The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

My Photo
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Re: James Loney Speaks

You’re absolutely right, the practical problems of the world are very complex. You’re dealing with corruption, greed, special interest, racial/religious hatred...the list is endless. The real issue is, from what place do you deal with these complex problems? Do you deal with them from a place of violence and brute force, a place of intolerance and inflexibility? Or do you deal with them from a place of love and understanding, of positive spirit and pliability? Whichever way you go, your work is cut out for you. It is not easy. But you can come up with solutions that are unique to either philosophy.

James asked, has anyone come up with a workable solution using the approach of love and compassion? That’s a good question. Here’s another good one: Has anyone ever tried? In the long history of humankind, can James (or anyone) cite past attempts to solve these difficult problems using the peaceful and loving approach? James wants to see a solution where all the dots are connected. If he doesn’t see such a solution, he dismisses the approach as being wishy washy and pointless.

But consider the “solution” of the Bush administration. I don’t see all the connected dots, either. The most explanation that we have ever heard from Bush or Cheney or Rumsfeld or Rice is that establishing democracy in one or two Muslim countries will cause a domino effect and so democracy will spread throughout the Islamic world, thereby eliminating terrorism. Gee, does this not sound just a wee bit simplistic? Excuse me but I don’t see the dots connected. The “solution” is as much a wishy washy article of faith as any from the world’s spiritual leaders.

Tom, the “love and compassion” approach is neither naïve nor extreme. It is simply a different foundation upon which to seek solutions. The “solution set” will be entirely different from the one that exists today, as it should be. It will take a lot of work and there will be many missteps, but that’s no different from past history. The Americans’ foreign policy evolved over many decades of trial and error, failed and sometimes catastrophic attempts, and lots of muddling around. Only by virtue of long history does this approach appear in any way “clear” and practical. But imagine, just imagine, if the course of human history had benefited from centuries of peaceful and loving attempts to uplift our species. Along the way, we would also have suffered many setbacks, many tragedies. But our history has shown that an equally dear price has been paid. Progress is not without pain and suffering.

The people in power lack imagination. They lack faith. And that’s the point made by people like Gafni and Rimpoche and the Pope.

But whereas James’ approach condemns us to eternal violence, the spiritually based approach offers the hope that we can break the cycle. One offers the status quo, the other offers evolution. There’s an old saying that “madness is defined as doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result every time.” The world we live in is indeed mad...


On 4/17/06 11:32 AM, "Karasmanis, Tom" wrote:

On the other hand, how will a peaceful non-violent solution achieve world peace? I am not convinced that a non-violent way is any better.

Question: are economic sanctions (which typically hurt the population) considered non-violent? Where is the line drawn?

After all, the US “aggression” so far (prior to the Gulf Wars) has been non-violent. Osama is upset over massive US and Western economic domination and exploitation – but these are not violent acts and yet he responded in a violent way. So the question is: how much do we have to back off? Are we not allowed to open businesses in other countries due to exploitation issues? What about the fact that much of the exploitation is by Arabs and Muslims themselves in positions of power, all in cahoots with US and international businesspeople? Money crosses nationality and race. It is the universal language. The issue is far greater and deeper than having a peaceful non-violent response.

Many people object to the West’s way of living. What do you do when the objection is educating women (which makes them think and talk back)? Do we stop educating women to promote peace?


Post a Comment

<< Home