J krishnamurti on marxism

There is a fascinating account of a dialogue which occurred between Krishnamurti and Dr. N.M. Perera, the well known Marxist leader and Member of the Opposition in the Sri Lanka Parliament, during the course of one of Krishnamurti’s public talks in Colombo in the 1940’s.

Dr. N.M. Perera wanted to discuss the structure of society and social cohesion … He talked for some minutes on the logic of state control as the supreme authority, and spoke about the basic tenets of Communism.

Krishnamurti did not oppose what had been said – there was no sense of confrontation whatsoever, only a mutual probing into the reality behind the rhetoric … There was mutual investigation into the ways in which the Communist philosophy actually operated and the means by which conflicts were handled … Dr. Perera was still claiming the necessity for totalitarian rule, asserting that everyone must go along with the decided policy and be made to conform.

At this point Krishnamurti drew back:

K: What happens when I as an individual feel I cannot go along with the supreme command’s decision? What if I won’t conform?

P: We would try to convince you that individual dissent, perhaps valid before a decision is taken, cannot be tolerated after. All have to participate.

K: You mean obey?

P: Yes.

K: And if I still couldn’t or wouldn’t agree?

P: We would have to show you the error of your ways.

K: And if someone still maintains that some law or regulation is false? What then?

P: We would probably incarcerate him so that he was no longer a disruptive influence.

With utter simplicity and directness Krishnamurti said:

“I am that man.”

Consternation! Suddenly – total confrontation. An electric charge had entered the room – the very atmosphere was charged … Neither Dr. Perera nor his colleagues wanted to pursue this dangerously explicit dialogue.

K: I am that man. I refuse to be silenced. I’ll talk to anyone who will listen; what do you do with me? Liquidate me?

F: Probably. You would not be allowed to contaminate others.

K: Probably?

F: You would be eliminated.

After a long pause, Krishnamurti said: “And then, Sir, you would have made a martyr of me!” There was no way of dodging the implications … “And what then?”

Krishnamurti waited – and then quietly went back through the course of the dialogue. He talked of interrelationship, of the destruction of life for a belief, for some blueprint for the future; the destructiveness of ideals and the imposition of formulae on living human beings. The need not for environmental change but for inward transformation. When he finished, the meeting was over. There was really nothing more to be said.

Later, Dr. Perera then went up to Krishnamurti on the stage and embraced him, without a word.


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