by Susan Witt, The Canadian, Jan 3, 2007
Toronto, Canada -- It has been fifty years since Fritz Schumacher first published his now classic essay "Buddhist Economics," calling for an economic system informed by simplicity and non-violence.
Schumacher was thus persuaded that the most rational form of production is from local resources for local needs. Work is not something to avoid but "blesses those who do it" when conducted in conditions of human dignity and freedom, so favouring a system of full employment.
"Buddhist Economics" is a simple reminder that our economic systems should reflect our highest aspirations as a culture--whether we find the source of those aspirations in religion, philosophy, our communion with nature, or our sympathy with others.
In the midst of the crushing effects of the global economy on local communities and the people and ecology of those communities, Schumacher's essay challenges us to imagine another kind of economic future--an economics of peace. That imagining is the first step to implementation.