Sunday, September 4, 2016

A quick response to McNallen's "No More Mutts"

Steve McNallen at the AFA has put together a piece where he argues that Americans whose ancestors are mostly from Europe should start seeing themselves as ethnic Europeans instead of Mutts.  This view, I think, comes out of his support for a view of metagenetics, the idea that cultural patterns are passed genetically in a similar way to something like hair color.

I disagree with McNallen for a number of reasons, but there are a number of deeper points where we agree.  I agree with him that the national divisions of Europe are somewhat arbitrary.  And I agree that seeing oneself as mixed culture just because of where one's ancestors come from has some problems.  Asatru includes ancestor worship and this means all ancestors.

I am Folkish.  And I think that membership in the Folk requires shared heritage.  But heritage isn't necessarily only biological.  Connections by marriage or adoption surely count as well and there may be others -- in the end being a part of the folk requires adopting the same cultural framework and that doesn't happen by accident (or by pure biology either).  And I disagree with metagenetics as a hypothesis because I haven't seen any real evidence for it.  Cultural patterns shift quite a bit over not too much time.  I do think people naturally form hierarchies.  Genetics might even play a role in that. But I cannot get very far beyond that.

Suppose you are full-blooded French.  That means your ancestors came from three groups:  Roman, Frankish, and Gaulish.  The Gaulish ancestors would have been partly Celtic and partly whoever was there first.  Gaul, Roman Gaul, and the Frankish kingdom all had very different social and cultural orders, and none of them bear much resemblance to France today.

Instead of seeing ourselves as mutts, we should see ourselves as a part of groups to which we currently belong and liminally a part of those we strive to join.  This is distinct from the sum of our ancestors.  We are the sum of our ancestors and we are more than that.

However, I think the source of my disagreement is that I am, in terms of political theory, to the *right* of McNallen.  Over the last few decades there has been an effort to forge a pan-European identity and that hasn't worked so well, nor has it benefited the small businesses and the masses in the ways expected.

Europeans today tend to identify much more with their home towns than with their nations and that's a good thing.  We should, in my view, embrace a local identity, not one even as cosmopolitan as "European."  Europe is not a city state but a thriving and very diverse mix of cultures.  And a just society in my view starts with the local and builds outward until international space is reached and there groups should deal with eachother as equals.

But one thing that still binds most of Europe (not the UK or France though) together is the idea that society really should be local and that national units exist to serve local units.  The Folk is not a continent.  It is not even a modern nation-state.  It is a community and a local one at that.

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