When I look far, or maybe not so far, into the future, I see that it is going to come down to either India or China. I think that is why Chinese military intelligence operators -- psychic warriors of a type, although not in a very positive sense -- are trying so very, very hard to destabilize India's spiritual centers.
Now, we cannot prevent the world's manufacturing concerns from outsourcing -- this they do as a matter of economic necessity, or simple greed, as the case may be. But, we can encourage them to switch their outsourcing from China to India. We don't necessarily have to boycott Chinese goods -- although many people do -- but, instead, we can take a positive approach and just favor Indian goods.
What I am saying is utterly simple: lets stop growing the Chinese economy and start growing India's economy.
There is nothing China can do that India can't do just as well or better. It is actually easier to do business in India, where you are dealing with extremely well educated, multilingual, deeply sensible people, with great respect for religion, and a long tradition of serving humanity.
You know, in my own household, we naturally go shopping for typical stuff. Whenever it comes down to items where a choice is still possible, we choose not to buy Chinese-made goods. If I am going to support a foreign economy, then let it be the economy of a nation that embraces human values -- let it be a nation that I can respect. Who can respect China anymore, when they go swaggering around the world like nouveau riche gangsters, telling people who they can and can't talk to?
You should understand: I actually hold China very dear. There are a great many things I really love about China. Then again, there are some things about China that are deeply offensive.
This Obama likes to say that he wants to try something different, but he still runs, hat in hand, over to Beijing. More likely than not, he's going to try to borrow some more money. What is different about that? Why doesn't he just start slamming the door on the trade deficit? Everybody is always screaming about free trade, but I think "free trade" is code for "screw America first." The only American-made goods I ever see in China are Pringle's potato chips.
If free trade were really a two-way street, do you think we would have so many bombed-out factories and dead mills? Do you think that Walmart could have killed off small-town Main Street as easily as they did?
This is a really stupid way to do business, don't you think? You outsource all your manufacturing to one place: China. All your money goes offshore, and then you go borrow it back? These people are our friends? They share our values? They hold us in such esteem? We sacrifice the poor, weary, but always gullible and always consuming American middle classes up to China for what benefit? We let China run wild as the biggest environmental polluters on the planet, so we can buy cheap Chinese goods and argue about "green?" India is the world's biggest democracy, and we're supposed to be a democracy too, right? So we do all our business with who?
I think people will be very, very sorry if this trend isn't reversed, although I am not certain that it can be.
I don't know very much about these things, but I do know this new president of ours is running off to China -- they're not coming to see him, which is quite important to their way of thinking -- and he isn't doing very much at all to improve relations with India. He also isn't seeing the Dalai Lama, which takes Tibet off the table, no matter how anybody tries to spin it.
That is insulting. That is insulting to millions of Buddhists, that is insulting to the Congress that gave His Holiness the medal, and insulting to peace-loving people all over the world.
You ask yourself, what will this world be like twenty-five years from now? I'll be dead and gone, and so will my rabbits, but most of you will still be here.
Do you think you'll be living quiet, comfortable lives, usefully practicing dharma?
Do you think the institution of Buddhism, as a worldwide proposition, will be stronger or weaker?
Will the Taliban still be blowing up Buddhist images?
How committed or involved are your children?
Will a quiet, small-town lifestyle still be possible?
Will small-farm families still be possible?
What about your grandchildren? Will they be able to have their own homes, with animals and gardens, or will they live disposable, consumer-driven lives in artificial bee-hives?
How much of your time is spent trying to live, and how much is spent actually living? Do you tell yourself about "tomorrow" all the time? Do you say that someday you'll go on that retreat, or someday you'll sit down and practice? Someday you'll build a temple, or a stupa?
"Someday" is already here, you know?
Yesterday's "someday" is right now.
When the Dalai Lama was in Long Beach the other day, somebody asked him about the environment. His response was interesting. He said that if a human being becomes sick, we notice this immediately, and we act immediately. However, because the natural environment seems to operate at a slower pace, we don't immediately notice ill effects. We put off action. We don't see the damage until its already too late.
You can apply that same thinking to geopolitics as well, and you can certainly apply it to economics. Actually, you can apply it to anything.