Śyāmasundara: He stresses two aspects (in the) theory of dialectical materialism. The one on which he placed the most emphasis is the aspect of the pragmatic element of philosophy, that philosophy must have practical effect. And the other aspect is the contradiction between capitalism and communism, and this contradiction involves conflicts and eventual revolution. He agrees with Hegel that without conflict, there can be no progress. Do we accept this? Without conflict, there is no progress?
Prabhupāda: Our Kurukṣetra battle is a conflict between Kurus and Pāṇḍavas. So after the conflict, the Pāṇḍavas became the kings. So that is admitted; without conflict, you cannot make progress.
Śyāmasundara: Is that true on every level of...?
Śyāmasundara: ...chemical law? (?)
Prabhupāda: Oh yes. Mind is saṅkalpa and vikalpa. Mind's business is to accept something and reject something. So in this way, accepting and rejecting, if the mind is sound, then we come to some conclusion by intelligence. Accepting and rejecting, this is conflict. Then by intelligence we take something out of this conflict.
Śyāmasundara: So this idea that no progress is made in any..., except through conflict.
Śyāmasundara: How is that exactly?
Prabhupāda: This is conflict. Conflict means if I don't agree with you and if you do not agree with me, that is conflict.
Śyāmasundara: So some progress is made from that conflict?
Prabhupāda: Yes. But the two can(?) fight or conflict and one judgement giver.
Śyāmasundara: And this is progress.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like this morning I was explaining that your statement should be according to the standard process, vidhi-mārga. So sādhu-śāstra-guru, three authorities: saintly persons, scripture, and spiritual master. So all of them should be, should agree. There is a con... Just like two litigants, they go to the court and the judges give judgement. Similarly, whenever there is conflict, to come to a conclusion, we must refer to sādhu, śāstra, and guru. Then we get the right judgement.
Śyāmasundara: So his idea of conflict is on the social level, between classes of men. It also carries over into historical levels...
Prabhupāda: Well, that conflict is no use. Social... So far the modern society is concerned, it is based on mental speculation. There is no standard. Some society has a different standard, another society has a different standard. But none of them are based on some authority. Therefore such conflict cannot bring you into some right conflict if both of them are wrong. The so-called capitalist and so-called communist, they are all on the wrong basis. So by such conflict you cannot come to a recognized standard.
Śyāmasundara: So by "conflict" you mean the mind's engagement with...
Prabhupāda: No. I mean to say that... Just like two parties fighting on some point. They come to the court and the judgement is given by the judge. So the decision is made on the judgement. Not by simply conflict. If two parties are fighting for life together, they cannot come to the conclusion because they are fighting on the wrong basis.
Śyāmasundara: So this theory of Mao Tse Tung actually rises out of Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest.
Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be. Darwin's theory we have already discussed, and that is nonsense.
Śyāmasundara: "Might makes right."
Śyāmasundara: They think whoever wins in a battle of ideas must have the right idea.
Prabhupāda: No. That is based on "might is right," but we do not accept this theory. We say, "right is might," not "might is right." Yes. If you are right, then you have got might. Otherwise, simply if you have got might, that is not right.
Śyāmasundara: You were speaking earlier about the conflict of the mind, mental conflict, judging...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Judgement is by the intelligence.
Śyāmasundara: So whenever there is perception coming into the mind, there is a conflict?
Prabhupāda: Yes. And the intelligence. Just like in the same example. Whether it is to be done, it is not to be done, then your intelligence gives you advice that "In the Vedas this is the right point." So you accept it. Intelligence gives you advice that "In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said like this." Then we accept it. Then that conflict is nice.
Śyāmasundara: Some Christians say that in the mind there is a struggle between God and the devil, and this conflict is always continually going on.
Prabhupāda: No, no. That is wrong thing. God does not come down to your mind, God and devil. That is mind's action. Sometimes he accepts, sometimes he rejects. So either you can say God and devil or whatever. That is mind's business. But that is not final conclusion. When you apply your intelligence with reference to the sādhu and śāstra and make a conclusion, that is right.
Śyāmasundara: So on this level progress is made through conflict.
Prabhupāda: Conflict with intelligence. That means conflict is in the lower stage. So to mitigate this conflict you have to take consultation from the higher stage. That is intelligence. That Mao's theory is simply by conflict of the mental concoctioners. That will not come to a conclusion. That will never be right conclusion.
Śyāmasundara: His idea is that all political power comes out of the barrel of a gun. Comes from the barrel of a gun.
Prabhupāda: Because he is rude. He cannot have that there may be, amongst the sober gentlemen, the gun is reasoning. And for the crude rascals argumentum vaculam. Of course, the gun reason is sometimes needed when the other party is completely animal. But if both of them are animals, then what further decision can come? You see? Therefore our conclusion is taken from śāstra. The gun is used also in terms of śāstra. Just like Kṛṣṇa first of all wanted to settle up the fight, the opposing elements, the Kurus and Pāṇḍavas. He personally became a messenger and personally requested Duryodhana that "All right. Settle up things. They are kṣatriyas. They cannot take up the business of a brāhmaṇa or a vaiśya. Give them five villages, let them rule, and they will be satisfied." But he said, "Oh, what to speak of five villages, I cannot spare the, that small portion of land which can hold the tip of a needle." Then Kṛṣṇa said, "Yes. Then you do not come to reason? Then let us turn to weapon." So this śāstra and śastra. When śāstra fails, then according to śāstra, there is śastra. Śastra means weapon. Both of them come from the śas-dhātu. Śas-dhātu, from śas-dhātu we take śāstra, śastra, śāsana, śiṣya, like that. It is coming from the same root.
Śyāmasundara: What is that root?
Prabhupāda: Śas. Śas means control. From śas-dhātu... Śiṣya means who voluntarily accepts the spiritual master's ruling. That is called śiṣya, disciple. From the same śas-dhātu. The spiritual master rules over him according to śāstra, and he accepts voluntarily. So conflict there is, but the mediator is śas.
Prabhupāda: Controller. Otherwise, there is no end of struggle if you don't accept an authorized mediator.
Śyāmasundara: This Mao Tse Tung...
Prabhupāda: And Kṛṣṇa also says in the Bhagavad..., yah śāstra-vidhim. Śāstra from that śas-dhātu. Yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya, giving it up, decides by his whims, na siddhim avāpnoti, they'll never get any siddhi, perfection. Therefore the śāstra should be mediator. But these people have no śāstras. They have got simply that barrel of gun. That's all. And that is very rude. And it will never come to perfection. For the temporary time, this party may win or that party may win. That will never... That is the position in the modern world. They have no authoritative śāstra. They manufacture their own way, and therefore there is no peace. First World War, Second World War, Third World War, and there cannot be any peace. As soon as you become strong, you declare war. Hitler thought, "I am now strong. Let me declare war." And another strong party, America came, Russia came. He was killed. So this is no conclusion. And even after Hitler's being killed, there is no conclusion. So this sort of conflict will never bring any peace. That will go on. That is struggle for existence. That is fighting like animals. Two dogs fighting, two hogs fighting, but that is not conclusion. That fighting will go on so long people will remain as dogs and hogs. That will go on. There is no question of peace.
Śyāmasundara: So real progress only comes through...
Prabhupāda: Authoritative decision. If we accept that, then that is real conclusion.
Śyāmasundara: He says that there is conflict, and you say that...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Conflict is always there. But you cannot come to the conclusion unless you take the right decision from the authority. Two litigants, there is conflict. I say that "You do this." You say, "No, why can I do it? Our agreement is different." So there is conflict. So you go to the court and take the right decision from the judge.