The Absurd Romanticism of Ancient Paganism by Neo-Pagans
The Neo-Pagan Narrative
The past is to the traditionalist what the future is to the progressive, it is more glorious imagined than seen. Since the sort of circles I move in tend to have an extensive interest in the past, as well as a tendency towards a “ressourcement” of past wisdom for fixing present problems. Thus it would naturally have a great interest in paganism itself given that it is part of the past of most cultures before the advent of the dominance of monotheistic religions.
There is however a certain narrative strand I wish to critique and that is that supposedly Christianity with its “cucked” ethics spectacularly cocked up the whole thing and that we need to return back to strong, brave, iron-willed paganism as a solution to present ailments. The argument is supposedly that Christians are materialistic and commericalised Le Merchant minded Jews with their universalist levelling creed against everything particular and local while pagans bravely and with an indomitable spirit held on loyally to the old religion and ways of their tribal ancestors contra the overwhelming material forces arrayed against them.
There is no doubt that many conversions in both Latin America and Europe occurred quite literally at the point of the sword under the banner of the superior Christianised Roman forces. But what many do not get is that many other barbarian pagans as well were desperate to imitate Rome as much as possible, even to the point of abandoning their ancestral religions and becoming Christians, and it was their very own pagan clerics who counsel such conversion to Christianity because of its material advantages. Thus the sort of critique of the “materialistic” and “commercial” nature of Christianity is more of a universal trait of the human condition than something particular to Christianity, and is precisely what motivated the pagans to voluntarily convert to Christianity to begin with.