By Prayudh Pyutto
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Extra info for Buddist Economics
Although it doesn't fit in exactly with the argument being put forward here, it is related to it, and as contentment is a virtue that has often been misunderstood, it seems to merit some discussion. The question of contentment involves the quality of life and the two kinds of human want that have been discussed above. It is quite apparent that people who are content have fewer wants than those who are discontent. e. the desire for pleasure. The desire for true well-being remains. Our misunderstanding of the meaning of contentment is due to the failure to distinguish between the two different kinds of desire.
The advances he makes, and the increases in understanding he experiences, afford him a constant satisfaction. The growth of his knowledge and the clarity of his understanding continually add to the enjoyment Mr. Smith derives from his work. Mr. Jones is a research worker in the same field as Mr. Smith. Mr. Jones works for money and promotions. Thus the results of the work itself, knowledge and its practical applications are not the results that he desire\. They are merely the means by which he can ultimi~telyget what he really wants, which is money and position.
If that is the case then it means that in introducing the Western economic system into our society, we have applied it wrongly, andare now suffering the harmful results. Actually, if we Thais were really content in the correct way defined above, then it would enable us to support a steady and continual growth in production. The path from contentment to production would be similar to that taken by Western countries, where the Industrial Revolution was based on the Protestant work ethic. The Protestant work ethic teaches virtues of contentment, economy and frugality, and encourages the investment of savings in order to increase production.
Buddist Economics by Prayudh Pyutto