What the West Can Learn from the Buddha and Gandhi

Writing during the Second World War, Julius Evola observed: “If one day normal conditions were to return, few civilizations would seem as odd as the present one, in which every form of power and dominion over material things is sought, while mastery over one’s own mind, one’s own emotions and psychic life in general is entirely overlooked.”[1] He who wishes to change the world should first of all start with himself: the insight may seem trivial, but we should bear this in mind in all our pursuits.

Evola made this comment in a ground-breaking work on Buddhism, a spiritual path which he believed had much to teach the West. Actually, there is nothing particularly Eastern about the ideal of self-mastery through a disciplined daily spiritual life. There are clear Western analogues in the Greco-Roman philosophical tradition to many Buddhist insights and practices. From Socrates onwards, the ancient philosophical tradition recognized that the first good was that of our own soul, the state of one’s psyche. The Stoics in particular seem similar to the Buddhists, emphasizing our relative impotence over the world’s constant flux, and that the only thing we should rightly seek to control is our own mind.

The French academic Pierre Hadot has emphasized that ancient Greco-Roman philosophy, unlike its modern Western counterpart, was not a purely intellectual or theoretical enterprise. Rather, the ancient philosophers practiced spiritual exercises and a particular way of life in order to train and transform their minds, and to prepare themselves for the acquisition of wisdom. Typical practices included physical austerities, a frugal lifestyle, contempt for material possessions, living in a community of like-minded philosophers, disinterested dialogue, mathematical abstraction, prolonged meditation, and the contemplation of death. Many of the basic insights and practices of late Hellenistic philosophy would be codified by and live on in Christianity.

Today however, Buddhism has an enormous advantage over Greco-Roman philosophy: it is a living spiritual tradition, rather than reduced to dusty books, however valuable they might be. There’s no comparing fossil bones with a live-and-kicking dinosaur. The teaching and law given by the mysterious Prince Siddhārtha Gautama, the Buddha, some 2,500 years ago has stood the test of time. Buddhism, unlike Greco-Roman philosophy, was institutionalized in a large monastic community, the sangha, which explicitly and systematically enjoined a particular spiritual way of life. Through the practice of contemplating the workings of the mind and the world in a spirit of detachment, the Buddha claimed we could learn to see existence as it truly is.

Ethics and politics, if they are to be lasting and healthy, must be grounded in an accurate conception of the way things are, and in particular of human nature, which is grounded in biology. Any political order, such as communism or multiculturalism, which is grounded in a false conception of human nature, is bound to collapse. The current liberal-egalitarian order is based on false assumptions about the genetic component of human biological nature, radically underestimating the importance of inborn qualities and of the differences in inborn qualities both between individuals and between populations. I do not need to tell the readers of The Occidental Observer that this leads to tremendous negative social consequences, particularly for the European peoples. In the long run, these false ideas make liberal-egalitarianism unsustainable.

We must however not neglect liberal-egalitarianism’s false assumptions about the psychological component of human nature. Nationalists of course have always pointed this out concerning our tribal nature, people evidently having an inborn tendency to identify with an ethnic group, to favor their own perceived kin, and to long for a sense of home. Liberalism’s failure concerning human psychology is deeper however. Certain tendencies are pursued to ever-greater extremes: the pretense of equality, the maximization of individual choice, the embrace of materialism and consumption through endless economic growth, the pathologization of paternalism and masculinity. However, it is increasingly clear that these tendencies, though perhaps gratifying the belly or of the ego of some in the short term, are not conducive to either individual happiness and collective flourishing.

Psychologists and modern Buddhists have often realized that the modern Western lifestyle is not particularly conducive to a purposeful and happy life. An interesting phenomenon in recent decades has been the growing popularity in the West of Buddhist spirituality and so-called ‘mindfulness’ meditative practices. Mindfulness has been popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American Jew with a background in molecular biology, as a means of reducing stress, anxiety, and pain. Kabat-Zinn made the brilliant move of rebranding traditional Buddhist meditative techniques as secular mental health exercises which, stripped of their religious baggage, have been widely used in medical, professional, and educational settings. The chief contemporary spokesman of Buddhism in France is Matthieu Ricard, a Tibetan Buddhist monk and interpreter for the Dalai Lama, who also has a background in molecular biology.

Ricard points out that past a certain level, wealth does not contribute to a greater subjective feeling of happiness in individuals.[2] On the societal level, Americans and Japanese do not report feeling any happier today than they did in the 1950s — implying that both the unprecedented consumer society enabled by the postwar economic boom and the social revolution of the 1960s have not increased human happiness.[3] Ricard points out that married couples tend to be happier than singles (whether unmarried, divorced, or widowed) and that housewives are as happy as working women.[4] Furthermore, people who practice a religion tend to live significantly longer than those who do not, possibly because community and purpose are a greater part of their lives.[5] A recent study of rural Italian nonagenarians found that, despite their age they enjoyed greater mental wellbeing than their younger counterparts. The study described the nonagenarians as “domineering” and found that “the unique features associated with better mental health of this rural population, were positivity, work ethic, stubbornness and a strong bond with family, religion, and land.”[6]

Through meditation, one gains tolerance to discomfort, a withering away of cravings, a strengthened will, and an openness to positive experiences. Interpersonal relations become more fruitful as one learns to look past minor irritants and look for the best in others. The gains are difficult to describe and must be experienced personally. Robert Wright, a journalist of science and religion with a background in sociobiology, writes that following a meditative retreat:

[T]he world as I saw it had a new tenor. I had shed so much of my usual self-absorption that I could take a new kind of delight in the people and things around me. I was more open, suddenly inclined to strike up conversations with strangers. The world seemed newly vibrant and resonant. . . .  [O]ne source of the enchantment, I think, was that I was spending less time reacting, less time having my buttons pushed, and more time observing – which, as a bonus, allowed for more thoughtful responses to things.[7]

There are studies suggesting that regular meditation produces significant effects on the brain and may improve mental health, cognitive abilities such as concentration, baseline happiness, and so on. I am in no position to judge the validity of these studies. However, there is no doubt that the mechanisms underlying the universal phenomenon of religion are very deep psychological traits which are there to provide meaning, purpose, and social order to premodern humans’ often “nasty, brutish, and short” lives. Go for a walk in your local cemetery: see how young your ancestors were dying even as late as the nineteenth century and consider the spiritual power they had to keep going despite the commonplace death of parents, siblings, spouses, and children, not to mention all the other daily challenges of their lives. The comforts of modernity, however pleasant, have made us very soft and squishy today, with an ever-declining tolerance to pain. As the Israeli historian Yuval Harari has pointed out: “With each passing year our tolerance for unpleasant sensations decreases, and our craving for pleasant sensations increases.”[8] This does not bode well for White populations today that desperately need to stand up to displacement-level immigration if they are to survive and thrive.

The way of the Buddha has fascinated Westerners in both ancient and modern times. Ancient Buddhism flourished under the Greek monarchs who ruled in the wake of Alexander’s armies in northern India and Gandhara. The Greeks began the practice of portraying the Buddha in statues, these beautiful works presenting him as a cross between a philosopher and a demigod, sometimes protected by a club-wielding Heracles. After a two-thousand-year interlude, modern Western advocates of Buddhism such as Ricard and Wright (as well as British author Stephen Batchelor) tend to ground their arguments in terms of psychological and evolutionary science. Meditation is presented as a way of overcoming or channeling the various cravings for comfort, food, sex, and gratification of the ego which the human mind has acquired throughout our evolutionary history. This mental equipment, they argue, was adaptive in our prehistoric existence, but is not necessarily appropriate for our very different modern lives. To take the most obvious example, our modern ability to satisfy our craving for salty and sugary foods has led to an explosion in obesity across the world. If you’ll pardon the metaphor, it stands to reason that the comforts and conceits enabled by modern life have made our souls obese as well.

Interestingly, Ricard is aware of twin studies suggesting that most personality traits are about 50% heritable, that is to say are strongly influenced by genes, and points to studies which show that the propensity to happiness itself is heritable.[9] He does not broach the topic of eugenics, but one might ask: would it be ethical, or even a moral imperative, to spread the genes predisposing people for happiness and psychological health? Would a good Buddhist seek to spread the genes predisposing those genes that predispose one to ‘Awakening’?

The take-away from all this is that the endless pursuit of material consumption and individual choice is not particularly conducive to happiness. Ricard argues:

Happiness is not the pursuit of an endless succession of experiences. That’s a recipe for exhaustion more than happiness. . . . Unlike pleasure, which exhausts itself as you experience it, happiness is a skill and cultivated. We all have the potential for it. You have to examine what contributes to a flourishing in your life. In Buddhism we say the root cause of unhappiness is ignorance.

Being happy is about raising your “baseline.” It’s not about seeking sudden fireworks or euphoric experiences. The first step to take is to realise that you want to improve — that the world is not a mail order catalogue for our fantasies and desires and that we have a relatively limited control over those transient, illusory conditions.[10]

Ricard does not reduce “happiness” to subjective well-being, and he is quite contemptuous of Westerners’ current infatuation with the endless pursuit of ever-new frivolous and shallow pleasures. He adopts an essentially eudaimonic and holistic ethic aiming for individual and collective human flourishing.

Of particular relevance to dissident movements, neo-Buddhists often emphasize that meditation is conducive to dialogue by promoting open-minded detachment and empathy even for those we believe are engaging in evil. Wright, who has recently published a book entitled Why Buddhism Is True which also makes the case for Buddhist practices from the perspective of evolutionary and psychological science, has argued that Buddhist techniques can reduce political polarization and increase dialogue.[11] This may or may not be a pious wish, and in any case further polarization is to be desired. Would Mr. Wright be willing to host one of his popular Bloggingheads podcasts interviewing Dr. Kevin MacDonald or Jared Taylor?

I have some hope that spiritual practice can enable the mainstream to have empathy even for the most unpopular heretics of the day. Mahatma Gandhi was one of the few twentieth-century statesmen, only Corneliu Zelea Codreanu otherwise comes to mind, to have been a genuine spiritual champion, practicing every day a surprisingly demanding ascetic lifestyle. Gandhi, while an opponent of National Socialism, could see beyond the intense emotional propaganda of his time to recognize Germany’s limited war aims and even sought to engage in dialogue with Adolf Hitler in two famous public letters addressing him as “dear friend.”[12] By the end of the war, Gandhi affirmed that the democratic-liberal and communist Allies had merely been superior to the Axis in the organization of violence — they had ‘out-Hitlered Hitler,’ and had been similarly guilty of war crimes.

Gandhi himself was very critical of Western parliamentary democracy and capitalist society. The wealthy West he said, enjoyed a mere “tinsel splendor,” which would lead to disaster. Writing in his 1909 book Indian Home Rule, Gandhi said of the modern West:

This civilization is irreligion, and it has taken such a hold on the people in Europe that those who are in it appear to be half mad. They lack real physical strength or courage. They keep up their energy by intoxication. They can hardly be happy in solitude. Women, who should be the queens of households, wander in the streets or they slave away in factories. This awful fact is one of the causes of the daily growing suffragette movement.

This civilization is such that one has only to be patient and will be self-destroyed.[13]

Gandhi, an idiosyncratic Hindu, saw an ascetic spiritual life as a goal in itself and even as the foundation of his political action. His daily cultivation of self-discipline and detachment — living in a quasi-monastic community in an ashram, praying daily according to a tight schedule, spurning personal comforts, elaborate foods, and even sex — was meant to enable him to pursue principle no matter the cost to himself. One’s personal example then naturally inspires others.

Gandhi’s political work was ultimately driven by a kind of religious calling. He said that “those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means.”[14] The psychology of conversion, whether to a religious faith or a political cause, is important here. The reward mechanisms in the mind clearly change: the small pleasures of life appear increasingly frivolous, only that which lives up to one’s higher values and purpose feels meaningful. Gandhi said: “Life without brahmacharya [pursuing God/a virtuous life] appears to me insipid and animal-like.”[15] In the words of his biographer Judith Brown, Gandhi would become “a Mahatma, someone who would strive with all his energy towards a spiritual goal which would encompass his whole life.”[16]

Once one has values and purpose, once these truly imbue our soul, then creature comforts are less important. As Friedrich Nietzsche famously said: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Conversely, the profound lack of meaning in Westerners’ lives today, which no amount of economic growth can make up for and which is intimately related to the liberal-egalitarian world-view, is no doubt related to our suicidally low birth rates and to the deadly explosion in opioid drug use.[17] The old Greek and Norse myths often prophesize that a society dies when the sacred bonds of family and religion collapse. In modern terms: spiritual death precedes biological death.

Gandhi’s critique of modern Western liberal-democratic and capitalist civilization flows quite naturally from his demanding spiritual ethos, making ascetic discipline and detachment the foundation for adherence to values. He affirmed that “increase of material comfort, it may be generally laid down, does not in any way whatsoever conduce to moral growth” and that “civilization, in the real sense of the term, consists not in the multiplication, but in the deliberate and voluntary reduction of wants.”[18] Gandhi was furthermore highly critical of Western parliamentary democracy as leading to unprincipled and insincere government under the influence of a corrupt mass media. Referring to the British Parliament, he noted:

That which you consider to be the Mother of Parliaments is like a sterile woman and a prostitute. . . . The natural condition of that Parliament is such that without outside pressure, it can do nothing [good]. It is like a prostitute because it is under the control of ministers who change from time to time. Today it is under Mr. Asquith, tomorrow it may be under Mr. Balfour. . . . [Thomas] Carlyle has called it the “talking shop of the world.” Parliament is simply a costly toy of the nation. . . . To the English voters their newspaper is their Bible. They take their cue from their newspapers which are often dishonest. The same fact is differently interpreted by different newspapers, according to the party in whose interests they are edited.[19]

While Gandhi eventually grudgingly accepted that independent India would become a standard British-style parliamentary democracy, it is perhaps not so surprising that he was not overly concerned at the prospect of an Axis victory, being generally quite insensitive to the Allies’ claims of moral superiority.

Gandhi was an Indian patriot and a strange kind of nationalist cosmopolitan. He fought for Indian independence and promoted a localist way of life of self-reliance on native Indian culture and economics, while recognizing the importance of humanity’s shared global public goods. He was disturbed by the great psychological, cultural, and social disconnect between the Anglicized educated Indian elite and the impoverished Indian masses. He sought to live as simply as did the Indian peasantry. Gandhi made the fight against racial and caste discrimination practically into a religion, but he was not an open-borders enthusiast. He thought that no one should face discrimination in the land in which he was born and bred. At the same time, Gandhi opposed even humanitarian Jewish immigration to Palestine, saying: “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs.”[20] This was in 1939. The fact that the Jews of Germany faced discriminatory legislation and occasional outbursts of violence in the Third Reich did not, in his view, give them a ‘human right’ to settle Palestine in violation of the will and the interests of the native Arabs. Gandhi was also a supporter of voluntary eugenics.

The relationship between spiritual practice and ethnic nationalism is complex. Whereas the Hindu religion and Hellenic philosophy are emphatically biopolitical, Buddhism is universalist and largely unconcerned with ancestry and reproduction.[21] Buddhism is not, however, a pacifist religion but one in which violence is authorized if it is truly necessary and is done with compassion and self-control.[22] In past eras, Japanese samurai and soldiers happily reconciled their remarkable warrior ethos with Zen Buddhism, with its emphasis on abandonment of the self, in service of honor and the Japanese nation.[23] Today of course, neo-Buddhists tend to be enthusiastic partisans of the cosmopolitan and egalitarian notions of the United Nations, ‘universal human rights,’ and so forth.[24] Spiritual practice, it seems, helps one to adhere to values, whatever those values might be. It is noteworthy however that the Dalai Lama, whose native Tibetan people face an existential threat in the form of massive Han Chinese settlement, has expressed dismay at German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s lawless invitation of millions of migrants to Europe. He has said that “Germany cannot become an Arab country” and “from a moral point of view . . . the refugees should only be admitted temporarily.”[25] Is this not a moral position every person of good faith can get behind?

Perhaps Buddhist spiritual practice can help people not only to adhere to values but also to reach better-informed values: detachment from one’s prejudices is naturally conducive to reexamining one’s beliefs objectively and to dispassionate dialogue with those who think differently. Certainly, Socrates believed that through such detached dialogue one could not only overcome one’s particular prejudices, but also tend towards truth and reason, which are universal. Perhaps an enlightened and gentle identitarian compromise is possible, one which would respect inevitable ethno-national sentiment, recognize the value of borders and identity to solidarity and social peace, and protect the Western and European peoples’ legitimate ethnic interests and genetic heritage, as described by Frank Salter,[26] while avoiding gratuitous cruelty or selfishness. Such a compromise would entail, for instance, the halting of any further non-European immigration, explicit measures to increase the indigenous European birth rate so that this rises significantly above the non-European rate, and voluntary, incentivized repatriation where possible.

I cannot say that Gandhi’s principled, almost fundamentalist adherence to non-violence is wrong. Nor can I say that violent or coercive measures are historically never justified. The liberal order itself was built through tremendous violence and is maintained through constant and ongoing economic, reputational, and often legal coercion against those who think differently, on a scale far beyond the much-maligned McCarthyism of the early Cold War. Those who have read Homer and Darwin know that violence has often been absolutely necessary to the establishment of civilization and the evolution of higher life.

At the same time, the fact is that Westerners today are unprecedentedly comfortable and wimpish. I personally do not think this is going to change any time soon. There is a clear phenomenon of emasculation, which is biological as well as socio-cultural. Studies have found a steady inter-generational decline in testosterone among Western men. Declining testosterone is often associated with “diabetes, abdominal obesity, sexual dysfunction, depression and other adverse conditions.”[27] A recent meta-analysis by a team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that the sperm counts of Western men collapsed by over 59% between 1973 and 2011, and are continuing to decline.[28] We ought to fight against these developments — promoting exercise, celebrating both masculinity and femininity, and determining whether any chemicals are contributing to the biological decline of Western men. But I also tend to think that a structural decline in manliness and thumos is here to stay. Identitarian politics may simply have to work with this fact.

One might argue that the spiritual path leads to a certain impotence. Against this, I would point out the triumphant history of the religions: the might “sacred” city-states of Greece and Rome were religious communities dedicated to the gods, Christianity and Buddhism conquered (peacefully or not) great civilizations by inspiring elites and comforting the masses, and the spiritual and even biological power of Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam are still felt to this day. Across the world, the religious tend to have more children and thus will inherit the Earth, which we see even on a small scale within the West, as with the fecund Amish and Mormon communities in America. The power of the spirit is also evident at the individual level. It is no surprise if the anti-communist dissidents Alexander Solzhenitsyn of Russia and Petre Țuțea of Romania were also Christian philosophers: spiritual depth gave them the strength to tell the truth amidst universal lies. There was also a clear religious dimension to the activism of Evola or William Pierce, inspiring them to fight on even when they knew that salvation would not come in their lifetime.

Spiritual practitioners themselves, like Gandhi and Ricard, have a powerful effect in leading by their own example. However, it is true that such figures may often be reduced to moralizing impotent spectators. Gandhi, who never accepted the responsibilities of leading the state, was powerless to halt communal violence between Hindus and Muslims. And if India became independent without needing to wage war against Great Britain, it is also no doubt because the British Empire was already quite decadent, demoralized, and ripe for collapse. At a certain point, one doubts whether spiritual leaders’ power of example can really be effective in the absence of political power, notably through legislation and schooling. Certainly, Plato believed the best society, imbued to the highest degree with right values, could only be achieved through something like a monastic state. No doubt, one would concede, political power would also to a degree inevitably corrupt the spiritual community.

We therefore have a dilemma. Evola, for his part, argued for an “Order State” in which a spiritual elite imbued with right values leads society. This is not unlike how the Catholic Church in Europe perceived its mission. Similarly, one might point to the de facto role of the judiciary and mass media in policing values in liberal-democratic societies, although its values are certainly not to be endorsed.

In conclusion, I would argue that humans benefit from a spiritual life which taps into the deep religious mechanisms of our psychology, which enable us to find meaning and adhere to values throughout our necessarily brief existence. Through such practice, we may find it easier to dialogue with others and make the most of our particular social position and life-possibilities. I do not argue for any tradition in particular, but like Evola and Gandhi, I would say that all religions embody some aspect of Tradition and Truth. The important thing is that one joins a living tradition and that one’s spiritual practice resonates with us and inspires us to do good.

[1]Julius Evola, The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts (Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1996 [1943]), p. 108.

[2]Matthieu Ricard, Plaidoyer pour le bonheur (Paris: NiL éditions, 2003), p. 286.

[3]Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (London: Vintage, 2015), p. 39. Harari, whose work Sapiens I have previously reviewed for TOQ, is a practitioner of Vipassana Buddhist meditation.

[4]Ricard, Bonheur, pp. 289.

[5]Ibid., p. 293.

[6]University of California at San Diego, “Common psychological traits in group of Italians aged 90 to 101: Study finds group displays distinct optimism, stubbornness and bond with family, religion and land,” ScienceDaily, December 12, 2017: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171212091045.htm

[7]Robert Wright, “What Is Nirvana?,” aeon.co, May 10, 2018: https://aeon.co/essays/nirvana-can-seem-an-exotic-metaphysical-idea-until-you-look-closer

[8]Harari, Homo Deus, p. 49.

[9]Ricard, Bonheur, p. 282.

[10]Mathieu Ricard interviewed in Mat Smith, “How to Be Happy (According to the World’s Happiest Man), Esquire, January 15, 2018: https://www.esquire.com/uk/life/fitness-wellbeing/news/a4915/matthieu-ricard-what-ive-learned/

[11]Kevin MacDonald, “Cognitive Biases, Polarization, Social Media, and White Identity,” The Occidental Observer, April 11, 2018: https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2018/04/11/cognitive-biases-polarization-social-media-and-white-identity/

[12]Guillaume Durocher, “Gandhi & Hitler: The Story of a Friendship,” Counter-Currents, October 27, 2016: http://www.counter-currents.com/2016/10/gandhi-and-hitler-part-1/

[13]Mahatma Gandhi (ed. Judith Brown), The Essential Writings (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 72.

[14]Ibid., p. 65.

[15]Ibid., p. 63.

[16]Judith Brown, Introduction, Ibid., p. xi.

[17]Kevin Macdonald, “Opioids and the Crisis of the White Working Class,” The Occidental Observer, December 22, 2017: https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2017/12/22/opioids-and-the-crisis-of-the-white-working-class/

[18]Gandhi, Writings, pp. 69, 92.

[19]Ibid., pp. 135-36. I note in passing that these criticisms of parliamentary democracy are quite similar to those made by figures as diverse as Tocqueville, Nietzsche, and Hitler.

[20]Mahatma Gandhi, “Gandhi’s Message to Jewry – Palestine Belongs to the Arabs,” Christian Science Monitor, March 3, 1939.

[21]Writing in Axis Europe, Evola argued that Gautama’s Buddhism retained an “Aryan” racial identity. On the whole, there seems no denying that Buddhism represented a great religious and intellectual leap towards a universalist and egalitarian (or at least meritocratic) ethics, and away from caste inequality and ‘barbaric’ vital values. Ancient Hinduism celebrated conquest, lordship, and reproduction, stressing the importance of the leadership and purity of the ruling priestly and warriors castes, who were disproportionately of Aryan descent, while justifying the enslavement of the native Indian population. Buddhism seems to have played in India a role similar that of Stoicism and Christianity in the Greco-Roman world, marking a shift away from the conquering, ethnocentric and biopolitical values of Homer and the polis. This trend, from ‘barbaric,’ particularistic, and life-affirming values to altruistic, universalist, and transcendental values seems to a reflect a common pattern following the Aryan invasions of Europe and India: after the period of conquest enabled by the warrior ethos, a certain moral exhaustion accumulates over centuries of internecine warfare and cruel lordship, leading to the rise of more pacific and reciprocal ethics.

[22]The religious scholar Stephen Jenkins writes on the“idealistic western fantasies of pacifist Buddhism”:

The exaggerated image of pacifism projected on Buddhism (and Hinduism) was embraced and promoted by natives, as it conveyed moral superiority over colonialist oppressors and missionaries. Getting the message fed back by natives reinforced the original misconceptions. But the ultimate source is Euro-Americans themselves, weary of a century of warfare and longing for a pacifist Shangri-La. Buddhist cultural values were never so simplistic and practically served rājas, khans, and daimyō for millennia.

Source: “It’s not so strange for a Buddhist to endorse killing,” The Guardian, May 11, 2011 http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2011/may/11/buddhism-bin-laden-death-dalai-lama. See also Stephen Jenkins, “Making Merit through Warfare and Torture According to the Ārya-Bodhisattva-gocara-upāyaviṣaya-vikurvaṇa-nirdeśa Sūtra,” in Michael Jerryson and Mark Juergensmeyer (eds.), Buddhist Warfare (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 59-75: http://thezensite.com/ZenEssays/CriticalZen/Making_Merit_Through_Warfare_and_Torture.pdf

[23]Guillaume Durocher, “Sugimoto Gorō & Soldier-Zen,” Counter-Currents, March 14, 2018: https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/03/sugimoto-goro-soldier-zen/

[24]I would observe that the practice of Buddhism is in many respects anti-democratic: the teaching and practice is transmitted through an enlightened master whose spiritual lineage goes back to the Buddha, the sangha as a spiritual elite is organized in a top-down fashion, and one follows immemorial tradition. Evola argued that Buddhism was an essentially aristocratic spiritual path. For monks, day-to-day practice is extraordinarily and even perfectly regimented. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anything more ‘totalitarian’ today than an invigorating meditative retreat. I am not surprised that some have compared the quasi-monastic life in Gandhi’s ashram to the regime described in Plato’s Republic.

[25]Simon Tomlinson, “Dalai Lama says ‘Germany cannot become an Arab country’ as he warns that Europe has taken ‘too many’ migrants, The Mail Online, June 1, 2016: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3619322/Dalai-Lama-says-Germany-Arab-country-warns-Europe-taken-migrants.html. One could also mention the recent violent measures taken by the Buddhist native Burmese to remove the Muslim Rohingya who have settled their country.

[26]Frank Salter, On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethnicity, and Humanity in an Age of Mass Migration (Frankurt Am Main: Peter Lang, 2003). Reviewed by Kevin MacDonald in Human Ethology Bulletin, 20(2), 2005, pp. 7-10: http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/HEB_2005_2.pdf

[27]“Generational decline in testosterone observed,” Endocrine Today, February 2007: https://www.healio.com/endocrinology/hormone-therapy/news/print/endocrine-today/%7Bac23497d-f1ed-4278-bbd2-92bb1e552e3a%7D/generational-decline-in-testosterone-levels-observed

[28]The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Significant ongoing decline in sperm counts of Western men,” ScienceDaily. July 26, 2017: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170726110954.htm

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