Do People NEED to be Ruled?

DictatorsMass peopleI just finished reading an interview on Slate about how Islam could never be secular, could never be liberal. The Arab Spring, for instance, was a chance to turn power back to the people. It failed, and those countries are back to being how they were. It said that Tunisia is a promising notion, that they could move towards secularism. But then, you have lots of young Tunisians, the future of Tunisia, fighting with ISIS. In other words, it’s just a matter of time before even Tunisia turns into Libya, Iran, Turkey, etc. That’s the Muslim concept. South Korea is secular and their system works. North Korea, having the same peoples, is a failure. Their people defect every so often and let the world know how corrupt their country is. Here’s the thing: if there is, within us, an instinctual quest for power, like it’s hardwired in our brains somewhere, we will always need to be kept in check lest one party conquers the other with impunity.

I brought this us because I was thinking about a Jain world. I know everyone says their religion is the best, and I’m not claiming Jainism is the best, but the fundamental thrusts of our behavior is vastly different than a lot of religions and, in that sense, governments.

Firstly, Jainism is self-ruled. You are responsible for your altitude, not an imam, or priest, or rabbi, or cardinal, or Pope or, by extension, a president, Party Chairman or royalty.

Secondly, Jainism is non-violent, that means no harboring of ill will towards your neighbors – none, zero, zip. All your guns, your tanks, your whips, your bombs will be placed in a rocket and shot out into space where it’ll float around in space endlessly. Or destroyed in a huge bonfire, whichever is safest.

Thirdly, and this is probably the most important which, by the way, is the most improbable – all Jains are equal. We seek no power over each other. That’s the part I’m wondering about – are we NOT hardwired for equality? I’d hate to imagine a world of Jains at each others’ throats. That’s not even a perversion of Jainism. Plain and simply, it is NOT Jainism at all. You know, in Jainism, we say: Non-violence and kindness to living beings is kindness to oneself. Maybe we don’t like ourselves that much? Just curious.

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