Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why I dislike the labels

Lately, there has been a lot of labeling of various people and groups in the Golden Dawn community as "reconstructionist," "traditionalist," "reformist," etc.

And quite honestly, while I understand the need to make sure that newcomers know the positions of the groups and individuals involved, I think that the labels are doing more harm than good.

The problem with labels is that sooner or later, you get to the point when someone is saying that such a idealistic position is better than the others. In other words, you get someone claiming that one answer is the only correct answer---hoping that other people are going to believe them.

It does not help a diverse community get along.

In fact, labeling and name-calling leads to flame wars and witch wars, and all sorts of unpleasantness.

For instance, the one side's low opinion of scholars tends to make me avoid that side like I do most plagues. After all, I am training to be a scholar---being told that I have the morals of a zombified pig bent on destorying the world does not endear me to the opinions of the people who label me such.

Ok, in all fairness, they have not stated it in such a manner, but that is the way that I emotionally react to their opinions of scholars.

And that is the biggest problem with the labeling that is going on, people react to the labels emotionally. Because of that, large sections of the Golden Dawn community refuse to talk to other sections of the community.

(Ok, there are other reasons for the lack of communications---a laundry list of reasons. But the labelling is not helping any of us deal with the problems on the laundry list.)

It feels like the beginnings of the witch wars all again.

For those of who missed that little bit of unpleasantness, the core of the battle was the statement, "I am a real witch (Wiccan or whatever term they prefered), and So-and-so is not a real witch."

Compare it with the statement (well hidden in the process of labelling), "I am a member of the real Golden Dawn, and So-and-so and all with their (insert label) tendencies is not."

Do you see why I am worried?


Naila Moon of the Grey Wolf said...

point taken!

Lavanah said...

Bleh. It must be something in the air, or in the alignment of the planets. A similar battle seems to be brewing on some of the heathen discussion groups, too.

J.C. said...

There is purpose behind such labels, and I am certainly of the inclination that it is to deliberately invoke the same as you have written. Don't limit it to reconstructionists, traditionalist, and revisionists. I would add to the list symbolism of popular culture such as Star Trek, Simpsons and even historical taboo symbolism of Nazism.

The method being employed follows a pattern. Disempower others through constant renunciation of their teachings and lineag, but say something nice now and then so your harsh opinions seems to stem from a place of caring (invoke Borg). Simultaneously invoke your grand titles on every corner of the internet and get others to support your opinions (invoke Jean-Luc Picard).

The problem with this method is that when you publicly display yourself in opposition to all in the Golden Dawn, even those who have a documented history with the same, you look more like a fool than if you said nothing at all.