Hello everyone! I’ve been digging around the net recently, and I found the now defunct group Circle Ansuz. For anyone who doesn’t know about CA, I don’t doubt most of you don’t, they were a radical anarchist-Heathen group dedicated to “help fill the cultural/aesthetic void that plagues much of the Left”. It’s a pretty valiant thing to do, considering the fact a lot of Heathenry is generally opposed to Leftist ideologies, which is a shame.
After their initial run of talking about McNallen and his obvious racial prejudices, the group sadly decayed into its current state. The last post on it’s blog is from 2013, and the last post on the Facebook page is from late 2014. This put in my head a pretty clear picture of the current state of anarchism and anarchist thought not only in Heathenry, but also in Appalachia as a whole.
In Appalachia, as I’ve written before, the folk are naturally inclined towards anarchist tendencies, yet what good has come from it? I have not heard of any groups outside of the run of the mill Antifa that raises high the banner of anarcho-communism, or anarcho-anything for that matter. Who is to blame for this suppression of anarchist, or even communist, ideals in Appalachia? Well the capitalists and bourgeoisie of course! But that isn’t the question we should dwell on. The one we should be pondering is the question, “How can we revive the anarchist movement in Appalachia and in Heathenry?” Well, my answer for this is two fold, at the moment:
First, the spread of class consciousness and the agitation of the proletariat and workers against the state and bourgeoisie is a must to bring about the needed fuel to fan the flames of discontent in the hearts of the workers of Appalachia. Secondly, we must look towards the future of our folk and what is best for us, especially in Heathenry, and the best possible goal for us to look to is, indeed, Circle Ansuz.
Circle Ansuz advocated more than just filling in the cultural hole in the Left, but also advocated for “direct democracy, queer-liberation, radical environmentalism, deep ecology, re-indigenism and community self-determination”. These goals, all of these goals, align deeply with the Heathen mindset and the Appalachian mindset.
The self-determination of the community is to start. Independence and self-reliance are both held as virtues by the Heathen and Appalachian. When the community makes its own choices, the people make their own choices. The only government should be a government of the people. (Never forget your dialectics too, kiddies. It’s not all just mob rule here) This too aligns with direct-democracy. Everyone should have a say in what affects their community and how it should be dealt with.
Radical environmentalism and deep ecology also ring highly in the mind of the Heathen and Appalachian. What is more important to the Heathen than the wights and land from which all life in sprung? What is more important to the Appalachian than our great rolling hills and our mighty mountains, on which we have lived for centuries? I say nothing else but freedom is more important.
Re-indigenism, in my opinion, rings highest in the mind of the Heathen. He who wants to return to his ancestral homeland. To get off the land unjustly taken and to return to the land rightfully given to us by the gods. The Appalachian, as I have seen, see Appalachia is a sanctuary. A home away from the home of their ancestors. We know that, no matter how long our family has been in these parts, it is not the home that our people originated from. We do not own this land. This is not our land, but yet we still take pride in being a part of this beautiful land. It’s a bittersweet mess to say the least.
And, finally, the liberation of the queer folk. As a pansexual myself, I view this as a necessary step on the course of advancing the Heathen and Appalachian cause. Why must we put down those who are our kin, our folk, just because they love those of the same sex? Why must we view those who feel they don’t belong in their skin as alien and abnormal? I say we mustn’t and shan’t continue on with this sort of oppression against the queer community. Oppression rears it’s ugly head in many forms, and this is one of them.
We must stand beside our folk, our comrades, no matter who they love or what they look like. We are Appalachians. We are proud, resilient people, who weren’t made to bow down to a master as petty as the bourgeoisie and as regressive as the fascists and racists and homophobes of the world. We weren’t made to comply to the life we live today. We weren’t made to be slaves under the capitalistic tyranny we face. We are Heathens, strong and loyal people. Our loyalties lie in many places. In our gods, in our folk, in the land, and in our class. Why must we allow the working class to suffer at the hands of the tyrants in Washington? Why must we listen as we hear our homeland being taken over by fascism and neoliberal dogma? Why must we stay stagnant when it is out time to fight? Are we not made for this? I propose we are.
I propose the establishment of Circle Ansuz in Appalachia. In my town, in my state, and in my hills. The suffering of the worker shall no longer be accompanied with silence. It shall be accompanied with the rallying cries of the masses! It shall be accompanied by the clank and clash of ravaging war against the bourgeoisie and all who side with them! One day we shall see the liberation of the workers, of the Appalachian people, and of the world, and that day continues to grow closer ever faster, and, I pray, that we are here to help usher in a new age. The age of Circle Ansuz. The age of revolution!
Hail to the Gods! Held High and Holy!
Hail to the Folk! Fallen and Hale Hearted!
Hail to Our Class! Forever in Unity!
Hail to Old Men and Old Ways!