Some personal comments:
This is the first time I heard of J Evola. There was not one reference to his writings in the OP and I assumed he is someone posting online!!!
Now I realise he is dead and should be thought of as someone whose writing is influencing the present. Thanks to those who supplied references and links that we can download and learn from.
I know and respect you personally on and off line, so I absolutely accept the truth of this statement; however, could you supply some starter names/links to follow up please?
I know and respect you too, having worked with you online, and it is easy for me to accept the truth of this, but it is “news” for me, and again I would like to follow up, so a couple of references please Erik.
I presume you refer to their use of the Dhamma rather than ours … assuming I got this right, then I agree with you. But how would you suggest we attempt to counter such damaging ideas?
I wish it could be otherwise.
And it is the same with Christianity: both historically, and currently in the USA.
If you like I can move the non-JE and non-alt Right material away from this thread.
Also now I realise JE is dead, a historical figure who is influencing the alt-Right, I think we could change the thread title to “Rebuking Julius Evola and his influence on the AltRight”.
I suggest you read the article by Gleig and Artinger I already linked to above which discusses Evola’s influence and those perpetuating it.
Sorry, but I’m not going to provide any links. There is no way I am going to give these people and their views any publicity even for critical purposes. In fact people posting links to such websites caused a huge problem on this forum a while back, because of vile racist and mysogynistic views and would actually violate our forum policy.
I’m reluctant to even name names quite frankly but can mention the main figures who I think are mentioned in the article I linked to above: Brian Ruhe, (ex) Ven Puññobhaāsa, and Jason Manu Rheume.
Their opinions on this issue can be seen on social media chats, other Dhamma forums and on their own pages and video channels. They have thousands of supporters around the world. They are not subtle about their political views and somehow mould their understanding of Buddhism to fit those. Worryingly, people come across such people and share these things often without knowing the full picture of what they are endorsing. What is publicly available online is only the tip of the iceberg and there are private groups where things are discussed more freely.
Having done several deep dives into the alt right Buddhist scene and seen the pervasiveness of its influence in unexpected quarters, this is not something I would generally recommend others
to do themselves, as it can lead to a real loss of faith in fellow Buddhists and humanity generally! Seeing things like a monk giving a nazi salute to a Buddha image, reading why women are biologically inferior, or why the Buddha had to have had blue eyes, why Buddhism is inherently racist (and that’s ok), seeing Nazi flags, imagery and leaders photos on Buddhist sites, hearing why Jewish people are inferior etc none of this is good for anyone! It’s darkness and it’s stomach churning… but it’s real and out there.
But one thing, I would suggest to members here who have been commenting in somewhat idealistic tones without perhaps knowing the full extent of this issue at least do some basic research themselves before commenting!
This is wonderful, I like these ideas. I think your thoughts on this are good and agree with everything in this post very much so.
I think there are probably some more like us but I don’t personally know them, I know the Dalai Lama has been talking out against co opting of buddhism for nefarious reasons. But we definitely need more good hearts in the world to help quell this.
This is true! I think we can learn alot from our islamic friends who take away the radicalization forced on them.
I have nothing to say about this other than I agree completely. Sadhu sadhu sadhu.
I can’t help but think the reasoning behind alt right people going to buddhism is directed at separating the historic bond Jewish and buddhist people have had in places like america for several years now.
I believe that we can preserve our bond with our friends though, and make our community stronger than their hate.
It’s already downloaded for when there’s a quiet moment . I totally understand that you wouldn’t want to offer publicity in public places. However , I do see a bit of a difficulty here in that if I didn’t have this trust in you personally I would have simply discounted your post.
Ahh yes, I’m familiar with that. Growing up online was interesting, I was more sensitive to subtle cultural shifts and as time went on these figures would gradually expose you to alt-right/fascist ideas in small doses. It’s scary how well it works, they’ll hook onto anything they can to shove you down the rabbit hole. Outside of buddhism, popular spiritual corners tend to be neo-paganism, christianity, and occultism especially.
I think this is a brilliant idea actually, having someone like Hbomberguy, three arrows, philosophy tube, etc could help a lot with fascists attempting to take over the dhamma. I imagine it would also help people de radicalize and has some other unforeseen good affects.
I agree, I feel bad for people who act in monstrous ways, and worse yet for their victims. When we are compassionate, I think it helps us deal with the people who are acting monstrous much better as well. We think clearer.
I did not read Evola’s book, and i know very little about fascism, but i think a better way of investigating or discussing ideas is to leave the author (or his ideological orientation) out of the equation. The following method leads nowhere in my opinion:
1- Evola was a fascist
2- Fascism is evil
3- He wrote a book
4- His understanding of Buddhism must be driven by his fascist views
5- Let us rebuke him
Instead, claims in his book can be investigated without referring to any of the above.
Fascism is, roughly speaking, the political ideology of Nazi Germany, and one with which Mr Evola admired very much. To the point of even having great affection and longing to be part of himmlers inner circle.
However, Evola did not call himself fascist. Rather hilariously he described himself as super fascist.
A small source on examples of fascism.
I understand your point, and there are times where even this would make sense, but in this case his ideological orientation is an inherent part of the problem and is the thing that needs to be countered.
That said, it’s not a question of “must be driven” it is, in his own words, directly driven by his fascist ideology.
I think we can also affirm that fascism is evil, given the term was technically started by the Nazi Party of Italy’s leader Mussolini to describe his ideal rule and genocidal urges.
I’m not sure I understand what you mean, you can’t exactly investigate any of what Evola wrote without bringing up his fascism since fascist ideology was the entirety of what inspired him and his only reason, in his own words, for writing about buddhism was to contribute to his fascist interpretations of hinduism.
What he believed might have influenced his understanding of Buddhism or Hinduism, but this would be his problem, why to make it ours? Instead, we can examine his interpretations of what the Buddha taught and avoiding entanglement with what could be his motives. If he was driven by ideology, should we do the same? How does that make us better? When prince Abhaya pinched his son as a cheap debating trick, the Buddha was not swayed by that.
I do not believe that the Buddha taught racist or supremacist ideology. He did not teach that we are equal either. In my understand, what he taught is that there is white and dark kamma and their fruits were not dismissed as meaningless. However, their ephemeral nature makes clinging to them causing suffering.
I am not a holocaust denier. I do not have the urge to confirm it all the time because i do not see value in denying it. My skepticism about history is not whether these tragic events took place or not, or whether fascism is an evil ideology or not, but the belief that a collective acknowledgement is a necessary condition for understanding evil and not repeating it. One drawback of this approach is that it could make denying historical facts appealing to many.
It is fairly easy to see that passages such as these;
“Now, Ānanda, gifts to the following individuals may be expected to yield the following returns.
“Giving a gift to an animal, yields a return a hundred times over.
Giving a gift to an unvirtuous ordinary person, yields a return a thousand times over.
Giving a gift to a virtuous ordinary person, yields a return a hundred thousand times over (100,000).
Giving a gift to an outsider free of desire for sense pleasures, yields a return a trillion times over (1,000,000,000,000).
But giving a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry yields incalculable, immeasurable returns. How much more so giving a gift to a stream-enterer? How much more so giving a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of once-return? How much more so giving a gift to a once-returner? How much more so giving a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of non-return? How much more so giving a gift to a non-returner? How much more so giving a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of arahantship? How much more so giving a gift to an arahant? How much more so giving a gift to a Private Buddha?
“How much more so giving a gift to the Supreme Buddha?
Can lead a person to draw wrong conclusions if they are to ignore verses like these;
“One to whom it might occur,
‘I’m a woman’ or ‘I’m a man’
Or ‘I’m anything at all’—
Is fit for Mara to address.”
I am not even going to try explaining any of this because if i am misunderstood, i too, might be called a fascist or whatnot.
To refute stupid views one can point out things like the hypocrisy of any one person who looks down on another when he himself has actually been just like that a countless amount of times [in past lives].
Whosoever debased by his pride, exalts himself and belittles other — know him as an outcast.
It’s disturbing that a Buddhist would have the view that people should not be speaking out against racism. That is very regressive and it opens the door to discrimination and violence. Racism is not equal to anti-racism. Racism and other forms of hate have very real consequences.
Burying our heads in the sand and feigning ignorance about racism is backward. It does a disservice to those who are oppressed through acts of hate. Buddhism in the 21st century should be making the world a better place, not making things worse.
Also notice the reemergence of both-sides-ism. This time in the form of racism and anti-racism being equated with one another. Yes, I will question those motivations.