Dalai Lama: I'm totally a Marxist

So he’s the Marxist, and … the ChiComs are increasingly capitalist. Dude — we’ve been backing the wrong horse.

Actually, his view of capitalism seems pretty sympatico with Beijing’s:

“Still I am a Marxist,” the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader said in New York, where he arrived today with an entourage of robed monks and a heavy security detail to give a series of paid public lectures.

“(Marxism has) moral ethics, whereas capitalism is only how to make profits,” the Dalai Lama, 74, said.

However, he credited China’s embrace of market economics for breaking communism’s grip over the world’s most populous country and forcing the ruling Communist Party to “represent all sorts of classes”.

“(Capitalism) brought a lot of positive to China. Millions of people’s living standards improved,” he said.

Marxism is ethical but capitalism puts food on the table; that does seem to be the conclusion that the Chinese leadership has drawn. Leaving aside the very special brand of “ethics” for which Marxist societies are known, isn’t there an ethical component to the fact that capitalism does raise living standards? I know he’s an officially recognized international Wise Man or whatever, but his reasoning sounds like a conservative parody of the left: Sure, free markets make people better off, but communism has better intentions. Does the behavior of the Chinese and Soviets in his own backyard suggest nothing to him about Marxist ethics in theory versus in practice? Or should we not be surprised that a religious man has a religious faith in the idea that Marxism can be moral in practice if we just “get it right”?

I forget who, but someone on Twitter joked this morning that if only The One had known this sooner he would have treated him better during that White House visit. Exit question: Who’s the wiser international Wise Man, the DL or Michael Caine?