Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds
[Just in case you didn’t read this the first time] Buddhism is an inward-looking philosophy and practice. As such it has virtually no concepts or disciplines that address the external, material conditions of our world. With mediation practices, you can do something about your own greed, hatred and delusion on a personal level, and perhaps you can do something about the personal greed, hatred and delusion of someone else, like Rev. Stop Shopping. But that internal, personal focus has nothing to say and no course of action that can do anything about the large-scale, external, material conditions of our global economy.
The Trump Regime is going after the ‘soft targets’ first: attacking Muslims, Mexicans, Black people and other non-whites, immigrants, women, queers and poor people who need a public health care system. The purpose of this “shock and awe” blitzkrieg of marginalized people is to, yes, first and foremost, institute a Regime of white supremacy. But it’s also a campaign to weaken the populace for the even more devastating economic blitzkrieg that is coming next. By the time this occurs we will be so be so devastated, scared, subject to threatened or actual imprisonment or death, and high-tech surveillance, that we will hardly be able to register the economic blitzkrieg that will be visited upon us.
The Trump regime is in the process of dismantling the entire federal regulatory system: Environment, Labour, Education, Health, Housing, Energy, Banks, State, Security, on and on. By the time they are done, there will be no functional federal government left. It will be a true dictatorship, with no functioning government but the Dictator and his cronies. The US will then be reduced to a third world country, where it will be economically profitable to manufacture some goods domestically. But of course, using robots, not actual human beings.
At that point, we are Indonesia, we are Nigeria, we are Eastern Europe, we are Bangladesh, we are Venezuela, we are Zimbabwe, we are in the same material, economic and environmental conditions as the poorest half of the world.
Few if any Buddhist websites will have anything to say about this situation, because they are utterly lacking in a language and conceptual framework that can even communicate such ideas. With this blog, Engage, I will do my very best to keep focusing on the economic issues that we all face.
The following documentary by John Perkins, ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’, gives us a sweeping history and understanding of the violent capitalist regime that rules our world. One of the interesting things that John Perkins says in this documentary is that “there is more slavery in the world today than in any previous era.” (paraphrase).