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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Something to Think About

"You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his." Can you tell me if it was a communist philosopher or a Christian philosopher who said this?
I have been fascinated watching the State Ownership of Corporate America continue to roll out. People of now own 80% of AIG, so soon you will be like Russia and own it all.

Christian fundamentalists injected "One nation under God" and "In God we trust" into our lives apparently to differentiate us from the communists arguing that all the evils of communism come from them being atheists.
However, even a little bit of rational thinking about communism will reveal that the real problem with the system was (1)an absolutist and authoritarian system of governance with too much concentration of power resulting in its abuse, and (2) a socialist economic system ("From each as he can, to each as he needs") that doesn't reward industry and chokes wealth creation. Which one of these two doesn't apply to Christianity? As far as absolutist and authoritarian politics go, communism and theocracy score top ranks.

About (2), probably all I need to say that the quote at the beginning at the post is by St .Ambrose. Both communism and Christianity demand exactly the same thing from individuals: sacrifice self for the benefit of the group.
So you think oh I'll dodge all this by the "renunciation of materialism". It is held at very high regard, especially by Hindus I believe , but if everybody starts becoming sadhus and heads to the Himalayas, who's going to be left to produce food for feeding humanity, or research medicine to find a cure for the children with leukaemia, or basically produce any goods and services that keeps the economic engines moving and moving people (albeit slowly) from poverty to higher standards of living? ( I'm sure the more knowledgeable of the Bible amongst our merrye band can now tell me the number of the passage that end "....who will feed the sheep ".)

People who have renounced a normal lifestyle in search of mukti or higher spiritual enlightenment for themselves,( is that selfish?...another : debate opens ) even I'm not sure what they end up finding, ( as commented on by Sir Bowie in his Nowhere Man add-on ) but from my point of view they are net consumers (little consumption minus zero production) of human society. On the other hand, Bill Gates, probably the poster child of the "evil materialists", started the philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, which is working very effectively towards eradicating malaria from all corners of the world. Now I'm beginning to think that Bill Gates ( even tho he is screwing me into buying his products so I can Blog ) is a person of higher morality than the worthless sadhu with long beard in search of his own nirvana.

Okay, let the debate begin...all diverse views welcome :))
Sir Dayvd ( "lets all watch the world go to the devil" ) of Oxfordshire


  1. Excellent Post, Sir Dayvd.

    I read somewhere (paraphrased):

    It's only when you see God in everything, including (and perhaps especially) the things which we disagree or don't understand, that we see God at all.

    Perhaps it's time to stop believing in "God" and start believing that we're all One With God: unconditionally loving, nonjudgmental, non-condemning, and non-punishing.

    I know, I know, easier preached than lived.

    Sir Bowie "Thinking Gives Me A Headache" of Greenbriar

  2. Great subject, both of you make very valid points.

    From another perspective, it all goes back to the interdependence we all have in one another from the Buddhist point of view, what benefits you will directly benefit me, maybe not immediately, but it will come back.

    From the Dhamapada, "The source of all misery in the world lies in thinking of oneself, the source of all happiness lies in thinking of others"

    Sir Richard

  3. The correct phrase from John 21:15-17 comes in two different forms, and the variations thereof, depending on which translation and ancient text you read from. Feed my sheep. Take care of my sheep. Feed meaning the total person, physical and spiritual.
    Sir Davyd gives us a great post and the oomments have been excellent as well. The truth is, to be "truly" a follower of Christ, the Christian Buddha, you can make the argument that we are also believers in a communist, equal, society. The early Christians lived more of a communist lifestyle than a capitalist one. It's not whether you believe in God that makes Christianity, or for that matter any other form of recognized religion, superior to Communism; as well as the lack of belief in a higher power that makes Communism superior to Christianity. It is that very human element that we all too often use and easily forget...GREED! Greed, the lust for ultimate power, will bring down any society, religion or business no matter what they believe. Christianity and a belief in God is not to blame, it's the greedy person who calls himself Christian that is to blame. Communism or being an atheist is not to blame, it's being a greedy atheist that is to blame. We are here, no matter what you call yourself or believe or not believe in, to feed and take care of each other. That is the essence of the message of Christ, Buddha and Communism. The question is, can we greedy humans pull it off!

    Sir Hook the Capitalist Catholic Socialist of Warrick

  4. I don't think thats it Hooky... have just read that up ...John 21 ..51-17 and thats not what i was after..

    I have found out the Full saying from my Pops but he doesn't know where it comes if anyone out there in
    Knightly La-la land can help me i will be most grateful...

    The full saying goes

    " If all were rich and none were poor who would feed the sheep."

    Being a modernist as well as a historian
    I have re-written it
    and I say:
    " If all were rich and none were poor, who would stack the shelves"

    But finding out who wrote the original would be great.

    Over to you Knights of the realm...

    Sir Dayvd ( sell sell, Buy Buy , Sell ) of Oxfordshire

  5. I don't know how this applies, but I just received the latest Robert Ringer newsletter. It reads, in part:

    Class Warfare

    Class warfare - warfare between the "haves" and the "have nots" - has been a fact of life throughout recorded history, and it is alive and well today. Yet, class warfare is generally swept under the rug by politicians. It's one of those subjects that is, shall we say, in bad taste - a topic that everyone would prefer to avoid.

    The human emotions that fan the embers of class warfare are GAVEC (guiltism, angerism, villainism, envyism, covetism). At its worst, it manifests itself in bloody revolutions, such as the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917.

    Plain and simple, the have nots want what the haves possess. If they cannot rise to such affluence, at the very least they hope to drag the haves down to their own level of misery. This constitutes nothing less than a philosophy of destruction.

    # # #

    Seems that the problem occurs when one is not (or is perceived as not)
    pulling one's weight.

    Somehow personal responsibility has to be taken into account.

  6. wow there is a lot of new "Isms" in there that i didn't know about... looks to me like it all just comes under the heading plain old fashioned jealousy.

    i was always taught that in the free world... the only person who controls how well you do in this world is yourself.

    which to some people who don't understand the word "effort", is bad news that they just cant take.

    Sir dayvd

  7. This is all a bunch of junk!
    They have it all wrong!