Socialist Buddhists?

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Socialist Buddhists?

Postby Namu Butsu » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:01 am

Hello I was wondering if anyone here is a socialist and buddhist. I heard there is a Maoist group in Nepal. I have heard that some monks supported Socialism (not the pseudo socialism that occured in Asia.) I myself am a Socialist. In particular of a Marxist-Lennist-Maoist perspective. :namaste:
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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby KeithBC » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:01 am

I have no interest in Maxism, Leninism or Maoism, but I do consider myself a socialist of the New Democratic Party persuasion.

Om mani padme hum
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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:15 am

Hi Namu Butsu!

Interesting, complicated topic. It came up a few times at e-sangha and provoked some heated and fruitful discussion.

A couple questions come to mind. Firstly, Buddhism is often described as "going against the grain of the world"; it's a path of transcendence. Quite a few of its beliefs, practices and goals run intentionally counter to what ordinary people conceive of as happiness. To me, this raises some question as to whether it can be successfully applied as a political philosophy, since politics is concerned with mundane needs and worldly ends.

Since most people aren't Buddhists, how could they be convinced to embrace a political order that is unconcerned with their (worldly) needs? Usually people want things like jobs, daycare, decent schools, and prosperity. Is dharma really about such issues?

Second question has to do with Lenin and Mao. Both of these leaders not only condoned, but fully endorsed "revolutionary terror", and subsequently state terror, as a political instrument. Mao proudly compared himself to Qin Shi Huang, one of the most violent emperors in Chinese history. How would you reconcile such a point of view with Buddhist ethics?
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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby Jikan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:40 am

I'm a Buddhist and a socialist of the Salvador Allende "radical democracy" stripe. I think Marx's critique of the capitalist mode of production still has value (which is to say I find David Harvey & Mike Davis among others convincing on this topic). I'm skeptical of Lenin's theory of the state and much of Althusser's reading of Marx... and I'm *really* skeptical about Mao (although I'm quite ignorant of what contemporary Maoists are up to--they may be doing productive work?).

I don't advocate a political position when I'm leading a sangha or writing on Buddhism, however. I'm not just saying that to keep the taxman off my nuts either. In the US, politics is so preposterously divisive that it's best to speak in terms of social ethics instead.

Final thought: Whalen Lai wrote an interesting article a few decades ago now on Seno Giro, who promoted a seamless radical doctrine derived from the Lotus Sutra. Worth a look if you can find it.
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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:15 am

Greetings,

I'm socialist but nowhere near as passionate about it as I once was... primarily because with learning about the Dharma, I've come to learn that craving in the cause of suffering rather than lack of material reward.

I still think economic production and distribution should be fair, and I don't think the capitalist model is particularly fair. Generally speaking, I'm a market socialist.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby Heruka » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:20 am

whether socialist or capitalist, both are funded by the world banks.

an hegelian dialectic, the play of staged duopoly.
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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby ground » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:31 am

A moderate socialist attitude especially if one belongs to the caste of those who are well off in an economic sense I consider to be an aspect of the paramita of generosity.

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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby fragrant herbs » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:23 pm

i would call myself a democratic socialist.

not so sure about communism. i would not wish to live communally but once i thought it would be great, like when it was the 60s, but then those communes didn't work out so well either.

i basically just think that everyone should have a roof over their head, food, medical, a job, and a nice paid vacation in the bahamas for 6 weeks out of the year.
Last edited by fragrant herbs on Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:59 pm

I'd describe myself as a social liberal/social democrat. The New Democratic Party would probably get my vote if I were a citizen of Canada.
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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby Namu Butsu » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:27 pm

Thank you for the feedback it is very interesting to see that some are leaning towards socialism. I know that a lot of people fear socialism due to misinformation and also the counter revolutions within socialism itself. I see that Socialism is becoming more appealing to people in Europe and Latin America. I would love to see an actual real socialist state. These are things that seem so distant, but who knows one could easily pop up in our age now. in America I believe this will not happen anytime soon. We have too much of the tea party and other misinformed groups that would lead their own revolution. Oh well it is as it is :shrug:
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"However hard it may be to bid farewell to this world, when the conditions that bind us to this saha [samsara] realm run out, we are powerless to do anything as the final hour arrives and we are swept away to that Land." -A Record in Lament of Divergences
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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby Heruka » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:11 am

the naked communist

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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby neverdowell » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:36 am

Great video Heruka. There's no way to compassionately fix the world without knowing that evil (predation on sentient beings) is not just happenstance, but organised.

To develop bodhichitta, which is the actual practice, you need to develop such compassion that you simply cannot bear others being tormented by suffering. But in order to develop this compassion, you must know exactly how you yourself are plagued by suffering. And you must understand that the whole of samsara is by nature suffering. But first you must fear the lower realms, for without this you will have no repudiation of celestial and human happiness. You must therefore train your mind in the small- and medium- scope parts of the path. -- Pabongka Rinpoche
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Re: Socialist Buddhists?

Postby Heruka » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:46 am

neverdowell wrote:Great video Heruka. There's no way to compassionately fix the world without knowing that evil (predation on sentient beings) is not just happenstance, but organised.


thank you :namaste:
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