What Can the Alt/New-Right Learn from Chinese Philosophy? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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If I had to try and describe western philosophy in one sentence (I know, but bear with me), it would be the idea that truth has inherent value. This is actually unique from how truth is approached in eastern (by which I mostly mean Hindu and Buddhist) philosophy. The philosophies that run through these religions presume that the world is an illusion, therefore truth does not always have inherent value (most "truths" you will discover are truths about the illusion, as such they are in a sense not really truths at all). In these philosophies, truth is only valuable for its soteriological function. In other words, truth is only valuable insofar as it helps to dispel the illusion, otherwise it is not truly useful.

As I've touched upon in some other threads or comments I've written here and there, one way I perceive the dilemma in the west is that the desire for truth requires a revelation, such as the revelation of Christian scripture, which makes someone feel confident that they are in possession of the truth. This is because western people assume that truth has inherent value, therefore to not have the truth makes you "poor"; and yet, no mind can contain all of the physical truth, not merely in its actual and (usually) presumed factual existence but even in terms of only what men have documented. The hunger for truth makes the concept of a metaphysical revelation tangibly appealing then because it is the only way that a human brain can attempt to contain the truth. A major issue the west currently faces is that it is no longer convinced in the validity of past "revelations", as such it no longer knows what the truth is and this causes anxiety.

In reading Taoist philosophy, I came across a statement that seems to be a compromise between the western philosophical presumption (that truth has inherent value) and the "eastern" presumption (that truth is only valuable for its soteriological function). Attributed to a Lord Zhu, the statement is: "Learning is for seeking the Way; what is the use of learning otherwise?"

On the one hand, this is similar to the eastern presumption because learning (which I am defining here as the acquisition of truth) is directed towards a soteriological function. But whereas the Hindu/Buddhist presumption is sometimes dismissive of non-soteriological truth, this Taoist statement suggests that a non-soteriological truth can be useful as a vehicle or a method for obtaining or understanding soteriological truths. This appears to me to essentially be a middle ground between what I've defined as these fundamental western and eastern philosophical concepts. This might be useful when it comes to trying to preserve the west in something resembling its previous spiritual form.

Unless the existing countries split up and a "white homeland" is created, there are too many different racial groups and subcultures in the west for a monolithic culture similar to the previous ones to form there again any time soon. However, there do exist multicultural countries with somewhat uniform attitudes, such as as India, China and (arguably) the more conservative and centrist parts of America. Diverse groups in the west can probably never return to the western form of philosophy, in which a single truth is agreed upon as a valid revelation that can be grasped by men. A compromise more similar to what exists in these other multicultural countries might still make sense though if enough people were interested in pursuing it. Namely, something between what I've defined as the west and the east; not giving up on truth as revelation but also not feeling the need to have it in a strictly tangible way. Truth can still be viewed as having inherent value but that value would be directed towards a specific metaphysical goal.

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