Buddhist economics is a spiritual and philosophical approach to the study of economics. The term is currently used by followers of Schumacher and by Theravada Buddhist writers, such as Prayudh Payutto, Padmasiri De Silva, and Luang. which became a landmark book for alternative economics (see also below). 3 P.A. Payutto,. Buddhist Economics; A Middle Way of the Market Place., Bangkok . Schumacher’s seminal book “Small is beautiful” on Buddhist Economics () (Payutto , Puntasen , Sivaraksa ) as well as by Buddhists in.

Author: Zulkijora Akilar
Country: Rwanda
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Technology
Published (Last): 25 January 2004
Pages: 391
PDF File Size: 19.95 Mb
ePub File Size: 18.56 Mb
ISBN: 299-5-40691-346-3
Downloads: 12138
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Arashirg

We are not compelled to overeat or to eat the kinds of foods that will make us sick simply because they taste good.

Trade in tobacco, drugs, and prostitution are examples of detrimental economic activities geared solely toward satisfying a craving for pleasure. For example, our body depends on food for nourishment. Ordinarily, a single gold necklace would be enough, more than enough, to buy a whole sack of rice. Buddhism and society Economy and religion Eponymous economic ideologies Schools of economic thought.

We may now ask: These are truths according to economics. On the other hand, with a view of life that appreciates the reality of suffering, we pay more attention to the present moment so that we can recognize problems when they arise.

The violent elimination of rivals heralds the end of the free market system, although it is a method scarcely mentioned in the economics textbooks.

Buddhist economics holds that truly rational decisions can only be made when we understand what creates irrationality. Instead, our activities are directed toward the attainment of well-being.

As long as it is allowed by the Vinayaor monastic code, gain is justifiable if the possessions belong to the monastic community, but if a monk is rich in personal possessions, it is evidence of his greed and attachment and he cannot be said to conform to Buddhist principles.

While wealth as a resource for achieving social good can help create favorable circumstances for realizing individual perfection, ultimately it is mental maturity and wisdom, not wealth, that bring about its realization. By only considering the material side of things, the science of economics is out of step with the overall truth of the way things are. The main theme in the Scriptures is that it is not wealth as such that is praised or blamed but the way it is acquired and used.


Instead, we strive to harmonize our own interests with those of society and nature. Thus, the spiritual approach to economics leads not to models and theories, but to the vital forces that can truly benefit our world — wisdom, compassion and restraint.

When rationalism turns a blind eye to the irrational, unseen irrational impulses are all the more likely to cloud our rationality. The tacit objective of economics is a dynamic economy where every demand and desire is supplied and constantly renewed in a never-ending and ever-growing cycle. From the Buddhist perspective, this tireless search to satisfy desires is itself a kind of suffering.

Human development demands that we understand how tanha and chanda motivate us and that we shift our energies from competition towards cooperative efforts to solve the problems facing the world and to realize a nobler goal. Ethical laws follow the natural law of cause and effect: The man with the gold necklaces might steal some of the rice while the owner is not watching, or he might just kill him in order to get the whole sack.

Buddhist Economics: A Middle Way for the Market Place

They induce us to believe, for example, that whoever can afford a payutot car will stand out from the crowd and be a member of high society, or that by drinking a certain brand of soft drink we will have lots of friends and be happy. According to the Buddhist approach, economic activity must be controlled by the qualification that it is directed to the attainment of well-being rather than the “maximum satisfaction” sought after by traditional economic thinking.

From the Buddhist point of view, people often confuse tanha — their restless craving for satisfaction and pleasure — with the pursuit of happiness.

Views lead to ramifications far beyond the realm of mental states and intellectual discourse. Moreover, people who are charitably inclined can use their wealth in ways that are beneficial for society as a whole.


Buddhist economics

Nor is it the business of economics to judge whether such wants should be satisfied,” say the economics texts, but from a Buddhist perspective the choices we make are of utmost importance, and these choices require some qualitative appreciation of the options available. In this small volume, Venerable Dhammapitaka P. In a discussion of Buddhist economics, the first question that arises is whether such a thing actually exists, or whether it is even possible. Dependent happiness is happiness that requires an external object.

Consumption is said to be one of the goals of economic activity. But because people tend to think of buddhhist as individuals separate from the universe, they fail to see how the same laws apply to internal subjective values, such as thoughts and moral attitudes.

Plato built his ideal society on the assumption that early societies grew from a rational decision to secure well-being, but if we look at the course of history, can payktto say that rational thinking has truly been the guiding force in the evolution of civilization?

Spending in excess of earnings can become a vicious cycle. They are starting to look at human activities on a broader scale, to see the repercussions their actions have on personal lives, society, and the environment. As we have seen, Buddhism recognizes two different kinds of wanting: Danger and darkness surround them. In the classical economic model, unlimited desires are controlled by scarcity, but in the Buddhist model they are controlled by an appreciation of moderation and the objective of well-being.

Thus, in decisions dealing with consumption, production, and the use of technology, we must learn how to payuto between the two kinds of desire and make our choices wisely.