Author Archive for cudozier

Stoic Philosophy masking Hate

Stoicschool.org is the website of an organization that promotes itself as “a civil society of people from all walks of life who share important values about the earth, social justice, and making a real difference in the world through people and science.” These values, they say, are derived from their adherence to ancient Stoic philosophy and the application of it in the modern world. It’s an appealing message, and one that may appear to put ancient Greco-Roman philosophy to good use, until you look a little deeper into the site and find that this lofty and progressive vision is meant to disguise and give intellectual credibility to a hateful and regressive message that has nothing to do with Stoicism.
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Scholars Respond to SPQR and White Nationalism

SPQR is an abbreviation for Senatus Populusque Romanus, “The Senate and People of Rome,” which was used in antiquity to represent the Roman state. In the modern world the phrase and abbreviation is a symbol of the city of Rome, where it emphasizes that city’s status as the “eternal” city (perhaps most famously on their manhole covers). The hashtag #spqr is used joyfully by tourists, history buffs, and anyone who loves Italy and Italian culture. There is, however, a darker side to the way the abbreviation is used: as Pharos has documented, white nationalists in the United States and Europe have adopted it as a symbol. As such SPQR engages both of Pharos’ core goals: to raise awareness of the ways that Greco-Roman antiquity is being used in support of hate, but also to defend, where possible, that past from distortions, omissions, and misunderstandings that, in this case, threaten to poison a symbol that is a beloved source of identity, celebration of history, and pleasure for so many. Read More→

Re-purposing Classical Analogies to Support Racism

In 2013 Charlie LeDuff published Detroit: An American Autopsy, examining the history and causes of Detroit’s transformation from a center of industry and culture to what LeDuff calls “an archaeological ruin.” A review of the book on VDare.com, a racist and xenophobic site that Pharos has documented previously, complains that LeDuff was not willing to name the real cause of Detroit’s problems, which, according to VDare, should be blamed on “black empowerment” and the “black undertow” that “erodes the fabric of civilization wherever it touches.” This racist review came to the attention of Pharos because the reviewer calls special attention to analogies that LeDuff makes in his book between Detroit, Rome, and the ancient city of Pompeii.

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White Nationalists call ancient Greek homosexuality a “myth”

Eurocanadian.ca is the website of “The Council of European Canadians,” an organization led by white nationalist Ricardo Duchesne that is, according to their “metapolitical strategy,” “against an establishment that is determined to destroy European Canada through fanatical immigration, imposition of a diversity curriculum, affirmative action in favor of non-Europeans, and promotion of white guilt.” A homophobic article on the site reviews a book by the far-right Greek politician Adonis Georgiadis arguing that “homosexuality was universally thought unacceptable” in ancient Greece. This claim flies in the face of overwhelming evidence of the prevalence and social significance of same-sex love in antiquity, but is attractive to white nationalists who want to claim cultural continuity with ancient Greece without compromising their rampant homophobia.

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White supremacist site claims Nordic invaders gave rise to Classical Greece

National Vanguard” is a white supremacist organization that is an offshoot of the “National Alliance,” whom the SPLC once called “the most dangerous and best organized” Neo-Nazi group in America. An article on NationalVanguard.org claims that when “Nordic” invaders arrived in Greece, “an older civilization”—described throughout as “Mediterranean aborigines“—”who had begun to succumb to racial mixing and decadence, was overwhelmed by a more vigorous and racially healthier one.” The article then turns to the “lethal” and “catastrophic mixing of blood” that, it claims, led to the decline of both Sparta and Athens, arguing that “the passing of the Hellenes must be regarded as one of the greatest tragedies of our race.” The article is part of a series celebrating the “heritage” of the “white race” and warning white people about the need to preserve racial purity in order to assure “the survival of the white race.”

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Site Blames “Decline” of Greece on Loss of Racial Purity

American Renaissance is a site edited by Jared Taylor, whom the SPLC calls “a courtly presenter of ideas that most would describe as crudely white supremacist, a kind of modern-day version of the refined but racist colonialist of old.” Alongside promotions for an all-white dating service and a racist book by a former Classics professor that is favorably reviewed by a neo-eugenics site is a post asking “What Race were the Greeks and Romans?” This article claims that the ancient Greeks of the Classical period were descended from “Nordic” northern Europeans and that the later “decline” of Greece resulted from the thinning of that “Nordic” blood. The post aims to provide a historical example of a threat that American Renaissance warns its readers about on its “Our Issues” page: “If whites permit themselves to become a minority population, they will lose their civilization, their heritage, and even their existence as a distinct people.” Read More→

Xenophobic Op-Ed in Local Paper Reflects Hate Site’s Arguments

“Migrants Sank the Roman Empire. Now They’re Sinking Us” is the title of a recent op-ed in the Shreveport Times. The article claims that the Roman emperor’s decision to allow Goths seeking protection from the Huns to enter Roman territory in the 4th century CE caused the collapse of the Roman empire, and argues that immigration to the United States and Europe will similarly hasten “the suicide of the West.” Appearing as it does in the primary newspaper of a metropolitan area of half a million residents, this op-ed may seem to represent a mainstream view, but in fact parrots the views of a notorious hate site. Read More→

SPQR and White Nationalism

Senatus Populusque Romanus, “The Senate and People of Rome,” was a phrase used to describe the Roman state in Republican and Imperial times. It was and is often abbreviated as S.P.Q.R. Both the phrase itself and the abbreviation have remained in frequent use as a symbol of the city of Rome. It is also a favorite abbreviation of white nationalists, as the following examples demonstrate.

[Update: Scholars Respond to appropriations of SPQR by hate groups]

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Study of ancient Greek and Latin promoted by Racists and Homophobes

Intellectual Takeout is a site that offers “to serve as a refuge for those who want to pursue truth, rediscover the wisdom and traditions of the past, discuss ideas calmly, and apply what’s been learned to their own lives.” A recent post advocates for an educational curriculum based on “those great works of the past which were produced by the classical culture” and suggests that learning Latin and Greek will both “make up for our mediocre educations” and will “be a key to the renewal of Western Civilization.” What’s not to like for those who value the study of Latin and Greek? A lot, in fact, when you look at some of the other material on the site. Read More→

Fall of Rome cited as parallel to contemporary “Barbarism”

EveryJoe.com is a site that describes itself as “the ultimate boy’s club.” Its content is eclectic but includes a xenophobic series on “Civic Nationalism” and an article praising alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos as “a true free speech warrior.” The site has published a series of articles by John C. Wright, whose personal blog includes defenses of racist activist Tommy Robinson and complaints about the “disastrous effect” on society of “strong female characters in fiction.” One article in this series, entitled “Defining Civilization: Women and Children First”, makes a racist, misogynist, and homophobic argument that our world is sliding from “civilized life” into “the chaotic bloodshed, cruelty, and misery of barbarism.” The post cites the decline of the Roman empire as a historical example of a similar collapse to the one it claims is underway in the contemporary world.

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