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Buddhist Principles for a Nonviolent Economy

Gábor Kovács published a paper on “Buddhist Principles for a Nonviolent Economy” in F. Cante and W.T. Torres (Eds.): Nonviolent Political Economy: Theory and Applications (Routledge, Abingdon, New York, 2019, pp. 175–187).

In his paper Gábor Kovács argues that the first and foremost Buddhist precept is refraining from doing harm or violence, thus non-violence has crucial importance for the Buddhist path. The paper explores the Buddhist contribution to establish a non-violent political economy and introduces the development of the conceptions of Buddhist economics from the perspective of non-violence.

Gábor Kovács reviews four thinkers who gave centrality to non-violence in their economic conceptions. He presents Gandhi’s ideas on non-violent economics; Ernst Friedrich Schumacher’s conception on ‘small is beautiful’; the main economic ideas of P.A. Payutto; and Laszlo Zsolnai’s conceptions on Buddhist economic strategy.

The paper argues that Buddhist teachings could be the source of non-violence in the economy. The development of Buddhist economics testifies that it is rather a bottom-up initiative, not an economic system. Buddhist economics is a problem-solving strategy that can contribute to establish non-violent business models and to implement business practices in the spirit of non-violence.