Anarchism/Anti-State

National-Anarchism and Zen Buddhism

By Troy Southgate

I don’t find it too far-fetched to claim that National-Anarchism is having the kind of impact – beneath the radar, in most cases – that Zen has had on Buddhism. When the purity of the latter was brought into question after its dissection into two different schools, Mahāyāna and Hīnayāna, Zen arrived on the scene to set things back on the right track.

The Buddha, after all, had earlier founded his school as a reaction to Hinduism’s own descent into what Julius Evola (1898-1974) once described as “theologising speculation and empty ritualism”. Indeed, by concentrating mainly on scriptural dogma and behavioural exactitude Mahāyāna may be compared to the current Left-wing obsession with identity politics, linguistic temperance and political correctness. Hīnayāna, on the other hand, which promotes extreme moral asceticism, has a certain degree in common with the bourgeois ethics of the Right. 

I realise, of course, that by comparing the spiritual to the profane I am employing a certain degree of interpretational license. Nonetheless, there are similarities between Zen’s efforts to remedy Buddhism’s move away from an original, illuminated core and its consequent splintering into two distinct schools after the departure of the Awakened One, and National-Anarchism’s own attempts to return to the more unifying and transcendent roots of humanity. An age, if you will, in which the artificial rupture that is so negatively epitomised by the Left and Right of the political spectrum was not yet apparent. If one thinks of Zen’s interpretation of Satori, for example, which denotes a liberating return to one’s true nature, or essence, we discover that it contains remarkable echoes of National-Anarchism’s belief in natural order, organic replenishment and the liberation of the individual, not to mention a complete break with the modern world.

Satori enables one to take possession of the self in the way that National-Anarchism allows people to take control of their own political, social and economic destinies. As Evola explains, the “consequence of the Satori would be a completely new vision of the world and of life. For whomever has experienced it, everything remains the same – things, the other beings, one’s own self, the sky, the rivers and the vast earth – and yet everything is fundamentally different: as if a new dimension has been added to reality and the meaning and the value of it had been transformed completely.” This accords rather well with self-empowerment, fulfilment of identity and freedom of expression. Needless to say, in order to achieve in the political realm what the Zen masters have told us about Satori, we must go through what D.T. Suzuki (1870-1966) described as an existential “baptism of fire”. When all ties with the System have been severed, particularly through great struggle and tribulation, this process will lead us to a state of pure autonomy in the way that Zen awakens the more substantial and innate faculties of our being.

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