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Sufficiency Economy Focuses on Reasonable Living

18 January 2015 (Readers 909)
Greater self-reliance at the community level is the foundation for sustainable growth in the local economy. The Sufficiency Economy philosophy is central to community empowerment and the strengthening of communities as foundations of the national economy.

The basic principle of this philosophy, advocated by His Majesty the King, is that in a village, there should be a reasonable amount of "sufficiency.

The term "Sufficiency Economy was too easily confused with "self-sufficient in the sense of total self-reliance and rejection of the market. His Majesty corrected this misapprehension in his speech to an audience and well-wishers on the occasion of his birthday in December 1999.

His Majesty the King said, "Now, I would like to add to what I suggested last year about the advantages of the Sufficiency Economy. The Sufficiency Economy has been interpreted as the community economy, meaning the village or local sufficiency, which aims at enabling the local people to have just enough to survive. It begins with having enough to eat. Many years ago 10 or more years ago I talked about the sufficiency quality of living. But sufficiency is only the beginning of economy.

"Last year, I stated that self-sufficiency is not a Sufficiency Economy; it is a Stone Age economy. A Stone Age economy is a kind of Sufficiency Economy, but it must gradually develop; there must be some exchanges: there must be cooperation between villages or between the so-called districts, provinces, and countries. There must be some barter or some insufficiency; that is why I said if we have only one-fourth of the Sufficiency Economy, it will be satisfactory.

"In case of a power blackout, when the Metropolitan Electricity Authority, or the Electricity Generating Authority, has an electrical power failure, without Sufficiency Economy, everything will stop, and what are we to do? Everything that uses electricity will come to a standstill. In foreign countries, some people commit suicide when there is an electrical power failure, but here, we are used to it: we are not seriously affected if we have a relative Sufficiency Economy.

"If we have a generator, we use it to generate electricity. In olden times, we would use candles. There are always ways to get along. There are degrees in Sufficiency Economy. However, to say a Sufficiency Economy should be 100 percent self-sufficient is not possible. There must be exchanges and cooperation. If there is cooperation and barter, it cannot be called self-sufficiency. Sufficiency in the Royal theory means to be able to make a reasonable living.

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