Socialist Action (社會主義行動 ): Beware of Trotskyite Racism & Corruption in Hong Kong (PRC)!

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During the run-up to the UK handing-back the colony of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China in 1997, the British imperialists demanded that China agree to not making any sweeping and/or systemic political reforms for 50 years. This agreement has not prevented a natural shift in education, business, culture and political allegiance toward the Mainland Chinese government, but it has meant that the disruptive and exploitative forces of liberalism and capitalism have been able to retain an imperialist foot-hold on the island. The point of this, or so the British thought, was that colonial influence could be continued to be exercised in this part of China, with the intention of eventually bringing down the Communist Party of China (CPC) and ending its Revolutionary governance of Mainland China – replacing Socialist Revolution with a capitalist counter-revolution. This would be disastrous for the Chinese people, as it would turn Mainland China into one gigantic Western colony, and the Chinese people into the slaves of US-style free market economics and liberal democracy.  Obviously, this backward step is not likely to happen, as the ordinary Chinese people are now self-determining and building an advanced and modern society premised upon the thinking of Marxist-Leninism and Scientific Socialism.

It is also true, however, that the US, UK and EU use Taiwan and Hong Kong as a potential spring-board to politically ‘destabilise’ Communist China. The idea is simple in design, create a ‘fifth column’ of pro-capitalist insurgents in these areas and package their preference for ‘greed’ as a heart-felt call for ‘liberal democracy’. This strategy is aided and abetted in the West by the propagation of an insidious anti-China racism, and such Western generated pseudo-cultural entities as the Falun Gong Cult and the Pro-Tibetan Movement. Racism is the foundation of these movements, with White Europeans pulling the strings somewhere in the murky background. These movements are merely parodies of Chinese culture, and are designed to keep the poorly educated and exploited masses in the West from understanding modern ‘Communist’ China, and striving to make Revolutionary links and connections, In other words, the Western capitalist powers do not want a Communist Revolution spreading from China to the West and freeing all the workers! To prevent this, the average European worker must be kept ignorant and brain-washed against Communist China. China’s good reputation must be continuously sullied and presented as corrupt. Communist China has to be presented as just another ‘Nazi German’ regime that invades other countries, violates Human Rights, progresses economically through the use of sweat shops, oppresses women, brutalises children, and retains its political power through military force. It is interesting to consider that these ‘capitalist’ misrepresentations of Communist China ARE EXACTLY the same criticisms levelled at China by the bourgeois Trotskyite Movement! This demonstrates that the  bourgeois Trotskyite Movement is nothing more than a capitalist stooge masquerading as a ‘Socialist’ movement.

Whilst searching the Chinese-language internet (on Google), I came across ‘Socialist Action’ (社會主義行動 – She Hui Zhu Hui Xing Dong), primarily through a ‘fake’ Chinese-language wikipedia page that has not been generated from within the Mainland of China, and does not exist on ‘Baidu’ – the mainland China, Chinese-language internet search-engine. The US is behind the creation of a number of ‘mirroring’ Chinese-language wikipedia pages that are designed to convey anti-China racism, and anti-Communist propaganda. The Trotskyite ‘Socialist Action’ entry is just one of many such pages, but its central message is pro-capitalist and anti-Communist. The only element of falsehood and prejudice that it adds to the pro-capitalist critique of modern China is the false allegation that Stalinism was a diversion away from the true spirit of Marxist-Leninism, and that therefore, Mao Zedong (the Communist founder of modern China), as an admirer of Joseph Stalin, perpetuated a ‘corrupt’ dictatorship upon the people of China. This is exactly the same racially motivated and philosophically flawed message that ALL Trotskyite so-called ‘Socialist’ groups in the West perpetuate and propagate against China. This is inaccordance with Leon Trotsky’s bourgeois background, and his preference for co-operation with the forces of capitalism. This false wiki-page states that ‘Socialist Action’ started within Mainland China in 2009 – before its magazine was ‘banned’ and the movement forced to relocate to Hong Kong. This is untrue – there are no ‘Trotskyite’ movements in Mainland China because every Chinese person understands that Trotsky was a racist who held profoundly anti-Chinese attitudes (as expressed throughout his works). The Chinese people would never look to a White racist for political liberation and support, particularly as the Chinese people are already free from the oppression of White capitalism and White imperialism.

False Chinese Language Wikipedia Page:

https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/社会主义行动

Kai-Lin and Mei-An: Both at One Year’s Old

Our two daughters – Mei-An and Kai-Lin – Mei-An in Torquay with her grandparents, aunts and uncles, and Kai-Lin in our flat in West Sutton!

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Mei-An – Torquay (Livermead) Devon – 8.5.2013

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Kai-Lin – West Sutton  (South London) – 26.9.2017

How the DWP Behaves Like the Medieval Church

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Excellent and well-structured discussion full of proletarian insight, observations and suggestions. When the Labour Party initiated the modern Welfare State in 1948, the fore-runner of the contemporary DWP (DHSS) administered the re-distribution of wealth through welfare payments, but did so with an antagonistic attitude toward welfare claimants. Certain myths were retained that welfare payments were getting ‘something for nothing’ (when in fact such payments had been paid for through taxation by the recipients), and that those having to live on welfare payments were ‘lazy’ – as if welfare gave these victims of capitalism a ‘privileged’ life-style. In those days, people with disabilities were so disempowered and excluded from the workforce and mainstream society, that the British State thought it appropriate to provide welfare without ever considering legislation to prevent this systemic discrimination. Although the Tories (and LibDems) were found ‘Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity’ in 2016 by the UN – (for the deaths of around 10,000 disabled people between 2010-2015 due to sudden welfare cuts) – the Tories continue to persecute disabled people with welfare, social service and NHS cuts – whilst taking no legal action to facilitate the integration of disabled people into the workforce and mainstream society (through positive discrimination). As a consequence, discrimination remains rife. Of course, this does not even scratch the surface of the suffering experienced by the British working class as a whole since 2010 through the initiation of ‘Austerity’. Finally, the DWP behaves very much like the Christian Church it replaced as the administrator of welfare. All recipients of welfare are considered morally deficient, and are treated with an ecclesiastical contempt and mistrust. The DWP, operating as it does through its oppressive procedures, gives the impression that it is distributing Christian charity provided by the ‘blessed’ and ‘faithful’ middle class – rather than its true function of re-distributing tax back to the people who originally paid it.

Ousting the Odious LibDems Out of Sutton (28.9.2017)!

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The LibDems – as part of the ‘Coalition’ government with the Tories 2010-2015 – were complicit in the privatisation of the NHS and the dismantling of the British Welfare State. The LibDems (along with the Tories) were also found ‘Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity’ by the United Nations (UN) in 2016 for the deaths of an estimated 10,000 people with disabilities in the UK – as a direct result of welfare cuts, NHS treatment, and social services. The LibDems certainly have blood on their hands – and are unfit as a ‘conservative’ party to govern either nationally or locally. In Sutton the LibDems tried to privatise the bins in the late 1990’s – but local people rebelled then and the decision was reversed. This year (2017), saw the LibDems ‘monetise’ our rubbish yet again with a ‘new’ privatisation plan involving the complete disregard of local opinion. We need to get a Labour MP into Parliament representing Sutton and Cheam, and a Labour-led Local Council in Sutton and Cheam to facilitate a real change. Do not be fooled by so-called ‘independent’ candidates – as they are usually closet Tories, or members of the far-right.

Assessing Baryonic Matter, Dark Matter & Dark Energy – the Building Blocks of Existence

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The current state of human scientific knowledge suggests that the majority of the physical construction of the universe is actually comprised of a substance that cannot, as yet, be directly observed using the most advanced technology and methodology. The majority of ‘stuff’ in the universe (multi-verse) certainly cannot be detected with the naked human eye – but it can be predicted to exist through the correct and disciplined use of the human intellect and imagination. Imagination is an important part of advanced scientific thinking, but its function is often down-played or ignored when scientific processes develop into sound theories that nolonger require ‘speculation’ to fill-in the gaps in knowledge. Of course, this might be because the human capacity to ‘misuse’ the imagination can get in the way of the scientific method, and lead the entire process away from the desired objective. Whatever the case, the constitution of the universe (multi-verse) currently looks like this:

a) 4.9% ordinary (Baryonic) matter

b) 68.3 dark energy

c) 26.8 dark matter

Human beings have evolved around perceiving the 4.9% of material stuff that comprises their immediate environment, although it is speculated that dark matter and dark energy may well be everywhere. If this is correct, then it is curious that throughout human evolution, the ability to ‘see’ these material substances was not developed – probably because the perception of these substances had no direct impact upon human survival. Another way in which these ‘unseen’ substances are known to be present is through the effect they appear to have on objects moving through what was once thought to be ’empty’ space. There appears to be a ‘gravitational’ effect on objects moving through apparently ’empty’ space that should not be happening if space was in fact ’empty’. The human intellect has devised mathematical formula to demonstrate the ‘presence’ of these still ‘theoretical’ material substances. Although the Buddha and a number of ancient Greek philosophers used their minds to state that in all likelihood perceivable matter could be comprised of ‘atoms’, it has been the development of scientific technology (as an extension of the human mind), that has allowed for the perception of sub-atomic particles, and for the detection of different types of matter and energy. The following documentary presents a very good over-view of the current state of human knowledge in this area:

Buddhism: Demystifying Ucchedavada Materialism

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‘..the recluse Gotama is a Materialist, who teaches a doctrine of Materialism and trains his disciples in it.’

Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge: By KN Jayatilleke (2204)  – Page 375 – A VI 183ff

Throughout all the Buddhist schools, and irrespective of differences in philosophical interpretation, it is agreed that the Buddha advocated a ‘middle path’ between what is often termed in English as ‘nihilism’ (ucchedavada) and ‘eternalism’ (sassatavada). These definitions, although technically correct, do not convey the full philosophical context of these terms. Another set of terms used are ‘materialism’ and ‘beginningless’ – again technically correct, but not very helpful in understanding what the Buddha was attempting to convey.  Sassatavada translates as ‘eternal soul school’, or ‘beginningless theistic concept school’. Ucchedavada (ဥေစၧဒ) is a Pali term that translates as ‘Annihilation School’, and which refers to a ‘denial’ of the existence of an eternal  ‘soul’, ‘atma’ or ‘theistic concept’ which links each human-being to a divine creator. In and of itself, the term ‘ucchedavada’ does not make any reference to the material world as such, but appears to have been philosophically used during the Buddha’s life-time to suggest that anyone who denied the existence of a soul, automatically believed that all that existed was the material world. Within the Chinese language, the Pali term ‘ucchedavada’ is written as ‘断滅論 – Duan Me Lun’, and translates as ‘Cut off Extinguish Theory’. Ucchedavada then, refers to the philosophical position whereby an eternal soul concept is denied as being ‘non-existing’, and that any theistic construct built-upon such an assumption is equally ‘non-existant’. As the Buddha continuously and constantly ‘denied’ the existence of any eternal soul (atma), he certainly did not agree with the ‘sassatavada’ position, and it is logical that he distanced himself from that school, However, as he quite clearly understood and accepted the existence of the physical world (rupa), and made ‘matter’ the first of his five aggregates, it would seem a little odd that he would also distance himself from the ‘ucchedavada’, unless of course, the ucchedavada did not actually refer to the material world, but merely the ‘ending’ of all things. If this is the case, then the numerous commentaries that assume ‘ucchedavada’ correlates with ‘materialism’ are wrong. They are wrong because it gives a false impression of the Buddha’s teaching which is rooted in the existence of a material world – even if that material world lacks any permanency (or, as Nagarjuna later asserted – is an ’emptiness’ containing all insubstantial things). As ucchedavada does not make any mention of the material universe, why then is it associated with the material universe? This interpretation stems from the idea that the spiritual teachings of Brahmanism are obviously undermined. If there is no ‘atma’ (soul) residing in an individual, then there is no connection with Brahma, retributive karma (i.e. ‘moral law’), or agency to ensure a future rebirth. This is a complete denial of the validity of the Brahmanic world-view (both seen and unseen).

The Buddha was in full agreement with this criticism of Brahmanism, and so his rejection of ucchedavada could not have been on these grounds, indeed, in this context, the concept of ucchedavada appears to encapsulate the Buddha’s teachings. The reason that the Buddha rejected the concept of ‘ucchedavada’ was not because it denied the Brahmanic world view, but rather because as a concept it also assumed that every death equated to the attainment of nirvana. It is this latter point that the Buddha disagreed with, as simply ‘dying’ did not ensure an entry into the non-conditioned state of nirvana that he had discovered. The ucchedavada viewpoint is that all life and all suffering ceases at physical death. To assume that ucchedavada equates to materialism must be qualified and explained to make contextual sense. What is also important here, is the Buddha’s positive view of materialism. The Buddha disagrees with one aspect of ucchedavada, because within his system, ‘nirvana’ can be realised whilst an individual is still alive, whilst if an unenlightened individual dies – they remain unenlightened and subject to rebirth (whilst in the deluded state). To make his point, the Buddha developed elaborate dimensions of existence beyond the material plane, which he inhabited with gods, demi-gods and spirits, etc, through which deluded beings transmigrate. As many of these gods do not correlate with those known to be part of the Brahmanic pantheon, it is obvious the Buddha constructed these beings as a matter of illustration. We know this because in many suttas and sutras the Buddha clearly states that in the enlightened state, gods, heavens, rebirth and karma are all understood not to actually exist. Obviously, if these constructs only appear to exist in the deluded state, then they are not real, and were probably used by the Buddha to guide followers who believed these things to be true, until they were ready give-up these incorrect views.

As well as Materialists and Sceptics in ancient India, there were a class of intellectuals known as the ‘vinnu’ or the ‘elite’, with whom the Buddha was keen to address, in Suttas that record this encounter, the Buddha adopts a far more obvious materialist approach in his teachings. This can be seen in the Apannaka Sutta and the Sandaka Sutta (amongst many others). By ‘materialist’ in this context is meant ‘logical’ and ’empirical’. The Buddha moves the dialogue away from rebirth, karma and gods, and towards a much more rational approach to assessing reality. He suggests that even if these things were not ultimately true, it might be more conducive for humanity to voluntarily adopt a mode of disciplined behaviour – as if these ideas were potentially true. Interestingly, evidence suggests that a belief in rebirth was not widespread or prominent prior to the rising of Buddhism and Jainism in ancient India, even though there were ideas of survival that did not require the notion of rebirth as an agency. Ironically, this might suggest that the Buddha’s expedient use of the notion of rebirth could have made the idea popular – even though he himself did not think it ultimately correct. As matters stand, the Buddha defined reality as an integration of the material world with the immaterial mind – with both being inherently linked. He was probably the first thinker in history to develop a ‘psychology’ or ‘philosophy of mind’ which replaced a belief in gods and spirits. In the last analysis it is clear that he rejects rebirth, karma and gods as being ‘real’ in the enlightened state. In this regard, even if the material world is ‘translucent’, and ’empty’ of any substantiality and permanency, the Buddha’s philosophy is premised upon its apparent existence – and this would steer his philosophy nearer to the ‘materialist’ camp than any other mode of thought.

The reason the Buddha rejected the ‘ucchedavada’ viewpoint in the final analysis, is not because of its apparent ‘materialist’ emphasis (which the Buddha shared in many respects), but because this school of ancient Indian thought adopted a sceptical position with regards to knowledge and its limitations. Although what was sensed through the bodily sense organs could be said to be ‘true’ (in the sense that such stimuli appeared to materially ‘exist’), nevertheless, the followers of ucchedavada held the opinion that this sensory data did not represent ‘ultimate’ knowledge, and could not be used to ascertain ‘universal’ understandings. All that was known for sure, was that sensory data was ‘sensed’. Furthermore, the followers of the ucchedavada denied that ‘sound’ theoretical knowledge could be gained from ‘inference’ (anumana). This was problematic for the Buddha, who although stating that nothing ‘sensed’ was viewed ‘correctly’ whilst observed through a deluded mind, also taught that ‘correct’ knowledge was possible if the mind was purified and non-inverted in operation (i.e. ‘enlightened’ to its own true essence). He also arranged his thinking around the concept of correct perception, and correct inductive inference premised upon this correct perception. For the Buddha, things could be definitely ‘known’, despite the fact that for most people, things were ‘incorrectly’ known. This observation demonstrates that the Buddha partly agrees – and partly disagrees with the followers of the ucchedavada on this point. It also follows that as those perceiving the world through a deluded mind-set cannot gain any ‘true’ knowledge of the world, they also cannot ‘infer’ any correct conclusions from this faulty perception. The Buddha also agrees with the ucchedavada on this point – but the major disagreement lies in the fact that the Buddha believes that he has proven (through personal realisation) that this situation can be changed through behaviour modification and meditation – and this is exactly where the Buddha’s theory parts ways with ucchedavada thinking, which assumes this situation cannot be altered. The ucchedavada views humanity as existing existentially in a material world that cannot be correctly perceived through the senses, the understanding of which cannot be ‘inferred’ through the mind. There is no science and no religion, or requirement for morality. There is no way out of this situation. The Buddha agrees that there is a material world, but disagrees with the ucchedavada notion that nothing can be ‘correctly’ known, or that the situation cannot be changed. On the contrary, the Buddha logically expounds a sophisticated philosophical appraisal of reality, and clearly explains how its perception and manifestation can be radically transformed.

Further Reading:

Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge: By KN Jayatilleke

The Conception of Buddhist Nirvana: BY FI Stcherbatsky

The Message of the Buddha: By By KN Jayatilleke

What the Buddha Taught: By Walpola Rahula

Two Interpretations of the Buddha’s Middle Way (Majjhima Patipada)

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Many people encounter Buddhism through a book, leaflet, documentary or group, and are therefore introduced to the subject through the particular interpretation implicit in those modes of knowledge transference. In the age of the internet, it can be argued that a greater degree of detail is available for the study of Buddhism, but the fact remains that as Buddhist philosophy is a complex subject, generally speaking a new student requires some sort of developmental guidance – or ‘narrowing’ of approach – to make sense of it all. This returns to the issue of entering Buddhism through a single gate of interpretation, and remaining unaware of the broader history and divergent philosophical development of Buddhist thought, or the various and distinct cultures that have become associated with the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia and the world. This insularity is compounded if the Buddhism encountered is being used for nefarious or illegitimate reasons. On the other hand, a misunderstanding of Buddhism can lead to the development of ‘quietism’, whereby an individual uses the excuse of being a ‘Buddhist’ not to get involved in important issues involving the well-being, development or safety of humanity. Even the Buddha interceded in the political milieu of his day, if he thought his personal presence could influence kings toward more humane policies, save human or animal life, or even prevent wars. He used the mediating device of cultivated wisdom as a means to ascertain when to act in the world, and when not to act in the world. This was not an interfering function that he took likely, and he advised many of his followers to sit and meditate for a considerable time so as to generate the wisdom required. Simply following personal prejudices, or current popularist trends was not the Buddha’s ‘middle way’. In essence, the Buddha inwardly followed the path of realising non-self, and of uprooting greed, hatred and delusion. On the outer the plane, the Buddha pursued policies that defused aggressive situations that were not dependent upon the belief of ‘self’ (religious or otherwise), and which advocated non-greed over greed, non-hatred over hatred, and non-delusion over delusion. His approach was that people would not treat one another in a selfish or barbaric manner if they understood the insubstantial and ever changing nature of reality. This approach included the deconstruction of the theistic religious belief system prevalent in his time.

The Buddha’s direction of inner and outer movement was defined as pursuing the ‘middle way’ (majjhima patipada), but within Early and Later Buddhist thought, this term has two distinct (and on the surface, very different) interpretations. The first statement must make it clear that all forms of Buddhism adhere to the teachings contained within the Four Noble Truths, and that within this schematic, the concept of the ‘middle way’, or ‘middle path’ is the directly philosophical consequence of the Buddha’s teachings as recorded in the ‘Fourth Noble Truth’. The full title of this teaching is the ‘Path of the Fourth Noble Truth which Leads to the Cessation of Profound Dissatisfaction’, or in Pali ‘Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipade – Ariya Sacca). Herein, the Buddha presents eight guidelines which all Buddhists (both lay and monastic) should follow as a means to create a better life free of suffering. This eight guidelines are:

  1. Right Understanding (Samma Ditthi)
  2. Right Thought (Samma sankappa)
  3. Right Speech (Samma vaca)
  4. Right Action (Samma kammanta)
  5. Right Livelihood (Samma ajiva)
  6. Right Effort (Samma vayama)
  7. Right Mindfulness (Samma sati)
  8. Right Concentration (Samma samadhi)

Together with various other instructions pertaining to thought and action in everyday life, the Buddha prescribed an ethical path of meditation (i.e. mind operation modification), and behaviour modification, primarily through adherence to the numerous rules designed to regulate moral behaviour (i.e. ‘sila’). For a Buddhist monastic, these guidelines were strictly (and literally) followed so that every thought, feeling, emotion and action was fully cognised and experienced in a ‘detached’ (or ‘impersonal’) manner. For the lay-Buddhist, the guidelines were followed in a more flexible manner, but with the emphasis being placed on the maintenance of virtuous thought and action in every situation. All Buddhists, for instance, regardless of status, are expected by the Buddha never to kill, or create the conditions for killing to occur. The same is expected with regards to stealing, inappropriate sexual thoughts and actions, speech motivated by greed, hatred and delusion, and food and drink termed ‘intoxicants’ that cloud the good judgement of the mind. Obviously, the Buddhist monastic follow hundreds of vows, but these five are essential to the entirety of the Buddha’s path, and are indicative of the psycho-physical nature of his moral teaching. For the Buddha, the greater the discipline applied to meditation and moral discipline, the quicker (in theory) a practitioner will escape the wheel of suffering and dissatisfaction. However, despite certain trends of thought found in various lineages of the more conservative extant schools of Buddhism, the Buddha did acknowledge (in the Pali Suttas) that committed lay-people (both male and female) could realise ‘nibbana’ through meditation or moral discipline, or on rare occasions, simply by being in the Buddha’s psychological and physical presence. The main point to take from this is that Buddhist monastic have an advantage in as much as their living situation is geared entirely away from worldly affairs, and completely toward the cessation of profound dissatisfaction and suffering. Although lay-people are at a disadvantage, this does not mean that they should not try, or that they are inherently unable to realise enlightenment. In many ways it is this tolerant attitude of the Buddha (found within Early Buddhism) that permeates Mahayana thinking.

The Mahayana School becomes historically observable around the 1st century CE, and is assumed to be a later development of the Buddha’s thought away from the definitional confines of what is termed ‘Early Buddhism’. Although the suttas of the Pali Canon are later developments out of Early Buddhism, it is logical to assume that much of the former is recorded in the latter. The Mahayana ‘sutras’ – by way of comparison – are written in Sanskrit, but also retain virtually everything that exists within the Pali Canon, despite the fact that various philosophical concepts have been developed beyond the foundational premise as originally laid-down by the Buddha. Having established this fact, it is also true that the ‘original’ premise of the Buddha’s teachings is still recorded in the Mahayana sutras, and have not been ‘expunged’ in an act of eradication. This means that the Buddha is presented as teaching two different but inherently ‘related’ versions of his Dharma – one for beginners, and another for the advanced (this is how the Mahayanists explain the dual nature of their own sutras). Some lineages of the Theravada School (which must never be conflated with the ‘Hinayana’ or ‘Small Vehicle’ movement), hold the viewpoint that the Mahayana School is a distortion of the Buddha’s pristine message, whilst others (such as Ven. Walpola Rahula), are of the opinion that definite philosophical parallels exists between the Pali and Sanskrit texts. This situation is fluid and need not delay us when examining the concept of the ‘middle way’ as conceived within the Pali and the Sanskrit texts. The Theravada School follows the Pali Canon and perceives the ‘middle way’ as an individual, through an act of will, steering his or her mind and body on a psychological and physical course, conducive to reducing and eradicating negative karma-producing habits in the real world. This means maintaining a trajectory that treads a path ‘exactly between the two extremes of everything that exists (i.e. the material universe), and everything that does not exist in an obvious material sense (such as states of mind, emotionality and rarefied levels of conscious development). This may also be interpreted as understanding the world of physical matter as a) existing, but b) being ’empty’ of any permanency or substantiality. To understand this reality requires the development of the mind and its awareness capacity. This includes directly perceiving the fact that within the five aggregates that define an individual, there is no ‘atma’ or ‘soul’, and consequently no link to a theistic entity controlling the world from afar. This means that the Pali term ‘sunna’ means that the existing world (according to the Buddha) is ’empty’ of certain things, and that as a consequence, everything exists in a ‘relative’ or ‘interdependent’ state.

The Mahayana School views the ‘middle way’ primarily through the philosophy of the Madhyamika School (founded by Nagarjuna), which states that the physical world is non-existant and therefore ’empty’ of ALL reality. The world of physical matter is insubstantial, impermanent and ‘non-existing’. This means that the ordinary human assumption of an existing subject-object ‘duality’ is an illusion that must be transcended through a developed mind. In Sanskrit ‘sunya’ (i.e. ’emptiness’) refers to two distinct aspects or realisations. The first is that of experiencing a personal mind free of greed, hared, and delusion, and known not to possess a ‘soul’ or any other ‘permanent’ aspect. This is the enlightenment that the Mahayana School associates with the Hinayana School – as it signifies a ‘personal’ nirvana. The full Mahayana enlightenment requires that a mind empty of personal delusion (i.e. ‘relative enlightenment’) must experience a radical expansion so that its fundamental awareness appears to ‘expand’ and become all-embracing of its environment (or the entirety of existence). Within the Mahayana School, a practitioner must adopt a path that is neither attached to the void, nor hindered by the world of phenomena. This includes the realisation that the material world is ’empty’ of any substantiality, but that ’emptiness’ itself is also ’empty’. In Early Buddhism the Buddha appears to be saying that the world is ‘real’ but ‘insubstantial’, whilst in Later Buddhism the Buddha appears to be saying that although the physical world appears to be ‘real’, in reality it is not. This divergence has happened due to the inclusion in the Mahayana (Sanskrit) Canon of a number of ‘new’ texts which convey this ‘modified’ interpretation, whilst still claiming to be utterances of the historical Buddha. Early Buddhism steers a ‘middle way’ between the existing world and its insubstantiality, whilst Later Buddhism adopts a non-dual position that perceives the physical world as being ’empty’, and that emptiness’ being ’empty’ of any substantiality. The Mahayana School, although containing all the teachings found in the Pali texts, nevertheless seems to be suggesting that whereas Early Buddhists were required to adopt a lifestyle of physical discipline – Later Buddhists could realise enlightenment by assuming a certain philosophical point of view, whilst meditating on the realisation of that view. Chinese Ch’an Master Xu Yun (1840-1959), whilst being an adherent of the Mahayana School, rejected this notion and stated categorically that enlightenment could only be realised if the Vinaya Discipline was strictly followed. This was because he was well-read, and had studied virtually all the Buddha’s teachings over his long-life. As a consequence, he had a developed and mature over-view of the entirety of the Buddha’s path – both Early and Later. Although he acknowledged that enlightenment could happen in an instant, he never negated the importance of behaviour modification as a means for ordinary people to reform their lives and realise enlightenment. From 1931 to 1945, Master Xu Yun witnessed the barbaric behaviour of invading Japanese troops in China, and he associated this barbarism with Japan’s abandonment of the Vinaya Discipline.

The middle path for early Buddhists more specifically meant that an adherent had to maintain a perfect psychological and physical balance between the world of matter, and ethereal world of eternal spirit – recognising the conditioned reality of the former – whilst rejecting the entire notion of the latter (eternal spirit is demolished and replaced with the realisation of ever rarefied and subtle levels of conscious awareness). There is the cultivated development of non-attachment to physical objects (and the physical world in general), with a simultaneous cultivation of non-identification with thoughts and feelings in the mind and body. The central concept for early Buddhism is that of the essential reality of ‘dharmas’ or material (rupa) and immaterial (arupa) objects and states. The world of matter is ‘real’ irrespective of its unstable nature – and ‘mind’ (manas), and its functioning (citta), as well as its ability to generate bare conscious awareness (vijnana), are all considered rarefied extensions of matter, to the extent where they may be interpreted as ‘immaterial’ states emanating from a material base. The Buddha states that there are suffering-inducing conditioned states of being, and there are suffering-transcending states of non-conditionality, the latter of which are achieved by following the ‘middle path’. The Mahayana progression disagrees with the idea that all ‘dharmas’ (i.e. the world of matter in its many forms) are intrinsically ‘real’, but instead asserts that the world of matter is ultimately ’empty’ (sunya) of any intrinsic reality. This is despite the fact that the Buddha clearly states that ‘matter’ is the basis of his analysis of reality and the foundation through which his self-cultivation method operates. Whereas Early Buddhists might ‘retire’ from the world to seek a secluded practice, the Mahayana practitioner might suggest that all that needs to be changed is the inner mind and its perception of the outer world. It is the human mind that is ‘defiled; (klesa), and which needs to be ‘cleaned’ through meditation in the Mahayana School. The realisation of the ‘non-reality’ of existence leads to a ‘pure’ mind free of suffering-inducing tendencies (i.e. negative psychological states), and unwise physical actions. The Mahayana demands a radical subjective transformation, and not a shift in ontological understanding. Whereas, within Early Buddhism there is a shift from the state of ‘samsara’ to that of ‘nirvana’, (as if the former is left behind and the latter is entered), within the Mahayana, ‘nirvana’ is found in the midst of ‘samsara’ through clearing the mind of the obscuring ignorance that ‘hides’ this reality from direct perception. This can happen because both states are considered equally ’empty’ of any intrinsic reality, and as this ‘sunya’ is considered the only reality, its realisation cuts through all apparent dualities. As ’emptiness’ is ’empty’ of any inherent relativity, the ultimate position for the Mahayanist remains ultimately ‘beyond words’. As it is ‘beyond words’, this allows the re-entry of the Buddha’s original teaching (found within Early Buddhism) into the equation, as the exact definition of reality defies any exact conceptual explanation. The Buddha’s method only points a ‘middle path’ toward its realisation. This is why the state of nirvana is understood to be non-conditioned.

Paul Robeson: Communists Should Not Apologise!

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Communist China’s Success and its Misinterpretation

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Production by the masses, the interests of the masses, the experiences and feelings of the masses – to these the leading cadres should pay constant attention.

Mao Zedong 8th Route Army Headquarters – Yenan – 24.11.1943

When it comes to emancipating our minds, using our heads, seeking truth from facts and uniting as one looking to the future, the primary task is to emancipate our minds. Only then can we, guided as we should be by Marxist-Leninist and Mao Zedong Thought, find correct solutions to emerging as well as inherited problems… Just imagine the additional wealth that could be created if all the people in China’s hundreds of thousands of enterprises and millions of production teams put their minds to work. As more wealth is created for the state, personal income and collective benefits should also increase somewhat… Otherwise, we won’t be able to rid our country of poverty and backwardness or to catch up with – still less surpass – the advanced countries.’ 

Deng Xiaoping – Emancipate the Mind, Seek Truth from Facts and Unite as One in Looking to the Future – 13.12.1978

Communist China is a Socialist State founded in late 1949. At that time, the Communist Party of China (led by Mao Zedong) over-threw the Western-supported government of Chiang Kai-Shek, eradicated feudalism and over-threw the bourgeoisie and the predatory capitalism they represented, and seized the means of production. Chiang Kai-Shek and his capitalists invaded the island of Taiwan and seized power there (committing many atrocities in the process), with the remnants of his US-supported regime still occupying that island today, with its exploitative class system still intact. Taiwan is the only part of Mainland China where US-style capitalism still holds sway. Within Taiwan, the small middle class dominates and oppresses the masses of workers – who are forced to eke-out a living in oppressive conditions – whilst this rogue regime is held together through US Christian missionary work (that converts the masses and turns them against Chinese culture by stating it is evil and backward), and by continuous US threats about invading Mainland China, or false US fears about Communist China invading Taiwan. This is the standard ‘divide and conquer’ tactics used by the Eurocentric forces of imperialism for centuries. Add to this the fact that the US government uses billions of dollars of its own tax-payer’s money to artificially prop-up Taiwan’s ‘false’ economy, and the true ‘fake’ status of Taiwan is revealed, showing it to be nothing but a US colony.

Every utility and business in China is ‘nationalised’ and owned by the Communist Chinese State. In other words, the Communist Party of China (CPC) – as the organised representative of the working class – having ceased full control of the means of production in 1949, now administers the entire business and service economy to benefit the people. All generated profit is immediately fed back into building a stronger and more efficient Workers’ State. This includes a fully comprehensive Welfare System, and free at the point of use National Health System. China uses both Western and Chinese medical systems provided free by the State. Science and technology is given unlimited funding to progress human understanding of the universe, and to develop advanced technology, medicines, treatments, communication systems, satellites and space travel. The Chinese legal system guarantees ‘equality’ throughout China, and unlike its bourgeois counter-part, a Chinese person receives full and free legal support. Communist China has rapidly developed both psychosocially and materiality since 1949, and has not only caught-up with the capitalist US, but is now surpassing this ruthless and capitalist country that uses its massive prison population as a form of slave labour.

The US has initiated a relentless anti-China campaign since 1949, bearing all the hall-marks of that country’s predictable ‘anti-Communist’ propaganda. Common accusations without any evidence include bizarre allegations that China is despotic, undemocratic, an invader of Tibet, a deceptive ‘capitalist’ country, and a dog-eating abuser of human rights, etc. What is remarkable about these views and many similar misrepresentations of China, is that they are shared equally across the Western political spectrum – both left and right. Underlying all these views are Eurocentric racist interpretations of the Chinese ethnicity, its political system, its history and its culture. These derogatory ideas about China are just as likely to manifest in India, as they are in the US, and often serve as the basis of both Western fascist and Communist critiques of China. The Western mainstream is just as racist as the fascist rightwing – but the Communist and Socialist left should know better. The problem with the left is that it has become riddled with Trotskyite racialised rhetoric that seeks to undermine any and all Marxist-Leninist regimes. Trotskyism dove-tales nicely with fascist ideology and is nothing but a racist misrepresentation of the leftwing perspective. Trotskyism also serves as the basis for the British Labour Party leftism – with even Jeremy Corbyn criticising China’s Yulin Dog Festival in Parliament in 2015 – with no Chinese-based evidence informing his views. This is the same Labour Leader who says nothing in Parliament about 24 hour slaughter houses in the UK, etc.

Communist understanding should be a continuous process of dialectic development and should not be stuck in the past, or congeal around a set of dogmatic ideals. When a Communist government seizes control of the means of production, capitalism is over-thrown with exploitative capitalist market forces replaced by working class representative Socialist market forces. Whereas in the former all profit is concentrated into the hands of a small and privileged group, in the latter all profit is radically re-distributed throughout society to directly benefit the majority of the ordinary people.  Obviously China has rejected the former and embraced the latter. Today, China seeks to master and over-come the Western capitalist system by learning its method from a Socialist perspective, and turning its method against the capitalists. The Western powers dominated China for hundreds of years and in that time ruthlessly exploited its people and stole its considerable wealth – leaving China thoroughly impoverished by 1911. By engaging the capitalists and beating them at their own game does not make China a ‘capitalist’ country – as even the USSR traded with the capitalist West. What it demonstrates is not the failure of Marxist-Leninist ideology, but rather its success. In just over 60 years, a backward and impoverished country has been completely transformed through the leadership of the Communist Party of China. This fact flies in the face of the false US propaganda that Socialism equals poverty. What capitalists and fascists either conveniently forget, or just do not know, is that Karl Marx stated that Socialism (and then Communism) emerge out of a very well developed and successful capitalist system – he never taught that Socialism is ‘anti-capitalist’. Marxists are anti-bourgeois and anti-exploitation, but they take economic market forces and re-define their uses so that society is benefited rather than oppressed. In 1949, 90% of China’s population were impoverished and illiterate – today, after just over 60 years of CPC guidance, this situation has been completely reversed, with 90% of the population being able to read and write, and live a life of greatly improved economic circumstances.

ZSL – London Zoo (23.9.2017)

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ZSL London Zoo

We travelled up the Northern Line Tube and alighted at Camden Town. We walked about 20 minutes down Camden High Street and crossed the Regent’s Canal (near Regent’s Park), before finding the entrance to the Zoo. Gee and myself probably visited London Zoo around 13 years ago – but this was the first time that our daughters (Mei-An 5 and Kai-Lin 1) had visited. (My mother tells me she visited with her school from Oxford – in the late 1950’s – at a time when visitors could still ride on elephants around the compound!). The letters ‘ZSL’ stand for ‘Zoological Society London ‘ – the official body that founded the Zoo in 1828 and which is responsible for its continued administration, maintenance and development. Surprisingly, London Zoo has never received any government support, and so has to charge an admittance fee to visitors, although certain supermarkets are offering tickets in exchanges for shopping points accrued upon loyalty cards. Elephants and Rhinos are no longer at this north-west London site – but now live at ZSL Whipsnade (in Bedfordshire) which has far more space for them to roam. Nevertheless, London Zoo is still sizeable and offers all kinds of interesting creatures to marvel at. This visit was part of our ongoing policy of empowering our children through education and positive learning experiences.

 

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