Hi Amy, hi Carrie, hi all,
Amy Hale schrieb:
> I get the impression that this is a rather emerging trend, but sadly, not
> result been attracting a rather unsavory element. She has written a book
> about it, I'll try to get more details.
> The BNP also uses Celtic motifs in constructing an idea of a 'racially pure
> Celtic Britain'.
Well, there seems to be a general tendency in the radical rightwing
scene during the last few years to turn away from the somewhat
discredited Germans towards the Celts as an outlet for fascist ideas in
the German speaking countries as well, as far as I have heard and partly
witnessed myself. For what I can say they are, for the greater part,
trying to widen their "recruitment" base by attracting people with a
culture that still hasn't lost it's "political innocence" in that
direction, which means that they can attract and try to start to
indoctrinate people who would most probably not show up if Germans would
be the topic of the same event.
Also, some of the popular literature on the Celts lends itself pretty
well for rightwing theories, especially the Epic literature is something
which is very much to the taste of those people (almost immediately next
to fairhaired women playing sweet tunes on the harp). There's a lot
about "protecting ones own people" in them, a lot of "national" pride,
and a lot about "ones own community vs the evil outsiders" stuff. This,
together with that flair of "heroism" and a showing off of militant
attitudes, that is very confortable to them.
> What interests me about all this is that 'Celtic' has been so equated with
> 'left-wing', alternative, peaceful etc., certainly since the 20th c. This is
> so ingrained that some Celtic nationalists with whom I have worked cannot
> even comprehend that there might be right wing overtones to their beliefs.
Well, I'd not be that sure that "Celtic" has been that much equated with
alternative and peacefulness, at best only at the very surface of
popular "pop" culture, and this only in parts has crossed over to the
European continent. Immediatly below this "leftwing layer", however, lie
such things as heroic fights against lowly people (especially the
Romans, i.e. Italians, i.e. "small, darkhaired people with tanned skin"
- in contrast to the fairhaired, blueeyed Celts), national pride (like
that of the Scots and the Irish - who are invariably seen as redhaired
halfgiants, almost "nationalist demigods", from the high north) and wars
against outsiders (e.g. that of the IRA). And we should also not forget
"old ties" between Nazi Germany and the "Celtic Nationalists" on the
Atlantic fringe - there were not only Breton collaborators in France who
saw the Nazis, at least in the early phases, as welcome allies to throw
off the "French joke", but also nationalist collaborators in Wales,
Scotland and Ireland, who saw the Nazis as welcome allies against
> Of course, I want to make a distinction between this and assertions of
> identity, language and minority rights, which I think are crucial for Celtic
> peoples. I'm sure you all know the distinction I mean.
Well, I think that is about what I said about healthy national pride vs.
rightwing extremism. In most cases, there's nothing which speaks against
being proud of one's "home", in supporting the local football team, the
national team, to stand up when they play the national anthem, etc...
After all, this all helps finding one's roots, which is, as we probably
all know, pretty important for anyone. It only becomes dangerous when
one starts to think that others are "inferior" to one's own people,
which is something completely different.
> Thanks all for letting me go on. I need a bit of Celtic communication
> desperately at the moment.
Well, we're happy if we can provide you with some... ;-)
All the best,
Mag.phil. Raimund KARL <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Universität Wien, Institut für Alte Geschichte
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