Radix Journal

Radix Journal

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Tag: Christmas

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Christmas is certainly being de-Christianized, the result not only of snooty liberals but the gradual waning of faith across the population as a whole. What remains, through, are the  Germanic, Latin, and Slavic customs and rituals of Yuletide.  These might seem vulgar, hallow shells of themselves (Christmas *kitsch*), but they are distinctly European and distinctly ours. And they are a starting point for becoming who we are.   

There is a pair of clichés about the Christmas season that carries more significance than we might think: “Christmas is for children,” we say, and “Christmas makes me feel like a kid again.

The first saying refers to a certain innocence we envy in the children around us, who seem to really believe in Santa, magic, and the world of fairies, and who instinctively love Christmas. For us, Christmas has become both expensive and cheap: the over-planned parties and schedules . . . the chore of buying gifts that will be quickly forgotten, disposed of, or re-gifted . . . the trudging through horrible, muzak-filled malls . . .

“Becoming a kid again,” at least for a time, is our redemption.

And it’s a very real feeling. Entering the world of adults is entering a world that is incessantly moving forward. Our lives are defined by projects, goals, accomplishments, deadlines, etc. Christmas, on the other hand, is an Eternal Return, a natural cycle that gives us a respite from linear thinking and planning.

We experience this Return not only through the season itself (when the nights become long and cold) but also through ritual. Ritual is something modern people, even devout Christians, are too quick to dismiss. Ritual is, we think, a dispensable, even embarrassing remnant of something irrational from long ago. But ritual is, among other things, a way we can physically experience being-in-the-world and our own past. We remember through our bodies and senses, which are intertwined with mental processes. When we visit our old high school, for instance, and whiff a certain smell to the grass—the entire experience is immediately recalled. The highs and lows, triumphs and failures, the friendships and fears. Every Christmas, we do the same things over and over: drink the same drinks, hang the same decorations, hear the same music. In reenactment, we are transported back to a series of moments earlier in our lives. We become “kids again.”

These memory-experiences are mostly postcard flashes. Every Christmas Eve, for instance, as I glance at lights on the tree and the too-dark sky, I re-live waiting, greedily, for Santa. Another flash, which is still quite vivid, comes from age seven or eight, as I lay in bed feeling real guilt and inner turmoil over wanting to believe in Santa Claus but no longer being able. Smelling hot-spiced wine, “Glühwein,” I’m reminded of wandering alone the streets of Vienna in December as a young man in my early 20s, hearing the sounds of the Christmas market in the distance . . . observing it, while not being a part of it . . . and not having a clue what to do with my life.

“Bob’s eggnog recipe” or your favorite “Christmas sweater” might seem like recurring jokes. But in their ways, they fulfill the function of grand ritual. And this aspect of Christmas holds not only for our personal lives but for our people and civilization as well. We have become so accustomed to Christmas rituals—and so accustomed to them in the form of kitsch—that we forget how deep they take us into our race’s history . . . far deeper than what the holiday is said to celebrate. For the rituals through which we understand ourselves are fundamentally Pagan in both essence and form.

The Conversion

In his famous book The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity, James Russell wrote of a “double conversion” that occurred when the early Church began spreading beyond the Mediterranean and Near East and sought to bring “the Germans” (i.e., the northern European tribes) into the Christian fold. At the time, these Europeans practiced what is now referred to as Germanic Paganism, a constellation of myths, gods, and symbols that was, at once, centered on the tribe and family and also shared by White men across the continent. Europeans did, eventually, profess Christianity, but the real “conversion” was that of Christianity itself, which both accommodated Europeans folkways and began to be articulated by them.

This process occurred on various cultural levels, from the Europeanized image and conception of Christ to notions of Right and sovereignty. The mix of Germanic, Scandinavian, and Roman customs that define Christmas as we know it is a metaphor of this history. For Christmas remains the most radically Pagan of all holidays, if we have the eyes to see it.

This begins with the day itself. Nowhere in the Bible does December 25 appear as the birth date of Jesus Christ. (If the shepherds were attending their flocks by night (Luke 2:8), then Jesus would have been born in Spring.) December 25 was, however, well known as the birthday of Sol Invictus, the sun god who was patronized by later Roman emperors, including Constantine. The 25th was Dies Natalis Solis Invicti—“Birthday of the Unconquered Sun,” when, after the Winter Solstice, the arc of the Sun across the sky begins to rise again. The famous literary pun of “Son” and “Sun,” which works across Germanic languages, was a real experience of our ancestors. For after passing through the darkness of the Solstice, the Son also rises.

Thinking in the way, the meanings of things we take for granted unlock themselves before our eyes: the evergreen (the endless life cycle) . . . the Yule log (festival of fire) . . . kissing under the Mistletoe (the sacred plant of Frigg, goddess of love, fertility, and the household) . . . and, of course, Santa. “St. Nick” is only remotely related to Saint Nicholas, a Church father at the Council of Nicaea, whose feast day falls on December 6th. The character of Santa is much more a conflation of various Germanic gods and personages. One of these, as evidenced by Santa’s descent into the fiery chimney, is the smithy god Hephaistos or Vulcan. (In other words, “The Church Lady,” and many puritans before her, was right to fear that Santa has an etymological connection to S-a-t-a-n.) Most important of all is the chief god, Odin or Wotan, who stares out at us from behind Santa’s many historical masks—from Father Frost (Ded Moroz), the Slavic god accepted by Russian Communists, to the jolly fat man promoted by Coca Cola. Odin is the Wanderer from the North, a god of war, but one who delivers gifts to children during Yuletide. Odin commands Sleipnir, the horse with eight legs, who, in his translation to contemporary myth, became the eight reindeer: Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

The War on What?

A few years back, Megyn Kelly, then a FOX News host, was roundly ridiculed and condemned after she declared on national television that “Santa just is White” (along with Jesus). She affirmed this in response to an African-American blogger, who argued for more multiracial depictions of Santa, or for him to be racially neutralized as a friendly Penguin. Santa, as we can know, is White, but in ways that Kelly is unable to understand.

The amusing “White Santa” controversy of 2013 was a variation on a theme. Between Thanksgiving and New Years, FOX’s programming is packed with tales of the “War on Christmas,” with reports of “Gingerbread Persons,” insufficiently festive Starbucks travel cups, and cold-hearted atheists. These are denounced by conservative Republicans and nationalists, who seem to define their identity against an ever-growing list of PC atrocities.

Like so many other “conservative” causes, the so-called “War on Christmas” masks much more than it reveals. To begin with, focusing on “secularization,” exemplified by the dreaded “Happy Holidays” greetings, is convenient for Americans who want to ignore the ways Christmas rituals are being hallowed by consumerism. Apparently, maxing out your credit card on useless junk is fine, so long as the checkout girl says “Merry Christmas” and the indoor mall features a nativity scene.

Those who lament the “War on Christmas” rarely pinpoint what exactly is being warred upon. Undoubtedly, there is an elite in the United States and Europe that has contempt for Christian belief. But this effort has not led to any decline in public festivals and holiday merrymaking. The Bolshevik or Puritanical dream of literally “banning Christmas” in favor of grey-on-grey efficiency or “pure” (that is, de-Paganized) Christianity failed miserably, and has very few advocates. In my lifetime, the Christmas season has grown noticeably longer and public and private festivals, more elaborate and intense. To be sure, much of this has to do with the fact that America’s post-industrial, consumer-driven economy depends on end-of-the-year gorging. But I also sense that something bigger is taking place—that in a multicultural, fragmenting society, Christmas, alongside football and super-hero movies, is one of the precious few collective rituals shared by all of us.

Glimpsing The Gods

Christmas is being de-Christianized, the result not only of snooty liberals but of the gradual waning of faith across the population as a whole. What remains, though, are the Germanic, Latin, and Slavic customs and rituals of Yuletide. These might seem vulgar, hallow shells of themselves—Christmas kitsch—but they are distinctly European and distinctly ours. And they are a starting point for becoming, again, who we are.

In the small ski town in which I spend the holiday, every Christmas Eve, everyone goes to the base of the mountain and watches skiers descend the slopes holding flaming torches; the procession creates a magnificent display of lights. At the end comes Santa, illuminated like a god.

As I mentioned, one of my stranger Christmas memories is of struggling with my failing faith in Santa, as if in disbelieving in him, I would betray my parents and family and the whole joyous season. But what is belief, really? When we honor Santa by speaking of his coming, when we leave him offerings of cookies and milk, when we adore his icons, we effectively believe again in the gods. When we celebrate Christmas in its fullness, we become—in our limited and maybe goofy ways—Pagans again.

For the time being, though, we know not what we do.

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ONWARD INTO 2014!

NPI—which includes The National Policy Institute, Washington Summit Publishers, and Radix—also needs your help to cover basic expenses for projects that will launch in the coming months. (I’ll discuss these below.)  

 

But since it’s the turn of the year—a time for reflection—I don’t simply want to ask for money.  I want to show the path we’re treading as an organization so that we can understand how all of our project are part of a larger vision.    

The Christmas and New Year’s season is our favorite time of year. (That might sound trite, but it’s true.) We experience the return of family, rituals, and festivities. We also get the opportunity—which is quite rare today—to step back from the daily distractions and toil and honestly reflect on where we came from and where we’re going.

As I’m sure you know, Christmas and New Year’s also mark the season of fundraising campaigns. . . and by the time you read this, you have, no doubt, already been subjected to many.

NPI—which includes The National Policy Institute, Washington Summit Publishers, and Radix—also needs your help to cover basic expenses for projects that will launch in the coming months. (I’ll discuss these below.)

But since it’s the turn of the year—a time for reflection—I don’t simply want to ask for money. I want to show the path we’re treading as an organization so that we can understand how all of our project are part of a larger vision.

WHO ARE WE?

Before talking about what we did this past year, it’s useful to remind ourselves who we are, and of our fundamental mission. The National Policy Institute is dedicated to setting forth alternative political ideas, neither Left nor Right, which promote the flourishing of European-Americans, and Europeans around the world. Washington Summit Publishers produces literature on scientific understanding and, in particular, Human Biodiversity; and Radix seeks to establish a higher culture and revive distinctly Occidental ways of looking at the world. (Put most simply, politics, science, and culture; that is what NPI, WSP, and Radix are about.)

At NPI, we don’t believe in quick, easy fixes; that is, we don’t focus on a single issues or the next election or imagine that defeating this one bad bill or instituting this one good amendment would fundamentally alter our people’s and civilization’s destiny. Our task is as much about consciousness, understanding, culture, and awakening as it is about “politics” in the technical sense of the term.

At NPI, we don’t get caught up in the little stuff. We want to set big, meaningful goals for our movement—goals that might now seem “impossible,” even outlandish, but which will define our projects moving forward.

At the end of this essay (or by visiting this page), you can learn about becoming part of NPI, and about our basic membership program—The Sam Francis Circle (named after our co-founder).

What follows is a New Year’s reflection: an examination of what we’ve accomplished and where we’re headed.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

What did we do in 2013? Perhaps we should first look at what was done to us (!). It was impossible not to notice that in the past year mainstream media have been keen on “promoting” NPI, our projects, and yours truly. We were the subject of quite a few hit pieces; most prominently, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC warned her viewer against NPI and tried to use “the NPI menace” as a means of passing immigration reform, unsuccessfully. (I must admit, there was something surreal about seeing myself appear on the nightly news.) We also received press coverage by no less than the Washington Post, along with web outlets like Vice.com and The Daily Caller.

And then there was the curiously fawning profile of me in Salon. . .

We need to put these articles into perspective. Mainstream liberal media outlets have their own motivations for attacking us, and we shouldn’t fall into the trap of being defined by them and thinking that if they hate us, we must be doing something right! That’s not always true. For instance, I could definitely get another write-up by making a complete ass of myself, and we would recognize that this would harm NPI, our movement, and me.

But look closely at these various hit pieces. Amongst the vitriol, our attackers were unanimous in claiming that we are serious, even attractive; that we comprise the “next generation” of nationalism; and that we have influence among conservatives.

So let’s prove Rachel Maddow right!

This past year, we also took advantage of opportunities to present ourselves to the world on our own terms. This happened first in April, when I addressed Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance gathering, which was both an honor and thrill. There, I presented probably the most important piece I’ve written in some time, “Facing the Future as a Minority,” which argues that we must go beyond mainstream conservatism—beyond immigration and the hot-button issues we’re used to—and begin the struggle for a post-American Ethno-State on the American continent. This project is still in the stage of impossible, “utopian” ideals, but that’s where it has to start. Later in the fall, I also had the opportunity to travel to London and address the Traditional Britain Group, where I spoke on a similar topic.

And then in October, there was NPI’s 2013 National Conference, “After the Fall.” Put simply, this event put our organization on the map. First, there was the line-up of speakers, which included Alain de Benoist, a “founding father” of the postwar traditionalist Right. He spoke along with mainstays such as Tomislav Sunic, Alex Kurtagic, and Sam Dickson. We also featured new voices such as Jack Donovan, Roman Bernard, and a host of activists, publishers, and writers. And we did it all in Washington, DC—we turned the enemy territory against the enemy and made it our platform.

We need events like the National Leadership Conference for a number of reasons. They are rallying points and networking opportunity—perhaps their most important function is to facilitate introductions, friendship, and networking. They act as a means of communicating our messages to the world, and they demonstrate our resolve.

Looking ahead, I would like to announce three important things.

First, beginning in January, we will release all videos from the 2013 Conference—for free and on-demand.

Secondly, in the fall of 2014, NPI will be again host a gathering of a similar scale and importance as our 2013 event.

Thirdly, this spring, we’re going to try something new, edgy, and potentially rewarding for an event. I’ll be announcing details soon.

PUBLISHING

Now, let’s now turn to books. In September, we published The Newton Awards: A History of Genius in Science and Technology, by Michael Hart and Claire Parkinson (who’s a researcher at NASA). The Newton Awards is a quite readable history and, in its short life, it has already been sold to university libraries, bringing prestige to everything we do.

Also this winter, we published, under the Radix imprint, Survive—The Economic Collapse by Piero San Giorgio. Survive was a hit in Europe, where it first appeared, and was quite popular among “identitarian” groups. It is an analysis of the unsustainability of the credit-bubble, cheap-oil, endless-growth economy; it also offers a “practical guide” for building what Giorgio calls a “Sustainable Autonomous Base”—a self-reliant and resilient community. (In other words, you can learn how to live well in “interesting times.”) One quite positive thing about this book is that even though it’s about the end of the world as we know it, it’s never cranky; it’s written in an approachable and often humorous tone. This volume will appeal to a large community beyond our movement (including confused conservatives and leftists).

Our next volume is a real treasure—Reuben a novel by Tito Perdue. Reuben is both light-hearted and deeply serious, written in both a realistic and outrageous style. Tito tells the story of a man whose goal is nothing less than taking over the world, or at least “turning it around.” Without reading it yourself, it’s probably impossible for me to communicate just how funny and compelling it is.

Also, in the coming first quarter of 2014, we will release a second, revised edition of Richard Lynn’s classic Race Differences in Intelligence—which was, by the way, the first WSP volume I ever read—along with the second issue of Radix Journal.

Over the coming year, Radix will publish a study of Martin Heidegger by Alexandr Dugin as well as Raymond Wolters’s quite excellent book on education. And in late 2014, we have a surprise in store, a new book which is something of an archeological find . . . (I’ll say no more at this point.)

RadixJournal.com + NPIAmerica.org

NPI has also re-dedicated itself to having a strong web presence and being a place where we go, everyday, for analysis, culture, and commentary. NPI’s home website, NPIAmerica.org, was completely redesigned and now features regular blogging. Also, we launched RadixJournal.com, a complementary website to the print journal, which will involve some of the best writers in our movement. Roman Bernard has come on board to help me with all of these projects, especially the website. (I discussed our overall goals for Radix here.)

Put simply we’re doing a hell of a lot! And we need your help to keep getting better.

The best way of getting started with NPI is to join the Sam Francis Circle for only $50 per year. You get your choice of two book as well as access to our private social network, The Conspiracy, which is a discreet and secure forum for discussion (something that became a lot more relevant in 2013!).

And if you have the means, I would encourage you to make an even greater impact. We have created the Hyperborean Circle specifically for these donors who can make sustaining contributions to NPI.

Best wishes and Happy New Year!

RICHARD B. SPENCER
President and Director


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If you don’t want to join the Sam Francis Circle, but would still like to make a donation, you can do so below.
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The National Policy Institute is classified as a Section 501 (c) (3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code. Individuals, foundations, corporations, and associations may support the educational and research work of NPI through tax-deductible gifts.

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