Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

A discussion on all aspects of Engaged Buddhism
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SethRich
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Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by SethRich »

Greetings,

Plato is reported to have said that...
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
Is this something that ought to be a concern to Buddhists?

I believe so...
Ud 2.9 wrote:All subjection to another is painful;
All sovereignty is Bliss
... but I'm interested in the views of others on this matter.

:candle:
"He goes to hell, the one who asserts what didn’t take place" (Ud 4.8)
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Transition to greatness" (Donald J. Trump)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."
SarathW
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by SarathW »

Buddha did not encourage monks to involve in politics.
But he definitely, encouraged lay people to have some interest in politics.
For instance, Wheel Turning Manach is a good example.
Then there are other Sutta where Buddha gives advice on good governance.
perkele
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by perkele »

I think the Cakkavatthi-Sihananda Sutta mentions incompetent people rising to positions of power as a contributing factor for the decline into barbary in the "far future" (which might be now or soon already, I don't know).

So yes, I think it should definitely be a concern.
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Charbel
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Charbel »

SethRich wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:28 am ... but I'm interested in the views of others on this matter.
Ultimately, there is nothing in Buddhism, including the text about the Vajjis, that supports democracy, let alone any other Western secular political system
Miorita
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Miorita »

Charbel wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:19 am
SethRich wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:28 am ... but I'm interested in the views of others on this matter.
Ultimately, there is nothing in Buddhism, including the text about the Vajjis, that supports democracy, let alone any other Western secular political system
I think altruism is important in Western politics.
When H. Hicks gave the corona airborne samples to the President, she was being generous.
It matters because she reached him first. 1st runner up and the 2nd runner up get nothing.
She would have said "Breathe in, Breathe out, Relax", but she knew time was of essence and said nothing relying on the power of surprise, that of instant recognition (Oh, she is the one!) and the promptitude of her service.
She should be accepted in the family before Guilford. She is so altruistic! She gives seeds of covid to everyone. She is spreading the need of prayers.
Buddhism teaches to put her at your crown. She is a good teacher.
Bundokji
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Bundokji »

This reminds of the following input by Arthur Schopenhauer - The world as will and representation:
But we now turn our glance from our own needy and perplexed nature to those who have overcome the world, in whom the will, having reached complete self-knowledge, has found itself again in everything, and then freely denied itself, and who then merely wait to see the last trace of the will vanish with the body that is animated by that trace. Then, instead of the restless pressure and effort; instead of the constant transition from desire to apprehension and from joy to sorrow; instead of the never-satisfied and never-dying hope that constitutes the life-dream of the man who wills, we see that peace that is higher than all reason, that ocean-like calmness of the spirit, that deep tranquility, that unshakable confidence and serenity , whose mere reflection in the countenance, as depicted by Raphael and Correggio, is a complete and certain gospel. Only knowledge remains; the will has vanished. We then look with deep and painful yearning at that state, beside which the miserable and desperate nature of our own appears in the clearest light by contrast. Yet this consideration is the only one that can permanently console us, when, on the one hand, we have recognized incurable suffering and endless misery as essential to the phenomenon of the will, to the world, and on the other see the world melt away with the abolished will, and retain before us only empty nothingness. In this way, therefore, by contemplating the life and conduct of saints, to meet with whom is of course rarely granted to us in our own experience, but who are brought to our notice by their recorded history, and, vouched for with the stamp of truth by art, we have to banish the dark impression of that nothingness which as the final goal hovers behind all virtue and holiness, and which we fear as children fear darkness. We must not even evade it, as the Indians do, by myths and meaningless words, such as reabsorption in Brahman, or the Nirvana of the Buddhists. On the contrary, we freely acknowledge that what remains after the complete abolition of the will is, for all who are still full of the will, assuredly nothing. But also conversely, to those in whom the will has turned and denied itself, this very real world of ours with all its suns and galaxies, is – nothing.
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Ceisiwr »

Plato had some funny ideas. What he said there doesn’t necessarily follow.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Ceisiwr »

Charbel wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:19 am
SethRich wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:28 am ... but I'm interested in the views of others on this matter.
Ultimately, there is nothing in Buddhism, including the text about the Vajjis, that supports democracy, let alone any other Western secular political system
Nothing which opposes it either. In many ways the Dhamma is compatible with capitalist liberal democracy, which has shown itself to be the superior political and economic system.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Ceisiwr »

All subjection to another is painful;
All sovereignty is Bliss
Sounds like a perfect match with classical liberalism and the sovereignty of the individual against all consensus.
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Charbel
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Charbel »

Ceisiwr wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:17 am Nothing which opposes it either. In many ways the Dhamma is compatible with capitalist liberal democracy, which has shown itself to be the superior political and economic system.
No. Buddhism is closer to theocracy, where the government rules by Dhamma and the people follow morality. You are obviously wrong & adhammic in your emphasis upon economics & politics and ignoring of morality.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Ceisiwr »

Charbel wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:45 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:17 am Nothing which opposes it either. In many ways the Dhamma is compatible with capitalist liberal democracy, which has shown itself to be the superior political and economic system.
No. Buddhism is closer to theocracy, where the government rules by Dhamma and the people follow morality. You are obviously wrong & adhammic in your emphasis upon economics & politics and ignoring of morality.
Ruling by Dhamma doesn’t inherently mean being anti-democratic 🤷🏻‍♂️. Please show how my emphasis is lacking regarding morality or how I overemphasised economics and politics, both of which ANY ruler or system has to deal with? I’ll wait 😴
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Nicholas
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Nicholas »

Plato is correct in stating that those inferior or superior in ethics, wisdom & compassion do exist. However the latter group was and always will be much smaller than the former.

So if Buddhists wish to be concerned about inferior people ruling society, they may do so - but it is foolish to my mind. We would be better served to address our own vices & afflictions which rule each of us too often with their inferior & habitual energies.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself. Self-conquest is far better than the conquest of others. Dhammapada
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Charbel
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Charbel »

Ceisiwr wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:32 pm Ruling by Dhamma doesn’t inherently mean being anti-democratic 🤷🏻‍♂️.
Democracy = Selfishness

Democracy = Rule By Puthujjana
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Ceisiwr »

Charbel wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:07 am
Ceisiwr wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:32 pm Ruling by Dhamma doesn’t inherently mean being anti-democratic 🤷🏻‍♂️.
Democracy = Selfishness

How does that follow?
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SethRich
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by SethRich »

Greetings,

Or was that self-ishness.

8-)

:candle:
"He goes to hell, the one who asserts what didn’t take place" (Ud 4.8)
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Transition to greatness" (Donald J. Trump)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."
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Nicholas
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Re: Buddhism and being "governed by your inferiors"

Post by Nicholas »

SethRich wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:07 pm Greetings,
Or was that self-ishness.

8-)
:candle:
With or without the hyphen - Humanity = selfishness - no matter the nation, social system, nor era of history.
Only Sages & buddhas encourage going against that pernicious current.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself. Self-conquest is far better than the conquest of others. Dhammapada
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