PROUT The Alternative to Capitalism and Communism
Prout, The Progressive Utilization Theory is a socio-economic theory propounded by the Indian scientist and spiritual leader, Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar. It stands for the utilization of all the potentialities, crude, subtle and causal in a progressive manner. Material or intellectual achievements do not necessarily mean progress, if they don't also ensure welfare on the spiritual and mental levels.
The capitalist economy is weakening surprisingly fast. However, this has been predictable for a long time due to typical signs of a lead up to recession in the capitalism and neoliberalism. According P. R Sarkar these signs are: 1. An increasing gap between the rich and poor. 2. Accumulation of money in unproductive sites, especially in speculative instruments. 3. Weakening of the purchasing power of the common people and the middle class. 4. The fiat currencies not being tied to any actual reserve, such as gold – creating the risk of money losing its value.
One could list many other elements related to the previous factors such as: corporate irresponsibility – arising inevitably from the basic structure of capitalism; the rights of individuals being held above the common interest; free trade and its control over society, excessive competition, demand for continual growth and profit motivation.
Economy is burdened by an all-pervasive exposure to risk such as; the speculative housing and stock market bubble; foreign investment take over of small businesses; virtual money – reckless use of credit cards and lending to fulfill the insatiable greed of capitalism, which also pollutes and consumes natural resources. Sarkar describes the nature of capitalism as being a "self-centered" system. According to him, the capitalists suck the blood of society, 'and at the same time, when society withers away – capitalism will also die'.
The aim of Prout is the welfare of all living beings. It is based on universal spiritual values, the maintenance of the environmental balance and the cooperative movement. Sarkar created an international organization to facilitate service to humanity, personal growth and economic justice. Today Proutist Universal aims to implement this vision of a different world together with others aspiring towards the same goal.
The Proutistic macroeconomic model offers a comprehensive approach to improve quality of life and remove poverty, by making self-sufficiency achievable all over the world. Its central view is that the Earth's natural resources are the common heritage of humanity. Those resources should be shared in the proper way so that everybody will have the right to utilize, but not the right to misuse them.
P. R Sarkar wonders; 'How can we justify a system in which others live in luxury while at the same time others die on starvation due to lack of food'.
Providing the basic necessities of life through employment (by dividing working hours etc) and thus ensuring purchasing power, is one of the first steps in the implementation of Prout in society. Individuals, whose physical and psychological needs are satisfied are better able to develop higher capacities and act more selflessly. What kind of a haven the world would be, if no one would have to live in misery!
Evolution of humanity continues with developing and deepening awareness. The major cause of pollution of the Earth's ecosystem and disturbance of its natural equilibrium is the activity of human beings. This reckless behavior is reflected in the physical as well as in the mental arena, because people's actions are not guided by spirituality and morality. When the balance of nature is lost, both human society and the ecosystem will go through three phases: disruption, derangement and eventually degeneration.
Related to human society, the degeneration is showing up as exploitation, drug addiction, crime and mutual violence of children. At the individual level, it can be seen as unhealthy lifestyle, depression and suicidal or destructive behavior. A proper balance should be built ecologically, socially and individually. The physical, mental and spiritual needs of each and every human being have to be met in order to create s society for global welfare. Spirituality embodies the expansion of compassion and love for all living beings.
Capitalism and communism
Bewildered humanity is anxiously waiting for something far better than capitalism and communism, which will give opportunities for all.... The prevailing systems of communism and capitalism – driving in the stroller of neoliberalism, are inadequate and thus unable to respond to the physical, mental and especially spiritual needs of the human race. Communism is basically centrally managed capitalism (party centered), in which individual freedom is entirely sacrificed to the collective interest of the whole, while in the capitalist system individual rights are placed above the common interest.
The suppression of initiative and spirituality in communist society led to popular discontent. Sharing exactly equally does not make sense and is not practical either, because it deprives people of motivation. According to Prout, the rational distribution of surplus wealth on the basis of the needs and merits of workers, sustains satisfaction and ambition to move forward. However, income and wealth inequalities can not be too large, such as in profit motivated capitalism, which is why Prout requires property and income ceilings to be set. Capitalism makes people immoral, materialists, and beggars, says Sarkar.
Religious, national and social boundaries should not separate people, as all beings are universal, according the concept of Proutistic Universalism. Prout is always on the side of the exploited, regardless of their race, religion, nationality, etc. Because poverty is a major problem in today's world, Prout's main focus is in resisting economic exploitation. Deprivation affects the existence and life of the whole of humanity.
The Five Fundamental Principles of Prout
1. No individual should be allowed to accumulate any pysical wealth without the clear permission or approval of the collective body
The minimum requirements of life will be provided to all. Extra, accidental and consequential needs will be provided by the permission of the collective/society and its leadership. Both collective interest and individual needs are taken care of. Why is accumulation restricted? Physical wealth is limited, but the desires of human beings are endless (greediness can even become an addiction or mental disease).There is no need to restrict psychic and spiritual wealth as they are unlimited. Prout emphasizes channelizing physical needs into psychic and spiritual ones.
2. There should be maximum utilization and rational distribution of mundane, supra-mundane and spiritual potentialities
Maximum utilization (without wastage) of the mundane potentialities of the universe – solid, liquid, aerial, luminous, ethereal – is possible by scientific inventions and technology. Most of the supra-mundane potentialities of the universe – telepathy, clairvoyance, ESP etc – are yet to be explored and experimented with potential people. Spiritual practitioners receive so far only a tiny fraction of cosmic spiritual vibration. Prout encourages the exploration and utilization of spiritual waves for the welfare of individuals and humanity. Rational distribution of mundane potentialities ensures that everyone gets their basic necessities – and also possible extra as to merit decided according time, place and person. This principle develops love for the creation because it discourages wasting and emphasizes sharing.
3. There should be maximum utilization and rational distribution of physical, metaphysical and spiritual potentialities of the individuals and collective human society
Here 'physical potentialities' means bodily or corporeal potential. Metaphysical signifies subtle intellectual potentialities, such as discoveries by scientists. Individually talented or skillful group should be given scope to share their services for the welfare of all. Spiritually evolved yogis should be given the opportunity to teach their wisdom to others. This principle is helpful in resolving over-accumulation by sharing.
The difference between the second and third principle is that the second concerns the potentialities of the universe, while the third principle concerns the potentialities of human beings and society. The second principle offers the benefits of maximum utilization and rational distribution for individual human beings and society, whereas the third principle gives scope for human beings to do service with the potentialities that they get from cosmic or universal wealth.
4. There should be a proper adjustment amongst these physical, metaphysical, mundane, supra-mundane and spiritual utilizations
The human structure is physical, mental (metaphysical) and spiritual. While the cosmic qualities are crude, subtle and causal (mundane, supra-mundane and spiritual). The causal or spiritual quality is the most valuable and rarest quality. The crude, physical or mundane are the least valuable. So for example if a human being is equally developed physically, mentally and spiritually, then his spiritual skills should be utilized first. If one is equally skilled intellectually and physically, then his intellectual capacity should be utilized more. This principle balances and integrates human personalities into a harmonious society.
5. The method of utilization should vary according time, place and person and the utilization should be of progressive nature
With the advancement of science and technology, the method of utilization of potentialities will also change. This principle provides for flexibility in the manner of utilization. It encourages for example automatization meaning that time is saved to be used for higher intellectual and spiritual purposes. According to Prout progress means movement which leads to the adoption of spiritual values. Physical and psychic inventions and movement should also be guided by spirituality.
Economic democracy based on Prout has a three wheeled structure:
The Proutist economy will be run to a great extent by local producer's and consumer's cooperatives. For example by agricultural, environmental, transportation and raw material processing cooperatives. Cooperatives enable the development of human being as sharing and caring beings and introduce collective decision-making and ownership. They also lessen materialism, thus reducing pollution, and create activities assisting mental, cultural, aesthetic and spiritual progress. Workers will be made aware as well their duties and responsibilities as well as their rights and privileges.
Small scale private and family enterprises
The pursuit for profit is limited in small enterprises. When the enterprise grows bigger it has to be formed as cooperative, or it must take part in building or assisting welfare projects in society.
Large scale key industry
Industries with huge structures and complex production systems: for example railways, airports, and other infrastructure, mining industry, energy production etc are provided by government and autonomous institutions, on a no loss no profit basis.
Agricultural policy and land ownership
All cultivable land in economic units should be eventually brought under utilization by cooperatives. As it is anyhow not possible to incorporate private lands into this system suddenly, socialization has to happen gradually: first the uneconomic and underutilized lands will be joined into cooperatives with lands owned by workers. Personal ownership will still exist for some time, but part of the profit will go to workers. Later most of the profit is shared on basis of work. At the end the private ownership will cease to exist.
Other features and policies of Prout:
Trade unionism controlled by laborers, not by politicians. Prout believes in economic democracy, decentralization and socialization – but nationalization of only the key industries. Prout doesn't advocate political democracy, as it is not functioning proper way; votes can be bought and uneducated people can't make proper decisions in complex issues. Progressive taxation should be mainly production based. Currencies have to be tied to real assets, like gold. Barter trade is recommended between nations and locally. Raw materials and resources should mainly be used locally. A World government will monitor international issues, such as environmental protection, space transportation, peace maintenance and so on. Prout encourages scientific research, technological innovations and automatization especially in a decentralized economy: while working hours decrease still production and salaries increase. To maintain the quality and quantity of production, ideological, educational and material incentives will be provided for meritorious, industrious and skilled workers. Benefits and other forms of support will have an important role for them: for example maternity and housing benefits, free medical care, insurance etc.
Balanced economy policy guidelines
Thirty to forty percent of people of the area should depend directly on agriculture, twenty percent on agro-industries (food processing, mills, herbal production) and twenty percent on agrico-industries (farming material production). Only ten percent should be directly working in trade and commerce and ten percent as white collar workers and officials. Combined non-agricultural sectors should have a maximum thirty percent of workforce.
Over industrialized countries often exploit and enslave the lands of developing countries for their own food production and then utilize those countries as a market for their processed goods. If the foreign markets do not import their products, over industrialized countries suffer from unemployment and economic recession. Due to this exploitative marketing, psychic degeneration of individuals and society increases, creating wars as a consequence.
Classes (varnas) and the Social Cycle by Sarkar
The Social cycle according Sarkar is a process of social movement, wherein the shudra ('laborer') age changes into ksatriya ('soldier'), ksatriya into vipra ('intellectual') and vipra into the vaeshya ('traders') age in cyclic evolutionary order. The earliest shudra laborers lived in nature engaged in collecting food, hunting and fishing and eventually settled down forming clans. But the physically stronger ksattriya soldiers started to control others, which led to fights amongst clans. The soldier dominance increased with time, resulting in battles and wars. When the vipra intellectuals realized that they were able to win over physical force through intellect, they conquered the society by religious and political means. Finally the vaeshya traders discovered that the power of money was still mightier than rule by intellect.
It is not difficult to figure out where we are heading at this moment. During the present vaeshyan, trader's age, the society is controlled by money minded, materialistic and capitalistic people in most of the countries of the world. The value of human life has degraded into materially-oriented enjoyment – starting from exploitation and leading to crime, violence and mental disease. The traders, in order to dominate the rest of the people, create artificial needs and desires to acquire more and more goods and wealth. The intellectuals and soldiers are forced to become laborers and servants for traders, but those laborers are different from the original class of laborers, that never bother to revolt. Those intellectual and soldier (activists?) laborers can't tolerate exploitation, and eventually when the exploitation reaches its peak they are going to fight.
The future leaders of revolution, the sadvipras are respected due to their wisdom. They are moral and spiritual soldiers who want to see progressive change: an evolutionary elevation from materialism to spirituality. They are also strong mentally and physically, thus imbibing qualities of all the classes. A spiritually awakened society will eventually uplift these moral, service minded, highly spiritual people to lead the society. Sadvipras will oversee the movement of the social cycle which will continue – although less dramatically due to common elevation and increasing righteousness in the society.
Sarkar mentions, that political leaders cannot create sadvipras by tall talks...it demands righteousness and the practice of self-purification in personal life.
Change is on the way
There have been efforts all over the globe to solve the problems of the world by whistleblowing, holding meetings, and by formation of alliances. People also expect to see saviors such as extraterrestrials to appear and make a difference. Some call for change through politics, others by education or religious solutions, and a few expect a revolution to take place in the economy. But revolution is not just something to be done spontaneously, it needs serious preparation for all round change, not only economic. One also needs to develop oneself and cooperate with others. A comprehensive ideology of life has to be introduced to lead humanity on right track, in order to restore spiritual human values, so that human being can live in dignity and help each others to do the same.
Prout-theory contains spiritual, philosophical and service aspects. It is not only theory, as it is already practiced partially by hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. There are also countless other organizations making a difference in one way or the other, and all are coming together, for example in the Social Forums. We can say that a silent revolution is creeping into the society all over the globe for the sake of creating a better world, which is more spiritual and caring. Everyone should prepare oneself by learning the qualities of all the social classes and becoming sadvipras in order to hasten the dawning “golden age” of humanity. Human beings are not only physical and psychic beings, but also spiritual ones, which should be taken into account in financial planning too.
Universal principles for strengthening righteousness
One should not intentionally cause damage or harm to others. Benevolent truthfulness means to use thoughts, words and deeds with the well being of others in mind. We should refrain from taking anything that belong to others, or preventing others from getting what is rightfully theirs. Everyone is to be respected as manifestations of Supreme Consciousness. One should avoid unnecessary luxuries and adopt a simple lifestyle. People should maintain the purity of the body, the environment and the mind, and a sense of satisfaction and peace. We should read spiritual scripts, listen to wise people and cultivate personal assistance and self-sacrifice towards others. Humanity should accept the Cosmic Consciousness as the guide and shelter of life.
The healing justice
The aim of the treatment of prisoners is to change and develop their personalities. In order to reduce crime social ills have to be addressed, poverty eradicated and therapies to be arranged. The death penalty is not acceptable – every human being has the potential for positive change.
Prout doesn't support disarmament of weapons in present society, where the inimical forces have piled up huge loads of deadly weapons of mass destruction. If disarmament is carried out, the righteous forces will remain defenseless under the threat of the evil forces. Human beings have created atomic bombs, but the creator is always more powerful than his creation. Human beings can also create anti-bombs to neutralize the effect of the destructive power of nuclear bombs.
Reforming education and teaching the mother tongue
Sarkar has also developed the so-called Neohumanistic education method. Children are taught how to take care of plants, animals and each other – in order to awaken the child's love for all living beings. Children should learn about a healthy lifestyle and they should be provided with progressive, alternative classes. Education of universal spiritual values should also be part of basic education. Unconditional love and deep wisdom are the sources of limitless inspiration. Every child should be encouraged to speak their mother tongue. If it is suppressed, then one easily suffers from intellectual dwarfishness, and becomes victimized by psycho-economic exploitation. At the same time, a universal language is also required; English can be used for global communication.
How to get rid of destructive capitalism?
Capitalism has served its life span, and the human race is now worthy of something better. The vacuum created after the fall of capitalism must be filled with a new advanced system, otherwise people will resort to any former structure no matter how unsatisfactory it was.
To achieve final victory some kind of revolution is required in order to release the society from the capitalist parasites. It is also necessary to establish popular movements fighting against the remnants of capitalism, and seek to establish self-sustaining local economic units.
The Samaj socio-economic movement is based on the anti-exploitation sentiment, aimed at securing justice and all round welfare in each socio-economic unit (Samaj) - built on the bases of culture, similar economic problems and potentialities. Each Samaj will have its own developmental planning. They will be regional in expression, but universal in spirit. A sound universal or cosmic society can't be established unless the vast socio-economical disparity is destroyed.
The Prout administrative system consists of the legislative, judicial, executive and auditing structure, which secures the overall well-being of society, balanced economic growth, human rights, basic services, environmental protection and the construction of infrastructure. Perfection is not required for the implementation of the economic system, but rationality. And the economic experts don't necessarily need to be geniuses, only to have sincere love and concern for humanity. Sarkar believed in the absolute victory of justice and righteousness in the world and the triumph of progressive, equality-based, welfare-ensured economics for all.
Ever since the beginning of civilization, human beings have been struggling for unity and expansion. Individualism was prevailing in stone age, but later on human beings formed clans and tribal villages. At present, countries are bonding with each other. Due to technological advancement our search for unity is culminating towards friendship with interplanetary beings, bringing us eventually into the age of cosmic brotherhood. But according to Sarkar this is not possible until some basic factors are achieved: a common philosophy of life, a global constitutional structure, a common penal code and the fulfillment of basic necessities for all.
A vision for a new world
The cooperative life might seem a bit boring and old fashioned for those accustomed to a materialistic, entertainment-oriented city life. An artificial environment is rather a hindrance to progressive change – which present day people only have a small glimpse of.
What does the term a 'Golden Age' mean? It simply means a spiritually colored future where most people will be somewhat spiritually developed and having some psychic abilities. Everyone will be more aware of others thinking which would make lying and hiding more difficult. People would do everything with the spirit of sharing rather than grabbing for themselves, and would rather inspire than suppress others.
Economically you see how sharing could make a difference; it would be like in my home village as a child, where I observed that nobody wanted to take anything but everyone wanted to give. The result usually was that when one “forced” the other to take something, the other “revenged” by giving something instead. Bartering and “talkoot” (where farmers and small house owners gathered to help each other in farming, construction etc) were rather joyful occasions, and collective meals with children playing around made the day. Those were the days about 50 years back. Since then things have changed into the selfish capitalistic outlook in the Finnish countryside, while the farms have grown into EU standard size and been tempted into profit making through EU funding.
These days the majority of people are still obliged to live in poverty, or at the borderline. Anyhow if there would be equal sharing of wealth we all might be rich, but would it make the world much better; polluting and wasting would continue – except if there would be simultaneous elevation of people's minds. As we will be going in that direction soon we will be able to handle the benefits of free energy solutions as well. That would be the bomb of the time. You just imagine; the pollution by cars would be finished and homes and factories would also use clean energy. You could fly in a few minutes to any place on the globe. You could take a trip to other inhabited planets as well, but that might not happen before we have acquired deeper understanding of life and learned to share. They are ahead of us spiritually and I think they don't want us there messing things up before we have grown up to be responsible and caring brothers and sisters.
Also what hinders the free energy (or almost free anti-gravity, plasma technology etc) inventions and production is the insatiable greed that keeps countries and companies making money with oil, coal and water. If the addiction and mental sickness of greed would be treated with the pills that the big pharma uses to manipulate people to take for what so ever imaginable disorder and then to cover the side effects with other pills, the world would be different place altogether in no time.
But so we are going to make a new world, as Sarkar describes; 'Your future is bright – not only bright, but guaranteed. A new spiritual life free from all sorts of dogma is sure to come in the near future... The people of today shall proceed ahead with greater speed than the people of 5000 years ago. A psychic or mental change has occurred, so people will progress more easily and proceed ahead towards spirituality. People in the future shall proceed ahead with more accelerated speed. Therefore, the future of humans is bright. Be the [vanguard of] a bright future and the crimson light that breaks on the eastern horizon. There is no alternative but to welcome it!'
'The clouds can not cover the sun forever. The forces of darkness would never allow the expansion of human consciousness. Yet, humanity will march ahead. No one can slow down the progressive movement of the human beings. You must be the pioneers of this victorious march. See that no individual will lack behind' – P R Sarkar
A summary of what others are saying about Prout:
P. R. Sarkar is in his own way equal to the great historian Arnold Toynbee. - O Markley, Professor, Houston University
Sarkar's theory is clearly superior to the Adam Smith's or Karl Marx's theory... Prout is more mentally than materialistically inspired self-sufficient system of economical and political theory. - Johan Galtung
Alternative views are now vital. Prout's cooperative model for economic democracy... deserves serious consideration. - Noam Chomsky, author
PROUT is spiritual and visionary anchored in reality. The analyzes are intellectual and inspiring. - Howard Zinn, prof, The Boston University.
Prout is a very important for grass-roots groups and for all who yearn for liberation from the economy and widening to comprehensive personal and social human existence. - Leonardo Boff, Liberation Theology.
R. Sarkar was one of India's most important modern philosophers. - Giani Singh, India's former president.
Prout's holistic vision provides new solutions for the economic problems of the nations – as the theory of continuous economic growth has proven to be insecure. - Matti Ollila, Science Foundation.
In this dark time of human history Prout brings hope and light to this planet, its plants, animals and humans. - Nada Khader, Westchester People's Action Coalition.
Prout's constitutional proposals are ethical summary of everything humanity needs to implement a universal brotherhood. - Frei Betto, author
Prout was also presented to the former President of Venezuela, Chavez. He was told that Sarkar said on leaving 1979 Venezuela; 'Venezuela needs good spiritual, political leaders. If Venezuela is able to produce spiritual, political leaders, it will not be only the leading country of Latin America, but also in the whole world.'
Sarkar has also said (abbreviated); 'The Humanity is bleeding. We have come here to do something. My coming is significant and your coming is as significant. We have one common mission... that the world will realize that humanity is one and indivisible, and no power can destroy this glorious humanity.'
Edited Didi Annapurna Proutist Universal
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