Like Julie Burchill of The Spectator on “Alt-hate: Who knew the Left had so much Venom,” I experienced similar issues with people on the internet and in person. I just no longer feel I can be comfortable in institutions and spaces I once enjoyed, without thinking the majority of the people in that room hold the same political opinions, except for me. I never had to consider so many things I was involved in with colleagues, were solely vehicles for organizing leftists, progressive, and revolutionary politics. Even the mildest of social issues.
“We are in a different, more obviously dark condition, the closest to civil war than any time in my life. Old friends cannot bear to be in the same room with those who voted differently.”—Julie Burchill
The Theosophical Society, e.g., is “apolitical,” which I argue is impossible, because an institution, or organization whose ideas are inextricably bound to society, are composed of individuals. What if the majority of theosophical members were Krishnamurti or Charles Leadbeater fans; New Agers; Zionists; Communists; leftists; or Internationalists (anti-nationalists), then those individuals will dictate the expression of that institution. This excludes certain idealogues and attitudes. Helena Blavatsky couldn’t even survive in that Society today, as it has become infected by the modern relativists’ touch.
Julie Burchill describes the social situation very accurately on —
“Brexit — and the wounding of Mrs May — seems to have brought out the beast in the most mild-mannered herbivores. And unlike those of us who have always enjoyed malice and spite as small parts of a balanced emotional diet, those kept in check — castrated even! —by their membership of the Brotherhood of Man seem highly susceptible to getting high on their supply of the new taste-thrill of hatred. They call people who don’t agree with them Nazis — or eject them from north London book groups even! — at the drop of a hat.
So our play is not just about Brexit, but about the intolerance of those who define themselves as tolerant. We’re anticipating it won’t be the easiest thing to sell — the arts world is probably 99.9 per cent Remoaner — but Jane and I remain emboldened by a review from the estimable Susannah Clapp, theatre critic of the Observer, of the shockingly bad anti-Brexit play cobbled together by the Poet Laureate: ‘It is old hat…We are in a different, more obviously dark condition, the closest to civil war than any time in my life. Old friends cannot bear to be in the same room with those who voted differently. That is the country I’d like to see on stage.’” (Julie Burchill, Alt-hate: Who knew the left had so much venom)
My denunciations of the left came in 2015, against what I saw simply as this hypocrisy of the sacrosanct — being that of the modern left.
I exposed groups, and the shadow funding of rallies.
One Garveyite friend thought I went crazy.
Many nice liberal colleagues, couldn’t handle it, and defriended.
They quickly became not so friendly, just over my views.
It all has to do with the perceptions of what the left, progressives, and liberals represent. I listen to all of these viewpoints. The left represents tolerance, freedom, equality, compassion, justice, gentleness, kindness, etc. These are associated labels many liberals, socialists, etc., believe they represent, as opposed to the right, or “far-right.” One hears too often of the snide remark of a white daughter or son in college go, “yea, my parents are pretty conservative,” or “yea, my crazy (conservative) uncle.” There is almost this assumption, coming into college, that everyone will be liberal and left-leaning.
When I was introduced to political movements in college as a freshmen, I joined everything, to see where I fit. I didn’t think about right-left politics. The left represents progress, we are made to think; while, conservatism and the right represents past, or obsoleteness.
The political worldviews are associated less with philosophy, but are given their associations, based on the actions of the people professing them. I didn’t think of this as much before; and although some people are good-hearted, liberal ‘pseudo-tolerance’ and moral relativism are negatively affecting Western Civilization. I experienced “intolerance” by two old and long-time friends that are members in the Theosophical Society, to the extent I am entirely turned off from visiting the American T.S. in Wheaton. All I did was express some opinions. These persons cursed out anyone who voted Trump, or Republican.
Conspiracists have attacked Theosophy from the left and right, so there is no one side I am appeasing, or stroking. We’re on our own.
I’ve tried to defend the fact that their critiques are wrong, except contemporary theosophists affirm some critiques. It makes me feel they aren’t listening, because some have reacted to this blog as right-leaning. I don’t think they get it, and dislike these criticisms, because they may be guilty of holding said opinions. They seem deliberately involved in expressing theosophy through a Post-War lens — like the anti-nationalist, anti-sovereign thinkers in positions of power. Thinking like this stifles the essence of Theosophy.
If I was in a room of socialists, democrats, and republicans, I could charm all of them, as I have on numerous occasion. They’re after-all people, but I am not a polarizing and hateful figure. I’m rather kind, and so are some of my Republican friends, who have been depicted sometimes as inhuman and “mean.” There are just things pushed forward, that I absolutely oppose, and I think the political left and “liberals” have weaponized the ‘language of compassion’ to an extent, they are guilty of purposely slandering their opposition, then act like they’re innocent. All I’ve criticized have been mainly against a current, or trend of thought in one direction. The Freemasons in the past, stood above the polarization in the past centuries, where some saw the lodge as a place to get a more moderate perception. The culture of a group of theosophists, as a brotherhood was similar.
All political talk was however, advised to go on outside of the T.S.
Theosophists were diverse.
Helena P. Blavatsky was from the aristocracy, but she didn’t like communist and socialist revolutionaries (Helena Blavatsky on Socialist Charles Sotheran and Masonic Patent: “I am not a thirty-third degree Mason”), Russian anarchists (pre-Bolsheviks) against the Romanov dynasty (i.e., was against end of monarchy in Russia). I identified her, as she called herself, a “republican” and a “democrat” (she became a philanthropist). She became a republican, like Giuseppe Garibaldi and Mazzini. She gave up her aristocratic status, and speaking of American exceptionalism, later became an American citizen, co-founding the T.S. in New York. She had opinions, and addressed issues in education, and social ills of women in South Asia (Kumari Jayawardena: “The White Woman’s Other Burden.” Blavatsky and Emancipation in South Asia). All of the early theosophists had a very strong idea of what the T.S., the movement, and Theosophy should be, because firstly, Theosophy is not their teaching, but was that of a clandestine brotherhood. Additionally, no one ever said Theosophists couldn’t talk social commentary.
This is where your ideas will prove relevant to the public.
Theosophists are supposed to be revivalists and preservationists, not aiding the global political/finance structure destroy them. C.C. Aveline recently made an argument for globalism and nationalism. It is a genuine attempt to see the good in both, but the reality is different. We have used Toynbee, Krishnamurti, and the EU Parliament as clear examples of how they think.
Jiddu Krishnamurti on nation-state
“Nationalism always produces war, and the problem is not to be solved by bringing about further nationalism, which is only an avoidance of the fact and an extension of the same poison, but by being free of nationalism, of the sense of belonging to a particular group, to a particular class of society.” (Jiddu Krishnamurti, Verbatim Report, India Talks 1949-1950, pg. 104)
“The separative spirit of nationalism is spreading like fire all over the world. Patriotism is cultivated and cleverly exploited by those who are seeking further expansion, wider powers, greater enrichment; and each one of us takes part in this process, for we desire these things. Conquering other lands and other people provides new markets for goods as well as for political and religious ideologies.” (Jiddu Krishnamurti, Education and the Significance of Life, pg. 69-70)
“Nationalism, the patriotic spirit, class and race consciousness, are all ways of the self, and therefore separative. After all, what is a nation but a group of individuals living together for economic and self-protective reasons? Out of fear and acquisitive self-defence arises the idea of “my country”, with its boundaries and tariff walls, rendering brotherhood and the unity of man impossible.” (ibid., pg. 70)
“It is because we are nationalists, ready to defend our sovereign States, our beliefs and acquisitions, that we must be perpetually be armed. Property and ideas have become more important to us than human life, so there is constant antagonism and violence between ourselves and others. By maintaining the sovereignty of our country, we are destroying our sons; by worshiping the State, which is but a projection of ourselves, we are sacrificing our children to our own gratification. Nationalism and sovereign governments are the causes and instruments of war. (ibid., pg. 71)
I disagree, and think the latter points are dangerous and naive.
No one could deny most of what was said, but then in the last statement, Krishnamurti attacks the rule of territorial jurisdiction, sovereignty and nationalism. This is the characteristic mark of modern internationalism as Arnold Toynbee expresses in forceful fashion (Coudenhove-Kalergi and Toynbee on The Trend of International Affairs Since the War). Arnold Toynbee is the logical conclusion of Krishnamurti’s analysis, and others have criticized Krishnamurti. He merely expresses a sentiment common with the modern E.U. bureaucrats, neoconservatives, and liberal elite.
Criticizing Internationalist-Leanings of Contemporary Theosophists and Left/Liberal Bias in Modern Spiritual Movements
The rapid destruction of territorial jurisdiction and national loyalties leaves a vacuum for the internationalists and liberal elite. Those conditions that make Western freedom durable, are the result of the political and economic advantages of having territorial jurisdiction; which mass migration from Third World countries will contribute to destroying. The personal state is threatened and pressured by supranational and intergovernmental institutions and finance.
I used to think like the modern cosmopolitans, who usually describe themselves as “world citizens” beyond borders. Theosophists think like this, yet this is a matter of the individuals thinking that way, and not necessarily ‘Modern Theosophy,’ which adopts no particular economic model, or political doctrine. A Professor, Bruce Charlton expressed this issue perfectly some years ago on spirituality:
“It is an important observation that modern spiritual people are indeed notably left/liberal in outlook; because it leads to the recognition that they are left/ liberal with greater intensity and conviction than they are spiritual. Their spirituality is eclectic, flexible, changeable – their leftist politics is dogmatic, solid and often fanatical. It is easy to see which they are most serious about.” (Bruce Charlton, Why are so many modern spiritual people left/liberal in outlook)
“I was recurrently amazed that everybody in the New Age movement was on the Left, often very far on the Left – and even mildly Right-ish people (such as Republicans or Conservative) were extremely unusual.
But New Age ideas, if they were taken seriously, often seemed to imply, if not a Right wing political world, then at least certainly not the mainstream Left wing politics of our era.
Yet the New Age writers and gurus were mad keen on the actuality of modern mainstream Left wing politics — and would on the one hand sometimes endorse the specific political leadership of the West, when they were members of Leftist parties – but certainly would never endorse any Right wing political figures — would express utter disgust about them.
However, going back just a few decades, some of the originators of New Age spirituality has been ‘of the Right’. For example, Joseph Campbell (the mythologist) was a Republican. And Fritz (Small is Beautiful) Schumacher ended his life as a strongly Thomistic, distributist Roman Catholic – with a radically reactionary vision of the good society.
The New Age legacy of these men (and others) was almost uniformly Leftist – The Joseph Campbell Society and the Schumacher Society/ College both exuding the absolutely characteristic behaviours and concerns of the modern Left, and excluding Right wing ideas.” (Bruce Charlton, Why is New Age spirituality and Green economics always Leftist)
We know and avoid expressing religion through a Left leaning lens, to express something new and classical (or traditional). Without Tradition, there is no Theosophy. I would think naturally, itf expressed rightly, that not only would liberals join, but conservative intellectuals. Also, critiquing Christianity shouldn’t be a left or right thing. The Christian Right only came to dominate the American political sphere beginning in the 50’s and definitely during the Reagan Era (The Origins of the Religious Right and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee). So, I am not trying to divide people, but we have our biases. I just don’t want people in our circles, who think the left is sacrosanct, and do not see the preferential or biased leanings, and think we’ll cater to those predilections.
Countless university professors teach, that the nation-state is a construct, then like Jiddu Krishnamurti, leave the students with no mental replacement. Everything is deconstructed, then the student is left with nothing, but the thought that arises, “humanity is one family, borders don’t exist, etc.” Theosophy says nothing about borders not existing, and I would never argue, that the nationalist context of the 19th century theosophists was just of that time, but in this period, human consciousness is moving more toward “planetary consciousness.” There are contemporary theosophists teaching this idea.
I had an entire international studies class, deconstructing globalization and globalism, and how this sense of planetary consciousness is an illusion, due to technological globalization, which creates that as an impression. In reality, the digital age is creating an ever-increasing sense of fragmentation, isolation, and loneliness. Technological globalization is not a grounds for attacking national sovereignty. We are being told today, that expressing national loyalty is bad, fascist, far-right, etc. Further, we are taught, that the nation-state is not only perceived as being obsolete, but an evil institution that divides humanity, and is responsible for the creation of racism. The rationale is alarmist, not reasonable.
We are also told that multiculturalism is inevitable, and those who disagree are far-right, Europhobes, bigots, racists, nativists, xenophobes, etc.
We have seen the left become eager allies of Muslims. After the 2004 Madrid attacks (March 11), Lewis ‘Atiyatallah, who claimed to represent the terrorist network Al-Qaeda, declared that “the international system built up by the West since the Treaty of Westphalia will collapse; and a new international system will rise under the leadership of a mighty Islamic state.” Trans-border organizations like Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and ISIL reject territorial borders, because it aids the concept of the global Ummah under a global regime. Leftist parties† get the overwhelming majority of votes from Third World immigrants, who come to enjoy the economic benefits that country has to offer. Borders, these parties believe, should be kept open, but the citizens pay for it through higher taxation, especially in European countries. The Leftist parties are therefore funding their own colonization, and playing experiment with changing demography.
Political Weaponization of Compassion
This issue brings us back to the political weaponization of compassion.
The left sees itself in this time as the ‘bearers of compassion and tolerance’ against a resurgent “Right” seen as old. They are more united in an irrational hatred for the so-called Right, but if I asked them, they could not even define to me reasonably, what they are so vehement about. The Right is making new strides in influencing young generations. However, there is also this flirtation with neo-volkisch and identitarian ideology, working the same tactics of the early French Nouvelle Droite (New European Right), but less matured than the Nouvelle Droite. The latter has actually criticized the Alt-Right.
So, it is understandable why my liberal colleagues totally abandoned me, the more I gave out my views. They thought I was nuts, but they affirmed to me this weaponization of compassion, and its conditioned limits to who that tolerance and compassion was directed. I associated liberals with more tolerance, understanding, i.e., the societal perceptions about them, but experiences taught me otherwise.
Liberalism, Compassion and Tolerance
To many American liberals and leftists, President Donald Trump represents a regime of fascism, plutocracy, and hate. I learned the hard way, that liberal compassion and tolerance only extends to other leftist and liberal groups. However, overindulgence in compassion in the realm of politics has proven in history to inevitably encourage disruption in the state.
Japanese ruist philosopher, Ogyu Sorai once said:
“It is precisely because the status of rulers and subjects is different that pampering the people always causes so much harm.” (Ogyu Sorai, Master Sorai’s Responsals, 1720)
For a theosophist, compassion is considered the Law of Laws. Many in power have exemplified the principles. Lovingkindness (maitrī) is one of the Sublime Attitudes (brahmavihāra) in Mahāyāna Buddhism, and the second is compassion (karuṇā). Kindness, empathy, charity, justice, faith, and compassion are the central pillars of the ideal of the Christian religion, and a primary quality of the “virtuous man.” Theosophy cultivates “the good” (noble, virtuous, pure), concerning:
“that best portion of a good man’s life;
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love” (William Wordsworth, Lines Written A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, 1789)
Applying it practically in governing is another story. Many religious traditions in the past had the opportunity to rule and govern states, empires, etc., and have all thought of how governing and religion works together, in different and manipulative ways. Theosophists use the word dharma a lot; but in India, dharma also applies to duties to protecting one’s lands. The secret path of the initiate is different, because it is a Path of Renunciation; but human living is always a struggle and survival. The survival of conservative thought is one of them, we deem worthy of keeping strong, amid false notions of linear progress to a Utopian egalitarian Elysium. There is no Theosophy without Tradition and Roots.
Concerning portrayals of leftists and liberals with being compassionate, kind, and tolerant, due to higher levels of openness to experience — this is a weak argument. This is deifing them. They’re mortals. I have high levels of openness to experience as well. Openness is not necessarily an antidote to intolerance, as further discussed in Why Liberals Aren’t as Tolerant as They Think. Liberals advocate tolerance, equality and peace, or so goes the perception.
But self-righteousness is on both sides.
Conservatives “tend to be intolerant of groups they perceive as liberal such as: atheists, blacks, feminists, gay men and lesbians, labor unions, illegal immigrants, pro-choice activists, and welfare recipients. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to be intolerant of groups they perceive as conservative: big business, Catholics, Christian fundamentalists, the military, Mormons, the police, rich people, and whites (see Brandt, 2017)” according to research (Liberals, Conservatives, and Intolerance).
Christians and Charity
It is a common argument to hear these days, that government welfare is a sign of compassion. It is also common to find liberal and libertarian-left memes jollying about the lack of compassion, or the hypocrisy of the Conservative Christian. The latter dissociate government action from compassion, seeing it as contrary to the Christian notion of charity. Political compassion is not cost-free, and often leads to social decay. In the traditional American philosophy, welfare in the form of financial assistance isn’t the function of the state and government. Government, isn’t by nature compassionate, Stephen Moore wrote in The False Compassion of Liberalism, but a force.
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master” (George Washington)
This concern of ‘government-over-man’ is not solely the concern of the Conservative, or Christian. It is one of the main principles of the Traditional American Philosophy, or Republicanism. Its goal is to not keep people dependent on welfare all their lives. This would even oppose theosophical principles, entirely.
American citizens are in fact very charitable and fulfill that obligation, providing assistance and volunteerism throughout the world. Undeniably, compassion has become partisan politics. The liberals are saying, it is the Republicans who are Christian hypocrites. So, compassion is now a weapon. It has become unjust to place solely the burden of refugees and masses of immigrants on the Westerners, when the leftists are openly spewing anti-white/anti-European rhetoric, and further causing racial resentments¹.
Vengefulness is hardly compassion, especially in the spiritual sense.
Liberals declare, that compassion, justice, diversity, and equality are now “Democratic talking points.” Compassion and Tolerance in politics is a menace. People are called bigots, because they happen to disagree that gender is like a 100 flavor ice-cream parlor shop, and libertine culture (liberal norms) should influence children. We are bigots for disagreeing with trans-bathroom policies. We are bigots and mean, because cutting Meals-on-Wheels government-assisted funding seems evil, until you realize that they’ll survive, and do survive just well, when it is people, fundraisers, even the charitable rich and volunteers that choose to assist them with their funds, out of their care. I’ve worked with Meals-on-Wheels through the Society of Vincent DePaul in California.
I don’t think you’re economics has to lean left, or socialist to care for people. It is important to dismantle this false notion, that equality, justice, virtue, tolerance, etc., are the sole attributes of liberal democrats. It allows leftists to demonize their political opposition.
This issue of political compassion suffers from inexperience in governing and reality. “It would be nice to be seen as generous,” Machiavelli states in the beginning of chapter 16. The masses or the crowds are won over “by appearances” he adds, and because “the world is all crowd,” appearances matter. “It’s seeming to be virtuous that helps, as, for example, seeming to be compassionate, loyal, humane, honest, and religious.” A man need not possess virtuous qualities, but it is important that he seems to possess them, he adds.
Politicians being more Compassionate
In this old article, we find demands.
Key Ideas from Seven Vows of Compassion for Politicians:
- Politicians should be more compassionate in everything they do.
- Candidates should treat each other with respect, and they can’t be fear-mongers.
- Politicians should put the welfare of the country and the earth in high regard, by favoring government welfare, and funding environmentalist projects.
Who doesn’t want the Earth to be healthy, and that people should be respectful but: 1) in politics, it is always and will always be a tough game; and 2) energy and environmentalism isn’t cost free. Americans, who shoulder the economic burden, backed out of the Paris Climate Treaty. It frightened liberals, but relieved conservatives, who said it was an economic decision. I have a five point bullet list each a paragraph on why that decision was beneficial to tax payers, and had no measurable climate or environmental benefits. So, outside of the panic, it isn’t good how they portrayed the right as more a reason to hate them, when our facts or feelings weren’t thoroughly checked.
Concerning this issue with political compassion, this is very hypocritical, given the rhetoric of say, Hillary Clinton in the election against the deplorables. Women are changing politics, but in what ways is that both beneficial and negative? Others have argued, that this issue in politics has to do with how women are the driving force in pushing the welfare state, and how these pseudo-spiritual and pseudo-tolerant ideas about compassion are invading politics. This compassion, as we’ve shown is conditionally limited and contradictory.
Black Pigeon Speaks on the Issue
Black Pigeon Speaks warns he is not ascribing blame to any group or gender, but is merely describing the historical realities.
“Many writers have dreamed up republics and kingdoms that bear no resemblance to experience and never existed in reality” (Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince)
† It can be argued, that the Roman and medieval Christians gave new justifications for “the state”; and new justifications for the rulership of monarchs and the extension of their power through conquest. American Christians are unanimously allied with the political Zionists. It is out of the medieval Anglo-Saxon Christian society, the ideas of the public corporation and joint stock companies became most emphasized. The sociological meanings attributed to the nature of Christ and the purpose of the Church gave rise to combined efforts of globalization and corporations; and even the rise of financial powers, or God’s bankers — who enjoyed lucrative partnerships with the Catholic Church. The issues with Christian declination are not purely the result of as some will state, “cultural Marxism” and the “Frankfurt school.” There’s other observed causes.