Yes, Marjorie, Santa is an Anglo-Saxon
She’d like you to know that she is snowy white.
I should probably let it go, the whole Marjorie Taylor Greene America First Caucus. But I can’t. That door was opened. She opened it and let the world see her view of them. Yes, her fairytale dream of an Anglo-Saxon cultural awareness renaissance was lurking behind that very ugly door.
Let the Extinct Speak!
Before we go any further, I think it’s important to point out that the Anglo-Saxons are extinct. They were replaced by the Normans — of France. Neither the Anglo-Saxons nor the Normans were indigenous to the island we call Great Britain. They were not Gaelic speakers. Neither were they Britons. Nor were they Picts. They were invaders from the sea. But, hey, that used to be a thing, so no reason to dwell on that detail. And, like most invaders, they subsumed the locals under their invader paradigm.
But let us pause for a moment and review the Anglo-Saxons and their times, just to get a glimpse of what it meant to be them, since their descendants (of which I am partly one) are feeling so put upon these days. Insert frownie face here.
Depending on who you read, the Anglo-Saxon culture is either the most splendid of all human cultures to arise on Earth, or it is a pidgin culture made up of many cultures: crusty old Romans, Picts, Britons, Celts, Scotti, Vandals, Anglos, Saxons, Vikings, Frisii, and so on. The English language didn’t even exist during the magical Anglo-Saxon times. These were what we call the Dark Ages, as in the loss of knowledge, the rise of illiteracy, the breakdown of infrastructure, the most horrible year on record, plagues, constant warring, torture, a reduction in the average life span. Sound like a real Valhalla to me.
But back to Greene. If in her cozy little mind Anglo-Saxon is the equivalent of English, then why doesn’t she just say “English Culture” so that we can get on with the Yorkshire puddings and the toads in their holes, decorate ourselves in Union Jacks, and elect a King?
It is not without an irony undecipherable to them (Greene’s clan) that the appellation “English” is a pidgin word derived from the tribal name “Anglo” of the Anglo-Saxon fame. English was borne of a pidgin language.
The appellation “English” itself survived because the early Christian church sanctified the name — the church (taken over by the Anglo-Saxons) considered the Anglos to be chosen by god. Chosen by god. God. Wow. Naturally, the other tribes were happy to be christened English and then disappeared into the maw of history.
From an ancient Britons’ point of view, the Anglo-Saxons came over, were treated well (the Britons regretted that later), took over the land (all the good stuff the Romans left behind), and then named everything after themselves (almost — the word British survives). I bet that only happened once in human history, right?
So, is Greene advocating for English culture and the singing of God Save the Queen, or does she mean to go full-on Anglo-Saxon? If so, Anglo or Saxon? It matters. Let’s say Anglo-Saxon full on because that is the compound word she chose.
So let’s take a look at what Anglo-Saxons were like and ask ourselves what is she advocating for.
- Anglo-Saxons land grabbing. They were invaders. Is she advocating for taking over the land and the means of wealth (as colonists did centuries ago)?
2. Anglo-Saxon control of the church. They sezied the church and its power early on and formed it to suit their needs. Is she advocating for re-making Christianity in her own image (like Jesus, the Jew from the Middle East, getting a Nordic god makeover centuries ago)?
3. Anglo-Saxon control of weapons. They passed laws allowing only themselves to own weapons. Also, to vote required the owning of land and weapons. Is she advocating for only landholders to vote, as was the case in early America, and for landholders to own all the weapons (clearly part of her dream for a well-armed Anglo-Saxon future)?
4. Anglo-Saxon raiding farmers as a form of taxation. The Anglo Saxons liked to say that they didn’t raise taxes, while at the same time raiding farmers and telling them it was the price they paid for the privilege of being ruled by Anglo Saxons. That raiding has been going on for a long time.
5. Anglo-Saxon hunting of witches. The Anglo-Saxons were superstituous and rejected “pagan” knowledge, preferring to believe that cats were evil, diseases were bewtichment, and withces were real. Methinks the lady doth protest too much about being witch hunted.
Our dear Marjorie was banging on about preserving Anglo-Saxon laws. Again, did she mean the English system of case law precedent, as it suits her etiologies? That is the legal method we use here. Personally, I can’t wait to see powdered wigs brought back into the courtroom. Or did she mean Anglo-Saxon laws? Is she a fan of the weregild (man price) or the many punitive laws governing the lives of slaves and peasant farmers? Maybe she’s a fan of the Anglo-Saxon laws stating that anyone ten years and older could be tried and punished for all manner of crimes, up to and including execution (badly behaved children? No problem!). Maybe she’s all about the bride-price. We may never know since she has closed her caucus, allegedly.
The reality is that what motivated her to resuscitate the word Anglo-Saxon has nothing to do with English laws and culture, nor with Anglo-Saxon weregild or bride price, or anything related to the extinct Anglo-Saxons. She is advocating for white supremacy of the northwestern European kind, of the pilgrim kind, of the American kind.
Despite her having no background at all in the intricacies of the economic theories oozing from the conservative Chicago school (think Bloom) that laud Anglo-Saxon Capitalism, she wanted a caucus based on it. The culture that springs from that philosophical theory must necessarily include godheads and god-approval of un-Christian like behavior because the theory itself is at odds with the main tenets of Christianity. Circumlocution required. And yes, all of that does hark back to and copy from the early Anglo-Saxon belief that Anglo-Saxons were chosen by god. They could do whatever they wanted because god was good with that. (Digression: this reminds me of the Romans asking the god Mars to approve wars as just when they clearly were not, and strong arming the haruspex to give the right answer.)
What this analfabetica espouses is an economic theory that oozed out of reactionary conservative “think tanks” in the 1970’s. Around the world, in the English-speaking countries at the center of this theory, and especially in this country, the term “Anglo-Saxon” has long been code for white supremacy. She may not know anything about economic theory, Anglo-Saxons, or even any period of history other than her own. But she sure does know how to be a white supremist. Why hide behind the phrase “America First”, Marge? She should be honest and just say what she means. She’d probably get more caucus members.