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Buddhism and politics - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Buddhism and politics

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
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Dhammanando
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Re: Buddhism and politics

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:58 pm


Individual
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Re: Buddhism and politics

Postby Individual » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:06 am

One might also consider the similarities between Anarchist Communism and the early model of the Sangha...

...All simply friends, without any money, working voluntarily and selflessly towards mutual benefit.

I can't imagine any Conservative -- modern or not -- creating such a thing. On the contrary, wouldn't it be unconservative for the Buddha to be such a radical social reformer (of the Hindu caste system, animal sacrifices, etc.)? From a Burkean POV, it would've been ludicrous for the Buddha to oppose such things, because the traditions developed "organically" in reaction to the particular conditions.
The best things in life aren't things.


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Jechbi
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Re: Buddhism and politics

Postby Jechbi » Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:45 pm

Last edited by Jechbi on Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buddhism and politics

Postby Individual » Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:02 pm

Reading over Kirk's ten principles, I'd add that they seem to be such broad virtues that they could apply to any ideology. Furthermore, in the Mahasupina Jataka I see nothing to justify any political view because the Buddha is describing virtues, not political notions, even if he is using a political background to make his point. Of the sixteen virtues he describes (like not accepting bribes, not being a pedophile, honoring your parents etc.), none are exclusive to Conservatism, but all would be accepted by a follower of virtually any ideology. If anything, I think that the social conservatism among Asian Buddhist monastics has more to do with Confucius than Buddha, because it was actually Confucius who was a conservative in the classical western sense, and he had a very massive influence even on his schools' opponents.
The best things in life aren't things.


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gavesako
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Re: Buddhism and politics

Postby gavesako » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:18 pm

I listened to a talk between Ajahn Chah and a group of visitors headed by Sanya Dharmasakti (Chief Privy Councillor). Ajahn Chah was talking about the principle of kamma. Then one of the visitors, a military officer, asked about "doing one's duty" which might mean using violence sometimes. Ajahn Chah's reply was very direct: no matter if you call it "your duty" or not, if you use violence to kill living beings, it is definitely bad kamma. He emphasised that Dhamma and worldly laws are quite separate, that the law of kamma operates outside of the conventions of society. He kind of paused a little, because his visitors were high ranking Bangkok civil servants and officers, but then stressed again: you can't say that you haven't committed bad kamma by calling it "your duty". It may be necessary in order to keep law and order in society to use some harsh methods, but it is nevertheless within the sphere of kamma. He didn't make any flattering comments to them because of their social rank, he just gave them straight Dhamma using some down-to-earth similies.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
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gavesako
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Re: Buddhism and politics

Postby gavesako » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:11 am

Buddhism and Socio-Economic Development

The Setting

From the earliest days of history, when human beings began to organize themselves into society, there has been an inter-play of two powerful agents of control, namely, State and Capital. The State is the focus of politics and political organisations; and Capital in the focus of business or economics, and economic manipulation. In the pre-Christian era of the sub-continent, in the days of the Buddha, these factors exerted a great control over society. Prince Siddhartha himself was part of the group linked to the first-named factor, the State, hailing from the princely house of the Sakya. Similarly, the money factor, Capital, exerted an immense influence over the thinking of the masses, and brought about, that initially stirred the thinking of Gautama, and then led him on to discover of the Arya Satya, the Four Noble Truths.

However, as the Venerable Santikaro Bhikkhu of Thailand points out, there is always a third powerful player in the dynamics of cities and states, namely, religion, the reference is the organised religion, which has been playing a balancing role between the competing interests of state and capital. True, Buddhism is not a 'religion,' as per the generally accepted notion of religion: God, sacrifice and intermediaries such as priests. Yet, in common parlance, Buddhism serves the role played by religion, especially in countries where the Buddhist population is dominant. Examples are Thailand, Burma [Myanmar], or even Sri Lanka or Tibet. (...)

http://www.rakhapura.com/articles/buddh ... opment.asp


Perhaps also relevant to the topic.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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Popo
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Re: Buddhism and politics

Postby Popo » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:34 pm

Theoretical approaches have their place and are, I suppose, essential but a theory must be tempered with reality.
-J. Nehru


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