The Futile Search For Our Egalitarian Ancestors,
and The Alleged Exploitation Of Their Symbols
by Luther Kovac
It is not uncommon for modern idealists to borrow symbols, rituals or philosophical tenets from the ancients in order to lend historical credibility to their various causes, whatever those causes may be. Modern Pagans, or Neo-Pagans as they are sometimes called, are no exception. There have been accusations that the German Neo-Pagans of the 19th and early 20th century, and the Third Reich misused the runic systems and other symbols of their European ancestors to promote their racial agenda, and that any modern European Pagans who are ethnocentric in any way are also misusing them. The basis of these accusations is the claim that our European ancestors and their religions were supposed to be egalitarian, and any use of ancient European symbolism that is not egalitarian is wrong.
“One brief glance at a book on ancient Germanic and old Scandinavian culture and religion will show the massive degree to which the Nazis perverted the egalitarian systems of the ancients into a totalitarian scheme.” (Futhark, A Handbook of Rune Magic, by Edred Thorsson – aka Stephen E. Flowers – page 16)
While I find the work of Thorsson to be very informative in examining the runes from a spiritual perspective, I find his statement about our egalitarian ancestors questionable; and if that is the sole basis of his (and other’s) claim against the Third Reich, does it have any merit? There are certainly New-Age publications that reflect Thorsson’s opinion on the matter, and others that do not, but the sources I have examined from accredited historians, anthropologists and archeologists have provided a significantly different perspective concerning the nature of our ancestor’s culture and religion.
Are our ancient symbols being misused? Were our ancestors, and their religions, egalitarian? The second question puts the first in a frame of reference. When seeking our answers it is helpful to borrow an approach from the philosopher Martin Heidegger, albeit simplified. We need to ask what the questions themselves mean. Before we can say whether or not our ancestors were egalitarian, we need to define egalitarian.
EGALITARIANISM, from the Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary:
1: a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs
2: a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people
Does this definition apply to the various cultures and religions of ancient Europeans? We have thousands of years of written history and archeological records that we can examine, and in doing so we will not be able to avoid some uncomfortable details about the past and about human nature. However, before we discuss this we should deal with the most definitive argument as to whether or not any society was egalitarian. Did it practice slavery?
SLAVE, from the Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary:
1: someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay
2: a person who is strongly influenced and controlled by something
If egalitarianism is based on the equality of man, then slavery is its antithesis. People owning other people is certainly enough to violate egalitarian principles, but add to that the often abhorrent treatment of the slaves in ancient times and it becomes even worse. In ancient Europe, and the rest of the world, slaves were usually considered possessions at the level cattle would be. It was not unheard of for slaves to be sacrificed during their master’s funeral ceremony, so they could continue their servitude in the afterlife. It could be argued that almost every ancient culture practiced slavery, but that didn’t mean they were egalitarian, it meant that they weren’t. The definition of egalitarianism doesn’t make exceptions based upon popularity.
Some social anthropologists claim that primitive prehistoric hunter-gathers were egalitarian and that inequality developed only with larger groups. These anthropologists would need to go as far back as the prehistoric to sell the idea because there is little in written history to support claims of egalitarian societies. In the absence of a greater authority, small groups today tend to follow the strong, or follow mob rule where popularity and usefulness are greater considerations than equality (true anarchy never lasts long). I don’t believe it was much different before written history. The Pagan religions we are discussing existed after that period, and have left us with significantly more information to work with, particularly in regard to the practice of slavery.
A trend to rehabilitate the reputation of the Northmen developed in the 1950s and continues today; with claims that Vikings were similar to other cultures at the time, and that the Christians had political reasons to exaggerate Pagan atrocities. Overall, a more objective approach to studying our ancestors is a positive thing, and the arguments certainly have merit, but just because the Christians might benefit from exaggerating doesn’t mean they always did. Sometimes the truth is ugly enough to use as propaganda without the need to manipulate it. Even optimistic academics cannot deny that atrocities were committed and slaves were taken by Northmen, they can only review and debate the circumstances or motivations behind the activity. The interpretations of the Eddas and other ancient writings also need to be considered despite being mostly recorded by Christians, they were taken from Pagan oral traditions and still manage to convey the mindset of our ancestors.
Norse/Germanic Pagan religions were a reflection of the people that followed them. To say that their religion was egalitarian when the people who followed that religion were not is either naïve or dishonest. Some of the Runes and symbolism that were allegedly being misused are also found among other ancient European groups in various forms, including some letters in Mediterranean alphabets (Greek, Etruscan, and Latin). These kindred folk practiced slavery as well. I don’t believe that I have ever heard of an ancient Pagan religion that prohibited slavery; the sacred texts and lore of our ancestors usually describe slavery as if it was completely normal.
I want to be clear that I do not support slavery and neither do the modern Pagans that I associate with, but I will not, and logically cannot deny that my ancestors practiced it. While the Old Religion certainly does not prohibit slavery, neither is slavery mandated; it is simply accepted as part of life. For example; the Lay of Volund (Poetic Edda, Völundarkvitha), tells us that Volund and his brothers entrapped and married three Valkyries, but Volund himself committed terrible deeds in revenge for his own enslavement and mutilation by King Nithuth. Forced servitude, the resisting of forced servitude, and vengeance all appear to be expected, and the outcome determined by strength, wiles or fate. Examining the lore of our ancestors will unveil that sort of attitude toward many things. The realities of life are described, in all their beauty or brutality, but whether or not something is good or bad was often a matter of context. One idea to focus on in order to make sense of this seeming ambiguity is whether or not something benefits the tribe as a whole; another is how the various concepts of honor and oath keeping provided a template for behavior that is not always easily understood by people today. The worldviews of the ancients are at odds with many of the ideals espoused by modern philosophies. The belief that “might makes right” or that “the end justifies the means” is far more prevalent in ancient religions and culture, and if we are honest with ourselves, are still often the reality behind the façade of modern civilization.
Like most people in ancient times the Norse/Germanics organized themselves in tribes. The Greco-Roman civilization created a vast and enduring empire, but various groups within it remained culturally tribalistic, and the Goths (Celts/Germanics) were no exception. Rome’s expansion did not erase ethnocentrism within their Empire, and only seemed to strengthen those feelings in some areas (Judea, for example). Life was a challenge throughout the ancient world, and Northern Europe was never an easy place to live, the winters were long and harsh. It was not uncommon to attack other tribes to seize their land or resources, and coastal raiding of foreign lands occurred often enough during the Viking age to give the Norsemen a ferocious reputation. It was not unknown for the Vikings to slaughter the locals indiscriminately after taking their desired number of slaves, then burn the village and church. The raiders often demanded tribute to prevent repeat performances. Backlash against the Northmen didn’t occur as often as the Viking raids, but when it did it was also devastating, as when King Æthelred II became tired of paying tribute every year and ordered all Danish men in England killed (St. Brice’s Day massacre). The Danes were too entrenched throughout England for Æthelred to slay them all, but he did try his best. There will always be those who try to rehabilitate the Viking raiders by claiming that they needed the resources to survive, but that does not explain the excessive brutality of some Viking methods. Sometimes the Vikings would choose to settle in lands where they could not possibly survive without the resources taken in raids, and saw no moral conflict in doing so. Also, not all Norse/Germanic people engaged in raiding behavior, although they still remained formidable warriors. What was best for the tribe (or war-band) usually outweighed any negative consequences an action would have for outsiders, and in ancient times tribalism and ethnocentricity were often the same thing.
The Norse/Germanic tribes had an internal class system that was similar to other ancient cultures. This system was reflected in their religion. In the Lay of Rig (Poetic Edda, Rigsthula or Rigsmol) the god Heimdall (or Odin some say), traveled among men and came to a dwelling, where he called himself Rig. He stayed three nights with Ai and Edda, and slept between them. Nine months later she bore a son and they called him Thrall, whose own offspring became the “race” (in this context – class) of thralls, the Old Norse term for slaves. Down the road Rig came to a hall, owned by Afi and Amma, and again he stayed three nights and slept between them. Amma bore a son that they named Karl (also called Churl), and from Karl sprung the yeomen (peasants/freemen). Further down the road he came to another hall owned by Fathir and Mothir, and for the third time he spent three days sleeping between the couple. Mothir bore a son named Jarl (also called Earl), from who sprung the nobility. Jarls youngest son, Kon the Young, learned the runes and through them gained wisdom and power, which he then shared with Rig and Jarl. The physical descriptions of Thrall, Karl and Jarl, and also their parents and their wives resembled the stereotypical appearance those classes were associated with. For example, Thrall had very dark hair, a genetic trait more common among foreigners captured and forced into slavery by Viking raiders. In reality, blonde slaves were plentiful among the Norse and even deep in Scandinavia warriors or nobles occasionally had something other than blonde hair. What was considered a separate race in those times might more accurately be a called a minor racial variation by modern geneticists, or simply a linguistic or cultural difference. Now that we have DNA to examine, and the entire planet’s human genome to compare it to, Europeans are all much more closely related to one another than was once previously thought.
There is historical evidence of intermarriage between Norse/Germanic tribes and kindred European peoples, but they still managed to retain their own ethnic identity, and in Northern Europe, and Iceland, a predominance of recessive genetic traits such as fair hair or light eyes. In many circumstances how you looked and what language you spoke could mean the difference between life and death, just as it still can in many places today; so if you were different, I suppose it was best to have many supporters or influential friends.
The class structure in the oldest Scandinavian settlements was thought to be relatively static, but even in the newest settlements ethnically based tribalism was still apparent. The overall Celtic portion of the Icelander’s genetics is said to be approximately 15 to 20 percent, but sources differ. Recent genetic research shows that 65% of Icelanders are descended from Celtic women (the mitochondrial DNA is passed on only by the mother), but only about 20 percent of the Y chromosomes were from Celtic male lineages. The genetic makeup also differs depending on the region tested and it must be remembered that a person can have mitochondrial DNA from one group, while most of their genetic makeup comes from another. Celtic Christians among the Northmen in Iceland during Pagan times usually converted from Christianity to Paganism, and is one example of different European sub-types worshipping the Norse gods. Some actually believe that the mixture came from peaceful associations and trading between the ethnicities, and some of it probably did, but it is far more likely that most of it was the genetic legacy of the many Celtic slaves captured in violent raids. For several centuries the Pagan Icelanders also fought against and sometimes traded with Indigenous North Americans. There are examples of Skraelings (Indigenous Americans) taken as slaves, but the Icelanders have very few of their genes, and the few genes found are believed to be from an extinct group. The Viking descriptions of the Skraelings were often about their hostility, and I can’t help but find that ironic considering how hostile the Vikings could be to one another and other Europeans. The Skraelings were in a position to raid Icelandic settlements, reversing the usual paradigm of Northmen attacking foreigners. In The Saga of Eric the Red, Freydís Eiríksdóttir encountered hostile Skraeling raiders and her words were not kind:
“Why run you away from such worthless creatures, stout men that ye are, when, as seems to me likely, you might slaughter them like so many cattle? Let me but have a weapon, I think I could fight better than any of you.” The Saga of Erik the Red, Translation by J. Sephton
Custom drawing of incident
Bloodlines were important to our ancestors; they believed that people were born into the class of their parents. Wars and new settlements created some fluidity in status, fortunes could reverse sometimes within a generation or two, but normally class was hereditary. During more stable periods, especially in the older mainland settlements, it is believed that sponsorship or force was necessary to attain a higher class. Chieftains were sometimes chosen by popular consent, but the process was not to be confused with modern Democratic or egalitarian viewpoints. Slaves had no say in politics and the weak were often ignored. People brought warriors to support them when their issues were to be judged, and in this way a smaller but stronger group could prevail over a more numerous but weaker one. Power was respected; the ability to force your will through violence was a very real element in business dealings and agreements. Strength, not fairness, was the dominating factor in determining your place within the tribe, and the probability of judgements in your favor.
“Links of real and artificial kinship formed the basis of most social institutions among the Germanic Scandinavians. An individual’s status and recourse to justice were determined by the strength and prominence of acknowledged kin, and the orphan enjoyed no status in society whatsoever”… “One’s responsibilities to kin survived even the grave: explicit duties toward the dead were well established aspects of religious life, and the avenging of a kinsman’s murder could become the basis of prolonged intergenerational feuds, the events of which were celebrated in Eddaic poems and sagas alike.” (Nordic Religions in the Viking Age, by Thomas A. DuBois, p19)
Since vengeance was seen as an acceptable and proper response to the injury or death of a family member, blood feuds were a very real threat to tribal stability. Informal rules and eventually laws were put in place that allowed a transgressor to pay a death-price, sometimes called a mansbot (wergeld to the Saxons), to compensate a family or household for a murder. The price set for the mansbot sometimes varied depending on the social rank of the victim, and from region to region. There was no death-price for a slave; compensation for murdered slaves followed the customs concerning damaged property such as cattle. The death-price was not mandatory, and was not created to promote fairness or balance; it was seen as a voluntary alternative to blood feuds that could drain both groups of even more resources and weaken the tribe as a whole. If the household of the victim did not have the ability to take their vengeance in blood, there was little motivation for the offending party to offer a death-price as compensation unless some form of honor would be satisfied by doing so. Practices akin to the mansbot and wergeld continued into the early Christian era, but were eventually replaced by laws that did not allow financial compensation to excuse murder.
“In Iceland legal decisions were not primarily governed by moral concepts. The goal of legal resolution was to return the community to a workable arrangement and not to determine who committed a crime, or how it was done. The purpose of court verdicts was to find a compromise that could be lived with even if men grumbled; harmony within the community was more important than justice to the individual.” (Feud in the Icelandic Saga, by Jesse Byock, p102)
Our lore is filled with violence and the chain of possibilities and consequences such violence can cause, and unlike modern children’s bed-time stories, happy endings are by no means guaranteed. The Eddas and other sagas reflect a different worldview than most people are used to. They acknowledge that who is a hero or a villain can be circumstantial; the perception depending on who benefits from a given action. As in the lay of Volund (or its Teutonic variation Weyland Smith), sometimes it is difficult to tell the heroes from the villains by their overall behavior.
The class structures of our European ancestors and their interactions with other groups do not fit within a modern egalitarian framework. Overall, our ancestors were tribalistic and ethnocentric; they also practiced slavery and had restrictive class systems. The equality of man was not promoted in their cultures or their religions. The very brief descriptions we have provided should be enough to put the matter to rest, but unfortunately it will not deter the ideologue’s imperative to shape as much as possible into their own image (while they accuse their opponents of the same tactic). The various religions of ancient Europe reflected a worldview where morality, in some ways, was more flexible than the popular religions or philosophies of today. This flexibility has been promoted by some as a tolerance for different approaches to life, but it was more about being goal oriented than politically correct; it also allowed behavior that would be considered wrong by nearly every standard of modern civilization. The ancients also had traditions and taboos that could restrict their behavior in ways that makes little sense to the average person in the 21st century.
I do not find it pleasant to dredge up uncomfortable aspects of our ancestor’s culture or religion that can be used to criticize Neo-Pagans today. The points I discussed might contribute to the misassumption that when monotheism replaced European Paganism it ushered a new age of understanding, tolerance and equality; a sentiment which differs significantly from the historical record. For a balanced perspective we need to ask the same question about monotheism that we did about Paganism. Were the ancient monotheists egalitarian? What about ancient people outside of Europe?
Slavery was practiced by monotheists in North Africa and Europe for thousands of years. Their various holy books contain rules on the treatment of slaves, and justify atrocities against outsiders. Western monotheism has its roots in ancient Judaism. The Torah was used as a foundation for both Christianity, and then Islam. One of the most famous and brutal passages found in the Torah, and clearly reflected in Christianity’s Old Testament, is Deuteronomy 7:1-26. It justifies the utter destruction of foreign populations and the seizure of their land; it also states that the action is mandated by the one true God. I understand that the targeted populations were supposed to be awful people, and that many others (including our own ancestors) employed similar strategies many times; but the directive of Deuteronomy 7:1-26 isn’t remotely egalitarian.
There are those who claim that the Hebrews/Israelites did not own slaves because the word for slave in ancient Hebrew (eved) translates into worker, and they weren’t completely owned because they were given some rights. Ancient Hebrew, like many other languages at the time, didn’t have a lot of words compared to more modern languages so their words often meant several things; this can easily be used to bend the meaning of the scriptures today to make them appear more modern (as Christians are also wont to do). Eved (also Ebed) does translate into worker or servant, but conversely was also the word used to describe what people today would call slaves. The rules on how to treat these eved (and what was expected of them) appear in several places in the Torah and Talmud, and look very suspiciously like slavery, especially for non-Hebrews (Slaves as property: Talmud – Megilah 23b, Yevamoth 99a, Kethuboth 100b). There were very different rules for Hebrew slaves and outsiders, so the slaves were not even considered equal to one other. Injuries inflicted on Hebrew slaves, male or female, were dealt with as injuries to freemen (Talmud – Baba Kama 83b; Mishneh Torah – Avadim 4:6). The non-Hebrew slave (eved Kena’ani) could be seriously beaten for an infraction, but if the slave lost an eye or tooth, or suffered any permanent disfigurement, that slave had to be freed in compensation (Talmud – Kiddushin 24a, 24b, 25a; Mishneh Torah – Avadim 5:4–14; Shulchan Aruch – Yoreh De’ah 267:27–40); unless they were an outright Gentile, then they would not be released (Mishneh Torah – Avadim 5:5). If you were an unrepentant Pagan, you would probably remain a slave for the rest of your life, and be passed on to your master’s children upon his death (Tanakh – Leviticus 25:46, Mishneh Torah – Avadim 9:1). The rules concerning Hebrew slaves, or enslaved Gentiles who were circumcised and immersed in the mikveh, were actually generous considering the standards of the time. Masters were also forbidden to actually kill any slave (Tanakh – Exodus 21:20), but in no way did this system fit the definition of egalitarian.
Modern Jewish sects do not practice or condone slavery. I mentioned Judaism first because it is the oldest surviving form of Western monotheism, but it was not the downfall of European Paganism. Judaism was an ethnocentric religion focused on the survival and culture of the Hebrews. Historically there were very few forced conversions (the Idumaeans were one rare example). Overall, conversion to Judaism was possible (Tanakh – Kethuvim, book of Ruth), but definitely not encouraged, and not always allowed (Karaite Jews recently lifted a 500 year old ban on converts, some Syrian sects still have a ban). There were some marriage restrictions on converts just as there were for certain foreigners or Mazmer (Mishneh Torah – Devarim – Deuteronomy 23:3-4, Mazmer are children of forbidden relationships and their descendants, but they are not necessarily bastards as the word is often translated). The maternal bloodline is important, if a mother is Jewish then so is her child. Judaism was not meant to be taught to outsiders under most circumstances, except for a few tenets such as the 7 Noachide Laws. Despite this, early Christians were able to use the Torah as a foundation for a new religion that engaged in very successful proselytization; but as history has shown, even forcing a common religion among different peoples failed to prevent slavery or ethnocentrism among Christians. Perhaps this is because these concepts were never prohibited in the first place (see tower of Babel in KJV Bible, or Tanakh – Genesis 11:1-9 for origins of different languages and tribes, and how the Judeo-Christian God felt about the concept of a global village).
Slavery was clearly permissible in the Bible’s Old Testament (Numbers 31:26–27, Deuteronomy 20:10–11, Leviticus 19:20-22, Leviticus 25:44-46, Exodus 21:20-21). The Hebrew laws to release a slave that was caused grievous injury were also represented there (Exodus 21:26–27). The Bible also contains the verse about children of forbidden relationships (often translated as bastards) as having marriage restrictions (Christian Bible – Deuteronomy 23:2, but the Jewish Torah states it in Deuteronomy 23:3). Some Christians claim that the Old Testament was done away with by Jesus Christ, but if you mention that they still follow the Ten Commandments, they say not everything was done away with. I have yet to find a comprehensive list of which parts were discarded and which were not, apparently Matthew 5:17 is supposed to deal with this, but it is unclear and subject to much debate. The New Testament also has several references to slavery. In the King James and some other versions of the Bible, the word slave has been replaced by servant or maid, but those translations were generated from the same linguistic roots as the earlier versions so their original connotations are known. In Luke 4:18 and Isaiah 61:1 Jesus did talk about freeing captives and the oppressed, and by today’s common understanding that would include slaves. However, the New Testament does not specifically prohibit slavery, and In Ephesians 6:5-9 and Colossians 4:1 we are told that slaves should obey their earthly masters, and we are given rules for how Christian slave owners should treat their slaves; so apparently slave ownership by Christians was permissible. Luke 12:45-48 describes how much a slave should be beaten for an infraction. Philemon 1:1-25 deals with a letter from Paul to a Christian slave owner to whom he is returning a Christian slave named Onesimus (apparently in violation of Deuteronomy 23:15-16). Paul beseeches Philemon to accept Onesimus back as a free man and fellow Christian, and that he personally would accept any debt owed by Onesimus. He does not say that owning other people is against Christian doctrine; instead he makes a personal, non-binding request. Some modern Christian writers have defended Paul’s letter by saying that we are shown only one side of the situation and suggest convoluted possible scenarios to absolve Paul of returning a slave to his master. This argument amounts to saying that unknown and unattainable information might prove something wrong; a possible yet thoroughly unconvincing rebuttal to just about anything.
One popular excuse to rationalize why Christianity didn’t prohibit slavery was that early Christians didn’t want to anger the Romans; a very weak argument for a number of reasons. Early Christians were famous for aggravating the Romans; they did it constantly. The only religious group that I know of that angered the Romans more were the Celtic Druids. Jesus Christ and his followers were willing to die particularly agonizing deaths for their faith. Martyrdom was seen as the ultimate show of loyalty to their God; that they would have kept silent about slavery when they were very vocal about other issues that could result in their execution seems very strange. A Christian prohibition on slave ownership would have prevented Christians from owning slaves, but would not have affected the Roman Pagans under Pagan rule. Those Pagans would continue to benefit from any economic advantage slavery provided. Finally, slavery was not abolished after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire; Christians continued to practice slavery and forced conversion for over a thousand years afterward, even for centuries after the Protestant Reformation. In modern times, mainstream Christian churches consider slavery a sin; and even the few militant Christian extremist groups that I’ve learned about think slavery is a very bad idea. Historically, this change in perspective is very recent considering the length of time Christianity has existed.
Islam is another religion founded on the Torah, but also includes lore found in the Christian New Testament (Quran 2:87, 2:136, 2:253, 3:3, 3:45 etc.) and ultimately the additional teachings of their prophet Mohammed. Muslims captured large volumes of slaves, had open slave markets for most of their history, and continue to practice slavery in some parts of the world today. There are modern claims that Islam only permitted enslavement during wartime, and that slaves would be emancipated if they converted, implying that it isn’t as bad as other forms of slavery. Others use the same excuses as Christians do; they say that Islam could only gradually reduce slavery because it was already entrenched. Any honest study of Islamic slavery will show otherwise; slavery increased dramatically under Islam several times and persisted for over a thousand years. If the emancipation of slaves was, as some say, one ultimate goal of Islam, then raiding Europe as far north as Iceland (1672 AD) for additional slaves seems somewhat counterproductive. Slaves were often used as sex objects and the occasional castration of young male slaves was well known. Some sources state that over a million Europeans and several million Black Africans were enslaved by Muslims. We could consider that all those millions of slaves were unwilling to convert in exchange for their freedom, but it’s simply too ridiculous.
“Many slaves passed through Armenia and were castrated there to fill the Muslim demand for eunuchs. On the upper Volga was the town of Bulghar, containing a Muslim community, from which Finnish slaves were transported into the Muslim world by a land route passing between the Caspian and the Aral Sea and entering Khwarzim, a state in which Bukhara and Samarkand were slave markets and castration centers. Slavs and Finns, called saqaliba indiscriminately by the Muslims, entered the Muslim world by these Caspian and Black Sea routes.” (Slavery From Roman Times To The Early Transatlantic Trade, by William D. Phillips, Jr., p64)
Both the Sunni and Shia (Shiite) factions of Islam follow the same Quran, but there are different versions of the Hadith (Sahih). There is an often quoted passage (Quran 2:256) about there being no compulsion in religion, but it is seriously contradicted (and abrogated) by the later teachings of Mohammed (suras 9 and 5). Forcible conversion is not only accepted in the Quran and Hadiths, but mandated (Quran 2:193, 8:39, 9:29, 9:5, 9:11, Sahih Muslim 1:33, Sahih Bukhari 2:24, 60:80, 8:387), so a constant conflict with non-believers would be the status quo until everyone in the world has converted (eerily similar to Marxism’s “revolutionary world storm”). The Quran and Hadiths accept inequality and slavery (Quran 16:75-76, Sahih Muslim 3901, 4112, 4345, Sahih Bukhari 34:351, 41.598, 47:743, 47.765, 52:255, 72:734). The Quran also says it is permissible to use slaves for sexual intercourse (Quran 4:24, 23:5-6, 33:50, 70:29-30), but forbids making them prostitutes against their will, at least under certain circumstances (Quran 24:33). Emancipation of slaves is mentioned in the Quran (Quran 4:92, 58:3, 90:10-14), but it depended on the will of their masters, who could easily claim the slave’s faith was insincere; and it must be remembered that it was most likely Muslims that enslaved them in the first place. Quran 4:92 implies that believers could still be slaves, and only slaves who were believers should be considered for emancipation. I’ve left out passages where the term freed is sometimes used to replace the term ransomed (some versions of Quran 2:177, for example), because abducting people so their kindred can purchase them back is not emancipation, it’s more like kidnapping. The comparatively few slaves that were truly emancipated could not expect their families to be returned to them, a man’s daughter would remain someone’s sex slave even if he were freed.
Forcible conversion and slavery clearly do not fit within modern concepts of equality, but it does not stop some people from trying to claim that Islam is egalitarian. Modern radicalized Muslims quote the same passages I listed to justify their behavior; in the same way they were quoted by their ancestors centuries ago. There are approximately one point six billion Muslims in the world today, and to be fair, only a fraction of them still practice Jihad and slavery. What is disturbing is that over a billion people can have such a difficult time suppressing the more extreme adherents of their own religion. Last year (2015 AD), millions of Muslims have fled their homelands to escape sectarian violence; over one million seeking refuge in Christian Europe instead of safety among other Muslims. Unfortunately for the more moderate forms of Islam, whether or a not a Muslim agrees with Jihad or slavery in no way changes what the Quran or the various Hadiths permit.
Based on the information we discussed, specifically slavery, western monotheism was not based on egalitarianism. The theory that giving slaves a few protections was meant humanize them and eventually abolish slavery is not reflected in the holy texts or how those religions were practiced for thousands of years. Instead, we see differences in how believers and non-believers were treated as slaves, and how the few protections they were given (or refused) were dependent on their tribal origins, bloodlines or willful submission to the religion and culture of their masters. Seeing slaves or enemies as human wasn’t as much of a dilemma to the ancients as it is for people now, ancient life was harsh and stratified class or caste systems were common. The elites often held the power of life or death over most of the population and such power was demonstrated often. If average people could be treated this way, why would it be necessary to dehumanize slaves or outsiders in order to treat them similarly? Enslavement was often used as a tactic of forced conversion, tribal domination, or both, with the clear sanction of monotheist dogma. Since slavery was actively promoted to further the causes of their religions, claiming that ancient monotheist’s ultimate goal was the abolition of slavery creates a contradiction that cannot be logically resolved. Pretending that the monotheist prophets were hiding their true opinions might make people feel better about their religion, but that notion is not supported by Western monotheism’s scriptures or sacred texts. That particular pretense also makes any religion easy to co-opt by secular ideologists. Slavery is not, and never has been, egalitarian; and the people who practiced it, or ignored it, were not egalitarian either.
I do not claim that the Monotheists didn’t have some positive aspects. While the New Testament did not specifically prohibit slavery, one could repudiate slavery without violating the scripture. The effort to finally abolish slavery worldwide in the 19th century was mostly the work of Christians, although most of their pro-slavery opposition was also Christian (in Africa and the Middle East the pro-slavery element was Muslim as well). Monotheists were directly responsible for funding public hospitals, orphanages, schools and universities throughout the Middle Ages until modern times. This is not surprising since the Catholic and Orthodox Churches took much of their organizational structure from the Romans and the Byzantines, whose empires were very good at dealing with the social necessities of large populations; and the Jews have always had a strong sense of community and survival during their long Diaspora, so it made sense for them to invest in parallel institutions based on their own faith. Religions that do not promote stability and generational continuity within their societies do not last (for example: the Shakers, or the People’s Temple of Rev. Jim Jones), so successful religions are likely to share similar bits of wisdom. I must admit that I am quite fond of the Biblical passage Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; I find it a very realistic perspective on adapting to life’s challenges, and Ecclesiastes 3:15 seems to me very similar to the Odinist concept of Wyrd.
The ancient religions and cultures of non-European peoples, Pagan or otherwise, also tend to fall far short of being egalitarian. There were many different religions among the Native Americans, and slavery was common among them long before Columbus stepped on a boat. The Creek and Chickasaw even captured and sold other Native Americans to Europeans. Some tribes captured and enslaved European settlers (Comanche, Mohawk etc.), and while young European children were sometimes adopted by the tribe, many teenage or adult captives were raped, tortured or forced into sex slavery. Some tribes even owned African slaves once they became available (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole, etc.), and continued the practice until the U.S. government forced them to stop it after the American Civil War. Whether or not Native Americans or their religions were ethnocentric is hard to say, there were many tribes with different cultures. Some intermarried with Europeans or Africans, and some actually helped African runaway slaves, yet others (Cherokee, Seminole-Oklahoma group) have also voted to exclude the descendants of their African slaves (Black Freedmen) from their tribes. The Aztecs practiced slavery, cannibalism and mass human sacrifice. Slavery was already practiced by sub-Sahara Africans long before Europeans instigated the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. It was common for Black tribes to barter with both Europeans and Arabs, exchanging Black slaves for foreign trade goods, especially horses and weapons. Slavery was practiced on the Indian sub-continent and the Hindu caste system has been compared to apartheid. Buddhism comes very close to prohibiting slavery, but Buddhists owned slaves throughout the centuries, including temple slaves. Slavery was practiced throughout the Far East from ancient times until it was officially banned during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Sometimes evidence of slavery is denied because they called it something else, or had some type of restriction on it, but involuntary servitude of innocents that included sexual intercourse or forced labor falls well within slavery’s definition, whatever else you call it.
It is easy to see why some allegedly egalitarian ideologies eschew religion in general; the majority of religions are based on ancient scripture that is incompatible with their ideas. Unfortunately atheist egalitarians don’t seem to do much better, taking a lot of their tenets from Marx and Engels. Marxism utilizes violence as a means to an end, promotes collective guilt, justifies ethnic leveling and ethnic cleansing, and is behind the murder of tens of millions of innocent people; all in the name of equality. Soviet atrocities are not as popularized as that of the Third Reich, but are no less numerous or heinous in their nature. The communist revolutionaries in Spain burned churches, raped nuns and slaughtered entire families. I guess you could say the Vikings did such things too, but the Vikings didn’t try to justify them in the name of equality. Castro’s Cuba is another good example. A lot of so-called proletarians have risked their lives trying to leave Cuba, but very few pro-Marxist Americans actually want to go live there; despite an affinity for Marxist iconography and fashionable “Che Guevara” commercial products. A common claim is that the Soviet Union and Cuba do not represent real communism, but I beg to differ. There doesn’t seem to be a successful Marxist revolution that ends any other way, so you could say that these examples represent the very real result of Marxist revolutionary policies, and that the idealized egalitarian worker’s paradise (never delivered as promised) is actually the fantasy.
Not all modern egalitarians are Marxists (most aren’t), but few seem to fully embrace their professed philosophy. How could they? No two people on Earth are the same; skills and abilities vary with each individual, so how could everyone be equal? The best you can do is try to apply the law to everyone equally, and have equal standards of behavior; but this does not actually make people equal, nor does it reflect how egalitarianism is usually promoted. You cannot create equality by giving one demographic group an advantage over another (positive discrimination), or holding special interest groups to different standards of behavior, or having different levels of legal protection for different types of people, or punishing innocent people for the actions of those long dead. George Orwell commented on this sort of approach at the end of his book Animal Farm, where the new leaders state that everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. You cannot have equality and double standards at the same time, as one is defined by the other’s absence. For those who say otherwise I will provide yet another excerpt from the dictionary to provide clarification.
HYPOCRISY, from the Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary:
1: The behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do : behavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel
Even when admitting the lack of egalitarianism among the ancients, some idealists might be tempted to use the tired excuse that they “didn’t know any better,” but that isn’t entirely true. Our Pagan European ancestors were not ignorant of egalitarian thought; they just didn’t embrace it as part of their worldview. The Pagan Greek legend of Procrustes (also called Damastes, Polypemon, or Procoptas) is a perfect example of how they viewed such sentiments. Procrustes, said to be the son of the sea god Poseidon, was a robber who offered travelers his hospitality and a place to spend the night. Those who accepted would be tied to an iron bed that Procrustes claimed would fit everyone. Unfortunately, no one fit exactly in the bed, so Procrustes would either stretch them to the bed’s full length, or chop off their legs at the edge of the bed. His many victims did not survive his efforts to make everyone the same length. The hero Theseus, famous for slaying robbers and monsters in his travels, killed Procrustes by tying him to the iron bed and giving him the same treatment. In the end, Procrustes himself didn’t fit in his own iron bed.
At this point, I believe that we have discredited the idea that our Pagan ancestors and their religions were egalitarian. Moreover, we have shown that Judaism, Christianity and Islam were not based on egalitarian principles either, and that even modern egalitarian philosophies have consistently created conditions contrary to their alleged ideals. Five thousand years of written history should be enough to show us how humans behave, and what to expect from them regardless of their religion or chosen ideology.
“The diverse natures of men, combined with the necessity to satisfy in some manner the sentiment which desires them to be equal, has had the result that in the democracies they have endeavored to provide the appearance of power in the people and the reality of power in an elite.” (Manual of Political Economy, by Vilfredo Pareto p97)
I understand the primary reason that some modern Pagans have for claiming that the Third Reich misused our ancient symbols. It is certainly an expedient maneuver to distance oneself from what is possibly the most reviled regime in recent history. Another reason has little to do with Paganism and everything to do with modern politics, it has become common to attempt to link egalitarian philosophy with everything possible in order to strengthen political positions and borrow resources; and this includes rewriting ancient history and redefining all religions to support their perspective. They are not the first to use this tactic and will not be the last; Heinrich Himmler’s Ahnenerbe were doing much the same thing, only with the claim that their Germanic ancestors influenced all technological advancement in the ancient world. The achievements of Europeans as a collective group are overwhelming, but the evidence does not, and never has, seriously supported the Ahnenerbe’s claim. It is important to understand that loving your people and working toward their best interest is natural, regardless of one’s particular race or ethnicity, and has nothing to do with who invented the wheel or first used iron. Also, our ancestor’s achievements are very well documented and we should not feel the need to exaggerate them, there’s plenty to be proud of.
Our ancestors were not egalitarian, but they were tribalistic, and ethnocentric behavior was common in their times; so it is perfectly logical that we, their descendants, should use their symbols in that manner. Other ethnic and racial groups use their ancient symbols in a similar way. The problem for us is that many of the runes and symbols of our ancestors were utilized by the Third Reich, particularly the swastika (Fylfot, etc.), and the Sowilo rune, and this has understandably caused a tremendously negative association. These symbols are well over a thousand years old, have deep meaning to many neo-Pagans and are an integral part of our religion and ancient history. They cannot simply be discarded despite the practical reasons for doing so. They must also be used responsibly because most people are not going to understand their older spiritual significance, even if they are supportive of us in other ways.
It would be easy to say at this point that egalitarianism had little to do with any ancient religion, Pagan or otherwise, and that the Third Reich’s use of their ancestor’s symbolism was legitimate regardless of their actions because it was part of their ethnic heritage. However, for a more definitive answer we have to examine whether or not the Third Reich misused these symbols for other reasons, including the impact their policies had on the Germanic people and kindred Europeans.
The more esoteric circles within the Third Reich did not adopt the Elder Futhark, but an adaptation of it created by Guido Von List. While instrumental in the rise of German Neo-Paganism, he is still considered a controversial figure. The Armanen runes are fascinating and have much in common with the ancient forms, but can only trace their pedigree back to 1902 (approximately). It is usually agreed that Von List’s work is extremely useful to use as a framework, but that the ancient forms of the Futhark are preferable to use within that framework because they are what our ancestors actually used. Critics of List’s work are usually motivated by his and their own political associations, although they have a very valid point when they say the Armanen runes are not as authentic as the Elder, Younger or Anglo-Saxon Futhark. That being said, similar and stronger arguments can also be made against the modern invention of the blank rune, or blending runic rituals with those of the Kabbalah or I-Ching.
Comparatively few NSDAP party members were neo-Pagans. While the Third Reich utilized the symbols of their Pagan Germanic past, they were overwhelmingly Christian. They also used Roman and Christian symbolism, and borrowed ideas from Hinduism in their belief that the ancient Aryan rulers of India were kindred Nordic types. The ancient Germanic symbols were traditionally associated with different concepts, but were also indisputably connected to the ancient tribes. Using them to say “this is who we are” made perfect sense even if the Reich was predominately Christian.
There is a common misconception (likely due to purposeful misinformation) that the Third Reich stole the swastika symbol from the Hindus or other non-European peoples, and such sentiment is eagerly and carelessly repeated nowadays with little inclination to check the facts. The swastika can be found throughout the ancient world including Europe, India, the Far East and even Mesoamerica. It was used in different variations throughout ancient Europe by the ancestors of nearly all European ethnic groups, including the Greeks, Romans, Celts, Slavs, Sami, and the Norse/Germanic peoples. The symbol certainly migrated, but is also thought to be developed independently by several ancient cultures. The oldest swastika that has been uncovered to date was found in Europe near Mezin (also Mezine), Ukraine on a small bird figurine carved from ivory mammoth tusk, and is thought to be between 10,000 to 12,000 years old. Other swastikas used by the Vinca civilization in southeastern Europe’s Balkan region are believed to be up to 7000 years old. The National Museum of the History of Ukraine, in Kiev, has several exhibits containing ancient European swastikas, including the Mezin figurine. It is certainly possible that older representations of the swastika will be uncovered somewhere else in the world one day, but as of 2016 A.D the oldest example remains European.
“Mr. Paul du Chaillu, in his ‘Viking Age,’ mentions many specimens of Scandinavian and Norse antiquities bearing Swastika marks of divers styles” (THE SWASTIKA, The Earliest Known Symbol, And Its Migrations by Thomas Wilson, page 867, published 1896)
The actions of the Third Reich are supposed to be well known, although most people know them more from television and entertainment films than from actual study. The historical details of some of those actions can be contradictory, and others could be disputed, but I’m not going to take this discussion in that direction because it truly isn’t necessary to make my point. The majority of the atrocities committed by the Third Reich were done very openly to tens of millions of other Europeans, including other Germanic folk, so it shouldn’t be difficult to understand what the end result of their policies toward Jews or Gypsies would be considering the overtly hostile propaganda directed at them. I will not make excuses for or condone the Third Reich’s actions against those people or anyone else, but for the purpose of addressing the misuse of our ancient symbols I’m going to focus on Hitler’s official actions against other European ethnic groups to drive home the nature of his policies, and the undeniably negative impact that they had on the people he claimed to be protecting.
Examples are easy to find, such as massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane in France or the aggressive ethnic cleansing of millions of Polish civilians. You can say that the Poles were Slavic, not Nordic or Germanic, but there was obvious overlaps in the populations (Prussians included), and the Third Reich readily embraced the Czech people who were also Slavic and spoke a Slavic language. The Germans did not hide what they were doing to the Polish people; they apparently saw no need to. You can blame the Soviets for a good portion of what happened to Poland as well, but it must be remembered that at the beginning of the invasion of Poland the Soviets were effectively allied with the Third Reich through the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, making each culpable for the actions of the other during that time. We can apply that reasoning to the Allied forces as well, their pact with the Soviets resulted in half of Europe being subjugated and oppressed by the Communists. The same non-aggression pact that allowed the Soviet Union and Germany to carve up Poland also allowed the Soviets to attack Scandinavia between 1939 and 1940 (The Winter War) without interference from the Third Reich (the alleged protectors of the Nordic race).
The Action T4 program (Aktion T4, directed from the Berlin address Tiergartenstrasse 4) was responsible for forced euthanasia within Germany between 1939 and 1941. The official purpose of Action T4 was the elimination of the physically or mentally disabled, emotionally distraught, incurably ill, and elderly people that could not care for themselves and had no use to the Third Reich. While promoted as an attempt to purify the genetics of the German people, the criteria for their targets was not exclusively genetic nor was it based solely on infirmity. Economics was a major consideration, subjects (victims) were also chosen based on their economic productivity. The eugenic aspect of the program could have been accomplished by sterilizing individuals with hereditary genetic disorders, but killing them along with the economically unproductive was more cost effective, so that’s what was done.
Action T4 was very unpopular with the German people. Unlike many other charges of systematic mass murder, the T4 program was committed openly and left a clear paper trail. The order was officially initiated by Hitler in October 1939, but backdated by him to September 1st 1939. Opposition to the program increased with its scale of operation, and in 1940 protest letters were sent to the Reich Chancellery and the Ministry of Justice, including some of from Nazi Party members. The first open protest against the removal of people from asylums took place at Absberg, Franconia in February 1941. Reports described large crowds of Catholic townspeople protesting, including Party members. Opposition increased again after the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was broken and German casualties started coming home; rumors circulated that the war-wounded would be included in the euthanasia program. Despite the personal risks, private letters from Protestant and Catholic clergymen were sent to government officials (and eventually to Hitler himself) in opposition to Action T4. On 24 August 1941 Hitler ordered the official cancellation of the T4 program. He also issued instructions to avoid further provocations of the churches for the duration of the war. There are claims that the mandate of Action T4 continued unofficially after this time.
Some accusations against the Third Reich change, or reverse with shifts in popular culture. It seems standard practice to accuse them of anything that is currently unpopular or considered abhorrent; an amateurish and unnecessary tactic, since Hitler’s open policies have already provided enough solid reasons to dislike them. After 1945 it was commonly said that occult mysticism facilitated the rise of German National Socialism, but in more recent times scholars have denied that occultism played a role, citing the Reich’s hostility toward esoteric religion and alternative viewpoints. Consider that what was called occult in the first half of the 20th century might now be seen as an alternative religious belief. As Neo-Paganism becomes more socially acceptable, it is no longer the automatic smear against the Third Reich that it once was. Predictably, the focus has shifted from the Third Reich’s “occult roots” to their persecution of the occult community; the scale of which is debated. One often mentioned example occurred in 1941 during Die Sonderaktion Hess (Special Action Hess); the Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service; SD) and Gestapo arrested and interrogated hundreds of astrologers and confiscated their occult literature, but within weeks most were released.
We know that the Third Reich used runic and esoteric symbolism, that official elements within it were interested in astrology, divination and other metaphysical pursuits, and that some party members and supporters belonged to the Thule Society. We also know that other occultists were being monitored and at least a few continued to be detained after Die Sonderaktion Hess. They were certainly not alone; it didn’t take much for the authorities to detain someone, even other party members. Originally the NSDAP consisted of several groups that had differing perspectives, but as the party became more of a charismatic movement most dissent was ruthlessly purged. Many German Nationalists and Traditionalists found themselves on the wrong side of Hitler’s position. Others felt that his Socialist policies didn’t go far enough. Eventually all of them found that disagreeing with the Führer was very unhealthy. Even casual association with malcontents was dangerous. The famous Field Marshal Erwin Rommell was purged because of Stauffenberg’s assassination attempt on Hitler (Operation Valkyrie), although many experts believe Rommell had no knowledge of the conspiracy. The Führer’s wishes carried more weight than ideological tenets. Unquestioned and absolute loyalty to the party leader, not the ideal, was demanded.
Did this sort of behavior constitute a misuse of our ancient symbols? Part of me wants to say yes. It could conceivably be said that the runes and other symbols were misused by the Third Reich, not because they weren’t egalitarian or because they were racist, but because the Reich was more motivated by politics than race, and did not represent the best interests of the Norse/Germanic people. If the end justified the means then the Third Reich failed miserably with both the means and the end it brought about. Half of Europe, including East Germany, became occupied and oppressed by the USSR and their Marxist puppet governments for four decades. Over 40 million Europeans were killed, our racial symbols were socially tarnished and are still banned in several countries, and over half a century later anyone who shows even a small amount of pride in their European heritage can be harassed or worse for being politically incorrect.
Despite all this, what the Third Reich did was similar to what the Vikings sometimes did while raiding, albeit on a far larger scale. Bad choices and horrific consequences are prevalent throughout the Eddas and the history of our people, as are charismatic figures both benevolent and terrible. I cannot truthfully claim that the Third Reich misused our ancient symbols or acted outside the worldview of our ancestors, because sometimes our ancestors did similar things to foreigners, and to each other. If I’m going to be honest, then the fairest conclusion that can be made is that our ancient religion was indifferent to its symbols being used by people who behaved that way.
In seeking answers about the nature of our religion and its symbols I’ve probably managed to offend people from many different religious and philosophical perspectives. This was unavoidable if the questions were to be answered objectively; they dealt with very uncomfortable and emotionally charged topics. We can conclude that, given the evidence of slavery and inherited class structures, that ancient Europeans and their religions were not egalitarian, and they certainly weren’t the pacifists some people desperately wish them to be. Our ancestors were tribalistic/ethnocentric and it is within the parameters of Odinism or other forms of European Paganism to use their symbols in that manner. Our ancient symbols were not misused by the Third Reich because they represent ideas and ethnic affiliations that are independent of the atrocities that were committed; those actions were neither directly mandated nor were they prohibited by our ancient lore. However, the Eddas often describe the terrible consequences of unwise decisions, such as Volund’s brutal vengeance against King Nithuth for his mutilation and enslavement. Perhaps the ambiguity of certain aspects of Odinism reflects a more honest appreciation of the human condition, particularly as it pertains to understanding conflict and power.
Many Norse/Germanic tribes did not adopt the Viking lifestyle. Our ancestors were not just raiders, they were also traders. They waged war but also formed treaties with their neighbors to promote the survival and prosperity of their people. Keep in mind that maintaining readiness for a conflict and seeking it out might appear similar, but are not at all the same thing. Odin is the god of wisdom, and with wisdom should all our decisions be made. The Old Religion had regional variations, but there was still a measure consistency in their worldviews. Many modern concepts are not directly related to the ways of our ancestors (so there is no rightness or wrongness concerning them), some complement the ways of the ancients, and others are not compatible at all. It seems unavoidable that people will attempt to dictate what is or isn’t Pagan (or Heathen if you prefer) based on modern ideological systems that do not reflect the ancient ways. Such attempts to co-opt our culture and our past are relentless, but shallow. Faith is personal, you cannot stop people from believing in the gods as they choose, but you can easily refute claims that our ancestors were something other than they were.
The Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/
Futhark, A Handbook of Rune Magic, by Edred Thorsson (aka Stephen E. Flowers), (egalitarian ancestors p16)
Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior, by Christopher (Theorizes that prehistoric hunter gatherers were egalitarian, but stopped after developing larger societies)
Heidegger, by Jonathan Rée, part of The Great Philosophers series published 1999 by Routledge (The question and the questioner p6-9)
Nordic Religions in the Viking Age, by Thomas A. DuBois (Kinship and vengeance p19, Raiding for resources acceptable practice p20, Icelandic population p21, slavery p22,67,98, human sacrifice of slaves p72, skraelings 203)
Kings and Vikings, by P.H. Sawyer (Scandinavian society p39-64, mansbot/wergeld p42-44, human sacrifice of slaves p40, slavery 39-42,85, Rus trading slaves to Muslims 114)
The Saga of Erik the Red, Translation by J. Sephton (Freydís Eiríksdóttir, Skraelings p13)
Feud in the Icelandic Saga, by Jesse Byock (Purpose of compensation for killing etc., p102, Blood Vengeance p67, 98, 107-112, 115, 117, 134, 148, 181-182, 245, 267-268, 271, Slaves p20, 151, 217, Payment or compensation for slaves p183-185)
Poetic Edda, Bellows Translation (Volund Völundarkvitha p255-269, origin of class system Rigsthula p202)
The Soncino English Babylonian Talmud, Reformatted by Reuven Brauner (Halakhah.com)
Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Avadim (The Laws of Servants), by Maimonides and Translated by Eliyahu Touger at Chabad.org (The entire Avadim, chapters 1 through 9, deal with servants and slaves, Chapter 9 also deals with forcing non-Hebrew slaves to work forever, as opposed to Hebrew slaves who were freed on Jubilee years) http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1363819/jewish/Avadim-Chapter-Nine.htm
Hebrew – English Tanakh, The Jewish bible, VARDA BOOKS Skokie, Illinois, USA 2009 – 5769
Baba Kamma, Translated Into English With Notes, Glossary And Indices by E. W. Kirzner, M.A., Ph.D., M.Sc. Under the Editorship of Rabbi Dr. I. Epstien B.A., Ph.D, D. Lit. (Babylonian Talmud, Baba Kamma 83b, Chapter VIII)
Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah, section 267 – (Only partial English translations of the Shulchan Aruch were available, although there are several projects to translate the full version. Section 267 concerns slavery and was not in the abridged Kitzur Shulchan Aruch I reviewed, most likely because there is little need for it in modern Judaism and it is readily available in Hebrew to Jewish scholars. However, summaries of the relevant parts of section 267 concerning slaves can be found at Torah.org, a very informative educational Jewish website: http://www.torah.org/advanced/shulchan-aruch/classes/chapter21.html)
The Works of Flavius Josephus, the Learned and Authentic Jewish Historian and Celebrated Warrior: Vol.2, translated by William Whiston, printed in 1806 (Flavius Josephus 37 AD – 100 AD was a Jewish Roman citizen and scholar, on the forced conversion of the Idumeans to Judaism p226)
The Holy Bible Catholic Public Domain Version Original Edition, Translated from the Pope Sixtus V and Pope Clement VIII Latin Vulgate Bible, Translated, edited, and published by Ronald L. Conte Jr.
The Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version Pure Cambridge Edition Made In Australia
Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800, by Robert Davis
White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam’s One Million White Slaves, by Giles Milton
Islam’s Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora, by Ronald Segal (Millions of Black Africans were enslaved by the Arabs)
THE HOLY QURAN (KORAN) English by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, From a version revised by the Presidency of Islamic Researches, IFTA, Call and Guidance. Published and Printed by the King Fahd Holy Quran Printing Complex in 1987.
THE QUR’AN English Meanings, English Revised and Edited by Saheeh International, copyright ABUL-QASIM PUBLISHING HOUSE, 1997 AL-MUNTADA AL-ISLAMI, 2004
SAHIH MUSLIM Translator: Abd-al-Hamid Siddiqui, 1st edition Edited by: Mika’il al-Almany, Version: 0911052238593859-30
SAHIH BUKHARI Translator: M. Muhsin Khan, 1st edition Edited by: Mika’il al-Almany, Version: 0910112346244624-21
Black Slaves, Indian Masters, Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South, by Barbara Krauthamer, Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. (Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians bought, sold, and owned Africans as slaves)
Native America: A State-By-State Historical Encyclopedia, 3 volumes, edited by Daniel S. Murphree (Creek selling other Native Americans to Europeans p227, 234, Haidas p23, Chickasaws selling slaves to Europeans p593, 1104)
A Fate Worse Than Death: Indian Captivities in the West, 1830-1885, by Gregory Michno and Susan Michno (enslavement by Native Americans continued years after the American Civil War)
Captured by the Indians: 15 Firsthand Accounts, 1750-1870, edited by Frederick Drimmer
Mexico, From the Olmecs to the Aztecs, by Michael D. Coe & Rex Koontz, seventh edition (human sacrifice p35, 77, 149, 177, 195-196, 205, 215, 220 sacrifice of human children p90, 109, 216, Mayan mass human sacrifice p112-113, Tarascan mass human funerary sacrifice p190, cannibalism p70, 177, debunking cannibalism for protein theory p213, slavery p204-5)
Aztecs, An Interpretation, by Inga Clendinnen (slavery p30, 52, 79, 98-101, slaves as sacrificial victims p43,99-101, human sacrifice of children p98-99)
Slavery From Roman Times To The Early Transatlantic Trade, by William D. Phillips, Jr. (Viking raids p53, 64, Muslim enslavement of Europeans p64, 69-70, Christian enslavement of Muslim prisoners of war p108, Muslim enslavement of Black Africans p81, 84-86, Black tribes enslaving other Blacks to sell to Arab Muslims or Europeans Christians p120-121, Islam’s sex slavery, eunuchs and castration centers p64, 74-75, Manumission p75, High demand for female slaves in Muslim North Africa for use as domestics and concubines p123)
The Khairlanji Murders and India’s Hidden Apartheid, by Anand Teltumbde (Relationships between the Elites and Untouchables “Dalits”)
On Hinduism, by Wendy Doniger (Social classes and Dalits p29, The Toleration of Intolerance in Hinduism p126-141)
Asian and African Systems of Slavery, edited by James L. Watson, copyright – Basil Blackwell 1980
Homage to Catalonia, by George Orwell with preface by Lionel Trilling (Memoirs concerning activities by Marxists during the Spanish Civil War)
Animal Farm, by George Orwell (Satire of egalitarian & Marxist hypocrisies)
Marx & Engels Collected Works, Volume 8, by Marx and Engels 1848-49, published 2010 Lawrence & Wishart Electric Book (In his article The Magyar Struggle, written at the behest of his friend Karl Marx, Frederick Engels sanctions ethnic cleansing as a strategy against counter-revolutionaries, using collective responsibility to condemn entire ethnic groups to death p230, ethnic cleansing as a step forward p238; ironically a similar position taken by Hitler against ethnic groups allegedly supporting Marxism in the following century) The Magyar Struggle was written by Engels about January 8, 1849, First published in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 194, January 13, 1849
Forced Labor In Soviet Russia, by David J. Dallin and Boris I. Nicolaevsky, Yale University Press
The Great Terror: A Reassessment 40th anniversary Edition, by Robert Conquest (While his original work was criticized by Marxist sympathizers for using circumstantial evidence, this edition was published after the former Soviet archives were opened and vindicated his conclusions. The same pro-Marxists now claim Conquest’s work is obsolete because those archives contain more direct information, but they no longer attempt to deny the conclusions he came to. This book also implicates Lenin for shaping and promoting the brutal policies Stalin is famous for.)
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The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine, by Robert Conquest (shows the historical results of Marxist egalitarian policies in Eastern Europe)
Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant, by Humberto Fontova (details the brutality of Cuba’s communist regime and also lesser known facts about Castro’s Marxist henchman, Che Guevara)
Egalitarianism: The Metaphysical Value and Religion of our days, by Prof. Plino Corrêa de Oliveira (an examination on how egalitarianism, and its primary promoter Marxism, has become a form of religion unto itself in modern times. It also examines how the ideals of egalitarianism, in actual practice, are incompatible with Catholicism. For our purposes many of his arguments can be used to compare egalitarianism to other ancient or traditional religions)
The Illusions of Egalitarianism, by John Kekes (examines the pitfalls of modern egalitarian thought)
Manual of Political Economy, by Vilfredo Pareto (Equality/Democracy quote from page 97)
The Secret of The Runes, by Guido Von List, Edited, Introduced and Translated by Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D (aka Edred Thorsson)
“Ice Age Swastika from Mezin in U-kraine: Interpretation of a Basic Symbol of Mankind”, by JJ White, Midwestern Epigraphic Journal 15, 73-78 (2001).
The Flight of the Wild Gander, by Joseph Campbell (10,000 year old swastika from Mezin, Ukraine p117)
THE SWASTIKA, The Earliest Known Symbol, And Its Migrations, by Thomas Wilson (published 1896)
The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941, by Roger Moorhouse (concerning ramifications of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Soviet invasion of Finland p69-79)
The Winter War: Russia’s Invasion of Finland, 1939-1940, by Robert Edwards
Cleansing the Fatherland, Nazi Medicine and Racial Hygiene, by Gotz Aly, Peter Chroust, and Christian Pross, translated by Belinda Cooper (a detailed investigation concerning the T4 program which also mentions the West German government’s reluctance to formally recognize the Third Reich’s atrocities against ethnic Germans despite official records and extensive evidence. It was criticized for not broadening its scope to include further allegations for which there is eye-witness testimony but scant official paper trails, particularly against the Jews; however, Jews and other ethnic minorities were mentioned in the book as targets of T4)
Operation Valkyrie, The German Generals’ Plot Against Hitler, by Pierre Galant with Eugène Silianoff (written with information originating from General Adolf Heusinger, operations chief of the German general staff from 1940 to 1944)
Valkyrie, An Insider’s Account of The Plot To Kill Hitler, by Hans Bernd Gisevius (Written by an actual participant in the Anti-Hitler German Resistance, the author never abandoned his German Conservative views