Journal Article — Interbeing Autonomy and Economy: Toward Enduring Social and Ecological Justice — by Glenn Manga

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Abstract

This article is part of a much larger work in progress that seeks to formulate a new Interbeing Economic Model. Against the now recognised urgency of unfolding social justice issues related to climate change, I provide a Buddhist deconstructive critique of neo-classical economics which is demonstrated to be the underlying cause of our current problems. A more just and equitable form of distributive justice and economics, based on the concept of interbeing as developed by Thich Nhat Hanh, is posited as an alternative. Interbeing principles also allow us to move beyond the critical theorists’ limited definition of autonomy. A comparative articulation of interbeing autonomy shows that individual consumer driven autonomy is not true autonomy, as it problematically disembodies us from the world. The New Interbeing Economic Model (or, what I differently refer to as systems integrity building economy) is introduced as a possible alternative in order to restore our rights as responsible citizens to be able to interbe in a healthy way. Through this new economic model, I argue, we can move beyond the ill-defined concept of mere sustainability, and toward a healthier regenerative model that promises truly lasting social and ecological justice.

Recommended Citation

Manga, Glenn. 2008. “Interbeing Autonomy and Economy: Toward Enduring Social and Ecological Justice.” Pp. 113-128 in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Sociological Imagination: Essays and Commentaries on Engaged Buddhism (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume VI, Issue 3, 2008.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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