Some of the comments from my latest article. Which I find interesting – because it suggests that some people who’d self-identify more toward a “hard conservative” view … think we’re being, and I quote “feminist […] revisionists”; whereas some people who would appear to identify more toward the “hard progressive” end of things think we’re being “fascist”.
We’re not being either. The article in question presented – accurately – a range of evidence drawn from the spheres of archaeology, theology / mythology, and history; with a view to setting straight a recurring misconception about the place of women in archaic Indo-European culture … with particular emphasis upon the (Post-)Andronovo ones (that is to say, Scythian and Vedic).
So as you will note, there is not disagreement from these commenters about the actual evidence. Instead, there is merely a near-total disengagement therefrom.
“I don’t care what feminist steppe revisionists say about the Indo-Europeans”, says one.
Which is curious – as we’re not pushing a feminist line here, and had spent a few paragraphs pointing out how (post-)Gimbutas feminists actually dislike and have attempted to de-legitimate what we are saying.
And almost by definition we’re not engaging in “steppe revisionism” – as the Steppe is and always has been quite definitely strongly relevant for archaic Indo-European culture, no ‘revisionism’ required. If anything, we are opposing ‘revisionist’ efforts to obscurate the evidence in question.
And as applies what he then says – the most succinct reply is that famous one: “Eppur Si Muove”. “And Yet, It Moves”. A theological maxim I have made some semi-frequent use of in the past. Or, phrased another way … you can come up with an ever-more-tenuous strain of ideological “no, I don’t want to believe that!” – it is not going to alter the facts.
Now as for the second commenter … what can we say. The presentation of the past is declared to be “reduction to symbolic fascist fetish”. The observation that there is a place in society for women demonstrated via the scriptural, archaeological, historic evidence in question, is declared to be “indoctrination” rather than “empowerment”.
And I mean – I suppose there is some truth in that. No person is an atomized individual – except in horrendous, arch-libertarian theory – so being a part of (rather than apart from) society entails the process of socialization. Learning to be a person , living up to your heritage and culture, I suppose you may term it “indoctrination” if you like. I would have said “Sanskara” – “Refinement”, “Imprinting”, “Shaping”, “Crafting”. Growing, even, is a relevant conception here.
But is history or archaic world-views – even where we are seeking to establish that it can be a legitimate guide for the present and future – necessarily “fascist”? For that matter, is it “anti-fascist”?
We believe it is neither.
If we are discussing the realities of life for a certain stratum of women in Scythian or Vedic society circa four thousand years ago … it is, if anything, Ante-Fascist.
It is well prior to the relatively modern movements and labelings which are insistently invoked.
Just as, now that I think upon it, my observation of the theological irreducible importance of the Queen of the Gods to the relevant (and closely related) mytho-religions in question … is not “Feminist”, nor “Anti-Feminist” – but “Ante-Feminist”.
Endeavouring to re-cast anything and everything in modern political terminology just means that one is engaging with modern political terminology.
Something often done by those who wish to reshape the past – rather than learning from it.
Because they recognize – as we do – that an understanding of the past provides the foundation for present existence and the guide to future action.
So reconstruing the past as merely the backward extension of the seeming ever-eternal present … well, that makes it improbable to genuinely question whether this or that present-day ideology or conception of things is actually upon firm ground.
You can see that here with the first commenter’s response – he does not like what is in the past, and so he declares that it is a modern reshaping of the past to be something other than what it was. He does not like the implications that the past has for the present, and so he attempts to de-legitimate the past. Declares it a ‘false’ past – a “revisionist” one.
The other one – the second commenter – is cleverer. He instead proclaims that the “symbolic” inferency from the past is the problem because it is supporting something which he thinks he might not like.
And yes – it is indeed legitimate to call into question interpretations of the past, and the precise sorts of linkages we then endeavour to draw from past into present and craftings of the vision for the future. People of a range of political persuasions (or personal agendas) all the time make frankly bewildering wrong-inductions from even correct evidence, correctly presented.
But that does not necessarily mean that simply because an inference has been red-flagged that it is an inaccurate (or un-useful) one.
And while it is not necessarily a good perspective, either – I cannot help but feel that if we are attracting opprobrium from persons on both notional extremes of a given modernist spectrum … we are quite probably doing something quite well and authentically as the result.
But perhaps that is my inner “feminist fascist symbolic steppe revisionist indoctrinator” speaking.