India! I dare you to be rich

Category: Philosophy

Osho might have been a sensible fellow, after all. His views on religion, science and economics match mine.

I had commented positively on Osho's views against socialism, here

Now I find he also had almost exactly the same views as mine regarding religion and science. I was introduced to these views of Osho on FB (see this post: In this post I critique religions (as I always have), and insist on critical thinking and evidence).

I'll reproduce Osho's views below, except the last bit of his views which is mumbo jumbo (I don't mind people having their own, private mumbo jumbo, so his followers can "read" that kind of stuff). [Source]

I have no time to explore Osho. Clearly he was no Adam Smith or Hayek. But he might have been a broadly sensible fellow, after all.

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THE RELIGIONS – THEIR FUNDAMENTAL MISTAKE

Osho,

Are you against all the religions? What is their most fundamental mistake?
 
Yes, I am against all the so-called religions because they are not religions at all. I am for religion but not for the religions. 
 
The true religion can only be one, just like science. You don't have a Mohammedan physics, a Hindu physics, a Christian physics; that would be nonsense. But that's what the religions have done – they have made the whole earth a madhouse. 
 
If science is one, then why should the science of the inner not be one, too? 
 
Science explores the objective world and religion explores the subjective world. Their work is the same, just their direction and dimension are different. 
 
In a more enlightened age there will be no such thing as religion, there will be only two sciences: objective science and subjective science. Objective science deals with things, subjective science deals with being. 
 
That's why I say I am against the religions but not against religion. But that religion is still in its birth pangs. All the old religions will do everything in their power to kill it, to destroy it – because the birth of a science of consciousness will be the death of all these so-called religions which have been exploiting humanity for thousands of years. 
 
What will happen to their churches, synagogues, temples? What will happen to their priesthood, their popes, their imams, their shankaracharyas, their rabbis? It is big business. And these people are not going to easily allow the true religion to be born. 
 
But the time has come in human history when the grip of the old religions is loosening. 
 
Man is only formally paying respect to Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, but basically anybody who has any intelligence is no longer interested in all that rubbish. He may go to the synagogue and to the church and to the mosque for other reasons, but those reasons are not religious; those reasons are social. It pays to be seen in the synagogue; it is respectable, and there is no harm. It is just like joining the rotary club or the lions club. These religions are old clubs which have a religious jargon around them, but look a little deeper and you will find they are all hocus-pocus with no substance inside. 
 
I am for religion, but that religion will not be a repetition of any religion that you are acquainted with. 
 
This religion will be a rebellion against all these religions. It will not carry their work further; it will stop their work completely and start a new work – the real transformation of man. 
 
You ask me: What is the most fundamental error of all these religions? There are many errors and they are all fundamental, but first I would like to talk about the most fundamental. The most fundamental error of all the religions is that none of them was courageous enough to accept that there are things which we don't know. They all pretended to know everything, they all pretended to know all, that they were all omniscient. 
 
Why did this happen? – because if you accept that you are ignorant about something then doubt arises in the minds of your followers. If you are ignorant about something, who knows? – you may be ignorant about other things also. What is the guarantee? To make it foolproof, they have all pretended, without exception, that they are omniscient. 
 
The most beautiful thing about science is that it does not pretend to be omniscient.
 
Science does not pretend to be omniscient; it accepts its human limits. It knows how much it knows, and it knows that there is much more to know. And the greatest scientists know of something even deeper. The known, they know the boundaries of; the knowable they will know sooner or later – they are on the way. 
 
==END SENSE AND BEGIN PRIVATE MUMBO-JUMBO, HENCE NOT PART OF THIS POST==

 

 

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Wendy Doniger’s superb lecture on the ancient Indian tradition of sceptisicm: Charvaka, Lokayata, Brihaspati, Jayarāśi

As part of the efforts of RSS and Hindutva bigots to focus my attention on Doniger, I had a quick listen to her lecture on Indian scepticism.

The lecture is brilliance personified. Both a depth of knowledge and a flair for analysis and presentation. I must say, the RSS have made at least one useful contribution in their long and useless history – to spread knowledge and awareness of Doniger's work.

Title: "Skepticism and Materialism in Ancient India"

Abstract: "Throughout its long existence, Hinduism has held in creative suspension two movements so different as to merit the title of separate civilizations:  one is the dominant strain of ritual, of celebration of life, of family, of children, of sexuality, of food and poetry and sculpture and the worship of many gods; and the other is the strain of philosophy, of renunciation, of the drive to become released from the cycle of rebirth, through denial of the senses, of family life, of children.   These two paths lived more or less peacefully side by side as available options for most Hindus, until more passionate and monotheistic strains of devotional Hinduism, or bhakti, developed after the 6th century CE.   Later still, the philosophical strain inspired yet other forms of Hinduism, broader in their total scope but containing within them a narrower, less tolerant streak, as they came into contact with other civilizations:  Islam, from the 7th century CE (but more intensely from the 13th century); then the British Raj, from the 18th century; and then, in the late 20th century, America and a broader global, Internet world. The cumulative effect of these encounters in present-day India has been an unprecedented form of repression that threatens freedom of speech.  My talk will trace this historical development, in the hope of shedding light on the present crisis."

NOTES

Though ancient shastras such as the Arthasastra and Kamasutra pay lip service to dharma, and criticize the so-called Materialists (Lokayatas or Carvakas), their central arguments show a total disregard for dharma and a striking congruence with Materialist assumptions. Are the Carvakas straw men that allow shastras (and other texts, such as the Jabali episode in Book 2 of the Ramayana) to express skeptical ideas without
taking responsibility for them?

==

From this lecture I learnt about Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa's Tattvopaplavasimha – the only complete sceptical work that survives today. Will try to read more about it as time permits.

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The American defence of private property: You may be John Rawls but don’t trespass. Trespassers will be shot.

One of things that surprises visitors when they live in the USA is signboards placed outside homes, to the effect that this is "Private Property: trespassers will be shot" (View an array of these signboards here). Often a gun is shown, pointing directly at you.

This turns out to be a good thing. It sends a STRONG signal to communists and collectivists of all shades (including academics like John Rawls, who churn out 500 page "rationales" for the state to confiscate private property) to stay away or be shot.

The future of mankind is assured so long as people like John Rawls are allowed to write whatever they wish (freedom of expression) but SHOT if they trespass into anyone's private property.

This distinctly American cultural artefact needs to be studied, understood, and widely adopted. Let the community NOT DARE to enter one's private property, leave alone confiscate it. 

There can be no human progress if the community is able to cast its eyes on other's private property and steal it. 

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Please use this to rewire the brains of your socialist friends: The final version of the misconceptions draft

I've reviewed the misconceptions draft once again, and improved it considerably. It is now time to merge it into the draft SKC agenda. Further improvements will occur as part of the multiple revisions the agenda will undergo in the coming years.

This final draft will now remain as a stand-alone document here, frozen in time.

Download also the revised SKC agenda which contains this new attachment that has been designed to completely rewire the brains of socialists:

With this there is no reason for any socialist to exist in India anymore (or, indeed, anywhere else in the world).

The agenda will continue to undergo improvements. I'm currently reviewing the excellent suggestions received from Rakesh Pujari, who has put in the MOST DILIGENT work in reviewing the agenda. (Rakesh, you can now proof this attachment – thanks!). I'll update everyone (around 5000 people) once I have incorporated Rakesh's suggestions, as well.

Supratim, I'm awaiting your suggestions on the tax chapter. Prof. Tooley's suggestion on the education chapter awaited. 

Further, EVERYONE is invited to provide comments/ input – send to me at sabhlok@gmail.com.

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Only PURE capitalism can save India’s soul, torn asunder by socialism.

I've repeatedly said this – that capitalism is the only MORAL system. Posting below an extract from an email sent a short while ago:

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Our effort is, at its root, a moral effort: to bring integrity of thought and action to India. And ONLY capitalism can do that:

"a truly free enterprise, competitive capitalism is the most moral and humanely beneficial way for people to live together that has ever been stumbled upon by mankind." http://www.epictimes.com/richardebeling/2015/02/the-morality-of-capitalism-liberty-honesty-and-humility/

The people, on the other hand, have been fed falsehoods all their lives, and don't understand this. It is our job to explain it to them. 

Therefore the idea that we should avoid the words "liberal" / liberalism/ capitalism is amazing. It would be like saying we don't believe in liberty. We must talk ONLY about liberty and capitalism. Hammer it in for years on end. Only then will some people get the message.

Indeed, I note that all complaints against "capitalism" are based on a severe misunderstanding/ misrepresentation of the system. That barrier has to be overcome not by side-tracking it and renaming our ideology "socialism" but by calling our ideology capitalism and directly attacking socialism. And attacking the moral failures of socialism.

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Why I’m classical liberal and not a tax-cheating libertarian who breaks the law

Below, for my record, from FB. I have strong differences with libertarians who support SECRETLY breaking the law because they don’t agree with it.

My comment

Tax havenry has reached a peak. USA is losing massive amounts of tax. So are all other countries.

“The Internal Revenue Service treats the U.S. Virgin Islands as a foreign country, a designation that when combined with the incentives fuels a legal accounting alchemy in which high-tax U.S. profits are funneled to the low-tax islands. While plenty of non-U.S. havens have come under intense media attention in recent years, there is little focus on the U.S. Virgin Islands, the only nearly tax-free haven in the world to fly the American flag.”

http://www.newsweek.com/2014/09/19/made-america-offshore-tax-haven-269135.html

Dalip Kumar Seth Check your own stated liberal premises Sanjeev and be clear that under all current systems there are morally correct grounds to tax individuals or corporates.

Sanjeev Sabhlok Don’t get your point. Pl. elaborate.

Dalip Kumar Seth When the end use of funds is immoral then recovery of taxes for those activities also loses any moral found.

Dalip Kumar Seth Ground

Sanjeev Sabhlok Dalip Kumar Seth you have the choice as citizen to ensure moral end use – at least in democracies like India. There is no basis to deny revenues to legitimately elected governments by tax cheats. Everyone must pay their taxes if they wish to live or do business in India.

Dalip Kumar Seth Your philosophy is on shaky grounds — in ethics ! Going by numbers alone any idea against the present dispensation must be considered unpatriotic. Right ?

Christopher Lingle “legitimately elected governments” is not enough … if tax revenues are squandered, stolen, wasted that is grounds for withholding (“cheating” !?!) on taxes … the true tax cheats are venal, corrupt government officials … when that is solved, then speak about behavior of taxpayers

Sanjeev Sabhlok I strongly differ. If you disagree with the tax regime and DON’T work to change it through the democratic process, that doesn’t give you the right to cheat on taxes. As far as I’m concerned that’s a severe criminal offence. I have noticed earlier, as well, some “libertarians” promoting tax theft. I consider them to be criminals, pure and simple.

Christopher Lingle A dose of Public Choice is in order here … Libertarians are as opposed to theft as to aggression. But they support keeping more rather than is what is rightly earned.

Sanjeev Sabhlok Regardless of all public choice incentives, the civilised free society has to resolve this issue through the democratic (non-violent) process. By all means join politics and change the laws. But cheating/ evasion etc. merely means that the legitimate will of the people on how public goods are to be funded, is willfully denied. Such tax cheats deserve only one place in life: the prison.

Christopher Lingle it is an unfair match … governments have the monopoly on legal use of violence … those that wish to pursue non-violent opposition to governments that might be imposed on them by 51% have few choices other than evasion/avoidance of taxes or emigration … I am truly amazed you

Sanjeev Sabhlok I disagree with the idea that democratically created laws are coercive. I’m not talking about fake democracies like USSR.

Yes, there is a monopoly of govt. on legal use of violence but that’s because we give it that monopoly.

By all means leave a country whose laws you disagree with and which you do not wish to change through the democratic process. If a tax evader/cheat wants to stay in a democracy and make use of its public goods BUT not pay taxes, then prison is the only suitable place for such person. He/she had better leave, rather quickly!

Christopher Lingle emphatically NO! the ones that should leave the country (or be imprisoned) are the venal & corrupt politicians … what proportion of them face that fate … is any country better off if entrepreneurs take the Galt’s Gulch option … which group would any country be better off without … ? you really cannot be serious about this … I know you are committed to being part of the electoral process, but do not let it cloud your thinking!!!

Dalip Kumar Seth First allow creation and safety of Galt’s Gulch. Before seeking my voluntary contribution to its. Growth and welfare.

Sanjeev Sabhlok Let’s agree to strongly disagree on this issue. This is where libertarianism becomes libertine philosophy and becomes anti-social and severely corrupt. I am firmly classical liberal and not libertarian.

Your position is against the rule of law. Hence I reject it

ADDENDUM

The basic classical liberal tax principle is no taxation without representation. Once representation has been assured, and taxes determined through appropriations bills, the rule of law kicks in. I detest libertarians for their denial of basic principles of the rule of law.

You have ONE vote. You must use it to change the law. Once law kicks in you BETTER PAY UP. Or go to jail. Period. That’s the meaning of the rule of law and of representation.

FURTHER

Here:

 

Full support for crackdown on tax evaders.

Donald Keys Tax is nothing more than theft of private assets by the state to fund its own agenda.

 

Sanjeev Sabhlok When taxation is WITH representation (that’s the max one can demand) then it is not theft.

 

Donald Keys If one is forced to hand over a proportion of their productivity, against their will, it is indeed theft. If an individual coercively extracts money from another individual the action is deemed to be theft… so it follows that if a group of individuals calling themselves government does exactly the same thing it is still theft.

 

Sanjeev Sabhlok The ONLY claim the Americans made (and all reasonable people make) is “no taxation without representation”. Anyone who denies the right of a fully representative government to tax for providing public goods should create his/her own place in a remote jungle, and organise his/her own defence/ roads/ police/ justice at own cost. The ONLY remedy for tax evaders is the jail.

 

Donald Keys I feel the the instigation of force is immoral. Interaction between people needs to be founded on voluntary cooperation before those people can claim to be civilized. When governments hold their position by legislating a monopoly on coercion, and extracting a portion of one’s productivity, against the will of the producer of that productivity, that is no different to slavery—taking money, theft, taking your productivity, slavery.

Sanjeev Sabhlok “Interaction between people needs to be founded on voluntary cooperation”. That precisely is the meaning and purpose of representation.

Donald Keys Unfortunately, as written above, “The ONLY remedy for tax evaders is the jail.” illustrates that representation is not voluntary. In Australia, even voting is compulsory. There was no income tax until after World War One, and once introduced, taxation has grown year upon year… feeding an ever increasing public sector. There is no moral basis to take from another by force. Currently, the relationship between citizen and government is the same as that between farmer and cow. Governments fight over tax bases and citizenry to feed a greedy and ever growing public service… who supply services that could just as easily be provided by the private sector on a voluntary basis. Taxation is theft.

Sanjeev Sabhlok Donald, that tax EVADERS are jailed is no reason to suggest that “representation is not voluntary”. Only the CRIMINALS are jailed – those who – after representation – refuse to abide by laws. Let them rot in jail. I have no sympathy for such cheaters.

Re: your other points, re: the form and type of taxation, that is subsumed under the right of “no taxation without representation”. It doesn’t exclude one form or other of taxes. Let the representative body decide.

You are free to leave and live in a jungle. So long as you CHOOSE to live in a civilised society you are mandatorily required to pay your taxes. Sorry, your view that tax is theft is NOT valid in any legitimate and functioning democracy. If you don’t like a particular tax, go and change the laws.

 

 

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