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)

Marx Oration – Highgate Cemetery (19.03.2017) Long Live the Paris Commune!

Key Speaker: Her Excellency Rocio Maneiro

DELIA GIOVANOLA

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Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

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‘In present times, as you know, the legacy of Marx is at the core of the Bolivarian Revolution and more specifically in the policies of our Government. Our social programs are inspired by the ideas of Karl Marx, giving priority to the inclusion of poor people into health, education, and housing systems.’

Her Excellency Rocio Maneiro – Marx Oration (2017)

Socialist Venezuela represented an ‘unusual and extraordinary threat to the US national security and foreign policy’

US President Obama (2016)

October, 2017, will be the 100th anniversary of the Great October Revolution in Russia that swept VI Lenin and his Bolshevik Party to power. Today, around 200 people from all social and ethnic backgrounds converged on the entrance to Highgate Cemetery in preparation for the short march to the grave of Karl Marx (who died on March 14th, 1883), marked since 1956 by a monument equal to the historical importance of this extraordinary man. Following the destruction of the Paris Commune in May, 1871, Karl Marx, his family, Friedrich Engels and other Socialists in the UK, attempted to commemorate this event each year on its anniversary, but faced tremendous resistance from the British establishment. However, they continued to work for a regular gathering each year despite this official harassment. When Karl Marx died on March 14th, 1883, it was agreed that as this date was near the founding of the Paris Commune, it would be a good idea to merge the remembering of the life of Karl Marx with that of celebrating, commemorating and lamenting the passing of the Paris Commune – the world’s first attempt at establishing a Scientific Socialist State. Therefore, from 1883 onwards, the ritual of remembering Karl Marx has been intimately associated with the memory of the Paris Commune (which existed between March 18th to May 28th, 1871).

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Her Excellency Rocio Maneiro – the Ambassador of Venezuela – gave a moving speech explaining how her country has been building a Socialist State premised upon Marxist principles, emphasising the eradication of poverty through the empowerment of the ordinary people. This has been achieved through extensive State assistance and support, which has seen an extensive re-distribution of wealth. This has seen a rapid reduction in homelessness (through the providing of good quality housing), and an equally rapid increase in public health through the establishment of a nation-wide medical system. The Venezuelan economy has been re-organised along Socialist lines, and has created employment and opportunities for the ordinary people to live in dignity through possessing a job, and positively contributing toward society. Employment unions are encouraged to ensure good working conditions, and there is an extensive welfare system for those who cannot work, or who are ill or disabled. However, Rocio Maneiro explained that despite all these important accomplishments for humanity, President Obama (of the USA) declared in 2016 that Venezuela represented an ‘unusual and extraordinary threat to the US national security and foreign policy’. Following this statement, the Western Press started calling for military intervention in Venezuela, and the destruction of its Socialist regime. This is how the so-called ‘democratic’ capitalist world responded to the Venezuelan working people taking control of their own destiny. Venezuela continues the struggle against the excesses and injustices generated by the exploitative system of capitalism.

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Liz Payne – the Chair of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) – spoke powerfully about the historical importance of the establishment of the Paris Commune in 1871, and how it is important for all genuine Socialists and Communists to propagate its memory. Although the Paris Commune ultimately failed, the French people for a time exhibited a true working class consciousness which was attacked and destroyed by the reactionary forces of capitalism. Karl Marx, in his many works, stated that the working class will have many victories – and suffer many defeats, before the final victory of Socialism and the establishment of Communism. The Paris Commune symbolised how working people can take control of their own destinies, and if need be, organise to defend that achievement. The eventual defeat was noble, and set the example of how working class people should proceed. When a white shirt covered in blood was raised on a stick (taken from a dead worker killed by the authority) – the Red Flag of Socialism was born.

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Alaister Beach & Adrian Chan-Wyles

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Representative of the PRC with Members of the CPB

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Marx and Revolutionary Shakespeare

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‘As his home town is increasingly colonised by tourists, whether or not they choose to visit the theatre which bears his name, the long-suffering son of Stratford is meanwhile being picked apart by historicists, feminists, Marxists, new historicists, post-feminists, deconstructionalists, anti-deconstructionalists, post-modernists, cultural imperialists and post-colonialists. Perhaps it is time someone tried to put him back together again.’

(Anthony Holden: William Shakespeare – His Life and Work)

A contemporary Chinese language text from Mainland China, states that both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (the founders of Scientific Socialism), thought very highly of the English poet and playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616). furthermore, neither advocate of Communist Revolution would have a bad word said against this thoroughly bourgeois and land-owning bard, as Marx always said that although the bourgeois (middle) class was responsible for the repugnant capitalist system, nevertheless, many individuals within that class possessed an insight that transcended the limitations of their own socio-economic conditioning, and through expressing that insight in whatever format that was applicable to these ‘progressive’ individuals, were able to ferment revolution, and facilitate the eventual over-throw of their own class dominance for the universal benefit of the evolution of humanity. For Marx, Shakespeare possessed the mantle of ‘high art’ in an age were the bourgeois class had not yet secured political power for itself, but which was definitely heading in a direction that would end with the execution of King Charles I, and the permanent usurping of the aristocracy from political power. As a potential revolutionary, Shakespeare was an outstanding dramatist and poet of the European Renaissance era. Although Marx was well-read, and had studied the works of many poets and playwrights that had written in German, French and English, his considered opinion was that the work of William Shakespeare was not only original, but existed within a transcendent (and therefore revolutionary) category of its own, very similar to the genius philosophers and poets of ancient and classical Greece. Not only this, but Marx understood that Shakespeare’s work contained a highly ‘political’ central core of expression, that was disguised or camouflaged by veneers of drama and entertainment. William Shakespeare was a revolutionary subversive of such advanced ability that he not only continued to expose and undermine his contemporary socio-economic system, but became famous (and rich) in the process. Shakespeare, through his use of dramatised historical narratives, was able to ‘entertain’ and ‘move’ all those who witnessed his plays or heard his sonnets, at the first point of contact, whilst the underlying (deconstructive) elements of his true intentions, permeated the subconscious minds of his audience without conscious resistance, to re-emerge no doubt, at a later date throughout their disparate lives.

Although it is true that neither Marx nor Engels made a specific study of any of Shakespeare’s numerous plays or sonnets, modern Chinese scholarship (which has made a study of the influence of Shakespeare within the collected works of Marx and Engels), has revealed that the plays and characters of Shakespeare were often mentioned (or quoted) throughout the work of Marx and Engels. In fact, within the writings and letters of Marx, Shakespeare’s work is referenced as many as 147 separate times (as a means for Marx to positively elaborate this or that specific point he was making). Among the 37 works written by Shakespeare, Marx cites 21 titles throughout his main work (a number that does not include Shakespeare references contained within Marx’s personal correspondence). Throughout his main work, Marx mentions 47 Shakespearean characters by name, with the most frequent being Henry VI, and John Falstaff (from ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’), which appear 32 times. This is because Marx practised the habit of quoting extracts of Shakespeare’s plays – stating more than once that Shakespeare had a better understanding of money, than did a modern German philosopher (quoting from Timon of Athens). In March of 1857, Marx satired Palmerston in his article entitled ‘The Coming Election in England’, using references from Shakespeare’s Richard III and King John – ridiculing Palmerston for the British government’s forced importation of opium into China. In defence of China -Marx asserts that this despicable British imperialist policy is ‘turning heaven and earth upside down’. In a letter to La Salle in May, 1859, Engels stated that German drama would do well to learn from Shakespeare, who wrote with a perfect combination of history and vivid imagination.

Marx and Engels existed more than 250 years after Shakespeare, and yet still affirmed the significance and value of Shakespeare’s works. Not only because Shakespeare’s works played a progressive role in the Renaissance, but also in the then stage of proletarian development. Shakespeare’s writing played a progressive role within the bourgeoisie of his time, so that even in modern capitalist society, the existent bourgeois ideological is subtly undermined. This policy has dialectical value in the development of historical forces that lead to an eventual Socialist Revolution.  Marx and Engels, from the historical reality of class struggle and the social role of literature, have historically affirmed Shakespeare’s revolutionary position, possessing both the viewpoint and method of the proletariat. Shakespeare is the ‘soul of the times’, and ‘he does not belong to any single  era, but simultaneously belongs to all eras’. In three or four hundred years, Shakespeare’s works have crossed all geographical and linguistic boundaries, and have become the common wealth of the people in all times, and in all places. Below are included two extended examples of how Marx uses Shakespeare in a revolutionary manner:

The Grundrisse (1857-1858)

(4) PRODUCTION. MEANS OF PRODUCTION AND RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION. RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION AND RELATIONS OF CIRCULATION. FORMS OF THE STATE AND FORMS OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN RELATION TO RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION AND CIRCULATION. LEGAL RELATIONS. FAMILY RELATIONS.

Notabene in regard to points to be mentioned here and not to be forgotten:

(1) War developed earlier than peace; the way in which certain economic relations such as wage labour, machinery etc. develop earlier, owing to war and in the armies etc., than in the interior of bourgeois society. The relation of productive force and relations of exchange also especially vivid in the army.

(2) Relation of previous ideal historiography to the real. Namely of the so-called cultural histories, which are only histories of religions and of states. (On that occasion something can also be said about the various kinds of previous historiography. The so-called objective. Subjective (moral among others). The philosophical.)

(3) Secondary and tertiary matters; in general, derivative, inherited, not original relations of production. Influence here of international relations.

(4) Accusations about the materialism of this conception. Relation to naturalistic materialism.

(5) Dialectic of the concepts productive force (means of production) and relation of production, a dialectic whose boundaries are to be determined, and which does not suspend the real difference.

(6) The uneven development of material production relative to e.g. artistic development. In general, the concept of progress not to be conceived in the usual abstractness. Modern art etc. This disproportion not as important or so difficult to grasp as within practical-social relations themselves. E.g. the relation of education. Relation of the United States to Europe. But the really difficult point to discuss here is how relations of production develop unevenly as legal relations. Thus e.g. the relation of Roman private law (this less the case with criminal and public law) to modern production.

(7) This conception appears as necessary development. But legitimation of chance. How. (Of freedom also, among other things.) (Influence of means of communication. World history has not always existed; history as world history a result.)

(8) The point of departure obviously from the natural characteristic; subjectively and objectively. Tribes, races etc.

In the case of the arts, it is well known that certain periods of their flowering are out of all proportion to the general development of society, hence also to the material foundation, the skeletal structure as it were, of its organization. For example, the Greeks compared to the moderns or also Shakespeare. It is even recognized that certain forms of art, e.g. the epic, can no longer be produced in their world epoch-making, classical stature as soon as the production of art, as such, begins; that is, that certain significant forms within the realm of the arts are possible only at an undeveloped stage of artistic development. If this is the case with the relation between different kinds of art within the realm of the arts, it is already less puzzling that it is the case in the relation of the entire realm to the general development of society. The difficulty consists only in the general formulation of these contradictions. As soon as they have been specified, they are already clarified.

Let us take e.g. the relation of Greek art and then of Shakespeare to the present time. It is well known that Greek mythology is not only the arsenal of Greek art but also its foundation. Is the view of nature and of social relations on which the Greek imagination and hence Greek [mythology] is based possible with self-acting mule spindles and railways and locomotives and electrical telegraphs? What chance has Vulcan against Roberts and Co., Jupiter against the lightning-rod and Hermes against the Crédit Mobilier? All mythology overcomes and dominates and shapes the forces of nature in the imagination and by the imagination; it therefore vanishes with the advent of real mastery over them. What becomes of Fama alongside Printing House Square? Greek art presupposes Greek mythology, i.e. nature and the social forms already reworked in an unconsciously artistic way by the popular imagination. This is its material. Not any mythology whatever, i.e. not an arbitrarily chosen unconsciously artistic reworking of nature (here meaning everything objective, hence including society). Egyptian mythology could never have been the foundation or the womb of Greek art. But, in any case, a mythology. Hence, in no way a social development which excludes all mythological, all mythologizing relations to nature; which therefore demands of the artist an imagination not dependent on mythology.

From another side: is Achilles possible with powder and lead? Or the Iliad with the printing press, not to mention the printing machine? Do not the song and the saga and the muse necessarily come to an end with the printer’s bar, hence do not the necessary conditions of epic poetry vanish?

But the difficulty lies not in understanding that the Greek arts and epic are bound up with certain forms of social development. The difficulty is that they still afford us artistic pleasure and that in a certain respect they count as a norm and as an unattainable model.

A man cannot become a child again, or he becomes childish. But does he not find joy in the child’s naïvité, and must he himself not strive to reproduce its truth at a higher stage? Does not the true character of each epoch come alive in the nature of its children? Why should not the historic childhood of humanity, its most beautiful unfolding, as a stage never to return, exercise an eternal charm? There are unruly children and precocious children. Many of the old peoples belong in this category. The Greeks were normal children. The charm of their art for us is not in contradiction to the undeveloped stage of society on which it grew. [It] is its result, rather, and is inextricably bound up, rather, with the fact that the unripe social conditions under which it arose, and could alone arise, can never return.

An earlier example from Marx reads:

Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844

The Power of Money in Bourgeois Society (Third Manuscript)

If man’s feelings, passions, etc., are not merely anthropological phenomena in the (narrower) sense, but truly ontological [41] affirmations of being (of nature), and if they are only really affirmed because their object exists for them as a sensual object, then it is clear that:

1. They have by no means merely one mode of affirmation, but rather that the distinct character of their existence, of their life, is constituted by the distinct mode of their affirmation. In what manner the object exists for them, is the characteristic mode of their gratification.

2. Wherever the sensuous affirmation is the direct annulment of the object in its independent form (as in eating, drinking, working up of the object, etc.), this is the affirmation of the object.

3. Insofar as man, and hence also his feeling, etc., is human, the affirmation of the object by another is likewise his own gratification.

4. Only through developed industry – i.e., through the medium of private property – does the ontological essence of human passion come into being, in its totality as well as in its humanity; the science of man is therefore itself a product of man’s own practical activity.

5. The meaning of private property – apart from its estrangement – is the existence of essential objects for man, both as objects of enjoyment and as objects of activity.

By possessing the property of buying everything, by possessing the property of appropriating all objects, money is thus the object of eminent possession. The universality of its property is the omnipotence of its being. It is therefore regarded as an omnipotent being. Money is the procurer between man’s need and the object, between his life and his means of life. But that which mediates my life for me, also mediates the existence of other people for me. For me it is the other person.

“What, man! confound it, hands and feet
And head and backside, all are yours!
And what we take while life is sweet,
Is that to be declared not ours?

“Six stallions, say, I can afford,
Is not their strength my property?
I tear along, a sporting lord,
As if their legs belonged to me.”

Goethe: Faust (Mephistopheles)

Shakespeare in Timon of Athens:

“Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold?
No, Gods, I am no idle votarist! …
Thus much of this will make black white, foul fair,
Wrong right, base noble, old young, coward valiant.
… Why, this
Will lug your priests and servants from your sides,
Pluck stout men’s pillows from below their heads:
This yellow slave
Will knit and break religions, bless the accursed;
Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves
And give them title, knee and approbation
With senators on the bench: This is it
That makes the wappen’d widow wed again;
She, whom the spital-house and ulcerous sores
Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
To the April day again. Come, damned earth,
Thou common whore of mankind, that put’st odds
Among the rout of nations.”

And also later:

“O thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
‘Twixt natural son and sire! thou bright defiler
Of Hymen’s purest bed! thou valiant Mars!
Thou ever young, fresh, loved and delicate wooer
Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
That lies on Dian’s lap! Thou visible God!
That solder’st close impossibilities,
And makest them kiss! That speak’st with every tongue,
||XLII| To every purpose! O thou touch of hearts!
Think, thy slave man rebels, and by thy virtue
Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
May have the world in empire!”

Shakespeare excellently depicts the real nature of money. To understand him, let us begin, first of all, by expounding the passage from Goethe.

That which is for me through the medium of money – that for which I can pay (i.e., which money can buy) – that am I myself, the possessor of the money. The extent of the power of money is the extent of my power. Money’s properties are my – the possessor’s – properties and essential powers. Thus, what I am and am capable of is by no means determined by my individuality. I am ugly, but I can buy for myself the most beautiful of women. Therefore I am not ugly, for the effect of ugliness – its deterrent power – is nullified by money. I, according to my individual characteristics, am lame, but money furnishes me with twenty-four feet. Therefore I am not lame. I am bad, dishonest, unscrupulous, stupid; but money is honoured, and hence its possessor. Money is the supreme good, therefore its possessor is good. Money, besides, saves me the trouble of being dishonest: I am therefore presumed honest. I am brainless, but money is the real brain of all things and how then should its possessor be brainless? Besides, he can buy clever people for himself, and is he who has [In the manuscript: ‘is’. – Ed.] power over the clever not more clever than the clever? Do not I, who thanks to money am capable of all that the human heart longs for, possess all human capacities? Does not my money, therefore, transform all my incapacities into their contrary?

If money is the bond binding me to human life, binding society to me, connecting me with nature and man, is not money the bond of all bonds? Can it not dissolve and bind all ties? Is it not, therefore, also the universal agent of separation? It is the coin that really separates as well as the real binding agent – the […] [One word in the manuscript cannot be deciphered. – Ed.]chemical power of society.

Shakespeare stresses especially two properties of money:

1. It is the visible divinity – the transformation of all human and natural properties into their contraries, the universal confounding and distorting of things: impossibilities are soldered together by it.

2. It is the common whore, the common procurer of people and nations.

The distorting and confounding of all human and natural qualities, the fraternisation of impossibilities – the divine power of money – lies in its character as men’s estranged, alienating and self-disposing species-nature. Money is the alienated ability of mankind.

That which I am unable to do as a man, and of which therefore all my individual essential powers are incapable, I am able to do by means of money. Money thus turns each of these powers into something which in itself it is not – turns it, that is, into its contrary.

If I long for a particular dish or want to take the mail-coach because I am not strong enough to go by foot, money fetches me the dish and the mail-coach: that is, it converts my wishes from something in the realm of imagination, translates them from their meditated, imagined or desired existence into their sensuous, actual existence – from imagination to life, from imagined being into real being. In effecting this mediation, [money] is the truly creative power.

No doubt the demand also exists for him who has no money, but his demand is a mere thing of the imagination without effect or existence for me, for a third party, for the [others],||XLIII| and which therefore remains even for me unreal and objectless. The difference between effective demand based on money and ineffective demand based on my need, my passion, my wish, etc., is the difference between being and thinking, between that which exists within me merely as an idea and the idea which exists as a real object outside of me.

If I have no money for travel, I have no need – that is, no real and realisable need – to travel. If I have the vocation for study but no money for it, I have no vocation for study – that is, no effective, no true vocation. On the other hand, if I have really no vocation for study but have the will and the money for it, I have an effective vocation for it. Money as the external, universal medium and faculty (not springing from man as man or from human society as society) for turning an image into reality and reality into a mere image, transforms the real essential powers of man and nature into what are merely abstract notions and therefore imperfections and tormenting chimeras, just as it transforms real imperfections and chimeras – essential powers which are really impotent, which exist only in the imagination of the individual – into real powers and faculties. In the light of this characteristic alone, money is thus the general distorting of individualities which turns them into their opposite and confers contradictory attributes upon their attributes.

Money, then, appears as this distorting power both against the individual and against the bonds of society, etc., which claim to be entities in themselves. It transforms fidelity into infidelity, love into hate, hate into love, virtue into vice, vice into virtue, servant into master, master into servant, idiocy into intelligence, and intelligence into idiocy.

Since money, as the existing and active concept of value, confounds and confuses all things, it is the general confounding and confusing of all things – the world upside-down – the confounding and confusing of all natural and human qualities.

He who can buy bravery is brave, though he be a coward. As money is not exchanged for any one specific quality, for any one specific thing, or for any particular human essential power, but for the entire objective world of man and nature, from the standpoint of its possessor it therefore serves to exchange every quality for every other, even contradictory, quality and object: it is the fraternisation of impossibilities. It makes contradictions embrace.

Assume man to be man and his relationship to the world to be a human one: then you can exchange love only for love, trust for trust, etc. If you want to enjoy art, you must be an artistically cultivated person; if you want to exercise influence over other people, you must be a person with a stimulating and encouraging effect on other people. Every one of your relations to man and to nature must be a specific expression, corresponding to the object of your will, of your real individual life. If you love without evoking love in return – that is, if your loving as loving does not produce reciprocal love; if through a living expression of yourself as a loving person you do not make yourself a beloved one, then your love is impotent – a misfortune.

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2017.

Chinese Language Reference:

http://wemedia.ifeng.com/282574490620879/wemedia.shtml

English Language References:

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/ch01.htm#loc3

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/power.htm

http://marxengels.public-archive.net/en/ME0998en.html#Pa

Tucker, Robert C, The Marx-Engels Reader, Norton, (1978), Pages 102-4, 254.

Holden, Anthony, William Shakespeare – His Life and Work, ABACUS, (1999), Page 1 (Prologue)

 

Karl Marx (1818-1883) Last Words

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41 Maitland Park (Marx Residence 1875-1883)

Marx (who was living at 41 Maitland Park, London, NW) was sat upstairs in his favourite armchair by a fire to keep warm (with his feet in a mustard-bath), awaiting the arrival of his lifelong friend Friedrich Engels. When Engels arrived (at around 2:30pm) on Wednesday, the 14th of March, 1883, there was a commotion in the Marx family home.  He was met by ‘Lenchen’ (i.e. Helene Demuth) – the long-term live-in house-keeper (and possibly mother of Marx’s son Freddy Demuth) – who informed him that Marx had slipped into a ‘half-sleep’.

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In the one or two minutes it took Engels and Demuth to get upstairs – Karl Marx had passed away sat-up in his armchair. Although I have read a number of biographies about Karl Marx, none have specifically mentioned last words. However, further research suggests that Karl Marx uttered the following ‘final’ words to his house-keeper Helene Demuth sometime before Engels arrived:

Karl Marx: “Go on, get out. Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”

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The Bourgeois Construct of Cultural Marxism

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When Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels developed their theory of Scientific Socialism in the 19th century, they systematically and completely exposed the highly exploitative economic system of modern capitalism as it functioned in the UK, Europe, the Americas and throughout the world (via European imperialism and colonialism) – and the capitalist system has never recovered.  When Marx clearly explained that theistic religion was premised upon an ‘inverted’ mind-set (through which theology falsely assumes that mind or spirit creates matter), he gave ordinary people the means to correct their own false consciousness, and see through the oppressive nature of their capitalist inspired existence.  Marx and Engels revealed how the bourgeoisie (middle class) had built-up their economic, political, cultural and social power over hundreds of years, usurping the upper classes as they progressed.  This middle class remained deliberately small in number, whilst ensuring that the working class remained far more numerous, but possessing very little real power in society.  This disparity in numbers ensured an endless supply of mindless workers trapped in a cycle of poverty and degradation, that possessed very little formal education and could not see through the nature of the oppression they routinely experienced. Marx and Engels brought an objective and scientific analysis to the capitalist system, clearly defined and explained how it worked throughout his collected works (but particularly in Das Kapital).  This shocked the capitalist State, which desperate in its efforts to retain bourgeois hegemony, started to grant certain and limited rights to workers, in an attempt to prevent those workers from uniting and over-throwing the bourgeoisie.  Although this process of placating the working class was more or less slow and relatively limited toward the end of the 19th century, following the successful Bolshevik Revolution in early 20th century Russia, the liberal reforms started to gain momentum.  There limited experiments in granting union rights at work, and redistribution projects through equally limited welfare payments and pensions, etc.  This type of liberal compromise probably reached its peak in the UK with the 1945 Labour Party government that initiated a broad and fully comprehensive welfare and health system, and similar social experiments in Europe. Even in the US immediately following WWII (and the stunning Soviet victory in the East), various (but short-lived) and highly discriminative welfare schemes existed for returning US (White) soldiers.  The liberal premise of attempting to prevent a Socialist Revolution by granting the workers just enough money and health care to prevent them collectivising and rising-up, is the origin of the term ‘Cultural Marxism’.  Cultural Marxism, regardless of what the bourgeois system may have told you, has nothing to do with Marx or Engels, and does not derive from within their theory of Scientific Socialism.  Cultural Marxism has been a self-imposed straitjacket manufactured by the bourgeois system in its ongoing efforts to control the working class, and keep it in a subordinate and easily exploitable position.  These pseudo-welfare systems in the West have come under ever more criticism and attack in recent years from the bourgeois system that gave rise to them, which has led to an intensification of their dismantling and annulment since Communist China’s embracing of Socialist market forces in the 1980’s, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The bourgeois system now perceives the workers to be in one of their weakest positions for hundreds of years, and has made its move by depriving the working class of all the concessions it previously granted. However, the historical impetus built-up over-time – which suggests that the bourgeois system should at least provide a reasonable standard of living for its workers – has been ‘inverted’ by the very same bourgeois system that created it, and made to appear as if it were appearing ‘outside’ of the bourgeois system, enacted from an external source (i.e. ‘Marxism’).  Cultural Marxism is in reality the bourgeois system mimicking various elements of Marxism – whilst insisting that Marxists are ‘forcing’ them to do so.  This is yet another example of the bourgeois system manufacturing realities that do not exist. Nowadays, whenever a fascistic bourgeois government inflicts pain and suffering upon its own people – which attracts criticism for that treatment, usually from other elements of the bourgeoisie – the very same bourgeois system replies with the false assertion that such concerns about the welfare of others is the product of a ‘Cultural Marxism’ enforced from the outside, designed to bring-down the capitalist system.  What they are complaining about is the historicity of their own political and cultural duplicity.

Revolutionary Buddhism Crushes All Political Illusions

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Author’s Note:  Both Karl Marx and Gautama Siddharta (the ‘Buddha’) rejected mindless killing and warfare for profit.  Both also rejected the principle of the ‘Death Sentence’ and both worked to relieve the suffering of humanity.  However, what is less known or misunderstood, is that Karl Marx believed that the International Working Class had a right to protect itself from the continuous violence inflicted upon it by the International Bourgeoisie.  The Buddha, too, also recognised the practicality of a State possessing an armed force for self-defence and maintaining law and order (see the Chakkavatti Sihanad Sutta, for instance).  The Buddha and Karl Marx (both of whom expressed definite Animal Rights tendencies), believed that it was morally incorrect to maintain and perpetuate deliberate suffering throughout society, and sort through their respective rational, dialectical, and historically materialistic systems, to uproot and eradicate it from the individual mind, body, and from across society.  This is nothing short of the radical collective and individualistic transformation of existence from the base-up that leaves no stone unturned.  This is because Buddhism is naturally ‘Communistic’ and ‘Revolutionary’ in the Marxist sense – not because Marx and Engels wrote it (although they both knew, understood and admired the Buddha’s teaching) – but because the Buddha realised a profound scientific and philosophical reality prior to the ancient Greeks, and thousands of years before Marx and Engels sat-down with their quills and produced their master-piece of Scientific Socialism.  It is an interesting question as to whether Marx and Engels were motivated or influenced by the Buddha’s teachings (as transmitted to them by Karl Koppen) when they formulated their ground-breaking ‘Scientific Socialism’ for the modern age.  Whatever the case, it is impossible for a legitimate Buddhist to be rightwing in anyway (outside of Japan), but to always support the Communist and Socialist leftwing of politics.  This echoes Sartre’s famous line that ‘anyone who is not a Communist, is a dog’. The following article is part of an ongoing project that seeks to unravel and clarify the Buddha’s teachings and rescue them from the distorting bourgeois abyss they have fallen into in the modern West.  Western capitalists make use of Buddhism as just another commodity to temporarily appease their perennial greed.  Coupled with various ‘trendy’, but otherwise ‘false’ Buddhist movements in the West, the Buddha’s teachings have been made to seem as if they represent the exploitative agencies of modern capitalism (despite the fact that as a distinct body of knowledge, it was formulated during India’s feudal period).  Does the Buddha’s message represent Scientific Socialism?  The answer is definitely ‘yes’ because it seeks to undercut the very motivating greed that is the essence of modern capitalism, and in so doing, forge a new society and a new individuality based upon non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion – surely this represents the stage of ‘Socialism’ and the ultimate stateless-state of ‘Communism’ as envisioned by Marx and Engels, and put into practical reality by the great VI Lenin in Soviet Russia.  ACW 28.5.2016

Contrary to mistaken and distorted bourgeois interpretations of ‘Buddha’ and ‘Buddhism’, the Buddha interfered in ancient Indian politics all the time.  This probably stemmed from the fact that he was a high caste ‘Hindu’ (or adherent of the Brahmanic religious system), and came from a politically prominent family.  The Buddha ate, breathed and lived politics and in no way rejected the agencies of political awareness or political protest.  In fact it can be said that the Buddha played the political system of ancient India with a very high degree of astute sophistication and profound awareness.  He understood the inner-workings of the Brahmanic system and had an intimate knowledge of how the Brahmanic mind-set worked.  He knew how everyday political life was for Hindu society, and equally understood how to guide that process toward his enlightened reason that stated that all of humanity’s ill were the product of greed, hatred, and delusional habitual thought patterns emanating within the psychic fabric of the mind, and manifesting in the mind as incorrect thought, and in the environment as aberrant (and harmful) behaviours.  Furthermore, as the Buddha rejected ‘idealism’, he further stated that greed, hatred and delusion in the mind had its origin in the physical world, and in the accumulated consequences of those actions (karma) generated whilst living in that world.  He stated that gods were ultimately unreal (but appear to be real in the deluded state), and that in the state of enlightenment, even the agency of ‘rebirth’ (which should not be confused or conflated with ‘reincarnation’, which does not exist within Buddhism), is revealed as being not real.  The Buddha rejected the theology of Brahmanism (i.e. ‘Hinduism’) and created what can be viewed as the world’s first system of secular thought.

The Buddha’s break with Brahmanism was remarkably complete and in many ways more exact and precise than many secular Western philosophers, those otherwise interesting thoughts on logic and reason still retain a very distinct Judeo-Christian influence (as if they are ‘apologising’ for breaking free of Christian theology, whilst attempting to keep a foot in either camp).  Even today, many adherents of Western ‘secular’ thought, either attempt to re-integrate that thought with Judeo-Christian theological influences, or outside of their professional academic work, profess a profound ‘belief’ in the Judeo Christian theology that their science rejects in the name of reason.  The same cannot be said for the Buddha, who during the time of his life, and despite the fact that he was so deeply and profoundly invested in the caste privilege of his day, thoroughly rejected the very Brahmanic theological foundation of that privilege – because he perceived it (within meditational absorption) as being ‘wrong’, ‘incorrect’, and premised upon the use of historically ‘false’ logic  By using the meditational techniques and methods of Brahmanism and Yoga, for instance, he did set his mind (and body) free of all historically conditionality – whilst still continuing to exist within the conditionally created world.  This happened at a time when many Hindu (and other types of ascetics) settled for a ‘negation’ of the recognition of conditioned reality and refused to partake in any logical and reasonable discussion about reality.  Of course, this attitude left Brahmanic society completely unquestioned and allowed to continue as it had always done – until the Buddha came along, that is.

The Buddha rejected Brahmanic politics (along with the entire religious, political, social and cultural systems of Brahmanism) whilst continuing to live within it (albeit in modified fashion – from opulent prince to impoverished beggar).  The Buddha’s entire enlightened physical presence was ‘political’ (and continues to be so within modern, capitalist societies) because whilst affirming a different mode of profound enlightened existence, he thoroughly and permanently rejected the racism and greed of the very system that produced him, and continued to allow him to exist within its boundaries.  The Buddha’s physical presence, (and following his passing – his ‘Dharmic teachings’), serve to up root greed, hatred, and delusion not only in the individual mind (the emphasis of bourgeois interpretations of Buddhism in the modern West, obsessed as it is with ‘individualism’), but also within society as whole.  A proper Buddhist – like the Buddha – uproots greed, hatred and delusion in the mind and in society, and sees no difference between the two.  The modern bourgeois, by way of contrast, labours under the misapprehension that enlightenment can be a purely ‘personal’ affair, that the society that privileges him or her can continue unchanged by the enlightened experience.  This is a modern disease found virtually everywhere within Buddhism today that does not have its roots within authentic Indian Buddhism, but rather in the deluded minds of those who try to use Buddhism to re-inforce or justify the corrupt, and greed orientated societies that they happen to exist within.

Bourgeois Buddhism (being deluded as they are), will continue to perpetuate greed, hatred and delusion no matter where they live (East or West), and support the greed of capitalism and its hate-filled warmongering and political duplicity.  This is because the outer constructs of bourgeois society are firmly rooted within the deepest recesses of their minds.  In such a situation, a type of ‘fetish’ Buddhism is employed to justify ALL bourgeois social and political constructs, so that in reality nothing changes, other than the sham association between the bourgeois in question and the ‘new’ exotic philosophy they have discovered within Buddhism.  This rejection of true Buddhism for false Buddhism allows Western Buddhists to continue with their greed-filled and hate intensive lifestyles – bombing any country that dares to defy this world-view.  In Asia, Asian Buddhists infected with this bourgeois disease resort to such Western hatreds as Islamophobia, and other forms of inter-ethnic violence.  This is the spread of Western delusion in the Asian mind.  This is not to deny the fact that non-Western peoples have greed, hatred, and delusion in their minds, (after-all the uprooting of ‘Asian’ delusional psychology and correspondingly ‘corrupt’ social modes of existence, is the entire foundation of Buddhist philosophy), but acknowledges the power of relatively recent historical processes and events, in the form of pervasive European imperialism and colonialism.  In short, the European colonialists amassed for themselves the means of production in Asia, and set about ruthlessly exploiting her peoples, and conditioning them to unquestionably ‘accept’ without question, the premise of domination through racism, so on and so forth.  The legacy of this spread of Western delusion into Asia is that these psycho-physical traits of Eurocentric delusion hide deep-down in the mind, and only emerge when conditions are right for their expression.  Buddhists hating Muslims in Asia is simply the encoding of Western prejudices against Islam into the minds of non-Europeans, so that these ‘Buddhists’ believe they are acting out of free will when they attack and murder otherwise peaceful Muslim communities.  Perhaps an example of this Western-inspired murder in Asia is demonstrated by the fact that many of the so-called ‘protesting’ Buddhist monks hold-up placards containing anti-Islamic rhetoric written in ‘English’ when very few people in those countries would use English as a political language.  It is though these ‘Buddhists’ are communicating to the ‘new’ Western over-lords, confirming that Eurocentric racism has been effectively transmitted throughout non-European communities in the world.  In the meantime, whilst this game of deluded politics is played-out, thousands of innocents continue to die.  Obviously this is not ‘Buddhism’, but is its exact opposite.  It is not the uprooting of greed, hatred, and delusion, but rather the firm maintenance and perpetuation of greed, hated and delusion, often instigated by the members of the Buddhist Sangha – or ordained monastic community.  This is a particular problem for Asian countries which possess impoverished and poorly educated masses, which tend to ‘worship’ the ordained Sangha, and carry-out any instructions emanating from it.  This represents a corruption of Buddhism that has fallen into ‘religiosity’ where the Buddha is viewed as a ‘god’ and his ordained monks and nuns as ‘mediators’ between the ignorant laity and god (as Buddha).  This mimics, of course, the Christianity of the Western missionaries who were deliberately (and cynically) placed around Asia attempting to ‘convert’ and ‘corrupt’ all indigenous cultural modes of expression to their own use.

The Buddha’s rejection of theism and ALL political, social and cultural modes of expression premised upon it, (i.e. ALL aspects of ancient Indian Brahmanic society), was without compromise or apology.  The Buddha interpreted his expression of understanding as being the ‘right’ of a spiritual traveller who had ‘realised’ or ‘recognised’ the ‘truth’.  The difference for the Buddha, was that he firmly rejected the entire psycho-physical expression of his religious and socio-economic system.  He knew that this would exclude him from ALL religious and social structures that had previously enabled his privileged existence, and that he would have no recourse through the extant political system (that his father was so prominent within).  As it was socially acceptable to live on the edge of society and rely on begging to sustain a physical existence, the Buddha chose this existence and after his enlightenment, never again re-entered the society he had so firmly rejected.  In his mind (and in his body) he fundamentally entered a new state of being whereby ALL aspects of Brahmanic society was uprooted, analysed as incorrect (because it was the product of greed, hatred, and delusion in the mind and body), and discarded as suffering producing.  However, the Buddha’s community of ordained monks and nuns lived a ‘Communistic’ existence where even their clothing (as ‘robes’) was donated by others (usually members of the laity).  In early Buddhism, the monks and nuns would walk quietly through villages or towns with their eyes looking downward at the ground, holding a single begging bowl, into which ordinary people could put scraps of food in, if they felt so compelled.  Under no circumstance was a Buddhist monastic permitted to ‘ask’ for food, or engage the populace in any manner that would suggest ‘greed’ in operation.  The practice of ‘begging’ sustenance for the body was turned into a walking meditation practice for the Buddha and his monastics.  Often these monks and nuns would return with no food to the Sangharama or Vihara, would replace their bowls in the correct manner, and without a ‘grasping’ mind, return to seated meditation practice, or other forms of permitted Dharma-work.  The Buddha rejected the concept of ‘leadership’, and instead put the authority of the community in his teachings – or ‘Dharma’.  This is why even today, the Dharma is considered more important than even the Vinaya Discipline (the Buddhist monastic discipline).  Generally speaking, an elderly monk or nun co-ordinates Dharma practice – but is never considered the ‘head’ of Buddhism.  Lay Buddhists (whilst living within Brahmanic society), were encouraged by the Buddha to put his teachings into practice in a manner that benefitted society and reduced or eradicated all forms of suffering.  This is because the Buddha tempered his revolutionary thinking with the application of ‘loving kindness’ and ‘compassion’ toward ALL beings even those who perpetuated greed, hatred, and delusion, usually as an important first-step to transforming their minds and lifestyles.  Even when lay-Buddhists earn money (through their labour), the Buddha encouraged them to be ‘wise’ and ‘compassionate’ with its usage.  An amount should be saved, an amount should be spent on daily living costs, and an amount should be given to those in need.  Lay Buddhists living within ancient India had to ‘work’ for their living not because the Buddha thought wage-slavery was correct (he obviously did not), but because lay-Buddhists were often married with children, were not celibate ascetics, and could not access the tradition of spiritual wanderers begging for sustenance.  Lay Buddhists (usually Hindu converts) would ‘give-up’ caste if they could, or work from within it to bring it down in a gentle and persuasive manner, if they could not.  However, wherever possible, the Buddha would encourage the laity to ‘ordain’ into his monastic community, and leave Brahmanic society completely behind (which also meant the rejection of the institute of ‘marriage’, having a spouse, and raising children, etc).

The Buddha, being of high caste Brahmanic birth, was generally respected by the numerous kings and ministers that ruled India during his lifetime.  This certainly seems to be the case even after his enlightenment and his known thorough rejection of the Brahmanic system.  It is a valid question as to whether the Buddha would have been listened to, to the extent he obviously was (by high caste Hindus), if he had been born a low-caste Hindu possessing a dark complexion.  However, as the Buddha was nothing if not pragmatic, he used his influence to continuously interfere in regional politics if he thought it would reduce suffering in the world.  This is why he often interceded in conflicts with the intention of using wisdom in the place of killing (i.e. ‘military action’).  However, although the Buddha clearly states that killing is wrong (because it attracts negative karmic fruits for all concerned), and advises that both lay and monastic Buddhists should adhere to this precept first and foremost (as a means of uprooting greed, hatred, and delusion), nevertheless the Buddha’s practical approach often meant that he would approach lay existence with a certain ‘balance’ of view.  For instance, although he made it clear about the dangers of killing, he still acknowledged that for protective purposes, the State could retain an armed force, providing its soldiery were disciplined and of a high moral calibre.  This is because the Buddha understood that greed, hatred, and delusion, were so ingrained within the mind, body and society that simply proscribing an activity would not be of any use in transforming that activity.  A soldier (or revolutionary) who becomes a ‘Buddhist’ is still a soldier or revolutionary, just as a lay person (with all their cares and tribulations, are still a ‘lay’ person).  The Buddha did not agree with killing (of humans, animals or plants), but understood that lay society has a historical karmic force underpinning it, and that these waves of dialectical manifestation must be manifest and cannot be prevented from doing so.  The best way of dealing with the institutes and entities of society was to influence it for the better, rather than out rightly condemning certain manifestations of it.  This is the Buddha’s ‘middle way’ in operation.  He understood that within lay society conflict and violence might well have to occur to end greed, hatred, and delusion.  This is the Buddha’s pragmatic understanding in operation.  Although he preferred the auspices of peaceful inner and outer change, he acknowledged that lay society might well have to undergo various changes through otherwise non-peaceful means.  The Buddha’s advice is that violent actions have negative karmic responses (and therefore induce ‘suffering’), but that those people engaged in violent activity (such as soldiers or revolutionaries), should strive to purify their minds of greed, hatred, and delusion whilst in pursuance of their political ends.  This is because the Buddha interpreted the agency of karma as not just being physical actions, but as rather originating in the mind as ‘intention’.  If this ‘intention’ is infested with greed, hatred, and delusion, then it logically follows that this ignorance is perpetuated throughout the world through the agency of physical action.  However, for a fully enlightened being, all deluded ‘intention’ has been uprooted, and no further ‘karma’ is produced (in the mind and body), although such a being will still experience a diminished historical karma associated with the physical body (whilst it still exists in the world).  A lay Buddhist can attain to this state, (although it is difficult to do so), and continue to function in lay society.  Such an accomplished layperson is in a position to spread revolutionary enlightenment throughout the world, and assist in the freeing of humanity from the chains of historically conditioned oppression and exploitation.  A Buddhist – whether monastic or lay – is a true revolutionary committed to uprooting the basis of deluded society in the mind, body and environment.  This pragmatic Buddhist approach parallels the Scientific Socialism of Marxist-Engelism and Marxist-Leninism – and Buddhists are advised to study these teachings in all their manifestations (including Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong) as an important step in transforming the modern world for the better.

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2016.

 

 

Origins of the May 1st Labour Day Celebrations in China

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Original Chinese Language Article By:  http://www.08kan.com

(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

May Day is a world-wide celebration held in more than 80 different countries.  In July, 1889, Friedrich Engels presided over the Second International Congress which was held in Paris.  The Conference adopted a resolution stating that May 1st, 1890 would be the first International Labour Day, which would be marked by the workers participating in mass marches around the world celebrating the power of ‘Labour’.

The Chinese Central People’s Government Administration Council made a decision in December 1949, confirming that May 1st of each year would be designated as ‘Labour Day.’  After 1989, the State Council decided that National Model Workers and Advanced Workers would be recognised and rewarded every five years, with around 3000 people receiving these recognitions.

However, Chinese people celebrating Labour Day activities can be traced back to 1918.  In this year, some revolutionary intellectuals circulated ‘May 1st leaflets to people in Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Hankou and other places.  This was the first time that Chinese people were made aware of ‘Labour Day.’

On May 1st, 1920, the ‘New Youth’ (Volume 7, Issue 6) published an article entitled ‘Celebrating in the Name of Labour Day.’  This inspired masses of workers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Jiujiang, Tangshan and other industrialised cities, to come together in mighty and powerful demonstrations of solidarity in marches across China.  Throughout the day, workers and intellectuals rallied together and during these mass meetings, representatives made various speeches, with the workers proposing an eight hour working day, eight hours of rest, and eight hours of education.  There was also a call for the establishment of ‘Marching’ legislation, together with the shouting of slogans such as ‘Long Live the Workers’, and ‘Long Live the Chinese Workers’, as well as others.  This was the first ‘official’ celebration of ‘Labour Day’ in China’s history.

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2016.

Original Chinese Language Source Article:

http://www.08kan.com/gwk/MzA5ODE0NzYwNg/2651102683/1/2f907ee3c32ef8464b0bbf3fc36c1ec8.html

五一劳动节快乐

五一国际劳动节是世界上80多个国家的全国性节日。1889年7月,由恩格斯领导的第二国际在巴黎举行代表大会。会议通过决议,规定1890年5月1日国际劳动者举行游行,并决定把5月1日这一天定为国际劳动节。中央人民政府政务院于1949年12月作出决定,将5月1日确定为劳动节。 1989年后,国务院基本上每5年表彰一次全国劳动模范和先进工作者,每次表彰3000人左右。

中国人民庆祝劳动节的活动可追溯至1918年。这一年,一些革命的知识分子在上海、苏州、杭州、汉口等地向群众散发介绍“五一”的传单。

《新青年》7卷6号“劳动节纪念号”出版,北京、上海、广州、九江、唐山等各工业城市的工人群众浩浩荡荡地走向街市、举行了声势浩大的游行、集会。

当天各地工人和知识分子共同集会。纪念会上,各界代表发表演说,工人提出8小时工作、8小时休息、8小时教育的“三八制”要求,并高呼“劳工万岁”、“中华工界万岁”等口号。

这是中国首次纪念“五一”国际劳动节的活动,也是中国历史上的第一个“五一”劳动节。

Factionalism in the British Communist Left

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Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels founded the First International Workingmen’s Association in the UK that lasted from 1864-1876.  Marx eventually dissolved this movement because he was of the opinion that circumstances were not yet right for world revolution.  Marx withdrew from direct confrontation with the establishment, and instead focused on the further theoretical development of his theory of Scientific Socialism.  This switched the emphasis for revolution from physical to the world of ideas and this is exactly what Marx advocated.  Although he called for the worldwide overthrowing of the bourgeoisie and the corrupt capitalism that it represented, he was very well aware of the power of ideas to inspire others to decisive physical actions.  Marx was wise and knew when physical action should be carried-out, and when it should not.  His method was the perfect integration of advanced and progressive thought carried-through by actions when the circumstances were right.  For Marx the pursuit of world revolution was often a smooth interchange between thought and action – with occasionally the two dramatically coinciding.  Marx (and Engels) developed their theory of Scientific Socialism with a definite long-view perspective which took into account the attempting and failing of world revolution many times, until the final accomplishment of the permanent replacement of capitalism with Socialism.

The Second Socialist International (1889–1916) was founded in Paris six years after the death of Marx and was essentially a trade union and labour movement.  This dissolved in 1916 because of a system failure of its constituent nation parties to hold a united, working class internationalist front in opposition to the bourgeois war that had developed in France and elsewhere.  As Marx was against nationalism, and taught that the bourgeoisie created nationalism and racism to prevent the international working class from uniting and working together to effectively confront and over-throw bourgeois oppression, and its corrupt capitalist system.  Competing royal houses in Europe (all of whom were blood related) encouraged their respective bourgeois governments to go to war, and in so doing, use the lives of their working class men as canon-fodder.  Although there did exist Socialist opposition to WWI, many prominent members of the Second International voted to support their national bourgeois governments, and instructed their working class membership to join national armies.  As the Second Socialist International completely failed to apply the Scientific Socialism of Marx, it was dissolved in 1916 at the height of the murder and savagery in France and Belgium (and elsewhere) which saw different groups of working class men pointlessly opposing one another for the class interests of the bourgeoisie.

Vladimir Lenin founded the Third Communist International which lasted from 1919 to 1943.  Lenin called all working class people around the world to come to the theoretical and practical aid of the fledgling Communist State in revolutionary Russia.  Since the successful taking of power (and its consolidation) by the Bolsheviks, the bourgeois Western powers (and their Japanese allies), ruthlessly attacked Russia and supported the counter-revolutionary movement.  This was an economic, military and rhetorical attack on Russia that was opposed to the international working class uniting in the pursuance of its best class interests.  The Third International sought to establish a worldwide, Communist movement in both theory and practice, and founded the International Communist Party which eventually had branches in virtually every other country.  These branches were part of the Soviet Union and represented a united proletariat throughout the world, and its purpose was to support (theoretically and practically) all working class movements throughout the world in preparation for the eventual world revolution.  During WWII, Joseph Stalin dissolved the Third Communist International in 1943, because its theoretical premise of working class unity throughout the world was impractical to pursue, whilst fascist Germany, Italy and Japan were unleashing total war and destruction across the globe.  Furthermore, Stalin understood that the Western (liberal) bourgeois States were then allies of a USSR (that was fighting for its very existence at the time, trying to stop and push back a very strong Nazi German invasion), were needed to provide material aid and moral support.  An uprising of working class movement at that time would have interrupted the direct material aid and internationally weakened the coalition against Nazi Germany and her fascist allies.  Of course, a working class uprising in the fascist countries could have immediately stopped their aggression – but such an uprising was considered unlikely due to the oppressive nature of the fascist States and the draconian measures taken against any refusal to toe the official rightwing line.  Instead, Stalin advised the International Communist Parties to work for world revolution in a manner that best suited their local conditions, and he called for the various Communist Branches to act in a more independent manner, whilst also trying to co-ordinate their local activities with the premise of international solidarity.  Although the USSR remained the central focus for International Communist action, the Communist Party branches were now given a new latitude in their functionality, which was designed to increase flexibility and effectiveness of action.

The first major trauma that tested this new climate of flexibility, was the betrayal of Joseph Stalin (and the International Communist Movement) by the Trotskyite traitor – Nikita Khrushchev.  Communist China under the guidance of Mao Zedong rejected the Khrushchev line, as did the famous Che Guevara, and many other Communists around the world.  Khrushchev – as a Trotskyite – sought to take power in the USSR after the death of Stalin in 1953, by courting the anti-Soviet rhetoric emanating from the USA and the UK, as these two countries attempted to build an anti-Communist front in Europe and beyond.  Many branches of the International Communist Party attempted to come to terms with Khrushchev’s so-called ‘Secret Speech’ in 1956, within which he issued an attack on Joseph Stalin that was a tissue of lies (see Grover Furr’s research in this area).  Khrushchev’s betrayal of Marxism, Marxist-Leninism, and the Soviet Union eventually led to the premiership of Mikhail Gorbachev and the final demise of the USSR through his pro-capitalist corruption.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union (and its Communist Party) in 1991, the International Communist Party branches were officially dissolved.  The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) transitioned into a bourgeois left intellectual movement, with the ‘CPGB’ name being resurrected by a UK Trotskyite group that seeks to demonise and belittle the entire Soviet-era achievement.  In the late 1970’s, a group split from the CPGB regarding a dispute over the legacy of Joseph Stalin.  The CPGB was moving away from a position of support for Stalin, and as a consequence, the ‘New Communist Party’ (NCP) was formed and officially recognised.  Today, the NCP follows a position of supporting North Korea and its ‘Juche’ theory.  In 1988, another group split from the CPGB as it did not agree with the bourgeois liberalism emanating from Mikhail Gorbachev.  This group took the Morning Star newspaper with it and became the ‘Communist Party of Britain’ (CPB).  The CPB today follows a policy of unquestioning support for the Labour Party, and advocates the ‘British Road to Socialism’ – a premise it originally rejected in 1988, as it stemmed from a revisionist movement in the 1960’s in the original CPGB.  The CPB supports parliamentary Socialism and officially plays-down any ideas of direct revolutionary action.  The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninism) – CPGB (ML) – was formed out of the Socialist Movement in the early 2000’s, and has its historical roots in the parliamentary Labour Party.  Today it has a hard-left approach to Communism (that supports Stalin and Mao), and rejects the tyranny of Khrushchev.  The Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG) is a Marxist-Leninist and anti-imperialist group that grew out of the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party – its current relationship with Trotskyism is unclear – but it does appear to support Joseph Stalin’s unconditional anti-imperialist struggles.  It follows a staunch anti-racist and anti-capitalist line.

There are many leftist groups, parties, associations, and movements in the UK and across the world.  All behave in a unilateral manner that presumes each faction is the ‘only’ faction in existence.  This means that a single world vision emanates from the many revolutionary steering committees that ignores all other movements and approaches.  This has led to a potential international communist movement scattered into tiny parts, with each behaving as if it possesses the power and moral right to lead the World Communist Movement, even though in reality each faction only possesses the immediate power of attracting only a few hundred supporters at any one time.  What a genuinely ‘Communist’ seeker must understand is that ‘Scientific Socialism’, and its development of ‘Marxist-Leninism’ are dialectical, historical trends that are not, (and cannot) be limited to any single group, party, or movement that claims to singularly represent it.  A dialectical and historical trend involves the entire international working class movement, irrespective of theoretical groups that claim to represent it.  In fact, a singular claim to exclusively represent a dialectical movement in history is in itself non-dialectical in nature and a hindrance to true internationalist development.  This would suggest that any genuine working class movement will represent itself spontaneously, and be simultaneously ‘free’ of artificial contrivance.  As things stand today, the Western Communist Left is riddled with ego, factionalism, fetishism, arrogance, lack of Marxist insight, and racist attitudes.  This demonstrates a remarkable infiltration of the Communist Left from Trotskyites and the broader right wing.  This demonstrates the paradox that whilst claiming to represent the International Communist Movement, many of these factions have in fact abandoned true ‘Internationalism’ and have – like Khrushchev – betrayed both Marxism and Marxist-Leninism.  Considering this current climate of corruption and dysfunction within the Communist Left, a genuine seeker of the Marxist path should personally study the works of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, and learn to understand dialectical materialism, and think independently in a progressive manner that is not being represented by the many factions that vie for their membership.  Marx, Engels and Lenin, advocated that the working class mind must be freed from its bourgeois oppression and its inversion cured through adopting a correct class consciousness that interprets events correctly.  Dialectical events will unfold regardless of how many factions come into being or pass out of existence.  When the truly Communist ground-work has been achieved through personal education, then a progressive individual may join (or not join) any faction that is useful, although it must be remembered that the Communist factions are currently failing in their presumed function of a) uniting the international working class, and 2) leading it correctly.  As Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao achieved these objectives, their example should be followed.

 

 

 

Lost Years of Socialism – Buzludzha Monument

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Original Chinese Language Article By:  http://www.edfljx.com

(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

The Buzludzha Monument stands at an altitude of 1141 meters on top of Mount Buzludzha in Bulgaria.  It is an example of Communist-era architecture, and has a unique shape which resembles that of an alien flying saucer.  It was built by the Bulgarian Communist Party to commemorate the construction of socialism. The total height of the entire monument is 107 meters, the highest point being an eternal torch sculpture which symbolizes a tribute to the fallen comrades of the revolution.

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Within the memorial’s structure there is a giant mosaic portrait featuring three great pioneers of the Communist Monument – Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin – from its formative glorious era.  This was an important place where the Bulgarian Communist Party government and foreign dignitaries often gathered.  With the turning of the wheel of time, since 1989 Bulgaria is nolonger a Socialist country, and nolonger maintains the Monument.  Although abandoned and not at its best, this Monument is still a remarkable structure to behold.

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As the goal of Communism is the pursuit of the perfect society and the perfect man, it is full of futuristic buildings with much symbolism, that have a unique beauty.  Even though the Socialist System nolonger exists in Bulgaria, this Communist Memorial continues to stand on this barren hilltop, and has definitely left its mark on the history of world architecture.

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015.

Original Chinese Language Source Article:

http://www.edfljx.com/article-604-1.html

寻找一段遗失的社会主义岁月–Buzludzha纪念碑

Buzludzha纪念碑,矗立于海拔1141米的保加利亚Buzludzha山的山顶上,是一座共产主义建筑,其外形独特,像一艘外星飞碟。是保加利亚共产党为纪念社会主义而建造。整个纪念碑的总高度达到107米,最高处为一个永恒的火炬雕塑象征着向倒下的革命同志致敬.

在纪念堂之中,有一幅巨型的马赛克画像,画像中的三人分别为共产党的伟大先驱–马克思、恩格斯、列宁,在其辉煌的年代里,这是保加利亚共产党政府与外国政要们集会的重要地方。随着历史车轮的转动,保加利亚不再坚持社会主义的道路,自1989年开始也放弃了对纪念堂的维护。这里慢慢的被荒废,但是破败的建筑并未被人遗忘,纪念堂即使是在年久失修的情况下,依然保持着震撼人心的感染力。

正因为共产主义的目标是追求完美的社会和完美的人,它的建筑充满了未来主义与象征主义的色彩,有着独特的美感,即使社会主义制度在保加利亚不再存在了,这座纪念堂还将继续站立在这荒芜的山顶上,并永远在建筑史上留下自己该有的痕迹。

 

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