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October 05, 2011


David Brazier

Some spiritual traditions, including some aspects of Buddhism and Franciscanism, for instance, have placed an emphasis upon poverty as a favoured lifestyle. However, a fraternity of poor devotees must rely upon an other community who do not practice poverty. In the Amida sangha we do not advise poverty, we advise devotees to use their resources in ways that contribute to the collective good, especially spiritual advancement of others. However, even this is not so easy, since there is a need not just to spend but also to conserve. Squandering does not conduce to good. Economics is concerned with these kinds of dilemmas. To do big things requires capital - but what big things are worth doing and who, controlling capital, would have the motivation to do them, and how can a system function such that those people do indeed command the means? ...and so on.

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