Home » Ethics of Economy

Ethics of Economy

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

<back to: Philosophy, articles>


This article is also posted under ‘Thoughts’ and ‘Science > ‘Economy


Ethics of business

The ethics of business should change: instead of “competition” the mantra should be: “service.” In Islam, products are defined as economic if they are beneficial, but as without economic value if these product are not allowed or not beneficial (such as alcohol in the Muslim world). Greed should be deemed unethical in all business schools. Service means service to the buyers as well as service to the Earth. The Vedic concept of yajñā means the balance between giving and receiving, physically as well as spiritually. Commerce should serve as the intermediate factor without self-interest beyond the personal necessities of life.


Respect for Nature

Many lectures, writings and “philosophies” point to productive companies (especially the big) as culprits for pollution, climate change, inequality, suppressing and poverty. However we are all consumers and therefore fellow culprits. Trade is unavoidable even if we limit ourselves greatly to nature-given provisions, though the scale could be brought down. Production is also unavoidable. Also private initiative, inventiveness and research are beneficial for the development of the mind and the culture. However economy should be an integral and harmonizing part of the whole. Instead of criminalizing companies and capitalism it would be better to take on a more enlightened view. Just as criminals are people are a product of our value system and their private education or lack of it, or victim of private psychological frustrations, who can often be re-educated and gain a higher type of happiness in life, the same can be done with people who are caught in the materialistic mind-stream. As on the individual level there are laws forbidding murder and theft sanctioned by punishment, so should commerce be given a limit to profit, and the sanctioned prohibition to transgress defined ethical codes.



A world without modern technology is unthinkable. Our period is a paradise compared to previous centuries when there was no medical and communicational technology. The discovery of the use of electricity, of electromagnetism and transformation of energy has changed the world forever. For the first time in millions of years we had to learn to handle and control a form of Agni or fire of undreamt of power, and that in less then two hundred years. We may suppose that this is only the beginning. We are like a child which strikes its first match. He may burn himself at first, or even put everything on fire. But there is no way back.

Technology is there for our benefit, not for destruction, just as a match helps us to keep us warm and cook our food. Let the development of technology always be for the benefit of humanity and all other beings. Let every intellectual technical idea be preceded by heartfelt compassion and awareness that it is in service of the wholeness of our planet and our society. And let us abandon every technology born from less noble motivations.

Let us implement firm restrictions on polluting and harmful technology. The technology of nature produces the sweet smells of flowers and the very air we breath. Nature is our educator if we listen and look to her. Let human technology be equally delightful and beneficial.


<back to: Philosophy, articles>