Goodrick-Clarke Nicholas - Black sun

Author : Goodrick-Clarke Nicholas
Title : Black sun Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity
Year : 2002

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THE RELIGIOUS AND MYTHIC elements of German National Socialism often made the Third Reich resemble a cult in power. The pageantry of the Nazi rallies and their quasi-liturgical nature were matched by the extraordinary fervor of the huge crowds in attendance. Most participants were caught up in an intense atmosphere of collective excitement and self-surrender. Hitler’s undoubted charisma and the assiduous development and cultivation of the Führerkult since the earliest years of the movement were crucial factors in the construction of Nazi religiosity. Huge congregations, banners, sacred flames, processions, a style of popular and radical preaching, prayersand- responses, memorials and funeral marches were all essential props for the cult of race and nation, the mission of Aryan Germany and victory over her enemies. The messianic figure of Adolf Hitler, the savior of Germany, towered over the entire project. National Socialist ideology was also deeply imbued with ideas drawn from radical religious imagination. The belief in a Jewish world conspiracy, ostensibly backed by the notorious invention The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, provided the image of a demonic enemy. Nazi anti-Semitism was rooted in this apocalyptic demonology, which blamed the Jews for all ills, including liberalism, communism, the corruption of morals, and the downfall of a traditional world. The notion of national regeneration was also presented in an apocalyptic spirit: only the destruction of the Jews could guarantee the salvation of Germany in a racially pure millennium.Alfred Rosenberg, the chief Nazi Party ideologue, was an early publicist of the Protocols, establishing their core status in Nazi philosophy during the early 1920s. Dietrich Eckart,Hitler’smentor in Munich, held a gnostic-dualist view of the Jews and their antagonistic role in German national life. Hitler’s own belief in a Jewish world conspiracy remained a life-long conviction, finding terrible fulfillment in the Holocaust. In an earlier book, The Occult Roots of Nazism, I traced these ideas of racial election, demonology and millennium among Austrian German nationalists prior to the First World War. That study was intended to show how quasi-religious and even occult ideas could bolster German identity in response to the perceived threats of liberalism, laissez-faire capitalism, and the rise of subject nationalities at the beginning of the last century. At this time, large-scale industry, new metropolitan cities, the growth of capitalist finance and organized labor were all perceived as threats by traditional groups. These völkisch Ariosophists offered a defensive ideology of “Aryan” German folk identity as a panacea for unwelcome, disruptive challenges to traditional status, custom and political authority. Against the rise of anthropology and eugenics, these sectarians embraced ideas of race and stigmatized the Jews as the supposed agents and beneficiaries of liberalism and modernity. Their occult notions of racial superiority combined with anti-Semitism and millenarian myths of national regeneration to find ultimate expression in the ideology of the National Socialist movement. Multicultural societies face a similar challenge today. In 1900 the white European races constituted some 35 percent of world population. Owing to declining birthrates among whites in advanced industrial nations, coupled with the explosion of Third World population due to improved medicine, sanitation and increasing industrialization, that figure is now just under 10 percent in global terms. Guest workers, immigrants, ecomomic migrants, refugees and asylum seekers all represent major population flows, bringing the population surplus of developing countries into lands traditionally settled by white races of European descent. These advanced industrial economies are absorbing ever larger levels of immigration, and their political commitment to multiracialism is now an article of faith. Today, the United States and most European nations are facing a demographic shift against their historic native stocks. The resulting issue of white identity recapitulates the dilemma of Austrian Germans fearing a loss of influence in the old Habsburg Empire. Black Sun examines the survival and revival of “Aryan” racial ideas in response to the challenges of the postwar world.More than half a century after the defeat and disgrace of Nazism and fascism, the far right is again challenging the liberal order of the Western democracies for political space. Radical ideologies are feeding on the threats of economic globalization, affirmative action and Third World immigration. The book explores the farther shores of right-wing extremist ideology. Aryan cults, aristocratic paganism, anti-Semitic demonology, Eastern religion and the occult supply underground beliefs to individuals and groupswho fear a loss of status, cultural tradition and identity in the emergent multicultural societies of the United States and Europe. The scene is set with a historical review of neo-Nazism in the United States and Britain. Here Nazism revived as an extremist response to communism, liberalism and more especially the desegregation of African Americans and colored immigrants. In their quest for a radical counterideology, American and British neo-Nazis championed Hitler and National Socialism against liberalism and the presence of ethnic minorities. Their underground publications eulogize National Socialism as a racial policy to guarantee the global preeminence of the white race for all time. However, despite their overriding concern with colored races, neo-Nazi ideology still identified the Jews as the demonic adversary of the white Aryan peoples. Here the Jews are regarded as the architects of a multiracial world order, which supposedly dissolves all nations, traditions and loyalties, before the final accomplishment of Jewish world conquest. The survival of anti-Semitism in a modern racist discourse predominantly concerned with opposition to ethnic groups highlights the enduring demonology of Nazism. Like Gnostics cut off from the transcendent deity in a benighted world, American and British neo-Nazis claim that Hitler and Nazism offer the only hope of racial survival to white nations populated with growing ethnic minorities.Anti-Semitism acts as a manichaean dualist heresy dividing the world into forces for good and evil.Millenarian racial cleansing and the demonology of a Jewish world conspiracy are the defining moments of such neo-Nazi religiosity. From the 1950s to the 1970s, neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups essentially imitated the past with uniformed cadres, swastika flags and marches. The fringe political parties remained the preserve of fanatics, and recruitment was strictly limited to those who admired fascism or were convinced anti-Semites. Even if German nationalism was transformed into a global ideology of white racism, the historical and political experience of Nazi Germany remained the dominant model for emulation. This historic allegiance was the hallmark of the neo-Nazi cults associated with George Lincoln Rockwell and Colin Jordan, together with their successors and followers in the postwar Anglo-American world.Hostages to the memory of German National Socialism, the Anglo-American neo-Nazis remained trapped in a nostalgic cult of Hitler worship, while universal condemnation of the Third Reich and the Holocaust blocked any prospect of political success. As in the case of the Ariosophists in the early twentieth century, political isolation in a hostile world committed to liberalism has led many neo-Nazi and neo-fascist groups to embrace occult notions of ancient Aryan wisdom. From the 1970s onward, right-wing extremists began to repackage the old ideology of Aryan racism, elitism and force in new cultic guises involving esotericism and Eastern religions. In Austria and Germany, the former SS man Wilhelm Landig revived the ariosophical mythology of Thule, the supposed polar homeland of the ancient Aryans.He coined the idea of the Black Sun, a substitute swastika and mystical source of energy capable of regenerating the Aryan race. He popularized esoteric ideas current among the pre-Nazi völkisch movement and the SS relating to Atlantis, the World Ice Theory, prehistoric floods and secret racial doctrines from Tibet. He also drew attention to Nazi interest in the medieval Cathars and Grail traditions as an alternative Germanic religion of dualist heresy. In Italy the aristocratic elitism and esoteric Aryan-Nordic traditions of Julius Evola inspired a whole generation of postwar neo-fascists.When wanted far-right terrorists fled abroad, they carried Evola’s ideas to far-right parties and groups elsewhere in Europe. By the late 1980s this little-known philosopher had become a major political icon of opposition to democracy and liberalism in the West. Julius Evola’s interest in the Indo-Aryan world embraced the exotic world of Hinduism and Tantrism. Following the early lead of James Madole’s adoption of Theosophy and Hindu caste hierarchies, neo-Nazi ideology assimilated Eastern themes in the mystical doctrines of Savitri Devi and Miguel Serrano, currently hot tips in the racist underground. Savitri Devi, the Frenchborn Nazi-Hindu prophetess, described Hitler as an avatar of Vishnu and likened Nazism to the cult of Shiva with its emphasis on destruction and new creation.Adopting the Hindu cycle of the ages, she claimed mankind is living in the Kali Yuga (the dismal dark age), which can only be ended by regenerative violence, war and genocide. Miguel Serrano, a retired Chilean diplomat and author, blends exotic oriental religion with his Gnostic-Manichaean doctrine of “Esoteric Hitlerism.”Tracing the semi-divine Aryans to extraterrestial origins, Serrano recommends kundalini yoga to repurify “mystical Aryan blood” to its former quality of divine light.His other themes include a Gnostic war against the Jews, the Black Sun, the Hitler avatar and Nazi UFOs in Antarctica. Neo-Nazism has thereby acquired new myths and meanings for a younger generation. Another revaluation of Nazism resulted from the demonization of Nazism in numerous thrillers and accounts of Nazi occultism published in sensational paperback editions during the 1960s and 1970s.Here Nazism was mystified and romanticized into a neo-Gnostic religion with links to oriental mythology, secret Tibetan doctrines, and demonic inspiration. The effect was to dehistoricize the facts of dictatorship, terror, war and oppression into a mythological tableau. Reality soon followed popular literature. Already in the early 1970s, satanist groups in the United States flirted with Nazi themes as symbolic of the forbidden, dark side of life. These experiments in the shock value of Nazism were superseded in the 1990s by Nazi satanic cults linking anti-Christian paganism to a transgressive praise of Hitler and the Third Reich. In America, Europe and Australia, such “darkside” lodges espouse a vulgar Nietzschean worship of force backed by anti-Christian, elitist and Social Darwinist doctrines. In the 1980s and 1990s, the far right witnessed a dramatic revival in Europe and America, especially among an alienated white youth and lower-income groups increasingly marginalized by new high-tech industries and the advancing integration of ethnic minorities in their communities. The fast increase of Hispanic and Third World immigration in the United States and corresponding immigration from developing countries into Western Europe has fueled fresh fears of racial inundation. The collapse of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia has led to further migrations involving Gypsies and East European nationals to Western Europe. Free-trade agreements, the collapse of traditional manufacturing industries and the export of service jobs abroad through computer communications are stimulating racism and hostility toward liberalism. Globalization is unleashing a massive flow of capital, information, skills and personnel across national borders. The Western world is now rapidly moving through a period of far-reaching structural transformation. Borders are increasingly permeable. Skilled workers, economic migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are migrating in increasing numbers into the advanced industrial countries. The arrival there of increasing numbers of immigrant peoples confronts traditional national culture with unfamiliar customs, norms and religions. At the beginning of our new century, the very idea of the nationstate is hard-pressed by these cultural trends. A century later, liberalism and laissez-faire capitalism are again seen as the motors of unwelcome and threatening change. And once again, extremist nationalist reaction echoes völkisch ideas by concentrating on defensive ideologies of race to counter threats to national and cultural identity. Certain challenged groups turn to racial identity as a last resort. In the United States, the doctrine of Christian Identity mixes motifs of heretical Christian dualism with a vicious theology of anti-Semitism, which regards the Jews as the “spawn of Satan.”African Americans,Asians,Hispanics and all other colored peoples are stigmatized as the “mud” races that are now diluting and destroying the Aryan race in its traditional white homelands. Here, Nazi demonology and apocalyptic are freely invoked, together with Hitler worship and Third Reich symbolism, to mobilize violence in support of a white racial state. Other groups mix racism with Nordic pagan religions. The runes are celebrated as magical signs of ancestral heritage and a mystical blood loyalty. In the United States, Britain, Germany and the Scandinavian countries, racial pagan groups ponder runes, magic and the sinister mythology of the Norse gods Wotan, Loki and Fenriswolf. The racial interpretation of these esoteric ideas, cosmology and prophecies betrays these groups’ overwhelming anxiety about the future of white identity in multiracial societies. This book originated as a sequel volume to The Occult Roots of Nazism in order to document the survival of occult Nazi themes in the postwar period. As work progressed, however, my perspective broadened considerably. Far from tracing faded fascist mystics and redundant ideas, I found that I was actually having to write a new history of contemporary neo-völkisch groups and ideology in America and Europe. It became apparent that this new völkisch revival, especially prevalent in the English-speaking world, documents the reaction to the high tide of liberalism and globalization from the 1980s onward. Just as the original völkisch movement arose as a defensive ideology of German identity against modernity in the late nineteenth century, this neovölkisch revival acts as a defensive ideology of white identity against multiculturalism, affirmative action and mass Third World immigration. As these neo-völkisch groups elaborate their concerns with identity and ethnicity, many of them are drawn, as were their German predecessors, toward esoteric themes of Aryan origins, secret knowledge and occult heritage. Like the Ariosophists of 1890–1945, the new white-pride movements represent only the most radical response of Western societies that are now having to confront fundamental challenges to their cultural identity. The original völkisch movement was the ideological precursor of National Socialism and the Third Reich. The rise of a new völkisch movement must therefore give us serious pause.Who knows what sort of politics and societies will emerge by the years 2030–50 from the growing sense of white marginizalization? I am aware that this provocative study of contemporary racist movements may well offend politically correct sensibilities by posing the very questions which liberal elites prefer to ignore or suppress. The risks of racist religiosity are great. By projecting grievances, fears and anxieties onto the “shadow” figures of other races, religious transcendence is stunted and perverted into the dynamics of exclusion and hatred. Instead of genuine spirituality, there is partiality, separation, restriction. A rigid selfrighteousness leads down into the spiritual basement of a primitive dualism, where pseudo-salvation depends on the elimination of the Other. The political projection of religious Manichaeism onto human differences inevitably leads to strife and violence. Whenever human groups are interpreted as absolute categories of good and evil, light and darkness, both the human community and humanity itself are diminished. Such degraded religion never leads to light but only into darkness. My hope is that an understanding of the substitute faiths documented in these pages, together with their causes, can help us avoid the recurrence of past conflagrations. ...

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