Chapter 3: This I Call Zen Fire, Zen Wind
And the journalist finally asked, “If you have two hens, are you going to give one hen to your neighbors?” He said, “No!”
The journalist said, “But this is absolutely illogical.”
The man said, “It is not illogical. I have two hens - I don’t have two cars, I don’t have two houses, I don’t have two horses, two cows. That which I don’t have, who cares? - I can give. But two hens I have got, and I’m not going to give them!”
When you have something, then the problem arises.
So according to Marx nobody is really a have-not in America; hence there is no possibility of a communist revolution.
In Russia it was a miracle, because it was not even a capitalist country. And that was the idea of Karl Marx, that communist revolution can happen only in a capitalist country where there will be poor people in the majority, and rich people in the minority. The poor can overthrow the rich very easily, there is no question of much violence or any trouble.
Russia was not even a capitalist country. It was a feudal country, far more backward than a capitalist country. There were no poor, no proletariat, no labor unions. And there was not a class of rich people; there were just a few - the emperor, the czar, a small aristocracy. They were not owners of factories, they were owners of land, and on their land they had slaves to do the work.
Now a slave is taken care of by the landlord because unless he is strong enough, he will not be able to work on the land. The slave is not a machine, so he has to be given good food, good clothes.in winter he has to be given warmer clothes. So the slaves were not have-nots; in fact, they were enjoying everything. The aristocrats had to keep them in good health - medical facilities, good clothes, houses which are healthy and hygienic, because unless those slaves are powerful and strong they will not be able to work the vast lands, thousands of acres. Miles and miles of land one aristocrat would have, and thousands of slaves. It was a totally different situation.
Marx never thought about a Soviet Russia. He never thought that Russia was going to become a communist country. That’s how theorization fails. Life takes its own course; it does not follow your logic, your philosophy.
In Russia the revolution happened. It was not a communist revolution in fact, because it was not a fight between the have-nots and the haves.
It happened during the first world war. The czar was not equipped well enough to fight Germany. Neither were the communists ready to fight in Russia - a small group of thinkers, they were not hoping that there was going to be a revolution there. Even capitalism had not come, which was going to produce the haves and have-nots, so it was very far away.