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Making Globalization GoodThe Moral Challenges of Global Capitalism$
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John Dunning

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257010

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199257019.001.0001

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The Challenge of Global Capitalism: The Perspective of Eastern Religions

The Challenge of Global Capitalism: The Perspective of Eastern Religions

(p.232) 10 The Challenge of Global Capitalism: The Perspective of Eastern Religions
Making Globalization Good

David R. Loy

Oxford University Press

The moral ecology of global capitalism is examined from an Eastern religious––and particularly a Buddhist––perspective. David Loy first points out that Buddhism does not depend on a theistic revelation of values and behavioural norms in the way that Abrahamic religions do; rather, it should be thought of as a philosophy revealing the path each of us must walk in order to obtain a wisdom that realizes the true nature of the world, including the true nature of oneself. Such a credo is translated into a pragmatic and undogmatic attitude towards wealth creation, property, and social justice, and to global capitalism as an economic system––Buddhists judge the ’religion of the market’ (as Loy puts it) by the individual and social values it promotes; in this respect, it is found wanting, as all too often it endorses, and even encourages, self aggrandisement, merit‐seeking, and materialism, all of which are unwholesome traits according to Buddhist teaching. To achieve a more morally acceptable economic system, Loy recommends that greater emphasis should be placed on the value of such virtues as social responsibility, compassion, generosity, and wisdom, each of which, far from undermining the benefits of global capitalism, would help ensure a better quality of life for people and a healthier society. To achieve some of these goals, Loy accepts the necessity for top‐down regulatory measures and incentive systems by governments, but believes that, in the long run, only a wider acceptance and spontaneous upgrading by individuals and institutions of the values that Buddhists hold dear will help raise the moral profile of global capitalism.

Keywords:   Buddhism, capitalism, compassion, generosity, global capitalism, government, moral ecology, morality, responsibility, social responsibility, values, virtues, wisdom

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