Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Gods and Radicals: Towards a Pagan Politics

I recently published an essay entitled "Towards a Pagan Politics" over at the excellent new pagan website Gods and Radicals. You should consider checking out both the site and the essay if you are interested. I will be publishing pieces with them consistently, probably one about every month or so.

I do hope you will read the full essay, which includes reflections on Ancient Greece and Rome as well as aspects of Akan culture amongst many other elements, but I will include the concluding segment here. It attempts to sketch the basic elements of a pagan politics and I would be interested in discussing any or all of it:

A Pagan Metaphysics might Assert that:

1. Reality is irreducibly multiple, made up of numerous different forces. In other words, truth and reality are always plural.
2. Insofar as these truths are irreducible there is no one final truth or god and conflict (whether constructive or destructive, whether play or war) is an unavoidable aspect of reality.
3. There is no one right way to live, best culture, highest value or single purpose.
4. Wisdom consists in a gathering of diverse truths beyond that attainable by any one individual, “Wisdom does not reside in one head.”

A Pagan Politics might be Committed to:

1. The rejection of all totalizing claims and authorities.
2. The promotion of productive rather than negative conflict (play over war) and an increase in different ways of life.
3. The commitment to creating an environment where each way of life can reach its fullest most creative form as far as is possible, thus rejecting the Roman model of one type of power ruling over all others.
4. The insistence that no one standard of evaluation can be applied to all things.
5. The recognition that most things should not be characterized in terms of monetary value and so the resistance to the reduction of all values to market values.
6. In a World Without Council, i.e. one already under the domination of one reductive way of life, pagan politics would be committed to the pursuit of the actions necessary to make pluralism possible.