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HW - Buddhist Economics

HW - Buddhist Economics

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Published by Reddy Freddy

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Published by: Reddy Freddy on Feb 27, 2012
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11/14/2014

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 Buddhist Economics1.
 
From the Buddhist point of view, what is the function of work? What doyou see as the main social and economic implications of the Buddhist perspective?
The Function of work from the Buddhist point of view has three objectives: togive man a chance to utilize and develop his faculties; to enable him to overcome hisego-centeredness by joining with other people in a common task; and to bring forththe goods and services needed for a becoming existence.To organize work in such a manner that it becomes meaningless, boring,stultifying, or nerve-racking for the worker would be little short of criminal; it would indicate a greater concern with goods than with people, an evil lack of compassion and a soul-destroying degree of attachment to the most primitive sideof this worldly existence. Equally, to strive for leisure as an alternative to work would be considered a complete misunderstanding of one of the basic truths of human existence, namely that work and leisure are complementary parts of thesame living process and cannot be separated without destroying the joy of work andthe bliss of leisure.The main social and economic implication of the Buddhist perspective isBuddhist sees the essence of civilization not in a multiplication of wants but in thepurification of human character. Character, at the same time, is formed primarily by
 
a mans work. And work, properly conducted in conditions of human dignity andfreedom, blesses those who do it and equally their products.A modern economist may engage in highly sophisticated calculations onwhether full employment pays or whether it might be more economic to run aneconomy at less than full employment so as to insure a greater mobility of labor, abetter stability of wages, and so forth. His fundamental criterion of success is simplythe total quantity of goods produced during a given period of time.From a Buddhist point of view the implication means shifting the emphasis fromthe worker to the product of work, that is, form the human to the subhuman,surrender to the forces of evil.
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S
chumacher sees simplicity as a keynote of Buddhist economics. Whatsthe connection between simplicity and nonviolence? Why doesBuddhism value simplicity? Does capitalism promote needlesscomplexity?
S
implicity and non-violence are closely related. The optimal pattern of consumption, producing a high degree of human satisfaction by means of arelatively low rate of consumption, allows people to live without great pressure andstrain and to fulfill the primary injunction of Buddhist teaching: Cease to do evil; tryto do good. As physical resources are everywhere limited, people satisfying theirneeds by means of a modest use of resources are less likely to be under pressure tomaintain life than people depending upon a high rate of use. People who live inhighly self-sufficient local communities are less likely to get involved in large-scaleviolence than people whose existence depends on worldwide systems of trade.
 
To use natural resources carelessly or extravagantly is an act of violence, and theBuddhist economist has the ineluctable duty on man to aim at the ideal of non-violence in all he does.As the worlds resources of non-renewable fuels  coals, oils and natural gas  areexceedingly unevenly distributed over the globe and undoubtedly limited inquantity, it is clear that their exploitation at an ever-increasing rate is an act of violence against nature which must almost inevitably lead to violence between men.The only difference between fuels in modern economics is relative cost perequivalent unit.Capitalism promotes needless complexity by focusing on high quantity output for lower cost. This can be in means of cutting jobs, manufacturing hours andoutsourcing for cheapest production output costs.
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H
ow do Buddhism and capitalism differ in their understanding of thenature and purpose of human existence? Is the Buddhist view of therole of women sexist?
Capitalism view of the nature and purpose of human existence as fundamentalcriterion of success is simply the total quantity of goods produced during a givenperiod of time.Buddhist economic planning would be a planning for full employment, and theprimary purpose of this would in fact be employment for everyone who needs anoutside job; it would not be the maximization of employment or the maximizationof production.

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