Buddhist Economics

Many might argue that business and Buddhism don't go together. But this week's crisis on Wall Street and subsequent bailout by the American government has many people asking if there is a better way.

"It is clear, therefore, that Buddhist economics must be very different from the economics of modern materialism, since the Buddhist sees the essence of civilisation not in a multiplication of wants but in the purification 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 and freedom, blesses those who do it and equally their products."

Here is Fritz Schumacher speaking to a group in 1977. He was asked if "Buddhist Economics" could work in the west.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, the E. F. Schumacher Society received requests from around the world to reprint "Buddhist Economics," Fritz Schumacher's classic essay widely understood as a call for an economics of peace. In the essay, Schumacher imagines a multitude of vibrant, self-sufficient villages which, from their secure sense of community and place, work together in peace and cooperation.

In December of 2001 Mrs. Vreni Schumacher, who holds the copyright to her late husband's works, kindly extended permission to make the essay available electronically.