The Weaponization of Foolishness (Even by “Dharma Teachers”)

Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.  —Joseph Campbell (though the Buddha said essentially the same thing)

     This is yet another of those posts that point out the fairly obvious, obvious at least to knowledgeable Buddhist people. In fact I confess to having written about this stuff before; but I have learned over the years that one should repeat oneself with regard to important issues because most people have crappy memories, and can benefit from being reminded from time to time. And the issue at hand is an important one, concerning personal happiness and also the degenerate state of Buddhism, or just so-called “Buddhism,” in the globalized leftist west.

     Anyone who is not an indoctrinated “progressive” knows how the political and cultural left attains many of its ends: somebody—practically of necessity a leftist person of a supposedly oppressed demographic group—declares herself “offended” or “feeling unsafe” or otherwise traumatized, and then that person and others like them begin an offensive campaign attacking the person who allegedly made the first one feel that way. This may include demanding apologies (my advice if you are the target: DON’T, because they won’t accept the apology; it just causes the attackers to smell blood and emboldens them to act even more hysterically confrontational); and, too often, it also involves open protest, calls to the offender’s employer to pressure said employer into firing the miscreant, and plenty of gratuitous sniveling and whining on platforms like Twitter. Sometimes even the globalist propagandist mass media get involved as they did with the Covington High School boys, the last policeman to arrest George Floyd, and Kyle Rittenhouse. As I say, pretty much every person with eyes to see in the west is very familiar with this phenomenon of crybullying. It’s a strategy of organized yowling in misery, in the attempt to make someone else more miserable, of weaponizing emotional instability (or cynicism masquerading as such) and conditioned outrage.

     The thing is, even “progressive” teachers of Dharma or Dhamma in the west lean in this direction, endorsing the meltdowns of members of supposedly oppressed demographic groups (especially leftist ones), or at least acknowledging their reasons as valid. Some Dharma halls offer healing retreats for emotionally wounded members of victim classes while at the same time recruiting these same people strenuously and appointing them as diversity hires to their teaching staffs. More than once I have seen teachers of western leftist quasi-Buddhism claiming that the Second Noble Truth (desire or attachment is the cause of all suffering) should be modified, because according to neo-Marxist pseudo-dharma suffering isn’t ONLY caused by desire and clinging but is ALSO caused by systemic oppression—of the aforementioned victim classes by the heteronormative conservative white patriarchy. (As though there were no oppressed or just less successful classes in northern India during the Buddha’s time, or as though the Enlightened One was too ignorant to be aware of them. Neo-Marxist pseudobuddhists evidently consider their own indoctrinated hysteria to be more enlightened than the founder of their professed philosophy of life.) In short, before I continue with this, I would simply like to call absolute bullshit on such pretenders. People who supposedly are teaching wisdom are endorsing and promoting foolishness, dysfunction, and suffering…in other words they are doing the very opposite of what a true Dharma teacher ought to be doing. At least they aren't endorsing physical violence.

     Those of you who are not Buddhists may be excused from not knowing all this, including the very basic stuff about the Second Noble Truth; and those of you who are newcomers to Buddhism may be excused also. But the Four Noble Truths, central to Buddhist ethics, imply very clearly that our suffering is our own fault, caused by ignorant desire, literally our own doing. Our unhappiness—all of it—is ultimately self-inflicted, because as a general rule we just don’t know any better. To put it bluntly: Are you upset and unhappy because somebody said something or did something? Well it’s your own goddamn fault. That is not just my idiosyncratic personal take on Dharma/Dhamma, it’s one of the central and most fundamental teachings of Buddhism, albeit expressed bluntly. If you desire to be free of suffering it is just plain foolish to try to change the eight billion people around you so they won’t bother you. You cannot depend on anyone but yourself to free yourself (and your “self” is not ultimately real, but that’s a whole different issue). The philosophy of Blame Whitey is fundamentally adharmic and foolish. Don’t blame Whitey, or the globalists, or the elite billionaires, or fascists, or your parents, or even foolish leftists for your unhappiness, blame yourself if you are going to blame anyone. Especially if you claim to be a Buddhist, you should accept responsibility for your own suffering, which is due to your own foolish attachments. Even your “oppressed” situation in life, or any other situation that you were born into, like some physical disability or genetic defect, or bad parents, or whatever it may be, is due to your karma, again literally your own doing. As I keep saying, postmodern ultraliberalism is essentially the opposite of true Dharma in many respects, and Buddhist teachers who endorse it while passing it off as genuine Buddhist Dharma are charlatans. Many if not most of them are materialists who reject not only karma and rebirth but even true enlightenment, Nirvana.

     A common objection made by westerners to this aspect of Buddhist ethics, namely that all suffering is ultimately self-inflicted, is that it is “victim blaming.” For example, such a person might say that Buddhist philosophy implies that one could go around punching and stabbing and bludgeoning and shooting people and the suffering of the victims would be the victims’ own fault. This is technically correct, as their experiences would be the result of their own karma, and their suffering due to ignorance of the fact that pain and suffering are not the same thing—the suffering comes from the volitional desire for the pain to stop, from volitionally refusing to accept the way things are. But the perpetrator of all those punches and stabbings etc. is in no way off the ethical hook, as he is making new karma for himself that will come back to him in due time. He may be a “releaser” for someone else’s unwholesome karma, but he is the generator of his own at the same time.

     But explaining ancient Indian Buddhist ethics to modern or postmodern westerners, even to some intelligent western Buddhists, is a difficult task, as it differs radically from utilitarian ethical ideas conditioned into the western mind from early childhood. It differs even more radically from leftist indoctrinated silliness, including that posing as “Dharma.” Still, it’s good to hear it, repeatedly, and if you don’t like it, well, it’s your own goddamn fault.

hysterical leftists beating up a random pedestrian
for the sake of the greater good


  1. In MN 115 we find:
    "Bhikkhus, whatever fears arise, all arise because of the fool, not because of the wise man; whatever troubles arise, all arise because of the fool, not because of the wise man; whatever calamities arise, all arise because of the fool, not because of the wise man. Just as a fire that starts in a shed made of rushes or grass burns down even a house with a peaked roof, with walls plastered inside and outside, shut off, secured by bars, with shuttered windows..."
    We also find over and over in suttas that to associate with fools the way to the Dugatim (lower realms) and to associate with the wise is the way upwards to higher, better rebirths.
    We also see that slander is an akusala-dhamma (unskillful act) for speech. Does "slander" here imply a fallicious or manipulative accusation? Versus warning someone else of another dangerous person and thier actual crimes? I realize buddha also said a superior person avoids taking of others faults. I wonder if eastern buddhists have taken this a bit too far, they are so afraid of reviling. Really one is gambling either way if they have not studied sutta and investigated for themselves. Buddha also said one should look for signs of greed, malice, delusion, in thier teachers. Some are simply actors and want followers. How many parajikas continue in robes and are not even defrocked/laciazed? For laypeople we cannot expect to be attacked and stolen from and completely raped and pillaged and just "let it go." Even, the "death by 1000 cuts" bullys use with plausible deniability, can bring others to ruin or break them mentally. False teachers will attempt to turn that into the new buddhist version of the "forgiveness cuck" meme of Christianity. In the worst case, allowing oneself to be tortured, one could die in a far worse mental state. Yes Buddha prescribed forgiveness in Vinaya and said its wise to forgive one who is sorry, however he also define sorry as admiring a mistake as a mistake, and resolving not to repeat it. It is not appropriate to forgive those who are not actually sorry. One must avoid such people or use Pain and Law to protect Creation. To protect what one has is an "accomplishment" for a layman. Householders shouldn't be willing to be plundered, that is only for ordained renunciates. Panno my good man, did you see any violence in Asian? Are there many violent buddhist sects? What do they fight over?

    1. Typos, sorry:
      -talking* of others faults
      -admiting* a mistake

  2. And who denied spirit? Also, I have found that the intellectual content of one's beliefs are nowhere near to the best criterion for determining wisdom or foolishness.

  3. Typo above:"*admiting* a mistake is a mistake, and resolving right effort to abandon it in future, is progress in the Dhamma Vinaya." This is basically Buddhas definition of an apology. This is the only kind of apology that deserves forgiveness. Elsewhere in suttas, Buddha says: "oil floats and rocks sink. Many could chant around the lake for a rock to float and it will still sink." Soliciting unwarranted Forgiveness is a great and prevalent evil of cults and abusers. The actual fault is not sensuality, it's the killing, stealing, raping, lying, fraud, and slander that are the biggie problems. Abandon these and run away from those who continue to do those things, or else you will become one of them, be thier slave, or die. Just like a neighbor who lights his own house aflame. You help him put it out and try to teach him not to, or put it out each time for him, or restrain him, or make your house fireproof or just leave. First one must have eyes and ears to see the hidden fires they attempt to light in malice. Their manipulative MO is... truth, truth, (as bait, e.g. eat healthy blah blah), love bombing...(now you've opened your mind to them...)... then BIG FAT LIE PAYLOAD or BETRAYAL. After a cult training one to have one-pointed awareness and be dissociative, this is extra damaging to the victim who depends on the abusers. A layperson needs the love of others, and is not a totally self sufficient island who can produce himself each need of life. Evil happens and beings are vulnerable because it's a foil of cetana, kamma, where each can go up or down. The longer good endure evil, the longer Hell will be for the evil, and therefore the longer Heaven is for the good.

  4. You should perhaps be a little bit more careful making all these sweeping claims about the nature of "leftism", "cultural Marxism", "postmodernism" and all these other by now entirely generic American "right-wing" boomer/gen-x-er snarl words, based on your Marc Levin-listener level understanding of them. I'm not even claiming one would agree with any of it if only one were to gain an authentic understanding of these concepts, just pointing out that intellectual traditions cannot be reduced to the sorts of people to whose temperament they appeal or whose goals they enable.

    E.g., just because all these academic post-* disciplines are invoked by the sorts of academic pond scum who would claim Andres Serrano putting a crucifix in a jar of urine is art, does not make post-structuralism and post-modernism the doctrines of putting crucifixes in jars of urine. In fact, I find that a lot of what gets called "French theory" is perfectly compatible with dissident right perspectives and aims. The main reason people are allergic to it, is that it has acquired a reputation as a left-wing cause due to all the boomercon pundits having convinced them that being recognized as the True Liberals (which French Theory is anathema to) by the mainstream is a long-term winning strategy for the right. Most of your writing about "leftism" is as silly as me claiming dhammic worldviews are forms of Jewish ethnic activism "'cause look at all those JewBu's invoking the dharma to rationalize their aggression towards majority cultures."

    1. It sounds like you're upset that people are using words to define things. I'm sorry about that, I hope you feel better. You want people to have a better understanding of terms so maybe you should help define them rather than pretend that you have the answers but aren't giving them because they're so obvious to someone of your elite intelligence. I wonder what French-Theory land is like this time of year, I'm sure its better than this hell realm we call reality, it sounds very structured and reasonable, yet elusive.

      Who cares about your stupid theories, the author is obviously discussing the phenomenon of useful idiots who've been rolled up into a Leftist revolution. There's all kinds but they all gravitate around general Marxist theory and slave morality, some of them without any sense of what they're wrapped up in. It may have served the author's cause to give a timely example so you wouldn't feel compelled to share that you allegedly read a Frech theorist one time and understand it better than Marc Levine.

  5. Anyone who writes "Leftist" with a capital L is a dumbass boomercon who needs to project a level of purpose and coherence onto the various tribes of antinomian chaos trolls known as the left in order to unite the right against a common enemy. Reality is that both the right and the left are weak.

    And as I wrote in my original comment, the point is not to improve the author's understanding of "leftism", "cultural Marxism", "postmodernism" by offering my own interpretations of these terms, presumably to argue that these are valid perspectives for the right to study and adopt. I do happen to believe that they are, but that wasn't the point.

    The point was that when the author starts going off on his usual tangents about the bogeymen of "leftism", "cultural Marxism", "postmodernism", he is in effect just freestyling on the basis of a highly standardized boomercon (e.g. Marc Levine) register about how the right (in the sense of those who oppose what passes for the left) are the true guardians of civil liberties. The Internet has conditioned every mediocrity to play to the lowest common denominator, in this context the political center, which is why everybody is claiming their enemies are illiberal, anti-democratic (so what?) and they, by contrast, are the true liberals (as if that's a desirable quality).

    It's like operant conditioning in psychology: animal pushes button, feed comes out of machine. Same with boomercons and gen-X-ers: they are all obsessed with exposing the other team as nazis/fascists/Marxists or whatever, because they've been conditioned to believe that there is still some great Wizard of Oz who will make their preferred political fantasy come true (spoiler: there's no man behind the machine who can help you) if only they can demonstrate their enemies are the Real Bad Thing-ists.

    1. I do discuss postmodernism a little sometimes, but I have no real problem with that. In fact the very idea that each group can have its own "truth" is helping to destroy the essentially modernist, globalist Brave New World Order. And I freely admit that pure democracy is mob rule, or at best elites playing the mob and getting them to believe and desire what benefits the elites. Also I would observe that in your diatribe against people indulging in facile generalities you do the very same that you condemn.

  6. I didn't write a diatribe against people who indulge in facile generalizations though. Generalizations are generally a good thing as they help one map and explain intellectual territory. I blame the hipster fetish for small-batch, artisanal, slow-roasted, bottom-fermented, hand-picked everything these days for the fact that attention details and nuance are used as rationalizations for political quietism. What I wrote a diatribe against was against intellectually fraudulent boomercon generalizations.

    I say "boomercon" not to insult the old, but because the word "boomers" is short-hand for a social type are consumate believers in secular (if not necessarily democratic) politics. You make some big reveal about the other side and then, voila, everybody defects to your side because they have seen the light. The stupid version of that were the people who though calling Obama "Barack Husseeeeeeein Obama" or Trump "Drumpf" (because it's a left-wing thing as well) would stop them.

    The smarter version of that is when you learn, by reading one of the thousands of "Leftism exposed! Here's how to stop them!" books that are just regurgitating points that have been made for decades, of some conceptual link between the white left's clear self-hatred and for example cultural Marxism or Freudo-Marxism, and the whole analysis of the left proceeds from that revelation.

    My own take is that leftist ideologies, and rightist ideologies insofar as they are internet causes, are epiphenomal to the spiritual disposition of the people (and tribes) to whom they appeal. Leftist ideologies are ways of hysterisizing symbols of traditional authority so that the latter might react by re-imposing themselves in a pre-modern manner, i.e. through violent repression.

    The hysterisization has been very successful so far, because all the boomercons, and even unfortunately some on the dissident right, are convinced that all these "leftist" perspectives constitute a coherent, integrated whole. That the scrawny white antifa subhumans are motivated by Marx's third volume of Capital, and that the black hood rats burning down entire neighborhoods are acting on the basis of their understanding of Althusser's notion of determination-in-the-last-instance. I mean, you don't explicitly claim that of course, but that is the fantasy around which all these lame boomercon "exposés" are implicitly structured. They are all condemned to build up a strawman version of some all-powerful "Leftism" because they don't have the courage to name and condemn the spiritual disposition of the sort of people to whom leftist ideologies appeal. And it's intellectually absurd.

    Anyway, a shorter version of this and my two previous posts could read: for someone who studied the dhammic traditions for decades, you are extremely eager to validate the boomercon obsession with implicitly arguing the political causality, hence relevance, of intellectual traditions that, qua the activist causes of the sorts of people to whom they contingently appeal, are the most gross-bodied intellectual traditions of the modern world.


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