[Buddha-l] Re: One Buddhist's perspective on Zionism

Gad Horowitz horowitz at chass.utoronto.ca
Sun May 22 11:44:37 MDT 2005

Burma once had a leader named U Nu who advocated a "Buddhist socialism
"which would provide material security and leisure to the whole population
so that people would have the time and energy to be able to devote
themselves to spiritual practise.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard P. Hayes" <rhayes at unm.edu>
To: "Buddhist discussion forum" <buddha-l at mailman.swcp.com>
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2005 4:54 PM
Subject: [Buddha-l] Re: One Buddhist's perspective on Zionism

> On Sat, 2005-05-21 at 19:07 -0400, Dan Lusthaus wrote:
> > I am no expert on Buddhist Socialism, and am not even sure it refers to
> > single phenomenon. Perhaps others can flesh this out a bit.
> A place to start might be Russell F. Sizemore and Donald K. Swearer, ed.
> <i>Ethics, Wealth and Salvation: A Study in Buddhist Social Ethics.</i>
> (University of South Carolina Press, 1990). It has been quite a while
> since I read through that volume, and I can't recall how much there is
> on Bhikkhu Buddhadasa, many of whose essays Swearer published in 1989 in
> the book <i>Me and Mine: Selected Essays of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa.</i>
> Buddhadasa argued that socialism is the most natural expression of
> Buddhist social theories. Needless to say, as a Buddhist, Buddhadasa
> renounced the violent revolutionary aspects of the various flavors of
> Marxism, but he seems to have felt that the basic Marxist goal of a
> classless society without private property is, of all social systems now
> available on earth, the most consistent with the Buddha's teachings as
> found in the Pali canon. Charles Hallisey has written interesting
> critiques of Buddhadasa's positions.
> By the way, how many of you recall reading Ernst Benz's classic
> <i>Buddhism or communism: which holds the future of Asia?</i> back in
> the now-legendary 1960s? At the time I recall that book having a big
> impact on my thinking. But so did Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan,
> for pity sakes. Vonnegut now seems hopelessly puerile (which is not
> really a criticism, since I happen to like hopeless puerility), and
> Brautigan now seems hopelessly dead (success at suicide does that to
> people). I wonder how Ernst Benz would now seem to my senescent
> mentality. Maybe I'll go blow the dust of the copy in the library and
> reread it.
> -- 
> Richard Hayes
> Department of Philosophy
> University of New Mexico
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