The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:40 pm

Greetings Dave,

daverupa wrote:Are you able to list, say, three changes with your lay Buddhist practice as a result of the read? Tweaks, refinements, droppings?

Mainly that I now have a clearer householder path, seeing better how the worldly/material and spiritual can be balanced and needn't be contradictory.

That's the personal element. Plus there's a bunch of stuff at a more state/national level about different economic models, ownership, one person's responsibility being another's duty etc. rooted in suttas, and concepts from the suttas. I've got a Bachelor of Economics, and I was quite pleased with it (mainly because it didn't over-reach, and if it did I just regarded it as a pocket of naive idealism), and many of the values it presents are in align with how I felt when studying Economics, and how that differed from the mainstream neo-classical view.

While I'm at it, the BCC also have this...

The Theory and Practice of Social Revolution in Early Buddhism by Wilegoda Ariyadeva Thera
http://www.buddhistcc.net/bookshop/book ... p?bid=1389

Image

I just ordered this a couple of days ago for $3.80 (334 pages) so can't comment on it other than to say that if this topic is of interest, these books aren't particularly expensive so it's hard to go too far wrong.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:29 am

Munchy?

We may just observe, before we conclude this subject, that, after the laws of justice are fixed by views of general utility, the injury, the hardship, the harm, which result to any individual from a violation of them, enter very much into consideration, and are a great source of that universal blame, which attends every wrong or iniquity. By the laws of society, this coat, this horse is mine, and OUGHT to remain perpetually in my possession: I reckon on the secure enjoyment of it: By depriving me of it, you disappoint my expectations, and doubly displease me, and offend every bystander. It is a public wrong, so far as the rules of equity are violated: It is a private harm, so far as an individual is injured. And though the second consideration could have no place, were not the former previously established: For otherwise the distinction of MINE and THINE would be unknown in society: Yet there is no question, but the regard to general good is much enforced by the respect to particular. What injures the community, without hurting any individual, is often more lightly thought of. But where the greatest public wrong is also conjoined with a considerable private one, no wonder the highest disapprobation attends so iniquitous a behaviour.

-David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, "Some Further Considerations with Regard to Justice."
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:42 am

Appetizer?
Let us at once say again what we have already said a hundred times, for people's ears nowadays are unwilling to hear such truths--our truths. We know well enough how offensive it sounds when any one plainly, and without metaphor, counts man among the animals, but it will be accounted to us almost a crime, that it is precisely in respect to men of "modern ideas" that we have constantly applied the terms "herd," "herd-instincts," and suchlike expressions. What avail is it? We cannot do otherwise, for it is precisely here that our new insight is. We have found that in all the principal moral judgments, Europe has become unanimous, including likewise the countries where Europe an influence prevails in Europe people evidently KNOW what Socrates thought he did not know, and what the famous serpent of old once promised to teach--they "know" today what is good and evil. It must then sound hard and be distasteful to the ear, when we always insist that that which here thinks it knows, that which here glorifies itself with praise and blame, and calls itself good, is the instinct of the herding human animal, the instinct which has come and is ever coming more and more to the front, to preponderance and supremacy over other instincts, according to the increasing physiological approximation and resemblance of which it is the symptom. Morality in Europe at present is herding-animal morality, and therefore, as we understand the matter, only one kind of human morality, beside which, before which, and after which many other moralities, and above all higher moralities, are or should be possible. Against such a "possibility," against such a "should be," however, this morality defends itself with all its strength, it says obstinately and inexorably "I am morality itself and nothing else is morality!" Indeed, with the help of a religion which has humoured and flattered the sublimest desires of the herding-animal, things have reached such a point that we always find a more visible expression of this morality even in political and social arrangements: the democratic movement is the inheritance of the Christian movement. That its tempo, however, is much too slow and sleepy for the more impatient ones, for those who are sick and distracted by the herding-instinct, is indicated by the increasingly furious howling, and always less disguised teeth-gnashing of the anarchist dogs, who are now roving through the highways of European culture. Apparently in opposition to the peacefully industrious democrats and Revolution-ideologues, and still more so to the awkward philosophasters and fraternity-visionaries who call themselves Socialists and want a "free society," those are really at one with them all in their thorough and instinctive hostility to every form of society other than that of the autonomous herd (to the extent even of repudiating the notions "master" and "servant"--ni dieu ni maitre, says a socialist formula); at one in their tenacious opposition to every special claim, every special right and privilege (this means ultimately opposition to every right, for when all are equal, no one needs "rights" any longer); at one in their distrust of punitive justice (as though it were a violation of the weak, unfair to the necessary consequences of all former society); but equally at one in their religion of sympathy, in their compassion for all that feels, lives, and SUFFERS (down to the very animals, up even to "God"--the extravagance of "sympathy for God" belong to a democratic age); altogether at one in the cry and impatience of their sympathy, in their DEADLY HATRED OF SUFFERING IN GENERAL, in their almost feminine incapacity for witnessing it or allowing it; at one in their involuntary beglooming and heart-softening, under the spell of which Europe seems to be threatened with A NEW BUDDHISM; at one in their belief in the morality of mutual sympathy, as though it were morality in itself, the climax, the attained climax of mankind, the sole hope of the future, the consolation of the present, the great discharge from all the obligations of the past; ALTOGETHER AT ONE IN THEIR BELIEF IN THE COMMUNITY AS THE DELIVERER, in the herd, and therefore IN "THEMSELVES".

-Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good & Evil, "The Natural History of Morals" (S 202). Italics are Nietzsche's. All other emphases are mine.
Daniel :heart:
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:...these books aren't particularly expensive so it's hard to go too far wrong.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Couldn't agree more. Now to find time to read? :thinking:

Thanks for your new posts, Retro. I thought Economic majors were extinct? ;) Seriously though, kudos! Your knowledge of the Dhamma coupled with your education are a powerful and much needed combination for helping modern Buddhists makes sense of the world they find themselves in. This, as we all know, is not easy.
with much mudita
Daniel :heart:
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:00 am

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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:22 am

Greetings Kim,

Thanks, I enjoyed reading that.

:reading:

It seemed pretty much on the money... the only part that seems incomplete is that it explains Occupy dissatisfaction in a U.S. context, but does not so much explain the international sentiment (unless it's just "in sympathy" with the U.S. 99%, which in all likelihood, is a contributing factor)

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby manas » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:07 am

Ok, this is going to sound 'unrealistic', but bear with me...something just occurred to me. Thousands of people in the United States are living homeless, with little or no money, and not enough or no work. Someone should get out there amongst them and at least offer the practice of meditation, as a way to make life not only more bearable, but as a way to happiness, a happiness deeper than any amount of material possessions could ever give. Ok, I'm being a dreamer etc, but I wanted to plant the seed of an idea.

with metta,
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby chownah » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:46 am


I get an "Access Denied" message when I try to link to this....can this be fixed?
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby chownah » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:14 am

I found the article by googling for "rolling stone occupy wall street beef"....and then opening the cached version.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:21 am

chownah wrote:

I get an "Access Denied" message when I try to link to this....can this be fixed?
chownah

Something slightly :alien: going on, Chownah - the link is still working fine from here in Oz.
:shrug:
Glad you managed to find it anyway.

:namaste:
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby chownah » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:50 am

I just tried it again with he same results....It could be that access is denied because here in Thailand the internet is filtered by the authorities and the article contains the "f" word a few times....don't know....what I have seen before in cases where things have been filtered out because of comments about the royal family there has always been a message in Thai language explaining....this time just "Access Denied"....so its not the usual pattern...anyway if people have the same problem they can see how to find it.....thanks for posting it....I don't agree with their analysis of why people are protesting but I do agree with the information presented about how rich people get preferential treatment and how it is worse now than ever....but really it has been really bad for a long time.....an alternative slogan from about 30 years ago was "Eat the RIch".....it would be nice if the general population figured this out and that is what the article says is happening but I really doubt that they are correct in this.......my view is that the general population mostly just responds to immediate self interest....as soon as the economy impoves it will all be forgotten...middle class Americans just want their MTV.....and if you look at the number of protestors in the US it is really very small.....I'm not getting my hopes up.....don't forget that the 99% includes people who did not lose their jobs and are currently making over $300,000 per year and I don't think any of them are protesting......there is alot of unemployment in the US right now so there is alot of discontentment.....I think that is the cause of the mass appeal.....the core group of organizers is more political as a matter of lifestyle and most of these people have been for years....they are just taking advantage of this opportunity to promote their message...
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby mindfullmom » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:26 am

I've been following Occupy in the news and reading along here and I have some questions if someone would like to answer them. I guess I'd call myself a
fiscal conservative with some liberal leaning tendencies in other areas. I'm wondering if liberal thinkers and conservative thinkers could come together
on some things? :group:

If the Occupy Wall street protestors are angry with the bankers and corporations and blame them for the financial collapse are they also equally angry with the Congresses and Presidents over the years that gradually built the system that has been used by the bankers and corporations to "loot the system"? Or do they think the Congressman/woman and Presidents were just bullied into setting up this system?

I'm not trying to be funny, I'm really asking. Because it seems to me, that Occupy is narrowly focused on blaming one side (the liberal left in the US blaming the conservative right) when many factors interdependently came together over time to create the current situation from both "sides". You may want to blame Regan's trickle down economics but it was our democratically controlled Congress that continuously rewarded and provided incentives to the banks and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae allowing them to give loans to people who just could not afford it. Other members of Congress warned them of what was coming if they continued with those policies but to no avail, hence the origin of the problem. Wall Street then went ahead and ran with it taking those bad loans and selling them (I'm not condoning it on any level whatsoever) but why did Congress do that to begin with? It seems to me that the liberal agenda of leveling the playing field and allowing everyone to own a home who maybe shouldn't have owned a home, was an ideology that had some dangerous consequences when put into practice.

The conservative right is always linked to the interests of the corporations and all the big money but it's democrats that have out spent republicans 5-1 in recent elections, taking money from people like George Soros who's has done more damage to economies around the world than any one person. Many members of our current president's cabinet and his advisers are former employees of Goldman Sacs. :jawdrop: These are the people helping him direct our current and future economic policies.

So I ask,
1. Are you equally upset with the Party you most closely align with?
2. What should be the solution ie what do you want to see happen and what will satisfy everyone so that they no longer Occupy?
3. What do you make of the violence that has erupted? Do you think it is just a result of the Communists and Anarchists hi jacking the movement and wanting to destroy capitalism or is that the option that most are looking for?

:namaste:
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:43 am

Hi Mindfulmom,

Good points. :thumbsup:

I think a lot of the downfall in the economy is due to the military-industrial-complex, which to the credit of the occupy people, is at least one of the core issues in their campaign. So I support them on that and I'm a capitalist. :tongue:

The economy fell due to the U.S. getting involved in too many wars and ironically "occupations" (no relation to occupy movement). The Federal Reserve responded to the massive Bush spending on the wars by lowering interest rates to near nil. The Federal Reserve was trying to stop a Recession from happening, but actually helped to create it, to an almost Depression. This allowed the banks to swoop in and convince many unsuspecting people that they could afford a house mortgage when in fact they could not. Just one example, a maid here in Las Vegas bought 15 homes, all highly leveraged and then when the economy busted, she lost all 15 and destroyed her credit rating. See more info here at my political manifesto site:
http://peacethroughwealth.com/the-cost-of-war/

And who created this massive military-industrial-complex? You are right, the Congressmen and Presidents from both political parties. The defense contractors have strategically placed their plants in all 50 states to get the support of the politicians from both parties.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:48 am

Greetings David, all,

It's a classic example of "imperial overstretch"...

Imperial Overstretch: Is A Bloated Defense Budget Weakening the U.S.?
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/252813/ ... ning-u.htm

The Buddha did not encourage spending beyond one's means, but it would seem historically inevitable (is it a case of ego and fear/aversion run amok?)

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby alan » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:07 am

Here is why we have a problem: it goes to greed. Corporate interests help elect Bush, who cuts taxes for the super-wealthy. They used that money to buy congress, and the media, and create a narrative that most people accept, because they are stupid and don't really pay attention.
We are in this mess because greedy, amoral bastards rigged the system in their favor. And then they blew it up.
OWS is the genuine voice of real people who only want what should be their right--to live a decent life within a fair system. We've lost that. We no longer even have a debate about how society can best be managed for the greater good. The discussion is always framed around the needs of the top 1%.
That is no way to run a decent society.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby alan » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:17 am

No, the military-industrial complex did not create this crisis. It is financial in origin.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby alan » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:30 am

David:
Your idea that the Fed responded to war spending by lowering interest rates is...interesting. I can't find a reason to believe it.
The Bush tax cuts were run through the CBO for 10 years, and the effect was well known. War spending happened later, and was off the books.
As we all know, the economy fell due to a credit freeze, precipitated by the collapse of several giant financial institutions.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby chownah » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:32 am

mindfullmom wrote:3. What do you make of the violence that has erupted? Do you think it is just a result of the Communists and Anarchists hi jacking the movement and wanting to destroy capitalism or is that the option that most are looking for?

mindfullmom,
First....forget about Communists....there really isn't much of a communist movement in the US anymore....Communism has pretty much been shown to not work....all of the countries in the world which are referred to as being "communist" really aren't communist....for instance China...can they really be considered communist when they have a stock market?....most people would say that a real communist country could not have a stock market.

Second, Anarchists.......there is an active anarchist movement in the US and I believe that your idea that they have hijacked the movement is mistaken.....in fact I think that if you study what has happened you will see that the core founders of the movement and the core which is continuing to attempt to move it forward are either anarchists or other radicals who are knowingly working with anarchists........basically it seems that anarchists created the movement.....this can be readily seen in the social structures they have created....the way they make their decisions and the facts that they have no leaders and no officially stated views or agendas (more or less).

So, anarchists did not hijack the movement.....more or less they started it and have run it from day one....
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby alan » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:45 am

Those institutions failed because they had been basically running a fraudulent enterprise, based upon a complex scheme of selling loans which they knew would eventually fail. They took advantage of a system based upon Capitalist ideology, in which making money is always good, and concern for society as a whole was seen as a sucker's game.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:13 am

alan wrote:No, the military-industrial complex did not create this crisis. It is financial in origin.


The military-industrial-complex is financial -- to the tune of trillions of dollars.
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