Surplus value and care

D.D.Kosambi’s summary of Buddhist political economy circa 500bc.

From ‘The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline’ 1964. (P113 1996 reprint by Vikas Publishing House)

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One thought on “Surplus value and care

  1. This is a good example against those who argue that capitalism is a “natural” state of affairs, based on fierce competition, illustrated by Adam Smith’s laws of the market, Herbert Spencer’ “survival of the fittest” doctrine, and/or giving (Christian) charity to those who are not “fit” enough (when ironically these are the same people who have been exploiting the “unfit” throughout their lives) etc. etc etc. The text above historically shows an economic system that is based on co-operation, equality in pay and the value of sharing the surplus for the needs of society -without any moralist or ideological interpretations-. Furthermore, it shows how a practical “religion” like Buddhism, and similar to Islam, are both essential in organizing and running everyday life affairs (both in private and in public/ without distinction) regardless of the scriptures and the official doctrine. Above all, and returning to the study of “religion”, the above citation raises questions regarding the sufficiency of the term “religion” and its discourse in the fist place, in Anthropology’s futile effort to interpret and find/give “meaning” to Buddhism as an actual way of living.

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