Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Codreanu and myths

Corneliu Zelea Codreanu's For my legionaries is a modern classic of an importance to many present day nationalists that hardly can be overestimated. Although the never ending ranting about Jews and fervent nationalism are tiresome, he who can look beyond this will find a rich source of inspiration.

The Legion of the Archangel Michael was not only a political group but a religious and militant order. The most important lesson taught by For my legionaries is the importance and power of myths, the legionary movement overcame near insurmountable obstacles because of their unshakable belief in God and nation.
"The Legion prefers to stand united even if it choose the wrong way. If the Legion ends up in hell, it shall still be united. After successfully conquering hell, we return victorious. It doesn't matter if we win, lose or sacrifice our lives. The most important thing is that we do it together as a entity of iron."
Myths create movement, the truth of a myth is not without importance altogether but it is not the determining factor in the mobilization of the masses. The successful myth strikes at the heart of the masses, makes it beat harder and faster. Of course the myth that yesterday made people move mountains may today be incapable of creating any reaction at all. Marx may be wrong on every account, that doesn't change the fact that masses fueled by Marxism acted differently than they would have without Marxism. The same holds true for the Iron Guard, even if God really is since long dead and the nation only a mere construction, the faith in the eternal truth and value of the two gave the legionaries the irresistible strength that comes only from the feeling of struggling for something higher and greater.

For millennium religious myths have dominated, the last centuries have seen the rise, and perhaps also fall, of the myths of nationalism and class struggle. None of these three great myths are dead but their power has diminished. We live, perhaps for the first time since the creation of spoken language, without any great myths. The closest thing we ever came to a liberal myth, the slow but constant progression, beneficial to all, is more dead then the others. Some may object that "human rights" would constitute a modern liberal myth but since it's function is to legitimize rather than mobilize that is not the case.

Myths are in a sense neutral, what is essentially the same myth can be used for mobilization in entirely different directions. Leftists often accuse Christianity for functioning as a means to preserve the status quo. That this does not have to be the case has been shown by, among others, the Legion of the Archangel Michael but also by South American liberation theologists. The same is true for, as an example, nationalism. Although it too more often than not has been a conservatory force it is not always so. Thus one should look upon myths dialectical; what was intended to perserve or legitimize may in fact mobilize in another direction.

1 comment:

Avalanche said...

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