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  •  I've been reading Daoist lit for decades (0+ / 0-)

    Of course they would not have referred to themselves as anarchists, since the term first became coined as a socioeconomic theory by Proudhon in 1840.

    There is a scholarly work about daoism and anarchism:

    http://www.amazon.com/...

    Here are some essays:

    http://www.strike-the-root.com/...

    http://theanarchistlibrary.org/...

    It was so obvious to me, I'd concluded daoists (or Taoism if you prefer the old wade-giles system of transliteration) were anarchists early on, and then I began to see historians link Daoism to anarchism when I became interested in Anarchism.

    Early philosophical daoism is non-theistic. There is no belief in God. Instead, daoists see an ineffable "way" as a kind of spontaneous, organizing principle, for lack of better terms. The dao, or way, is not god, nor does it have authority or sentience, and it "does nothing, yet leaves nothing undone."

    Anarchism is riddled with references to a non-authoritarian way of living, and challenges the concept of the state throughout its major writings. And they would certainly have opposed wage-labor, the boss employee relationship, fighting over property and lands, using property as a form of domination.

    "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

    by ZhenRen on Sat May 17, 2014 at 09:12:23 AM PDT

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    •  Oh, meant to write: (0+ / 0-)

      Daoism is riddled with references...

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sat May 17, 2014 at 09:21:34 AM PDT

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    •  "Daoist lit" (0+ / 0-)

      The problem with "Daoist lit" is that it is abstract and non-specific.  Some of it is clever, but it is also from an era steeped in superstition.  (I'm sure you "throw" the "I ching," which is about as practical as an ouija board.)

      In addition to those, I've been a student of Buddhism since the 1960s; there one finds practical, concrete reasoning.  Oh -- and it doesn't posit a "God" or deity either.

      In addition to the problem of superstition, daoism arose in an agrarian setting.  Ours is not agrarian, either environmentally or economically.

      Meanwhile, you don't adress the fact of his digs.  Lao Tzu was not only not an anarchist, he was not the imagined "free spirit"; there was a gov't structure in which everyone operated, even though the poets mostly make no reference to anything outside their sensibility so everything seems "wall-less".

      This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

      by JJustin on Sat May 17, 2014 at 12:00:16 PM PDT

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      •  You're really displaying your ignorance (0+ / 0-)

        and an astounding degree of arrogance in presuming to be knowledgeable in an area in which you are clearly not. And your attack of Daosm is rather odd... you seem to have some sort of need to pit your Buddhist philosophy against it, as if in competition for supremacy, which is so characteristically authoritarian, so often seen in almost all organized religion. Buddhism is no exception in this regard, and comes replete with religious hierarchy, patriarchy, and religious authoritarianism and rankism. Buddhists seek attainment, while Daoists don't try to attain any goal at all.

        Daoists would answer, fine, you're better! You're higher on the scale! We admit it! And they would hope you would wander off, content in your imagined state of superiority, leaving Daoists at peace in their way with the natural world.

        I see no need for me to defend Daoism... I'm not some sort of died-in-the-wool Daoist (gotta laugh at that idea) but I will state that the early philosophical form of Daoism (before it became a religion) is not steeped in superstition. And no, I don't "throw the i jing", but if I did it would be in instances when I have no clue as to what to do and a flip of a coin (pure chance) is as good as an approach to get my thoughts moving as any other technique.

        As to Buddhism, it, as well,  has elements of superstition in its history, just like many philosophies of the East. Take a look at the worship of entities among some followers. As with Daoism, it is a matter of grasping and distilling the essence of these philosophies without the folk lore that inevitably builds up around them over time. Buddhism stems from Hinduism (with roots in agrarianism, as well -- news flash: back in these early years of religion, most people were still agrarian, and were serfs, or even slaves), with reforms coming from Buddha's influence.

        And true, Daoist writings are often wonderfully poetic, and these require more than a cursory examination. Those who demand concrete, black and white formulaic pronouncements and absolute certainty had better look elsewhere, or else learn to dispense with that approach. Scholars have referred to Daoism as one of the world's most brilliant philosophies... but clearly as with all such matters, individual mileage varies.

        As to your classist put down of agrarianism, and claims that Daoism is some how tainted because it allegedly stems from that, who cares? I've read that most philosophies/religions stem from the division of labor in agrarianism. The fact is Daoism comes from a variety of influences, and Laozi and Zhuangzi, while not even proven to have written the works attributed to them, are alleged to have been employed in the royal courts, making them to be small middle class (petit bourgeois), but I don't view higher class origins as some sort of requirement, and in fact, your notion that peasants can't come up with brilliant ideas is discomforting and revealing.  Anyway, which class of society the philosophy stems from hardly matters, and the naturalism that Daoism is rooted in is one of its most compelling aspects.

        While Buddism teaches to detach from the material world, that life is pain and suffering, thus preferring to look toward the distinctly non-material Nirvana, Daoists find ecstasy and joy in nature, and learn to flow with the flux of the environment, and are rooted firmly in the earth as an earth-based philosophy. Daoists love and respect the natural world, its forces, the natural eb and flow of the cosmos. There is no negation of the material world. All is seen as a dynamic interplay of forces, and this leads to the idea of letting this natural rhythm have its way, without resistance. Buddhists tend to be more apt to try to transcend the material world, climbing a staircase to higher existential planes, rather than merging and cooperating with nature.

        And Laozi's "digs"? What the hell does that even mean? His place in the court? That disqualifies him as an anarchist? How so? Being employed by the ruling class, or not, isn't always a choice, and in fact it usually is not a choice at all. Would he have had more credibility as a serf? But then you would call him a peasant, and we already know what you think of the peasant class. All through the Daoist classics people are warned to appear stupid or useless (in the eyes of the rulers) so as not to earn the attention of the lords, lest their talents be co-opted or put to work as counselors to the ruling class.

        And anarchism doesn't mean "no social structure", in fact, quite the contrary, and that you would allude to structure as a disqualifier shows you don't have a clue about anarchism. Anarchists believe in community self-management, and that is a form of self-government, but features decentralization, and bottom-up organization and decision making.

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:08:52 PM PDT

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        •  Personal attack noted -- (0+ / 0-)

          Get an eduction in political science, and philosophy, instead of pretending your uncritical religioapproach is informed.

          Lao Tzu was not an anarchist.  And he was not rejecting his digs, despite your rationalizations.

          And I'm not pitting Buddhism against Daoism -- though I do recognize that they are not the same thing.

          I've dealt with anarchists, and their "naive voluntarism".  Given the space they require, they turn out to be auhoritarian individualists.  Dictators.  Bullies.

          They are no different than the usual "Libertarians": "I matter -- fuck you."

          This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

          by JJustin on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:36:17 PM PDT

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          •  You clearly couldn't define (0+ / 0-)

            either daoism or anarchism without looking up a reference.

            Your having conflated the anarchism of Emma Goldman with Ayn Rand pretty much shot any shred of credibility down the drain.

            Anarchism has nothing to do with rejecting digs... although legend has it Laozi went off to the mountains on the back of a water buffalo (lol)... don't you know anything?

            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

            by ZhenRen on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:46:44 PM PDT

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