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Paganism: Part IX - The Ancient Democracy

The ancient Scandinavian society was made up of houses (id est kins, families), tribes and nations. The latter was defined as a "greater tribe" and was made up of a union of lesser tribes. The greater tribe in Norway, for example, was made up of the tribes known to us (by their Latinized names) as the Halogi (Adogit), Rani, Haroþi (Arothi), Rugi, Augandzi/Egdi, Raumi, Granni and Ragni1. The lesser tribes were each and all made up of a union of houses. The foundation of the ancient society was common ancestry, so the individual was loyal first and foremost to his house, then to his tribe and finally to the greater tribe. The stronger the blood-ties were the stronger his loyalty was.

The men were always considered to be forever tied to their house (and thus tribe and greater tribe), but the women could become part of another house, through marriage with a man from another house. For that reason, when it became normal to use surnames (in late Antiquity), the women always inherited their husbands' surname when they married, because the wife joined her husband's house and not the other way around. A man could never become a part of another house; not even if he was enthralled by members of another house, because thralls were not considered to be a apart of the house. Thralls were merely property, just like the livestock2. If a thrall ran away he would become an outlaw without any rights. Female thralls could marry the men of the house, like other women, but were then considered to be their friller ("mistresses"), a kind of second-rate wives. Any children coming from such relationships on the other hand were (or could be) considered to be legitimate children a part of the man's house.

The thralls in ancient Scandinavia made up about 10% of the entire population, and the rest fell into two categories; they were either nobles or free men. The definition of a noble was "a free man with an óðal (allodial) property", and that was basically all that made them different from other free men. The Scandinavian3 word for noble, adelig, even derives from the word óðal. Scandinavian adelig (noble) is basically the same as "óðal-ish" or "óðal-y" and adelskap (nobility) is basically "óðal-ity".

Today you only need to run a farm in Norway for 20 years before you can claim it as an óðal property4, but in the Pagan past the house (kin/family) needed to own and run a farm for several generations before they could do so. A married member of the family had to be born, marry, live and when he died be buried on the property (north of the farmhouse) and be reborn (as a new member of the house) before the property became an óðal property. The reason for this was that in order to become noble the free man needed to be elevated to the divine, to learn the ásamál ("language of the gods") and basically become a god or goddess. The house's grave mound, located to the north of the farm5, was a portal to the realm of the gods, and until this portal was "unlocked" and "opened" there existed no mystical link between Heaven and Earth on the property. If no such link existed the gods and goddesses could normally not take part in the lives of the living, and if the gods couldn't do so the living could not be elevated to the divine.

In the Scandinavian language the husband is amongst other things called ektemann ("true man") and in the past the wife was also called ektekone ("true woman"). That is because unmarried noblemen were not seen as complete ("true") human beings. Even the noble man was not complete until he was united with a noble woman in marriage, and vice versa. The marriage was an initiation ritual elevating man to the divine, changing her into Freyja and him into Freyr (and we know this mystery best from the fairy tale about Cinderella). We therefore still call fine, rich and upper-class wives in Scandinavia by the name Fruer (sg. Frue), and in Germany by the name Frauen (sg. Frau). Today both Frue and Frau means only "wife", but these titles derive from the name of Freyja (proto-Norse FraujaR, proto-Germanic Fraujaz). This was a title used on the women who had been elevated to the divine! These women had become Freyja on Earth.

So the Pagan wedding ritual was an initiation ritual that elevated them and made them divine, but this was obviously only possible if the house (kin/family) they married into was noble (id est lived on a property with an unlocked and open gateway to the gods). The men and women on Earth needed access to Ásgarðr (a.k.a. Troja/Troy) in order to be elevated and become divine.

When we know this it becomes clear to us why the Scandinavian noblemen were called díar ("gods") if male and dísir ("goddesses") if female, and how the god could take his goddess, Freyja on Earth, to the fields and have her bless the crops, as is described in the records of history.

With all of this in mind, it should be fairly easy to understand why only the married men of the noble houses were allowed to veto, vote and speak at the ancient þing ("parliament", "thing"). Only the noblemen were influenced by the divine forces, and only the married noblemen were themselves elevated to the divine. Only they were gods6, so naturally only they were allowed to influence the course of the nation. Only they were truly good human beings.


***

Now, the Greeks called this system democracy, id est "the rule of the people", and we can always argue that not everybody had the right to vote in ancient Scandinavia, and therefore it was not a true democracy. However, not everybody in the modern so-called democracies are allowed to vote either, but we still call them democracies. Today you need to be 18 years old, and everybody younger than that is left out. The individuals younger than 18 are not allowed to vote because we believe that they are too young, too inexperienced, too irresponsible, too easily manipulated and basically too stupid and ignorant to know what is best for our nations. They are simply unfit to vote. In the Pagan past they believed that those who had not been elevated to the divine were unfit to vote, but apart from that the system is identical; in either system only a portion of the people is allowed to vote.

What makes the modern democracy so despicable is first and foremost the fact that today anybody can vote, regardless of their loyalties, origin, lawfulness, intellectual capacity, health and general demeanour, as long as they are at least 18 years old. There are no quality tests. Even morally bankrupt drug dealers, serial rapists, incurable pedophiles, vile sadists, disgusting homosexuals, sharebrokers and all the other degenerates and criminals of our societies are allowed to vote! Muslims, Jews, Freemasons and Christians, who all hate Europe and see us, our European nations and cultures as inferior and primitive, are allowed to vote! Utterly simple-minded individuals, who barely know what culture is, are allowed to vote! Even aliens who didn't even care enough for their own nations to stay home are allowed to vote! All that these individuals need in order to influence the course of our nations is to be at least 18 years old.

The ancient democracy is very different, because in this system only those who have a close and intimate relationship to the country they live in have the right to vote. Only those who have something to lose if things go wrong are allowed to vote. Only those who are connected to the nation by blood are allowed to vote. Only the noble, good and enlightened sons of our nations were allowed to vote in the ancient democracies.

Now, I already hear some women whining about the fact that only the noble men were allowed to vote, but I will remind you of the fact that the husband and wife was seen as one. They were a unit. The wife was expected to influence her husband, give him advice and help him make the right choices, just like Frigg and Saga does repeatedly in relation to Óðinn in the myths. Remember that if the man was unmarried he was not allowed to vote in the first place. Unmarried noblemen were not only seen as too irresponsible and immature to be allowed to vote, but they didn't have a wise Freyja by their side to give them advice either, and therefore they weren't allowed to vote. The husband represented his family, and voted on behalf of both himself and his wife. They were one vote, and were represented at the þing by him. "One family, one vote". No wife, no vote.

Unlike in the rest of the Pagan society there was no democracy in the house (kin/family) itself, because we all know that you cannot give the children in a family the right to veto, vote and have a say in what the family should do. When they are older and wiser they can give advice, but the head of the family has to be in charge.

Democracy works only if only the married noblemen are allowed to veto and vote, like in the ancient democracy. If others are allowed to have a say too it will be nothing more than a despicable ochlocracy ("the rule of the mob"), like the so-called democracies of today.

Footnotes:
  1. Living in Hålogaland (including Trøndelag), Møre/Haflon (Avalon!), Hordaland, Rogaland, Agder, Romerike, Grenafylke, and Ragnariki (today Bohuslän in Sweden) respectively, along the coast of Ultima Thule, ancient Norway, from north to south.
  2. According to the old legal system a cow was actually worth more than a thrall. If you killed somebody else's cow you had to pay a bigger fine than if you killed somebody else's thrall.
  3. There are slight differences between Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, but I treat them all like one language here, for the sake of simplicity.
  4. To my knowledge Norway is the only country still practicing the óðal law, but this law used to be common all over Europe, or at least it was common in the Germanic speaking area.
  5. This is why in Scandinavia we say that things go nord og ned ("north and down") when they go wrong. North and down means into the grave (and to Hel).
  6. I feel that I should make it perfectly clear that the term "god" means "good" and simply derives from the word "good". "God" and "good" is basically the same word.

Varg Vikernes
(January 2005 & February 2006)



"More people are elected between sunset and sunrise than between sunrise and sunset."
(A US statesman)


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