Sunday, September 02, 2007


Very surprised by a tv programme on Indian history the other night, covering the period from Alexander's conquest of the Persian empire through to and largely about the kingdom of Ashoka.

Though the name would be familiar to anyone who's studied even a little about Buddhism, I hadn't realised just how advanced his political ideology was. He forged his kingdom through a terrible war and, horrified by the death and misery created, proceded to run his kingdom on largely Buddhist principles, embracing such ideas as non-violence, respect for the environment, religious tolerance and animal welfare.

As such, he was ahead of much thinking today and, while the 2000+ years since have seen great material and technological progress, in other areas, we've fallen way behind.

Some may object that 'real world' politics requires a more hard-headed attitude, let's not forget they've brought us global warming, failed imperialist wars in Iraq and Vietnam and a world that despite being wealthier than ever has widescale hunger, epidemics and illiteracy.



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