A Brief Introduction to the Nordic Imperium School
I hesitated writing this principally as a result of time constrains but to a lesser extent because only two other lansmen seem to be on this list and the material will likely seem remote to the Americans and Englishmen on the list. I have received a great number requests to compose such an introduction from members and others that follow this list and I do feel that the school deserves some attention from Eurocentric advocates in general which in the end caused me give the matter cursory attention. I have purposely avoided raising the matter of the esoteric/mystic writings many of the authors because I do not wish to offend the non Heathen majority on this list and I feel that ideological issues can be dealt with adequately without raising the matter. I also chose not to deal with the matter of proponents of the school being active in the Legionary Movement as others have covered the matter far better then I can.
This very brief introduction to the Nordic Imperium School of thought prior to â€˜45 is meant to simply provide a bit of background on some of the key figures and concepts. I should state that due to my background I’m biased towards FÃ¸royskt, Danish and Icelandic figures rather then Swedish and Norwegian ones. This is not say they are any less important to the school but that I am more familiar with the former and they do resonate a bit closer to my views which is why I emphasize them. Also, note that because I am covering a great deal of material spanning several nations and decades my treatment will have to be superficial do to both the format of this forum and time pressures which prevent the application of sufficient criticism, care to style and detail beyond a course degree. If anyone wishes clarification on any of the points I touched on just let me know.
I think that the best place to start is with the political writings of Venzel Hammershaimb who is best known as the father of modern Faroese. What became the basis of V.U. Hammershaimb’s contribution to what latter became known as the Nordic Imperium stemmed from his FÃ¸royskt Antologi which recounts various local mythology, folklore and songs but is best known as serving as the basis for our current grammar and spelling which was standardized here during the 1890’s.
In substantive terms, the proposition advanced by Hammershaimb was that the spiritual essence of a people are best expressed by song and lore which in turn express itself in the folkways of a people. That which makes a people unique are commonalities in ascetics which reflect the environment in which they live and the self perceptions that results from belonging to a common stock lending continuity and hence, shared identity and purpose . This view holds that dilution and alienation in terms both folkish and individual come from two sources: external domination and co-mingling with other kindreds which are seen as detrimental because they end aesthetic commonality and inherited perceptions of folklore upon which domestic concord depends leading to what he called an “anti culture” which is similar to what is now in vogue in the states and the West as a whole.
This basic notion of ethno-cultural compatibility and continuance was presented as an argument against imperialism and the preservation of all of the unique expressions of Scandinavian folkishness entailed some form of transnational cooperation. Unfortunately, the consequences of this notion were never articulated by Hammershaimb. Instead, a more traditional form of
nationalism was taken from his writing and speeches were adopted by the patriotic and Romantic poet NÃ³lsoyar-Poul Poulson whose sense of organic folkishness was infused with resentments of colonial injustice. This oppressive history began with the clerical dictatorship of Bishop Erlendur during the early 1100s and grew worse the dispossession of the Alping ( People’s Assembly) in 1380. This unfortunate pattern culminated with the savagely cruel reign of the Von Gabel dynasty which lasted from the mid 1600s till the early 1700s and finally the famines of the early 1800’s which when combined with massive taxes to support the Danish crown nearly lead to our literal extinction.
In Iceland the politicized lyricism of the FjÃ¶lnismenn served to provide a similar substance to a traditional yet vibrant form of nationalism just as our most beloved poet and nationalist HeÃ°in BrÃº (alias Hans Jacob Jacobsen) expounded an organic and romantic view of blood, soil and folkways defining both Faroese culture and the Nordic essence from which it springs. These expressions of poetic nationalism and Nordic essence were not important so much for their substance as they were for their literary style and the passions they evoked among lansmen. Other equally important sources for nationalist inspiration came from the very well known author . Mikkjal a Ryggi’s ( 1901-1987) who authored the 1940 classic of local history “Midhvingas” and William Heinesen (1900-1991) whose most famous work is the folkish collection Soga FriÃ°rik which is of as a great an importance as the Poetic Eddas.
During the 1920s and a 30s a great deal of progress happened in ideological terms thanks to the writing of JÃ³n Ã–gmundarson who coined the term “Nordic Imperium” writing a book by the same name in 1925. Basically, the substance of his thought revolved around a critique of French and Italian Fascism and Corporatism of the era which was later supplemented with an expansive treatment of earlier themes and a critique of contemporary German National Socialism in his 1932 work arguably mistitled “Aphorisms”.
Ã–gmundarson accepted the well established notion that both capitalism and traditionally conceived versions of socialism and syndicalism were two sides of the same coin so to speak because they both represented materialistic perspectives divorced from the what he called the “Nation Organic” or the traditional folkways and mores which reflected the temperament of a people free from foreign domination and materialistic influence. The concept of the Nation Organic simply means a continuum of values and perceptions derived from a society based upon shared ancestry providing a common sense of identity and purpose. The rationale for preserving such a society is that the sense of individual purpose and security it provides was viewed as best for preserving societal cohesion across generations in a world seen as largely hostile, unstable, despotic and prone to decadence and ultimately savagery.
Both capitalism and traditionally conceived versions of socialism and syndicalism resulted in the imposition of a particular class upon society causing personal and class based alienation resulting in materialist based interest groups becoming estranged from the state and the state from society. The end result of the dominance of materialism over spiritualism was seen in this view as leading to the death of civilization with nations becoming nothing more then sales/production districts in which the basest elements of a devolved society outbreed the vanguard leaving nothing but decadence combined with civil insecurity. Such a debased entity was seen as simply collapsing under internal strain or being over run by a more vigorous and sound alien stock.
As such, Ã–gmundarson found sympathy with the notion that socialism should be seen not in terms of class war but in terms of the ascension of the Nation Organic over the state. In doing so he shared he sentiments of National-Socialists like Valois, Berres and Sorrel whose expressions of National Revolutionary thought sought to transcend both democracy and the materialism which were viewed as being at the heart the heart of syndicalism, socialism, capitalism and the societal
decay they engender.
His dispute with such theorists stemmed from a rejection of corporatism/national syndicalism conceived in terms of vertical integration which he saw as an illusion to total statism. He considered the former preferable to Bolshevism in that it avoided class domination but undesirable because it did not resign the state to a position of serving what he considered the ultimate purpose of the state’s existence: the progression of the Nation Organic. Instead, he saw the value of Sorel’s take on socialism in that its intention was the moral regeneration of society as a whole rather then class based advocacy which he combined with his view that folkways represent a common spirit that is a manifest expression of the biologic. As such, this view holds that the degradation of one leads to a decline of the other and a corresponding rise in materialism which by nature is universalistic, destructive in societal terms and dysgenic to the point of eventual liquidation of the folk.
Like all proponents of the school, Ã–gmundarson was violently opposed to the welfare state which he saw as nothing more then statism used to encourage sloth and dependancy upon a materialistic state that destroys traditional institutions and communal relations. This view holds social democracy as simply an incremental form of Bolshevism resulting in spiritual and ultimately biologic decay.
On an institutional basis, the assertion of society over materialism resulted in a rejection of corporatist arrangements in favour of employee ownership as means for the distribution of productive economic assets. This conception has individual firms being organized on the basis of voluntary guilds like federations for the purpose of securing finance for capitol goods, capacity expansion and basic materials from usury free banks funded by withholdings taken from company sales receipts or publicly funded block grants, in the modern American style of term, in the case of capital intensive industries. Another aspect of these guild like organization were that they were envisioned as being responsible for providing primary and trade based education.
Do to the long history of onerous taxes to support a distant potentate came the notion that taxes were to be set by a “Chamber of Producers” comprised of delegates selected by popular vote within their respective guilds every three years. Also according to this scheme, the electorate was tasked with determining the tax rates and basic budget for the public sector via periodic plebiscites. The actual composition of proposed budgets being open to anyone that could obtain support of 5% of the electorate for their scheme. Rival budgets meeting this criteria are submitted to the plebiscite with three rounds of voting reducing the options to the two most popular options in a manner similar to current French presidential elections. The electorate was viewed as consisting of the head of each tax paying house hold and all unmarried tax payers with gross recipients of welfare, felons, drunks and mentally incompetent/disturbed members of society
expressly forbidden from voting.
Less well defined was the nature of the autocrat, entitled the “AmtmaÃ°ur”, who was entrusted with what is commonly referred to as executive power. The principle political tasks of the AmtmaÃ°ur is: appointing judges and ministers, enacting the public sector budget, providing for defense and representing the folk state abroad. The legitimacy of the AmtmaÃ°ur is viewed as being derived solely from his ability to promote and maintain folkish renewal. As such he is tasked with enacting eugenic policies similar to those found else where in Scandinavia at the time, promoting both traditional and high arts as well preventing the influx of non Nordic influence in cultural, economic and political terms.
The selection of the AmtmaÃ°ur is not covered in adequate detail. Instead, Ã–gmundarson simply states him to be a populist leader that heads a folkish uprising during a period of immense societal turmoil. The school terms such a struggle for folkish resurgence as “Insurgent Traditionalism” which basically expresses tradition as being under a constant state of siege from the forces of materialism/universalism which ultimately manifest themselves in terms of biologic decay which, if sufficiently advanced, destroys the possibility of folkish renewal and therefor is viewed as being ultimately destructive . The only method for the removal of the AmtmaÃ°ur was briefly touched upon as the responsibility of an armed citizenry which seems to have been taken from the traditional American notion of a militia.
As to the matter of the Nordic Imperium, such is viewed principally in terms of racial Nordics expressing themselves in terms of the advancement of the Nation Organic throughout Scandinavia via the expression of traditional folkways and mores. Such an expression of Nordic traditionalism is portrayed as an anti-Imperialistic doctrine which calls for the AmtmaÃ°ur of various nations to form a Nordic League for handling common issues of concern such as trade, ecological matters, responses to cultural threats posed by non Nordic media and such. The league was also to be tasked with the matter of raising an volunteer expeditionary legion along the lines of the war time Legionary Movement to help repulse any efforts by the Bolsheviks to expand in the West as well as supporting the development of indigenous, non imperialistic forms of folkish resurgence throughout Europa via propaganda.
In “Aphorisms” Ã–gmundarson condemned Mussolini as “promoting primitive state worship over organicism and the needs of the Italian people.” He condemned the Faisceau of Valois as “Abandoning the transcendence of democracy, capitalism and Bolshevism in favour of a class free despotism opposed to materialism but offering nothing in it’s place.” contemporary Futurism was like wise portrayed as “Nothing more then an adolescent rejection of what one is by birth and the obligations entailed as a result in favour of a directionless and violent vitality imbued stylish inconsequentials”
As to Hitler the same text said: â€˜ The heart of the current revolution is best expressed by Mr. Hitler’s comment that â€˜The [Nation-] State in itself, has nothing whatsoever to do with any definite economic concept or a definite economic development. It does not arise from a compact made between contracting parties, within a certain delimited territory, for the purpose of serving economic ends. The State is a community of living beings who have kindred physical and spiritual natures, organized for the purpose of assuring the conservation of their own kind and to help towards fulfilling those ends which Providence has assigned to that particular race or racial branch.’ This notion despite having great merit, is unfortunately called into doubt by efforts to deny folkish restoration by creating a state that risks reflecting statist rather then the organic principles of Insurgent Traditionalism as a result of the centrality of the Leadership Principle to his doctrine.”
Anders RÃ¼sen was a Danish devotee of Ã–gmundarson who founded the so called “primal wing” of the school which placed a heavier emphasis upon the rhetorical style of the poets mentioned earlier infused with the mysticism of Von List and a historic view of folkish resurgence and decline was prominent detailed in a two volume 1929 monograph entitled “Permanent Tradition, Permanent Modernism”. The former differed from most of his work which was not expressly political and instead focused upon antiquarian research and Heathen mysticism. A theme found in this and other works by RÃ¼sen and his compatriots is that tradition and modernity should not be seen as contending elements in Nordic history but rather that Nordic folkways are always facing extinction do to the harshness of local environments, the vastly superior resource and demographic strength of other European nations and the dysgenic impact upon Nordicdom that resulted from migration and conquest during the Viking era.
The natural weaknesses mentioned above were overcome with native ingenuity of both technological and societal variants which in turn provided a stable, comfortable existence begetting high material expectations and a weakening of traditional social arrangements. These in turn beget materialism and relations based upon one’s association with the means of production that ultimately lead to individual and class based alienation and finally societal breakdown.
As societal decay advances traditionalism responds based upon reaction (which is conceived in the classical French sense of the term) or what RÃ¼sen referred to as a theoretically simple construct although complex in terms of application known as “a synthesis of reversal” which is nothing more then the adoption of thematic themes, policies or institutional theory that is a product of some form of universalism used as a means of lending the image of modernity to a traditional ideology as a tactical ploy. If such a ploy is successful and staves off societal collapse the inovation often becomes integrated into, and as result modifies, the broader national tradition.
The modification is seen as a “natural progression” if the if the append theory/ theme/institution is tempered with a Burke like notion of prudence preserving the broader integrity of tradition. Conversely, such appendages can also have long term consciences that fundamentally undermine tradition in ways that are not predictable and as a result, such progressions are fraught with danger. A large portion of the first volume and all of the second installment of “Permanent Tradition, Permanent Modernism” was dedicated to considering Christianity, in a relatively benign light, and parliamentarianism, in a highly negative fashion, from this perspective.
This view holds that imperialism and migration during the Viking era was a terrible mistake because it siphoned off the most vigorous stock of Nordic society to establish kingdoms in alien lands that could not possibly dominate the local populations and were instead biologically absorbed by the native populations. This dysgenic effect left the other great nations of Europa better able to threaten Nordic countries in addition to their shear size, imperial holdings and natural resources leaving Nordic nations continually under threat. As an aside, the primal wing held that imperial adventures undertaken by the great powers of Europa would destroy their economies and encourage the destruction of traditional societal relations leading first to social democracy then Bolshevism and the finally the end of what he termed “Europa Organic”. His formative work on this mater was printed in late 1944 by RÃ¼sen and entitled “Nationalism or Imperialism.” Which was unfortunately, his last published work. The remainder of his life was spent fighting with a NS resistance group against allied occupation until his death in June of 1945.
It should be noted that despite his military efforts, RÃ¼sen he was not an uncritical supporter of the NSDAP variant of National Socialism. Instead, he held sympathy for the notion of “Permanent National Socialism” which was advanced by fellow mystic Jan Rystrup in his major political text entitled “The Evolution of Folk Essence” published in 1938. When grossly over simplified, this perspective held that any form of National Socialism based upon the “leadership principle” was doomed to be despotic by reflecting the societal interests of the selectorate that brought the leader to power rather then society as a whole. Rystrup maintained that the NSDAP state was not an ideal expression of National Socialism because it’s centralized character and militarism necessitated it becoming an expression of the materialistic interests of factions within the state rather then the Nation Organic.
A further weakness of the NSDAP state according to this view was that it’s desire for imperialistic conquest outside of ethnic German regions to the East compromised the organic foundations of National Socialism by draining the vitality and natural resources of Germany in endless wars of colonial subjugation which concentrates state power while diminishing the forces of tradition via interaction with foreigner land and mores.
By contrast, Permanent National Socialism provides interest articulation for all elements of traditional society while the state serves primarily as a force of cultural conservatism interfering in societal matters only to prevent the imposition of class based interests and degenerative trends from interfering with domestic harmony. Such a system is ultimately defined in terms of guildism, decentralization, folkish traditionalism and a limited state.
Despite the substantive objections to Hitler’s regime both were active in the legionary movement and armed resistance to allied occupation. Both saw the allies as actively promoting miscegenation, materialism, cultural nillism and the destruction of Europa. That they ultimately served the Axis reflected not so much an indorsement but rather faint praise of an alternative which they felt would wither more quickly in the event of victory then would the allied forces of Bolshevism and capital.
EyÃ°un viÃ° Dennstad took a somewhat different approach by emphasizing the notion that common folk cultures should serve as the basis for regional cooperation throughout Europa by encouraging the creation of a pan European alliance against both the materialism of bourgeois parliamentarianism which he saw as doomed to fall to Bolshevism and the technocratic/ statist tendencies characteristic of French and Iberian corporatism and fascism of the pre war period. As such, he promoted the notion of national boarders based upon folkish commonality and supported the unification of German speaking peoples, the unification of Flanders with Holland (ie. Dietsland) and the creation of Baltic and Slavic Imperiums with alliances based upon the Nordic model to serve as bulwark against bolshevism. These notions were advanced in a series of essays collected into two volumes entitled: “The Folk Nations and Spirituality of Insurgent Traditionalism I & II”.
He also rejected the anti Christian rhetoric common to some of his compatriots within the school by saying that Christianity had become part of the Nordic tradition and character regardless of it’s alien origin and should be accepted as a unifying element within society rather then encouraging a return to the religious wars of the past. His pragmatic view of Christianity was, to my mind, unsuccessfully grafted onto the folkish perspectives of Manfred Wittich, Franz Diederich and Kurt Heilbutz.
In terms of contributions to policy and institutional thought he advocated the notion that adherence to a single state or economic structure was incorrect and that a centralized, corporative structure was best suited for the promotion of heavy industry along the lines promoted by Valois and Charles Spinasse while maintaining the basic institutional structure of Ã–gmundarson in other areas. He also was passionate in defense of agrarian policy heavily tilted towards small farmers as stated by the likes of Gilbert and the American Distributists of the 1920s .
He supported agrarian policies principally because he viewed it as a way of preventing the concentration of wealth which he believed encouraged social unrest while promoting economic self sufficiency and folkish culture. He also was a strong proponent of Listian trade policies and the formation of a Nordic Customs Union base upon the old German model.