Thursday, October 18, 2012

Trick or Treat? Conservatives Masquerading as Zen Buddhists

In his very thoughtful book The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, Lewis Hyde discusses the tao of scarcity and abundance, noting: "The problem is that wealth ceases to move freely when all things are counted and priced." As we know, stagnation is death.

Hyde presents Marshall Sahlins, University of Chicago anthropologist, on modern scarcity, saying "that hunters and gatherers have  affluent economies, their absolute poverty notwithstanding,:" and continues, "Inadequacy of economic means is the first principle of the world's wealthiest peoples."

The term "conservative" used to mean taking care of what you have. (As in, "A conservative livestyle will insure the sustainability of the planet.") Conservative now means grabbing what someone has, too.

We are supposed to know how much is "enough". Surely not enough (aka poverty) seems endless, but in fact it ends in death. But how come the sky's the limit on excess? (Yes, I know the rich die, too, but not so fast.) And what about the "middle class". I am so sick and tired of discussions about maintaining middle class lifestyle.

Through this means, captors can (and do) calculate the minimum amount amount of food and water necessary (as determined by official human rights judges) to sustain the life of a prisoner. This is the stuff upon which sanctions are developed. A gentlemen's agreement on how much is enough is not exactly torture, but it certainly is not generosity. As your Holy Beggar has discussed in this column, generosity makes the world go round.

If the rhetoric spewing forth from the Republican party's shill in the 2012 presidential election seems a bit twisted to you, as it does to your Holy Beggar, beware NOW! All those promised "jobs" that will being created (probably at chain stores) will offer standardized minimum wages that just happen to be "enough" to buy a Big Mac. Hey, If it sounds like jail, it must be jail.

Despite all the soothing wooing, the "middle class" is not going to be the winner because THERE IS NO MIDDLE CLASS. Will the government be issuing official middle class IDs in the future? It's another faceless fear tactic to keep us beholden to the hope of redemption by you-know-who. We must realign with the reason to thrive and save ourselves by remaining vital, being active.

Only the members of the "middle class" (presumably represented by the independent / undeclared voters of the "battleground" states) are being offered the opportunity to stay where you are, to cling to their right to be mediocre. The poor aren't even being told anything, and the rich are assured they will never fall below. Is this an incorrect reading of "Be Here Now?" Enjoy the moment?

Are the Republicans promoting Zen Buddhism?

Not likely. "Clinging" is the tip-off. No self or sangha respecting Buddhist would want to develop one's capacity to "cling" to anything.

Beware and Vote ... and press harder for Change.

And, remember,
No matter what,
Don't forget to ask for the money.

No comments:

Post a Comment