Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

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clw_uk
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Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by clw_uk » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:48 am

As Buddhists we obviously strive to better ourselves whilst also treating other sentient beings with loving kindness and compassion. To me, as lay Buddhists that also means we should choose our political ideologies carefully so as to not cause harm to ourselves and sentient beings. With that in mind I would argue that no Buddhist should support socialism/communism or any economic/political ideology which seeks to act against economic reality and interfere with the efficient allocation of resources according to the profit motive, private property and supply and demand. To do so would lead to political and economic ruin, thus harming ourselves and others. Buddhists should therefore support capitalism in some form, be it centre left social-democracy or centre-right classical liberalism/minarchism. In other words socialism/communism should be rejected along with Fascism and Nazism.

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by SarathW » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:12 am

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you.
Today there is no perfect capitalism. Capitalist or monarchist changed their ideology to react to socialism by introducing socialist ideas to the capitalism.
I have noticed after the end of cold war, capitalist taken away most of the benefit enjoyed by their citizens as the threat of socialism started to diminished.
Socialism and capitalism both work if we have a well-informed society.
Even the dictatorship will work if there is a good dictator.
When we come to the protection of their citizens the capitalist countries like the US come to the bottom of the ladder while countries like Japan come to the top.
Dukkha can not be ended by any ism.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:42 am

SarathW wrote:Dukkha can not be ended by any ism.
Except Buddhism, SarathW! :tongue:

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by DooDoot » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:46 am

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you. As Buddhists we obviously strive to practise the 3 trainings of the noble eightfold path (which includes morality & generosity) rather than expect others to treat us unconditionality with loving kindness and compassion while at the same time we trash other people we disagree with us. Buddhism does not give us any special privileges or rights to not show loving-kindness to others; including to communists, socialists, Nazis, Muslims, etc. Buddhism gives loving-kindness to all (100% of) beings. Buddhism does not concern itself with allocation of resources according to the profit motive, private property and supply and demand. Buddhism teaches anatta/not-self therefore teaches ideas of private property or "my property" is a delusion. Capitalism has often lead to the political and economic ruin of many, such as during the Great Depression & the GFC. It was only socialism that saved the world from the destructiveness of capitalism during the Great Depression. In fact, it was socialism that bailed out the Capitalist banks during the GFC. Taxpayers save the banks, who got richer, even though the common taxpayer got poorer. Many traditional Buddhist cultures were based in socialism or communalism, such as in traditional Thailand. Buddhism has loving-kindess & compassion for all beings (100% of beings). Therefore, with empathy, if there is a growing interest or resurgence of 'Nazism', Buddhist should investigate the grievances of these people and resolve them in realistic ways. Capitalism is based in greed & maximizing corporate profits. Buddhism does not support greed. Communism failed because it was really a looting operation run by thugs that disguised itself as wanting the best for people. But if all beings were enlightened, the economic of the world would be Community-ist or Sangha-ist.

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by clw_uk » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:36 am

DooDoot -
Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you. As Buddhists we obviously strive to practise the 3 trainings of the noble eightfold path (which includes morality & generosity) rather than expect others to treat us unconditionality with loving kindness and compassion


I agree

while at the same time we trash other people we disagree with us. Buddhism does not give us any special privileges or rights to not show loving-kindness to others; including to communists, socialists, Nazis, Muslims, etc.


Once again, I agree. However, we should point out when others are straying into unwholesome activities. We can criticise, but ultimately its up to them (notice the libertarianism there ;) )

Buddhism gives loving-kindness to all (100% of) beings.


Of course


Buddhism does not concern itself with allocation of resources according to the profit motive, private property and supply and demand. Buddhism teaches anatta/not-self therefore teaches ideas of private property or "my property" is a delusion.
As a higher teaching, yes. But, for layfolk who live in the world and who haven't renounced it, capitalism is best.


Capitalism has often lead to the political and economic ruin of many, such as during the Great Depression & the GFC. It was only socialism that saved the world from the destructiveness of capitalism during the Great Depression.
Actually it was state interference which lead to the Great Depression. Read up on Milton Friedman


In fact, it was socialism that bailed out the Capitalist banks during the GFC. Taxpayers save the banks, who got richer, even though the common taxpayer got poorer.


The problem there was the merger of corporate and state power, so that banks got too big to fail. Personally the banks should have been allowed to fail. The market would have taken over.


Many traditional Buddhist cultures were based in socialism or communalism, such as in traditional Thailand. Buddhism has loving-kindess & compassion for all beings (100% of beings).
And what poverty they lived in


Therefore, with empathy, if there is a growing interest or resurgence of 'Nazism', Buddhist should investigate the grievances of these people and resolve them in realistic ways. Capitalism is based in greed & maximizing corporate profits. Buddhism does not support greed.
What is wrong with making a profit? With profit you can reinvest in your business. That means you can hire more people and lift them out of poverty (capitalism has been the greatest engine of poverty reduction we have known), pay them more, innovate and produce more of the goods that society wants whilst at the same time earning a reward for you and your family. Everyone wins.


Communism failed because it was really a looting operation run by thugs that disguised itself as wanting the best for people. But if all beings were enlightened, the economic of the world would be Community-ist or Sangha-ist.
Empty idealism. There will never be a situation where everyone is an Arahant, much less a Buddhist. Even Buddha understood this.
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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by SarathW » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:19 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
SarathW wrote:Dukkha can not be ended by any ism.
Except Buddhism, SarathW! :tongue:
Then all the Buddhist have to be an Arahants.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:30 pm

SarathW wrote:
Sam Vara wrote:
SarathW wrote:Dukkha can not be ended by any ism.
Except Buddhism, SarathW! :tongue:
Then all the Buddhist have to be an Arahants.
True, but Buddhism is the only way to become an arahant.

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by DooDoot » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:58 pm

clw_uk wrote:Actually it was state interference which lead to the Great Depression. Read up on Milton Friedman...
Friedman blamed the Federal Reserve, which is not a govt entity but a private entity created by private bankers. The Depression was caused by Capitalists, who pumped up the economy by increasing the money supply then broke the economy by tightened the money supply. They all sold their shares at the peak of the stock market and then bought up the distressed assets when the Depression hit. It was 100% capitalism.
The problem there was the merger of corporate and state power, so that banks got too big to fail. Personally the banks should have been allowed to fail. The market would have taken over.
That the banks control the govt is capitalism. It is not government. Under capitalism, the capitalists can buy the govt and become the govt because their only goal is to accumulate more money, power & control. Capitalism does not regulate itself with a magic hand. This is a superstition.
And what poverty they lived in
Actually, Thailand is the Golden Land, a land of natural abundance, in which Buddhism also flourished, with the generosity of that abundance. On this note, I will end our discussions. I love Thailand because I am :heart: grateful :heart: to Thailand because I found personal salvation in Thailand.
And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no other world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no contemplatives or brahmans who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the other after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view
Maybe the end of dukkha can be found in the Church of England. God save the Queen/King. :thumbsup:

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by DNS » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:11 pm

DooDoot wrote:
In fact, it was socialism that bailed out the Capitalist banks during the GFC. Taxpayers save the banks, who got richer, even though the common taxpayer got poorer.
If the banks got richer and the common taxpayer poorer, then I guess socialism failed yet again.

It could have been left to the market; if it means some banks failing, then maybe they'll learn that way not to do those things again.

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by DooDoot » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:27 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:It could have been left to the market; if it means some banks failing, then maybe they'll learn that way not to do those things again.
Thanks but I already posted my view that an inherent feature of capitalism is the capitalists buy & control the government. The capitalists become the government. Obama had the highest % of the Wall St gang in his administration of any president. It was known before his election Obama represented the financial interests. In other words, it is only government that has the power to allow "the market" to work freely. For example, it was govt in the USA that introduced anti-trust laws to give the public the impression they were breaking up cartels.
United States antitrust law is a collection of federal and state government laws that regulates the conduct and organization of business corporations, generally to promote fair competition for the benefit of consumers. (The concept is called competition law in other English-speaking countries.) The main statutes are the Sherman Act 1890, the Clayton Act 1914 and the Federal Trade Commission Act 1914. These Acts, first, restrict the formation of cartels and prohibit other collusive practices regarded as being in restraint of trade. Second, they restrict the mergers and acquisitions of organizations that could substantially lessen competition. Third, they prohibit the creation of a monopoly and the abuse of monopoly power.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... itrust_law

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:37 pm

The same thing happened with communism-- the party leadership became the government, and the aristocracy.

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:05 am

Greetings,

I originally had a political perspective, but once I discovered the Dhamma, my political perspective became subordinate to my understanding of the Dhamma. As my understanding grew, my political views shifted.

Dhammic insights which caused this shift were:

1. Insight into the suffering arising from covetousness

2. Insight about the dangers of partiality (described in translations of the suttas as "one-sidedness")

3. Insight about how the mind is the forerunner of all mental states, and the role the mind plays (vis-a-vis external factors) in the arising of dukkha

4. Insight that people are accountable for their own actions and reactions, not for the actions and reactions of others

5. Insight about Wrong View and a yearning for freedom from any authority imposed by those whose speech and actions derived from Wrong View

6. Insight about kamma and how the commensurate vipaka comes to be, without external oversight or adjudication

7. Insight about the fallacious nature of identity, and by extension, identity politics.

8. The Buddha's willingness to speak the truth, and call out (rather than tolerate or provide safe-spaces for) Wrong View.

Thinking in terms of the political compass:

- Numbers 1-4 have pushed me from market socialism, to center-left, and then to centre-right.

- Numbers 3-8 have pushed me even further away from authoritarianism, towards libertarianism. The realisation that much of what the modern left tries to achieve relies upon authoritarianism and/or partiality, has caused me to drift away from that.

Anyway, they're the insights that come to mind immediately, but if there are more factors that come to mind I will be happy to share them.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by Phena » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:18 am

retrofuturist wrote:As my understanding grew, my political views shifted.
Yes, they became more extreme. I would go back and get a better understanding of the Dhamma instead of just accepting your evolution.

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:46 am

Greetings Phena,

I guess now that we live in an age where leftists deem anyone to the right of Michael Moore to be either a "white supremacist" or a "Nazi", merely being smeared as "extreme" feels rather moderate and tame by way of comparison. Thanks.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by Phena » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Phena,

I guess now that we live in an age where leftists deem anyone to the right of Michael Moore to be either a "white supremacist" or a "Nazi", merely being smeared as "extreme" feels rather moderate and tame by way of comparison. Thanks.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Yes but in your case Retro you've been very vocal of your support of characters such as Trump, Farage, Bannon and Yianopolous. So yes, I would consider your politics extreme. I am not sure how Dhamma practice leads you to a place like this.

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:04 am

Greetings Phena,

To civic nationalism, you mean?

Basically because I see the downsides of globalism, and because I believe in regarding people as individuals, rather than collectively under identity classifications.

Justification for both of these preferences is to be found in the Pali teachings.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by cjmacie » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:12 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
once I discovered the Dhamma, my political perspective became subordinate to my understanding of the Dhamma. ...
2. Insight about the dangers of partiality (described in translations of the suttas as "one-sidedness")
retrofuturist wrote:I guess now that we live in an age where leftists deem anyone to the right of Michael Moore to be either a "white supremacist" or a "Nazi", merely being smeared as "extreme" feels rather moderate and tame by way of comparison.
retrofuturist wrote:... I see the downsides of globalism, and because I believe in regarding people as individuals, rather than collectively under identity classifications.
Justification for both of these preferences is to be found in the Pali teachings.
Claiming your partisan political views -- at any stage of your evolution -- as inherent in or justified by the Buddha's teachings? Seriously?

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by Phena » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:21 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Phena,

To civic nationalism, you mean?

Basically because I see the downsides of globalism, and because I believe in regarding people as individuals, rather than collectively under identity classifications.

Justification for both of these preferences is to be found in the Pali teachings.

Metta,
Paul. :)
The fact that you don't immediately see a red flag with the extreme views of the characters I quoted is a concern.

As I've pointed out before Nationalism is one of the grossest forms of identification there is. I know you don't see this, which is even cause for greater concern.

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:35 am

Greetings Phena,
Phena wrote:The fact that you don't immediately see a red flag with the extreme views of the characters I quoted is a concern.
I find your fixation on collectivist classifications (e.g. race, gender, sexuality) to be a concern. That's why there's different positions... so we can select one that most closely aligns with what we believe and what concerns us. What all positions should hold, is a respect for the autonomy of others to decide for themselves what is correct or apt.
Phena wrote:As I've pointed out before Nationalism is one of the grossest forms of identification there is. I know you don't see this, which is even cause for greater concern.
I was never a fan of nationalism in the past, until I saw what grew in its place. Without a binding commonality between people who live in the same region, they begin to form tribes and creative divisions along the lines of the race, gender, sexuality etc. This is the foundation of identity politics, and it is fostered and sustained by identitarians on the left (e.g. progressives, SJWs) and on the right (e.g. Alt-Right, actual white nationalists)

It would be best if there was no identification at all, but if there must be one (and, yes, there must, given that most people are and will be puthujjanas), it's best if it's one that binds the people who live together in the same geographical proximity, rather than one that profiles them based upon identity attributes and regards them differently as natural enemies by virtue of their membership in such conceptual collectives. After all, that kind of identity-based prejudice seems rather discriminatory to me...

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Buddhism, Socialism/Communism and Capitalism

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:39 am

Greetings CJMacie,
cjmacie wrote:Claiming your partisan political views -- at any stage of your evolution -- as inherent in or justified by the Buddha's teachings? Seriously?
Yes, seriously. I'm telling you my truth. If you can't accept it, I'm not really bothered by your lack of acceptance.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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