My role in the Asatru movement has, to a large extent, defined my life. Anyone who knows me, however, knows I've done a lot of unusual things besides Germanic religion. I went to northern India and interviewed Tibetans who fought the Chinese. I lived with Karen guerrillas in the jungles of Burma, fighting for their identity against a tyrannical government. Less well known is my praise for Nigerian democracy activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, and many other instances in which I have lent my voice to the causes of indigenous peoples around the world.
Why should a man busily re-establishing our native Germanic faith go to all this trouble? Why should I care what happens to Tibetans and Burmese and Nigerians? Don't we Germanics have enough problems of our own?
As a man of European descent, and as a follower of the indigenous European faith of Asatru, I have a spiritual obligation to care for and defend my own heritage. Less obvious is another truth - that I should also care about the fate of other peoples.
Ultimately, we European-descended folk are in the same boat as the Tibetans, the Karen, and the Amazonian tribes. We're all trying to preserve our peoples, cultures, and native religions in a world where transnational corporations and intrusive governments work to destroy all differences, to smooth out humanity into one featureless, deracinated "norm-man" fit only to produce, consume, and obey. Where will our vaunted Germanic freedom be then? What will happen to the Norse spirit, the Faustian upward reach of the European soul, when we're all slaving on the global plantation for the bankers and the corporate elite? Let me tell you: These historic traits of ours will be dead. And the only way to prevent this "death by homogenization" is to be who we are, to honor that which makes us unique. We should do that for ourselves as Northfolk, and we should encourage other groups to do likewise.
Someone once said of me that "Steve wants to help every ethnic group but his own." That's not true; my own folk are closest to my heart and will always have first claim to my loyalty and love. That is only natural and good. But the world is not necessarily a zero-sum game, and there are plenty of win-win solutions to our mutual problems. There will always be competition between groups, yes. But all of us who want to preserve our identity against the pressures of the global monoculture, regardless of our race or culture, have a common enemy in those who would make us all the same. If the transnationalists are to sell us Coca-Cola made in the United States and toys made in China, they have to "modernize" us first. Modernization is of course a two-edged sword; some aspects are beneficial but others are designed make us abandon our ancestral ways, pledge allegiance to the bank and the television set, and become a "world citizen." This is as true of First-Worlders like Americans and Germans as it is of tribal societies in the Third World, and nothing could be more disastrous to groups who wish to retain their distinct identity in the 21st century.
Environmental issues are a part of this struggle. Industrial development and resource extraction do not always take into consideration the needs of the environment and of the local peoples most directly affected. As I write, the last forest homes of the magnificent and extremely endangered Sumatran tiger are being sawed down to make - toilet paper! (Asia Pulp & Paper products marketed in the US under the Paseo and Livi brand names.) If that seems too far away to care about, don't worry; there is a long list of less dramatic species pushed to the brink in Europe and in America. People, too, are organisms adapted to a particular habitat; destroy that habitat and you undermine the existence of the people themselves.
I will gladly stand alongside those who are true to the ways of their people and their ancestors in the face of the global juggernaut. This is one of the great challenges of our age, and in it lies our duty to the ancestors who gave us life as well as our descendants, who will have to live in the world we forge. You want a heroic struggle? Don't pine for the past - you and I are fortunate enough to live in the most heroic age of all!