As the Permaculture movement has begun to address the importance of human systems to its agricultural revolution, the word has come to mean “Permanent Culture”. Imbedded in this broader definition is the work by permaculturists in the areas of community building and local economic revitalization. But permaculturists have not yet developed a post-capitalist, socio-economic paradigm of their own. It is the contention of this paper that PROUT can help develop such a paradigm. PROUT offers a set of design principles upon which to construct a local economy with the intention of meeting the basic needs of local people in an environmentally sustainable manner through the cooperative use of local resources and local labor.
PROUT offers a new paradigm of development that is guided by fundamental design principles. These principles are based on cardinal human values: a fundamental respect for all living beings and a concern for the welfare and development of all people. The design principles are universal and durable; they reflect, in the socioeconomic realm, the deep patterning of nature.