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Customer Review

on June 26, 2012
I would highly recommend this book for its advanced humanistic and ecological perspectives. The ideals expressed by the author should not be prejudiced by any ideas about Buddhism in comparison with other true religions or spiritual teachings, for the ideals are simply based on the common sense that one should also allow unto others what one wants for oneself, and that greed will only destroy everything for everyone, even for those who claim most of the wealth of the planet for themselves.

E F Schumacher ("Small is Beautiful"), who was a Catholic, expressed similar recommendations in the previous century after having seen the benevolence of Buddhist economic practices.

The chapters in this book are:
1. Heavenly Messengers
2. Creating a Culture of Peace
3. Development from the Bottom Up
4. Re-envisioning Education
5. Moral Governance
6. Real Security
7. Buddhism in a World of Change
8. The Breath of Peace

I gave it only a 4-star rating for the following reason: There are some serious flaws in the author's understanding and reasoning, which is astonishing in light of the author's clarity of thinking. Two of the flaws are -
(a) The author does not appear to understand the true purpose of money (tokens for exchange of goods and services) and how it should be created and used. This lack of understanding can be seen from his belief that the World Bank could still perform a worthwhile function (as described at the end of chapter 3), not realising that the World Bank applies the principles of neoliberal banking that force nations to accept extortionate loans created by the fraudulent fractional reserve system. The Euro crisis is proof of the failure of neoliberal banking. The World Bank is a global arm of the world's private banking plutocracy, so the people it employs maintain its system of money creation and utilisation. Reformation of its corrupt banking system would require a radical revolution in attitude and behaviour of its employees. Moreover, democratically elected governments, not private banks, can and should create money for local use.
(b) He writes about the (practical) wisdom of sustainability, yet he says (to quote from chapter 4): "One type of knowledge is to get men to the moon, another to foster environmental sustainability. Certain forms of knowledge are needed to build super-bombs; other forms are needed to make peace."
I ask: What need is there for going to the moon or having super-bombs if we create and maintain sustainable and spiritual economics?

What redeems the book from losing yet another star is the highly useful vocabulary created and used by the author throughout the book. For example, with regards to our industrialised Western education system in Universities, he says (to quote from chapter 4): "Language (of education) becomes so perfectly attuned to the agendas of the powerful (industrial elite) that the concepts and connotations with which resistance could be formulated are eliminated, making protest appear irrational and naïve."

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