Sunday, 20 November 2016

An Economy based on Greed and Envy

 ... It is doubly chimerical to build peace on economic foundations which, in turn, rest on the systematic cultivation of greed and envy, the very forces which drive men into conflict.
How could we even begin to disarm greed and envy?

Perhaps by being much less greedy and envious ourselves; perhaps by resisting the temptation of letting our luxuries become needs; and perhaps by even scrutinising our needs to see if they cannot be simplified and reduced.

If we do not have the strength to do any of this, could we perhaps stop applauding the type of economic 'progress' which palpably lacks the basis of permanence and give what modest support we can to those who, unafraid of being denounced as cranks, work for non-violence: as conservationists, ecologists, protectors of wildlife, promoters of organic agriculture, distributists, cottage producers, and so forth? An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory. 

It will need many ounces, however, to lay the economic foundations of peace. Where can one find the strength to go on working against such obviously appalling odds? What is more: where Can one find the strength to overcome the violence of greed, envy, hate and lust within oneself?

I think Gandhi has given the answer: 'There must be recognition of the existence of the soul apart from the body, and of its permanent nature, and this recognition must amount to a living faith; and, in the last resort, non-violence does not avail those who do not possess a living faith in the God of Love.'

- 'Small is Beautiful'

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