Communism & Nirvana: Two Aspects of the Same Process

It is possible that Communism and Nirvana are different, one-sided aspects of the same process.Communism would be the realization of the middle way between market-anarchy and state-totality. Nirvana would be the realization of the middle way between hedonism and asceticism.

Hedonism and market-anarchy are homologous (having the same governing structure) because they are about the accumulation of units of good feeling, either as the maximization of sensual gratification or the maximization of economic utility.
Asceticism and state-totality are homologous because both represent the exertion of a unilateral will imposed against its constitutive body, limiting freedom of expression.

The realization of a personal agency which is transcending and obliterating what the Buddha calls the “I-making, mine-making, and the underlying tendency to conceit,” may be a necessary condition for the possibility of the establishment of communism in its fullest, highest extent. For if we are still trapped within our own ignorance, how would it be possible to establish social harmony?

On the other hand, without the establishment of forms of social life conducive to “the universal development of individuals,” as Marx said, how would it be possible to achieve Nirvana? Without the free time required for an all-rounded development of each person, and the community to support that endeavor, how is such a realization possible in any lifetime?

In a significant sense, I think these two, hitherto one-sided, aspects of the same process of liberation, must integrate through a successful exchange of each other’s natures, and fully establishing their unity-in-difference. However, it is important that in this process of unification, that a difference between the two would be respected. For without even the smallest amount of difference between the two, a process of unification could not make sense, because unification is unification of differences. This ensures that the process of unification does not amount to the subsumption of one by the other. One cannot replace the other because they constitute a mutual dialogue as aspects of the same process.

Imagine it like a wheel with two spokes: Accelerating and spinning ever faster in their cyclical revolution, the specific locations of their respective positions would no longer be discernible, leaving behind an appearance of the singular motion of the whole wheel. But without the spokes defining the radial extents of the circle, the wheel could not exist.

If acceleration is called for, it must be both an acceleration of the forces of production as well as an acceleration of the process of realizing enlightenment, which necessarily would transform the nature of the relations, to accommodate the developing forces and guide them to their proper destination: towards the production of real wealth. We have no time to wait through multiple lifetimes to gain enlightened awareness, for the conditions present in the current state of affairs (ecological destabilization, social disintegration, psychological deterioration) demands it. Thus, revolutionary practice does not merely consist of the organization of the multitude but also of the personal development of the individual.

One thought on “Communism & Nirvana: Two Aspects of the Same Process

  1. I like this crossing between Marxism and Buddhism very much.

    Two reservations:

    “In a significant sense, I think these two, hitherto one-sided, aspects of the same process of liberation, must integrate through a successful exchange of each other’s natures, and fully establishing their unity-in-difference.”

    As far as unity- in- difference is concerned I prefer the non-philosophical idea of dualysis in which the two poles are left in relation without synthesis. If they are mutually interacting why impose a third term? For me the synthesizing move is in danger of becoming a philosophical absolutism in which a grand unity (Dharma) is imposed that would render the dharmas philosophisable according to a Buddhism always and already embedded within definite historical social forms. Already and always worldly in other words, in a strictly buddhistic way. If darmas, as units of experience, function as quasi scientific designations, we should foreclose that incipient science to philosophical appropriation as an early instance of the empirical rather than an instance of philosophical postulation.

    “If acceleration is called for, it must be both an acceleration of the forces of production as well as an acceleration of the process of realizing enlightenment, which necessarily would transform the nature of the relations, to accommodate the developing forces and guide them to their proper destination: towards the production of real wealth.”

    I think you hit here on an important qualification here. Real wealth which is always a matter of harnessing the concrete bodily energy and intelligence of the human to produce use value, is a far different proposition from the idea of an abstract account of wealth accumulated in units of currency. It is this abstract fetishisation of the concrete expenditure of the energy of the worker that allows the product of labour to become exchangeable, so that the world itself stands over and against the worker as an alien world of commodities exchanged according to a set of objective laws of economy.

    Acceleration, in the “Landian” sense, is the structural imposition of this set of commodified social relations into the future, but one glossed in the aura of a Futurist vocabulary of the dynamic associated with the emergence of the fascisms of the last century. Far from being a matter of propulsion, speed and dynamism, Accelerationism is a philosophical/ideological cover for stagnation, one in which the worker remains a prisoner of the consumerist treadmill, which for all its noise and illusion of movement, delivers the worker over to a system of mechanical replication.

    Like

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