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In To Uphold the World: A Call for a new Global Ethic from Ancient India, author Bruce Rich contemplates the rule of the Indian emperor Ashoka over 2,200 years ago, whose philosophy of tolerance, conservation, nonviolence, species protection, and human rights still have much to teach us today. One of the many programs established by Ashoka was a system of universal health care for people and animals which, once established, served the Indian empire for close to a millennium. Rich discusses Ashoka’s health care system in the video below.


This entry originally appeared on Beacon Broadside.

Bruce Rich is a Washington DC based attorney who has served as senior counsel on international finance and development issues for major environmental organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Rich has published extensively in environmental and policy journals, as well as in newspapers and magazines such as The Financial Times, The Nation and The Ecologist. He is the author of Mortgaging the Earth, a widely acclaimed critique of the World Bank and reflection on the philosophical and historical evolution of the project of economic development in the West. He has been awarded the United Nations Environment Program ‘Global 500 Award,’ the highest environmental prize of the United Nations, in 1988, and also won the World Hunger Media Award in that year for the best periodical piece on development issues.

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