Friday, April 18, 2008

Restore Theocracy!

Prior to the Chinese takeover in 1959, Tibet was a theocratic state based on feudalism. There was a social caste system where people were born into serfdom. The people born into serfdom, then, were taught the Buddhist notion of karma and reincarnation; that they were suffering from the sins of the past life. However, there was a way out of the caste system. One third of the boys in Tibet were forcibly taken by the monastery and could live in the life of harmony, along with a chance for molestation and rape.

The lamas and the feudal landlords, who owned the lands of Tibet, did not represent the majority of the population, who were illiterate and poor. The Drepung Monastery was one of the biggest landowners in the world, and it lent money to the peasants at an interest rate of 20 percent to 50 percent. In theocratic feudal Tibet, torturing methods such as eye gouging and amputation were common as punishments for thieves and runaway slaves.
I mean, it really says something about how bad the Tibetians were that, when the Red Chinese showed up and raped the place, things actually got a lot better around there.

Content gleefully lifted - and serial numbers filed off - from Cryptonomicon, from the scene were Randy and Avi were talking about the Aztecs and Spanish.

I will allow that the Tibetians were not as bad as the Aztecs. A Tibetian peasant at the bottom of the system in 1958 might find that small comfort.
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