Changing the System Mindfully. Are we imprisoned by our unexamined concepts???

Changing the System Mindfully. Are we imprisoned by our unexamined concepts???
Humanity is imprisoned by a heartless monetary system, co-dependently arising from dichotomy of man and nature, self and society, ecology and economy, and public and private. How is the system fabricated? How do we awaken from our collective delusion and suffering? Please share this blog for Contemplative Social Action to Cultivate a Culture of Awakening! "Do everything with a mind that lets go" - Ajahn Chah

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Buddhist Perspectives on Money and Economics

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I wanted some interesting response on the 2012 Millenium Koan (on Money) posted five years ago in this blog, yet have not received any feedback or comment so far.

Here is an interesting and insightful article on 'Money for Nothing' by David  Loy written in 2003. How would a Buddhist system of 'money' look like?

I raise some questions about ignored aspects of Economics, including money and a way to move forward compassionately in my article 'Breaking Free' in 2010 after presenting a workshop on 'Deep Conscious Capitalism' in Sakyadhita International Conference of Buddhist Women in Bangkok Thailand in 2009 and a paper on 'Dharma Economics' in same forum in 2011.

The term “Buddhist Economics” was popularized by E. F. Schumacher in his book Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. In Schumacher’s view, the goal of Buddhist economics is “the maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption.”

Joel Magnuson, Author and economics Professor at Portland Community College offers alternative to mainstream economics in his 2008 book Mindful Economics and 2017 book From Greed to Wellbeing: A Buddhist Approach to Resolving Our Economic and Financial Crises. 

“In reviewing the history of modern economics, Magnuson offers a Buddhist critique of the value system it relies upon, arguing that modern economics is fueled by the Buddha’s ‘three fires’ of greed, aggression, and delusion. These poisons, he says, are embedded within our financial institutions and are responsible for our attachment to ‘growth’ as the only measurement of economic success..." - Tricycle Buddhist Review

According to Clair Brown, Professor at UC Berkley and Author of Buddhist Economics: An Enlightened approach to Dismal Science in 2017:
"We can reprogram our economic system to create, measure, and evaluate what we value, to develop well-performing economies that provide meaningful lives for everyone while protecting the planet."

Professor Laszlo Zsolnai summarizes the main principles of Buddhist Economics for the  the Gross National Happiness conference in Bhutan in 2015. Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shares his country's mission to put happiness before economic growth and set a world standard for environmental preservation in this 2016 Ted Talk.

Thai monk Ven P. A. Payutto's book Buddhist Economics: A Middle Way for the Market Place, 1992 is available for download.

Google Debt Capitalism and Susmita Barua. She argues the whole financial superstructure of Capitalism and modern market economy is anti-democratic and built on the wrong view of money as an instrument of (all public and private) debt. Wrong view (of life and world) arises from unwholesome volitions of mind (like greed, hate and delusion of separate self). What is right view? Can we design a sustainable system based on deeper inclusive order of interdependence, and self-organizing regenerative system of thinking?

More literature on the subject.

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PBS Commanding Heights: Battle of Ideas for the World economy, Part 1 & 2