Buddhism and Political Action

 

Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.

Henry Thoreau

Perhaps some Buddhists who read this can help me by critiquing my concern that I personally need to continue to act to improve the world, despite Daoism’s prescription that we should not, and cannot, act to change our world for the better. Comments are welcome.

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Educating the Young … And the Old… And Quick

Now, if Joe Canuck could only get it...
Now, if Joe Canuck could only get it…

From an article on Civil Disobedience by Camillo Bica:

We must make clear to young minds that there is objective truth regarding law, morality, and our nation’s behavior in the world, and that the injustices and immoralities — the wars, occupations, torture, assassinations, exploitation, greed, inequality, etc. — are real and not merely the consequence of differences in interpretation, ideology, or perspective. We must inform students that despite what they’ve been told, such laws, policies, and behaviors are neither in our nation’s interest nor legally or morally acceptable whether practiced by our “enemies” or by us and/or our allies. We must instill in them a sense of responsibility for the policies and actions of our political leaders, for how they govern, and for the effect such policies and laws have on human beings and the environment. We must motivate young people to become socially and politically engaged, to speak out, make demands upon their elected officials and not be satisfied with or mislead by deceptive rhetoric and further lies.

Two things I would add to this quote:

  • Older minds must also be changed
  • There is no time to lose.

By the way, Bica doesn’t like drones any more than I do.