PROUT stands for “Progressive Utilisation Theory”.
It is a complete and thorough socio-economic proposal, a different alternative to the capitalist and communist models, which have largely proved being ineffective to meet the basic needs of all human beings.
Prout is the practical application, to a social level, of all ethical and spiritual principles of Ananda Marga.
Very briefly, we list below the basics of Prout. At the end of this page you will find several addresses for more information on the subject.
PROUT advocates economic democracy based on local economic planning, cooperative enterprises, local government control of natural resources and major industries, and the application of limits, socially agreed, of individual accumulation of wealth. Only decentralizing the economy and putting the decision making in hands of the local people we can ensure the availability of food, housing, clothing, medical care and education for all. This is also the only way to ensure ecosystems are not being exploited beyond their capacity to renew themselves. Environmental management is a must, since people rely on these systems for their own survival and wellbeing.
Basic needs met for all:
It should be guaranteed to every human being the satisfaction of basic needs of life, as a natural right of birth. Nobody can develop to the highest if no food, shelter, clothing, medical care and education are covered. It should be planned decent employment at the minimum wage to ensure the purchasing power necessary to meet the basic requirements. The standard of guaranteed minimum necessities should advance hand in hand with increases in the productive capacity of the economy.
To build a humane and benevolent society, the authority should not focus on the individual but on the collective decision. The viability of economic democracy is based on the existence of an electorate possessing three qualities: 1) education, 2) socio-economic sense, 3) moral integrity. In some cases individual leadership is also necessary but should only be given social responsibilities to ethically and morally responsible people, whose conduct will protect and benefit society.
Individuals should have complete freedom to acquire knowledge and to express their ideas, their creative potential and inner aspirations. Such intellectual and spiritual freedom will strengthen the community. Only actions that clearly harm the social and collective welfare must be controlled. For example, the accumulation of material goods by some, results in the deprivation of many others and it should not be allowed.
PROUT encourages the protection and development of culture, language, history and regional traditions. To achieve social justice and a healthy social order, individual and cultural diversity should be respected and encouraged.
The Rights of Women:
PROUT supports the fight against all forms of violence and exploitation used to suppress women’s rights. PROUT’s goal is the coordinated cooperation, with equal rights between men and women. PROUT seeks the economic, social and spiritual empowerment of women around the world.
Science and Technology:
Scientific knowledge and technology are potential assets of humanity. With proper use of these tools, the physical difficulties of life could be terminated and attain a greater knowledge about the nature of the material world and our spiritual dimension. However, the development and use of scientific knowledge should be guided by spiritual, ethical and neo-humanist values and should be directed morally. Otherwise, science and technology are used with the logic of power and personal gain, resulting in destruction and exploitation.
PROUT proposes the creation of a system of a global government that defends the rights globally. With a constitution and a common penal code the fundamental rights of all individuals and nations will be guaranteed, and thus solve regional and international conflicts. While the economy is decentralized, it is more advantageous to have a central political system.