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paying tax for weapon manufacturing

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paying tax for weapon manufacturing Jonas Emil Eriksson 3/14/15 4:48 AM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Mark 3/14/15 7:34 AM
RE: To Mark Jonas Emil Eriksson 3/16/15 2:39 PM
RE: To Mark Mark 3/16/15 3:31 PM
RE: To Mark rik 2/9/19 1:48 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Jonas Emil Eriksson 2/13/19 12:54 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Andreas 3/14/15 6:27 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Laurel Carrington 3/15/15 11:28 AM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Jonas Emil Eriksson 3/16/15 2:41 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Andreas 3/17/15 2:52 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Jonas Emil Eriksson 2/9/19 3:55 AM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Pål 3/15/15 4:14 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Pejn . 3/15/15 4:32 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Pål 3/16/15 2:12 AM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Jonas Emil Eriksson 3/16/15 3:08 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Pejn . 3/16/15 4:56 AM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Jonas Emil Eriksson 3/16/15 3:00 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing tom moylan 3/16/15 6:11 AM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Mark 3/16/15 12:47 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 3/16/15 8:05 AM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Jonas Emil Eriksson 3/16/15 2:43 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing tom moylan 3/16/15 3:13 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 3/17/15 8:29 AM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 2/9/19 3:52 PM
RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing Jonas Emil Eriksson 2/13/19 1:24 PM
paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/14/15 4:48 AM
In my country Sweden, we pay taxes which goes to exportation of weapons.

So for the moment I dont want to work, I was on my way to become a monk or going on retreat on my own, but for some reasons not relevant here I did not. Of course taxes has many positive consequences. But paying tax, I think 2,5 procent which goes to the bussiness of exporting weapons to other nations and some of them are even in war. That feals a lot like participating in killing people.

The only argument I can find is. (and some sub arguments which is not so relevant) "Im not deciding where the taxes goes, so am I going to try making a change through politics or other activism, or am I just going to use that time for meditation instead? Meditation, ok."

I mean there is a lot of immoral things which nations does. And I am part of that if I contribute with tax. There is a lot of positive outcomes with paying tax, but I also contribute to negative stuf.

On the bigger picture you could argue. But money is nothing, it is value in the money because people agree with that they represent physical economy. So Im not contributing with anything really, it is the people transforming my money into weapons, exportation and killing, who are responsible. But still is not the money I pay a first cause to that effect of killing?

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/14/15 7:34 AM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Hi Jonas,

There is probably no one answer. Within each particular ethical framework there is probably a coherent answer. So we could consider the question from that point of view. What is the ethical framework that works for you and within that framework what is the right answer.

My preference is Virtue Ethics which is basically making decisions in line with what a "virtuous person" in your circumstance would do. I find it is practical by encouraging to develop a character that tends toward ethical behavior. At the same time it accepts that we are imperfect, there are compromises and disengaging from the world is not the best approach.

A virtuous character is defined within a particular context. So for example you might consider Sweeden, or buddhist monks in Sweeden etc. I'd argue for choosing the largest context that you reasonably can. This is an advantage of time lived outside of one's native culture.

A reasonable approach might be imagining the reaction of people you respect to your decision (if you explained your reasoning). I would suspect most people in Sweeden would want you to contribute to the country financially. A virtuous person is not going to feel comfortable taking advantages of an education system, health care system etc that they are not contributing toward. I'd also suspect that most people in Sweeden would consider it a postitive thing if you decided not to work in the weapons industry. 

Clearly financing weapons sales is an issue for you. So what would someone of good character in your situation do ? If I had to guess I would assume they would do something but they may not invest enormous time/effort/money in those actions. Of course if you have the energy then you might take on big actions. 

A quick search came across http://www.wilpfinternational.org/feminist-victory-stops-swedish-military-deal-with-saudi-arabia/ which shows support for your concerns. Perhaps supporting them is a tradeoff for not having 2.5% of your taxes spent in the way you wish.

Motivating to see ethical issues taking priority over meditation !




 

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/14/15 6:27 PM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Being a fellow swede I can inform you that Sweden does not sell weapons to anyone really. The manufacturing etc is done by private companies which is also the ones that sell the weapon. What the goverment does is deciding if the seller can sell to a certain party or not. What Sweden as a state mostly do is sell knowledge and broker deals for the manufacturors since these things really takes place high up in the food chain. The Saudideal that I suppose is what lead to this queastion originated with a sale of radarsystem, but inorder for this massive purchase to come through the Saudis demanded that Sweden helps construct a weaponsfactory. This was all very shady and do through backchannels and shellcorporations.
Overall Sweden aint that bad and you are hardpressed to find any country that is much better. 

Tax by its very nature goes to fund things you dont want to get funded. One just has to suck it up or try to change it. Personally I try to change things. Skipping out on ones taxes I personally find highly immoral.

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/15/15 11:28 AM as a reply to Andreas.
I agree. In the U.S., there is plenty of immoral stuff going on in our government, but I consider that if I were to avoid taxes, then I would be depending on others who are paying taxes to support me. Or something like that.

BTW, to you Swedes on the forum: perhaps you could lobby your government to leave Julian Assange alone? After all, he's been serving the equivalent of a prison term for his bad behavior. Not that I'm one to condone such, but enough is enough. 

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/15/15 4:14 PM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Äsch Sverige är ett av de bättre länderna i världen, och jag tror Andreas har rätt angående exporten.

Möjligen OT: i vilken tradition eller rörelse i Sverige hade du tänkt bli munk? Behöver retreattips emoticon

(Det är väl ingen engelska-policy här?)

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/15/15 4:32 PM as a reply to Pål.
"(Det är väl ingen engelska-policy här?)"

Nej för sjutton, låt oss fortsätta förvirra utlänningarna!

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/16/15 2:12 AM as a reply to Pejn ..
Talar ju bara till OP liksom.

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/16/15 4:56 AM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Man kan ju också resonera så här.
Förmodligen är det mycket mer skatt som kommer in till staten från vapenindustrin än vad som går till exportstöd.
Om man helt eller delvis försörjs av staten så får man pengar som delvis kommer från vapenindustrin.
Vilket alltså skulle kunna göra det ännu mer omoraliskt att (frivilligt) inte jobba och betala skatt...

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/16/15 6:11 AM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
the state is  an instrument of violence and you are an animal on their tax farm.  the us is a particularly violent global terror machine and they force you to support their violence by threatening to put you in a cage if you don't participate.

if you want to avoid the violence you have to either aquiesce to a life of poverty or participate under protest and work with legal means to destroy the aspects of state violence you disagree with.

it is not a question of either meditating or participating in the murder.  meditation, whether insight or shamatha is not the same as moral conduct (sila) and can be practiced in paralell to your moral training.

skol

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/16/15 8:05 AM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Jonas Emil Eriksson:
In my country Sweden, we pay taxes which goes to exportation of weapons.

So for the moment I dont want to work, I was on my way to become a monk or going on retreat on my own, but for some reasons not relevant here I did not. Of course taxes has many positive consequences. But paying tax, I think 2,5 procent which goes to the bussiness of exporting weapons to other nations and some of them are even in war. That feals a lot like participating in killing people.

The only argument I can find is. (and some sub arguments which is not so relevant) "Im not deciding where the taxes goes, so am I going to try making a change through politics or other activism, or am I just going to use that time for meditation instead? Meditation, ok."

I mean there is a lot of immoral things which nations does. And I am part of that if I contribute with tax. There is a lot of positive outcomes with paying tax, but I also contribute to negative stuf.

On the bigger picture you could argue. But money is nothing, it is value in the money because people agree with that they represent physical economy. So Im not contributing with anything really, it is the people transforming my money into weapons, exportation and killing, who are responsible. But still is not the money I pay a first cause to that effect of killing?
Following up on Pejn's comment in Swedish about being the beneficiary of the society in which one lives (like the tax base provided by national industries, including munitions/weapons companies): 

Thich Nhat Hanh, Lotus in a Sea of Fire (1967):
“The practice of Thien [Zen, Vietnamese] is by no means easy. It requires a profound and powerful inner life, long and persistent training, and a strong firm will. The attitude of Thien toward the search for truth and its view of the problem of living in this world are extremely liberal. Thien does not recognize any dogma or belief that would hold back man’s progress in acquiring knowledge or in his daily life. Thien differs from Orthodox religions in that it is not conditioned by any set of beliefs. In other words, Thien is an attitude or methodology for arriving at knowledge and action. For Thien the techniques of right eating and drinking, of right breathing and right concentration and meditation, are far more vital than mere beliefs. A person who practices Zen meditation does not have to rely on beliefs of hell, Nirvana, rebirth or causality; he has only to rely on the reality of his body, his psychology, biology, and his own past experiences of the instruction of Zen masters who have preceded him. His aim is to attain, to penetrate, to see. Once he has attained satori (insight) his action will conform by itself to reality.”

So no exit as a recluse or a monastic, though that positioning can help a person who needs this help of or simply knows distance from the world at large, so to speak.

So one can train as suits best learning moments now.

_______________________
Edit: Hanh citation from Tri Hoang's teacher training group: https://dharmateacherorderct.wordpress.com/guiding-teacherlineage/
and bold emphasis added.

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/16/15 12:47 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
We need some way of upvoting ;)

RE: To Mark
Answer
3/16/15 2:39 PM as a reply to Mark.
It is a helpful answer! BUT emoticon Concerning "A virtuous person is not going to feel comfortable taking advantages of an education system, health care system etc that they are not contributing toward." it feels not right to agree on this. There is many actions to take apart from being part of the tax system. I could work and earn money refusing to pay taxes. I would pay for the healthcare when I need it, if I can not afford I just live with my health problem. Someone maybe want to pay for my healthcare because they want me to be healthy. If I want to give oportunity for other people to get healthcare and other, I just donate money, I will even be more free to choose where the money goes. Pure democracy is available for us anytime, if we take the chance and face the consequences if they even come. We dont have to try reaching for Anarchism, because we are already in Anarchy and the world as it is, IS the result of Anarchism. Hence the concept of Anarchism fall as being of any use really, the only use for it, is to show ones unhappiness and will to see change.

Maybe I will end up in jail, then I have an own meditation cell emoticon (Im truely curious about TRAVEL into jail-land) and if Im lucky it can become a thing in the newspaper which would be the activism part.

I can also choose being a monastic or recluse.

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/16/15 2:41 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Many Swedes lives in a belief that our nation is more vituous than we are. We are one of the worlds biggest weapon exporters. 2011 we where the biggest per inhabitant. http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svensk_vapenexport
 
This kind of issues is what drives me towards a monk life or alternative societies.
 
I choose to be carefull to put too much effort in changing other peoples actions (politics, activism etc) since I feel pulled into the complex merry-go-round and hence loosing awareness, meditation practise, hence loosing touch with reality, morality and so on. ""Skipping out on ones taxes I personally find highly immoral." (dont understand)"
 
I thinking about a kind of activism where I openly work for "black money" and making my own donation based "tax system". Maybe I will end up in jail, then I have an own meditation cell  and if Im lucky it can become a thing in the newspaper which would be the activism part.

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/16/15 2:43 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Im not sure if I understand you. "So no exit as a recluse or a monastic..." I certainly dont commit any immoral things through being a recluse and specially through being a monastic? You must assume something? I do practise meditation and are aware of that this is the way out of suffering if that is what you mean? But learning morality and beeing as moral as I can is helping meditation and brings joy to life. The question is when my moral concerns is taking over my meditation practise, hence becoming rather an obstacle. Sometimes you got to take action and thats my concern here.

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/16/15 3:00 PM as a reply to Pejn ..
Ja, jag tror det handlar om min rädsla för att lämna "mamma staten" som ger oss svenskar allt vi behöver. Det är ett jättebra SYSTEM, men delar av näringen är mord, lögner, stölder... Nationer är en bredare form av egoism. Som med all egoism, är det förmodligen bara en illusion jag måste se igenom, rädslan gör mig blind, jag litar inte på att det kommer lösa sig utan "mamma staten".

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/16/15 3:08 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
Äsch Sverige är ett av de bättre länderna i världen, och jag tror Andreas har rätt angående exporten.

Möjligen OT: i vilken tradition eller rörelse i Sverige hade du tänkt bli munk? Behöver retreattips emoticon

(Det är väl ingen engelska-policy här?)
Känner du till Vipassana i Ödeshög? Där kan du gå i retreat 10 dagar i Goenkas tradition och du kan långtidsserva där vilket innebär en typ av munkliv. Jag hade dock tänkt vara munk i Burma. Eller hitta nån grotta, bo i skogen och äta vilda växter eller övergivet hus å dumpstra typ emoticon

Finns också Budhistiska kloster i Sverige där du kan vara munk, t ex Watdalarnavanaram.

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/16/15 3:13 PM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
anarchy is not synonymous with chaos, which is what you are implying.  it means 'no king' and refers to a system which does not rely on a consolidated power to tell individuals how to behave.  it also does not mean lawless.

the selective system you mention whereby one gets to choose where one invests ones energy, time gold etc. is never present in a system where fealty and subservience are the price of security and genuine individual freedom.

choosing to be a monk or a recluse to avoid the harm inherent in supporting a regime with evil goals and activities can be an active moral choice.  it can also be a cop out and a way to avoid the tough choice to actively oppose the negative aspects of a political system.

RE: To Mark
Answer
3/16/15 3:31 PM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Hi Jonas,

I agree that there are exceptions to what I wrote. A tourist receiving health care might be an easy counter example. But I think Virtue Ethics works fairly well as a general approach - it leads to answers that make sense within a specific context.

It can be surprising how little freedom we have. For example the state can take your children away, force you into a mental hospital, jail you for a crime you did not commit, consider Edward Snowden's situation. From "within" the system it might seem democracy and anarchism are there but try to push the limits and we find a system that does not always respect those values.

A question for a monastic or a recluse: who/what is choosing to be a monastic or a recluse emoticon

Good luck!

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/17/15 8:29 AM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Howdy, Jonas Emil Erikssen {just kidding: I want to check your Fin reactivity as you consider monkhood}

Okay, if you do this...
Eller hitta nån grotta, bo i skogen och äta vilda växter eller övergivet hus å dumpstra typ

Probably the critters already in the grotto or who need the grotto throughout the year are gonna find you a little invasive, no? Maybe you become a warlike conquistador to some large-eyed blind family of cave mice. Not kidding!

The question is when my moral concerns is taking over my meditation practise, hence becoming rather an obstacle. Sometimes you got to take action and thats my concern here.

Well, just like meditation, stay practical, not feeding speculation and troublesome emotions: 
1. Find out what income flows into your "mamma staten" from the industries which trouble you;

2. Find out what taxes go from your mamma staten into industries/actions that trouble you;

3. Propose a step-wise plan to edge those investment flows into things you'd love to see in the world/welcome affecting your own life every second;

4. Like, meditation study, the above could take some time, sincerity and effort to the exclusion of other hobbies and the whole process may feel futile at times and one can yearn for a quiet cave in which to nibble on grasses (careful here: aside from becoming an invasive species to some animal that is not welcome in a human house and who needs that cave, I think Heraclitus died from something scurvy-like by cave living).

5. Have compassion for all living beings: even the pretty trees will kill the pretty grasses if water is short. No exit in conditions; is there relief in studying the mind and its understanding of conditions?  A meditative inquery.

______________________
Edits: mamma av alla stavfel

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
3/17/15 2:52 PM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Companies will still sell weapons and related stuff when you are a monk. Nothing about the world will change. Its like "I dont want to hurt animals so I become a vegetarian". Great but the pigs will still be slaughtered and their bloodplasma will end up in cigarettefilters, concrete mixes and what not =). 

Personally it seems that most seem to use monkhood as a form of escapism.

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
2/9/19 3:55 AM as a reply to Andreas.
Thank you for good thoughts. I think just to stop supporting a movement like for example weaponmanufacturing is a way to stop nourishing it, it might not die or even shrink, but it can have an effect of relief to the one who stop nourishing it. Hence no more fighting against it, no more denial of it, no more supporting it passively or actively.

But stop supporting can also give rise to suffering, it depends if its done through force or letting go.

Freedom from suffering for all sentient beings

RE: To Mark
Answer
2/9/19 1:48 PM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Jonas Emil Eriksson:
It is a helpful answer! BUT emoticon Concerning "A virtuous person is not going to feel comfortable taking advantages of an education system, health care system etc that they are not contributing toward." it feels not right to agree on this. There is many actions to take apart from being part of the tax system. I could work and earn money refusing to pay taxes. I would pay for the healthcare when I need it, if I can not afford I just live with my health problem. Someone maybe want to pay for my healthcare because they want me to be healthy. If I want to give oportunity for other people to get healthcare and other, I just donate money, I will even be more free to choose where the money goes. Pure democracy is available for us anytime, if we take the chance and face the consequences if they even come. We dont have to try reaching for Anarchism, because we are already in Anarchy and the world as it is, IS the result of Anarchism. Hence the concept of Anarchism fall as being of any use really, the only use for it, is to show ones unhappiness and will to see change.

Maybe I will end up in jail, then I have an own meditation cell emoticon (Im truely curious about TRAVEL into jail-land) and if Im lucky it can become a thing in the newspaper which would be the activism part.

I can also choose being a monastic or recluse.


I'm not sure that it's so simple to remove yourself from benefiting from taxes unless you go with the complete hermit-out-in-the-woods option. Beyond healthcare, they pay for infrastructure like roads/electric grid/etc...

I struggle with a similar question though, about the morality of my employment. I develop software that gets used for a wide range of activities, some of which is military support. I largely disagree with the majority of the actions of my government's military, but I contribute my time daily towards a certain amount of support because of my job. However the software is also used for more benign commercial reasons and even when it's used in the military it supposedly increases the safety of individuals who are serving.

I go back and forth on these topics. On one hand the entirety of Western civilization is built upon the spoils from enormous acts of violence and it feels almost impossible to avoid paying into corrupt systems. On the other hand you still need to support yourself day-today, make money for rent, etc...

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
2/9/19 3:52 PM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Actively choosing not to contribute to supporting people with illness or disability, the education and welfare of children, etc., is also doing harm. That being said, I think it is important to say no to weapons export. It is highly immoral to benefit from people killing each other. The fact that the victims of war are not allowed refuge in this country adds to the misery.

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
2/13/19 12:54 PM as a reply to rik.
Step by step right. Let the dharma open up new doors in our daily life will help us in the right direction. I focus on the things I want to manifest in my life, I observe them how they unfold through small events and supporting their flow, and being alert of the chances that can appear any moment. "Law of attraction"

RE: paying tax for weapon manufacturing
Answer
2/13/19 1:24 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
True, the tax system is the mainstream and there is many good things in it. But there are also alternative ways to go and open new ones through creativity and seeing solutions instead of problems. Like me who said I don't like to pay taxes that goes to weaponmanufacturing is to focus on a problem. A solution I also suggested is to become a monk, then I stop supporting the destructive system. Hence the world takes a small step (my step) to a more ethical world. Another alternative could be volunteer work in education, healthcare, assistence etc.

And if I choose this alternative way I also have to stop my use of that which is tax payed if I dont want to stress the tax payers. Or if I pay less tax, I also use less of that which is financed through taxes. If it can go smoothly in my life. But sure, just stop paying taxes can annoy people even though I have a good intention. But hey, me meditating have annoyed people as well. Shall I stop going on meditation retreat because it annoys people? I got annoyed about most things in my past life.