Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Maha pointed me to this, for which I'm appreciative.

"The Buddha's teachings are deeply conservative" says Robin of Berkeley.

So who was the Buddha, anyway? Was he like Alinsky, steamrolling social justice through by any means necessary? Or was he a conservative, teaching prudence, ethical behavior, and accepting the world as it is?

This is interesting. "Prudence, ethical behavior, and accepting the world as it is" are being called defining characteristics of being conservative. That's pretty stupid.

Well, technically, it's not. It's true that if you honestly felt that those virtues defined political conservativism, you'd have to be an idiot to have failed to notice that conservatives in the US are quite imprudent and unethical - Iraq (and the lack of political consequences for Iraq) prove that. Telling (or merely accepting) untruths told so that you can start a stupid, expensive war, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths is neither prudent nor ethica.

In fact, one would have to be blind and stupid to fail to note that prudence, ethical behavior, and realism exist across all political divisions.

But that's just it - it's not blindness or stupidity. It's ugliness.

Robin doesn't really believe that ethics, prudence and realism belong only to conservatives. Robin wants to pretend that this means that non-conservatives (undoubtedly, including those horrible awful *liberals*) do not have these qualities. In short, it's a lie. And what's the purpose of the lie? Well, to spread, and reward, anomosity towards a group of people who are different.

Trust me: that's not what Buddhism's about.

But that is what we're fighting in this country - not "conservatives" but the kind of hatred that tries to define people as evil, and other, simply because of a difference in opinion.

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