Here is a very sad article on the end of Tibet
There is a deep connection between Tibetan Buddhism and the anti-war hippie culture of the 1960’s. The Dalai Lama has this very attractive message about how non-violence and ideas can overcome political repression.
It’s unfortunately that his message is not consistent with reality.
The reality is that power matters, and power comes from guns, money, and ideas. War and violence is horrible, and peace is a wonderful goal. But to have a just peace, you need to be constantly thinking and preparing for war. If you don’t have guns, you don’t have money, and you don’t have ideas, then you end up at the sufference of others, and this is not a good thing because you’ll be subject to their agendas which may not be your own.
Power is scary. Power is dangerous. There is a very real possibility that by picking up the gun, and figuring out how to make the money, and thinking about the ideology of power, you end up destroying yourself. But the alternative of rejecting power, leads only to subservience at the hands of others. It is unfortunately that the world works this way, but it is true.
One more insight….
I’m Han Chinese, and not Tibetan, and it’s not my responsiblity to figure out what it means to be Tibetan in the 21st century. I do have a lot of sympathy for ethnic minorities figuring out how they fit in a majority society, because that’s one of the big struggles of my life. There are two dangers which I’ve had to deal with. One is this idea that one can “preserve” a culture. One preserves dead bodies. If something is alive, it changes and grows and adapts. If you don’t change and grow then what happens is that your culture simply becomes a museum piece for tourist to gawk at, meanwhile the skills and ideas that are powerful get held by others. To be Chinese-American means more than eating dim sum and having dragon dances, it means learning to coding C++ so that you can make money.
The other danger that I’ve had to deal with is the temptation of thinking that you can separate yourself from the majority community or the idea that by being involved with the majority community one becomes “less” of a minority. In the United States, Chinese-Americans make up such a small minority that an effort at “separatism” would be suicidal. Instead, by learning English, by learning American history, by becoming part of the national community, one has more social resources to develop and grow a minority culture, and being part of a national community which is a part of the global community, one strengthens the culture rather than weakens it.