voluspol the Nine Worlds will burn and the gods will fall in battle at Ragnarok and in turn be succeeded by a new world rising from the ashes of the old.

The cycle of creation, destruction, and re-creation from the bones of the destroyed world shows in the end that all things, even gods and worlds, will meet their end. In turn their ends will lead to a new, more refined creation using the elements of the previous state of existence as the materials for their construction. In Heathen anarchism this cycle is central to the justification of synergy with the anarchist ideals social revolution and creating the new in the shell of the old. If it is a cosmological truth that gods and worlds are destined to die one day then it follows this applies to all other things whether living, nonliving, or abstract concepts. Socio-economic systems, as history has shown, are not eternal, perfect, or unceasingly enduring but are in fact fallible and replacable. It logically follows that if all things in this universe will meet their end then it is impossible for any socio-economic system to be perfect, everlasting, and irreplaceable.

The other side of the spiritual justification lies in the creation of humanity. In the Voluspol it is stated humans were created by Odin, Hoenir, and Lodur from two pieces of driftwood they found on a beach. The gods imbued the dead wood with life, consciousness, and intelligence creating man and woman simultaneously and equally before letting the new creations go on their way. They gave no commands or issued any decrees demanding obedience or overlordship. Furthermore while the gods do give Ask and Embla life, consciousness, and intelligence they do not give them free will. The first two humans, upon coming to life, exerted their free will by going out into the world and the gods did nothing to infringe on their free will.

In Heathen anarchism this process is proof that free will, free choice, and autonomy are inherent elements of all life. The gods do not give humans freedom or constrain their freedom because they acknowledge that humans, by the simple virtue of living, already possess these qualities. If even the gods that created us have no right to place any constraints on our autonomy then no human institution has any right to limit our inherent autonomy by force, fraud, or coercion. Just as the gods created the universe through discussion, council, and consensus it follows all human systems should be founded on similar principles.

The creation of the sexes further reinforces this point. In creating humans the gods use two different kinds of tree to do the job, an ash and an elm. In spite of the different materials used to create each neither is declared superior or inferior to the other. They are different yet at the same time they are peers and equals. This is because they are, regardless of these differences, equally alive. As such they both possess the autonomy inherent to all life. Neither is “naturally” superior to the other because just as it is not possible for human institutions to claim coercive power over other humans it is also not possible for one human to claim power over another human based on outward differences in appearance or physical form. These differences do not negate the fundamental autonomy both share.

Equally crucial in the creation epic is humanity’s place in the world. Quite unlike the ideas which originate in the Book of Genesis the gods of Heathenry do not place humanity in any superior position to nature. There is no command to be stewards of the earth or any implication humans are somehow above the natural world. In fact the creation itself shows an intimate connection. The first humans are made from two pieces of dead driftwood, not unlike the creation of the world from the body of the slain giant Ymir. The driftwood, being dead, was once alive and an indisputable part of the natural world. Coupled with the lack of any superiority given to humans argues humanity is just as much a part of the natural world as the trees we are said to be made from.

Finally we have the example of the coming, inevitability of Ragnarok. This fated, destined end to reality as we know it is certain and unavoidable. Yet in spite of predestined fate the gods struggle to stop the end of all worlds, even though they know their efforts only delay the inevitable. It is because the deeds of protecting those they love and fighting to defend others from harm are right in and of themselves. It does not matter if the odds are impossible or defeat is certain. What matters is that you fight on for what you believe is right.

It is from this foundation, in conjunction with established anarchist and radical theories and ideas advanced by thinkers like Emma Goldman, Piotr Kropotkin, Mikhail Bakunin, Murray Bookchin, Karl Marx, and others that Heathen anarchism relates with broader anarchist ideas.  In Heathenry reality is complicated.  Our universe consists of nine worlds populated by uncountable deities and cosmic powers great and small.  Gods, heroes, and people are complex and multifaceted.

Thanks to this perspective we view the world around us in the same way, seeking to apply the most appropriate, beneficial, and effective solution to specific problems.  Heathen anarchists are anarcho-communists in spirit, anarcho-syndicalists in matters of labor and economics, green anarchists in relation to the environment, anarcha-feminists on matters of gender, queer anarchists on matters of sexuality, individualist anarchists on the question of the individual, and mutualist anarchists on questions of community.  We believe just as there is no single God ruling from on high no single answer alone is sufficient to tackle complex problems but the ideas of many sources feeding an effective synthesis builds the strongest, most effective, and beneficial solution.

Counter-Currents on the Run!

May 16, 2013

Over the last several months the Circle Ansuz Bay Area Leidang has been working to push Counter-Currents Publishing out of the Bay Area. We’ve hit them on three occasions so far, raising public awareness of their presence and ideas.

We have recently learned, care of an anonymous tip and a recent update on their site, Counter-Currents is claiming they moved to San Diego, California!


We have followed up to confirm they are operating at the location they claim to be at and the building staff said there is no tenant named Counter-Currents on the site. They also stated there is no tenant listed for the suite they claim to be in.

Based on this information we have one of three possible interpretations of the evidence. The first is Counter-Currents is operating under a false name at the address they claim to be at. The second is they are in San Diego and claiming to be at the address listed to throw off pursuit. The third is they never left the Bay Area and claim to be in San Diego to hide.

No matter what one thing is clear: they are hiding and on the run!

Like all neo-fascists they fear exposure and confrontation more than anything else. They do not care who gets caught in the crossfire as long as they are able to continue their racist, fascist organizing undisturbed & unchallenged.

Below is the contact information for Counter-Currents’ alleged new location and their two main operators Greg Johnson and Michael Polignano. We ask all members of the public in San Diego & the Bay Area to be on the lookout for these two men and anyone they associate with. We also ask you call State Street Offices and tell them who Counter-Currents is.

State Street Offices


Michael Polignano


Greg Johnson


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David Parry: Neo-Fascist!

April 3, 2013

David William Parry is a man on the rise in the London Heathen community. Parry has made a name for himself as a Heathen Priest of Nerthus, a poet, and a playwright. Most well-known for organizing the London Thing in 2012 which was attended and blessed by Freya Aswynn, Parry is growing increasingly active and visible. By all appearances he is a man who should be welcomed. He is educated, an artist, and runs a play company. Only on further examination does the real David Parry come to light.

DP London Thing

Our investigation into David Parry began following the discovery of several essays and publications on the Counter-Currents site which claim Paganism is an inherently racialist belief system. This prompted us to dig in to the ties between individual Pagans and Heathens with the neo-fascist movement. While we were aware of Parry thanks to his efforts in organizing the London Thing we were very surprised when we found this video posted on the Counter-Currents page, which was also posted on the London New Right YouTube channel, where Parry gave a talk followed by question and answer on Odinism at the 42nd London New Right Forum, a regular event organized by known neo-fascist Troy Southgate. Southgate is one of the founders of a sect of neo-fascism known as National Anarchism. The so-called National Anarchists claim to be anarchists while espousing overtly fascist ideas like racialist segregation and ethnic purity, forcefully appropriating anarchist and libertarian socialist symbols and slogans to camouflage and promote their cause. Their actions are very much like how the Nazi Party of Germany and the Fascist Party of Italy appropriated the symbolism of their cultures’ past and the neo-Nazi movement in the 70s and 80s appropriated the working class skinhead subculture.

During his talk Parry makes a number of statements which were, to us, extremely alarming to hear coming from any person. In his talk he argues the modern revival of Heathenry is a potent weapon for opposing corporate globalization, claiming repeatedly that anarcho-primitivism and Heathenry are virtually one and the same. By returning to the “natural” religion of the people of England, says Parry, it is possible for great political change to take place. To support his argument he makes several claims which are, put bluntly, patently untrue, starting with his assertion that the Salem Witch Trials were a reaction by Puritan clergy against the threat of resurgent Heathenry. He continues by making numerous claims about Heathen practice, including his assertion that recent legislation in Ecuador and Bolivia (enshrining the rights of nature in their constitutions) is Heathen, that “to a certain extent these divisions (between Pagan traditions) are meaningless,” while simultaneously arguing “I have this ridiculously old-fashioned belief that divisions are important, that there is something beneath the division”, and then invokes the classical four Hermetic elements in claiming Heathenry is “a religion of living earth, conscious air, breathing fire, and liquid water”, and finally saying Heathenry “can’t point to a scripture”, so “therefore we can’t appeal to tradition”.

These claims, while demonstrably and laughably false in many places, were only the tip of the iceberg. During the question and answer section, in response to a question on race, Parry said, “on a biological level, on a genetic level there are only five races known of,” that, “even science is beginning to admit there are other types of human being, hobbits are now an official theory,” and finally, “race is absolutely vital for an understanding of who you are, what you are, and where you are going”. These statements made in support of scientific racism, very much in line with the rhetoric, ideas, and arguments made by organizations like Counter-Currents Publishing and the American Freedom Party, raised several bright red flags for us. The discovery of this video prompted us to do further digging into the man who claimed he spoke for the Heathen community thanks to having been “initiated by Freya Aswynn a couple of weeks ago,” and his adoption “by Asatru, Vanatru, Odinists, and Wotanists”. What we found only served to crystallize our fear that David Parry is a neo-fascist.

We started by looking into his Facebook page. During our research into his publicly visible posts we were stunned to find screamingly racist, anti-semitic examples like sharing this video:

DP Jews Destroying White Race

(Video is available on YouTube here:

Or this:

DP National Anarchism

Or his status as the admin of the overtly racist Facebook page Allthing:

DP Page Admin

And there’s always this lovely gem, Pan-Aryanism, from his Likes page:

DP Pan Aryan

Not to mention the page Unity Through Nobility which he recently Liked:


Which has a quote from Adolf Hitler in its banner and links itself to!

Unity Through Nobility

We were, quite simply, shocked to see he would be so overt on his own Facebook page, especially considering this post of his:

DP Certificate of Ordination

Which prompted us to do some further digging. It turns out that David Parry has attended other neo-fascist events, though not always as a speaker. In June of 2012 Parry worked the table for New Right publisher Arktos Media at the infamous Iona Forum, a venue known for its overt support of holocaust denial, neo-fascism, and neo-Nazi ideas.

Parry’s ties to far right neo-fascist politics are of concern to Heathens on both sides of the pond. His participation in far Right politics mirrors actions by some prominent American Heathens. Both Steve McNallen and Edred Thorsson have published essays in the “radical traditionalist” journal Tyr. Valguard Murry has participated in racialist organizations including Else Christensen’s racialist Odinist Fellowship which claimed a synthesis of Heathenry and white nationalism. Freya Aswynn, who initiated Parry as a Priest of Nerthus at the London Thing, has given unfortunate interviews as well. Such associations with racialists, neo-fascists, and neo-Nazis at the least lends all of these people unwarranted credibility and at worst suggests outright collusion. Even assuming such actions are completely innocent, it creates the appearance that Heathery openly supports, if not at least tolerates, racialist ideologies.

These ties are only part of our concerns and objections to Parry. Not only is he openly associating Heathenry with a racialist, fascist agenda, he is blatantly misrepresenting it in the process. Whether invoking the four classical elements of Hermetic mysticism, asserting there are no real differences between the major Pagan practices, or his attempts to claim that the actions of the Bolivian and Ecuadorian governments are somehow “Heathen”, these are not the worst distortions he commits. Most Heathen groups, contrary to Parry’s claims, have a deep respect for tradition and the surviving Heathen lore. The most crucial element of the lore is the sagas of Scandinavia, the most famous and central of which are the Poetic and Prose Eddas. While they are not treated as infallible holy writ in the same fashion as the Bible or the Koran, it would be equally inaccurate to claim Heathens “can’t point to scripture” and “can’t appeal to tradition.” The free intermixing of different practices, false claims regarding basic facts, and claims of Heathenry being the ancestral religion of all English people regardless of England’s diverse heritage and history are laughably hypocritical in light of his denunciation of “puritanical universalist globalism”. Of course such claims are not surprising coming from a man who claims his “own critique of anarchism as a movement is also one of its blessings,” and that he is on Monsanto’s hit list.

Furthermore, Parry’s attempts to politicize Heathenry by claiming it is practically the same as his interpretation of anarcho-primitivism and his assertions that Heathenry has tremendous political potential are truly disturbing to say the least. While some have accused Circle Ansuz of doing the same thing, from where we stand any attempts to turn Heathenry into a platform for a specific political ideology runs contrary to our principles as Heathens and anarchists. As Heathens we understand the beliefs, ideas, and perspectives of the ancients were developed in a specific time and place which predates all modern political ideology by several centuries. Claiming Heathenry is inherently liberal, conservative, or any other modern ideology diminishes what Heathenry is. As anarchists we hold that in the world there are no sources, people, or ideas which can lay claim to absolute, uncontested, perfect truth. Dogma and declarations of absolute knowledge are just as contrary to our ideas as fire is the opposite of ice. We do not claim to have all the right answers or that Heathenry is inherently anarchist anymore than it is inherently capitalist, communist, or fascist. We present our perspective as an answer to life’s many challenges, unlike Parry who claims anarcho-primitivism and Heathenry are one and the same. While Parry claims his way is the right way, we reply in the words of Errico Malatesta: “We anarchists do not want to emancipate the people; we want the people to emancipate themselves”.


February 21, 2013


The “Free America Rally” is being coordinated nationally by the American Freedom Party (formerly/AKA the American Third Position Party), a White Nationalist organization with an American breed of fascist populism.

They claim immigrants are invaders seeking to overthrow the U.S. by occupation.

They say that “America is defined by its European-derived population.”  Essentially that America is only of and for Whites.

Give them no platform for their racist bigotry.  Drown their message in anti-fascist, anti-racist action!

Solidarity is the only way to overcome racist division.  Stand in unity with all immigrants!

Saturday, February 23rd 12:00 Noon Near West Steps of the Capitol Building, 1320 10th Street, Sacramento, CA

PRESS RELEASE: White Supremacist Book Distributor Operating in the Sunset District, San Francisco, CA

February 4, 2013

Since June 11th, 2010 Counter-Currents Publishing has been operating in secret in the Sunset District under the management of Greg Johnson and Michael Polignano.  Their objective, in their words is, “to destroy the cultural hegemony of multiculturalism and anti-white racism and to replace them with the cultural hegemony of white pride, white self-assertion, and White Nationalism.”  They argue there are inherent differences between people based on their race, believe that whites are inherently superior to other racial groups, and believe American Jews are responsible for anti-white propaganda.  Their distributed works include the writings of infamous fascist, Nazi, and New Right authors such as Julius Evola, Alain de Benoist, Kevin MacDonald, and Nazi spy Savitri Devi.

Upon discovering their existence and operation in San Francisco we, the operatives of Circle Ansuz and our friends and allies, have worked to raise awareness of their existence, their racist ideology, and mobilize pressure to shut down their organization.  Allowing their organizing and promotional efforts to proceed unhindered and unopposed would only lead to further racially motivated violence in our city and the Bay Area.  On October 30th  we began our campaign against Counter-Currents Publishing.

For Circle Ansuz their promotion of authors and books which claim Pagan and Heathen spirituality are racially-based is among the most personal of their crimes.  As Heathens we believe any claims of racial basis to spirituality are nothing more than a bald-faced attempt to pervert our practices into a front for fascist, racist propaganda.  Such claims run counter to the moral and ethical foundations of modern Heathen and Pagan spirituality.

On December 17th, nine days after our action on the white supremacists’ martyrs’ day, Counter-Currents announced the first of many moving sales.  If they continue to operate anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area they will be found, exposed, and opposed wherever they run or however they hide.  We call upon all the people of the Bay Area to join us in non-violent opposition to organized racism in our communities.  As long as those people continue to operate unhindered people will suffer the consequences of their hatred.

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Tribalism, Romanticism, and Anarchism

December 20, 2012

Many may wonder why is there so much love for an archaic, tribal past in Circle Ansuz. For an antifascist group it would seem counter-intuitive for us to engage in similar activities, particularly the glorification of a distant past, as the fascists we oppose. Such groups are notorious for their romanticization, politicization, and mangling of history to serve their purposes. In Circle Ansuz we draw inspiration from the past but that is where any similarity stops. Our perspectives on tribal societies and romanticism are coming from a very different place than that which is used by fascist, reactionary, and conservative groups.

In groups which whip up a romanticized vision of the past the main reason they do so is because they want to return to that time and place. Images of an older, simpler, idealized time run rampant in modern political discourse. Whether its American nostalgia for a sanitized vision of the 1950s, British ultraconservatives yearning for the glory days of the Empire, or Russian ultranationalists hearkening back to the Tsars the use of a fabricated past is a common tactic for justifying the actions of a whole host of political factions, fascists being one of the worst offenders in this regard. These narratives all share in common a rose-tinted vision of a past time that never really existed as depicted by their proponents. They sweep aside facts in favor of ideologically-induced phantasms constructed specifically to entice people to join them in abandoning their reason in favor of a false narrative. When used to seduce people into supporting fascist ideas the romanticizing of the past can be very powerful and dangerous.

Our view of tribalism is far more nuanced. While we argue there are values, ideas, and practices of the tribal period of the Germanic peoples which are worth emulating we understand the difference between reconstruction and resurrection. For all the facets of Germanic society we praise; most notably the Thing assemblies, communal defense and law enforcement, their relatively egalitarian attitudes, and worker control of their labor, we understand the society they lived in emerged in a specific time and place to face specific challenges. We also understand this society is far from ideal. Women, while treated with far more respect than the societies influenced by the Roman Empire and medieval Christianity, were not by modern feminist standards genuine equals. All of these societies exploited the labor of slaves; in fact the bulk of the wealth from the height of the Viking Age came not from plunder but from the sale of slaves taken in raids. For all the positives of Thing governance brutal, nasty blood feuds were also a major feature of Germanic life.

Considering all these negatives why should we consider this time, culture, and period to be such a vital inspiration to our ideas? It is because in spite of these flaws there are fundamental elements of the tribal period which present a powerful critique of society. In the modern discourse regarding the Germanics, as it is with all other tribal societies, it is generally assumed that life was nasty, brutish, and short. Taking a cue from the 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes and more modern social Darwinists most assume life in such “primitive” societies was defined by constant violence and savage warfare. Many assume such cultures existed in a “barbaric” state of eternal war of all against all. These assumptions are the foundations of the modern reasoning that all institutional power depends on the monopoly on the use of force and coercion to maintain itself.

Running up against this narrative are new facts regarding tribal life in the Germanic period and from the world over. A new consensus is developing where tribal societies were anything but the ruthlessly brutish places depicted in the popular narrative. As the Thing assemblies, the use of outlawry as the worst punishment, and other practices demonstrate the foundation of order and stability in these societies was not based on force or the fear of force but through consent, mutual aid, discourse, and discussion. This pattern repeats itself the world over, whether you are discussing the indigenous tribes of the Americas, Africa, or the Asian steppe. By holding up these tribal societies and their attitudes as a mirror to modern society a powerful critique emerges. If it is possible for society to be based on consensus and mutual aid in a time that is assumed by most to have been an age of violence and bloodshed then perhaps our modern ideas of what is necessary to build a nurturing, prosperous, and free society should be re-examined.

After all, there are many modern practices and innovations which the ancients would find just as abhorrent as we find slavery and human sacrifice. The ancients did not invent concentration camps, weapons of mass destruction, or anything comparable to the soullessness of corporate economics. They would likely find our acceptance of homelessness as a consequence of economic destitution and our lack of concern for our fellow community members to be inexcusable and uncivilized just as they would recoil from the needless, excessive waste of our consumerist economy. They would most certainly walk away in disgust at the ease of which people will discard dearly-held principles the moment they become an obstacle or inconvenience to the pursuit of personal advancement. If there are major aspects of our society which our allegedly savage ancestors would have cursed as inhuman then what does that say about us?