Dalai Lama: ‘I am a Marxist’
There is no better way to proclaim your lack of spiritual and philosophical depth than by, two decades after the fall of communism, disclosing that you’re a Marxist. Yet this is precisely what Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama did during a speech before 150 Chinese students at the University of Minnesota this month. Journalist Tsering Namgyal reports on the story at Religion Dispatches, writing, “‘as far as socio-political beliefs are concerned, I consider myself a Marxist.’ ‘But not a Leninist,’ he [the Lama] clarified.”
Well, that’s a relief. Those Leninists can really kill ya’. Marxists will just murder you.
This isn’t the first time the Lama indicated that his soul is as red as the robes he wears. During a lecture in NYC on May 19, the Tibetan leader credited “capitalism” with bringing new freedoms to China but then said, “Still I am a Marxist”; he then explained that Marxism has “moral ethics, whereas capitalism is only how to make profits.” That’s some deep thinking right there.
Now, I have the word “capitalism” in quotation marks because it was originated by a communist, and we shouldn’t allow enemies of the good to define the vocabulary of the debate. I prefer to call the mostly free market in question a “natural economy,” as it is what naturally occurs when people are afforded economic freedom; they will buy, produce, sell and compete. In contrast, communism (in the real world, not in the stateless utopia of textbook fantasies) requires a large, intrusive, freedom-squelching government to micromanage people’s endeavors and quash the yearnings of man’s spirit. And because the Natural Economy does allow people the most freedom practical (we still must have courts to enforce contracts, for instance), it is infinitely morally superior to Marxism.
Having said this, the Natural Economy doesn’t have “moral ethics”; it just is. It is, again, what naturally occurs when man is permitted to spread his wings. And it will be as moral as the average people who operate within it.
In contrast, Marxism will be as immoral as the worst people who operate within it. This is because, while the Natural Economy is governed by those hundreds of millions of consumer votes called the market, communism is ruled by the unscrupulous few who can claw their way to the top in an inevitably corrupt political system.