Prout: Part 7 - Social Psychology and Theory of History


 "Varn'a is only a psychological disposition based upon ways and means to survive and prosper in a given environment. Prout theory also differs from the western grouping of social classes based upon income levels."

          Social Psychology 


Behaviours: We can identify four social groupings or behaviours based on the human mind's relationship with the natural and social environment.Each group has a different relationship with its environment and therefore develops different mental tendencies. 


The first group (the masses) are overwhelmed by the psycho-physical waves of reality. Unable to contend with it, this group spends its energy simply trying to exist. The second group (the warriors) commands the psycho-physical reality by physical force. The third (the intellectuals) commands by psychic (mental) force, and the fourth (merchants) commands by controlling the manufacture and exchange of psycho-physical objects.

"The concept of the varn'as is a valuable model for the analysis of class dynamics. This model applies more toward social analysis than understanding individual psychology, where more complex laws exist."

In Sanskrit, these groups are called varn'as. The concept of the varn'as is a valuable model for the analysis of class dynamics. This model applies more toward social analysis than understanding individual psychology, where more complex laws exist. Nevertheless, It is fundamental and general, and it is essential not to use it simplistically and rigidly toward individuals. 


Theory of the Social Cycle: The concept of the four varn'as leads to a new theory of social dynamics and historical analysis unique to Prout. This theory holds that, at any given time, society will be dominated by the psychology and administration of a particular varn'a. It is further held that social change occurs cyclically. Together these ideas are referred to as the Theory of the Social Cycle. It elaborates the transformation of society as the predominant values and power base shift from one varn'a to the next in a cyclic manner.

"Prout theory of social grouping differs from the caste system of India, which, although using the same terms, locks people into a class structure by birth." 

In our theory, varn'a is only a psychological disposition based upon ways and means to survive and prosper in a given environment. Based on human psychological characteristics, society can be divided into four classes. These classifications are qualitative and not based on racial, economic or traditional considerations - these are known as Shudra or Masses, Ksattriya or Warrior, Vipra or Intellectual and Vaeshya or Merchant. 



Prout differs fundamentally from the concept of class analysis by class, which is based on economic consideration or mode of production relation. Our theory also differs from the western grouping of social classes based upon income levels. 


                                                                        Theory Of History


First, we will examine the four groups in our theory and then give a brief historical analysis from this perspective.


Masses: The first group (the masses or shúdras) displays the characteristics of the undeveloped human mind dominated by the material and social environment and basic instincts. The shúdra mind lacks vibrancy due to its preoccupation with materiality. There is a bit of original expression of higher ideals or culture. Of course, the shu'dra mind of the modern era is more developed than the shúdra mentality of the dark ages or the prehistoric era. Hence, the varn'as are relative categories. The shúdras are those who have few aspirations and little mental dynamism. They live according to the pressures of material conditions and the dominant trends of collective psychology. Shúdra psychology is essentially mass psychology. It requires the guidance and inspiration of those with more developed minds, who define the direction and momentum of collective psychology. They accept the domination by one or the other classes.

"On the individual level, every mind possesses a mixture of and the potential for all the four varn'as - though one psychology tends to be dominant." 

Warrior: Those with the warrior mentality constitute the second varn'a (warrior or ks'attriya). They have a fighting spirit. They display bravery and embrace challenge and struggle. On a rudimentary level, the warrior mind seeks to establish domination or control over matter through physical valour. A warrior-dominated society may emphasize social values such as honour, discipline, self-sacrifice, responsibility, or, in a negative sense, blind adherence to authority, brutality, and competition. Most societies of ancient history, certain medieval societies like the Arabic Muslim society, and various military and communist societies of the modern age are examples of warrior dominated societies.

"Just as the warriors dominated ancient history and the intellectuals dominated the middle ages, the merchants dominate modern history."


Intellectual: The intellectual class (vipras) constitute the third varn'a. Those with developed mental faculties, who seek to influence the external or social environment by their intellect, constitute this class. Scientific, religious and cultural achievements are the products of the intellectuals. The Intellectual era is characterized by the social and political rule of the intellectuals, scholars, ministers, or clergy (whether in a monarchy, democracy, theocracy, etc.). Here religious, cultural, and intellectual pursuits dominate collective psychology. The Hindu and Buddhist societies of the Far East and the Catholic Church dominated Europe's middle ages. Some of the present day-fundamentalist Islamic states are essentially intellectual societies. Shiite-Khameini Iran and the latest Afghanistan over-run by Sunni-Taliban are examples of the vipra-varna dominant societies. They violate Prout's natural progression of the Social cycle, and it defines them as counter-revolution.


Intellectuals believe in the supremacy of intellectual power. Thus, priests, ministers, teachers, artists, philosophers, etc., are found in this class. 

Merchant: The fourth social class is that of the merchants (vaeshyas). It is the mercantile or entrepreneurial class that excels in the handling and accumulation of resources. Modern history, which crystallizes with the Industrial Revolution, continues to be dominated by the psychology of this class. Just as the warriors dominated ancient history and the intellectuals dominated the middle ages, the merchants dominate modern history.

" In this decline, the labour of the masses, the warriors' martial abilities, and the mental powers of the intellectuals become increasingly enslaved to the will of the merchants (capitalists), who have iron control over their wages and livelihood."

Here the mental tendency is to accumulate wealth by subordinated deployment and monetization of potentials of the other classes - workers, warriors and intellectuals, of a society.

Dynamism and Decline: The beginning of any age is characterized by great dynamism on all levels - political, cultural, economic, etc. The new leadership frees the people from the oppressive institutions of the old order. The age peaks in a golden era as the new class overcomes the obstacles of the old order and solidifies its control over society. In time, however, social decline again occurs as the dominant class increases its power at the expense of meeting the people's basic needs. Social unrest builds as the exploitation becomes more systematized.

"Political rule is also determined by "behind the curtain" capitalists who hold financial power. All capitalist societies are in this condition now." 

In this way, the merchant class brought great dynamism to a society suffering under a corrupt priest class and the feudal system of the Holy Roman Empire. The golden age of modern history is probably the period of Pax Americana (1946-1992). Now, however, the era of the merchant is beginning to exceed its welcome. As the dominant class seeks to expand its wealth and power beyond the bounds of governmental jurisdiction, they do so at the expense of greater numbers of people, most of whom lose purchasing capacity and many are unable to meet their basic survival needs. 



In this decline of the merchant class, the labour of the masses, the warriors' martial abilities, and the mental powers of the intellectuals become increasingly enslaved to the will of the merchants (capitalists), who have iron control over their wages and livelihood. Political rule is also determined by "behind the curtain" capitalists who hold financial power. All capitalist societies are in this condition now. It is illustrated by the absolute dependency of political leaders on "big money" to finance their election campaigns. Though constitutional democracy was a positive development of the merchant age, as practised today, it is little more than a tool for controlling national economies by the international financial giants.


At the high point of the capitalist age, the capitalist system easily manipulates the shudra-minded shudras. If the ksattriya and vipra-minded shudras lack spirit, they will also be bought by the vaeshyas money. They also control the psycho-economy to manufacture consent and compliance of the people. Sections of modern-day media promote pseudo-celebrity culture, fake news and subtle and crude narratives of events and history to create hatred and divisions within the society. Further, the academia - universities, institutions of literature, cinema and culture are sought to be captured to serve the ruling elite's interests. 


Thus, a stir in the society depends on shudras who have sufficient spirit and are mentally vipras or ksattriyas, known as the vikshubda shudras.

"The trough and crest of the collective flow are shorter than the trough and crest of the individual's flow. And this shortness of the collective wave-length in relation to the wave-length of the individual sets the stage for evolution or revolution as the number of individual's                       who want social change increases."                                                                                                   

Vikshubda Shudras: The kśatriya or vipra-minded shúdras – may or may not be from the middle-class. Proutists use vikśubdha [disgruntled], instead of "middle-class", to describe the revolutionary shúdras. It is from the pool of vikshubda shudras the Prout activists and Sadvipras emerge to launch an intellectual revolution changing the value-system of society. They have to be supported and protected. The vikśubdha shúdras are a constant source of uneasiness for the tyrannical vaeshyas. The capitalists are not afraid of labour unrest, but the labour leaders, the vikśubdha shúdras. 


De-Classed Sadvipra: Those kśatriya or vipra-minded shúdras who are the vanguard of the revolution will have to learn to be disciplined, take proper revolutionary training, build their character, be moralists. In the process, a sadvipra becomes one with the potentials of shudra, ksattriya, vipra and vaeshya, rolled into one.

 

People will recognize such sadvipras by their conduct, dedication to selfless service, dutifulness and moral integrity. Those established in Yama and Niyama – who are imbued with Cosmic ideation – are genuine sadvipras. Such spiritual revolutionaries work to achieve progressive changes for human elevation on a well-thought, pre-planned basis, whether in the physical, metaphysical or spiritual sphere. 

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(Extract updated from New York Writers Group Publication)

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