1. You listed Agnostic as your religion and the Tao in your books section. I'm not entirely sure what your beliefs are, so could you explain a little about your religious or spiritual beliefs?
The Tao started out as a philosophy and not a religion. Some people use it as a part of religion But Lao Tzu wanted a philosophy that would help people connect with the natural world and abandon barbarism and the life style of the war lords and their supporters. It may be somewhat spiritual, but the Tao is the path of nature.
There is a metaphysical quality to the original poems (they were written down after his death). Mao Zedong, who you ask about later, in his later years, made use of the ancient philosophers such as Lao Tzu and quoted them in his later writings.
As to agnostics I am also deeply influenced by Epicurus the ancient Greek philosopher (about 400BC, more or less) who said that the gods exist, but have little use for humans. He said if an earthquake hits your house, you probably built it in a bad spot and the gods are not out to punish you.
Today we speak of just one god, an intelligence that runs through the universes, is infinite and provides the order of the universes.
I say universes because I also believe, at this time, in the M theory of physics. According to that theory, there are many universes and they are separated by a dimension called a membrane and only gravity can pass through this dimension. Also universes are created and then die off continuously throughout time and infinity. This makes sense to me.
But I agree with Epicurus in that such a deity probably has little need to worry about microbes that happen to develop some intelligence. It may intrigue the great deity, but does it need us after we die. Epicurus didn't think so. I'd like to believe in life after death and maybe a piece of us does carry on somehow. But it seems unlikely. My other idol Lucretius asked how a soul gets into a body in the first place. Why does it survive being sick when a person's body is near death? Why doesn't it move to the many worms that grow in a dead body rather than leave and go to another world? He asked these questions about the year 100 BC. And the same questions can be asked today.
All religion is man made. Some people try to connect with God if that is even possible. The idea of a dead man turning into god is ludicrous. It's like a human connecting with an ameba and turning into one to save all the amebas in the world. If we don't do that, why would a god do it? Jesus is one of the last of the dying god-man myths. Gilgamesh was one of the first. It is time to outgrow the dying god-man myth.
And as far as the Bible or any other sacred text that was written over 2,000 years ago, let's face the fact that much of it is out dated and not suited for modern society.
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2. What in your opinion is the most threatening aspect of corporations?
There political power. In the
They have no value and may as well be done away with. That's why I'm a communist and a socialists. Corporations are fascist to work for. I could write a book on the subject, but it's been done.
3. From your myspace profile its obvious that Mao Tse-Tung is one of your idols. Could you explain a bit about why?
I lived most of my life during the cold war and the
He expanded on Marx's class analysis past the simple bourgeoisie and proletariat. He was the only communist leader of a country, that I am aware of, who embraced the lumpen proletariat as a potentially revolutionary force. And in my 20s I was clearly a member of that class, being a petty drug dealer, drug user and working a minimum wage job. Of course he wanted these people to clean up their act and change their attitudes, but other Marxist had called this class "human trash" that could not be trusted.
I would compare the Cultural Revolution to our civil rights movement. The turmoil the western press harps about is similar to what happened to blacks when they demanded their rights. There was violence and death. The Cultural Revolution was an attempt to empower the lowest classes in society and break down the barriers between the more professional classes and the poor peasants. There were other aspects such as giving students a voice and doing away with some Confucius ideas. As another Maoist said, they didn't go far enough. He was right. It failed to take root and as a result, many people misunderstood its goals and simply saw it as an inconvenience or as the white southerners in the
4. You also support recreational drug use. What is your opinion on legalizing all illicit drugs?
I don't simply support recreational drug use. It just see it as a natural part of humanity that has been with us for centuries and will not go away anytime soon. I always tell people that recreational use of hard drugs is not for wimpy people afraid of death. But many people defy death to use them. So why create a bureaucracy of repression to try and make our society one of perfect people. It's not going to happen and the harder this country tries, the more freedom we loose and not just for drug users. It also zaps the budget and cost us a lot of jail space and money trying to make people pure. It is largely about religion. And if I have not use for religion, I have no use for drug laws.
My first book was on this subject.
5. Your book is a memoir, how would you compare writing a memoir to, say, writing a fictional novel?
Intervew by Gambi