International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
Burmese Buddhism, Polity and underlying Ecology

Abstract


The passage of History is determined by and is a manifestation of the struggle between Order and Disorder (or Chaos). This is a materialist interpretation which discards the Idealists' 'Cogito ergo Sum' (I think therefore I am: Descartes, Discours sur la Methode 1637) in favour of the materialist perspective as summed up by Neitzsche's 'Sum ergo Cogito' – (I am therefore I think). The Materialist understanding is that a body must 'a priori' exist, matter is primary, and resolution of the struggle between the forces of Order and Disorder determines everything. This happens on a very grand scale at the birth of the universe (the Big Bang), at formation of the galaxies, and at every other level. At resolution a new equilibrium is established which in time develops into a new struggle: the process is endless. Linked as they are in continuous opposition to each other Order and Chaos form a pairing, a unity of opposites, interacting and competing. Simply put, now one is dominant, now the other: this is the theory which is known as Dialectical Materialism. I propose to examine historical Southeast Asia, focussing especially on pre-colonial Burma (now Myanmar) with the intention of ascertaining the dialectics of its situation, specifically, to what extent material conditions have determined the socio-political structure, and how the two interact.  It should be possible then to correlate the analysis to other periods of history and other parts of the world.