Deeper truth about politics

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
binocular
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by binocular » Wed May 09, 2018 11:37 am

grigoris wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:34 am
]From the blog:

" The natural reaction for someone in pain is to want things to be different—they want change in the situation. And, as just mentioned, they don’t really want to change the actual cause for their suffering, which is really their own attitude; they want to change things on the outside. Often, instead of changing just one person, their own self, which is actually possible, they want to change seven or eight billion other people, so that they won’t do that thing that the one finds so damn triggering."

This assumes that wanting to act in order to institute social change is fundamentally flawed. This, of course, is ridiculous. The monastic sangha, for example, has the Vinaya in order to guarantee a functional social environment. Even the Buddha recommended changes to the Vinaya if the rules were found to be pointless.

Why would this not also apply to lay (political and social) life?
Because society in general is not a community joined by the same purpose and pursuing the same goal.

What works for (small) interest-specific groups doesn't automatically work for large, amorphous groups that have no common purpose and goal.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by Pseudobabble » Wed May 09, 2018 11:42 am

grigoris wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:39 am

No there is not, not when we talk about social/political order.
There is. Any system, social/political systems included, will fall into a default configuration and dynamic, absent any interference. That is the natural order, the default order. It is the same with any system. A social/political system, without any external impetus to push it in a different direction, will tend towards a system of coercion by the powerful. Might, in the absence of any more powerful countervailing impetus, makes right.
grigoris wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:39 am
Of course it is different. You cannot compare gravity to social/political structures.
See above.
grigoris wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:39 am
You are not asking yourself: "Who sets the rules?"
Everyone sets the rules. Which rules of others they have to obey, and which they can enforce on others depends on their power. The whole of society is convention. Realpolitik governs.
grigoris wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:39 am
You deny the existence of racism??? Especially structural varieties of racism? (Apartheid, Nazism, Zionism, European colonialism, etc are examples that come to mind).
No. Asserting that skin colour and economic status are directly, causally, linked, is racism - saying that skin colour is somehow the cause of poverty, that is racism.

There is no such thing as 'structural racism'. Just putting the word ' structural' in front of it does not add anything to the meaning - nothing socially relevant happens outside the structures of human society. 'Structural racism' just means racism within the structures of society - AKA just racism.

Plus, you could eliminate the structure without eliminating the potential for racism, which resides in the individual person's attitude, therefore, the 'structural' moniker is irrelevant at best, misleading at worst. Racism originates in the views of individuals, which is where it should be tackled, not in 'structures'.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by Pseudobabble » Wed May 09, 2018 11:46 am

I've asked Retro to delete the duplicate posts above.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

binocular
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by binocular » Wed May 09, 2018 12:47 pm

grigoris wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 9:50 am
Why discuss the radical political impulse and not discuss the politically conservative (or economically liberal) political impulse as a utopian and deluded affair?
Gee, why discuss anything? Why stick to the thread topic?
:rolleye:
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Grigoris
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by Grigoris » Wed May 09, 2018 12:50 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 11:37 am
Because society in general is not a community joined by the same purpose and pursuing the same goal.
Really? You believe that humanity does not have a common interest? Do tell! :roll:

You are not a Scientologist by any chance?
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

binocular
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by binocular » Wed May 09, 2018 12:56 pm

Leeuwenhoek2 wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:53 am
There is the ancient observation that when humans are dissatisfied a common impulse is to want to fix others.
Moreover, when someone expresses dissatisfaction, the common impulse is to project that this person wants to fix others or expects others to change. But it's not necessarily the case that such a person wants to fix others or expects others to change. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

binocular
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by binocular » Wed May 09, 2018 12:58 pm

grigoris wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 12:50 pm
Really? You believe that humanity does not have a common interest?
Only if you project it on people.

Humanity as a whole clearly is not behaving like an interest group that is bound by a common purpose and goal.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Grigoris
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by Grigoris » Wed May 09, 2018 12:59 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 11:42 am
Might, in the absence of any more powerful countervailing impetus, makes right.
Nope. That is a political theory. Actually, there is just as much evidence for the natural order being one of mutual aid, as one of hierarchical dominance.

Consider the lion. Always get eaten by worms in the end.
Everyone sets the rules.
No they don't. Take Trump's latest shenanigans, do you think that the majority of Amerikans want a war with Iran and wanted out of the treaty? No. The power structures that exist now (oligarchical) make it possible for a lone psychopath to make the rules and oblige everybody else to follow. But no worries. the worms will get him in the end too.
No. Asserting that skin colour and economic status are directly, causally, linked, is racism - saying that skin colour is somehow the cause of poverty, that is racism.
No it is not.
There is no such thing as 'structural racism'.
Yes there is. I provided a number of examples.
Plus, you could eliminate the structure without eliminating the potential for racism, which resides in the individual person's attitude...
The potential for equality is equally present, social and political structures can act as obstacles (or aids) to it's expression.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Grigoris
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by Grigoris » Wed May 09, 2018 1:03 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 12:58 pm
Only if you project it on people.
If you do not think that survival of the human race is in the common interest of all humans, then I am wasting my time talking to you.
Humanity as a whole clearly is not behaving like an interest group that is bound by a common purpose and goal.
Yup. The politics of divide and conquer works wonders doesn't it? All you need is a small group of powerful people who wish to disregard common interest (and a small group of ignorant fools to follow them) for their own self-interest and you have late-post-modern-oligarchical-capitalism in all it's glory.

Get it while it is (too) hot (and getting hotter).
Last edited by Grigoris on Wed May 09, 2018 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by binocular » Wed May 09, 2018 1:16 pm

grigoris wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 1:03 pm
If you do not think that survival of the human race is in the common interest of all humans, then I am wasting my time talking to you.
In order for the "human race" to survive, it is enough that some statistically relevant sample of humans survives (to ensure optimal genes and avoid degeneration due to interbreeding). I don't know the number, but it's probably quite small in comparison to the number of humans currently alive.

You need to get the terms straight and be more precise.

Is it in the common interest of all people that all people survive?
Even you can't reply Yes to that, what with your "solution" to kill off whites and the rich.
Yup. The politics of divide and conquer works wonders doesn't it? All you need is a small group of powerful people who wish to disregard common interest (and a small group of ignorant fools to follow them) for their own self-interest and you have late-post-modern-oligarchical-capitalism in all it's glory.
That small group of powerful people is probably enough for "the survival of the human race".


Other than that, I think you're too woke for me.
:shock:
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by Pseudobabble » Wed May 09, 2018 2:48 pm

grigoris wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 12:59 pm
Nope. That is a political theory. Actually, there is just as much evidence for the natural order being one of mutual aid, as one of hierarchical dominance.
Consider the lion. Always get eaten by worms in the end.
You have conceded that there is a natural order, which was my point. This is not theory - every system has a default state, its just a fact. That the natural order includes both domination and symbiosis is pretty certain, I agree.

Everyone sets the rules.
No they don't. Take Trump's latest shenanigans, do you think that the majority of Amerikans want a war with Iran and wanted out of the treaty? No. The power structures that exist now (oligarchical) make it possible for a lone psychopath to make the rules and oblige everybody else to follow. But no worries. the worms will get him in the end too.
You forget that he took plenty of votes. Besides, the populace can force the government to back down, even out of a war - Vietnam. Everything is convention. People go along with things, and that is why they happen. When enough people no longer go along with them, no amount of law-making can force the issue. If you make a law, and nobody follows it, then the law may as well have never have been made. People determine which rules are actual rules, by following them. If the rule isn't followed, it isn't a rule.
No. Asserting that skin colour and economic status are directly, causally, linked, is racism - saying that skin colour is somehow the cause of poverty, that is racism.
No it is not.
So you think there is something inherent in skin pigmentation (levels of melanin in the skin) which affects wealth level? How does that work?
There is no such thing as 'structural racism'.
Yes there is. I provided a number of examples.
No, you provided some words. Let's try again. Racism has existed in all different types of political/social structure: fascist systems, communist systems, liberal systems, etc. That by itself, by example, is enough to show that racism is not an aspect of 'structure' (whatever that might mean).

But lets keep going - what exactly is a structure? From the OED: 'The arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex'.

And what is racism? Again, from the OED: 'Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.' And more generally: 'The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.'

There is really no sense in which an 'arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex' can have 'antagonism directed against someone of a different race'. To begin with, a structure is an abstract entity - it has no intentionality or consciousness, so it cannot be antagonistic towards anyone, nor can it hold prejudices. Further, relating to the second definition, a structure (being an abstract entity) cannot hold any beliefs, let alone 'The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities.. etc'.

So, given that a structure cannot hold beliefs, and racism is a belief or set of beliefs, its pretty clear that a structure cannot be racist, and therefore, there is no such thing as 'structural racism'.
Plus, you could eliminate the structure without eliminating the potential for racism, which resides in the individual person's attitude...
The potential for equality is equally present, social and political structures can act as obstacles (or aids) to it's expression.
I don't know what this means.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Leeuwenhoek2
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by Leeuwenhoek2 » Wed May 09, 2018 3:10 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 12:56 pm
But it's not necessarily the case that such a person wants to fix others or expects others to change. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.
I agree.
The phrase I used -- "common impulse" -- was intended to be understood as a tendency -- something that sometimes arises but not necessarily so.
Did you understand it the same way ... as a tendency only?

Observation: All, every time, necessity are known as Universal Quantifiers.
Sometimes, some, at least 1 are known as Existential Quantifiers.
They can be expressed in formal logic with ALL or SOME.

Seems like real basic logic but it's easy to be insufficiently attentive to stating it clearly and accurately.

Lots of misunderstandings seem to arise, in part, because either:
  • The speaker is insufficiently attentive to ALL or SOME
  • The responder assumes ALL or SOME was meant or intended.
  • The responder objects to one quantifier or the other.
    For example:
    Frequenly someone objects that something doesn't always happen (you fool) but knows that it sometimes it does happen that way.
    So the response could be: It doesn't always happen that way but but it sure happens often enough that way.
Example: In the phrase above " misunderstandings seem to arise, in part, because ... " the phrase "in part" existentially qualifies the meaning.

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Grigoris
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by Grigoris » Wed May 09, 2018 4:16 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 2:48 pm
You have conceded that there is a natural order, which was my point. This is not theory - every system has a default state, its just a fact. That the natural order includes both domination and symbiosis is pretty certain, I agree.
No, I have not concluded there is a natural order. If there is more than one option for order, that means there is no natural order. It means that there is a conditioned existence. That is what Buddhism teaches, after all
If the rule isn't followed, it isn't a rule.
Yes it is. Name me a single rule that is not broken on a daily basis. Even some really basic rules, like not murdering.
No, you provided some words.
Words are all there is in a discussion. I listed a bunch of systems that rely on racism, that have social and bureaucratic structures that use racism.
Here are some examples of structural racism at work:

Apartheid South Africa: https://mashable.com/2015/06/20/aparthe ... TrOAWiyPqR

Israel and African asylum seekers: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/glo ... 1d347bbaae

Race and income in the U$: https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Cens ... 60-259.pdf
Last edited by Grigoris on Wed May 09, 2018 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

User avatar
Grigoris
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:43 am

Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by Grigoris » Wed May 09, 2018 4:40 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 1:16 pm
grigoris wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 1:03 pm
If you do not think that survival of the human race is in the common interest of all humans, then I am wasting my time talking to you.
In order for the "human race" to survive, it is enough that some statistically relevant sample of humans survives (to ensure optimal genes and avoid degeneration due to interbreeding). I don't know the number, but it's probably quite small in comparison to the number of humans currently alive.

You need to get the terms straight and be more precise.
I am not interested in arguing pedantic details with you. It is quite clear that if this planet cannot support human survival (if we do not engage our common interest as humans to ensure this), that means that all humans will die. Like Dinosaurs did during the Ice Age.

There is nothing left to discuss around this issue, so I am ending this conversation.
Even you can't reply Yes to that, what with your "solution" to kill off whites and the rich.
Just in case you didn't notice (which you obviously didn't): I was being tongue in cheek with a "politically incorrect" counter to the equally ridiculous recommendation to allow sub-Saharan Africans to starve to death.
Other than that, I think you're too woke for me.
:shock:
Ain't that the truth.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Leeuwenhoek2
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Re: Deeper truth about politics

Post by Leeuwenhoek2 » Wed May 30, 2018 8:06 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:18 pm
David Reynolds sharing some thoughts about the radical political impulse in general, as opposed to specific ideological demands:
Habitual malcontents will never find Paradise or anything resembling it, regardless of political or economic systems, or anything else external. Rather than try to change eight billion others, just change yourself—or just observe yourself with some introspection, and learn something.
https://politicallyincorrectdharma.blog ... tence.html
OK. So if I observe myself with some introspection what might I see and learn?

Julie A. Nelson is a Professor of Economics; a writer on gender, ethics, economics, and ecology; a dharma teacher in the Boundless Way Zen school. Not too surprising really, Julie and I have had similar realizations:
If you are like me, you not only want climate change to stop, you want child abuse, unemployment, sexism, racism, war, the arms trade, and nuclear weapons to go away. I have long struggled, within myself, with a sense of personal failure that I have not been able to make any of this go away. And this is tightly linked to a sense of heroic over-responsibility that I should be able to do so. So it came as a great revelation to me when, during zazen practice, I realized that my desire to “be good” is, itself, another variant of greed. It’s not that I simply aspire to do good actions, I have extra desires—demands, really—that I pile on top of that aspiration: “I want to feel good about myself,” “I want to be virtuous,” and “I want to be free of guilt.” When I have my desire to feel good about myself front and center, when I’m trying hard to preserve my identity as a good person, it really gets in the way. The requirement that I try to put on the universe—“Be such that I can be good!”—separates me from it.
-- https://julieanelson.com/2016/07/03/bey ... ate-change
Facing climate change, I suggest, is a situation in which we have no hope of feeling good about ourselves. We have no hope of creating an ideal society. Right here is where we are, and only by facing into this reality can we respond.

I believe we should aspire to make things better, but not be too rigid about the specifics, or too greedy about having things go our way. I’ve learned to be suspicious of the thought, “If only people would listen to me and do things my way, things would be great!”

We need changes in our hearts. And then we need to take these out into the world.
Finally:
In conclusion, there seems to be widespread certainty out there about the principles and laws that (presumably) drive our current economy. My invitation here is to take the economy as a koan, and inquire more deeply into what is in fact in front of us. When we do, I believe we can recognize that economies, markets, and corporations, like human individuals, or like any other institutions ... arise contingently, historically, and in deep interdependence. I believe that this recognition opens many possibilities for wise, compassionate, pragmatic, and deeply engaged action, in the messy and painful world here-and-now.

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