Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.
mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments
The paper, published in the academic journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, said “Most extant explanations (of a negative relation) share one central theme—the premise that religious beliefs are irrational, not anchored in science, not testable and, therefore, unappealing to intelligent people who “know better.”
The answer may, however, be more complex. Intelligent people may simply be able to provide themselves with the psychological benefits offered by religion - such as “self-regulation and self-enhancement”, because they are more likely to be successful, and have stable lives.
“People possessing the functions that religion provides are likely to adopt atheism, people lacking these very functions (e.g., the poor, the helpless) are likely to adopt theism,” the researchers wrote.
The political economy of corruption: Capitalism undermines the patronage system
However, in order to effectively decrease the social practice coined “corruption”, we must understand its functional logic in a social order. In a feudalistic regime based on personal relationships between patron and client, resource distribution and patronage of networks are not only vital, but embody the very functional logic of the system. Without the distribution of resources, the patronage system, behind the democratic facades the regime which matters would often collapse. In other words, corruption, nepotism, patronage are not illnesses to be cured, but are the very DNA of the patrimonial system. In a modern order, based on impersonal exchanges between much bigger groups of people over long distances, this social practice to prefer kin over strangers undermines the trust necessary for economic development. Modern polities therefore replace personal relationship based institutions with rules and merit-based institutions. This fundamentally changes the limit of authority of those in power: where the feudal lord had a birthright to “the fat of the land” (but would be wise to distribute it to buy the loyalty of his clients), the modern official can be sanctioned for the use of public funds for anything but the common good.
Corruption deconstructed: Rooting out the Enemy within
To understand the politics of corruption, however, it is important to deconstruct how corruption is framed.
In the progressive discourse, the social practice of distributing resources into a private network is framed as a misappropriation of public funds. In other words, the corrupt official takes something which belongs to the public and uses it for his own personal gain. This is rooted in a deep feeling of social injustice, as the official owes his position either to his professional merit or the public who elected him.
As it is the raison d’être of conservatism to uphold the traditional system, conservatives fail to see or acknowledge that the system is inherently flawed. Hence, in the conservative discourse it must be immoral individuals who ‘corrupt’ society. Consequently, “bad people” must be “rooted out” and replaced with “good people”. ‘Good people’, meaning the traditional feudal and technocratic elites, who cannot be corrupted by the logic as they are not elected. In Thailand, this belief is rooted in a discursive justification built upon Theravada Buddhist culture, which attributes moral integrity to high social status as this status reflects the good karma collected in a former life. Consequently, to “root out” a corrupt politician, the yellow alliance seeks to suspend the very mechanism which elevated these immoral usurpers into their (not rightful) place: elections.
gavesako wrote:Marc’s piece is an outstanding contribution to the debate on the roots of Thailand’s crisis and the current stalemate.
http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandal ... democracy/
gavesako wrote:Here is another opinion piece addressing the current situation in Thailand:
...At present, the clergy operates in a system of absolute monarchy. It is a hierachical, feudal, top-down and autocratic system which severely punishes criticism and ostracises those who dare to challenge it. When Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932, the government scrapped the feudal hierarchy and titles, except in the Sangha Council. ...
http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... challenged
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