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Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGpuEHv3hE4

Former British diplomat Carne Ross argues that representative democracy and capitalism are broken and that the only alternative is anarchism. He is author of Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite.


Is this relevant to "Pragmatic Dharma"?

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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8/11/17 7:42 AM as a reply to DeNada.
DeNada:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGpuEHv3hE4

Former British diplomat Carne Ross argues that representative democracy and capitalism are broken and that the only alternative is anarchism. He is author of Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite.


Is this relevant to "Pragmatic Dharma"?

Hmm. Capitalism was never really working anyway except for capital holders, and produces fabulously distracted and restless minds. The monarchism of buddha's day didn't do much for people's enlightenment, certainly not his, but enlightenment was possible at least for him. Democracy provides some limits on the oppressive and unskillful aspects of government. Anarchism at least acknowledges the right to sit under a tree and explore the mind, whenever you want, without having to get up and salute El Presidente, Her Majesty or clock on for The Boss.
If it was possible to do a survey it would be interesting to see which societies produce most awakened people.

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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8/13/17 6:22 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
I was thinking more in terms of this:



rather than this:


RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
Answer
8/13/17 7:33 AM as a reply to DeNada.
DeNada:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGpuEHv3hE4

Former British diplomat Carne Ross argues that representative democracy and capitalism are broken and that the only alternative is anarchism. He is author of Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite.


Is this relevant to "Pragmatic Dharma"?

No.

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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8/15/17 5:54 AM as a reply to neko.
I suppose that the right to say "No." might be considered to be one of the keystones of anarchism?

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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8/15/17 6:40 AM as a reply to DeNada.
DeNada:
I suppose that the right to say "No." might be considered to be one of the keystones of anarchism?
That is not my experience, to be frank. I have lived in places where the rule of law was partially suspended, and in those places my right to say 'no' was substantially reduced by mafia-like mobs holding knives and tossing bottles and cobblestones at passers-by for the fuck of it, or people with guns on worse days. I have witnessed my share of street shootings and gun sales in open daylight and I wasn't a big fan of it. 

My right to say 'no' is substantially increased since I am in a city with a State that is actually able and willing to impose laws. Of course I can't say 'no' to paying taxes or respecting speed limits, but on balance it is a price I am more than happy to pay.

YMMV, I guess. Particularly if you like owning guns, or like being part of a mob. Just please go do it somewhere else, thanks.

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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8/15/17 8:24 AM as a reply to neko.
So you believe that I'm talking about anarchy?

I'm not.

I'm talking about anarchism and actually specifically pointing out an example of a loosely-organised pragmatic dharma group (The Religious Society of Friends) who have used the principles of anarchism successfully to propagate shikantaza practice for more than 350 years in the UK.

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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8/15/17 8:37 AM as a reply to DeNada.
DeNada:
So you believe that I'm talking about anarchy?

I'm not.

I'm talking about anarchism and actually specifically pointing out an example of a loosely-organised pragmatic dharma group (The Religious Society of Friends) who have used the principles of anarchism successfully to propagate shikantaza practice for more than 350 years in the UK.

So you believe that I was talking about anarchy?

I was not.

I was talking about anarchism. In the place I used to live, the rule of law was suspended by some political activists who were trying to make their own anarchist heaven.

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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8/15/17 8:44 AM as a reply to neko.
Cool!

You can discuss political anarchists and I'll discuss religious anarchists.

How's that for a win-win scenario?

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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8/16/17 8:34 AM as a reply to neko.
Mob rule is just another form of government, no ?

Anyways, from Quaker website -

“Not by strength of arguments or by a particular disquisition of
each doctrine and convincement of my understanding thereby, came I to
receive and bear witness of the Truth, but by being secretly reached by
the Life. For when I came into the silent assemblies of God’s people, I
felt a secret power among them which touched my heart; and as I gave way
unto it I found the evil weakening in me and the good raised up and so I
became thus knit and united unto them, hungering more and more after
the increase of this power and life, whereby I might feel myself
perfectly redeemed.” 
~ Robert Barclay, Apology, 1676, 11: 7

- what's this in buddhist terms, A&P ?

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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8/16/17 11:09 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
Mob rule is just another form of government, no ?

I agree. I just expressed a personal preference for one thing over the other emoticon 

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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8/17/17 3:37 AM as a reply to DeNada.
Thanks Sid, that was an interesting read.

You might enjoy my favourite core text on anarchism, if you haven't already read it:

Gleik, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. London, Penguin Books. (1987).

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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10/6/17 10:07 AM as a reply to neko.
necko,

Hopefully, I'll be able to bring this back to why I consider that Anarchism is spiritually relevant but first, I'll like to ensure that I've now fully addressed the point that I also consider that Anarchism is the only sensible alternative to either civil authoritarian government or the sort of "anarchy" that you fear would ensue in the absence of such an authoritarian regime.

As I'm extremely indebted to Carne Ross for first drawing my attention to the fact that autonomous-interdependence, as an axiomatic concept (i.e. Anarchism), actually works in practice in terms of enabling a healthy (i.e. diverse, co-operative and tolerant) 21st Century civil society on a large scale (e.g. Rojava), I'm going to further illustrate my point with this excerpt from an article on his website in order to try to reassure you that (in practice) Anarchism certainly isn't the sort of threat that you perceive it to be:

If you were to play a game of word association with the term “anarchism” what would be the likely responses? Perhaps the anarchy sign, with the capital A over a circle. Black flags. The turn-of-the-century bombers immortalised by Joseph Conrad in The Secret Agent. Or maybe Johnny Rotten singing Anarchy in the UK.

What it would be unlikely to evoke is the image of an English diplomat, a veteran of the Foreign Office and the United Nations, a man schooled in the subtle arts of negotiation and persuasion. But that is the profile of Carne Ross, a former Middle East expert in the UK’s delegation to the UN, who is said to be the inspiration for a character in John le Carré’s novel A Delicate Truth. For Ross, as a new film shows, is now of one of world’s most active proselytisers for the virtues of an anarchist revolution.

With anarchism hardly top of the political agenda, that may sound like a limited claim to fame, akin to being the world’s tallest pygmy. In fact, anarchist ideas are taking root everywhere from Grenfell Tower to Rojava, the Kurd-run area of northern Syria.

Anarchism as a political outlook is rooted in the notion of direct democracy, a polity in which power moves from the bottom upwards. Many of those protesting at the Grenfell Tower fire argue that it was a symptom of a politics that goes in the other direction, from the uncaring top down to the unheard bottom. Ross not only wants to reverse what he sees as a failed kind of democracy, but believes the crisis of “neoliberalism” has created the conditions in which people are beginning to voice their disapproval of the status quo.

I felt that the system I’d battled for and believed in wasn’t working

“Aberrational political events such as Brexit, Trump and even the rise of Corbyn are functions of this frustration,” he tells me when we meet in a cafe 10 minutes’ walk from Grenfell Tower. The grandson of one of Bletchley Park’s wartime codebreakers, Ross had wanted to be a diplomat ever since he was a boy. One of his motivations, he says, was a desire to escape the English class system. “I wanted to live abroad in a relatively safe way,” he explains.

His accent is now faultlessly demotic, but he says it wasn’t always like that. It’s not just the accent that’s changed. His politics were once firmly grounded in the liberalism of first the SDP and then the Lib Dems. What really altered his way of thinking were two major events: the invasion of Afghanistan and the Iraq war, specifically the role of the Blair government in leading the country into conflict.

In Accidental Anarchist, a new documentary that details Ross’s political transformation, the former diplomat speaks of his disillusionment with his job following a visit to the British embassy in Kabul in 2002. When he got back, he says in the film, he had lost his faith in the British project. “I felt that the system I’d battled for and believed in wasn’t working, capitalism, democracy, the western model, whatever you called it.”

He took a year’s sabbatical and read about political alternatives. Meanwhile the war in Iraq started, following an active campaign by the Blair government to ensure that Britain took part in the invasion. In the film, Ross is damning of this decision: “They had deliberately misled the public by claiming that Iraq was a threat when it wasn’t and that there were no alternatives to war when there were. To lie to the public and to the servicemen and women you’re sending to war is the gravest of disservices… that’s the worst thing any government can possibly do.”

Ross was a friend of the government scientist and weapons expert David Kelly, who took his own life after he was exposed for briefing a journalist about exaggerated claims in the government’s infamous “dodgy dossier” on Iraq’s weapons threat. It was a tragedy that personalised a much greater upheaval that had plunged Iraq into murderous turmoil. Ross went on to give evidence that explicitly contradicted the Blair government line in both the Butler and Chilcot inquiries and resigned from his job. His outspoken stand led Le Carré, who had befriended Ross, to say in the acknowledgments of A Delicate Truth that “his example demonstrates the perils of speaking a delicate truth to power”.

The perils in Ross’s case were largely that he had to give up his ambition to become an ambassador, but not before taking the senior management exam to prove to himself that he could have made it to the top. “Here’s an egotist’s confession,” he says. “I didn’t want my colleagues to think I’d left because I failed that exam.”


The article continues here:

http://www.carneross.com/index.php/2017/09/08/carne-ross-the-case-for-anarchism-the-observer-july-2017/

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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10/11/17 5:05 PM as a reply to DeNada.
Since I originally posted this topic at the beginning of August, Carne Ross has saved me a lot of typing-time by linking to an interview on his website about a week ago. Hopefully, this will now bring the thread back on-topic by opening-up some possibly interesting and useful avenues for explorations, which I'll develop later.

Heres the link:

http://www.carneross.com/index.php/2017/10/03/under-the-skin-with-russell-brand-interview-with-carne-ross/

NB Watch out for the rather bizarre mattress advert that appears between approximately 29' 50" and 32' 08".

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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10/11/17 7:18 PM as a reply to DeNada.
@OP:  I helped facilitate a handful of pragmatic groups recently.  This is after seeing a working model where I live.  I have to say, one of the key features that seems to be gaining traction is anarchy.  Although I prob wouldn't phrase it like that when advertising.

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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10/12/17 11:07 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Certainly, the word "anarchism" can be a truth that dares not speak its name because it often triggers such a strong emotional reaction in people that it can shut-down their ability to explore the practicalities of the concept.

Furthermore, my experience was that political anarchists usually tend to overlook (and mostly outright reject) any spiritual basis for the concept, so I was frankly astonished to come across the above interview in which Carne Ross discusses the centrality of spirituality at the core of his own view of political anarchism. One of the things that particularly interested me about that interview was how, for Carne, it appears that his exploration of anarchist politics have informed his spiritual perspective. For me, it was the other way around: my spiritual explorations informed my politics and, before my recent encounter with the documentary The Accidental Anarchist, I was totally disillusioned with what I saw of the practical outcomes of mainstream politics. I'd also totally rejected anarchism as a practical solution to the Earth's considerable current problems, except in the microcosmic context of small, fairly autonomous groups (e.g. family, tribe, sangha), because of the limitations imposed by [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number]Dunbar's Number.

So, in some ways, I feel that the original intention of this thread is partly superfluous in the face of that interview, however, there are a few specifics that I'd still like to explore here, albeit in a slightly different way from that I'd originally intended because, for me, it's been quite a paradigm shift and I'm starting to wonder if that personal paradigm shift is a reflection of a shift in the larger system or if that's just wishful thinking on my part (i.e. confirmation bias).

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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10/12/17 11:44 AM as a reply to DeNada.
Have you thought at all about what Marx meant by Species Being? 

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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10/18/17 8:29 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
I've thought about it now...

What I've concluded is that I find that Maslow covered the concept of "Species Being" within a more useful overall context.


or




Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

RE: Meditation Culture - Is Anarchism Relevant?
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10/18/17 11:48 AM as a reply to DeNada.
In my view - Marx was talking about an expansion of ones sense of self to include the entire species.  Essentially the mind we try to cultivate when we do Metta meditation.  I would be alot happier about anarchy if everyone was walking around in a state of universal love.