Prout: Part 10 - Humans are the Subject; not a Part of Capital


"Meeting the needs of human beings is the reason that
economies exist."

Production for Human Needs 


The capitalist socio-economic system is based on the motivation of the individual for financial profit. In the pursuit of profit, human beings are treated as capital input, equal to land and equipment. 


According to Prout, such a system is the exact opposite of what a socio-economy should be. We hold that meeting the needs of human beings is the reason that economies exist.

"Treating people as just another form of capital has allowed for great social injustice and exploitation."

Job-less Growth:

Today many hard-working people face losing their jobs as companies under pressure to increase profit margins look towards downsizing as an easy way to cut costs. Many more people remain chronically unemployed and underemployed due to a lack of jobs. For the majority of jobs, related purchasing capacity continues to decrease.


The capabilities we use to earn a living can be classified as manual, cognitive, and affective. (affective capacities relate to human moods, feelings, and attitudes). 



Machines have been taking over the jobs requiring manual abilities for decades. We can see cognitive abilities starting to go the same way. We cannot be confident that jobs requiring affective skills will always be reserved for humans: machines can already tell if you are happy, surprised or depressed. The current disruption leading to technological unemployment will continue to produce massive 'precarious' or Precariat class instead of Proletariat.

Neohumanist Trajectory:


Prout's Propounder, Shrii P R Sarkar, said back in 1989, "As life becomes increasingly easy, there will be greater opportunities for intellectual pursuits. A day will come when there will be hardly any need for human beings to work. This may sound strange today and perhaps we might not like to hear such a thing, but that day will surely come. Physicality will be transformed into more and more intellectuality, and intellectuality will be transformed into the culminating point of Spirituality. To move ahead, from physicality to intellectuality is the Proutistic order. It is the surest movement of human life -- it is the surest movement of human destiny."


Psycho-Spiritual Renaissance:


The future is un-manned Drone, robotic Surgeon, digital Assistant for knowledge, and numerous other applications of AI in manufacture, the way we live and communicate. All these tech-celerations will deliver job-less growth. It will free humans from mundane jobs to invest in Intellectual, Intuitional growth, and spiritual liberation.

 

Greed-driven Capitalism:


Production, distribution, and regulation occur through the capitalist system's so-called "free market" mechanism. Consumers are free to purchase or not to purchase goods, and the ensuing competition between uncoordinated manufacturers allegedly ensures high-quality goods and low prices. Those goods that do not serve society's perceived needs are not bought, and since the manufacturer cannot profit from them, production of such goods ceases.


In effect, this is seen as the consumer directing the manufacturer as to which goods to produce and which not to. However, this is not the whole story. The endless quest for higher profits has led to psychologically sophisticated methods for creating artificial markets for unnecessary or harmful goods and services. 


Through the sheer force of advertisement campaigns, markets are created and sustained for items such as cigarettes, junk foods, superficial entertainment, and a million and one superfluous items and brand names. As long as profits are the basis for production, businesses will always devise new methods for increasing the demand for products. Even if the products are environmentally or socially harmful, this will not matter if it remains profitable to produce them.


Centralization of Economic Power:

 

Though advocates of capitalism may stress otherwise, the current economy is neither centralized nor planned. In reality, the high concentration of economic power in the hands of a few giant corporations, individuals, and banks - and they truly are few - leads to a centralization that is virtually absolute through less overt than in the communist nations. 


Only a handful of corporations control all major industries, including military technology, energy, real estate, banking, food, and health care. Even political leaders must have their campaigns paid for by the corporate elite.


Imbalance in Consumption:


In today's " free market " economy, highly sophisticated financial control mechanisms have been put in place to increase profits and wealth for the few while diminishing living standards and destroying self-reliance and local ownership of resources. It is witnessed in the significant imbalance of consumption. Today only 20% of the population consumes 80% of the goods and services, leaving only crumbs for 80% of humanity. 


The concentration of Wealth:


Moreover, the concentration of wealth within the fortunate 20% has dramatically increased while the middle class and lower class purchasing power has generally deteriorated. For example, it is estimated that close to 50% of the United States Wealth is owned by less than 1% of the population.


There remains some semblance of economic self-determination in the northern industrialized nations and a few restrictions upon multinational corporate activity. But the poverty and disparity of wealth in the developing countries are truly pitiful.

 

Profit Globalization:


Today, through institutions like the World Trade Organization, the OECD, the World Bank, and by direct interventions of multinational corporations, the corporate elite seek to bring all local economies under their control. They want to make it illegal for governments to control their activity in the interest of local people. In essence, they want to bind local people to a global economy that exploits their labour and local resources and makes them subservient to the decisions of distant economic masters. Fast Track and NAFTA in the United States and the Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI) promoted by the OECD are geared to accomplish this end.

"The primary economic goal of Prout is to utilize and rationally distribute the resources of the world."

Progressive Utilization:


Technology has laid to rest the debate whether humans have sufficient Production capacity. Indeed, the technological trajectory of the 21st century promises plenty. 


However, the self, matter and dogma-centred leaderships refuse to seize the technological opportunities of sustainable production and rational distribution - as it would pose an existential threat to their hold on Power and their exploitation machinery. 

 

The primary economic goal of Prout is to utilize and rationally distribute the resources of the world. Progressive utilization means that the world's resources should be harnessed efficiently and progressively, with the sole motivation to meet all human beings' needs within the carrying capacity of the planetary ecosystems.


Social Purchasing Capacity:

 

The issues of a world without work, and the consequent unemployment, in the first place, will have to be resolved by the universal provision of Social Purchasing Capacity (SPC), tweaking for the better, the concept of the Universal Basic Income (UBI) or access to basic-needs. From the vantage of such a social safety net, the leisured class of each Samaj, basking in the sun of linguistic and cultural sovereignty, will opt for volunteerism in work and invest leisure in higher pursuits of culture, yoga and meditation. Thus, the Prout economy of the society will secure Asti: Existence, Bhati: Expansion of Mind and Anandam: (Bliss).

Self-reliant Socio-economic Unit: Samaj


It requires that local people plan their economies and control their resources. It is the only way to prevent economic exploitation and ensure environmental sustainability. The application and establishment of Prout's concept of self-reliant socio-economic units, popular as Samaj, worldwide and strengthening world governance structure alone will deliver the welfare of human society. 


In this effort, Prout does not take a techno-phobic attitude; instead, it encourages constant scientific endeavours in the spirit of general welfare and local self-reliance.

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(Extract updated from New York Writers Group Publication)

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