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‘I am a Marxist monk,’ says Dalai Lama

“I am a Marxist monk, a Buddhist Marxist,” said the Dalai Lama while delivering a lecture on ‘Ethics and Business’ at the Indian Institute...

“I am a Marxist monk, a Buddhist Marxist,” said the Dalai Lama while delivering a lecture on ‘Ethics and Business’ at the Indian Institute of Management here on Friday.

Addressing the audience, consisting mostly of management students, he added: “I belong to the Marxist camp,” he said, “because unlike capitalism, Marxism is more ethical. Marxism, as an ideology, takes care of the welfare of its employees and believes in distribution of wealth among the people of the state.”

The highest spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists said the global economy created vast economic differences in every country of the world. In the absence of “ethical handling of money”, whole communities suffer from a sense of insecurity.

“Exploitation of workers is maximum in developing countries. There are very high degrees of exploitation in India and China, simliar to the exploitation during industrialisation of Western countries a century ago,” he said.

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Ethics, he said, need not be based on religious faith. He categorised ethics as theistic, non-theistic and secular, but explained that in all the three cases, the definition of ethics remains the same.

“On the one hand, both theistic and non-theistic religions advocate love, forgiveness, tolerance and compassion. Secular ethics, on the other hand, is based on the realisation of the same ideas on the basis of common sense and individual experience.”

Trust and openness should be the foundation of business ethics, said Dalai Lama. “Even according to modern scientific research, warm heartedness is important for the happiness, well-being and health of a person. Consequentially, it forms a sounds base for a happy society.”

First published on: 19-01-2008 at 12:36:43 am
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