The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:18 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings DL,

Nah, I'll just settle for nirodha as an understanding of freedom.

8-)

Metta,
Retro. :)

Even better.
D :heart:
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:21 am

cooran wrote:"...the greater good...’’ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... her...with metta...Chris
"The greater good"=red herring.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:41 am

Interconnectedness, interdependence, solidarity, equality, the greater good, unity, etc... = dukkha... Therefore, OWS = a samsara factory.

At what point in his preaching career did the Buddha (if ever) tell us to be more concerned with the greed, hate and delusion of others--from individuals to collectives--over and before the greed, hate & delusion in our own hearts?

And what did the Buddha do after he rooted out greed, hate and delusion from his own heart?

He didn't organize a civil disobedience march for the poor or recommend anyone else do so.

My comments in this thread are NOT motivated by a belief that "Buddhists" shouldn't be a part of OWS.

They're motivated by the desire to deflect the persuasions I've encountered (in person too), where I, or others, as "Buddhists" are subject to guilt-trip attempts by OWS "Buddhists" to be a part of OWS.

If you really want to protest like the Buddha, shave your head and wander around in bed-sheets begging for food and looking for suitable meditation seclusion/shelter.

D :heart:
Last edited by danieLion on Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:49 am



Remember Orwell's Animal Farm ? :D
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8023
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:08 am

Hi, DanieLion,
You seem to have missed this in your last flurry of responses.
:coffee:
Kim
Kim O'Hara wrote:
danieLion wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:Without disagreeing with retro or David, I will suggest another useful approach - looking at the societies which produce the greatest well-being and happiness for their citizens rather than merely the most money. I have forgotten the details (Googling 'Affluenza' should get you some useful results), but basically the countries that do best on this index are centre-left by European standards (radical left by US standards :tongue: ) and include the Scandinavian countries. 'Social welfare' programmes (health, education, pensions) make up a big part of their spending and taxes are relatively high to pay for them. They are not, of course, Buddhist-inspired but they are compassion-inspired, and that is a great first step.

:namaste:
Kim

See Walden II, by B.F. SKinner.

*Why* see Walden II, DanieLion?
I don't know the book, although I know about about Skinner, so I looked it up (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/walden2/summary.html) and I can't see any useful connection between what I mentioned and what you mentioned.
:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3047
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:12 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:Hi, DanieLion,
You seem to have missed this in your last flurry of responses.
Kim
Kim O'Hara wrote:Without disagreeing with retro or David, I will suggest another useful approach - looking at the societies which produce the greatest well-being and happiness for their citizens rather than merely the most money. I have forgotten the details (Googling 'Affluenza' should get you some useful results), but basically the countries that do best on this index are centre-left by European standards (radical left by US standards :tongue: ) and include the Scandinavian countries. 'Social welfare' programmes (health, education, pensions) make up a big part of their spending and taxes are relatively high to pay for them. They are not, of course, Buddhist-inspired but they are compassion-inspired, and that is a great first step.

:namaste:
Kim
See Walden II, by B.F. SKinner.

*Why* see Walden II, DanieLion?
I don't know the book, although I know about about Skinner, so I looked it up (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/walden2/summary.html) and I can't see any useful connection between what I mentioned and what you mentioned.
:namaste:
Kim

I didn't miss it. I de-prioritized it. I don't "flurry". Is that a veiled insult?

You and mindfulmom seem utopianist, and Walden II is a novel about an utopian project.

What is it you think you know about Skinner? There's the propaganda that education and anthropology professors disseminate about Skinner, & then there's the real Skinner. Beware imitations!
D :heart:
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby mindfullmom » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:38 pm

There are so many responses with some really great links that it kept me busy for a while reading/watching it all. :thumbsup: I would like to respond to each individually but I have little time (full-time working mom with 2 little ones) so please excuse me if my points are not as clear as they could be. :juggling:

Occupy is saying Wall Street is corrupt. I agree. Occupy is saying greed has brought us into our current situation. I agree. Occupy is saying the wealthy 1% have hi-jacked our system of government making it difficult if not impossible for the 99% to live their lives in the way they want with fairness and that ordinary people are suffering from the harm that unrestrained corporations can cause when they are sending enormous sums of money to our politicians. I agree. As for the rest of the political thoughts being put forth, I will respectfully have to part ways with some of you. Occupy has some great points but I am finding that it's views are limited as to the scope of the problem. Let's give credit where credits due and include all the players.

The unions have hi-jacked the systems as well. When unions first gained power in the US they gave mistreated workers the right to collectively bargain in the face of tremendous disadvantages and hardships. Men and women stood in the streets and stared down politicians, special interests, and monopolies and fought for fairness and a piece of the American Dream. They didn't demand special rights, they demanded equal rights. But times have changed. We've gone from a time where unions sacrificed for the right of all workers to collect a fair wage, to a world where Big Labor sacrifices their workers for more power and influence. These days union have become powerful political machines that work against individual rights in favor of special interests. They look down on ideals like competition and freedom of choice and instead embrace monopolies and bureaucracy, the very things they once fought against. It seems that unions are no longer workers-right groups, they're political action committees. They don't work to enact change in their own companies or industries as much as they work to enact changes in laws that will enable them to claim more power and influence. This is about as far away from their original mission as you can possibly get. The president of SEIU, Andy Stern, said about their 2008 campaign contributions, "We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama - $60.7 million, to be exact, and we're proud of it." http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articl ... 96469.html


In the video, Capitalism Hits The Fan, Wolff said "..... the failure that capitalism has always proved itself to be." The free-market system is put on trail at regular intervals. People love it until it stops working the way they think it should. Then it becomes the villain. When I use the word "capitalism" I'm talking about democratic capitalism, the kind the US used to have. Capitalism is neither good nor evil, it just is. It can't get you a job, or buy you a house, or a better retirement, you have to do those things yourself. But what it can do is foster an environment where those who want to try for those things have a better chance at succeeding. Some like to blame the housing market for the financial collapse. But was that collapse triggered by a failure of capitalism or by an abuse of it by the government? Under a true free-market capitalism, the government would have no involvement in home ownership at all. They wouldn't encourage it through artificially low interest rates, Fannie and Freddie tax breaks, or a Community Reinvestment Act but they wouldn't discourage it either. Rates would be set by market participants, based on risk, reward and a clear understanding that making bad loans would result in bankruptcy. But, we've done the complete opposite of that. The housing market was manipulated by the government every step of the way. So while some argue that we need more regulation to prevent these types of future excesses, there is a case to be made that it is the existing regulations that created those excesses in the first place. In other words what has failed may not be the idea of free markets but the idea that a market can be free when it's run by an increasingly activist government. In this respect, even Scandinavian countries adhere to a more strict form of capitalism than we do.

The kind of capitalism that has failed is soulless capitalism because success without compassion results in greed and excess and we have lots of both. But soulless capitalism didn't come out of nowhere. It may have been bred by a government that continually tries to step in and do the jobs that individuals should do. Capitalism is just a vehicle, we're the drivers. Any economic system will fail if individuals stop caring about the welfare of others.
:namaste:
mindfullmom
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:16 am
Location: New York

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:47 pm

danieLion wrote:I didn't miss it. I de-prioritized it. I don't "flurry". Is that a veiled insult?

You and mindfulmom seem utopianist, and Walden II is a novel about an utopian project.

What is it you think you know about Skinner? There's the propaganda that education and anthropology professors disseminate about Skinner, & then there's the real Skinner. Beware imitations!
D :heart:

Thanks for answering, DanieLion. I'm glad you didn't miss my response, slightly sorry you de-prioritized it. As for the rest ...
- You might not flurry in person but I maintain you posted a flurry of messages.
- I don't do veiled insults - in fact, I try not to do insults at all - and that certainly wasn't one.
- I can't speak for mindfulmom, but I am not a Utopianist so your recommendation is not very useful to me.
- There are dozens, if not hundreds, of utopian novels. What makes that one special, in your view?
- 'What is it you think you know about Skinner?' is quite rude.
- You implicitly claim that you know 'the real Skinner.' On what basis? Did you study with him? Know him him personally? That's off-topic idle curiosity on my part, admittedly, since Skinner seems to have nothing to do with the topic.

:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3047
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:58 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
- There are dozens, if not hundreds, of utopian novels. What makes that one special, in your view?
:namaste:
Kim

It's the best one.
(Doesn't anyone ready primary sources anymore?)
Last edited by danieLion on Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:00 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:I am not a Utopianist so your recommendation is not very useful to me.
:namaste:
Kim

Thanks for clearing that up.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:02 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
- 'What is it you think you know about Skinner?' is quite rude.
What's rude about it/how is it rude?
Kim O'Hara wrote:
- You implicitly claim that you know 'the real Skinner.' On what basis? Did you study with him? Know him him personally? That's off-topic idle curiosity on my part, admittedly, since Skinner seems to have nothing to do with the topic.

I asked first. You answer. Then I will.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:26 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
danieLion wrote:
- 'What is it you think you know about Skinner?' is quite rude.
- You implicitly claim that you know 'the real Skinner.' On what basis? Did you study with him? Know him him personally? That's off-topic idle curiosity on my part, admittedly, since Skinner seems to have nothing to do with the topic....
Kim

Kim,
Here we have the beginnings of what's called in informal fallacy lingo argument from authority. If you're comfortable with it, so am I, as it is sometimes valid. Let's just avoid it turning into argumentum ad verecundiam.

B.F. Skinner has EVERYTHING to do with the topic. Are you aware that he: described freedom as primarily a struggle, actively protested Viet Nam and nuclear proliferation, and that the FBI kept a file on him?
:heart:
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:45 am

DanieLion,
You dragged Skinner into the discussion on a mistaken assumption about me and now seem to want to assert your expertise over mine (which you know very little about) and insist that he is central to the thread topic in spite of the fact that the first 190-odd replies to it didn't mention him.
I could respond point by point to your recent flurry of posts but I don't want to play games like that. Consider all your points granted, if that makes you feel good.

:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3047
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby mindfullmom » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:39 am

I'm not a Utopianist either.

In the article that started the blog, "The Buddha And Occupy Wall Street", the author stated, "What's happening now, with the incomes of the rich soaring and those of the ordinary person falling - is unsustainable." I'm not sure where Time obtained their information for the graph in the article, but there is other information out there that shows something different. See what you think.

It is true that the super-rich now earn a larger share of total income, but every study of the last 30 years has found that the rich lose income over time while the poor have large income gains. In other words, the poor don't stay poor long and the rich don't stay rich long. A study by the US Treasury Department found that the richest of Americans experienced the largest income declines over the following 10 years. http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center ... d-3-08.pdf Only 1/4 of them were still in that group a decade later, whereas at the other end of the spectrum "roughly half of the taxpayers who began in the bottom income quintile in 1996 moved up to a higher income group by 2005."

It's true that because of huge income gains by the very wealthy over the last three decades, the gap between the very rich and the poor has widened. But that is not as malicious as it sounds and may be more a result of mathematics than economics. For example, let's suppose there are two twin sisters in 1990. One makes $40,000 a year as an insurance agent and the other makes $100,000 a year as an executive. Move ahead 20 years; now the wealthier sister is making $110,000 a year and the other sister is making $44,000 a year. Both sisters increased their income by exactly 10% but the difference in salaries has widened from $60,000 a year to $66,000 a year. The headline in the media could easily be, "Gap Between The Rich And Poor Widening!" which would be technically true but does it tell the whole story? Both sisters increased their income. More importantly both sisters are making more than they were 20 years prior. But that is exactly how bad things have been twisted. It is no longer good enough that a "rising tide" should lift both boats equally, the tide must now lift the smaller boats more than the mega yachts for some to be happy.

That report by the Treasury office and a similar report from the Congressional Budget Office showed that the bottom percentage earners from 1996 to 2006 saw their incomes rise by an average of 233%. Americans don't stay poor for long so maybe this is still the land of opportunity. This seems to directly dispute what some of the Occupiers are saying about economic opportunities, or the lack there of, in the US. And 40% of American households not only don't pay any taxes, some of them actually get money back from the government every year. http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/100xx/doc10068/e ... s_2006.pdf

Some like to say the rich can afford to pay more. Maybe so but about 2/3's of them are small business owners who create jobs and write paychecks. How can we create jobs by taking more money away from the people who do the hiring?

There is also the idea that we have spent the last 10 years cutting taxes resulting in a severe decline in federal funding to important social services. This is also not quite true according to the US Office of Budget and Management 2010 President's Budget Historical Tables. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default ... s/hist.pdf That report shows that from 2001 to 2008 (the rate of inflation being 22%) transportation spending was up 42%, health care was up 46%, education was up 85% and welfare spending went up 60%. We spent the most on community development and defense.

So, it is being said that corporations and the wealthy have been costing us the freedom to live fairly and happily. I say, add in the unions, an over reaching government, and greedy politicians and you've got a recipe for disaster at least in this county. How has our government grown so far beyond it's constitutional boundaries? We've let our Congress rewrite the Constitution virtually every day it is in session without oversight from the 4th and most important branch; We The People.

Most members of Congress seem to be as familiar with it contents as they are with the thousand-page bills they vote for in the middle of the night. Shame on them for trampling the vision of the Founding Fathers for their own selfish gain. Shame on us for letting them.
mindfullmom
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:16 am
Location: New York

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:58 am

Kim wrote:DanieLion,
You dragged Skinner into the discussion

Dragged?
Kim wrote:on a mistaken assumption about me

no...to clarify your assumptions
Kim wrote:and now seem to want to assert your expertise over mine (which you know very little about)

LIKEWISE
Kim O'Hara wrote:and insist that he is central to the thread topic in spite of the fact that the first 190-odd replies to it didn't mention him.
quantity v. quality
Kim O'Hara wrote:I don't want to play games like that.

Games? OWS is ALL games. They need a good behaviorally engineered GAME-PLAN.
DanieLion :heart:
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby suriyopama » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:57 am

I think that this relevant video has not been mentioned here. I will post it, in the case that someone is interested.

Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi: "A Buddhist Perspective on Occupy Wall Street"

Part One:



Part Two:
User avatar
suriyopama
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:44 am
Location: Thailand

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby chownah » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:40 pm

Much earlier in this thread I posted, "I'm hoping this movement can accomplish some of the rhetorical goals that have been bandied about in their name but I am not going to bet on it. I wonder if there is an Occupy Wallstreet branch demonstration in Somalia?.....remember Somalia and those starving people?....I think many have already forgotten because the demonstrations have Occupied their minds......"

So, did some wonderful societal goals get achieved?.....did anything result from this? I can't think of anything that appreciably moved toward the good but maybe I missed it so anyone knowing what progress was made please report it here. Isn't inequality even greater today than it was during the occupations? What is Occupying the minds of all those demonstrators today.....I'll bet the demonstrating postal workers are concerned with the cold weather.....not the 1%.
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2642
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby manas » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:06 pm

chownah wrote:So, did some wonderful societal goals get achieved?.....did anything result from this? I can't think of anything that appreciably moved toward the good but maybe I missed it so anyone knowing what progress was made please report it here. Isn't inequality even greater today than it was during the occupations? What is Occupying the minds of all those demonstrators today.....I'll bet the demonstrating postal workers are concerned with the cold weather.....not the 1%.
chownah


Hi chownah,

nothing's changed as far as I can see. The status quo's grip on power was never under threat. Inequality continues to rise. Same old story.

kind regards
manas
:anjali:
User avatar
manas
 
Posts: 2104
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Previous

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Mr Man, Zom and 6 guests