This article discusses two main themes of the Bahá’í vision of a future economy. The first theme is that the economy will be global and serve the material, intellectual, and spiritual needs of all humanity. The second theme is that the underlying force driving the economy will be spiritual or, in secular terms, ethical. The author proposes that these themes have been gathering force over the last two centuries. Technology is pushing economies to merge into one global system. At the same time, society is accepting that all will benefit from application of ethical values aimed at abolishing poverty and protecting the environment. Successful continuation of these themes, it is suggested, will largely depend on how we view humanity. Are we simply super animals, or do we have a noble or spiritual side to our being?
*This paper was first presented in Lausanne, Switzerland at the 1988 conference of the Association européenne francophone pour les études bahá’íes, “Économie et Société: quelles perspectives au-dela des crises actuelles” (“The Economy and Society: What are the Prospects after the Present Crisis?”).
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