Case 45-2018: Mercado Pago & Marcos Galperin
Dear Prosecutor, Public Defender, Ambassador, Secretary and Jury Members of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee (IBEC) and Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR), regarding Case 45-2018 against “Mercado Pago & Marcos Galperin”, on July 25, 2018, it is hereby recorded that the trial of the Committee has been concluded in order to analyze the violation of Buddhist Ethics made by the accused.
After analyzing the presentation of the Case and the validation of the evidence, the Committee has proceeded with the voting of 8 members of the Jury, confirming that there were 8 votes to “Mercado Pago & Marcos Galperin” as “Responsible” for the serious crimes of Scam and Corruption. When interpreting and giving voice to the vote of the Jury members, it is concluded that “Mercado Pago & Marcos Galperin” has no valid reason to justify their fraudulent acts of taking or not returning funds that do not belong to them, which are immoral and criminal acts that also violate the second ethical precept of Buddhist Law. In this sense, the accused “Mercado Pago & Marcos Galperin” has repeatedly expressed public apologies and has even assumed the commitment to return the funds that were illegally appropriated, all of which turned out to be false promises that without any doubt constitute the crime of Scam.
On the other hand, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee establishes the possibility of reaching a Post-Sentence Conciliation Agreement with “Mercado Pago & Marcos Galperin” in case the accused party wishes the annulment of the charges against them. In order to do good, stop doing evil, and purify oneself spiritually, following the Path of Righteousness, it is ruled that “Mercado Pago & Marcos Galperin” must comply with the following requirements: 1) Publicly apologizing to the Buddhist Temple and return the funds illegally appropriated; 2) Making a compensation for the damages by means of their acts of scam; 3) Committing to donate to non-government organizations with humanitarian purposes the 500 million that they should pay to the Argentine State and that were annulled through acts of corruption. Until this possible Conciliation Agreement does not happen, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee declares that “Mercado Pago & Marcos Galperin” is Responsible for Scam and Corruption. Below, the Buddhist Law teaches how the accused can begin to balance the pursuit of gain with the pursuit of justice, becoming a socially engaged trader or a Confucian business person (rushang).
The Maitriyana considers that every business man should have business ethics and social Responsibility, never defrauding society nor doing corrupt acts. Therefore, just like the building of the USA Supreme Court positions Master Confucius as an emblem of justice, the Buddhist Law recommends that every business man should follow the ethical Path (Dao), learning the teachings of Master Confucius in order to have the qualities of humanitarianism (ren), appropriate conduct (li), righteousness (yi), wisdom (zhi), reliability (xin), courtesy (wen), kindness (liang), respectfulness (gong), prudence (jian), consideration (rang) and audacity (yong). Even the Maitriyana agrees with Master Confucius that in order to become a Full Human Being (Junzi), a just and ethically superior Being, not only these qualities should be possessed, but also one should travel with humility and courage along the Path (Dao) of life dedicated to learning (xue), peace (tai), awareness (zhong) and empathy (shu). Only through the development of all these ethical virtues is that a person can self-realize, being cultured and having solidarity, self-knowledge and moral integrity, all of which allows achieving self-transcendence and understanding of the Sense of Purpose (Dharma) or Divine Mission (Tianming) in the world. Indeed, for Buddhist Law, the teachings of Master Confucius contain an integral ethical vision that leads to harmony (he) at an individual, social and cosmic level, uniting humanity both with itself and with sacredness. However, this harmony (he) is not static, but must be constantly cultivated by means of the Full Human Being (Junzi), cultivating the roots so that the Spiritual Path (Dao) grows properly. Precisely, the understanding, preservation and strengthening of harmony (he) is the goal and practice of the teachings of Master Confucius. The Maitriyana deeply embodies this path toward the Full Human Being (Junzi), who is the person perfected by the virtues and the direct perception of human nature. Just like Master Confucius, for the Buddhist Law the ideal of society should be aimed at being a society not regulated by laws (fa) and punishments, but instead it is regulated by responsibility, virtue and non-coercive power of Appropriate Conduct (Li) which does not violate harmony (he) and social welfare. The Buddhist Law, like the Appropriate Conduct (Li), is not a rigid system of norms that cannot be changed, nor is it what the majority of society chooses at a given moment. In this way, although the conventions on what is appropriate conduct (li) may vary in space and time, what could never change is respectfulness, commitment and courage to create a better world.
Like Master Confucius, the Maitriyana affirms that the business man or woman should become a Full Human Being (Junzi), who is the one who constantly practices Humanitarianism (Ren) and benevolence, even being willing to sacrifice himself or herself in order to complete the humanitarian work that never imposes on others what one would not wish for oneself. Instead of trying to exploit others as the dishonorable or unscrupulous business man or woman (xiaoren) regularly does, the Full Human Being (Junzi) is that one that helps to realize the best qualities of others. Precisely, Humanitarianism (Ren) is the fundamental ethical principle that brings together all the virtues, being a mental state and also a social practice that should be cultivated through the development of contemplative reflection, compassionate wisdom and appropriate conduct (li), so it is not about a mere sentimentalism. While appropriate conduct (li) is only a part of the broad lifestyle of Humanitarianism (Ren), consequently every convention of appropriate conduct (li) should not be followed rigidly when it is not in accordance with Humanitarianism (Ren), because obviously the absence of appropriate conduct (li) is synonymous with the absence of Humanitarianism (Ren). The Buddhist Law agrees with Master Confucius that the ideal of a humanitarian humanity is something that can be achieved and that all societies should aspire to, including the business community, which is often petty, unpleasant and ethically inferior. The Full Human Being (Junzi) is an ethically superior person, while the petty business man or woman (xiaoren) is someone who has not fully developed his or her humanity, reason why Master Confucius allows concluding that a person without humanitarianism would not even deserve to be considered a human being, because a rich and powerful person but lacking in humanitarianism and compassionate love is an ethically inferior person (jian zhang fu), a dishonorable or unscrupulous person (xiaoren), even though it is about an astute and multi-millionaire business man or woman. In this sense, following Master Confucius, the Maitriyana recommends that the Full Human Being (Junzi) should never merely accumulate power and riches, such as most of politicians and entrepreneurs do, but should be a servant of humanity, learning and sharing the transforming force of virtues. Therefore, for the Buddhist Law, becoming a Full Human Being (Junzi) implies a great spiritual ethical discipline, a sense of civic responsibility and courtesy, carrying on the shoulders the enormous weight of Humanitarianism (Ren) in the world. The Master Confucius teaches that the Full Human Being (Junzi) understands Righteousness (Yi), while the business person or ethically deficient and underdeveloped person (jian zhang fu) only understands what is profitable and lucrative. This evolutionary achievement of the Full Human Being (Junzi) is possible because his or her appropriate and righteous conduct (li-yi) always takes into consideration the fellow beings through critical contemplative reflection and the compassionate wisdom.
In accordance with Master Confucius, the Maitriyana fuses the best knowledge of the past with the best knowledge of the present, being reformist and simultaneously conserving the most evolved ethical and spiritual traditions under the interpretative light of the contemporary world, which makes it possible to integrate the past and present in pursuit of the utopian vision of the future within a pathway of transmission, creativity, innovation and social change. This Path (Dao) is a commitment with learning throughout life, being an ethical self-development that cultivates and maintains planetary harmony (he) by means of the ideal of the Full Human Being (Junzi). In this way, the Buddhist Law continues to develop the path of Master Confucius to bring fullness and harmony to the mind and society. Through contemplative learning, compassionate wisdom and ethical practice, the Full Human Being (Junzi) is able to internalize the Sense of Purpose (Dharma) or Divine Mission (Tianming), working in order that societies do not lack benevolent governments. However, in case these supreme humanitarian efforts are condemned to produce no immediate benefit, even in this scenario, the Full Human Being (Junzi) would continue to be committed to relate ethically in all its relationships, because such attitude is the best way of life possible. Therefore, the Maitriyana reminds business people full of selfishness, greed and consumerism, that the true wealth actually is to live in harmony (he) and non-interference (wuwei) with the intrinsic Order (Dao) of the Universe, since such as Master Laozi taught, when consumption and desires decrease, the person can recover tranquility and spontaneity (ziran), realigning thought, word and action with the natural Order of life. Just like Master Mencius, the Buddhist Law states that business persons and governments should not be interested only in obtaining benefits or profits, either for themselves or for the State, since in order to achieve individual and social development what really matters is Humanitarianism (Ren) and Righteousness (Yi). In short, when profit is prioritized above appropriate and righteous conduct (li-yi) this has nefarious consequences in the world, since business persons and governments only seek to benefit even through the usurpation of the goods of the people. The Maitriyana coincides with the idealistic and inspiring vision of Masters Confucius and Mencius in describing the Full Human Being (Junzi) as a humanitarian, appropriate and righteous person, a person of principles and integrity, not motivated by profit and material gain, making what is right even though this may cost him or her losing his or her property, freedom and life. The Buddhist Law coincides with Master Mencius in the fact that the Full Human Being (Junzi) is the person who cannot be corrupted by means of wealth and power, since he or she is always faithful to his or her superior ethical principles and prefers poverty and alienation rather than prioritize profit and utilitarianism over what is correct and appropriate.
In contrast to the greedy business men and women (xiaoren) and the corrupt governors, Masters Confucius and Mencius have taught an economic policy in accordance with the principle of Humanitarianism (Ren), which would be the basis of the model of the true governor. The Maitriyana coincides with this utopian vision, especially in the face of a contemporary world where corruption and impunity prevail, so that the idea of the true governor as that one who practices benevolence and respect toward people, leads by means of virtues and never taking what does not belong to him or her. According to Master Mencius, this means that the true governor must reduce punishments and taxes, distribute land to ensure subsistence, assist the people in the production of food and promote education, since social welfare is always prioritized, which implies that the true governor is never willing to take away the right to life from anyone. In this way, the Full Human Being (Junzi) is an ideal that is not reached through wealth and power, but through total dedication and reflection on humanitarianism (ren) and the appropriate and righteous conduct (li-yi). The Buddhist Law, just like Master Mencius, considers that through this contemplative and ethical effort every human being can become a wise person, while the human nature (xing) is fundamentally divine or compassionate. However, without an appropriate cultivation and education this dharmic nature remains unborn and can be obscured by means of an ordinary personality that only seeks profit instead of righteousness. Thus, the Maitriyana agrees with Master Mencius in the fact that the Full Human Being (Junzi) is the one who has self-cultivated and recovered his or her divine original nature, which shows that every search for social harmony (he) must begin within one’s own mind.
The Buddhist Law agrees with Master Xunzi that desires cannot be eliminated because they are part of human nature, although these can certainly be sublimated or transformed by means of an ethical education whose aim is to convert the individual into a Full Human Being (Junzi) within a Path (Dao) of learning, phenomenal contemplation and self-analysis that should never cease throughout life. Through Sublimation or ethical transformation of Desire is that the primitive ordinary individual learns to stop obsessing with the pursuit of monetary gain, persistently making an effort (gongfu) to achieve self-transformation through knowledge, music and the appropriate and righteous conduct (li-yi) that sublimate desire and ensure respect, mutual support and harmony in society. This is the reason why Master Xunzi has described the great sages as calm and devoid of desire.
On the other hand, in order to vanish the pathway of the tyrant (badao) prevailing in the contemporary world, the Maitriyana coincides with the pathway of the True Governor (Wangdao) -or wise king– proposed by Master Xunzi, whose political philosophical innovation proposes measures such as land distribution, efficient transport system, tax reduction, non-arbitrary public service, environmental protection, meritocracy, and fair rewards and punishments. In this sense, the Buddhist Law agrees with Master Xunzi that punishments should be minimized and that society should also be reformed through education in values and virtues. This civic, ethical and spiritual formation is not only distinguished from trivial and ordinary knowledge, but also allows people to become wise and compassionate governors, by building peace, justice, education and ecology in their communities and on the planet.
The Maitriyana recognizes that through Master Zhu Xi Confucianism has managed to possess its own Noble Eightfold Path to Liberation. In effect, the 8 steps would have a strong Sense of mission or Purpose (Dharma): first, contemplation of the phenomena of the inner and outer world; second, deep knowledge; third, integrity and sincerity in feeling and thought; fourth, rectifying the mind by means of the sublimation of desire; fifth, ethical self-cultivation to become a Full Human Being (Junzi); sixth, harmonize the family; seventh, establish order in the State; eighth, restore peace and harmony in the world. Precisely, this messianic mission is shared by the Buddhist Law and Master Confucius, confirming that the Cure of disorder and social conflict does not reside in harsh laws but in the ethical transformation of humanity, without which only the unpunished dominance of those corrupt and powerful would prevail. Although it requires much effort and spiritual dedication, the Maitriyana and Masters Confucius and Mencius confirm that every subject can become a Full Human Being (Junzi), an ethically superior Being, a living representative of universal harmony. To achieve this ethical ideal one requires contemplation, humanitarianism (ren) and appropriate and righteous conduct (li-yi). On this basis of compassionate wisdom every human being can evolve, ceasing to be simply an inferior person (jian zhang fu) obsessed with material gain, so that he or she can always do what is correct and in the right way, which according to Master Confucius would be the appropriate way to seek wealth or to be an ethical trader (liang jia).
In conclusion, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee has the Purpose (Dharma) that Buddhist Spirituality never endorses corrupt criminals, so that anyone who attacks against active contemplation, compassionate wisdom and humanitarian ethics will be condemned. In this way, for having violated a fundamental law of Buddhist Law, such as taking money that does not belong to it, it is established that the accused “Mercado Pago & Marcos Galperin” should not only return the money it has stolen but should also make a compensation for the damage committed.
Following the Path of Master Gautama Buddha, who developed a Path of struggle against corruption two thousand six hundred years ago, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee supervises that companies of the whole world do not violate the Buddhist Law, reason by which “Mercado Pago & Marcos Galperin” have been sentenced as Responsible for Scam and Corruption.
With spirit of reconciliation (maitri),
Master Maitreya Samyaksambuddha
President and Spiritual Judge of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee (IBEC) & Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR)