Buddhist Economists Make a Plea for their Economic Principles

May 15, 2006

Source: Hindustan Times


On May 15, 2006 the Hindustan Times reported, "Sri Lanka's Buddhist economists say that the cure for world-wide ills like poverty, inequality, insecurity and violence lies in abandoning Western economic theories and models and adopting Buddhist economics - economic principles enunciated by Gautama Buddha, more than 2500 years ago. The Buddha proposed that the pursuit, accumulation and use of wealth be guided not only by self-interest but also by social responsibility and compassion for the less fortunate and the less endowed. If this dictum is followed, the world will not be torn by the horrible conflicts and tensions that it is today... Buddhist economics replaces 'self-interest' by 'peoples' interest' as the driving force or rationale of economic activity. In his work Buddhist Theory of Development Economics published by the Buddhist Cultural Centre, Dehiwela, Sri Lanka in 2002, Wickramasinghe paints a grim picture of the present state of the world. He then contrasts the prescriptions of the traditional Western economists with those of the Buddha as contained in his numerous 'Suttas'."