Why we needn’t listen to the Dalai Lama:
Against the tenacious hope for the unity of all peoples, I am a happy curmudgeon. This hope during the summer’s third world invasion of Europe was imposing, but the continued, if not increased faith in the coming Unity of Humankind, in the face of the recent attacks in Paris, is transcendent. This hope is so universally held by Westerners that the Dalai Lama can sum our moral duty up as ‘straighten up, fly right, and become One‘;
“Humans made this mess so humans need to fix it. . . We need a systematic approach to foster humanistic values, of oneness and harmony,” he said. “If we start doing it now, there is hope that this century will be different from the previous one. It is in everybody’s interest. So let us work for peace within our families and society, and not expect help from God, Buddha or the governments.”
Really? One system of unity that tends to the psycho-spiritual and physical needs of all people. This system of ‘oneness and harmony’ will be so compelling that we will be able to live contentedly without strife? That is a monumental claim, made so casually in his thoughtful way. More incredulous, this system is not to be administered by government. It will somehow spread to all the people of the world because of its prima facie universal benefit. If such a scheme was plausible and humans were generally inclined toward it, we would not be in the state we are now; there would be no Paris bombing, hell there would have been no French Revolution. Imagining this spirit, though, spreading throughout the world is far from inspiring, it sounds like flower-child Marxism; no more inspired than John Lennon’s Imagine. It’s their one hymn I guess I should go easy.
Pope Benedict, whatever you may think of him, presented a delightfully pessimistic thesis in one of his early encyclicals. He said that all Utopian schemes are doomed because of free will; that we can never hope to set in place a once-and-for-all happiness system. There is always the possibility, yea probability, that some will act outside the dictates of the Utopian dogma. Removing the red-hope coloured glasses the Dalai Lama would have us wear, we can see that this unity is not really in all of our interests. What is this oneness and harmony? Are we really supposed to believe, in the age of disbelief, ‘Love will bring us together’? He is consulted like an oracle by the German publication Deutsche Welle, seeking spiritual input for a continent in turmoil, a continent of nations going through significant transformation, and racial dilution. So they seek him as the perceived voice of universal goodwill, the ambassador of all and none, who offers to nations, suffering as nations, that global concerns have to come first. And clearly others holding his general Utopian beliefs tell us that the answer to Paris is more diversity; more different people living side by side in competition for space for culture and commerce. As the Dalai claims, “Furthermore, the problems that we are facing today are the result of superficial differences over religious faiths and nationalities. We are one people.” This is a dumbfounding, ignorant and oppressive claim said to a nation, Germany, which is pushing itself to the very edge of existence over this anti-nationalist moralism.
Experience and reason dictate the end of this border-less generosity is our people’s demise. And we must judge this conclusion unacceptable. We are naturally generous folk, for all our bad press. If this were not so we would not be in the predicament we are now. We would have said no to immigration reforms of the 60s and 70s, we would have kept our homelands and our conquered possessions for our folk instead of opening our borders to all and every. Though enemies will laugh, I care not that they do, we are a generous people, but we are logical as well. So, the choice to reject this universalizing multiculturalism, this post-modern godless faith in humanity’s inevitable unity in peace is, truthfully, from a desire to reduce suffering; to limit unnecessary conflicts. It is easy to tell that multiculturalism ends badly, if you look at it with your brain as well as you heart. In the end one culture will emerge to dominate. This is nature’s way. Because this generation refuses to be mean, to see ‘us’ and ‘them’, to say hard truths, and to act on them, the next generation will be forced into savagery. We could act more or less in peace if we acted now. And here I will concur with the holy man; we must act now if we hope to bring about a better state for all people in the coming generation.
The choice is not so difficult. We either continue slamming ourselves against this temple of Universal Man, dreaming its impossible dream. Or we accept division as natural, not evil but good, very good and beautiful, and allow people to separate into more homogeneous groups, to re-establish borders and nations, to establish peaceful relations of commerce and even cultural exchange between countries. But if we wait till the material surplus, which is the efficient cause of our current generosity, is spent, that generation will not hold our high-minded universalism. It simply will not be able to afford it. They will be faced with a choice between annihilation and violent struggle for existence. There is no other reasoned course. ‘Love will win’. ‘Love conquers all’. These are common affirmations I see on my Facebook news feed after the Paris attack of Friday the 13th, November 2015. I must admit this sounds nice. Generosity appeals to my liberal nature. I wish I really could believe it true. Perhaps I do yet believe love will triumph, just not by the ‘oneness and harmony’ of the Dalai Lama and his fellow devotees in the church of Universal Man.
We are quite literally bullied into accepting this multicultural faith and the glorious promised future it will bring. The old right of Freedom of Association is still on the books, but it is counter-righted by a mob of entitled special interests, and is left a cowering heap in the corner. Doubt in the progressive universalizing spirit is ugly, mean, intolerant; it is naught but hate. There is a profound sense of superstition on the part of the true believers in the advent of universal love. They seem to think the mere mentioning of doubt may cause the project to fail, and quickly silence opposition as if they were shushing the Devil. If the project is so frail, how do they expect it to take root, let alone endure? How, if it is so withering? This uncertainty comes because the project is faith based, there is no proof, no empirical evidence that folk of such radically different racial>cultural origins can live in peace long term. There have been a multitude of locations for universal goodwill to emerge and turn faith into flesh, but no significant incarnation to date. Yet, ‘There is one answer to world conflict’, profess the enthused; ‘every kind of person and culture must live side by each in total harmony and common purpose, while at the same time, somehow, maintaining cultural distinction. Not only must they, but they will!’ For all its surface appeal, this must be seen as a foolish and oppressive desire of an unnamed cult to impose its fantastic vision upon the whole world; the equivalence of creating global social policy around the Sacraments of the Church. Now in a truly Catholic or Orthodox society, this may be sensible enough, maybe even desirable; inevitable, perhaps. But to impose such cultural forms on other nations, who do not have these sacraments deep in their psycho>social reality would be grotesque.
We all have been made to participate in this world cult of Universal Man for some 50 years now. Faith in a singular universal goodness for humankind will come to fruition once set free from the particulars of nation and religion and culture; a total unity of purpose in a plurality of legal and cultural forms within all nations at once. Such a state is not in truth beautiful, it is chaotic, violent, and unattainable and, so, monstrous in its practice toward its own failure– monstrous because it keeps us from more practical approaches to peaceful global organization that would reduce strife and increase order. The Humanistic Promised Land gives no indication of its arrival. The Dalai Lama is dead wrong, the world he proposes could only exist under the control of some super being. For, if we were to expect Universal Humanity to emerge from our own will and nature, we should have expected some success by now. If it were indeed the natural state of humans, we should expect concord logically to emerge in the crowded multi-racial and multi-cultural cities of Europe and its colonies. This is not what we see though is it. Further the holy man is wrong in claiming we had ‘done something’ to cause this problem in Paris. Of course mass immigration of people incompatible with Western values is the problem, but he does not mean this. He has something else in mind when he says, “humans created this problem and humans must solve it.” He is assuming Eden, essentially, here; as if there were a state in the past when we were One, and we have done something to rupture this unity; as if there were a time when we were not competing for power over goods and space. The pernicious thing about these statements from one like the Dalai Lama is they own great swaths of our population, they confirm the big-hearted foolishness of so many. They are spoken to a people who have lost their spiritual ground and who are easily steered down the path of utopian ideals; acting in total faith in their convictions. As if their morally righteous connection to these convictions affirms them. The epistemology of feeling; ‘I feel therefore I’m right’.
If we have a racial>cultural awareness we accept that differences between human communities are fundamental, not superficial as Mr. Lama would have it. This is not just some archaic selfishness, to hold on to our particularity. It is essential for individual and collective psycho>social health. Being grounded in a nation that attends to and emerges from our own bio>cultural essence is the only way we can be fully ourselves. There will be plurality of cultural expression formed by differences in location and the chances of time, but this plasticity is not infinite; it is shaped by our biological capacity, our race, to use a hated word. Surrendering our cultural particulars in order to accommodate those of other people, which we have been made to include in our daily lives, in our very communities, is the ruin of our self-determination. It is not better for us to be multi-cultural. It is in every way costly and detrimental to the best good we could achieve on our own. Funny, the DW article states that the Dalai Lama “is known for his decades-long struggle for Tibet’s autonomy.” Hmm.