An Anarchist History of Buddhism 1800-1920 C.E.

Super interesting research on Buddhism and anarchism by Reed Wing at No Selves, No Masters. Contemporary Buddhists SHOULD be deeply interested in anarchist ideas and practices. But, as with veganism, they are NOT, and that lack of interest is head-scratchingly difficult to explain. I suppose reversing things begins with education, which makes this blog very important. See also: “An Anarchist History of Buddhism 400 B.C.E.-1800 C.E.”

No Selves, No Masters

Following an inquiry into anarchic elements of pre-modern Buddhist history we arrive in the 19th century, where “anarchism” first moves beyond philosophy and becomes a self-identified force driving social movements. As the primary ideology within the worker’s movement in the 1870’s-1910’s (Gradually becoming eclipsed by Bolshevism and social democracy by the mid 20th century), anarchism grew rapidly and spread around the world, from Paris to Buenos Aires, Chicago, Durban, Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai. It is in this time period that I have been able to find the greatest number of “Buddhist-anarchists”, many of whom were contemporaries, but sadly were unable to connect, unite, or communicate and develop a coherent liberation theology which could be passed down to us. Some were arrested, imprisoned, or executed as martyrs, others recanted their views later in life, or were never particularly involved in activism to begin with, working as scholars, writers and artists.


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