Debuking Julius Evola and his influence on the AltRight

This is going to be a question that’s a little difficult perhaps. But what are some ways of disproving Julius Evola’s insane ideas that the dharma is somehow pro fascism, pro caste, and anti universal benevolence and “ARYAN”? I’ve seen a disturbing trend lately in alt-right circles of attempting to align the dharma with more hateful ideals, and taking theravada as their vehicle for this. I think we need to make a good take down of this kind of insanity to fight evil from creeping in.

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I’ve also noticed this trend. It’s truly disturbing isn’t it?!

This doesn’t directly answer your question of how to refute Evola but the paper by Gleig and Artinger below gives a further outline of this trend in alt right Buddhist circles which is eye opening!

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Very much so, yes! Especially since so much of this movement seems to be backed by openly dictatorial governments and their figureheads. It’s bizarre to see people trying to paint buddhism up like western fundamentalism/fascism.

Thank you Bhante! This is much appreciated, I’ll be reading and studying this :slight_smile:

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I have read a 1st 2 chapters of Julius evolas book the doctrine of awakening. I did not see any wrongs there. Can you please tell me why Julius evola thinking is wrong? I just want to know why you mean what you meant sir. Thank you.

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sealion

@moderators - Please keep an eye on this thread, thanks! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Well from what I’ve been told he thinks that the Buddha was some kind of kṣatriya supremacist on the basis of the few texts where the Buddha argues with brahmins about caste and ridicules them. But he takes these out of a context in the Early Buddhist Texts where birth-caste is understood throughout as irrelevant, and is subverted by the introduction of a notion of “moral caste” which is literally just equivalent to good character. So the Buddha speaks at length in various texts about outcaste-born people who he considers to be Brahmins because they refrain from killing and cultivate friendliness to others and brahmin-born people who he considers to be outcastes because they kill and cheat and steal. It just is not possible to reconcile this persistent understanding of character-based caste and friendliness and compassion being the virtues of good character with the racist warrior ethic Evola is trying to get at, I think, unless you do what I’ve been told Evola does, which is declare certain texts arbitrarily to not contain the true teaching and to be later additions.

There are ways to determine if something might be a later edition to a text, but only by comparing it with other versions of that text to see if parts are different in different transmissions of a story or dialogue. But Evola only looked at the Theravāda transmission of the texts he did look at, even where those texts had parallel versions in the Dharmaguptaka or Sarvāstivāda āgama canons (though he probably had no idea, since he wasn’t a scholar of Buddhism). Thus there is no non-arbitrary way for him to have decided which things are and aren’t legitimately early.

Here’s a thought about him from here https://www.reddit.com/r/askphilosophy/comments/j8f4yp/looking_for_critiques_of_evolas_revisionist/g8ajydb/

Evola was an individual who openly supported fascist ideology and actively involved himself with the german Nazi party. He admired himmler very greatly. When he talked about buddhism, he would over the time of his career attempt to unite it with fascism. Proclaiming that Siddartha was in essence a Nationalist Socialist and Shakya supremacist who upheld Martial beliefs and advocated violence. In this same regard, he also threw out the notion that buddhism itself ever advocated universal benevolence. This would include actively ignoring buddhist mahayana in japan and their vow to save all beings, in favor of highlighting japanese xenophobia as being the only form of buddhism existent in japan.

Evola imagines a buddhism that is violent, denies universal benevolence, has ideals of a noble racial caste vs the unclean lower castes while being kind enough to be open to those “worthy”. Funnily enough, Evola had also admitted he had no interest in buddhism as well. He only wrote it to balance his work on hinduism.

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There have been monks who were drawn to the dhamma with that book of his, but I think it’s because the dhamma itself is always attractive. Even when it’s been covered up in layers of filth.

What makes him wrong ultimately is that his buddhism promotes a worldly religion that has little to do with the actual dhamma. People who have read the suttas can tell you buddhism isn’t about different natures, but Evola himself had stated;

We can see that the effective aim of Buddhism was to discriminate between different natures, for which the touchstone was the Doctrine of Awakening itself: a discrimination that could not do other than stimulate the spiritual bases that originally had themselves been the sole justification of the Aryan hierarchy.

His faux-buddhism is about specific identities, where buddhism itself will tell you these identities based on birth don’t actually exist. He misuses and misappropriates the word aryan as well to describe a certain physical race, rather than it’s correct etymology to refer to people who are virtuous in ethics, not ethics derived from a pure race

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Evola in this sense was also certain that buddhism because of this openly supported the caste system.

In confirmation of this is the fact that the establishment and diffusion of Buddhism never in later centuries caused dissolution of the caste system—even today in Ceylon this system continues undisturbed side by side with Buddhism; while, in Japan, Buddhism lives in harmony with hierarchical, traditional, national, and warrior concepts. Only in certain Western misconceptions is Buddhism—considered in later and corrupted forms—presented as a doctrine of universal compassion encouraging humanitarianism and democratic equality."

From the same area of the book as the last quote. Evola was certain that kindness in the buddha dharma was all together a corruption that had no place in it, favoring masculine anger and violence and “virlity” he outlined in his works on the LHP and hindu tantra.

Evola’s exclusivist thinking is a byproduct of european orientalism, the same that he critiques. He’s effectively managed to make a buddhism that has nothing to do with the dhamma itself, but revolves around germanic-italian fascism and identity politics. His conception itself of Aryan referring to a pure race of people (perfect whites) comes down from Thulean misappropriation of doctrines that come from Helena Blavatsky, who thought aryans were sentient mushroom men that lived in Hyperborea and used the swastika as their symbol.

When you get down to it, fascist ideology just does not mesh with buddhism, it’s all very nonsensical.

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Yes sir I completely understood now what you are saying. I was completely wrong before when I said I did not see any wrongs in his book. Now I see it clearly because of you. Thank you for clarifying it. :ok_hand:

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No worries! I’m glad you understand, may you be free from suffering and always happy. :pray:

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Why only Julius Evola? There are innumerable Bad Ideas out there… belonging both to the Politically extreme Left as well as extreme Right. Fascists such as Hitler and Marxists such as Stalin use the same textbook of Hate to lead their nations into orgies of violence against the vilified “Other”.

If it was obvious that a Bad Idea was indeed a Bad Idea, most people would probably not take it up.

But a Bad Idea usually comes dressed up as a Good Idea. Indeed, it often has the germ of a Good Idea within it, but its Truth has been twisted. Bad Ideas promise much gain for little work while eventually delivering much pain - though this is not apparent when they are first examined. Good Ideas on the other hand, promise little and demand much work, though they eventually deliver much benefit!

Humans, being subject to Greed, Ill will and Delusion are invariably attracted to Bad Ideas far more than Good Ideas. :rofl:

The best advise here is that of the Buddha (MN61). If each person followed it, demagogues such as Julius Evola would have no support in the world.

When you want to act with the body/ speech/ mind, you should check on that same deed: ‘Does this act with the body that I want to do lead to hurting myself, hurting others, or hurting both? Is it unskillful, with suffering as its outcome and result?

While you are acting with the body/ speech/ mind, you should check on that same act: ‘Does this act with the body that I am doing lead to hurting myself, hurting others, or hurting both? Is it unskillful, with suffering as its outcome and result?

After you have acted with the body/ speech/ mind, you should check on that same act: ‘Does this act with the body that I have done lead to hurting myself, hurting others, or hurting both? Is it unskillful, with suffering as its outcome and result?

So Rāhula, you should train yourself like this: ‘I will purify my physical, verbal, and mental actions after repeatedly checking.’”

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Primarily because he’s a big person being passed around in alt-right circles as a source on buddhism!

This is a fair point! You bring up that hitler and Stalin are the same, this is a good point I think because it’s true. Whether we dress up fascism in democratic blue or conservative red, fascism is fascism all the same and will propagate essentially the same values no matter how it looks. It’s why saying the CCP is somehow different from Nazi germany simply because they claim to be socialist is so foolish. It’s fascism all the way down, much like the turtles! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

These are good points. I like the end quote as well.
That said, I don’t know where this is in the suttas but I believe Sariputta was praised for the quality of pointing out evil. I think we do good when we show that something is not the dharma.

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That’s the topic of the thread!!

(@faujidoc1 You’re a moderator and you’re sounding a bit like an apologist here, as well as derailing the focus of the thread.)

It’s because his writings have persistently been used by far right and neo nazi groups to invent a white supremacist version of Buddhism, which, due to ignorance and design, continues to have influence in Buddhist communities. There is genuine concern that these types of view are growing.

Bad ideas can’t just be magic-ed away, they need to be discussed and refuted.

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Hmmm, it was just a rhetorical flourish to open the post. And for the record I don’t agree with the philosophy of the alt - right, or with any philosophy of hate for that matter.

It’s just that, being Indian myself, I find the entire concept of my culture being co opted in these ways by an alien race downright ludicrous. How on earth can anyone get it all so wrong?

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I don’t think, Bhante, that they meant to sound any kind of way. But I understand your motivation and appreciate where it comes from. All is well and good here :slight_smile:

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Who is Julius evola ?

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Yes sir. I am reading his book right now. Omg how much misinterpretation! It’s very hard to say he is wrong when he is in fact wrong. His mistake is hiding behind his expressive knowledge. This proves it doesn’t matter if you are great scholar, only difference is You will do great scholarly mistakes which even you can’t see. I am glad I asked danamitra sir to clarify. Phew.

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A very deluded person, whose Wrong Views have led, and continue to lead many ordinary people to suffer in Hell, here and now.

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@Ratana
Sir if you are reading Julius evola’s book on buddhism or anything related to it. I would advice you to read all the replies to this thread along with it. Because Julius Evola’s views in his book about buddhism(that buddhism is in true sense anti-democratic, against universal benevolence, and so on), EBT are so alluring, like optical illusion and it’s hard to see that about them, they are actually wrong and delusional. Why would buddhism be anti-democratic, and against universal benevolence? Atleast to me when I started reading it…his views felt to be true. Moreover he says this is actually what Theraveda is all about. You can see his delusion. Problem is that he represents it so nicely that it feels as if he has got point…but it’s captivatingly misleading . And I understood that he is wrong only after it was clarified by everyone here. It was off course because of my lack of wisdom.
I just wanted to share this with you.

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I don’t recommend Buddhist boycotting his book because without knowing wrong view we would not know the real value of right view

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