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February 7, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Answers to the Buddhism Critique

Perm do Both – Solves the Dualism Argument by allowing both the affirmative and it’s benefits to exist with a Buddhist approach to policy making that allows for our policies to be reconceptualized in a way that’s good

The Permutation is the only way to prevent Dualisms, specifically because a complete rejection of a set of policies causes us to miss good policy opportunities
Nelson 11 – PhD in Economics, Professor of Economics @ UC-Davis, most known for her application of feminist theory to questions of the definition of the discipline of economics, and its models and methodology
Julie, “Ethical Principles and Economic Transformation – A Buddhist Approach,” p. 29-30
The vision of a better world – at its best, a fully peaceful society, founded on localism, communalism, small-scale non-profit enterprise and spiritual values, and populated by wise and compassionate enlightened people – runs through a number of Buddhist writings. (3) And it has its place in motivating certain kinds of change. But it can also be a dangerous delusion, if held too tightly. Does our vision of the kind of economy we want bring us more into the world, or distract us from it? Zen, and the general practice of living in the now instead of some imagined future, warns us against being distracted by our thoughts, and by our imagined requirements about how the world should be.¶ While we can certainly criticize the over-individualism of the neoclassical view of economics actors as radically autonomous, self-interested and suited for a highly competitive and global economy, we should be careful about flipping to the oppo-site extreme of assuming that people are radically connected, altruistic and suited for a highly cooperative and local economy. Such thinking, in fact, merely stays inside common, age-worn dualisms. In certain traditions of Western marriage, for example, the man was supposed to be the visible, individuated, achieving, instrumental- oriented party, who ventures out in the “wide world” to compete in (presumably) dog-eat-dog commerce. Meanwhile, the woman was supposed to put the interests of the family before her own, and (invisibly) concentrate on expressive work, within her very small sphere of (presumably) cooperative family relations. (4) Breaking out of this sort of dualist association requires noticing that that the identification of men with only individuality, and of women with only intimacy, are distorting and unhealthy on both sides. We are all, in fact, both individuated and connected in relationships. Or, as put by Robert Aitken in a Buddhist context,¶ You and I come forth as the possibilities of essential nature, alone and independent as stars, yet reflecting and being reflected by all things. My life and yours are unfolding realization of total aloneness and total intimacy. The self is completely autonomous, yet exists only in resonance with all other selves. (Aitken 1984, 13)¶ Notice that this does not come with caveats that it applies only to men, or only to women, or only to people in selected aspects (e.g., non-economic ones) of our lives. To imagine an economy in only local, altruistic, cooperative terms denies our indi- vidual and expansive side, just as much as conventional economic thinking denies our communal and nurturing side.¶ While the notion of separate spheres for men and women was supposed to lead to harmonious families, it too often led to unhappiness, oppression and even abuse. Just because an organization is presumably motivated by love does not mean that it will actually be loving and nurturing – or even merely fair and nonlethal, as daily news of domestic violence reminds us. There are similar problems with the prescription that economic organizations be small and/or non-profit. Anyone with experience in a non-profit or community group (as well as a family) has likely observed that such structures do not necessarily foster wisdom and compassion, and certainly do not make people immune to greed, anger and ignorance. Yet the arguments for utopian¶ societies often seem to border on denigrating spiritual values, by arguing for “struc-tural” solutions to economic problems in such a way that value issues are essentially made moot.¶ The idea that structures should be local in order to increase accountability, has some rationale to it. But I also detect an overtone here of demanding that Indra’s Net (6) somehow become tiny, because we individually feel more secure when we can personally observe what we want to control. One endpoint of this path is the gated community, where we achieve a semblance of local harmony only by segregating ourselves away from the rest of the world. I worry about the damage a one-sided emphasis on localism could do to some of the economically marginal areas of the world. In some places, where trade and tourism now support a larger population than a country could otherwise support. Too much emphasis on localism could, in some cases, cause harm. Even a goal of organic agriculture can be grasped overly tightly. There are many debates about what “organic” actually means, and many good practices that are not covered by this term.¶ Issues of scale and structure need to be addressed as we deal with economic life and global pain as it presents itself. But simply reacting to dogmatic neoliberal globalization, marketization and dreams of technological progress with an equally dogmatic localism, communalism and idolization of “the natural” causes us to miss opportunities. These are the opportunities to authentically respond, in ways that work for the whole human person and the whole of Indra’s Net.

And Juxtaposition Perm – Even if they prove that the aff and the alt are mutually exclusive, then they’ve created their own form of dualism by arguing that they cannot not coexist in the same sphere, then doing both where they appear to be mutually exclusive actually solves the K by symbolically destroying the dualism inherent in the Kritik.

Perm do Both (Utopian alt) If your alt fails because of something as small as our affirmative gets in the way, then your alt will fail from plans much larger then ours that promote dualisms

Only the perm solves- both the spiritual and material sides solve best
Dharmakosajarn 11 (Dr. Phra Dharmakosajarn, Venerable Professor at Mahachulalongkornrajvidyalya University, Chairman at ICDV & IABU, Rector at MCU, Buddhist Virtues in Socio-Economic Development, p.71, May 2011, BG)
There has been increasing inequality both within and across countries. Progress has varied and people in some regions have experienced periods of regress. The root cause for sufferings and socio-economic inequalities lies in craving, which is a characteristic of a materialistic society. And eventually craving leads to greed and suffering, the reality of materialistic society. This results in increasing gap between the rich and the poor, imbalanced social structure and sufferings. The answer to most of the socio-economic problems of the day is the eradication of craving through embracing Buddhist virtues, precepts, principles and Buddhist economics. The Noble Eightfold path is ~u driving force of Buddhist economics. In Buddhism, the spirituality and the socio-economic development go together. Buddhism’s middle path balances both spiritual and materialism to lead a contended life without harming others interests on the principles of sharing and caring for the welfare of the society. The chariot model of holistic development implies that the spirituality would guide the humanity to establish socio-economic equality and development and strives to achieve a balance. If, there is more emphasis on materialistic development, it would lead to social and economic problems as it is widely evident in the today’s world, due to more and more craving and greed. Similarly, if there is an emphasis only on spirituality development alone then there would be no material progress, and this condition would lead to poverty, health and deteriorate standard of living. This shows that spiritual development alone or material development alone is not adequate to lead a happy life, both are important. The Buddhist virtues, precepts principles and values help in establishing harmony of spiritual and material side of life, leading to socio-economic equality and development.

Other good Cards

Alt Fails Rejection is untenable – integrating Buddhist ethics into globalization is preferable
Daniels 11 – PhD in Economics, Senior Lecturer, Griffith School of Environment
(Peter, “Ethical Principles and Economic Transformation – A Buddhist Approach,” p. 35)//BB
To consider the maintenance of consumption as a laudable goal in Buddhism may seem as quite untenable. To “consume” can be depicted as opposing the essence of every major Buddhist principle for the path to alleviate suffering. But to simply abrogate consumption in any prescription for achieving sustainable and acceptable human quality of life on this planet over the next 50 years is not a viable approach or solution. When a significant portion of the world’s population is moving into “consumer” lifestyles held by the high income nations of Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East and East Asia, the ability to create a sustainable global society will have accept growth in total consumption – albeit in a modified form in terms of its nature and composition and with better understanding and knowledge of its well-being impacts as a guide for motives, expectations and choices.¶ Unless abruptly halted by global environmental or geopolitical catastrophe, there will be an inevitable tidal wave of market exchange of goods and services over the next few decades (Schor 2005). Rather than simply opposing this powerful force, and extolling the virtues of strong constraints upon material well-being, the Buddhist world view has much wisdom to offer to aid the transformation of this phenomenon in a way that reduces suffering and enhances prospects for sustain- ability. The environmental (and socio-psychological) challenges accompanying the age of consumerism are amongst the most recent and cogent reasons to search for strongly modified or new “visions” for society and its economic subsystem. The sustainable development paradigm is one major option to have emerged. The paradigm embraces some, limited, ethical principles about keeping natural capital stocks and their quality of life services constant, and accessible across current and future populations, but is still largely a series of technical conditions for doing so.

Buddhism doesn’t require a rejection of modern economics
Payutto 88 (a well-known Thai Buddhist monk, an intellectual, and a prolific writer. He is among the most brilliant Buddhist scholars in the Thai Buddhist history. He authored Buddha Dhamma, which is acclaimed to as one of the masterpieces in Buddhism that puts together Dhamma and natural laws by extensively drawing upon Pali Canon, Atthakatha, Digha, etc., to clarify Buddha’s verbatim speech, Buddhist Economists: A middle way for the Marketplace, pg 6) //T.C.
Truly rational decisions must be based on insight into the forces that make us irrational. When we understand the nature of desire, we see that it cannot be satisfied by all the riches in the world. When we understand the universality of fear, we find a natural compassion for all beings. Thus, the spiritual approach to economics leads not to models and theories, but to the vital forces that can truly benefit our world – wisdom, compassion and restraint. In other words, the spiritual approach must be lived. This is not to say that one must embrace Buddhism and renounce the science of economics, because, in the larger scheme of things, the two are mutually supportive. In fact, one needn’t be a Buddhist or an economist to practise Buddhist economics. One need only acknowledge the common thread that runs through life and seek to live in balance with the way things really are.

Alt Fails – IR Critical rejection and Buddhism leaves mainstream IR intact—their alt is doomed to irrelevance
Rytövuori-Apunen 5 – Professor of Int’l Relations, U of Tampere, Finland
(Helena, “Forget ‘Post-Positivist’ IR!” COOPERATION & CONFLICT, 40(2), p. 147-49)//BB
Abstract The relationship between critical international relations (IR) and the conventional mainstream or alleged ‘orthodoxy’ needs to be better articulated. Without connecting to previous theory it cannot logically seek to introduce new ‘turns’ for disciplinary development, and intellectual movement remains isolated choreography contributing to a field that is global only in the scope of its dispersion. Proceeding from this argument, the article undertakes some of the ‘groundwork’ so often neglected in the interests of coming up with new theory and approaches or of presenting the ‘next stage’ for disciplinary discussion. A reexamination of ‘post-positivism’ as a corporate self-definition of critical IR produces an identification of the disciplinary mainstream that highlights the legacy of IR theory in theory-centred approaches and universal taxonomy, thereby providing a locus for a pragmatist turn in the study of IR. Although pragmatist approaches have already won a place in the field, the challenge remains of transcending the dichotomies of the episteme that leaves this research at the margins of the mainstream. Pragmatism is a way of inquiry opposed to dogmatism and can facilitate communication through which a more global discipline can be created. The way proposed by the author combines Deweyan ethics with C. S. Peirce’s logic of the sign. Keywords: Critical IR; disciplinary development and reconstruction of theory; disciplinary ‘orthodoxy’; (Post-)Positivist IR; pragmatism and IR; theory-centred knowledge and taxinomia Towards a More Global Discipline Beyond the Multiplicity of Images In his influential work Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Richard Rorty suggests that the intellect that has lost its confidence in given foundations works in the interplay of what he calls the epistemological and hermeneutical moment. The epistemological ambition proceeds on the assumption that contributions to a given discourse are commensurable; hermeneutics frees us from this point of departure. It rejects the presupposition of an antecedently existing common ground and a disciplinary matrix that unites the speakers. The relations between various discourses are seen as strands in a possible communication, and interlocutors are united by the edifying faculty or civic virtue of conversation rather than by the common end in shared knowledge. The hope is for some agreement, or ‘at least, exciting and fruitful disagreement’ (Rorty, 1980: 318). In the disciplinary discussions of international relations (IR) during past decades, the epistemological ambition, in this case in the form of a rationalist epistemology that relies on scientific inference, has been clearly articulated by the neo-realist and neo-liberal programmes of research which connect with the names of Kenneth N.Waltz (1979) and Robert O. Keohane (1989), respectively. In his 1988 address at the annual convention of the International Studies Association, Keohane presented his rationalist theory to the study of international institutions and outlined this programme in opposition to what he called reflectivist approaches. The rationalist theory proceeds on certain assumptions concerning state behaviour and seeks empirically to test the hypotheses derived accordingly. Keohane’s reflectivists referred to the alkers, ashleys, kratochwils and ruggies of IR, i.e. to a group of (in Keohane’s reference, North American) scholars who in various ways are oriented towards interpretation and the study of intersubjective meaning. Keohane argued that this critical orientation lacked a positive programme and did not look for possible synthesis with the rationalist theory. Since then, the ‘reflectivists’ have presented their replies in many different ways and presented what arguably constitutes a positive programme of research (e.g. Alker, 1996; Kratochwil, 1989). The present paper does not second Keohane’s request of combining elements in synthesis but argues instead that critical scholarship has failed to articulate the critical relationship between the two types of approaches for IR. Although a welcome turning point in disciplinary discussions, the declaration to do research ‘other-wise’ (Ashley and Walker, 1990: 263) has meant ignorance of the opposed mainstream rather than an ambition to communicate how critical scholarship is different from this Other and can also contribute more than ‘show the limits’ of IR theory and disciplinary boundaries. For the interpretatively oriented scholars the ideal of cumulative knowledge, which Keohane outlines in terms of scientific inference, obviously speaks for its own limitations (cf. also King et al., 1994). But avoiding this Scylla need not mean the Charybdis where critical IR lives on the ‘border lines’ (Ashley, 1989) or chooses to remain at the critical edges of the alleged mainstream and, in effect, in this way leaves the authority of respectable research (variously claimed by notions such as solid, systematic, empirically based, etc.) to the mainstream that is the target of its criticism. Although I applaud the movement that takes distance from the founding fathers of the discipline by looking for alternative insight in something like la Boótie (Bleiker, 2000) or versions of Buddhism (Chan, 2000), I also miss the epistemic reflections that, on this basis, can put critical IR better on par with the conventional mainstream. Since the post-behaviouralist phase of the discipline (Alker and Biersteker, 1984; Banks, 1985; Holsti, 1985), the movement towards a more global IR has meant acknowledgement and encouragement of the situation of incommensurable ‘paradigms’ or contrasted images. Although fruitful in the emancipatory sense, this logic is now also conducive to what many argue is already the state of IR: dispersion of the discipline into an increasingly scattered field of International Studies. The ‘post’-culture that has dominated critical IR during the past decade or two has already performed its task. It is time to move beyond the concept that, in its disbelief in (an often caricaturist notion of) ‘science’ and critique of extreme forms of rationality, has produced a bifurcated and (as I will argue in greater detail below) not altogether adequate account of the historical discipline.

Alt Fails – Spillover Alt doesn’t solve – relying on value shift can’t prevent environmental harm – others will consume if a large population adopts a sufficiency lifestyle
Alcott 8 – Ecological Economist Masters from Cambridge in Land Economy
Blake, The sufficiency strategy: Would rich-world frugality lower environmental impact? Ecological Economics 64 (4) p. Science Direct
The environmental sufficiency strategy of greater consumer frugality has become popular in ecological economics, its attractiveness increasing along with awareness that not much can be done to stem population growth and that energy-efficiency measures are either not enough or, due to backfire, part of the problem. Concerning the strategy’s feasibility, effectiveness, and common rationale, several conclusions can be drawn. • The consequences of the strategy’s frugality demand shift – price reduction and the ensuing consumption rebound – are not yet part of mainstream discussion. • Contrary to what is implied by the strategy’s advocates, the frugality shift cannot achieve a one-to-one reduction in world aggregate consumption or impact: Poorer marginal consumers increase their consumption. • The size of the sufficiency rebound is an open question. • The concepts of ‘North’ and ‘South’ are not relevant to the consumption discussion. • Even if the voluntary material consumption cuts by the rich would effect some lowering of total world consumption, changing human behaviour through argument and exhortation is exceedingly difficult. • While our moral concern for present others is stronger than that for future others, this intragenerational equity is in no way incompatible with non-sustainable impact. • Since savings effected by any one country or individual can be (more than) compensated by other countries and individuals, the relevant scale of any strategy is the world. • No single strategy to change any given right-side factor in I = f(P,A,T) guarantees any effect on impact whatsoever. • Right-side strategies in combination are conceptually complicated and perhaps more costly than explicitly political left-side strategies directly lowering impact. • Research emphasis should be shifted towards measures to directly lower impact both in terms of depletion and emissions. Lower consumption may have advantages on the individual, community, or regional level. There is for instance some truth in the view of Diogenes that happiness and quantity of consumption do not necessarily rise proportionally. Living lightly can offer not only less stress and more free time but also the personal boon of a better sense of integrity, fulfilling the Kantian criterion that one’s acts should be possible universally (worldwide). Locally it could mean cleaner air, less acid rain, less noise, less garbage, and more free space. And in the form of explicit, guaranteed shifts of purchasing power to poorer people it would enable others to eat better or to buy goods such as petrol and cars. However, given global markets and marginal consumers, one person’s doing without enables another to ‘do with’: In the near run the former consumption of a newly sufficient person can get fully replaced. And given the extent of poverty and the temptations of luxury and prestige consumption, this near run is likely to be longer than the time horizon required for a relevant strategy to stem climate change and the loss of vital species and natural resources.

AT: Consumption Impacts –

Inevitable Limiting consumption fails – we can make current consumption practices ecologically sustainable
Martens and Spaargaren 5 – * Researcher at the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University, **Professor of Environmental Policy @ Wageningen
(Martens, S. & Spaargaren, G. 2005. The politics of sustainable consumption: the case of the Netherlands. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 1(1):29-42. Proquest)//BB
We argue that policymakers should not confront the issue of consumption from a one-sided perspective informed exclusively by environmental scientists and commitments to limit aggregate consumption. In this sense, we do not endorse efforts to “tame the treadmill of consumption” as a narrow objective (see also Princen et al. 2002). Policy programs that aim to lessen the environmental consequences of consumption by reducing (or radically restructuring) consumption will likely lead to questionable social and economic outcomes. These so-called de-modernization strategies tend to underestimate the potential to improve the environmental consequences of contemporary consumption by promoting more ecologically rational practices. Without taking a strong position on the desirability of limiting consumption in the absolute sense, we maintain the need to embed consumption in policy objectives developed by democratic environmental reform processes over the last several decades.

Consumption inevitable – social consumption theory
Ash 11 – Lecturer in Economics @ U of Reading
(Colin, “Ethical Principles and Economic Transformation – A Buddhist Approach,” p. 115)//BB
Social comparison (or rivalry) puts us on another inherently unsatisfactory tread- mill. Once again there is strong empirical evidence that what matters for individual happiness is not so much our own income or consumption in isolation, but our income or consumption compared with that of others: see Clark et al. (2008) for an excellent survey of the relevant literature. Relative income matters to happiness at least as much as our absolute level of income. Vendrik and Woltjer (2007) show that individuals’ happiness is particularly sensitive to relative losses. Given others’ income, a loss of, for example, $100 hurts more than the extra happiness enjoyed¶ from $100 gained. They explain this in terms of increasing financial obstacles to social participation when relative income falls.¶ Consumption is “positional” and often deliberately conspicuous. We want to “keep up with the Joneses”, and ideally get ahead. Data for the US suggests that if one person’s income goes up, the loss to others is 30% of his or her initial gain in happiness (Blanchflower and Oswald 2004). In the limit, if everyone’s income increased at the same rate, no-one would be better off. Social comparison helps to explain why rich Americans are happier than the poor, and yet neither group seems to have been made much happier even though there has been sustained income growth across the whole country since the 1950s. The futile attempt by each of us to have higher income or consumption than everyone else puts us on a social status treadmill. The resulting “income arms race” is inefficient. People spend too much time working to achieve what is at best a temporary gain in relative income. All would be happier if overworking were deterred. Frank (1985, 1999, 2005) in the US, and Layard (2005, 2006) in the UK therefore advocate taxation on income or consumption in order to correct this inefficient misallocation of time. More leisure time could then be spent investing in interpersonal relationships – e.g. with fam- ily, friends and within the community. Happiness research consistently reveals that, once a fairly basic level of real income has been achieved, extra income or consump- tion gives very little additional happiness, compared with enjoying such relatively time-intensive relationships as these.¶ Like adaptation, social comparison may be part of human hardwiring. It has been suggested by Nettle (2005) that our early ancestors learnt about the avail- ability of subsistence essentials such as food, shelter and primitive tools by observing the possessions of their neighbors; also, those with better food, shel- ter, etc. implicitly signaled their superior genetic fitness. If these were indeed the original reasons for social comparison and rivalry, they are largely redundant today.

AT: Consumption Impacts –

Aff Good Permutation do both – solves better and the aff is a net-benefit
Bryant and Goodman 4 – * PhD in Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, **Professor of Communication Studies
(Raymond and Michael, “Consuming Narratives: The Political Ecology of ‘Alternative’ Consumption,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series, Vol. 29, No. 3)//BB
The consumption practices of the conservation- and solidarity-seeking commodity cultures described here offer one alternative to the call for a politics of redistribution. In the end, these cultures offer a privileged notion of transnational ‘commun- ity’ given the relatively high cost of purchasing commodities such as organic cereal and fair trade coffee. True, commodities that ‘speak’ to ‘altern- ative’ consumers can possibly make them more aware of what is happening to tropical environ- ments and small-scale producers. And yet, only those that can afford to pay the economic premium can take part in this form of ‘resistance’. Thus, ‘moral’ commodities may become ‘alternative’ in the larger sense by eschewing more progressive re- constructions of ‘moral economy’. The creation of niche markets gives the North, albeit in geographi- cally variable ways, the ability to ‘tune in but drop out’ of both conventional global economies and more demanding forms of resistance to social injus- tice and environmental degradation. A field of political ecology oriented towards the conceptual- ization of production and consumption dynamics is uniquely situated to explore the ambiguities of North/South connections evinced by alternative consumption-related politics. Third, this paper builds on work that challenges dualistic thinking that has bedevilled human geo- graphy for some time. Examples of these schisms (and authors that challenge them) include those of nature/society (e.g. Murdoch 1997; Whatmore 2002), discursive/material (e.g. Cook and Crang 1996) and cultural/economic (e.g. Jackson 2002b; Sayer 2001). Considering together consumption and the commoditization of political ecology narrat- ives further complicates the ‘hybrid’ or ‘mutant’ notions of landscape change and development (Escobar 1999; Arce and Long 2000; Bebbington 2000). Breaking down the dualisms of production and consumption thus should provide critical space from which to examine the political ecologies of (alternative) development.9 In some ways, starting from processes of commoditization and associated narratives of development allows the researcher to go ‘forward’ into the processes and meanings of consumption as well as ‘backwards’ along the powerful socio-economic and ecological networks of production and development.

The alternative isn’t feasible – production-focus is net-better
Winter 3 – PhD in Psychology, Professor @ Whitman
(Deborah, “The Psychology of Environmental Problems,” Google Book)//BB
Giving up comforts and conveniences may be more than we can fathom, and reverting to preindustrial culture is probably impossible anyway. Even if we could scale down consumption to preindustrial levels, most people would not want to. However, many preindustrial cultures have sustained themselves for centuries, demonstrating that sustainable culture is possible. While copying preindustrial cultures may not be feasible, selecting certain features might be useful. In addition, sustainable cultures may offer some benefits to human psychological needs that are not well provided for by industrialized cultures. The modern Western tradition of emphasizing the individual has given us both unsustainable technology and increasing social alienation. Embedded in the modern Western worldview, we try to use the former to mitigate the latter. It may not even be necessary to “give anything up” in order to ac-complish a reduction or reversal of environmental degradation. Improving efficiency or productivity is typically much more effective than significantly reducing overall use, and much relevant technology is already available. For example, it would be far easier to find an automo¬bile with twice the fuel efficiency of our present cars than to cut our driving in half, and buying an efficient water heater is a lot easier than reducing our use of hot water (Stern, 2000).

AT: Kappeler Link turn –

policy illusion is a tool not a trap
Shove & Walker 7 – *Sociology @ Lancaster, **Geography @ Lancaster
Elizabeth “CAUTION! Transitions ahead: politics, practice, and sustainable transition management” Environment and Planning C 39 (4)
For academic readers, our commentary argues for loosening the intellectual grip of ‘innovation studies’, for backing off from the nested, hierarchical multi-level model as the only model in town, and for exploring other social scientific, but also systemic theories of change. The more we think about the politics and practicalities of reflexive transition management, the more complex the process appears: for a policy audience, our words of caution could be read as an invitation to abandon the whole endeavour. If agency, predictability and legitimacy are as limited as we’ve suggested, this might be the only sensible conclusion.However, we are with Rip (2006) in recognising the value, productivity and everyday necessity of an ‘illusion of agency’, and of the working expectation that a difference can be made even in the face of so much evidence to the contrary. The outcomes of actions are unknowable, the system unsteerable and the effects of deliberate intervention inherently unpredictable and, ironically, it is this that sustains concepts of agency and management. As Rip argues ‘illusions are productive because they motivate action and repair work, and thus something (whatever) is achieved’ (Rip 2006: 94). Situated inside the systems they seek to influence, governance actors – and actors of other kinds as well – are part of the dynamics of change: even if they cannot steer from the outside they are necessary to processes within. This is, of course, also true of academic life. Here we are, busy critiquing and analysing transition management in the expectation that somebody somewhere is listening and maybe even taking notice. If we removed that illusion would we bother writing anything at all? Maybe we need such fictions to keep us going, and maybe – fiction or no – somewhere along the line something really does happen, but not in ways that we can anticipate or know.

Cap turns The Aff’s use of Buddhism accelerates capitalist dynamics by allowing them to publicly renounce capital while remaining an active participant—Western appropriation of Buddhism is the perfect phantasmatic supplement to global capital because it makes participation in hegemony easier to stomach
Zizek 1
Slavoj, On Belief (Thinking in Action), New York City: Routledge, 2001, 12-3
The ultimate postmodern irony is thus the strange exchange between Europe and Asia: at the very moment when, at the level of the “economic infrastructure,” “Euro pean” technology and capitalism are triumphing world-wide, at the level of “ideological superstructure,” the Judeo Christian legacy is threatened in the European space itself by the onslaught of the New Age “Asiatic” thought, which, in its different guises, from the “Western Buddhism” (today’s counterpoint o Western Marxism, as opposed to the “Asi atic” Marxism—Leninism) to different “Taos,” is establishing itself as the hegemonic ideology of global capitalism.’ Therein resides the highest speculative identity of the opposites in today’s global civilization: although “Western Buddhism” presents itself as the remedy against the stressful tension of the capitalist dynamics, allowing us o uncouple and retain inner peace and Gelassenheit, it actually functions as its perfect ideological supplement. One should mention here the well-known topic of “future shock.” i.e. of how, today, people are no longer psychologically able to cope with the dazzling rhythm of technological development and the social changes that accompany it — things simply move too fast. Before one can accustom oneself to an invention, it ¡s already supplanted by a new one, so that more and more one lacks the most elementary “cognitive mapping.” The recourse to Taoism or Buddhism offers a way out of this predicament which definitely works better than the des perate escape into old traditions: instead of trying to cope with the accelerating rhythm of technological progress and Social changes, one should rather renounce the very endeavor – retain control over what goes on, rejecting it as the expression of the modern logic of domination – one should, instead, “let oneself go,” drift along, while retaining an inner distance and indifference towards the mad dance of this accelerated process, a distance based on the insight that all this social and technological upheaval is ultimately just a non-substantial proliferation of semblances which do not really concern the innermost kernel of our being … One is almost tempted to resuscitate here the old infamous Marxist cliché of religion as the “opium of the people,” as the imaginary supplement of the terrestrial misery: the “Western Buddhist” meditative stance is arguably the most efficient way, for us, to fully participate in the capitalist dynamic while retaining the appearance of mental sanity. If Max Weber were alive today, eh would definitely write a second, supplementary, volume to his Protestant Ethic, entitled The Taoist Ethic and the Spirit of Global Capitalism. 7

Focusing on the inner self trades off with the fight against global injustice
Zizek 1
Slavoj, On Belief (Thinking in Action), New York City: Routledge, 2001, 13-5
“Western Buddhism” thus perfectly fits the fetishist mode of ideology in our allegedly “post-ideological” era, as opposed to its traditional symptomal mode, in which the ideological lie which structures our perception of reality is threatened by symptoms quo “returns of the repressed,” cracks in the fabric of the ideological lie. Fetish is effectively a kind of inverse of the symptom. That is to say, the symptom is the exception which disturbs the surface of the false appearance, the point at which the repressed Other Scene erupts, while fetish is the embodiment of the Lie which enables us to sustain the unbearable truth. Let us take the case of the death of a beloved person: in the case of a symptom, I “repress” this death, I try not to think about it, but the repressed trauma returns in the symptom; in the case of a fetish, on the contrary, I “rationally” fully accept this death, and yet I cling to the fetish, to some feature that embodies for me the disavowal of this death. In this sense, a fetish can play a very constructive role in allowing us to cope with the harsh reality: fetishists are not dreamers lost in their private worlds, they are thoroughly “realists,” able to accept the way things effectively are – since they have their fetish to which they can cling in order to cancel the full impact of reality. In Nevil Shute’s World War II melodramatic novel Requiem For a WREN, the heroine survives her lover’s death without any visible distress, she goes on with her life and is even able to talk rationally about the lover’s death – because she still has the dog who was the lover’s favored pet. When, some time after, the dog is accidentally run over by a truck, she collapses and her entire world disintegrates. In this precise sense, money is for Marx a fetish – I pretend to be a rational, utilitarian subject, well aware how things truly stand – but I embody my disavowed belief in the money-fetish . . . Sometimes, the line between the two is almost indiscernable: an object can function as the symptom ( of a repressed desire) and almost simultaneously as a fetish (embodying the belief which we officially renounce). For instance, a relic of the dead person, a piece of his/her clothing, can function as a fetish (in it, the dead person magically continues to live) and as a symptom (the disturbing detail that brings to mind his/her death). Is this ambiguous tension not homologous to that between the phobic and the fetishist object? The structural role is in both cases the same: if this exceptional element is disturbed, the whole system collapses. Not only does the subject’s false universe collapses if he is forced to confront the meaning of his symptom; the opposite also holds, i.e. the subject’s “rational” acceptance of the way things are dissolves when his fetish is taken away from him. So, when we are bombarded by claims that in our post-ideological cynical era nobody believes in the proclaimed ideals, when we encounter a person who claims he is cured of any beliefs, accepting social reality the way it really is, one should always counter such claims with the question: OK, but where is the fetish which enables you to (pretend to) accept reality “the way it is”? “Western Buddhism” is such a fetish: it enables you to fully participate in the frantic pace of the capitalist game while sustaining the perception that you are not really in it, that you are well aware how worthless this spectacle is – what really matters to you is the peace of the inner self to which you know you can always withdraw…(In a further specification, one should note that fetish can function in two opposite ways: either its role remains unconscious – as in the case of Shute’s heroine who was unaware of the fetish-role of the dog – or you think that the fetish is that which really matters, as in the case of a Western Buddhist unaware that the “truth” of his existence is the social involvement which he tends to dismiss as a mere game.”


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