Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds
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.
Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception
Join renowned economist Michael Hudson as he discusses his new book, J is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception at Busboys & Poets (1025 5th St NW location) at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21.
In this follow-on to his Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroyed the Global Economy (2015), Hudson discusses how mainstream economic vocabulary has been contorted to obscure the manner in which financial giants extract wealth from rest of the economy. This A-Z user’s guide will serve as critical reading for those seeking to understand the broader economic system during this new “post-fact” era.
A former Wall Street analyst, government adviser, and fierce critic of neoliberal economic order, Hudson is Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Professor of Economics at Peking University in China. He gives speeches, lectures and presentations all over the world for diverse academic, economic and political audiences. He is the author of many books on the global economy, with a focus on financial history, debt, land tenure and related economic institutions from antiquity to the present.
The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so please register here.
Hudson will be signing copies of J is for Junk Economics, which will be available for purchase at the event.
You can learn more about Michael Hudson here.