Every now and then, a news story comes along that makes me think, “did he really say that?” Such is the case with this Agence France Presse story about the Dalai Lama:
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said Thursday that he is a Marxist, yet credits capitalism for bringing new freedoms to the communist country that exiled him — China.
“Still I am a Marxist,” the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader said in New York, where he arrived with an entourage of robed monks and a heavy security detail to give a series of paid public lectures.
Marxism has “moral ethics, whereas capitalism is only how to make profits,” the Dalai Lama, 74, said.
Huh? I suppose it’s possible that he imbibed too much Communist propaganda when he was younger, or maybe he just doesn’t know any better. Even though he’s the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, perhaps the Dalai Lama should pick up a copy of Michael Novak’s The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism. He doesn’t have to agree with the ethical vision presented there, but it would dispel his misapprehension that capitalism is devoid of morality.