Sunday, 14 June 2015


The Oriental Mysticism at the Heart of our Passivity

"If you describe yourself as 'spiritual but not religious' you might be a Taoist." 
"Here, I would like to make myself absolutely clear: I do not think that the present vague spiritualism, the focus on the openness to Otherness and its unconditional Call, this mode in which Judaism has become almost the hegemonic ethico-spiritual attitude of today’s intellectuals, is in itself the ‘natural’ form of what one can designate, in traditional terms, as Jewish spirituality." – Slavoj Zizek 
"Saving one's soul may be of interest in a system, but in ignorance of that system... your Xtian examination degenerates into mere cerebral onanism." – Ezra Pound 
"All knowledge rests either on authority or reason but that whatever is deduced by reason depends ultimately on a premise derived from authority." – Charles Peirce
When you ask ordinary people about the economy, multiculturalism, or about immigration, they often give vague answers. Rather than identifying a specific historical trajectory that won a military and ideological victory, and is continuously pushed by NGOs, think-tanks, capitalist cabals, ivory tower academics, the mainstream media, and a certain ethnic group, they instead allude to how it is all just the “natural course of events.”

They might point to mass transportation and its easy affordability as the reason there are tens of millions of strangers in the West and more coming, instead of economic and ideological policies that have destroyed the cultural-racial-ethnic-geographical boundaries that, traditionally, have always been guarded.

These simple souls have swallowed hook-line-and-sinker the Leftist narrative of "progress." Instead of worrying about the big picture they busy themselves with coping mechanisms for the post-political, post-historical, post-ideological world of the Last Man. But even this passive and blinkered view of the masses has its ideological precursors, which is what I want to look at in this essay. Where exactly does this "go with the flow" attitude stem from?

Not being "racist" means letting it all flow over you.
When it was first published in 1982, The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff made a big splash, but this was hardly the first wave of Western interest in the Orient. Tao of Pooh was part of a commercialized postmodern wave of spiritual plurality, but the widespread popularity of yoga, Buddhist paraphernalia, and general Oriental fetishism has long been a feature of the commercialized and spiritually void West. It became particularly apparent during the 1960s counter-culture as Westerners grasped at Oriental philosophy to obfuscate their nihilism. Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, for example, although published in 1922 became a hit in 1960s America. Combined with this Western ingestion of Oriental mysticism is a trivialization of Western thought, as we see in this excerpt from the foreword of The Tao of Pooh:
"That was after some of us were discussing the Great Masters of Wisdom, and someone was saying how all of them came from the East, and I was saying that some of them didn’t, but he was going on and on, just like this sentence, not paying any attention, when I decided to read a quotation of Wisdom from the West, to prove that there was more to the world than one half, and I read:

‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’
‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’
‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
‘It’s the same thing,’ he said."
There you have it! The whole of the Western philosophical tradition, according to Hoff and his circle of Orientalists, is regulated to the meanderings of a honey-obsessed lackadaisical teddy bear in a children’s book. This is somehow insanely relevant to the adult-children of today – thunder-buddies for life means never having to say you’re an adult.

"People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day."
Earlier waves of interest in the Orient did not begin with modern colonialism as the resentment horseshit of post-colonial studies tries to affirm. Nor did it begin with Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt or Marco Polo’s voyages to the East. Perhaps the earliest account that is relevant is Alexander the Great’s conquest of Central Asia and Northwest India around 330 BC.

If this acquisition of territory, subjects, tithes, and resources can be described as an early form of colonialism, then perhaps colonialism is a central feature of Western civilization itself; as indeed conquest is a part of all civilizations that are able to raise themselves up to a certain level of power.

This is why Hegel was quick to dismiss those civilizations who failed to conquer as non-historical entities, namely India, while simultaneously identifying the soul of the West with the Classical age:
"All educated people, and we Germans in particular, feel at home when we speak of Greece… all our science and art, what adorns and dignifies spiritual life, has either emanated directly from Greece or come to us in a roundabout way via the Romans."
(Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, vol 2, p.10.)
An important reference point of Occidental Orientalism was Madam Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society and its attempt to unify divergent theologies into a perennialist esoteric cosmology. But this was only one part of a long process to meld together Eastern Wisdom, Classical Antiquity, and Christian Gnosticism – a philosophical attempt to "herd cats."

Like multiculturalism itself, such spiritual amalgamations are tenuous and superficial, often relying on recurring themes or archetypes, as in Joseph Campbell’s work, and abstruse teleological progressions.

Hegel refused to countenance such Oriental fetishism, and clearly separated the East from the West in philosophical and spiritual terms. Battling the Blavatskys of his era in the figures of Friedrich Schlegel and Georg Friedrich Creuzer, Hegel divided the Orient into its constituent parts, the Mongolian East of China and India and the nearer Caucasian East of Persia and Egypt (later adding Judaism).

The timeless East.
For Hegel, China and India represent the emergent sphere in his theological system, but are confined to ahistorical nonentity status, mired in entropy and cut off from the movement of spirit, while Persia and Egypt occupy the sphere of development, with its universal laws, abstract moral good, and connection to Western Tradition.

While Schlegel and Creuzer were busy trying to promote the Orient as a cultural model for German emulation, Hegel was playing the contrarian with a better hand. In Hegel’s teleological historicism, which also grafts nicely onto the Leftist narrative of progress (creating the schism between Left and Right Hegelians), the Orient is presented a pre-historical phase of spiritual evolution and a primitive and negative quality.

Hegel sees the Chinese as servile, the Indians as savage, cruel and effeminate, and the Persians as cruel rather than noble. In this way he resists the process of the universalizing spirit, inherent in his system – the same monotheistic drive which is the ultimate enemy of hierarchy and the mainspring of liberalism. Hegel’s ‘Germanness’ and his adoration for the state redeems him as a figure of the Right, but his monotheistic Judeo-Christian drive has clear affinities with the ahistorical East that he argued against.

Just as Western religion and philosophy has a Left and a Right, so too does that of the East, with Taoism and Buddhism fulfilling the same egalitarianizing role as Judeo-Christianity, against the more hierarchical tendency of Confucianism.

Wu Zetian, heavily romanticized. 
A revealing example is provided – not surprisingly – by the reign of one of China’s few female leaders, the Empress Wu Zetian (690-705AD) of the Tang Dynasty. It was during her reign that both Buddhism and Daoism replaced Confucianism as the state ideology. Confucianism had been established as the state ideology Under Emperor Wu (140-86 BC), of the Han Dynasty, which is considered the Golden Age of Chinese history. Wu excluded all other systems.

It was also under the Tang Dynasty that the coin of the realm was replaced by so-called "flying money," the first use of paper currency, which coincided with the burgeoning power of a merchant class, which, by 1020, had caused massive inflation. As usual, social liberalism is connected to economic liberalism and vice versa. In several intervening centuries there were many episodes of such hyperinflation.

In an echo of today’s attempts to establish "feminist narrative," Empress Wu Zetian also introduced matriarchy and feminist historical revisions, mutilating tradition according to her own practical precepts:
"In order to challenge Confucian beliefs against rule by women, Wu began a campaign to elevate the position of women. She had scholars write biographies of famous women, and raised the position of her mother's clan by giving her relatives high political posts. She moved her court away from the seat of traditional male power and tried to establish a new dynasty. She said that the ideal ruler was one who ruled like a mother does over her children."
The radical upheaval of tradition by Empress Wu is analogous to the 18th-century bourgeois revolutions and more contemporary radical Jewish-dominated feminist movement, which rewrites the past to stigmatize every past patriarchal society and present household. In their distorted rape-fantasies, the healthy social order is transformed into a world of inebriated wife-beating troglodytes, and their powerless victims.

This desire to eradicate difference – in gender role, sex, race, and even philosophy (by throwing together divergent and contradictory schools) – conjoined with the impulse to revise history and discard traditions, holds within it the germ of chaos. It is an invocation of formlessness and debasement paralleled by the inflation that eventually ruined the empire.

Ezra Pound: not fond of "Taozers."
Global capitalism and social pluralism are intricately connected. Laissez-faire has both economic and social dimensions, much like Marxism and Cultural Marxism. In fact, social laissez-faire or liberalism is practically Marxism minus property rights. Hence, Ezra Pound was incredibly perceptive in linking the Taoists and Buddhists as Eastern variants of the metaphysical aspect of the Jews in Europe – as agents undermining the state and its traditions.

In his Cantos he wrote about the "seepage of Buddhists" and the "babbling" of "taozers," and how these groups destroy the "five human relations," the organic bonds of political and familial deference and emulation. Concerned with only matters of the head and spirit, the Buddhists "provide no mental means for / Running an empire," and so represent "Man by negation." The Taoists are "wholly subjective." Babbling of heaven and elixirs of immortality, they shift men’s minds to their inner life.

For Pound, the Jews function as the Taoists and Buddhists of the West. They confuse the natural hierarchy of society, weakening it from the inside.

Occidental interest in the Oriental is long tied to our exploratory nature and genuine curiosity about the world – the term ‘Faustian’ springs to mind. This Western impulse was seized upon and directly attacked by the Palestinian intellectual Edward Said in his book Orientalism (1978). This was an enormously influential anti-colonial narrative denouncing what he refers to as the “patronizing” and “ideological fictions” of the West.

Said, and those like him, conflated 19th-century colonialism with Orientalism. By doing so, he entwined two separate, though often overlapping discourses and realities within his own ideological fiction – resulting in a fundamental denial of the importance of existing differences and their maintenance.
"The term Orient nor the concept of the West has any ontological stability; each is made up of human effort, partly affirmation, partly identification of the Other."
This sort of Leftist irrationalism is the ends justifying the means. Another example of this Leftist doublethink is their attempt to rid the world of "racism" by categorically denying race – which like Said’s Orientalism moves from being a biological and social reality into a "social construct," which doesn’t actually signify anything other than the process of generating knowledge about the world.

"The hate-filled gaze of the West."
This is poststructuralist obscurantism at its most irrational, flagrant in its desire to overthrow, kill, and cannibalize the existing world. In so far as the decline of the West is occurring through a denial of the existence of the West, the same function is at work with race. In Leftist terms, even if the West and race exist, they ought not to because they are oppressive. The contradiction of trying to abolish something that they believe doesn’t exists never seems to trouble them.

By Said’s own definition, the West is only sustained by affirmation, identification of difference, and will. This sort of will is the opposite of the laissez-faire ethos of liberalism, which wrongly and falsely assumes that things just are (an atheistic rendering of the ‘invisible hand’).

In Taoist thought all problems arise with the interfering mind and the intervening individual:
"While Eeyore frets… and Piglet hesitates… and Rabbit calculates… and Owl pontificates… Pooh just is."
From the Taoist point of view, evil comes from the interfering and unappreciative mind, so passivity is encouraged. This attitude is encoded in the Western equivalent, "Go with the flow," and, in the 1960s, was even set to song by the Beatles in Let It Be.

Because Said wants to dismantle the ‘oppressive’ “ideological fiction” of the West, he is essentially arguing for a position of no effort and no affirmation from those upholding the West. This brings us back to ideological Taoism – social laissez-faire, liberalism, And Cultural Marxism. The enemies of the West must be ecstatic to see it as it is: unsure of itself, apologetic about its past and its traditions, succumbing to political correctness, and accepting plurality along with hordes of immigrants to change its essence. Said is of course one.

Said’s point of attack is that all knowledge about the Orient “is violated by the gross political fact,” by which, of course, he means our oppression of the South and East. But what he misses is that it is precisely this "political fact" that contains the most important knowledge about the Orient and the Occident.

Secularists make a similar claim about the Church, stating that it spiritual legitimacy is compromised by its worldly and political dimension. This Cartesian split misses the point of religion itself and slides into the formlessness of Taoism. Religion is political. The Church is an institution and has always been grounded in politics, and, if it is to retain any substance, it should remain political.

Said invites us to imagine some realm where one’s strength is not measured by competition, but by one’s own deranged solipsist measurement. But one cannot be regarded as ‘strong’ if no one is regarded as ‘weak’ – this is the Leftist Hegelian utopia of the abolition of the master-slave dialectic which Marx capitalized on.

Rather than Western conceptions of “The Other” being merely rooted in some malignant desire to dominate (which in part they are, and rightfully so), they are also rooted in understanding and contrasting. Western identity has seldom been simple blind self-affirmation. Setting aside the usually erroneous products of leftist anthropologists, like Margaret Mead, there are many authentic Western accounts that praise “The Other” – admiring the physiques of Native Americans, for example, along with their honesty and tribal structure. Likewise, it is not too hard to find adulatory Western accounts of feudal Japan.

Another important point to remember is that Western conceptions of “The Other” can only be rendered in a self-reflective manner, namely from a Eurocentric position. Without this, there is no perception. The post-structuralism that underscores Said’s work attempts to dislodge the Westerner from his own perspective and reveals who is really the object of dehumanization. This is explicitly admitted by the Jewish father of post-structuralism, Jacques Derrida:
"The idea behind deconstruction is to deconstruct the workings of strong nation-states with powerful immigration policies, to deconstruct the rhetoric of nationalism, the politics of place, the metaphysics of native land and native tongue… The idea is to disarm the bombs… of identity that nation-states build to defend themselves against the stranger, against Jews and Arabs and immigrants…"
The point, made abundantly clear here, is to deconstruct Western Civilization itself, and accomplish this by abolishing the notion of Western Civilization.

Unilateral disarmament of a civilization.
Libertarians will argue that that the system is too heavily regulated. If only government red tape was removed, the gears of the system would function ever-so-smoothly, but one look at the ebb and flow of global markets reveals the reality. What libertarians refer to as “freedom” is what radical conservatives would label “chaos.”

The number one traded “commodity” in the world is currency, which itself is an arbitrage scheme that by-passes the social benefit of productive labour to produce wealth by creating money out of money – the traditional understanding of usury. Given our examination it should be of no surprise that:
"The laissez faire slogan was popularized by Vincent de Gournay, a French Physiocrat and intendant of commerce in the 1750s, who is said to have adopted the term from François Quesnay's writings on China. It was Quesnay who coined the term laissez-faire, laissez-passer, laissez-faire being a translation of the Chinese term 無為 wu wei and mo wai in Cantonese."
Wu wei being non-action or non-doing, without action, without effort, without control, is the Taoist principle at the heart of "Laissez faire et laissez passer, le monde va de lui même!" ("Let do and let pass, the world goes on by itself!").

The real point of the Right is to give form to the formless, to emphasis structure and to affirm ourselves against this onslaught of lackadaisical social laissez-faire liberalism, which is revealed as an ontological and epistemological Western Taoism, facilitated through economic exchange.

We need to call forth Western Civilization and affirm it, in ourselves and in others. Our enemies meanwhile seek to undermine us through deconstruction and extinguish the flame of the West; we must, as Dylan Thomas wrote, “Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.”

We need to instill the ‘Confucian principle’ of authority that Pound recognized as analogous to fascism as a solution to the problem of economics and liberalism. Confucian society is a rigid traditional hierarchy, characterized by patriarchal and feudal values and the ideals of the homestead. How much more Right could we get?

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