Victims of Communism

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 1618
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by DooDoot » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:33 am

Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:53 am
There's obviously a deep relation between communism and Theravada Buddhism via what happened in SE Asia in the 20th century.
King Bhumibol's Theravada Buddhist are said to have massacred suspected Communists in Thailand; such as Thammasat University massacre & the Red Drum killings.
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:53 am
I don't think anyone here is interested in defending the Khmer Rouge, but I also don't think that the theoretical question of Buddhism and communism/capitalism is settled.
Didn't the Khmer Rouge learn their Communism in Paris? Didn't Marx live in London after being kicked out of Germany? What does European Jewish Communism have to do with Theravada Buddhism?
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:53 am
It is interesting to note that in Thailand (during the period of communist upheaval in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia etc) there were Buddhist movements both ways. i.e. some influential monks argued that the dhamma was aligned with communism, others that they were very contrary. Donald Swearer did some good research on this, but I forgot the name of his book.
Which monks? Buddhadasa & Ajahn Jumnien? Buddhadasa never preached Communism although some of his followers might have been communists & were certainly caught up in the Thammasat Uni massacre. Regardless, what Buddhadasa theorised about 'Dhammic Socialism' was not communism. Communism is Marxism. Communism is the control of capital by the State. I doubt Buddhadasa ever preached that.
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:53 am
The big crux of the theoretical debate comes down to whether or not individual property rights are justified by the Dhamma - because that is at the very heart of liberal-capitalism, and also at the very heart of what Marx and the communists are revolting against.
Theravada Buddhism supports the view of a hierarchical society; including private ownership of property. It is not classless Judaism. Buddhism preaches the fruits of individual kamma (rather than a welfare State). If Buddhadasa strayed from what is in the Pali suttas, it cannot be classed as Buddhism but merely his personal ideas & theories.
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:53 am
I think Buddhism is a bit contradictory on that question. Clearly, there is a normative ideal to renounce individual possession of material things.
Only in respect to monasticism. The Pali suttas contain many suttas for laypeople, which are about owing property & using personal initiative & enterprise; such as the Anana Sutta.



Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

Upeksha
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:23 am

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Upeksha » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 am

The relationship between communism and Theravada Buddhism is simply that: it has already happened, very brazenly, in the 20th century.

And its relationship to capitalism is simply that: it is happening, right now in the 21st century.

And the relevant point with respect to both is that: both systems are completely foreign and alien to ancient India; both are products of European modernity, and both spread to become global in scope. One has basically failed, and one is in full flight.

And my point is simply that: it's actually not at all clear what relationship Buddhist Dhamma has to modern political economy. And that is why it is actually quite productive to discuss these things, as Buddhists.

But the problem is: people tend to be more attached to their favoured political economy than just about anything else. If they could, the victims of communism in the 20th century would attest to this fact.

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 1618
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by DooDoot » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:16 am

Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 am
The relationship between communism and Theravada Buddhism is simply that: it has already happened, very brazenly, in the 20th century.
Could you kindly substantiate these assertions with some concrete examples & evidence. Thanks. Its like saying Communism was Russian.
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 am
And its relationship to capitalism is simply that: it is happening, right now in the 21st century.
Theravada Buddhism is not a political system, such as Islam.
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 am
And the relevant point with respect to both is that: both systems are completely foreign and alien to ancient India; both are products of European modernity, and both spread to become global in scope. One has basically failed, and one is in full flight.
Its still probably not related to Theravada Buddhism. India probably followed whatever systems the Indian monarchs implemented.
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 am
And my point is simply that: it's actually not at all clear what relationship Buddhist Dhamma has to modern political economy. And that is why it is actually quite productive to discuss these things, as Buddhists.
Buddhist Dhamma is not related to modern political economy. Buddhist Dhamma is just a path for individuals.
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 am
But the problem is: people tend to be more attached to their favoured political economy than just about anything else. If they could, the victims of communism in the 20th century would attest to this fact.
The 20th century was extremely complex (unless you follow the high school & Hollywood version). Obviously there were sufficient social factors & support that resulted in the political rule of Communists in Russia & later in China. Unless a victim of pure imperialism (such as indigenous peoples of the Americas & Australia), "victimhood" generally does not occur in isolation.
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Will
Posts: 866
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:26 pm
Location: So Cal

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Will » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:22 am

Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:12 am

As well, the thread clearly presupposes a great deal about the relationship between Buddhism and communism/capitalism, and many posters have been have been keen to explore this. Are you asking us not to explore this, or simply not explore positions which you disagree with?
If after reading the 12 pages of posts you really think you have some new or modified 'theory' to 'explore' - type away.

I prefer to focus on the poisonous fruits of totalitarian ideals.
Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. -- MN 19

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 1618
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by DooDoot » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:24 am

Will wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:22 am
I prefer to focus on the poisonous fruits of totalitarian ideals.
The Buddha focused largely on "causes" rather than "fruits".
In response, the Elder Assaji uttered this stanza:

"Of all those things that from a cause arise,
Tathagata the cause thereof has told;
And how they cease to be, that too he tells,
This is the doctrine of the Great Recluse."

User avatar
Will
Posts: 866
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:26 pm
Location: So Cal

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Will » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:32 am

DooDoot:
The Buddha focused largely on "causes" rather than "fruits".

Will:
Solutions to which causes were motivated by the suffering caused by the poisonous fruits of craving & ignorance. Until the dukkha nature of societal & personal living is felt to the point of revulsion & renunciation, the world will stay as it is.

Here is a selection from a daily digest of one of the worst forms of societal poisons:

http://victimsofcommunism.org/category/daily/
Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. -- MN 19

Upeksha
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:23 am

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Upeksha » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:52 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:16 am
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 am
The relationship between communism and Theravada Buddhism is simply that: it has already happened, very brazenly, in the 20th century.
Could you kindly substantiate these assertions with some concrete examples & evidence. Thanks. Its like saying Communism was Russian.
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 am
And its relationship to capitalism is simply that: it is happening, right now in the 21st century.
Theravada Buddhism is not a political system, such as Islam.
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 am
And the relevant point with respect to both is that: both systems are completely foreign and alien to ancient India; both are products of European modernity, and both spread to become global in scope. One has basically failed, and one is in full flight.
Its still probably not related to Theravada Buddhism. India probably followed whatever systems the Indian monarchs implemented.
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 am
And my point is simply that: it's actually not at all clear what relationship Buddhist Dhamma has to modern political economy. And that is why it is actually quite productive to discuss these things, as Buddhists.
Buddhist Dhamma is not related to modern political economy. Buddhist Dhamma is just a path for individuals.
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 am
But the problem is: people tend to be more attached to their favoured political economy than just about anything else. If they could, the victims of communism in the 20th century would attest to this fact.
The 20th century was extremely complex (unless you follow the high school & Hollywood version). Obviously there were sufficient social factors & support that resulted in the political rule of Communists in Russia & later in China. Unless a victim of pure imperialism (such as indigenous peoples of the Americas & Australia), "victimhood" generally does not occur in isolation.
1. Communist revolutions occurred in Theravadan Buddhist countries. The evidence (of relation) could not be more concrete than that. It's just a statement of historical fact. Be clear that I am saying nothing at all about the value of that relation (except perhaps that it is rather complex and vexing and worth examining).
2. Because Theravada Buddhism takes place now in the 21st century, it necessarily takes place under conditions of capitalism. Again, simple statement of fact that has very direct implications on the way we all navigate our relationship with Dhamma. Again, that is not a value statement. I'd say the same thing about as before: it's complex, vexing, worth examining.
3. So long as monks get food in their bowl (and so long as we buy Dhamma books on Amazon + work for a living + have stable govts etc) , then there is - unambiguously - some kind of relation between Buddha Dhamma and political economy.

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 1618
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by DooDoot » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:56 am

Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:52 am
1. Communist revolutions occurred in Theravadan Buddhist countries. The evidence (of relation) could not be more concrete than that. It's just a statement of historical fact. Be clear that I am saying nothing at all about the value of that relation (except perhaps that it is rather complex and vexing and worth examining).
Communist Revolution occurred in Christian Russia, which does not make Communism Russian or Christian. A Communist takeover occurred in Cambodia, obviously heavily influenced by the political players in the Vietnam War. Since these Communist Revolutions actually tried to destroy both Christianity & Buddhism, how can they be related to Christianity or Buddhism? :shrug:
In 1975 when the communist Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia, they tried to completely destroy Buddhism and very nearly succeeded. By the time of the Vietnamese invasion in 1979, nearly every monk and religious intellectual had been either murdered or driven into exile, and nearly every temple and Buddhist temple and library had been destroyed.

The Khmer Rouge policies towards Buddhism- which included the forcible disrobing of monks, the destruction of monasteries, and, ultimately, the execution of uncooperative monks effectively destroyed Cambodia's Buddhist institutions.[15] Monks who did not flee and avoided execution lived among the laity, sometimes secretly performing Buddhist rituals for the sick or afflicted.[15]

Estimates vary regarding the number of monks in Cambodia prior to the ascension of the Khmer Rouge, ranging between 65,000 and 80,000.[16] By the time of the Buddhist restoration in the early 1980s, the number of Cambodian monks worldwide was estimated to be less than 3,000.[17] The patriarchs of both Cambodian nikayas perished sometime during the period 1975-78, though the cause of their deaths is not known.[16]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_ ... _Rouge_era

Upeksha
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:23 am

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Upeksha » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:59 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:56 am
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:52 am
1. Communist revolutions occurred in Theravadan Buddhist countries. The evidence (of relation) could not be more concrete than that. It's just a statement of historical fact. Be clear that I am saying nothing at all about the value of that relation (except perhaps that it is rather complex and vexing and worth examining).
Communist Revolution occurred in Christian Russia, which does not make Communism Russian or Christian. A Communist takeover occurred in Cambodia, obviously heavily influenced by the political players in the Vietnam War. Since these Communist Revolutions actually tried to destroy both Christianity & Buddhism, how can they be related to Christianity or Buddhism? :shrug:
If you try to destroy something, you are clearly relating to that thing. That's all I'm saying my friend.

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 1618
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by DooDoot » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:18 am

Upeksha wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:59 am
If you try to destroy something, you are clearly relating to that thing. That's all I'm saying my friend.
Revolutions require money & weapons. Follow the money.

Circle5
Posts: 824
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:14 am

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Circle5 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:20 pm

Images speak more than 1000 words. Below are images from the "mineriade" - the 1989 revolution was highjacked by a wing of the same communist party (current socialist party - PSD) that tried maintaining dictatorship. It took many more fights until 1996 when a real change happened. There were protests made by intellectuals and people from the cities that were squashed through police brutality and through sending the miners to Bucharest to beat them to death. Hundreds died beaten by the miners and the police. Universities, opposition newspapers and opposition party headquaters were destroyed by the miners. The famous shoutings they were using now sound ridiculos, but they were very popular back then: "We don't think, we work", "Death to the intellectuals", "IGMT factories are coming to make order".

Below is footage of protestors caught and beaten up worse than animals by police. The dialogues are also extremely funny and it's hard not to laugh your brains out when seeing such footage if you understand romanian. It's like taken out of an orwellian book :


If you can believe it, this was actually filmed by the police and put on national TV in order to inspire fear

User avatar
Will
Posts: 866
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:26 pm
Location: So Cal

Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Will » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:58 pm

Circle5 - Video not watchable - a black screen says in white letters:
Video Unavailable
This video may no longer exist, or you don't have permission to view it.
Learn More
Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. -- MN 19

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 19 guests