16th August 2011
The other day I showed how Rajneesh detested socialism.
Now Harsh Vora sent me this link:
Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr. Frank Morales) speaks in this video about the history of India during which he makes some unqualified generalisations, some of which can be very hurtful to people from some religions. The reality is far richer than what he presents. But there is something of merit in what he says about India's recent history.
He clearly shows that the socialism practiced over the past 64 years is not part of the natural law. He therfore hits out strongly at Nehru's socialism (although he mixes up India's 'secularism' with atheism). While this man needs to learn some history, when he talks about freedom, he seems to make sense.
I trust that those who preach "Vedic Socialism" will now review their ideas in the light of their own concept of natural law (Dharma).
To me, freedom is the natural law.
Whether you call it dharma or (as Adam Smith called it) the "system of natural liberty", is immaterial. But freedom without accountability is pointless. Accountability is essentially a version of karma. So it is freedom with accountability that IS THE NATURAL LAW.
It is crucially important that spiritual aspects of our life (whether we are eternal/ not eternal, etc.) should be left to each individual to understand and decide for himself. That is the implication of freedom – that we don't impose on such matters on anyone. It is violence against our nature to be imposed upon by others. That is what socialism does. It is unnatural in every way.
Extracts from The Discovery of Freedom
I've explained in (draft) DOF, thus:
At each instant, the karma yogi considers options for action for their long term consequences – without being personally affected by the success or failure of his effort. Freedom of thought thus leads like, an arrow, towards moral action. The free man acts with deliberation, aware of the potential consequences of his actions, always committed to being held to account. In advancing his self-interests though responsible action, he contributes to the welfare of mankind and of all life on earth.
Whether it is the karma theory of Hinduism, the Buddhist theory of the middle path, or Christian theory of sin, each notes that our choices determine our character. As Rajagopalachari said:
Everyone knows from experience and without the help of any doctrine that every thought or act, good or bad, has at once an effect on oneself, apart from its effect on others or on the outside world. Every motion of the mind deals a stroke as with a hammer, on character and whether one wants it or not, alters its shape for better or worse. We are ceaselessly shaping ourselves as the goldsmith busy with his hammer shapes gold or silver all day long. Every act of ours and every thought creates a tendency and according to its nature adds or takes away from our free will, to a certain extent. If ‘I think evil thoughts today, I will think them more readily and more persistently tomorrow. Likewise it is with good thoughts. If I control or calm myself today, control becomes more easy and even spontaneous next time, and this goes on progressively.
The good thing is that we can (largely) choose our character, health, and reputation. Freedom is in that sense a positive philosophy, that brings out the best in us. As Ian Harper points out: ‘Our choices have consequences, not just for our material but also for our moral well-being. … Good choices make us virtuous while bad choices make us vicious.’ Even in the most collectivist totalitarian society we will necessarily remain at least partially free to form our character and work towards our moral goals.