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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Buddhists are Anarchists?

Found this in my inbox:

I just wanted to point out that despite the fact that Buddhism is anarchist, in the sense that we believe in social unity and equality, you have nothing for us in your philosophical links. I heavily recommend you check El Buddha out, seeing as you don't suck. We are like rage against the machine, but without the rage.

While I'm glad I don't suck, I have my doubts about Buddhism as a form of anarchism. From the above, it seems the author is equating Buddhism with the left-friendly definition of socialism, which is that we work together in a collective manner to achieve good things for the benefit of society as a whole.

My knowledge of Buddhism isn't that great (in fact, improving my knowledge about it does not factor high in the list of priorities), I'll take a flyer here and state that being a Buddhist doesn't necessarily make you an anarchist. Can you be a Buddhist and believe in the correctness of a State? Sure, Tibet, for example.

Is Buddhism a form of socialism? Hell, I don't know. Comment your thoughts, or not.

Btw, here are two definitions of socialism for the sake of common reference:


socialism (sou.Saliz'm). a. Fr. socialisme (1832), or independently f. social a. + -ism.

1. A theory or policy of social organization which aims at or advocates the ownership and control of the means of production, capital, land, property, etc., by the community as a whole, and their administration or distribution in the interests of all.

2. A state of society in which things are held or used in common.


Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to social control. As an economic system, socialism is usually associated with state or collective ownership of the means of production. This control, according to socialists, may be either direct, exercised through popular collectives such as workers' councils, or it may be indirect, exercised on behalf of the people by the state.



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