The Christian monastic tradition, as manifest through Western Christianity, has generally combined a stringent discipline with voluntary poverty and celibacy. The idealised image of the Buddhist monk, as it has entered the Western psyche, is one of a man who has abandoned what is here (real material life), for what is over there (imagined religious realms). Of course, as what is over there, by definition, is never here and now, its presence can never be empirically confirmed. The Buddhist rules followed by monastics and the laity take the place of Christian piety in the West, but are adhered to by most Westerners with a similar fanatic attitude that completely misses the point the rule is assumed to be designed to achieve. The physical practice of Buddhist meditation is of course the act of Christian prayer wrapped in saffron robes. Western converts meditate as if they are praying to a divine being, but with the added titillation that the divine being in question is their own imagined self-essence – or god removed from his heaven and relocated into their own head. Chanting mantras – the holy syllables of the East – replaces the singing of hymns and the chanting of monks, and sutra reading is bible study by other means. Just as god in heaven can never be logically verified, enlightenment in the head can not be seen in the environment or known to exist.
The men themselves, being the good working class thugs that they are, see themselves as superior to women and other ethnic groups, blame all the unfairness they experience in life on immigrants, fight amongst themselves, work for a pittance, vote Tory and read the Sun Newspaper. They are despicable examples of ignorance as a virus that spreads through minds and bodies soon after birth (and probably before), as historical materialism makes its presence felt. This ignorance has to stop and the working class must make every effort to raise its own consciousness. Although there are many progressive working class people, the movement is only as strong as its weakest link.
Applying Marx’s critique of idealism as conveyed in The German Ideology, religious perception of the world is the wrong way around. God did not create the world in a mysterious manner, but rather it is the mind of humanity that has created (or imagined) god and his heaven.
Labour has no intention of repealing the anti-Union laws, or turning back the Tory cuts to the Welfare State, the NHS, or the Education system. Toward the mainstream British electorate, the Labour Party panders to the Tory Press and treats the ordinary British Worker as some kind of error or illness in the system. This is not surprising when it is considered that Clause Four has been removed from the Labour Party’s constitution, breaking the direct link with Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto.