I am not suggesting there is more than one Dhamma, I am suggesting that there are many different variations of the Dhamma that have changed over time and continue to change. We see this even canonically with omissions in the Pali texts that are present in the Agamas, specifically in relation to the foundation of the nun’s order (pi-tv-kd20). Perhaps, the Buddha taught something that we can call the ‘Dhamma’, but from a religious studies and historical perspective, that canon that we call the Dhamma is both inconsistent and constantly re-interpreted. Thus, what I am arguing is that to say there is one coherent Dhamma is to suggest that it is stable, and I would reason otherwise.
Also, why is postmodernism a bad thing?
Why not? The intention, I think, of protesting is not necessarily to shout into the void, on one hand, or to directly change a politicians mind on the other. The purpose of protesting is to make it very clear that a large number of the population does not consent with the actions of its government.
I don’t really think this is a fair or accurate comparison. The Buddha was speaking one-on-one with a ruler, something that is fairly impossible for any person of the United States to do. We can appeal to our state representatives, but there is very little chance we are going to be able to speak with the President ourselves. There is thus no (or very little) opportunity for reason in modern-day politics, this is fairly clear. For even if I were to be able to the President, he would not listen, because reason is not as important to him as image and power.
I think this is exactly the time to get loud and angry. This might not fit squarely within Buddhist principles, but I think it is in accordance with the Buddha’s idea of metta precisely because it is compassionate. What people are getting angry about is the severe mistreatment of immigrants, people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, and many more excluded groups.
There is an exhibit at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum that talks about the complicity of German citizens in aiding the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust. What the exhibit addresses is the tendency of German people during the time to ignore what was taking place, inspite of the fact that they knew exactly what was happening. If one is getting loud and angry to stop such events from taking place, then it is absolutely necessary.
Therefore, I absolutely object to your idea that becoming loud and angry will lead to extremism, Islamophobia, or Nationalism. The persecution of Muslims in Myanmar is at least in part due to a long history of ethnic and racial ‘othering,’ of the belief that Buddhism is better than Islam.
I agree that it is important to not also conform to such alterity, to label ‘us’ and ‘them,’ but to remain silent and passive in the face of persecution is unwise, un-beneficial, and dangerous.