"When one nation's army turns its guns on another, far from starting a war, they are the products of a war started long ago through economic exploitation."
Since I started my social entrepreneurial project, I’ve been called an aspiring capitalist more than once. My far left leaning friends think I’ve gone to the dark side and I can no longer be trusted with the agenda of social welfare and social equity. My friends on the right think I’m chasing empty dreams believing there could be some kind of compromise between profit and public interest. I dismiss their mislabeling because I know they do not care enough to want to know and they are too wrapped up in the system to believe anything otherwise. I’d say there are almost as many mindless liberals as there are conservatives, but then again who am I to bust their sweet bubble of ideologies?
All jokes aside, Buddhists can be Capitalists and I wish more Capitalists are Buddhists. I have found Americans are more accustomed to feeling relief when they hear strong economic figures. I turn on Bloomberg each day and I see a worship of numbers and sales but I don’t see these numbers include values that should be accounted – things like our quality of life, health, happiness.
The Buddhist economics values quality of life, health, mental well-being, and other things outside of material comfort and wealth. The Buddhist teaching also does not prohibit capitalistic principles. Buddhist teaching focuses on free thinking to minimize suffering, liberate the minds, reduce violence, simplify desires, and bring together the communities for positive gains.
Strangely, Buddhist economics is very similar to the core principles of sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Well, Buddhists are more spiritual I guess, they would value also contentment and limited desires; but we can all agree against poverty. What is important to an Buddhist also is the principles she or he must uphold. As wealth comes with time, one’s principles should be rooted strongly against imbalance. Wealth should not be squandered aimlessly to contribute more suffering and more degradation of our sustainable planet. It should be employed wisely.