Sunday, May 6, 2012

Marxism and Buddhism- the similarities!

When we leave the critique of religion and God, where Buddhism and Marxism have something in common, and consider ether aspects, the differences in the two systems begin to emerge. These differences exist and are real; but they should neither be exaggerated nor minimized.
The Buddha is generally associated with the doctrine of Ahimsa. That is taken to be the be-all and end-all of his teachings. Some of the main teachings of Buddha are:
1. Religion is necessary for a free Society.
2. Not every Religion is worth having. 3
. Religion must relate to facts of life and not to theories and speculations about God, or Soul or Heaven or Earth.
4. It is wrong to make God the centre of Religion. 

5. It is wrong to make salvation of the soul as the centre of Religion.
6. It is wrong to make animal sacrifices to be the centre of religion.
7. Real Religion lives in the heart of man and not in the Shastras. 
8. Man and morality must be the centre of religion. If not, Religion is a cruel superstition.
9. It is not enough for Morality to be the ideal of life. Since there is no God it must become the Joy of life. 
10. The function of Religion is to reconstruct the world and to make it happy and not to explain its origin or its end.
11. That the unhappiness in the world is due to conflict of interest and the only way to solve it is to follow the Ashtanga Marga. 
12. That private ownership of property brings power to one class and sorrow to another.
13. That it is necessary for the good of Society that this sorrow be removed by removing its cause.
14. All human beings are equal.
15. Worth and not birth is the measure of man. 
16. Learning without character is dangerous.
17. Nothing is infallible. Nothing is binding forever. Every thing is subject to inquiry and examination.
18. Every thing is subject to the law of causation.
19. Nothing is permanent or sanatan. Every thing is subject to change. Being is always becoming. 
20. War is wrong unless it is for truth and justice.
Let us now turn to the creed of Karl Marx as originally propounded by him. Karl Marx is no doubt the father of modern socialism or Communism but he was not interested merely in propounding the theory of Socialism. That had been done long before him by others. Marx was more interested in proving that his Socialism was scientific. His crusade was as much against the capitalists as it was against those whom he called the Utopian Socialists. He disliked them both. It is necessary to note this point because Marx attached the greatest importance to the scientific character of his Socialism. All the doctrines which Marx propounded had no other purpose than to establish his contention that his brand of Socialism was scientific and not Utopian.
What remains of the Karl Marx is a residue of fire, small but still very important. The residue in my view consists of four items:
(i) That the purpose of philosophy is to reconstruct the world and not to explain the origin of the universe.
(ii) That the force which shapes the course of history are primarily economic.
(iii) That society is divided into two classes, owners and workers. (iv) That there is always a class conflict going on between the two classes.
(v) That the workers are exploited by the owners who misappropriate the surplus value, which is the result of the workers' labour.
(vi) That this exploitation can be put an end to by nationalisation of the instruments of production i.e. abolition of private property.
(vii) That this exploitation is leading to greater and greater impoverishment of the workers.
(viii) That this growing impoverishment of the workers is resulting in a revolutionary spirit among the workers and the conversion of the class conflict into a class struggle.
(ix) That as the workers outnumber the owners, the workers are bound to capture the State and establish their rule, which he called the dictatorship of the proletariat.
(x) These factors are irresistible and therefore socialism is inevitable.

A part of the misery and unhappiness in the world was according to the Buddha the result of man's inequity towards man. How was this inequity to be removed ? For the removal of man's inequity towards man the Buddha prescribed the Noble Eight-Fold Path. The elements of the Noble Fight-Fold Path are:
(1) Right views i.e. freedom from superstition:
(2) Right aims, high and worthy of the intelligent and earnest men;
(3) Right speech i.e. kindly, open, truthful:
(4) Right Conduct i.e. peaceful, honest and pure;
(5) Right livelihood i.e. causing hurt or injury to no living being;
(6) Right perseverance in all the other seven;
(7) Right mindfulness i.e. with a watchful and active mind; and
(8) Right contemplation i.e. earnest thought on the deep mysteries of life.
The aim of the Noble Eight-Fold Path is to establish on earth the kingdom of righteousness, and thereby to banish sorrow and unhappiness from the face of the world.

p.s its not a complete analysis, just scraps of reading of the principle of both the ideas, I have left the comparison part to you, hope you will help to this cause!