The New Agenda

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December 15, 2009


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My own feeling, gained more from years of meditation than from books, is that Buddhist practice is an individual path which only coincidentally affects others. It doesn't seem to fit as a social movement, although I don't disagree with the general principles of the article here. Those are good goals and good motivations, but probably only coincidental to the path of enlightenment, which leads to someone incomprehensible and not necessarily applicable in ordinary life, on any level.

Hello fellow Buddhists, libertarians, et al,

I hope it isn't bad netiquette for me to do this, but I'm writing a self-introductory post to the "Buddhist libertarian" blogs, forums, etc. that I've discovered through Google searches or just stumbled upon while on-line.

I'm an American of European descent, born and raised Catholic, and have been a Theravada Buddhist with "orthodox" leanings for 31 years:


I have been a libertarian for almost as long, first voting for Ed Clark in the 1980 presidential election. I joined the Libertarian Party in 1988, but after 19 years of membership, became disillusioned with it, and left a few years ago.


I was a minarchist but have "conversed" with anarchists for many years. I now question how relevant or meaningful the anarchy-minarchy issue really is, and consider myself "neutral" with respect to it.


I have described my libertarianism as ideological and liberal, but I hesitate to identify with "left" libertarianism, due to doubts about some of it's tenets and leanings:


I think of my libertarianism as a "larger libertarianism", that can include voluntary socialism, collective self-help and other mutually agreed on economic arrangements other than profit-based business. I like Philip Jacobsons "Three Voluntary Economies":


I believe there are many affinities between Buddhism and libertarianism in both their many forms and I think those affinities hold a rich and potentially fruitful field of exploration.

I hope more "engaged" Buddhists can be persuaded of the negative ramifications of "coercive (state) altruism", and the benefits of exploring and implementing non or minimally violent/governmental ways of alleviating suffering in this world.

I hope to visit each of your sites individually, and join your conversation when I can.

Thank you,
James N. Dawson

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Hillary On Mumbai

  • “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families touched by these acts of terror in Mumbai. We still do not know the full measure of this tragedy, which has taken the lives of Indian citizens, Americans, and others who had traveled to Mumbai from around the world. Two New Yorkers, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka Holtzberg of Brooklyn are among those who have died, leaving behind their young son. The young couple had traveled from Brooklyn to manage a small Chabad house, welcoming Jews from India and elsewhere to learn, pray, and serve the community. There could be no sharper a reminder, nor a more poignant call to action, than the brutal and heinous violence visited upon the Nariman House and the Holtzberg family, living and working in Mumbai on a mission of peace, scholarship, and spiritual guidance. As those responsible are brought to justice, as we aid and support the victims and their families, as we work to defeat radical extremism and the terror it spawns, let us find strength in knowing that in the face of those who seek to take lives, there are those who seek to give hope and comfort. In the face of those who wish only to destroy, there are individuals like Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka Holtzberg who travel great distances far from their homes to build a better world.


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