281. The joyous (III)
If you investigate the right, you will notice that—especially on the fringes—a certain association emerges between rightist views and paganism. The paradigmatic pagan-occult figure on the British right is the horror writer Dennis Wheatley—author of The Devil Rides Out and They Used Dark Forces—a man who walled up in his old home a dire post-war warning to future generations that Britain was about to enter socialist tyranny, only for the message to be prematurely discovered in the 1960s. The association seems counterintuitive, for the right is generally linked with Christianity—or support for the cultural Christian legacy—and being a goody two-shoes conformist, not an active Satanist; for, due to the Christian legacy, paganism itself is synonymous with evil—Pan personifies the Devil.
The apparently contradictory rightist relationship to evil and the Devil perhaps stems from the fact that the right recognises metaphysical or radical evil, whereas the left denies that evil exists—they say people have simply been miseducated, if they have the correct education they will become “good”. The right holds that man is fundamentally corrupt and wicked.
This means that while the right represents the law-abiding silent majority, it also recognises that the Devil must be given his due; if he is ignored, as the left ignores him, he will rule unrestrained. Hence the right also contains a Luciferian element: Faustian gentlemen with pointed beards, capes, and beady eyes abound—especially on the techno-commercial right. The pagan Devil rules the earth; the right knows about commerce and war—pagan domains. It could be said that the right contains genuine believers in Satan and God, whereas the left disbelieves in both.
The rightist interest in paganism might seem like a contradiction, but it is a logical development. If you start to become conservative—reactionary, even—you start to look at the past as better; if not better in technology and knowledge, then better in virtue and energy. If you keep looking back fondly, you will eventually see Christianity as a “modern” imposition and end up at paganism. Indeed, there is a sense in which to be conservative is to be pagan.
The pagan religions—as with Hindooism today—place the greatest emphasis on rites, not beliefs. What a person believes is true is secondary to whether or not they perform the rites. A person may or may not believe their ancestors live on in another realm—or that the gods are real—but what matters is that he performs the rites and traditions. Paganism is conservatism; it is the person who says: “I don’t know why we use these old red napkins every Christmas, but we do and you will do so too.” Conservatives are those people who maintain traditions without thought; to critically examine the tradition is a sacrilege that will bring disaster: the pagans held that if certain rites were not performed the land would fall to enchantment and disaster.
Hence the contemporary left is really more “Christian” than the contemporary right; they hold, as with the Christians, that there is one truth and that all traditions—even the family, Jesus said—must be overturned to serve the one truth; the one truth today is said to be “science” and “reason”, not Jesus—yet the operative spirit is the same. Similarly, they are millenarian; the early Christians said the world would soon come to an end, so too does Extinction Rebellion; we can only be saved by a thorough scourging; unlike the pagans, whose religion was not bound up with ethics, the left’s faith is, as with Christianity, highly moralised: racists, sexists, and other “bad people” need to repent urgently. By contrast, the right—even self-professed Christians—are pagan in sensibility; they say, “Let’s carry on the old Christian rites, never mind about this new-fangled ‘truth’ you think you have found. The family comes first.” This is why I say, without regard to content, that to be on the right is to be pagan in the functional sense.