It has not gone unnoticed but something is not right with the world and the way we look at it and ourselves. We are still in the throes of nihilism and are likely to stay in this chaotic world for quite some time. The great nihilist prophet Nietzsche (1844–1900) predicted as much. He essentially said that there is no truth to be found, “there is simply no true world.” And this is what precisely nihilism is for us. Moderns are not only nonbelievers of a loving or warlike God on high, but also of truth, itself (e.g., enlightenment).
From this there can only emerge a fundamental antagonism between individuals and communities. Everyone is right; everyone is wrong. There is simply no way to overcome this state of affairs. And with this fundamental antagonism, reason and unreason are pitted against each other. Even what reason means becomes increasingly obscure. Nothing intelligible presents itself. The world we face is wrapped up in beliefs, personal emotions, opinions, sensuality and most of all our volitions. Reason cannot enter here since nothing can decide our choice (volition) that can be reasonable, that is, having a basis in the true or its possibility. Maybe even worse, reason eventually turns to casuistry.
This is not to say that nihilism is everywhere. It is not. But we can see it in what is sometimes called “cultural Marxism” where instead of looking at the settled economic theory as the main cause of our social problems (traditional Marxism) we look, instead, at the accepted culture of racism, for example, or the role of women in a male dominated capitalist society, or we look at the treatment of gays and lesbians, etc. This is also “identity politics” which is centered on the struggle for a political voice by those who feel they have been marginalized by society. Again, I have to underscore there is no reason here. The struggle/conduct is based upon unconsidered impulse instead of prudence. To use Nietzsche’s term, it is a will-to-power which I tend to think of as dominion-over-other in which the marginalized strike back with no limit on their outrage—for they see it as getting justice. This is echoed by Nietzsche when he says, “Every drive is a kind of lust to rule; each one has its perspective that it would like to compel all the other drives to accept as a norm (WP, 267).
Bending to the accepted norm is now accepting the MSM narrative which is still very much a will-to-power. This is also true in politics as much as it is true in Buddhism where the current narrative appears to be about the corruption of Buddhist monks and their extremism towards Muslims when for example a BBC piece asks: Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims? The author seems to forget that Buddhist monks know the history of Islam. In India alone more that 80 million people were massacred by the sword of Islam (Negationism in India, Voice of India, New Delhi, 2002, p. 34). For Buddhist monks and nuns in Myanmar the existential threat of Muslim jihad is very real and constant. There is no such thing as compromise in Islam. The Qur’an contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with non-Muslims for the sake of Islamic rule. In the face of this, what does a Buddhist monk do? Disrobe and become a Muslim? The simple solution is don’t listen to these Social Justice Warriors (SJWs). Their narrative is a will-to-power which could even be said to belie a deep-seated hatred of Buddhism on their part or harbor Islamophilia as in feeling sorry for the victim who is really not a victim. So where are we?
We have arrived back at nihilism (oh, that vicious circle). We really never escaped. In Buddhism, those who want to escape from nihilism go off into the woods and hope to awaken to the unconditioned (nirvana). Here might be found truth—most fundamental and serene. For the rest of humanity, the social order in time decays insofar as it is working against itself. The builders are now the takers who know no limit to their greed. Even the cover-ups don't cover anymore; the politicians look more like race car drivers with the names of their corporate sponsors emblazoned on their jackets, while the Buddhist teachers have no idea what Buddhism is really about nor for that matter does anyone who teaches religion. As for our institutions of learning, they only want politically correct followers. Think ahead too much and you end up like the late French immunologist, Jacques Benveniste.