Politics and Economics
Obsessed with economic and political
strength, we lose sight of the effect our actions have on others.
We need to reassess our motivation and our behavior in the light
of a greater sense of universal responsibility.
If you answered yes, consider this:
Probably half the worlds population lacks the basic necessities of adequate food, shelter, medical care, and education, I believe we need to question whether we are really pursuing the wisest course in this regard.
The Dalai Lama proposes that a continuation of current political and economic policies will result in the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Here we present a few areas of consideration.
"It's the politicians."
Politicians are a product of their societies, so if we want less corrupt politicians, we must practice ethical discipline in our own lives.
Ethics and politics
History shows that many of the positive developments in human society have occurred as the result of compassion. If we look at the evolution of human society, we see the necessity of having vision in order to bring about positive change. Ideals are the engine of progress. To ignore this and say merely that we need to be "realistic" in politics is severely mistaken. Consider, for example, the abolition of the slave trade.
Ethics and economic competition
Competition can be conducted with a spirit of generosity when compassionate motivation is present. If the motivation is to conquer or exploit others, then a positive outcome is impossible. But competition with positive intention and a spirit of generosity will not harm others, even if those who lose the competition experience some suffering.
The Dalai Lama reminds us that those who run the world's industries and businesses are human beings who benefit like anyone else from developing their compassionate nature. As they do economic competition will more and more manifest basic human values.
As all nations are economically dependent upon one another more than ever before, human understanding must go beyond national boundaries and embrace the international community at large. Indeed, unless we can create an atmosphere of genuine cooperation, gained not by threatened or actual use of force but by heartfelt understanding, world problems will only increase. If people in poorer countries are denied the happiness they desire and deserve, they will naturally be dissatisfied and pose problems for the rich.
Ethics and international relations
Ethical concepts such as reconciliation, non-violence and compassion are becoming more commonplace in international relations. Collectively we are giving more weight to justice and truth.
The more interdependent our economic relationships become, the more interdependent our political relationships must become. Alliances comprising hundreds of millions of people are increasingly transcending geographical, cultural and ethnic divisions. At the same time regional communities united in trade, social policy, and security arrangements can consist of a multiplicity of autonomous ethnic, cultural, and religious groups. The challenge of the new millennium is to find ways for better inter-community cooperation, wherein human diversity is acknowledged and the rights of all respected.