Articles about Social Commentary

Social commentary from a Krishna conscious point of view.

Have a Blast, O Tiger Among Men!

From Back to Godhead, September–October 1998   One of our BTG staff members suggested I comment here on the nuclear blasts detonated, amidst considerable publicity, by India and her arch-rival Pakistan. I'm not much inclined to do it. For me it's boring. I'm getting tired of the material world. Okay -- India and Pakistan are now better equipped to blow each other up, and maybe they will. That means death, and lots of it. But what do you expect? That's the material world: everyone has to die. Taking a materialistic point of view: Life is nothing but chemicals racing around. So … [Read more...]

Predictions of the Next World War

From Back to Godhead, July–August 1997   Astrologers, we've heard, are predicting a forthcoming war. If we believe accounts passed on from a well-reputed star-reader in Jaipur, the next world war is on its way. Expect conflicts to start mounting within the next year or so, he says. And by the year 2000 expect 35% of the world's people to be dead. Several other astrologers paint similar pictures of doom. Do we believe them? Maybe. Astrologers can be wrong (a leading pundit predicted Mr. Clinton would lose the ’96 elections), and they can also be terribly right. So what to … [Read more...]

Giving My Life for Noble Bilge

 from Back to Godhead, May 1989   Lima, Peru: Several feet overhead against a gray-and-white marble wall on the departures side of the Jorge Chavez International Airport, foot-high black letters, all capitals, announce. “TENGO EL ORGULLO DE SER PERUANO.” That is, “I have the pride of being Peruvian.” Well, for crying out loud. what is there to be so proud of? I have the pride of belonging to a two-bit Latin American nation whose empire got wiped out four centuries ago. Now really! And why should I be so proud to be Peruvian rather than, say, Argentinean, or Chilean, or Colombian, … [Read more...]

Fighting in the Smog

from Back to Godhead, August-September 1992   [On April 29, 1992, a mostly white jury acquitted four Los Angeles police officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King. Thousands of people in Los Angeles, mainly young black and Latino males, joined in a “race riot,” with mass law-breaking, including looting, arson and murder. Fifty to sixty people were killed during the riots.]   I left Los Angeles early on the morning of the riots. My departure was coincidental. I’d stayed in L.A. for two days, and now I was off to a meeting in Denver. So I missed … [Read more...]

Are You More than Green, Righteous, and Dead?

 from Back to Godhead, September-October 1992   Twenty years ago, no one gave a damn. You could gum up a river with factory sludge, chop down rain forests wholesale, spray fluorocarbons into the air like a kid sprinkling confetti, and no one would say boo. No longer. Grade-school kids want to grow up to be ecologists. New York tycoons sort their trash to recycle. Rock singers play concerts to save prairies and wetlands. Political candidates tell us they’re worried about the fate of the three-toed baboon. Caring about the environment helps you feel good about yourself. At the … [Read more...]

Toward an Enlightened New World Order

from Back to Godhead, May-June 1991   “We’ve got a real kshatriya for a president!” an American Krishna devotee said to me, his face beaming. The Allies were trouncing whatever was left of the Iraqi armies, and George Bush was making it clear the Allies would keep striking till the Iraqis utterly surrendered. My devotee friend knew, of course, that George Bush could hardly match the valor and nobility of true kshatriyas like King Yudhisthira and King Pariksit. Still, Bush and his allies had waged a splendid war. Power, skill, drive, heroism—these are attributes of the … [Read more...]

Who’s in the Doghouse Now?

from Back to Godhead, May 1984   Iceland’s minister of finance may soon face a hard decision—his country or his dog. In Reykjavik, the capital, a 62-year-old law bans dogs from the city on health grounds. Yet the minister, Mr. Albert Gudmundsson, lives in Reykjavik with a dog (the family pet), a 13-year-old mongrel named Lucy. “Lucy is a dear member of our family, as dear to us as a child,” he said. This family has now been unsettled by a journalist at the state radio, who has reported Lucy’s illegal presence to the police. If prosecuted, Mr. Gudmundsson may be fined, and … [Read more...]