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American Gods & Their Shadows

Winslow Homer, The Woodcutter, 1891.

6,121 words

I read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods sometime in college. I found it more Flannery O’Connor than Marvel Studios, but it’s hardly surprising that the latter interpretation seems to have driven the new television series’ production team (but I haven’t watched). Marvel-ous is stylistically where we are at the moment. But the book itself was an interesting slice of fantasy-noir about an epic battle between the Old Gods, brought to America by its settlers over the centuries, and the New Gods of modern and deracinated America. Tradition and Aristocracy versus Venality and Google. The Norse Odin versus the globalist Mr. World. Of course, the battle that raged was really for control of the American soul — the mythology present and kept alive in a vast, collective faith and the gods moving just outside the vast, collective consciousness — of the heartland. What follows is an essay similar in nature and based on a faith that “America” as a myth and “America” as a people is not irredeemable, but much from it can be saved. And we can do so by summoning the great American archetypes, the gods of our history, within this white nation again.

Modern Man and Myth

Carl Jung (1875-1961) has appealed to many on the Right, partly because he was the antidote to his one-time mentor Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) — an Austrian-Jewish psychoanalyst who did more to encourage permissiveness and pathology than any psychologist (except perhaps Alfred Kinsey) has since. Both Jung and Freud determined that there existed within everyone a buried unconscious that often dictated conscious behavior. Whereas Freud viewed the unconscious as “really nothing but the gathering place of forgotten and repressed contents” with a “functional significance thanks only to these,” Jung thought that the unconscious “rests upon a deeper layer, which does not derive from personal experience and is not a personal acquisition but is inborn.” Jung called “This deeper layer . . . the collective unconscious,” which was not “individual but universal.” [1]

By arguing this, Jung developed some favorite themes of the Right: a rejection of both relativity and the tabula rasa; tradition, continuity, and cyclicism of history and human nature; fundamental values whose driving motivations are ancient, and therefore true. These themes and their personifications have appeared in myths, dreams, fairy-tales, and as “revealed truth” in religion. While Jung’s ideas were human and spiritual (and therefore regarded as “pseudo-scientific”), Freud’s ideas were anti-human and animalistic. The latter viewed our desires as physical and all of us barely removed from our bestial natures; the former viewed human motivations as profound, mystical, and unbroken by the passage of a thousand generations and more. Jung questioned Freud’s belief in the primacy of sexuality and sexual desires, the emphases of which led to some of Freud’s more dubious psychoanalytic theories, like “fixation” and the Oedipus complex. For Jung, instinctive and sexual energies were important but often redirected through the transformational power of symbols.

The majority of the thinkers here discussed at Counter-Currents have concluded that our age, the modern age, is unfortunately one of degeneration. Oswald Spengler argued that Western civilization has entered a fated decline, for which there can be no reversal, just as man cannot reverse his old age. Lothrop Stoddard disagreed with Spengler and argued that any civilization could, in theory, be immortal — but all historical civilizations (and our own) have fallen due to dysgenics and the rise of the “Under-Man.” Julius Evola called this stage of history the Kali Yuga, in which “men-against-time” can weather the era of strife by “riding the tiger.” Francis Parker Yockey diagnosed the West’s civilizational weakening as a matter of a fundamental power transfer bleeding irrevocably away from Europe and pooling into its anti-Western peripheries. Sam Francis and Paul Gottfried have described the rise of the “managerial” state, born of mass society and the technocrats who have emerged to administer our liberal “democracies.” Francis seems to have been especially prescient, given his description of America’s descent into “anarcho-tyranny.” Popular writers like Pat Buchanan have written volumes on similar themes: The Death of the West, Suicide of a Superpower, etc. [2]

To name a few.

Enter Carl Jung, who also pinpointed a collective Western loss, which he called the “progressive impoverishment of symbolism.” When

the gods die from time to time [it] is due to man’s sudden discovery that they . . . are made by human hands, [are] useless idols of wood and stone. In reality, however, he has merely discovered that up till then he has never thought about his images at all. And when he starts thinking about them, he does so with the help of what he calls “reason” — which in point of fact is nothing more than the sum-total of all his prejudices and myopic views. [3]

This passage seems to both echo and reframe Friedrich Nietzsche — it blames the collapse of meaning on the essentially iconoclastic nature of modernity. Drawing on ancient images and stories of his own, Jung described the process of Western man’s spiritual “impoverishment” as that of a prodigal son “cast out into a state of defenselessness that might well make the natural man shudder. His enlightened consciousness, of course, refuses to take cognizance of this fact, and is quietly looking elsewhere for what has been lost to Europe.” So, why not take up the “treasures of the East,” if symbols are universal, if a “collective unconscious” is revealed truth that manifests in all great religions? Why not infuse the West with Oriental mysticism? [4]

No, it seems Jung was not a universalist in the sense that term has been understood to mean in liberal ideology (though he was a great admirer of Oriental religions). Transfers of symbolism from one culture to another cannot save the latter from its lack; borrowing from others (which is usually done incompletely and haphazardly) becomes mere fetish. If we Westerners tried to “cover our nakedness with the gorgeous trappings of the East . . . we would be playing our own history false. A man does not sink down to beggary only to pose afterwards as an Indian potentate.” We would be actors in pure theater. Indeed, we would do “far better” if we were to “avow our spiritual poverty, our symbol-lessness, instead of feigning a legacy to which we are not the legitimate heirs at all.” Having let the “houses of our fathers fall into decay . . . we would [then] try to break into . . . palaces our fathers never knew.” We would be the sanctuary-seekers turned temple-crashers. [5]

Jungian Archetype Theory

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So, what are these symbols and images that have emerged as “revealed truth” in ways that have made them universally recognizable, a pattern, but have manifested in forms particular to heritage and history? They are the archetypes, the ultimate symbols that have given the West its most potent myths and imbued meaning to life and the cosmos on both the individual and collective levels. In its abstract form, symbolism is religion and fable — the descent into the underworld, the venturing forth into the enchanted forest, the finding and offering of a perfect pearl stolen from the bottom of a deep lake, the battle with the dragon, the summiting of a mountain; in its concrete form it is “rite,” and “passage,” which we call “ceremony.” Together, these form a mythos common to a society — its system of beliefs and practices. Archetypes, then, are both the products and the facilitators of civilization. Those societies that have lost confidence in their symbolic archetypes become “spiritually bleak.” Again, Jung’s thesis parallels Nietzche, whose own thoughts on the decline of mythology and the heroic age determined that “our present [is] . . . bent on the extermination of myth. Man today, stripped of myth, stands famished among all his pasts and must dig frantically for the roots . . .” [6]

Jung identified some universal archetypes, such as: the Mother, the Hero, the Wise Man, etc., but he did not specify how many exist — the number, in theory, has no definite limit. Neither are these archetypes found concretely in “pure” form; they are romanticized images and ideals that flesh and blood people may come more or less close to resembling based on core motivations and desires (and people are driven by combinations of these). The Wise Man archetype, for instance, represents the desire for knowledge and wisdom, while the Mother wishes to nurture, to be of service. Jung further theorized that there exist “shadow” archetypes just as powerful, even if they represent what humans and human societies have repressed within themselves. For every archetype, there is its antithesis, or mirror, motivated by similar core desires, but resulting in manifestations that are darker and less conducive to a functioning society — the Apollonian and the Dionysian dialectic. We have made laws and moral codes to control our more chaotic “shadow” archetypes. [7]

Before collapse, societies and whole civilizations suffer the throes of a wrenching devolution — a transformation. Endangered peoples will tend to not only grasp at foreign mysticism but to fill the symbolic void with ridiculous and destructive ideas; their societies become dominated by their “shadow” archetypes in order to confront the spiritual bleakness left behind by the collapse of their “luminous” symbols. Rejection of the original, life-supporting archetypes causes their repressed foils, or mirrors, to become ascendant. The elevation of the primitive and bestial causes even the lawful man to descend to the level of his inner “shadow,” his animalism, simply to survive. Not only is

[ind]society in the grip of its barbarians, but every individual falls more or less under the sway of his own lower instincts . . . This Under-Man may be buried deep in the recesses of our being; but he is there, and psychoanalysis informs us of his latent power. In virtually every member of the community there is a distinct resurgence of the brute and the savage, and the atavistic trend thus becomes practically universal. This explains most of the seemingly mysterious phenomena of revolution. It accounts for the mental contagion which infects all classes . . . General atavistic resurgence also accounts for the ferocious temper displayed . . . This is because society and the individual have been alike rebarbarized. [8]

But the healthy and bright — the best Western societies — have balanced the concerns of the commonwealth with those of individuals through codes of conduct: honor and chivalry. Men and women had different but related rules to which they adhered. And these social understandings, these deep underpinnings, were nourished through each generation by a guiding mythos and worldview. Archetypes not only motivated persons but whole societies, for their peoples’ founding or creation myths used archetypes to celebrate their histories and to anchor them in deep meaning. That is why I call them “luminous.” Peoples who have embraced these inner “luminous” symbols have sustained their civilization writ large.

At the risk of taking hold of a theory or set of theories (and ones that I have incompletely described) and running with them like a child with a pair of scissors, I argue that Americans have had certain powerful, “luminous” archetypes throughout their history. America is a land closer to myth than many other parts of the world, because its creation out of the wilderness occurred relatively recently and around the mythologically rich idea of “the frontier.” America was invention and dream — not the kind celebrated by current civic nationalists, nor the kind reduced by the Progressive Left / academic theorists to mere social construction — but the kind imagined and realized by Anglo-Americans (and their close cousins) as only they could. Though unconscious motives may be universal, how they manifest in the world is particular to a people, without whom the character of archetypes changes, and a lack or diminishment of these potent symbols causes a people to diminish correspondingly in strength.

Luminous American Archetypes 

Using some of the common Jungian archetypes identified by Jung and by his disciples, I have attempted to distill American interpretations of these inchoate forms — interpretations that have provided the American people, who are an ethnic type within the larger white race, a mythology specific to themselves, but one that will be recognizable to white Westerners wherever in the world they have settled. Frontier or “outback” societies like Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, southern Africa, and Canada may have similar interpretations or motifs.

J. E. B. Stuart (1833-1864), Richmond, Virginia.

The American “Hero” Archetype

The “Hero” Jungian Archetype is instantly recognizable to most Westerners as the symbolic man (he is almost always a man) who represents the desire for glory and mastery, as well as the pursuit of honor. Western folktales and literature have bequeathed to our race many worthy examples, the Greek heroes being perhaps the most “classical” models in both meanings of the word. In the interest of fairness, I submit several versions of the quintessential American Hero.

The Southern Cavalier: He was the beau sabreur of antebellum romance, a master of horse and gun, and an often flamboyant avatar of gaudy masculinity. If I could point to one person who most embodied this symbol, it must be J. E. B. Stuart — the legendary cavalry leader of the Confederacy during the War for Southern Secession (1861-1865). Like all laughing cavaliers, Stuart had a boyish sense of humor. After a successful Christmas raid deep in enemy territory in 1862, Stuart and his staff spent the day reading Federal correspondences at a captured telegraph office; deciding to send a note of his own, Stuart messaged the Union Quartermaster General, and requested that “General Meigs will in the future please furnish better mules; those you have furnished recently are very inferior.” [9] Handsome, courtly, and never without his feathered plume, Stuart still manages to steal hearts. I’m not biased.

The Yankee Pilgrim: He was perhaps not as dashing as the Cavalier (indeed, his people were on the wrong side of the English Civil War), but the Yankee Pilgrim had no equal when it came to determination and will. His honor code was the decree of a wrathful God, and he fearlessly fought and won the worst war in American history (proportionally speaking), King Philip’s War (1675-1678). To my mind, Myles Standish was that icon of New England grit.

The Western Cowboy: He was/is probably the hero most known to non-US audiences, thanks to westerns filmed during the fifties and sixties and disseminated worldwide, so it is difficult to distinguish the archetype from the film-reel (but that’s sometimes the point when it comes to mythical figures). The Cowboy was a mixture of the Cavalier’s brash love of horsemanship and shooting and the Pilgrim’s driven resolve. Charles Goodnight and Theodore Roosevelt were famous representatives of the American Cowboy or “Rough Rider” (Henry Kissinger did not make the cut). [10]

The American “Rebel” Archetype

This archetype is distinguished from the “Hero” in the same way that a famous military icon or warrior is distinguished from “the unknown soldier.” His primary motive is, paradoxically, both liberation and duty. Two images of the American “Rebel” or citizen-soldier come to mind.

The Volunteer/Alamo Defender: Two noteworthy examples of the nineteenth-century citizen-soldier were the Volunteer, southerners rallying to the Cause in 1861 (most notably the Tennesseeans, whose football team lately paid homage to this figure); and the Alamo defenders of 1836, who arrived at the San Antonio mission’s hour of need from all corners of the United States (particularly from the South), and who subsequently met the bugled strains of El Degüello with stunning courage. [11]

The Minuteman/Patriot: Simply writing this archetype conjures powerful images of the Lexington and Concord militias mustering to begin a war for independence. The Minuteman fired the mythological “first shot” from his musket on an April dawn in 1775.

The American “Everyman” Archetype

The Jungian “Everyman” is the symbol of the often underappreciated backbone of society. He desires to belong and uphold the community through productive work with his hands. The two archetypal examples below were recognized as having literally built America.

The Yeoman: This figure was an ideal of the young Republic, and one who was both a self-sufficient and hard-working property-owner as well as a common-good-minded farmer. He took part in and took pride in his country’s political process. He was not dependent on the government, the government depended on him. Folk character Johnny Appleseed, who judiciously cultivated the land and his famous apple trees for the future bounty of the country, fell into this category. [12]

The Laborer/Coal Miner: The variant symbol of the manual laborer was not a farmer, but still a fiercely independent worker, who nevertheless prized belonging to a brotherhood. The dangerous and backbreaking work of the Coal Miner and the Railroad Layer were two examples of this mythological American builder. Folk tunes such as “Working on the Railroad” and the many Appalachian songs about mining, notably “Sixteen Tons” and “Explosion at a Derby Mine” paid tribute to the triumphs and tragedies of the American Everyman. [13]

The American “Magician” Archetype

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The Magician or Sorcerer in Jungian archetypal theory desires power over nature and over other men. What would the mythological “American Dream” be without rags-to-riches tales of entrepreneurs who, seeking prosperity and power, turned their talents into business empires? [14] The American “Magician” is the Titan-of-Industry, and larger-than-life Henry Ford (who began as a simple farmer’s son, then an apprentice machinist who happened to have a genius for mechanics) most closely resembled this archetype.

The American “Mother” Archetype

This mythical woman exists in nearly all human societies. The Jungian “Mother” archetype is motivated by the desire to nurture, and the American variant appeared in two forms:

Republican Mothers: This eighteenth and early nineteenth-century mother was ideally an intelligent woman who was capable of raising good and productive future citizens, and eighteenth-century contemporaries referred to this as “Republican Motherhood.” Abigail Adams and Betsy Ross were well-known Republican Mothers.

The Angel of the House: In the Victorian era, she transformed into an ideal, rather delicate Madonna figure known as “The Angel in the House,” largely due to a poem written by a Brit and made popular in America during the late nineteenth century. Its sentimental lines included an homage to this goddess figure: “You, Sweet, his Mistress, Wife, and Muse, / Were you for mortal woman meant? / Your praises give a hundred clues / To mythological intent!” [15] She provided a refuge for her husband away from the cutthroat public sphere of capitalism and politics. She has persisted throughout American history and was given a boost during the postwar era. The ideal is still alive, but under assault by anti-woman activists.

The American “Creator” Archetype

The Jungian Creator desires originality, vision, and innovativeness. He wishes to “wow” others with his ingenious creations and “leave a mark,” as it were. In our mythology, we called him the American Inventor, and he was less a Titan-of-Industry than an artistic experimenter, who may or may not have achieved wealth from his efforts to improve his society. America was famous for its Inventor types, and these are two variants:

Gentleman-Inventor: This was the great American intellectual polymath, usually involved in any number of areas of interest and research. Thomas Jefferson was one of the most intelligent men to have lived in the United States, and he experimented with any number of farming techniques, political theories, and mechanical devices. His Monticello home was legendary for its “copy machine” and the bizarre “great clock” he installed near the front parlor. [16] Benjamin Franklin was also a Gentleman-Inventor, and one who was fond of sketchy experiments (the old kite and key lightning legend) and penning wisdom, witticisms, and pneumonic devices in Poor Richard’s Almanac.

Businessman-Inventor: Less a country squire or “gentleman” inventor and more a man of business and branding, this American type was nevertheless driven by a compulsive need to create newer and better alternatives to the technologies in everyday life, and Thomas Edison was an obvious example.

The American “Explorer” Archetype:

The Jungian Explorer seeks freedom and novelty. He does best under an open sky and with large tracts of land unfolding before him in every direction. He scorns the rules imposed by authorities in more settled areas, and the American frontier made this archetype an especially powerful symbol in US history.

The Early Explorers: Those of us born before a certain decade (the 2000s, perhaps), will remember spending weeks learning about the great European men from Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, France, England, and Italy who set off on uncertain voyages for places they were often unsure existed (at least, not where most early modern maps imagined them to have existed). Christopher Columbus took top honors, for he became the symbol of all subsequent European expansionism and exploration of the Western hemisphere.

The Pioneers: Columbus, Cortes, Vespucci, Cabot, LaSalle, etc. belonged to all Westerners, whose descendants now live in North and South America (as well as their respective countries of European origin), but the American pioneers belonged to the United States. It is hard to overestimate the importance of the frontier as both concrete place and mythical ideal in American history. Only during the last century or so has America “won the West” and claimed Manifest Destiny for herself, and it was due to the pioneers who mapped and settled the North American continent from the colonial era through the Victorian age — more than three hundred years of work, pathbreaking, and building. We have also called them Forty-Niners, Mountaineers, Hilltoppers, and Oregon Trail-ers. In the twentieth century, they were the “right stuff” astronauts and pilots. My mind always pictures Daniel Boone hiking his way through the Cumberland Gap and Charles Lindbergh poetically reversing Columbus’s 1492 voyage by completing the first non-stop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris 435 years later.

The American “Ruler” or “Leader” Archetype

Jung’s Leader is unsurprisingly motivated by a desire for control and order. Americans have had an interesting relationship with the concept of leadership, and the Revolution was largely a repudiation of Britain’s monarchy. Kingship in the eighteenth century was the standard model of society in the West, even if kings increasingly had to rely on parliaments, councils, and estates-general for things like fundraising and legislation.

Only the most radical Founders (Thomas Paine, perhaps) deluded themselves into thinking that the American people were capable of truly “ruling themselves,” and many historians like Gordon Wood have (correctly) argued that the Revolutionary leaders wanted to do away with hereditary titles, but were nonetheless elitists. [17] They sought to establish a republic in which only propertied white men could take part as citizens — and then only the most capable and educated out of that relatively small group of people should hold high office. Americans created the idea of the Great American Statesman, the public servant both tireless and learned and who held the American experiment in high regard. And who should have held the highest executive office in the land? Ideally, this Cincinnatus should have been free of self-interest and capable of uniting all citizens under a firm and fatherly leadership. Simply put, George Washington was this American archetype.

The Great Statesman at the 1787 Philadelphia Convention

If readers believe I have left out important American/Western archetypes, I welcome additions and suggestions in the comments. But what should be clear from the above paragraphs is that this was not simply a brainstorming session. The listed American archetypes are the symbols most under sustained criticism and most subjected to “deconstruction” by today’s Dispossessors, who want to take from us our collective American legacy. In order to do so in the concrete world of resources, wealth, territory, and population, they must win their coup in the figurative world of ideas and myths.

Some may remember the summer of 2019 and the (ridiculous) national kerfuffle over Betsy Ross and a pair of Nike sneakers. What was poor Betsy’s crime? She may or may not have sewn the Continental American flag with thirteen stars and thirteen stripes, then presented her work to an approving officer corps. Regardless, the famous flag “was tied to slavery,” at least according to “activists.” [18] Dispossessors cared not for the truth of her story (or the fact that Ross lived in Quaker-heavy Philadelphia and owned no slaves); they cared only that she is one of the stars in the pantheon called “The American Story,” and one which they have struggled to blot out. The real reason for the Progressive Left and non-white disdain for these icons — these archetypal symbols — is the very fact that they are symbols. They are the “luminous” and life-affirming archetypes that have given meaning, continuity, and strength to the American people by arming their nation with a mythology.

Indeed, if the Dispossessors were simply iconoclasts, the mob shouting at us all that “our American gods are dead!” it would be grave enough. Unfortunately, our myths are not just being smashed, but their shards sloppily glued back together in a grotesque, re-pieced semblance of the originals (iconoclasts cannot create, but they pervert — “many a promising civilization has been ravaged and ruined by barbarians without the wit to rebuild what they had destroyed”) and which we are now commanded to worship. [19] The “shadow” archetypes are battling the old “luminous” archetypes with the future of the American people hanging in the balance.

Shadow American Archetypes

Recall that Jungian theory defines “shadow” archetypes as those symbols normally kept repressed and de-emphasized because they have represented ideas and images that healthy peoples are ashamed of and have wished to minimize in public life. “Shadows” are motivated by similar desires, but manifest in darker, more animalistic and destructive ways than “luminous” archetypes. The Jungian Hero, for example, seeks glory and honor — he has purpose behind him. The Hero’s “shadow” seeks attention and for no purpose but a self-serving (and pathetic) one. I will briefly describe the “shadows” with which I believe Disposessors are replacing our “luminous” archetypes.

The “Hero” is now the Victim (usually a colored or a trans person), whom we are now expected to honor as if worshipping at the feet of a conquering Achilles, with sacrifices, gifts, and (literal) genuflections. The “Rebel” or citizen-soldier is now the Antifa or BLM-funded Protester: rioters and looters, hailed by the press as peaceful “outlaws,” modern-day Robin-Hoods, who wish to defund the oppressors in order to empower the proles (i.e. appease the black mob).

The “Everyman” laborer so praised in American life as the country’s strong backbone has been broken by a globalist system of unfair economics and supranational traders more interested in selling junk than employing working men who want to earn the pride that comes with earning a family wage. We are told that we must now accept the Shirker and depressed bum as a normal fact of life in struggling American towns. The coal miners of Appalachia will simply have to “go bankrupt” and die. [20]

Our “Magicians” are no longer the Titans-of-Industry that we can admire for their skill and dedication, but are the Robber Barons at the heads of bloated corporations, media companies, and banks, loyal to no people but subservient to their own greed and the greed of their international shareholders and investors. They are whores to “woke capital.”

“Mothers?” Traditional mothers and wives may still exist in America, but they no longer enjoy the respect for the important role that they perform in our society; that honor has gone to the Feminist, a figure who nurtures nothing so much as her unattractive and childish vanity (it’s certainly not anything so old-fashioned as her virtue), reassuring herself that she is a happy and independent modern woman.

Our intellectual “Creators” have become Confidence Men, the people who “fix” new ways to improve our society with critical theory and other snake-oil designs that ooze from academia; they are like the middle-men who once fleeced the honest farmers of their goods and wages during the Gilded Age. [21] I say this with first-hand knowledge: How to Be an Anti-Racist has replaced Notes on the State of Virginia in university history curricula; White Fragility has superseded The Federalist Papers.

European “Explorers” and pioneers have transmogrified into Third-World Welfare Colonists, who wish to settle and milch like parasites off of their host peoples. The “Leaders” long ago became bought Politicians, rather than Great Statesmen. All of these new myths and these tatty symbols we must pretend are normal and worthy of our people — worthy of replacing the old gods. In the name of equality, we cut off the legs of the excellent so that he stands at the waist of the average and at eye-level with the Under-man. Rot!

The Rot.

Resurrecting the Old Gods (with New Blood)

Metapolitical campaigns to restore a people’s health will require a restoration of the “luminous” archetypes that both root it to heritage through profound recognition and exalt it to cosmic purpose through inspiration born of the ages. Most of us reading and writing at Counter-Currents have serious questions about the American liberal experiment (to say the least), but we must also recognize that Americans are a distinct people with a distinct history, though Disposessors are now doing their best to swamp them in mud. The best chance we have of galvanizing many of these white Americans (those who can be saved) is through appealing to their historical archetypes — their American iconography — that will have the most meaning and inspire the most feeling in this population. Most American readers hold close to heart the myths of the Alamo and Pickett’s Charge; Indian war heroes and the courageous explorers, even as they have adopted traditionalist and sometimes even fascist authors and icons of Europe in a kind of fusionism. “Luminous” mythologies are by their nature hierarchical and aristocratic. The iconic eagle, chosen by so many Western nations, including our own, was not chosen for its equality to the pigeons and the crows. It was still a heraldic symbol even as it waved in the land of “the free.”

A simultaneous challenge to some of the Enlightenment values and egalitarian excesses of the American mythos is also possible. Are not Lindbergh, the entire ideology of Southerners and their history before 1970, thinkers like Jefferson, Lothrop Stoddard, Madison Grant, and most of the Founders themselves, all white racialists, whose belief in “equality” was either non-existent or misunderstood? Such examples of American archetypes have been historically deplatformed (or their true feelings about democracy and race buried by modern-day “conservatives”), but we can give them a voice — and in their own words — once again.

With a proper resurrection and fusion of these archetypes (and an honest survey of the past fifty years of unadulterated racial disasters), racial consciousness — and perhaps even a call for an ethnostate — might naturally follow with a new generation of whites who hunger for liberatory meaning rather than the slavery promised by the Dispossessors. Watching their fellow-citizens stepping into a lawless vacuum (and then paying for it); watching their patrimony burn night after night is now convincing many that this was “Why We Had Segregation” during the reign of healthy archetypes, indeed. Like most of us, I travel in some “normie” circles, and many normies are becoming ever more horrified and more open to dissident messaging. Downplay the liberalism that made us tribalized and atomized strangers “bowling alone,” and emphasize the exceptionalism that made Americans a great white people — aristocrats of the Western Hemisphere, who conquered a land that spanned an entire continent. This is, of course, what the Left and their colored shock troops fear most — because it is entirely possible for the Titans of the West to rise once again, and declare, “WE, the people!”

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Notes

[1] Carl G. Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, R. F. C. Hull, trans. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969), 3-4. Here, I disagree with Jung and believe that this collective unconscious exists in those societies descended from the Indo-Europeans, which of course includes many of the peoples of Eurasia.

[2] One of my personal favorites in terms of “decline” narratives is actually Robert Weissberg’s Bad Students, Not Bad Schools (2010), a refreshing take on grade-school education and its abysmal plunge in recent decades, one of the rotting trees in our sick Western forest.

[3] Jung, 9.

[4] Jung, 5.

[5] Jung, 7.

[6] Friedrich Nietzche, The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music, Ian Johnson, trans. (Nanaimo, British Columbia: Vancouver Island University Press, 2008), 12.

[7] I do not here go into Jung’s “Persona,” “Anima,” “Shadow,” and “Self” archetypes; in this aspect of his theory, the Self is the balance of the Persona (which is the “face” we present publicly), the Shadow (which is the repressed aspect of our personality that we keep hidden from others), and the Animus (which is the feminine archetype in men and the masculine archetype in women). The Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy in Nietzche does not perfectly align with Jung’s archetypes and their “shadows,” for Nietzche viewed the Dionysian as the font of chaos, but also of art, driven as it is by emotion and a praiseworthy desire for pleasure and beauty; the Apollonian, on the other hand, is the well-spring of a cooler truth and logic.

[8] Lothrop Stoddard, The Revolt against Civilization: The Menace of the Under-Man (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922), 27-28.

[9] I hope the reader forgives my inclusion of this small joke; Henry Kissinger once infamously claimed during a taped interview with Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci that his popularity was due to “the fact that I’ve always acted alone . . . Americans like that immensely. Americans like the cowboy who leads the wagon train by riding ahead alone on his horse, the cowboy who rides all alone into the town, the village, with his horse and nothing else.” Kissinger later called the incident in his memoirs “the most disastrous” interview that he ever had with a member of the press. Fallaci, meanwhile, also grew weary with the scandal. When addressing a college audience ten years later, she exploded at a question: “Don’t make me talk about Kissinger! . . . I did that interview in 1972, and ever since, both of us have been questioned endlessly about it. If we’d run off and gotten married, we wouldn’t still be asked about it to this day.” Fallaci was a brilliant and fiery journalist, who was deeply opposed to the Islamization of the West (particularly of her native Italy).

[10] The Stuart quote is taken from Rob Orrison’s “JEB Stuart’s 1862 Christmas Raid,” December 26, 2014.

[11] Sports teams have often drawn on archetypes, which makes their utter debasement and recent abolition and/or deracination of some of the country’s most powerful symbols itself symbolic.

[12] For a modern take on The folksy “Laborer,” I recommend “Jesse Got Trapped in a Coal Mine,” by the band Goodnight, Texas.

[13] Thomas Jefferson was the intellectual proponent of something that he called “the yeoman republic,” which others perceived as “Virginia writ large.” Jefferson disliked cities, and he viewed yeoman farmers, who could live solely off of their land’s produce, as a necessary bulwark against the rise of urban commercialism.

[14] Jefferson’s “great clock” told time and the day of the week using gravity and eighteen-pound cannonball weights. It was originally built for his Philadelphia home, and when he tried to install it at Monticello, he realized that the floor-to-ceiling height was too short; so, he drilled a hole into the floorboards, and the cannonballs descended into the cellar/basement to signal the last two days: “Saturday” and “Sunday.”

[15] No doubt, the “American Dream” is and has always been a hopelessly romantic idea, and yet, it has exerted enormous power throughout America’s history, from the time of the earliest colonists, who may have arrived as indentured servants, to the southern Europeans who formed the last major white immigration wave in the early twentieth century. Only in recent decades, with the unceasing invasion from nonwhite countries, has the “American Dream” lost its luster (and yet they still pour in to gnaw the carcass).

[16] Coventry Patmore, The Angel in the House, Part I, 1862.

[17] See especially Gordon Wood’s The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1969). On page 562, Wood argues that the Federalist writers of the Constitution used “the most popular and democratic rhetoric available to explain and justify their aristocratic system.”

[18] See Rob McLean’s “Nike Featuring Betsy Ross Flag Canceled after Backlash,” July 2, 2019.

[19] Stoddard, 12.

[20] President Barack Obama infamously set out to “bankrupt” the coal industry and told the people of Pennsylvania and West Virginia that their way of life had no future.

[21] For an example of robber barons and “middle-men” and how they cheated struggling farmers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, watch D. W. Griffith’s 1909 short film A Corner in Wheat.

 

7 Comments

  1. Dr ExCathedra
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    A quick word of appreciation for your article, Kathryn S.

    As a long-time reader of Jung and with many years of interactions with “Jungians”, I think the distinction between the man and his current disciples is an important one. The Jungian world has been thoroughly “converged”, to use Vox Day’s term, and is in thrall to feminists, Jews and homosexuals. Nothing but progressive attitudes are to be found. Or allowed.

    Jung himself was a far more blunt and interesting character and they have had to work long and hard to neuter and sanitize him. Carl Gustav Jung Avant-Garde Conservative by Jay Sherry is a more honest portrayal of a man who was no globalist liberal.

    • KatS
      Posted October 6, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Thank you both. This was one that I had fun writing. Pop psychology has had a dubious effect on thinkers like Jung. It’s kept him “relevant,” but misunderstood.

  2. dalai_lama_trapeze
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Beautifully written essay. Between this and Jorjani’s Prometheism, it seems like Jungian archetypes are back on the intellectual table.

  3. Arminius
    Posted October 7, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Beautifully written and structured. A possible gap is with regard to the American evangelist/prophet character. It seems as though a man like Joseph Smith needs a home on this list, but I’m not sure where. Subcategory of “Magician/Sorcerer” perhaps? “Sage” doesn’t quite fit in my mind. Full disclosure: I’m not a Mormon and there may well be better, more universal examples of what I’m getting at.

    • KatS
      Posted October 7, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Great point, Arminius. The minister, itinerant preacher, or “circuit rider” were and still are (if we’re counting televangelists) very American characters. George Whitefield also comes to mind. It’s not listed as “classic” archetype, but I like your “Prophet.” It seems both broad, like “Hero” or “Mother,” but there are definite American flavors. The “shadow” might be the cult leader — someone like Jim Jones.

      • Arminius
        Posted October 7, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, as a matter of fact I nearly added “cult leader” in my first sentence but thought it might confuse the point. But now that you mention it, the “shadow” category would be the perfect home for the Jim Jones, possibly L. Ron Hubbard types (were we to add the “Prophet” as an archetype). Fill-in-the-blank California cult leader from the late 20th century as the counterpart to the classic frontier minister.

        And, very flattered to hear this spur of the moment idea of mine being seriously compared to Jungian classics!

  4. Anon
    Posted October 7, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    The language , half of our genes, the myths of the aryans warrior fighting against the dragon , all those epic tail of the iliad and the odyssey the true bible of europeans speaking us of the aryans warriors of the bronze age, patriarchy , masculine gods ….

    The root of our history culture and genes all of them came from the aryans

    Dont betray your roots

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