Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Here's one out of far Left Field....


As it is Easter and today is Anzac Day here in Australia (for us Aussies roughly the equivelent of Veterans' Day, 4th of July and Pearl Harbor Day are for Americans all rolled into one)... and 'inspired' by Larry's thoughts on DieselPunk Politics I began pondering the place of Religion/God/Spirituality in the Diesel era and DieselPunk....


Now just thinking out loud here OK so no one take any of this as definitive or take offense please...


To my mind there were a few major competing schools of thought regarding this subject in the Diesel Era...


For example with the rise of the Soviet system Marx's statement that 'Religion is the opiate of the masses' became State Policy.... meanwhile in Western Europe various forms of mysticism, occultism and Paganism found expression in the Italian Fascist and the National Socialist movements... while in the US and Britain "everyone went to church on Sunday - and did what they wanted the rest of the week... and in Asia the last of the God/Kings sat on the thrones of China, Japan, Siam and other smaller countries...


In short, it was an era of competing - and diametrically opposed - worldviews...


My question is.... Do people see any place for - or perhaps a reconciliation between - any of these worldviews in DieselPunk? Is there such a ling as a common DP view of the place of God/Religion/Spirituality? Or is it as fragmented as it was in the Diesel Era itself?


I am curious because I personally am one who went from 70's Punk to become heavily involved in occultism, eventually becoming the High Priest of a Neo-Pagan Coven in the 90's and early years of the this Century - but now considers themself to be Agnostic - and being cut off geographically from DieselPunk and Steam Punk communities I am often unaware of what the mainstream (for want of a better term) is up to sometimes... LOL!





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I usually keep the aesthetic separate from any personal beliefs, then again I'm a nihilist, so I don't typically view anything with a spiritual mindset.
Usually I keep from discussing religious / spiritual / occult issues. I'll forbear from it here, too. Not on my agenda, sorry.

While I'll keep my personal beliefs private, I do think it's interesting to explore many of the prominent religious trends of the Diesel Era. I'll try to touch on some aspects that I'm aware of.

In Germany, during the Nazi rule there were those Christians in the Confessing Church who opposed Hitler and the Nazis such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Yet there were many Christian Churches who supported Fascism. We know that, just as the Dieselpunk movies like to show, the Nazi hierarchy was obsessed with the occult. 


In England, I suspect the biggest religious issue was King Edward VIII's abdication partially due to marrying a divorcee since the Church of England opposed divorce. Maybe others could expand on the events in England.


In America it was very complex. The Religious Right made a very strong come back in the 1920's and 1930's. One example was Father Charles Edward Coughlin with his Anti-Semitic views. There was also the Scopes Trial in 1925. On the Religious Left there was Dorothy Day (who I mentioned in my blog) and Norman Thomas, an ordained Presbyterian minister, who was the Socialist Party candidate throughout the Diesel Era. 

Ahh yes, Bestiality Wednesday. A shame it never caught on as much as Casual Friday.

Ahh yes, Bestiality Wednesday. A shame it never caught on as much as Casual Friday.


ROFLMAO!!! Love your work Atterton...


Thanx again for your insight on the issue Larry - you always seem to gather where I'm coming from and the info I'm after/interested in... Off to do a search of your blog 8^)

In Italy, relations between the Catholic Church and the Kingdom were regulated by the Lateran Treaty in 1929. This pact was to close the period of opposition of the Church to the Italian state, chastised for the military conquest of Rome of 1870. They introduced the Vatican State gave a lot of money to the church, introduced the "Catholic Religion hour" in school and gave freedom to the catholic organisations, the only ones allowed to exist alongside the fascist equivalents; catholic Boy Scouts were excluded tough, and had to continue their activities clandestinely. Those catholic associations were the basis of the "Democrazia Cristiana", the post war political party that ruled Italy from 1947 to 1994 (I won't give details here, but it was a democratic system in which the central DC party was destined to win, altough in coalition with other parties).

For better or for worse, the Cuhrch was the only relevant force in Italian society not controlled by the regime, and the main reason why Italian Fascism is generally considered an authoritarianism and not a totalitarianism.

I think technology and religion in the Dieselpunk era would be another branch of this discussion, maybe even a better area.  Like has been stated, the 1920s to 1950s is a huge and ever changing time period to discuss regarding religion.  The Roaring 20s can be seen as a very polarized time period.  The Great Depression begins to bring people back to God with the poverty of the time.  Science is becoming more of an influence on public thought.  The impact of radio and later television on religion in the US is huge.  You go from the parish minister and the traveling tent show to a broadcaster who can reach entire regions if not the whole country.  This to some degree had a unifying effect on religious views and at the same time created more 'chaos' with the spreading of new ideas.  Billy Graham is a great example of someone who understood and was able to very effectively use the media to send out his message and bring in followers from across the country.

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