“ Humanitarian Competition: An Intellectual History in Perspective”.

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    Competition has become the mantra for survival in a globalised world where meaningful existence is fraught with demands, which go beyond the material to the immaterial ‘byte-size’. This has been exemplified by our obsession with illusions of immediate fame and fortune. This paper contextualises and extends the debate about the role of competition in general. Here the four major myths of competition are explored and deconstructed, from a Darwinian perspective to a more demonstrably engaged perspective on ‘capabilities’ (Sen, 1999). The second section deals particularly with the key debates, theories that influenced Tsunesaburo Makiguchi’s seminal ideas of ‘humanitarian competition’ in 1903. The final part of the paper seeks to decipher the relevance of the key ideas of ‘humanitarian competition’ as proposed by Dr Daisaku Ikeda in his 2009 peace proposal. Here the transition from competition to cooperation is explored by tying together the key principles of global coexistence enunciated by both Makiguchi and Ikeda in the context of expanding spiritual influence by the forces of culture, morality and virtue. To engage with humanitarian competition calls for a major shift from hard power to soft power, from subordination to one of engagement. In other words this concept advances the Buddhist principle of peaceful co-existence, or Panchsheel, as a norm for human behaviour of love, kindness, sacrifice and peace through cooperation, where equality and mutual benefit are critical. Humanitarian competition provides the essential framework to establish a new world order as highlighted by both Makiguchi and Ikeda.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)172-190
    Number of pages19
    JournalBulletin of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


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