The Pragmatic Buddhist Approach to Politics and Economics

The Buddha told us to interrogate our beliefs and discard those that aren’t helpful. This advice could radically change our politics.

The Buddha was a pragmatist. You can see this in the structure of the Four Noble Truths. He starts by stating the problem, then gives the cause of the problem, then notes that it can be solved, and finally offers a set of tools for succeeding in solving it. That the path to the end of stress is the fourth of the four truths tells us that what ultimately matters isn’t the path itself, but the existence, cause, and possible end of stress.

  • Injustice and poverty are the cause of this suffering.
  • It is possible to end, or at least dramatically reduce, injustice and poverty.
  • The government can accomplish this by undertaking certain actions aimed at ensuring the people have enough to eat, access to care, are buffered from disasters, aren’t constantly under threat of violence and theft, etc.

Political ethicist. Writer. Podcaster. Free Market Buddhist.

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