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I found it intriguing. Its quite long, and its reccomended that you read the thing before judging it. It does go through AVATAR, but takes time to explain a lot of background information.
Introduction: The basic point of this piece is premised on the notion that the ideology of the modern rightÃ¢â¬âNazism includedÃ¢â¬âwas more closely associated with Ã¢â¬ËspiritualÃ¢â¬â¢ reverence for nature than the ideologies of the modern left were. Many early modern rightists were animal lovers and/or nature worshipers and tended to emphasize the Ã¢â¬ËirrationalÃ¢â¬â¢ and sacred link between man and nature that was said to have been destroyed by Judeo-Christian world view, rationalism and technology, capitalist exploitation, and socialist materialism. The centrality of the hunter-warrior and the wife-mother in the primal-tribal state appealed to the right that feared modernityÃ¢â¬â¢s disconnect from the natural essence. For some on the modern right, the purest Ã¢â¬ËAryanÃ¢â¬â¢ spirit could be glimpsed in pagan visions and imagination captured through German mythology and revived by Richard Wagner, deemed as the premier Ã¢â¬ËAryanÃ¢â¬â¢ artist and genius of his age. The Nibelungen Saga can be considered a precursor to Avatar. Then, why has Avatar been praised or denounced by so many people as Ã¢â¬Ëleftist propagandaÃ¢â¬â¢? How is Avatar, like The Lion King, different from the generally right-wing nature-centered fantasies of the past? Lion King should be rightist as a story featuring hierarchy as a social and natural reality and even ideal. Avatar, as a fantasy about a race/culture of superior strength, beauty, intelligence, and wisdom, doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t sound very leftistÃ¢â¬âthat is egalitarian. Yet, Lion King and Avatar have been regarded as Ã¢â¬ËprogressiveÃ¢â¬â¢ or liberal entertainments in the current political reality. Why is this so? How did nature worship and aspects of racial/social/spiritual hierarchy become a characteristic of the Left? There are complex and contradictory reasons for this, some of them explored below.
Most conservatives seem displeased with AVATAR for its Ã¢â¬Ëanti-whiteÃ¢â¬â¢ and Ã¢â¬Ëanti-AmericanÃ¢â¬â¢ message while a few alternative right types have defended it as an allegory of a peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s right to survive. Is the movie leftist or rightist? Can it be both?
Ideologies are funny. They are like two snakes swallowing each other by the tail. History may be serpentilical than dialectical. Leftism swallows and digests rightism but is then swallowed and digested by rightism which is then swallowed by leftism and so on. And, no ideology demonstrated this as well as fascism, a strange blend of the right and left, the traditional and the modern, the reactionary and the revolutionary. And, Avatar may indeed be fascist above all else. Keep in mind that fascism doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t have to be white nor Western. Though fascism is particularist, it can be adopted and used by any race, nation, or people. Some forms of fascism are more left-leaning while others are more right-leaning. Some tend to focus on nature while others on civilization.
Consider the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Though many people associate Nazism mainly with airplanes, tanks, monumentalism, and gas chambers, there was a Nature aspect to Nazism.
Though steeped in the Wagnerian operas based on Germanic myths, Hitler cared less for the cult of Nature Tribes than people like Himmler did. HitlerÃ¢â¬â¢s paganism was more along the lines of the Classical ideal which emphasized Man & Civilization over Nature & Tribalism. Hitler was also more an Ã¢â¬ËAryanistÃ¢â¬â¢ than a Germanist. But, Himmler was an oddball pagan Teutonist and not alone. He had a serious interest in the cultures and beliefs of the ancient pagan Germanic tribes. He romanticized the Germanic barbarian peoples and their connection to sacred nature. HimmlerÃ¢â¬â¢s fascination with Japan may partly have owed to Shintoism being a form of Nature Worship. Both pagan Germanic peoples and traditional Japan had an animistic view of reality which believed that everythingÃ¢â¬ârocks, streams, trees, animals, etcÃ¢â¬âwas alive with spirit. The world was brimming with a million gods; everything was sacred and beautiful.
Buddhism arrived in Japan but coexisted with than wiped out the indigenous culture. But in Europe, the spread of Christianity led to massive cultocideÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬Ëcultural genocideÃ¢â¬â¢Ã¢â¬âof the indigenous beliefs, customs, and rituals.
One can make a moral and civilizational case for Christianity in the progress of Europe, but neo-paganists in the 19th and 20th centuries charged the intolerant slave-religion of Christianity of having robbed European Man of something vital, virile, and sacred.
Of course, Classical pagan culture had managed to survive and triumph since the Renaissance, when Greco-Roman styles were re-employed to pay homage to Biblical figures and themes or even to the pagan heroes and deities.
There were two kinds of paganism in Europe. High or civilized paganism of the Greco-Roman world and the low or the barbaric/nature paganism of the Germanic peoples and other Northern Europeans. If Hitler favored high paganism, there were others like Himmler who had a thing for barbarian paganism. In a way, Nazism was an attempt to forge the two together to create an invincible and eternal neo-paganism, one that defied the usual cycles of rise and fall in nature and human history. In the art of Japanese sword making, hard(sharp yet brittle)metal is inter-layered with tough(flexible)metal. This way, the sword becomes both sharp and durable. Hitler and Himmler thought they understood the advantages and disadvantages of both forms of paganism. High paganism can produce a great and mighty civilization but then leads to rigid hierarchy, decadence, elitism, abstraction, and/or corruption. It declines either through dissipation stemming from corrupt elites and lazy masses(what eventually happened to the Roman Empire and what is happening to the West today) OR through dogmatism and stasis(as what happened to the Ottoman Empire or the Soviet Union).
a profound spiritual, political, or Low or barbaric/nature paganism, unlike high paganism, is always virile, organic, and pumping with raw blood. But as it lacks higher spiritual or philosophical concepts, it wonÃ¢â¬â¢t amount to anything more than tribal head-bashng, raping and looting. (Barbarian dominated empires donÃ¢â¬â¢t last long as they are held together by brute force than by ideas or values..) So, the Nazis thought they could create a new kind of pagan civilization combining the profundity & complexity of high civilized paganism with the virility & vitality of low barbaric paganism. (A variation of this can be found in the neo-fascist novel WOLF TOTEM (http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/wolftotem.html) in which the Chinese author idealizes the robustness and ferocity of the Mongol tribesmen and argues the Chinese need to be infused with such vitality. It is a reworking of themes once a hallmark of thinkers like Carl Jung in the first half of the20th century. Lu Jiamin is arguing that the Chinese have become too tame and conformist under the pressure of high civilization. Like Avatar, Wolf Totem has elements of leftism and rightism. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s leftist in championing the Ã¢â¬Ëlittle guyÃ¢â¬â¢, the nomadic/primitive minorities Ã¢â¬ËmarginalizedÃ¢â¬â¢ or Ã¢â¬ËoppressedÃ¢â¬â¢ by the powerful majority. But, it is also pagan-rightist, or proto-fascist, in admiring the pagan warrior virtues and in embracing Natural Hierarchy.) For this reason, accusations of gangsterism werenÃ¢â¬â¢t necessarily insulting to the Nazis
Nazis understood that all civilizations with lofty ideals were founded and defended by violence. Many liberals tend to think in terms of civilization = peace & love vs. violence = barbarism & savagery. But, not all forms of violence are the same. There is the kind of violence prevalent in places like Haiti and sub-Saharan Africa(and Detroit)where the norm is to just grab, loot, steal, rob, rape, and kill. There is also the violence to create a new order by defeating the enemy, to defend the order from its enemies, and to maintain the order by rooting out the internal enemies. In this sense, forms of violence employed by Christians, Muslims, Nazis, Communists, United States, and other peoples were not savage violence or violence-for-violence-sake. They were violence with a certain logic and âhigherâ objective. Bombing Dresden or Hiroshima was indeed horrible but not without higher purpose: to end the war. Though communists killed tens of millions, they too killed and employed violence for âhigherâ ends. The Nazis killed a lot of people for the purposes of creating or expanding a new civilization to be ruled by the âsuperior, noble, and beautiful.â . We can abhor or disagree with all these âcivilizedâ rationales for violence, but not all forms of violence are the same.
Anyway, there was an element in the New Right that was paganist, nature-worshiping, and even primitivist. Carl Jung argued that the spiritual realm of the âAryansâ was more fecund and creative than that of the Jews since Europeans came under monotheism much later than the Jews. Since (Northern)Europeans had lived in a natural state(and in tune with natural spirits) longer than most civilized peoples, their collective consciousness was more alive with imagery, dreams, and spirits of a time when man, streams, rivers, mountains, and beasts were one.
There were certain strains in the modern European Right which tapped into this vein and longing. And, though Nazism embraced modernity and technology, it too had aspects centered around nature. The fact that music was the greatest achievement of the German peoples also fueled the notion that Germans had a greater and deeper connection to nature and emotions than other peoples. Itâs no accident that German music was one of the most important elements of the German Right. If Hitlerâs architectural vision was essentially Greco-Roman, his emotions had been charged with the neo-pagan intensity of Wagnerâs music