Belief in Protecting a Particular Society Can Protect a Particular Society

Ramzpaul has a video that’s worth responding to because it repeats one of the common mythological tropes in reactionary circles about how religion (specifically Christianity) functions as a kind of immune system for a nation, protecting it from outside invaders. I don’t want to resort to Reddit tier “correlation does not equal causation” cliches so I will simply say that it isn’t true, or that it isn’t necessarily true, meaning that religion isn’t a necessary component to the protection of a nation (and in many cases is counter productive.) I won’t waste a lot of time on this subject because I don’t have to.

People that use the argument Ramzpaul makes always use immigration restrictionist “Christian” countries like Hungary and Poland to illustrate how religion is useful in the context of keeping out migrant hordes and other unwelcome outsiders. However, they conveniently leave out the fact that the Czech Republic (a country which also is notably hostile to third world immigration) is one of the least religious countries in the world. In fact, Prague is one of the most “degenerate” cities in Europe (by prudish, American traditionalist standards anyway.) Young people in Hungary are not very religious at all, so the notion that their religious faith is the magic ingredient for opting to control their borders is pure fantasy. It’s worth also mentioning that China and Japan (unless you count Shinto) have a high percentage of “convinced atheists,” yet seem perfectly able to act in their own national interests. Meanwhile, America has a higher percentage of believing Christians than Hungary, as does Italy, but the Christians in these countries have done little to stem the tide of mass immigration from the third world. Indeed, many actively encourage it, (in addition to engaging in costly quixotic dogooder enterprises in many third world countries.) Outside of corporations looking for cheap labor, the churches are some of the most prominent advocates for mass immigration in the United States.

So the common denominator here isn’t really religion but rather, an interest in preserving a particular kind of society or way of life. This can mean pretty much any kind of society where the natives believe that the unimpeded admission of openly hostile outsiders would be detrimental to the quality of life of those already living there. A cohesive set of beliefs (mythological, spiritual, material or otherwise) harbored by the majority of people in a particular nation offers little to no intrinsic protective value in and of itself. It matters ultimately what those beliefs actually are and whether they explicitly include a collective belief in the preservation of the preferred form of a particular society’s existence.

Revisiting The Wicker Man

I first saw The Wicker Man about 15 years ago when I rented a VHS copy from Blockbuster Video, in the hope that it might feature some 70’s nudity. I think I ended up fast forwarding through most of it, except briefly for that Britt Ekland seduction scene which ends disappointingly. So yeah, as far as erotic horror goes, it’s no Stormswept. However, in spite of having almost no interest in the plot of The Wicker Man at the time, I could not bring myself to fast forward through the final scene, which was genuinely disturbing.

Unlike a throwaway fun flick like “The Wraith” that you that you can watch like 50 times whenever you want some background ambiance, The Wicker Man is one of those movies you regret watching, not because it’s bad, but because it files a traumatizing memory image into your brain that can’t be unseen. I would have been happy to never see or think about this film ever again, but somehow I roped myself into rewatching parts of it and decided it was worth giving a few thoughts on.

*Spoilers ahead*

The plot centers upon a Christian police sergeant who travels to a small Scottish island to investigate a case of a missing young girl. He soon discovers that the locals on the island have abandoned Christianity and are practicing a crude form of Celtic paganism. He is disturbed by their promiscuous behavior and what he perceives to be bizarre and superstitious activities (they utilize folk medicine like swallowing live toads to cure sore throats.) The people on the island make his investigation frustrating as they claim the girl he is looking for never existed. Eventually he locates the girl and saved her from a fate of being sacrificed as the “May Queen” (only she doesn’t appear to want to be saved.) The sergeant gets caught with her while trying to escape. He winds up being the sacrifice instead, and the film ends with him being burned alive in a giant Wicker Man, while the townsfolk joyously look on and sing “Sumer Is Icumen In.”

The leader of the island, “Lord Summerisle” (played by legendary actor Christopher Lee) resembles something of a neoreactionary figure. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, he manipulates the islanders into embracing traditional paganism (which he himself clearly doesn’t believe in) as a means to control them as well as to establish a harmoniously cohesive and functioning society. The island serves as a prototype for a mostly autonomous, rural “city state” which has deviated from modernity in favor of folklore and superstition. However, with people having wild orgies in graveyards, it is less prudish than the killjoy culture that “Little House on the Praireactionary” factions of neoreaction idealize. That being said, life on Pagan Island looks pretty groovy to me.

Anyway, near the end of the film when the police sergeant has been captured and is about to be sacrificed, he pleads with the villagers that their beliefs are a lie, and tries to convince them that sacrificing him to “their gods” won’t prevent the harvest from failing. The townspeople ignore his appeals to reason and gleefully carry out the sacrifice, burning him alive in a giant wicker man.

The irony is that for almost the entire duration of the event he is vocally professing the Christian afterlife beliefs, asserting that the Christian God he was brought up to believe in is the true one. As the flames slowly begin to engulf him, he desperately curses the islanders and recites Psalm 23, oblivious to the notion that his own prayers are no more or less likely to be answered.

What makes this film ultimately disturbing though is the way it mercilessly reveals the horror of being the odd man out among a mob of people swept up in groupthink. Regardless of what one believes, the viewer can relate the the movie to situations where they perceive themselves to be the rational individual caught in a world gone mad.

Brandon Adamson is the author of Beatnik Fascism

Dust on the Moon

moonzerotwodeath

If advanced civilization and a continuous expansion of our understanding of the universe are the paramount objectives we strive toward, then a barbarous third world religious populace is not compatible, period. Even the faithful of the first world represent an encumbrance in this regard (and radical traditionalists are not interested is pursuing futurism anyway.) Indeed, any religion which claims authority to create policies related to technology or promote ‘noble savage’ fetishism based on a literal interpretation of scientifically unproven (perhaps even unprovable) supernatural or metaphysical beliefs, is something we need to distance ourselves from… unless we can restrict it’s utility to that of mythological guidance as strictly fictitious metaphor. There is an aesthetic case to be made for “cultural Christianity” or nominalism for neoreactionaries who idealize the medieval frame yet are not true believers. As an escapist who once clocked in nearly 300 hours marveling at the majestic world of Elder Scrolls IV (without ever even bothering with the main quest,) I could certainly see the appeal of such a society. Hell, even that virtual environment in many ways felt superior to what exists in our current reality.

The problem with cultural Christianity though arrives when it intersects with authentic believers. True believers will never accept those who embrace their religion for “values” or utilitarian purposes. Their faith requires them to be disgusted by it and they view it as form of heresy, which is why they recoil at post rationalist attempts at inventing religious concepts like “gnon” as a necessary part of the design of a functional society. Orthodox Christians take it as an insult that one would attempt to adopt their values while denying the divine “truth” of their doctrine. You could not have one without the other, they would claim, and they would find doubly insulting the notion that their values could simply be transplanted into some new metaphysical belief system that a few reactosphere bloggers came up with over the weekend. Not that that sort of thing can’t work on it’s own. Look at the success of Scientology as a religion, the closest thing to a neoreactionary tech comm monarchy that exists today. Have fun getting militant Christian reactionaries to accept your nominalism though in the new nation. As natural busybodies, they are not known for a hands off approach toward non-believers anyway.

To the extent religions, including Christianity (in anything other than their most benign strains) can be compatible with highly advanced technological civilizations at all is a stretch. If you think they are able to, then you and I simply define “advanced” civilization differently. It’s been shown possible with Christianity in the 19th and 20th century, but the pathological altruism and biblical aversion to pursuing certain avenues of technology present a significant hindrance to both civilizational maintenance and technological progress (think where genetic engineering, eugenics, stem cell research and transhumanism would be right now without constant obstruction from religious puritans)

Those who favor Islamification of Europe, or radical christian traditionalism would seem to be content with a sort of “Ape City” from Planet of The Apes as their gold standard, a primitive theocracy which makes use of some modest level of technology. In actuality, the orangutans like Dr. Zaius were pretty wise aristocrats and ape city would probably be preferable to living under actual Islamic law or being governed by pervy bishops, various third world tribal chieftains and the like.

zaiusgroovy

For those of us who prefer to seek out and supersede the biologically imposed limits of our understanding of the universe as organisms, without restricting ourselves to uncritical faith in currently unproven bronze age supernatural beliefs or leaning on the crutch of an imagined higher power, the future is this way. Let those who are content on the prairie, live as happy families in their familiar traditional communities. We will strive to build lunar cities, our ashes will become moon dust, a lifeless and indifferent soil to be kicked up by the boots of subsequent pioneering dreamers, marching toward their next destination.

This essay originally appeared in Force Fields, on August 13, 2015