Buddhist Economics: Dethroning Capitalism

5028 words, 21 pages

Intro Sample...

Buddhist Studies C120
Economics are principles that surround the entire world. They are principles that people in all industries, fields, and income levels are effected by. They play an important role in how many individuals live and how different countries’ governments operate. Mainstream economics in its entirety is now seen as something very controversial because of the widespread environmental devastation and socioeconomic disparity globally. Many argue that mainstream economics are a tool of the wealthy and the politically powerful, and that there is a need for change in order to save the world from economic and environmental collapse. A big issue that many argue is the lack of ethics... View More »

Body Sample...

Professor Esson of Soka University gives a great example of the differences between mainstream and Buddhist economic thought:
“Take for example a woman on her way to the market who refuses to sell her heavy load to a foreigner offering more than market value; she may be perceived as behaving irrationally until one considers that she places greater value on long-term social relationships with market trading partners than a one-time monetary gain” (Esson 73).
According to Esson, it is this sort of rationality that justifies the need for ethics to be incorporated into economics and business. It is ethics then that brings value into economics and Buddhism, that forces individuals to think beyond the material and instead towards the rational and sustainable.
The two economic models also largely differ in the idea and achievement of wellbeing. While mainstream economics promotes advancement and wellbeing for the mere sake of desire, Buddhist economics’ ultimate goal is nibbana, the provisioning of basic material needs; the thought that food, shelter, clothing and medicine are the foundation for human spiritual advancement. Many see this idea as very unproductive, yet Buddhism distinguishes desires into two views. The first is Tanha, the subject of the Second Noble Truth. It is the ignorant craving for pleasure associated with tangible and intangible things such as status and fame. Chanda is the second view and is the positive desire for well-being and benefit. Chanda is based on pañña, the idea that intelligent reflection leads to the right effort and action. This is ...

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