Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

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Simon E.
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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:03 am

The “secular” thinker who comes closest to “cataloguing samsara” in my view is not formally a philosopher.

It’s Samuel Beckett.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Supramundane
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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Supramundane » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:16 am

interesting choice!
please explain.

is it because of waiting for godot?

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:09 pm

Among other works. He portrays samsaric life with a ruthless economy.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Supramundane » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:33 pm

his translation of le bateau ivre is the best ever

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Queequeg
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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:42 pm

Blackthorne wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:15 am
Yeah, I feel pounced on for simply asking the question. The few Buddhist I know (Vietnamese Pure Land) are "rabid righty" to quote the Queequeg (I believe it was that poster).
As JD pointed out, you made a provocative statement, and you got responses. Now you're complaining about the responses you got.

This is snowflake behavior. The label is usually put on naive lefty ideologues, but it often applies to righties, too.

If the Vietnamese you know are "rabid righty", then that's as comically sad as Dave Chapelle's Clayton Bigsby.
If all opinions are just "confirmation bias" I guess "I'm rubber you're glue..." applies here.
No, silly. Do you read by gas light? You came here asserting that conservatives are treated unfairly because you found some of our resident lefties negatively characterizing conservatives. We pointed out to you, our resident (and former member) conservatives also resort to the same sort of rhetoric. We explained, yes, there are more lefties here, so it might appear so, but seeing only lefties making these remarks is a confirmation bias - you see what you pay attention to. The level of dialogue down here in the lounge area is colloquial. As mentioned above, the lounge is for entertainment.
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:38 am
emphasis on changing, reforming and throwing away.
One man's trash is another's treasure?

Maybe some people see the progressive politics as an effort to "throw away". I don't think that fairly characterizes the impulse to address systemic injustices. These things that progressives seek to address are not "things" that can be thrown away in most cases. Usually we are talking about laws and regulations, or social mores and customs, that elevate some to privilege and relegate others to disadvantage. Like slavery - Lincoln didn't throw anything away - he just proclaimed that slavery was over. No longer would people be able to enforce this certain human relationship by relying on the coercion of the sovereign. When gay marriage was established in the US, it wasn't really about throwing away anything, but rather letting a certain group of people enjoy the same legal rights and privileges as others. If people felt like their world was being thrown away... Peter's analysis above excellently breaks that whole thing down.
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:38 am
So statements that call people fascists and Nazis are much less likely to get anyone in trouble than using a typical right-wing slur, for example.
Sometimes people go over the top and use exaggerated descriptive labels like "Nazi". I can't say that this is particularly common on DW outside of discussing actual right wing white supremacist and white nationalist groups, in which case, the label is often not far off by the terms used by those very groups. This could well be my confirmation bias. I guess the question is, outside the context where we are talking about actual white nationalist/supremacists, where does that label lie on the offensiveness scale. For me, when I hear people call Republicans Nazis, I just think the person is ridiculous, along the lines of the humor in Godwin's Law. I don't associate it with an intention to violently assault Republicans. Maybe times are changing and violent Leftists are a problem. I'm open to being convinced on that. On the other hand, slurs against minorities ARE associated with actual violence against the people the slur is directed against. Just read the news on any day. This gives those terms a different level of urgency.
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:01 am
emphasis on the individual (conservative) vs emphasis on the society (progressive)
I think that's unfair.

What's different is the idea of the individual. What I find is that conservatives tend toward a rather mechanical definition of the individual - like they are a discrete particle defined by rights and privileges bouncing around society, whereas the progressive view is more along the lines of the Buddhist view of the individual - a dependently originated thing that can't be understood removed from its intimate context with the surrounding beings and environment. I'd say the progressive view of the person is subtle and nuanced where the conservative view is rather blunt and ideological.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:49 pm

Boy if conservatives emphasize "the individual" they are -way- behind everyone else in the US as far as actually supporting causes of individual rights. The vast majority of activism surrounding privacy/4th amendment and the First Amendment in this country is by progressive/left leaning groups, not right wing ones. Lots of the college controversy crowd feigns being about "free speech", but they aren't really putting it behind legal measures an don't seriously pursue it most of the time, same with any concern about the rights of "the individual" within the justice system. Conservatives here tend to support massive buildup of an ever greater law enforcement and military bureaucracy, with greater leeway for law enforcement to determine the direction of individuals lives. The only exceptions to this are libertarians.

In fact, the only "individuals" I actually see conservative organizations protecting are corporations, who sadly count as individuals under Citizens United. Other than that, of course there's gun rights, which I am actually ok with - in that I'm ok with preserving some level of individual gun ownership...not the crazy nonsense that characterizes that more vocal end of today's Second Amendment movement.

So yeah, gun rights is about the only place I see today's conservatives supporting individual human beings at all, and with their tactics even that is debatable. I notice the vast majority aren't jumping at the chance to keep the Black Panthers armed. The rest is a smokescreen for protecting the rights of corporations. So maybe at one time what Dan74 says was true of conservatives, I don't think it is true anymore, at least in the US. The cultural conservative notions of us all having a shared Judeo-Christian culture/heritage are not particularly individualistic either.

I feel like these categories don't even work that well anymore though, when you take the general "right" and "left" categories, today you can find people on the right very dissimilar to their compatriots, same when you look on "the left".
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Dan74
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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Dan74 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:52 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:42 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:38 am
emphasis on changing, reforming and throwing away.
One man's trash is another's treasure?

Maybe some people see the progressive politics as an effort to "throw away". I don't think that fairly characterizes the impulse to address systemic injustices. These things that progressives seek to address are not "things" that can be thrown away in most cases. Usually we are talking about laws and regulations, or social mores and customs, that elevate some to privilege and relegate others to disadvantage. Like slavery - Lincoln didn't throw anything away - he just proclaimed that slavery was over. No longer would people be able to enforce this certain human relationship by relying on the coercion of the sovereign. When gay marriage was established in the US, it wasn't really about throwing away anything, but rather letting a certain group of people enjoy the same legal rights and privileges as others. If people felt like their world was being thrown away... Peter's analysis above excellently breaks that whole thing down.
It was just a throw-away comment.. :tongue:

Seriously though, it seems to me that just as there is an instinctive 'batten down the hatches' in many conservatives, there is a 'tear down and throw away' in a lot of progressives. We can go deeper into the psychology of it, if anyone wishes to.

I didn't mean to say that progressives or reformers inevitably end up throwing away something valuable. Though funnily enough with many reforms there is a price to pay that may not be clear at the time.
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:42 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:38 am
So statements that call people fascists and Nazis are much less likely to get anyone in trouble than using a typical right-wing slur, for example.
Sometimes people go over the top and use exaggerated descriptive labels like "Nazi". I can't say that this is particularly common on DW outside of discussing actual right wing white supremacist and white nationalist groups, in which case, the label is often not far off by the terms used by those very groups. This could well be my confirmation bias. I guess the question is, outside the context where we are talking about actual white nationalist/supremacists, where does that label lie on the offensiveness scale. For me, when I hear people call Republicans Nazis, I just think the person is ridiculous, along the lines of the humor in Godwin's Law. I don't associate it with an intention to violently assault Republicans. Maybe times are changing and violent Leftists are a problem. I'm open to being convinced on that. On the other hand, slurs against minorities ARE associated with actual violence against the people the slur is directed against. Just read the news on any day. This gives those terms a different level of urgency.
I think labelling someone a Nazi can hurt a lot and there've been many examples of people who were stopped from holding events and even losing their livelihoods for expressing conservative or controversial views. I don't mean racist, sexist or homophobic, but sometimes interpreted as such. So in that sense there is more hounding of people for holding conservative views than the opposite these days, I think (in the past it was reverses with McCarthyist witchhunts, etc)
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:42 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:01 am
emphasis on the individual (conservative) vs emphasis on the society (progressive)
I think that's unfair.

What's different is the idea of the individual. What I find is that conservatives tend toward a rather mechanical definition of the individual - like they are a discrete particle defined by rights and privileges bouncing around society, whereas the progressive view is more along the lines of the Buddhist view of the individual - a dependently originated thing that can't be understood removed from its intimate context with the surrounding beings and environment. I'd say the progressive view of the person is subtle and nuanced where the conservative view is rather blunt and ideological.
[/quote]

I think this is your bias talking. There are nuanced conservatives and black-and-white progressives, just as vice versa. A conservative may argue for instance, that a progressive instinctively distrusts the individual and therefore desires to regulate him, create manifold programs and laws for that very same individual. By comparison, a conservative (I am beings somethings of a Devil's advocate here) would create favourable conditions for the individual to flourish in freedom and then that very same individual would give generously, form voluntary groups to address the very same issues much more efficiently than the superstructures the progressives seek to impose. Plus, the mirage of equality is neither real nor desirable - people are different. Only equal opportunity to flourish, which demands maximum freedom, is worth striving for.

Johnny, I was not addressing the US situation, where both major parties are much more in service of their donors than any coherent ideology, it seems to me.

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:09 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:42 pm
What's different is the idea of the individual. What I find is that conservatives tend toward a rather mechanical definition of the individual - like they are a discrete particle defined by rights and privileges bouncing around society, whereas the progressive view is more along the lines of the Buddhist view of the individual - a dependently originated thing that can't be understood removed from its intimate context with the surrounding beings and environment. I'd say the progressive view of the person is subtle and nuanced where the conservative view is rather blunt and ideological.
Thinking about this, its interesting to note how times have changed.

When the rights rubric was being developed and advanced during the Enlightenment, those advocates were the progressive voices, and conservatives were against the whole thing. Bentham described rights as, "Nonsense on stilts".

Now, at least in the US, its the conservatives who seem to most vocally emphasize rights. "Conservatives" rely on the First Amendment to deny services and accommodations to people who they think offend their ideas of morality. They rely on the Second Amendment to assert their love of guns. They rely on the Fourth Amendment to keep government out of their business. They rely on the Fifth Amendment to avoid talking about their personal corruption... LOL that's a joke.

On the other side, its been the Liberals who have sought to soften the understanding of rights to find a "right to privacy" that basically holds back government regulation of abortion. In turn, Conservatives invoke the rhetorical, "Right to Life".

I guess the take away here is that rights are basically a device to keep the government from getting too involved with people's business. Conservatives and Progressives each invoke rights or push back on them as it is convenient for them. The problem seems to me when people take the rhetoric, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Its a noble sentiment, but it seems to become a problem when people start conceptualizing and defining people, as real entities, based on that sentiment. Its the problem of any reified Dharma.

In a way, it is all "Nonsense on stilts" though not quite in the way Bentham meant it.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:29 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:52 pm
it seems to me that just as there is an instinctive 'batten down the hatches' in many conservatives, there is a 'tear down and throw away' in a lot of progressives.

There are nuanced conservatives and black-and-white progressives, just as vice versa.
Kind of selectively editing your post. I think we can agree on that as a general sentiment?
I didn't mean to say that progressives or reformers inevitably end up throwing away something valuable. Though funnily enough with many reforms there is a price to pay that may not be clear at the time.
In the end, we all pay, dearly, with our lives.

Whether we do something, or not do something, there is something to pay for. Stasis is not an option. The question comes down to - what are we going to pay for and at what price? As the saying goes, one can't have their cake and eat it, too.
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:42 pm
I think labelling someone a Nazi can hurt a lot and there've been many examples of people who were stopped from holding events and even losing their livelihoods for expressing conservative or controversial views. I don't mean racist, sexist or homophobic, but sometimes interpreted as such. So in that sense there is more hounding of people for holding conservative views than the opposite these days, I think (in the past it was reverses with McCarthyist witchhunts, etc)
Do you have any specific examples in mind? I need some illustration to understand what you are saying.
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:42 pm
A conservative may argue for instance, that a progressive instinctively distrusts the individual and therefore desires to regulate him, create manifold programs and laws for that very same individual.
Actually, I think its the opposite, and many conservatives will say so. We need the legacy of rules and order, and established, time tested protocols and procedures, precisely because we are wild animals and need to be restrained. Many progressives on the other hand, I think, have very fanciful ideas about the fundamental goodness of human beings. Conservatives sound like Hobbes. Progressives sound like Rousseau.
By comparison, a conservative (I am beings somethings of a Devil's advocate here) would create favourable conditions for the individual to flourish in freedom and then that very same individual would give generously, form voluntary groups to address the very same issues much more efficiently than the superstructures the progressives seek to impose.
Actually, I think what you are describing there is basically Neo-Liberal ideology, as espoused by establishment "Conservatives", which really should be called Rich People.
Plus, the mirage of equality is neither real nor desirable - people are different. Only equal opportunity to flourish, which demands maximum freedom, is worth striving for.
Of course the mirage is not real. :smile:

So how do you establish equal opportunity? Sometimes, the government has to come in and tell people to desegregate their schools at the point of a gun. Why does it come to that? Some people just don't want to share opportunity.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by boda » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:30 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:04 pm
The following sentiment has been voiced a couple times or more in this thread - that Democrats and Republicans are basically the same... There's a deep criticism of the overall system that can be directed at both parties, and to an extent they engage in similar distasteful behaviors... but if you really think there is nothing different about Republicans and Democrats other than window dressing, I have to wonder what details you are paying attention to and more critically, what details are you completely ignoring?
I suppose that depends on what you mean by "window dressing."

Have you ever thought about how much more productive our government could be without this deep division? The phrase divide and conquer comes to mind.

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:32 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:38 am
I guess over the years I've become pretty conservative on some social issues. But US Conservatives is something else entirely. For me, classical conservative vs progressive is simply that - emphasis on preserving what is traditional, established vs emphasis on changing, reforming and throwing away. Any thinking person needs to look at matters on a case-by-case basis, but there is still bound to be an a priori bias towards conserving or changing.
This is ridiculously simplistic. The short and fast version is the conservatives want conserve their class privilege, which are the means by which they have attained wealth and power. This attitude begins right with person considered the founder of the modern conservatism, Burke. While lounging (or playing golf) in saccharine paternalism which pretends to a concern for others, conservatives in general simply want to make sure that they get to keep the benefits of their class privileges, which they did not earn for themselves, but came into on the backs of others.

Progressives seek to make sure that in a society were there is an enormous disparity between people in terms of class and privilege, those who have an outsized amount of power due to their wealth and power do not deprive those who lack wealth and privilege (most of us) of our basic rights, and seek policies to make sure that no one secures wealth and privilege through exploiting others. This may involve wealth redistribution from rich to the poor; whereas conservative policies seek to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich.

In modern times, in so called first world countries, this is most crucially felt at the environmental level, where the those who have wealth and power live in regions that are relatively unpolluted, whereas the poor and powerless are forced to live in toxic environments.

At this phase of the game, progressives want to save the environment, whereas, over the last 20 years or so, conservatives have abandoned all sense and gone full tilt climate denialism, not because they really believe there is no problem, but because it is inconvenient for their accumulation of wealth and power.
Last edited by Malcolm on Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:33 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:49 pm
I feel like these categories don't even work that well anymore though, when you take the general "right" and "left" categories, today you can find people on the right very dissimilar to their compatriots, same when you look on "the left".
I agree with your observations, and I also stand by my observations. These observations seem to be in conflict, and I think the reason is summed up right here.

We seem to have come to a point where no one has clear plan anymore. Its as some people have been saying lately - the old order is dying, and the new one hasn't arrived yet.

We live in interesting times.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:35 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:29 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:52 pm

By comparison, a conservative (I am beings somethings of a Devil's advocate here) would create favourable conditions for the individual to flourish in freedom and then that very same individual would give generously, form voluntary groups to address the very same issues much more efficiently than the superstructures the progressives seek to impose.
Actually, I think what you are describing there is basically Neo-Liberal ideology, as espoused by establishment "Conservatives", which really should be called Rich People.
Exactly.

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:44 pm

boda wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:30 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:04 pm
The following sentiment has been voiced a couple times or more in this thread - that Democrats and Republicans are basically the same... There's a deep criticism of the overall system that can be directed at both parties, and to an extent they engage in similar distasteful behaviors... but if you really think there is nothing different about Republicans and Democrats other than window dressing, I have to wonder what details you are paying attention to and more critically, what details are you completely ignoring?
I suppose that depends on what you mean by "window dressing."

Have you ever thought about how much more productive our government could be without this deep division? The phrase divide and conquer comes to mind.
Sure I've thought about that. Anyone who has studied American history knows we've had periods when it wasn't as deeply divided and we had periods when we were divided - one time we even had a civil war about it. When there is a consensus, we move more or less in a direction with arguments being about details. Right now, we don't have a consensus. I agree with your suggestion that there are people taking advantage and stoking the divisions. But their not the reason we don't have consensus. I think Yang is right - we're in the midst of a profound upheaval of the economy, and in many ways, we have not gotten our heads around how big these changes are and how they demand changes to government policy as well as culture and personal psychology.

As for the ones taking advantage... Without being too simplistic about it... follow the money. Who profits? Looks like the people who happened to get that huge tax cut a couple years ago.

But, I stand by my point.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by boda » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:02 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:44 pm
boda wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:30 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:04 pm
The following sentiment has been voiced a couple times or more in this thread - that Democrats and Republicans are basically the same... There's a deep criticism of the overall system that can be directed at both parties, and to an extent they engage in similar distasteful behaviors... but if you really think there is nothing different about Republicans and Democrats other than window dressing, I have to wonder what details you are paying attention to and more critically, what details are you completely ignoring?
I suppose that depends on what you mean by "window dressing."

Have you ever thought about how much more productive our government could be without this deep division? The phrase divide and conquer comes to mind.
Sure I've thought about that. Anyone who has studied American history knows we've had periods when it wasn't as deeply divided and we had periods when we were divided - one time we even had a civil war about it.
Funny you should mention that, imagine a republican president fighting essentially for equal rights and Southern democrats defending slavery. Perhaps Buddhists should be among the first to recognize that such labels are illusory, or like window dressing that shifts with whatever is currently in fashion.

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:33 pm

boda wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:02 pm
Funny you should mention that, imagine a republican president fighting essentially for equal rights and Southern democrats defending slavery. Perhaps Buddhists should be among the first to recognize that such labels are illusory, or like window dressing that shifts with whatever is currently in fashion.
I saw a headline recently that Republicans now think Trump is a better president than Lincoln. They apparently think Trump is the best Republican president not named Reagan. I wouldn't be surprised to see Republicans do something to repudiate Lincoln, like canceling the Lincoln Breakfast and renaming it the Reagan Breakfast. With the heavy dose of Southerners now in the Republican party, they may not like the association. The way some Democrat clubs have repudiated the Jefferson Breakfast because Jefferson was a slave owner... even though he founded the party.

:shock:

I think most people recognize that party alignment is a matter of expedience, and tomorrow, if the party shifts and stands for something else, time to abandon ship.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:37 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:33 pm


I think most people recognize that party alignment is a matter of expedience, and tomorrow, if the party shifts and stands for something else, time to abandon ship.
Well, the party Jefferson started was called the Democratic-Republican Party. The modern Democratic Party was actually founded by supporters of Andrew Jackson in 1828.

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:40 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:37 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:33 pm


I think most people recognize that party alignment is a matter of expedience, and tomorrow, if the party shifts and stands for something else, time to abandon ship.
Well, the party Jefferson started was called the Democratic-Republican Party. The modern Democratic Party was actually founded by supporters of Andrew Jackson in 1828.
Right - were the parties related? I suppose Democrats of a certain time liked to think that they were descended from Jefferson?

Following on the shifting alignments... seems a lot of modern Republicans think Jackson was a hero, while for many Democrats - he was a genocidal Indian killer.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Malcolm
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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:26 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:40 pm

Right - were the parties related? I suppose Democrats of a certain time liked to think that they were descended from Jefferson?

Following on the shifting alignments... seems a lot of modern Republicans think Jackson was a hero, while for many Democrats - he was a genocidal Indian killer.
The Democrats evolved out of a split in the Democratic Republican Party over the succession of Madison. The Republicans evolved from the split in the Democratic Party over slavery in 1854. So in reality, both political parties today can trace their origin to the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican Party and the Jacksonian Democratic Party.

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Re: Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?

Post by PeterC » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:03 am

Dan74 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:52 pm
...the mirage of equality is neither real nor desirable - people are different. Only equal opportunity to flourish, which demands maximum freedom, is worth striving for.
There are multiple interpretations of 'equality' - equality of outcome, equality of opportunity, minimum equal provision for everyone.

Nobody in the US political spectrum advocates for equality of outcome. The 'conservatives' in the US regularly misrepresent the 'democrats' of doing so, but really at most they argue for minimum equal provision.

There are countries where there exists a broad societal consensus that in certain areas (notably education and health), equal provision is a desirable outcome. These countries tend to be more peaceful, affluent and educated than the rest of the world. We can debate the causal connection but there clearly is one of some kind.
Johnny, I was not addressing the US situation, where both major parties are much more in service of their donors than any coherent ideology, it seems to me.
Of course the 'democrats' are in service to their donors, notably the financial 'services' industry, which is in part why Sanders has struggled in his party. But they are much less obliged to them than the republicans are to their donors. And the objectives of the republicans' donors go a lot further and are a lot more questionable than those of the institutional democrat donors - for instance, selling guns, enlarging the 'defense' industry, reducing taxes, reducing benefits to the poorest people, imposing their religious ideas on everyone else. It is a bit of a false equivalence to say they're both in service of their donors.

Who loses in this - the blue collar segment of society, which was previously represented by the democrats, before they got caught up in fashionable social justice ideas and got a bit too close to the financial services sector. So the republican party sold them on the false promises of freedom, rugged individualism and the potential to become rich. They bought it hook, line and sinker, and here we are.

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