A question about "Buddhist" economics.

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A question about "Buddhist" economics.

Postby Individual » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:30 pm

In DN 17, the Buddha is describing a wheel-turning monarch to Ananda, which he remembers from the past.

Then King Mahasudassana thought: "Suppose I were to construct lotus-ponds between the palm-trees, a hundred bow lengths apart. And he did so. The lotus-ponds were lined with four-colored tiles, gold, silver, beryl and crystal, each pond between approached by four staircases, one gold, one silver, one beryl and one crystal. And the gold staircase had gold posts with silver railings and banisters, the silver had silver posts with gold railings and banisters, and so on. And the lotus-ponds were provided with two kinds of parapet, gold and silver - the gold parapets having gold posts, silver railings and banisters, and the silver parapets having silver posts, gold railings, and banisters.

Then the King thought: "Suppose I were to provide each pond with suitable flowers for garlands - blue, yellow, red and white lotuses which will last through all seasons without fading?" And he did so. Then he thought: "Suppose I were to place bathmen on the banks of these ponds, to bathe those who come there?" And he did so. Then he thought: "Suppose I were to establish charitable posts on the banks of these ponds, so that those who want food can get it, those who want drink can get it, those who want a wife can get one, and those who want gold coin can get it?" And he did so.

...And shortly after this, the government collapsed due to fiscal irresponsibility. :P

Seriously, does this seem skillful to ANYONE? Look at the situation from the standpoint of the bathman who has to just sit out in the woods all day, waiting to give any strangers that come by a bath.

The sutta continues:
Then the Brahmins and householders took great wealth and went to the King, saying: "Sire, here is wealth that we have gathered together especially for Your Majesty, please accept it!" "Thank you, friends, but I have enough wealth from legitimate revenues. Let this be yours, and take away more besides!"

The suttas do not depict any realistic economic or political conditions... at least, not any conditions that are comparable to our current world. The government can't just fund limitless social welfare and expect the revenue to keep coming, nor are any politicians as humble and honest as King Mahasudassana.

With metta :heart:,
Individual
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: A question about "Buddhist" economics.

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:03 pm

so what is the question?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: A question about "Buddhist" economics.

Postby Element » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:49 pm

Individual wrote:Seriously, does this seem skillful to ANYONE? Look at the situation from the standpoint of the bathman who has to just sit out in the woods all day, waiting to give any strangers that come by a bath.

The suttas do not depict any realistic economic or political conditions... at least, not any conditions that are comparable to our current world. The government can't just fund limitless social welfare and expect the revenue to keep coming, nor are any politicians as humble and honest as King Mahasudassana.

Individual,

I recall a thread on the DN. Your comments arise from the drawbacks of reading the DN. For me, I would never recommend the DN.

With metta

E
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Re: A question about "Buddhist" economics.

Postby nathan » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:34 am

I like the DN, no offense intended to anyone who doesn't. No reason a world with conditions this different could not have been or could not be again at some point. These relatively pleasant conditions are not any different at the root from those unpleasant conditions which predominate in our time as well as in the Buddha's time. It all has significance in the terms intended in the sutta and not as a utopia for us to imagine we can cause in our present conditons. The underlying 'economics' are the same, good times or bad times.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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