The Sangha Kommune (僧伽公社) Defined

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Ch’an Master Caotang siad:

There is nothing special to leadership – essentially it is a matter of controlling the evils of biased information and autocracy. Do not just go by whatever is said to you first – then the obsequities of petty people seeking favour will not be able to confuse you.

After all, the feelings of a group of people are not one, and objective reason is hard to see. You should investigate something to see its benefit or harm, examine whether it is appropriate and suitable or not; then after that you may carry it out.

True Record of Sushan (Song Dynasty)

The Chinese Buddhist monastic community is referred to as a ‘Sangha’ (Sanskrit for ‘spiritual community’), whereby men and women form a voluntary association premised upon following a strict set of rules known as the ‘Vinaya Discipline’. Within this community, there is ‘equality’ between all members, with the leaders being those who have followed these rules for the longest times. This is because such people are thought to have more experience at adhering to the Vinaya Discipline (which includes celibacy and vegetarianism), and are therefore able to effectively advise all others through the difficult times they my face in their practice. As those with little experience have less to share, they are not considered leaders whilst more experienced practitioners live in the vicinity. Of course, this is a relative matter depending upon the size of population of a community, and the length of time it has existed, and the quality of the masters (male or female) that have led it. Those who cannot keep the Vinaya Discipline (of over 200 rules) generally choose to leave on their own accord, with those who confess breaking the major rules being asked to leave and expelled from the monastic community (due to the bad example they set). However, the term ‘Sangha’ is often more loosely applied to the devout or dedicated lay community, the members of which follow at least 5, 8 or 10 vows as a life routine, and who regularly visit the local temple and volunteer their time in worthwhile social or charitable activities. In this manner, the monastic Sangha teach and guide the lay Sangha, and the lay Sangha applies the Buddha’s teachings of compassion, loving kindness and wise action to the outside the temple, and thereby expand the Buddha-Dharma beyond the temple. As the Buddha originally taught that there is no ‘difference’ in enlightened essence between the monastic and lay community, the monastics do not consider themselves ‘superior’ and the lay community does not consider itself ‘inferior’ to one another. The principle of ‘Sangha, therefore, denotes a sacred space defined and maintained through the principles of psychological and physical self-discipline and learning, premised upon a general attitude of mutual respect. The Sangha, in both essence and function, is a model for a ‘commune’ operating through the vigorous principles of  equality’, ‘discipline’ and ‘wisdom’. These are the principles embodied within this blog – regardless of the scope of its subject matter.

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The term ‘Kommune’ is taken from the German word for ‘Commune’, and is directly related to the principles of Scientific Socialism, as formulated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Indeed, within German language editions of the works of Marx and Engels, the term ‘Kommune’ is often encountered. This type of ‘Kommune’ is also a voluntary association, albeit distinctly ‘modern’ in origination, and designed to serve the Revolutionary needs of the Proletariat – or the mass of peasants forced to work in the industrialised factories produced by the oppressive capitalist system. Working 12 to 16 hours a day, strictly by the clock, whilst being dictated to by brutal managers and the movement and operation of monotonous machines, these peasants were transformed into self-disciplined and highly exploited automatons of industry, waiting for the right historical epoch to free themselves from their endless toil for little reward. Just as the collective mind is ‘dulled’ by endless hours of repetitive toil, it is ‘freed’, ‘activated’ and ‘expanded’ when encountering the strictures of Scientific Socialism, and a non-resisting ‘false consciousness’ is replace by a resisting ‘true consciousness’. Generally, when the mind is freed from the straitjacket of oppression, the body soon follows, even though it is equally true that if the body is freed by a Revolution caused by others, then the mind soon follows! In these post-modem times, proletariat ‘true consciousness’ is much more amorphous in manifestation, particularly as factory work becomes ever less prevalent in the West. Although the modes of capitalist exploitation change with the epoch, the nature of capitalist exploitation (and class distinction) remains exactly the same. Striving for the establishment of a ‘Kommunistic’ society remains the duty of all right-minded working class people across the globe, with the Marxist principle of ‘Internationalism’ replacing nationalism and racism, etc. The point is that the ‘true consciousness’ of the working class is premised entirely upon non-hatred for one another, as this hatred has been imported into the working class by the very capitalists that exploit them! By rejecting capitalism, the working class is rejecting the greed, hatred and delusion that underlies all capitalist thought and action. This working class mission is no less ‘sacred’ than its Buddhist counter-part, and shares exactly the same essence. The author of this blog strives to agitate for the peaceful achievement of both inner and outer Revolution amongst by any means necessary (to quote Malcolm X).

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Having defined two interpretations of ‘Kommune’, it is important to also emphasis the pivotal notion of ‘education’ and the training of the human mind to discern a relevant ‘truth’ in any given situation or circumstance. Learning in a classroom, through a book, encounter groups, political meetings, protest marches, meditation sessions, or the internet, are all crucial aspects of ‘refining’ the memory and ‘honing’ the intellect. The thought processes (and emotionality) must be ‘calmed’ for the sake of ‘wise’ action and non-action when young, so that avoidable errors and mistakes are reduced to the minimum, and progressive activity increased to the maximum (to selflessly benefit humanity).  This is not always easy, and the ability to recognise non-efficient thought-patterns and behaviours should also be cultivated as a means toward achieving self-forgiveness, and the forgiveness of others. The important point is that the mind should be kept in a positive frame of operation, so that the body can be used for various types of ‘enlightened’ political, cultural and social action. The physical body must be clearly (and cleanly) directed by the mind (the seat of volition), and kept physically fit through appropriate activities. This psycho-physical training sets the stage for the refined individual to understand the frequency and quality of inner and outer energy, and immediately understand the best action (if any) to take, or instantly ‘know’ when others are ‘lying’, or presenting ‘untruth’ as ‘truth’. This ability can be further used to generate ‘correct’ work that counters the lies of a society motivated entirely by greed, racism and an indifference to the suffering of humanity and other life forms. Therefore, this ‘Sangha Kommune’ blog is a work in progress that covers a bewildering array of topics, opinions, and research data. By taking a step back away from its content – the general reader will begin to understand the underlying (and motivating) paradigm. This is essentially a ‘Kommunist’ zone where all beings are automatically ‘freed’ at the point of contact. The need for money is already ‘transcended’, and the energy frequency of the Sangha Kommune should be used by all to achieve a state of permanent ‘freedom’ in all circumstances. This is a space of permanent Cyber Kommunism, and ongoing Revolutionary activity in the form of ‘exposing’ and ‘dissolving’ the bourgeois system and its redundant mode of capitalist organisation.

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Ch’an Wuzu said:

The Ch’an community is a place for the moulding of Sages and ordinary people, and for nurturing and developing potential ability. It is a source of teaching,. Even though many people are living together, gathering in kind, they are guided and made equal. Each has a transmission from the teacher.

Now in many places they do not strive to maintain the standards of the Sages of the past. Biased feelings of like and dislike are many, with people bending others to what they personally think is right. How should later students take an example?

Records of Equanimity (Song Dynasty)

The Design of Taijiquan Movements

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Taijiquan is often misunderstood outside of China, and sometimes even within China. Why are Taijiquan movements designed the way they are? Taijiquan is a martial arts style premised upon the ancient ideas that define Tradition Chinese Medicine (TCM). Therefore, the movements of Taijiquan are both ‘martial’ and ‘medical’ in origination. The movements are simultaneously rounded and elongated to allow the energy channels that carry blood, nutrients and oxygen (qi) to be loosened, strengthened and freed from unnecessary psychological and physical tension. When these energy channels are fully ‘opened’, then qi energy flows unhindered, and the inner organs are literally soaked in health-giving nutrients. The movement can be performed slowly (although not always) as a means to build awareness and concentration that penetrates the parts of the body being moved whilst remaining aware of the central requirement to remain ‘rooted’ to the ground through the legs and feet (even if the legs and feet are moving). Kicking stimulates the energy channels of the legs, as do stances such as ‘Monkey Pushes Away’, and ‘Snake Creeps Down’, etc. For the energy channels throughout the limbs and torso to be fully opened, the major and minor joints must also be open and rounded. All this requires a system-wide relaxation of muscular tension. Once the energy channels are opened, qi energy flow is enhanced and assisted by the maintenance of a rounded posture (that moves forward and back – up and down). Bodyweight is dropped into the ground through the centre of the bones (creating the unbreakable ‘root’), whilst the resultant rebounding force creates a reservoir of effortless power that can be channelled anywhere throughout the skeleton and emitted through any part of the body as required. Breathing is deep and full, taking oxygen in from the outside and circulating it through the energy channels. The term ‘Taiji’ refers to the ‘Grand Ridge-pole’, which despite its cosmological implication, actually refers to the spine in the human body. Essential nature (jing) – along with qi – is guided up the spine from the genital area, up and around the top of the head to the upper jaw (traversing the Governing Vessel), and then travels down the from lower jaw and the front of the body (the Conception Vessel) back to the genitalia – where the two energy channels meet between the genitalia and the anus. All other energy channels in the body feed off of these two central meridians – and by circulating and nourishing sexual energy (jing) and vital force (qi), these two substances integrate and merge together (thus transforming one another), whilst both feeding into ‘shen’ or ‘spirit’, which means the building of a strong mind that perceives its own empty nature, whilst realising this emptiness contains all things (including jing and qi). Taijiquan looks peculiar to the Western mind because it is an encapsulation of an entirely different way of viewing the world. Its harnessing of dropped bodyweight and rebounding force is not only ingenious, but also very difficult to master. This type of power emits the bodyweight anywhere and at anytime through an advanced understanding of the body-mind nexus. It is a higher form of physics that transcends the usual localised muscular tension and superficial joint leverage utilised by many other fighting systems. As such, combat efficiency within Taijiquan can take a considerable time to master, and only then if one has access to a master that has been thoroughly trained in its use. Due to the difficulty of this kind of training, and the dedication required to master it, many people simply practice Taijiquan for health and have no real understanding of its combat ability.

Why China Will Defend North Korea: China-DPRK Friendship & Co-operation Treaty

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People have asked why China will come to the aid of North Korea if the West (i.e. the US-led UN), attack North Korea – and the answer is one of treaty and legality. A diplomatic agreement exists between Mainland China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). This agreement is entitled in the Chinese language as ‘中朝友好合作互助条约’ – which translates into the English language as the ‘China-DPRK Friendship and Co-Operation Treaty’. It is also informally known in the Chinese language as the ‘中华人民共和国和朝鲜民主主义人民共和国友好合作互助条约’ or ‘People’s Republic of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation’. This Treaty was ratified on July 11th, 1961 in Beijing, with Zhou Enlai representing Communist China and Kim Il Sung representing Communist North Korea. This important Treaty has been automatically renewed twice, and is now valid until 2021.

The Treaty primarily guarantees full military (and other assistance) to the other Contracting Party when the Contracting Party is in a State of War. The parties do not participate in any alliance, group, action or measure that is hostile to the other party. In the economy, culture, science and technology,full cooperation is to be carried-out. Both sides agree to grant where relevant – full economic and technical assistance. From the date of signing (1961), this Treaty is valid and binding to both sides for 20 years, and has been renewed in 1981 and 2001. Either side can request an alteration to the terms, or an annulment of the Treaty in writing 6 months prior to each intended re-newal date.

The Treaty was approved by Liu Shaoqi, Chairman of the People’s Republic of China on August 30, 1961, and was approved by the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Political Consultative Conference of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on August 23, 1961. Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and DPRK Prime Minister Kim Il Sung (as the representatives of the two sides) met on September 10th, 1961 in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang to exchange articles of agreement. In accordance with Article 7 of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Cooperation between China and the DPRK, this Treaty entered into force on September 10th, 1961.

Chinese Language Reference:

https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/中朝友好合作互助条约

2014: South Korea Returns Remains of Chinese Volunteer Soldiers (Photographs)

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On the morning of March 28th, 2014, the first batch of the remains of at least 437 Chinese Volunteer Soldiers – who died in the Korean War (1950-1953) – were respectfully returned by South Korean Forces to modern troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during a sombre ceremony at Incheon International Airport. Mao Zedong deployed millions of Chinese Volunteer Army Soldiers into the Korean Peninsula in a successful bid to prevent the Communist State of North Korea being invaded and destroyed by US and UN Imperialist Forces. Although exact casualty figures for China are unknown – it is thought to be well over 500,000 (and probably many more). As the US and UN Imperialist Forces were nearly ousted from the Korean Peninsula – the bodies of many Chinese Volunteer Army Soldiers remained on the South Korean side of the 38th Parallel that separates capitalist South Korea from Socialist North Korea. Encouraged by their US colonial masters – the South Korean Government has decided to disinter the Chinese remains and clear the ‘enemy war cemeteries’, so that the land space can be used to build luxury flats, house for the rich and exclusive hotels.

 

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South Korean Soldiers Respectfully Hand-Over the Coffins

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PLA Soldiers Respectfully Receive the Coffins

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Chinese Ambassador to South Korea – Qiu Guohong Covers the Coffins of the Martyrs with China’s National Flag

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Each Martyr is Covered with the Flag of Communist China

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Ambassador Qiu Guohong Respectfully Straightens the Chinese Flag

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PLA Soldiers Respectfully Take Control of the Remains Martyrs

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Both Sides Pose Infront of the Plane Returning the Remains

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The PLA March the Martyrs Remains onto the Plane

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Elderly Chinese Volunteer Army Veterans – Who Buried Their Comrades – Attended the Ceremony in South Korea

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March 27th, South Korea Gyeonggi Province, Paju City – Chinese Volunteer Army Remains Stored in Temporary Shelters – South Korean Soldiers then Transported the Coffins by Train.

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Communist China and Capitalist South Korea have been Negotiating for Over a Year – and Now the First Batch of the Martyrs are transported to Shenyang

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July 27th, 2013 marked the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. South Korea Decided to Return Over 300 Martyr Remains in 22 Train Cars

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2006 it was Estimated that Around 180,000 Chinese Martyrs were Buried  Throughout Korea – with Very Few Returned to China

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South Korea Organizes and Collects the Remains, Relics, and Records into coffins, Including Seals, Pens, Badges, Wallets and Uniforms.

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The South Korean Ministry of National Defence is Responsible for the Excavation and Cleaning of the Remains,

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Three Chinese Volunteer Army Veterans Pay Their Respect to Fallen Comrades in South Korea (2013)

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The Hanzhong Cultural Association, Arranged this Visit of Respect

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A Typical Chinese Volunteer Army Grave Marker

Chinese Language Reference:

http://news.gdzjdaily.com.cn/qtxw/content/2014-03/28/content_1846413_6.htm

 

 

Government Control of Social Media

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Social media started-off free but has slowly become dominated by government regulation that limits and/or controls content. This creeping loss of freedom has been presented as being in ‘our best interests’. In reality, this process is to prevent the development of popular or mass movements of people (outside of the direct control of the police or the military) that may stand in opposition to the existing governmental and economic system. In-short, the government control of social media is a means to prevent a Revolution from happening – a Revolution premised upon the sharing of knowledge and instant communication over vast distances. To this end, just like other forms of mass control media, the government must filter, regulate and control what we think, when we think, and why we think it. The only difficulty governments have at the moment is being everywhere at once in their controlling power – but they are working on this!

Only Communists Truly Oppose Racism!

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Soviet poster – Смерть немецко-фашистским разбойникам! (1944 год) – Death to the German fascist robbers! (1944)!

Fascism, racism and White supremacy have their roots in capitalism. As long as capitalism functions unquestioned – racism will continue to exist from one generation to the next. Liberals pass laws designed to curb the more obvious and extreme manifestations of racism – but do nothing about the capitalism from which the roots of racism emerge. The capitalist division of labour is the basis of racism, because it is the basis of selfish competitiveness (designed to maximise profit). Competing as individuals and competing as groups is why racism exists. Trotskyites make a fuss about confronting the outer aspects of racism – but remain silent and impotent in the face of the rampant capitalism that generates capitalism. To be a ‘true’ anti-fascist and anti-racist is to be simultaneously an anti-capitalist. Your flag will be ‘Red’ and your country will be the ‘future’. All other anti-racist protests are just more bourgeois noise of little, or no consequence.

Heroic North Korean Resistance to US-Led UN Aggression in Korea (1950-1953) – a Pictural Record of Western Atrocities

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UN Officials Sign a Humiliating ‘Cease-Fire’ (1953)

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Tory Violation of Good Friday Agreement: Paul Scully MP Denies DUP a Christian Terrorist Group! (Email 16.8.2017)

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From: SCULLY, Paul <paul.scully.mp@parliament.uk>
To: Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD <chandao@fastmail.fm>
Subject: Tory Violation of the Good Friday Agreement
Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 14:04

Dear Adrian

Thank you for your email. I don’t accept the premise that it violates the Good Friday Agreement, nor that the DUP are a terrorist organisation as you imply. The Conservative Party, through which the confidence and supply agreement has been made has never been neutral on the matter of the Union. The party’s full name is the Conservative & Unionist Party. The Labour Party clearly thought the same when holding pre-coalition talks with the DUP in 2010 and 2015. However the government remains neutral in its dealings with Stormont, thus complying with the Good Friday Agreement.

Thank you once again for taking the time to get in touch.

Best wishes

Paul Scully MP

Member of Parliament for Sutton & Cheam

 

Sent: 29 July 2017 11:28
To: SCULLY, Paul <paul.scully.mp@parliament.uk>
Subject: Tory Violation of Good Friday Agreement

 

Dear Mr Paul Scully MP

I would be very interested in reading your viewpoint regarding the possibility that the Tory ‘coalition’ with the Christian terrorist DUP is illegal because it violates the ‘impartiality’ clause of the ‘Good Friday Agreement’.

Thank you for your time in this mater.

Yours sincerely

Adrian Chan-Wyles

Joseph Stalin Describes VI Lenin’s Attributes

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Comrades, I am told that you have arranged a Lenin memorial meeting here this evening and that I have been invited as one of the speakers. I do not think there is any need for me to deliver a set speech on Lenin’s activities. It would be better, I think, to confine myself to a few facts to bring out certain of Lenin’s characteristics as a man and a leader. There may, perhaps, be no inherent connection between these facts, but that is not of vital importance as far as gaining a general idea of Lenin is concerned. At any rate, I am unable on this occasion to do more than what I have just promised.
The Mountain Eagle
I first became acquainted with Lenin in 1903. True, it was not a personal acquaintance, but was by correspondence. But it made an indelible impression upon me, one which has never left me throughout all my work in the Party. I was in exile in Siberia at the time. My knowledge of Lenin’s revolutionary activities since the end of the nineties, and especially after 1901, after the appearance of Iskra,1 had convinced me that in Lenin we had a man of extraordinary calibre. At that time I did not regard him merely as a leader of the Party, but as its actual founder, for he alone understood the inner essence and urgent needs of our Party. When I compared him with the other leaders of our Party, it always seemed to me that he was head and shoulders above his colleagues—Plekhanov, Martov, Axelrod and the others; that, compared with them, Lenin was not just one of the leaders, but a leader of the highest rank, a mountain eagle, who knew no fear in the struggle, and who boldly led the Party forward along the unexplored paths of the Russian revolutionary movement. This impression took such a deep hold of me that I felt impelled to write about it to a close friend of mine who was living as a political exile abroad, requesting him to give me his opinion. Some time later, when I was already in exile in Siberia—this was at the end of 1903—I received an enthusiastic reply from my friend and a simple, but profoundly expressive letter from Lenin, to whom, it turned out, my friend had shown my letter. Lenin’s note was comparatively short, but it contained a bold and fearless criticism of the practical work of our Party, and a remarkably clear and concise account of the entire plan of work of the Party in the immediate future. Only Lenin could write of the most intricate things so simply and clearly, so concisely and boldly, that every sentence did not so much speak as ring out like a rifle shot. This simple and bold letter still further strengthened me in my opinion that Lenin was the mountain eagle of our Party. I cannot forgive myself for having, from the habit of an old underground worker, consigned this letter of Lenin’s, like many other letters, to the flames.
My acquaintance with Lenin dates from that time.
Modesty
I first met Lenin in December 1905 at the Bolshevik conference in Tammerfors (Finland). I was hoping to see the mountain eagle of our Party, the great man, great not only politically, but, if you will, physically, because in my imagination I had pictured Lenin as a giant, stately and imposing. What, then, was my disappointment to see a most ordinary-looking man, below average height, in no way, literally in no way, distinguishable from ordinary mortals. . . .
It is accepted as the usual thing for a “great man” to come late to meetings so that the assembly may await, his appearance with bated breath; and then, just before the “great man” enters, the warning whisper goes up: “Hush! . . . Silence! . . . he’s coming.” This ritual did not seem to me superfluous, because it creates an impression, inspires respect. What, then, was my disappointment to learn that Lenin had arrived at the conference before the delegates, had settled himself somewhere in a corner, and was unassumingly carrying on a conversation, a most ordinary conversation with the most ordinary delegates at the conference. I will not conceal from you that at that time this seemed to me to be something of a violation of certain essential rules.
Only later did I realise that this simplicity and modesty, this striving to remain unobserved, or, at least, not to make himself conspicuous and not to emphasise his high position, this feature was one of Lenin’s strongest points as the new leader of the new masses, of the simple and ordinary masses of the “rank and file” of humanity.
Force of Logic
The two speeches Lenin delivered at this conference were remarkable: one was on the current situation and the other on the agrarian question. Unfortunately, they have not been preserved. They were inspired, and they roused the whole conference to a pitch of stormy enthusiasm. The extraordinary power of conviction, the simplicity and clarity of argument, the brief and easily understood sentences, the absence of affectation, of dizzying gestures and theatrical phrases aiming at effect—all this made Lenin’s speeches a favourable contrast to the speeches of the usual “parliamentary” orators.
But what captivated me at the time was not this aspect of Lenin’s speeches. I was captivated by that irresistible force of logic in them which, although somewhat terse, gained a firm hold on his audience, gradually electrified it, and then, as one might say, completely overpowered it. I remember that many of the delegates said: “The logic of Lenin’s speeches is like a mighty tentacle which twines all round you and holds you as in a vice and from whose grip you are powerless to tear yourself away: you must either surrender or resign yourself to utter defeat.”
I think that this characteristic of Lenin’s speeches was the strongest feature of his art as an orator.
No Whining
The second time I met Lenin was in 1906 at the Stockholm Congress2 of our Party. You know that the Bolsheviks were in the minority at this congress and suffered defeat. This was the first time I saw Lenin in the role of the vanquished. But he was not in the least like those leaders who whine and lose heart after a defeat. On the contrary, defeat transformed Lenin into a spring of compressed energy which inspired his supporters for new battles and for future victory. I said that Lenin was defeated. But what sort of defeat was it? You had only to look at his opponents, the victors at the Stockholm Congress—Plekhanov, Axelrod, Martov and the rest. They had little of the appearance of real victors, for Lenin’s merciless criticism of Menshevism had not left one whole bone in their body, so to speak. I remember that we, the Bolshevik delegates, huddled together in a group, gazing at Lenin and asking his advice. The speeches of some of the delegates betrayed a note of weariness and dejection. I recall that to these speeches Lenin bitingly replied through clenched teeth: “Don’t whine, comrades, we are bound to win, for we are right.” Hatred of the whining intellectual, faith in our own strength, confidence in victory—that is what Lenin impressed upon us. It was felt that the Bolsheviks’ defeat was temporary, that they were bound to win in the very near future.
“No whining over defeat”—this was the feature of Lenin’s activities that helped him to rally around himself an army faithful to the end and confident in its strength.
No Boasting
At the next congress, held in 2907 in London,3 the Bolsheviks proved victorious. This was the first time I saw Lenin in the role of victor. Victory turns the heads of some leaders and makes them haughty and boastful. They begin in most cases to be triumphant, to rest on their laurels. But Lenin did not in the least resemble such leaders. On the contrary, it was precisely after a victory that he became especially vigilant and cautious. I recall that Lenin insistently impressed on the delegates: “The first thing is not to become intoxicated by victory and not to boast; the second thing is to consolidate the victory; the third is to give the enemy the finishing stroke, for he has been beaten, but, by no means crushed.” He poured withering scorn on those delegates who frivolously asserted: “It is all over with the Mensheviks now.” He had no difficulty in showing that the Mensheviks still had roots in the working-class movement, that they had to be fought with skill, and that all overestimation of one’s own strength and, especially, all underestimation of the strength of the enemy had to be avoided.
“No boasting in victory”—this was the feature of Lenin’s character that helped him soberly to weigh the strength of the enemy and to insure the Party against possible surprises.
Fidelity to Principle
Party leaders cannot but prize the opinion of the majority of their party. A majority is a power with which a leader cannot but reckon. Lenin understood this no less than any other party leader. But Lenin never became a captive of the majority, especially when that majority had no basis of principle. There have been times in the history of our Party when the opinion of the majority or the momentary interests of the Party conflicted with the fundamental interests of the proletariat. On such occasions Lenin would never hesitate and resolutely took his stand in support of principle as against the majority of the Party. Moreover, he did not fear on such occasions literally to stand alone against all, considering—as he would often say—that “a policy based on principle is the only correct policy.”
Particularly characteristic in this respect are the two following facts.
First fact. It was in the period 1909-11, when the Party, smashed by the counter-revolution, was in process of complete disintegration. It was a period of disbelief in the Party, of wholesale desertion from the Party, not only by the intellectuals, but partly even by the workers; a period when the necessity for illegal organisation was being denied, a period of Liquidationism and collapse. Not only the Mensheviks, but even the Bolsheviks then consisted of a number of factions and trends, for the most part severed from the working-class movement. You know that it was just at that period that the idea arose of completely liquidating the illegal organisation and organising the workers into a legal, liberal Stolypin party. Lenin at that time was the only one not to succumb to the widespread epidemic and to hold high the banner of Party principle, assembling the scattered and shattered forces of the Party with astonishing patience and extraordinary persistence, combating each and every anti-Party trend within the working-class movement and defending the Party principle with unusual courage and unparalleled perseverance.
We know that in this fight for the Party principle, Lenin later proved the victor.
Second fact. It was in the period 1914-17, when the imperialist war was in full swing, and when all, or nearly all, the Social-Democratic and Socialist parties had succumbed to the general patriotic frenzy and had placed themselves at the service of the imperialism of their respective countries. It was a period when the Second International had hauled down its colours to capitalism, when even people like Plekhanov, Kautsky, Guesde and the rest were unable to withstand the tide of chauvinism. Lenin at that time was the only one, or almost the only one, to wage a determined struggle against social-chauvinism and social-pacifism, to denounce the treachery of the Guesdes and Kautskys, and to stigmatise the half-heartedness of the betwixt and between “revolutionaries.” Lenin knew that he was backed by only an insignificant minority, but to him this was not of decisive moment, for he knew that the only correct policy with a future before it was the policy of consistent internationalism, that a policy based on principle is the only correct policy.
We know that in this fight for a new International, too, Lenin proved the victor.
“A policy based on principle is the only correct policy”—this was the formula by means of which Lenin took new “impregnable” positions by assault and won over the best elements of the proletariat to revolutionary Marxism.
Faith in the Masses
Theoreticians and leaders of parties, men who are acquainted with the history of nations and who have studied the history of revolutions from beginning to end, are sometimes afflicted by a shameful disease. This disease is called fear of the masses, disbelief in the creative power of the masses. This sometimes gives rise in the leaders to a kind of aristocratic attitude towards the masses, who, although not versed in the history of revolutions, are destined to destroy the old order and build the new. This kind of aristocratic attitude is due to a fear that the elements may break loose, that the masses may “destroy too much”; it is due to a desire to play the part of a mentor who tries to teach the masses from books, but who is averse to learning from the masses.
Lenin was the very antithesis of such leaders. I do not know of any other revolutionary who had so profound a faith in the creative power of the proletariat and in the revolutionary efficacy of its class instinct as Lenin. I do not know of any other revolutionary who could scourge the smug critics of the “chaos of revolution” and the “riot of unauthorised actions of the masses” so ruthlessly as Lenin. I recall that when in the course of a conversation one comrade said that “the revolution should be followed by the normal order of things,” Lenin sarcastically remarked: “It is a pity that people who want to be revolutionaries forget that the most normal order of things in history is the revolutionary order of things.”
Hence, Lenin’s contempt for all who superciliously looked down on the masses and tried to teach them from books. And hence, Lenin’s constant precept: learn from the masses, try to comprehend their actions, carefully study the practical experience of the struggle of the masses.
Faith in the creative power of the masses—this was the feature of Lenin’s activities which enabled him to comprehend the spontaneous process and to direct its movement into the channel of the proletarian revolution.
The Genius of Revolution
Lenin was born for revolution. He was, in truth, the genius of revolutionary outbreaks and the greatest master of the art of revolutionary leadership. Never did he feel so free and happy as in a time of revolutionary upheavals. I do not mean by this that Lenin approved equally of all revolutionary upheavals, or that he was in favour of revolutionary outbreaks at all times and under all circumstances. Not at all. What I do mean is that never was the genius of Lenin’s insight displayed so fully and distinctly as in a time of revolutionary outbreaks. In times of revolution he literally blossomed forth, became a seer, divined the movement of classes and the probable zigzags of the revolution, seeing them as if they lay in the palm of his hand. It was with good reason that it used to be said in our Party circles: “Lenin swims in the tide of revolution like a fish in water.”
Hence the “amazing” clarity of Lenin’s tactical slogans and the “breath-taking” boldness of his revolutionary plans.
I recall two facts which are particularly characteristic of this feature of Lenin.
First fact. It was in the period just prior to the October Revolution, when millions of workers, peasants and soldiers, impelled by the crisis in the rear and at the front, were demanding peace and liberty; when the generals and the bourgeoisie were working for a military dictatorship for the sake of “war to a finish”; when the whole of so-called “public opinion” and all the so-called “Socialist parties” were hostile to the Bolsheviks and were branding them as “German spies”; when Kerensky was trying—already with some success—to drive the Bolshevik Party underground; and when the still powerful and disciplined armies of the Austro-German coalition confronted our weary, disintegrating armies, while the West-European “Socialists” lived in blissful alliance with their governments for the sake of “war to complete victory.”. . .
What did starting an uprising at such a moment mean? Starting an uprising in such a situation meant staking everything. But Lenin did not fear the risk, for he knew, he saw with his prophetic eye, that an uprising was inevitable, that it would win; that an uprising in Russia would pave the way for ending the imperialist war, that it would rouse the war-weary masses of the West, that it would transform the imperialist war into a civil war; that the uprising would usher in a Republic of Soviets, and that the Republic of Soviets would serve as a bulwark for the revolutionary movement throughout the world.
We know that Lenin’s revolutionary foresight was subsequently confirmed with unparalleled exactness.
Second fact. It was in the first days of the October Revolution, when the Council of People’s Commissars was trying to compel General Dukhonin, the mutinous Commander-in-Chief, to terminate hostilities and open negotiations for an armistice with the Germans. I recall that Lenin, Krylenko (the future Commander-in-Chief) and I went to General Staff Headquarters in Petrograd to negotiate with Dukhonin over the direct wire. It was a ghastly moment. Dukhonin and Field Headquarters categorically refused to obey the order of the Council of People’s Commissars. The army officers were completely under the sway of Field Headquarters. As for the soldiers, no one could tell what this army of fourteen million would say, subordinated as it was to the so-called army organisations, which were hostile to the Soviet power. In Petrograd itself, as we know, a mutiny of the military cadets was brewing. Furthermore, Kerensky was marching on Petrograd. I recall that after a pause at the direct wire, Lenin’s face suddenly shone with an extraordinary light. Clearly he had arrived at a decision. “Let’s go to the wireless station,” he said, “it will stand us in good stead. We shall issue a special order dismissing General Dukhonin, appoint Comrade Krylenko Commander-in-Chief in his place and appeal to the soldiers over the heads of the officers, calling upon them to surround the generals, to cease hostilities, to establish contact with the Austro-German soldiers and take the cause of peace into their own hands.”
This was “a leap in the dark.” But Lenin did not shrink from this “leap”; on the contrary, he made it eagerly, for he knew that the army wanted peace and would win peace, sweeping every obstacle from its path; he knew that this method of establishing peace was bound to have its effect on the Austro-German soldiers and would give full rein to the yearning for peace on every front without exception.
We know that here, too, Lenin’s revolutionary foresight was subsequently confirmed with the utmost exactness.
The insight of genius, the ability rapidly to grasp and divine the inner meaning of impending events this was the quality of Lenin which enabled him to lay down the correct strategy and a clear line of conduct at turning points of the revolutionary movement.
Notes
1. Iskra (Spark)—the first all-Russian illegal Marxist newspaper, founded by V. I. Lenin in December 1900. It was published abroad and brought secretly into Russia (on the significance and role of Iskra see History of the C.P.S.U.(B) Short Course, Moscow 1952, pp. 55-68).
2. The Stockholm Party Congress—the Fourth (“Unity”) Congress of the R.S.D.L.P.—took place on April 10-25 (April 23-May 8), 1906 (See History of the C.P.S.U.(B) Short Course, Moscow 1952, pp. 136-39).
3. The Fifth (London) Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. took place from April 30 to May 19 (May 13 to June 1), 1907 see History of the C.P.S.U.(B) Short Course, Moscow 1952, pp. 143-46).
JV Stalin: Collected Works Volume VI – Lenin – A Speech Delivered at a Memorial Meeting of the Kremlin Military School – January 28, 1924 – Pages 54-66

Practical Ch’an Buddhism: Never-Mind Life After Death – What About Life Before Death?

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When I am asked about the possibility of life after death, I always ask what about life before death? After-all, this lifetime is all we can really know for sure. How can we continue to exist after death – when we have not even worked-out whether we exist before death? I suspect the question of whether there is any existence post-mortem is a category error. It is a question premised upon false assumptions. As someone who has followed the Buddha’s path for years and experienced the reality he conveyed – I can say that there is no after-life – and I am not entirely convinced that there is an ‘existence’ in the present moment – in the conventional manner that many think there is. Attachment to Buddhism turns it into a religion – something the Buddha never intended. Why would a human-being become attached to a step (one of many) that conveys them from one place to another? Why would part of a road be anymore important than any other part? The Buddhist path is highly expendable and is designed to progress an individual before becoming completely redundant. Being attached to redundancy is nothing but dogma. But what about ’emptiness’ I hear you cry? Well, what about it? Is it real? Yes. Is it experienceable? Yes – but so what? Is it easy to achieve? No – but so what? Having no thoughts in the head is unusual but not impossible – but afterwards thoughts start to function again in a completely different way. Things are different but exactly the same. Rebirth is a myth which the Buddha rejected – but which certain Buddhists re-engaged – presumably because they could not ‘detach’ their minds from this superstition (editing the Buddha’s teachings to support this delusion). My point is that life after death is a Judeo-Christian idea that we must be alive ‘now’, and that in the future we must also ‘exist’ post-mortem (in a disembodied manner), and as such, I do not believe it is a compatible assumption for Buddhists to hold. In the West, many misconstrue Buddhist enlightenment (which is nothing other than practical and induced psychological states), for Judeo-Christian ideas of divinely inspired  ‘rapture’ and ‘grace’ – this is a grave error of interpretation that has nothing to do with Asian Buddhism. All that can be truthfully known for Buddhists is this present moment and how it relates to the past moment and the future moment. Everything else is merely imagination and extrapolation that moves the mind’s attention away from the correct analysis of its own functionality, and into the realms of imagination (and theology). By focusing and directing the mind upon the focus of correct existential awareness, we have – I believe – the foundation of modern scientific thinking. From this development, Buddhists could help the world develop new technology and medicines that reduce suffering. This can only happen if Buddhists give-up their mistaken ideas about the Dharma and renounce their habitual attachments to the Buddha’s path.

Dishonest London Mayor Sadiq Khan (15.8.2017)

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Like millions of Londoners, I fully welcomed the election of Sadiq Khan as London Mayor – even though I had reservations about his pro-Zionist attitudes – and voted for George Galloway (the ardent anti-Zionist).  However, I recently emailed the London Mayor – Sadiq Khan’s Office – asking him to reduce the cost of Travelcards to help the ordinary people in London. As London Mayor – he has the power to do this. Ken Livingston – the former (and perhaps ‘greatest’) London Mayor did an oil deal with Socialist Venezuela and immediately cut public transport costs across London. This deal was immediately abolished by the worst Mayor London has ever had – the Tory Boris Johnson – and since that time prices have continued to rise in London dramatically and far ahead of inflation. Sadiq Khan is a Blairite – which means he is a Tory in the Labour Party. His handling of my enquiry – in my opinion – has been dishonest. Instead of admitting that he supports big business and rising transport costs – he deceitfully sent me a standard email reply stating that my enquiry has been passed-on to Transport for London (TFL). What’s wrong with this – I hear you ask? Sadiq Khan controls TFL and has the power to ‘set’ London transport costs. To date I have not received any reply from TFL.

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