|Projects/Solutions/Policy||PROUT Philosophy||Topical Collections|
The PROUT Institute Library contains a rich assortment of project reports, policy proposals, development plans, issue analyses, theory statements, informational leaflets, and action agendas.
All items in the Library reflect a PROUTist point of view. The body of Library contents presents a balanced range of ideas—from the practical to the theoretical, and from local application to global relevance.
For those new to exploring the Library, here is a brief orientation to the categorization of its contents:
- For readers interested in the practical projects and studies undertaken by the Institute, we recommend the contents of the “Neighborhood Projects” and “Regional Projects” folders.
- For readers interested in policies and solution concepts that flow out of the PROUT paradigm, look into the contents of the “Envisioning New Approaches,” “Policy Statements,” and “Solutions Statements” folders.
- For readers interested in the PROUT Institute’s focus of interest on permaculture and on economic democracy, check the “Permaculture and PROUT” and “Economic Democracy” folders.
- For readers new to PROUT, and who want a basic introduction to it, see the “Introduction to PROUT Theory” folder.
- For readers who would like to acquire deeper understandings of PROUT theory, see the folders “PROUT’s Theory of History,” “PROUT’s Social Concepts,” “PROUT’s Political System,” and “PROUT’s Economic System.”
- For those wanting perspective on how PROUT envisions the transition to a new socioeconomic paradigm and wanting strategic understanding on how to build the tide of change, see the folder “Transition to a New Society.”
- And for those curious about PROUT’s original expounder, see the articles in the folder “PROUT Founder P. R. Sarkar.”
- For the convenience of Library users, several content search options have been provided. The Library search function searches paper titles. Clicking on a title opens a brief description of a paper’s contents.
All Library content is copyrighted by the PROUT Institute. We request appropriate attribution for any Library article that is reprinted or otherwise used.
New articles are added to the Library as they become available. PROUT Institute website users can request to receive notification of newly posted Library content.
We realize that Library users may have questions or opinions they would like to direct to PROUT Institute staff about the articles they read. A Library discussion blog has been established to accommodate this. Please keep in mind that there is no guarantee that article authors will be available to reply to all questions or requests for discussion.
We request that Library users register their email to help us track interest in the contents of the Library.
New Library Selections March – June 2016
Here are short blurbs on all of the articles and papers — and the two new subject folders — added to the Library since March:
- NEW LIBRARY SECTION: General PROUT Theory
Proutist Methodology: Wave Theory, by Charles Paprocki. Proutist methodology is clearly new and quite distinct from the methodologies employed by social scientists of the past. This methodology is based on the wave theory of P. R. Sarkar and resolves the contradiction between metaphysics and dialectics and the contradiction between idealism and materialism. Proutist Methodology is a new, dynamic method for analyzing the movement of human society.
Fundamental Design Principles of PROUT. The Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) offers a new paradigm of development that is guided by several 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 achieve these qualities by reflecting, in the socioeconomic realm, the deep patterning of nature.
Basic PROUT Concepts of Development. PROUT seeks to promote sustainable, empowering, holistic and abundant development on the basis of a guiding theory framework. Basic elements of this theory of development are outlined in this article.
Materializing PROUT in Practice. PROUT is a new socioeconomic theory, and while some practical features of this theory have already been successfully demonstrated – such as the cooperative enterprise system – it has not as yet fully established itself in practice. Its efficacy, as a whole, remains untested. So, one might ask, “To what extent is it reasonable to assume that a PROUT society can be established and be viable in practice?” To answer this we must first look at the causes for failure of theories.
- NEW LIBRARY SECTION: Cooperative Enterprise
Policy Statement on Cooperative Enterprise. Cooperatives are the preferred form of enterprise in the PROUT economy because they provide the most empowering arrangement for human beings to work together. Human beings have to work jointly with others so that everyone can move forward collectively. Only those economic activities that cannot be done collectively should be done individually, or under state control.
PROUT’s Cooperative System. Cooperatives are a highly efficient form of enterprise. Where cooperatives have adequate access to capital, entrepreneurship, skilled labor, and competent management, they out-perform capitalist-managed and state-managed enterprises in virtually every respect. Cooperatives are a superior form of enterprise in their capacity to stimulate worker productivity.
Key Industries: Enterprises Having Strategic Importance. In the PROUT economy all enterprises would conform, as appropriate, to the principles of social ownership and decentralization of economic power. There would not be state-owned enterprise, as this would go against the principle of social ownership. However, industries that have strategic importance to the society require governmental oversight of their management. These key industries would not be state-owned — they would be cooperatively owned and run — yet commissioned and regulated by government commissions or authorities.
- New in PROUT PHILOSOPHY–SOCIAL CONCEPTS: Concept of Society
The word “society” conveys a sense of collective living. But the innate spirit of a society involves more than collective existence; it also implies moving together. And this collective movement cannot be a disjointed movement but must be a united movement. Ao a proper conception of society must include a moving together of all in unison. There must also be magnanimous breadth to our cooperative movement. What is needed for humanity to progress is one human society that encompasses all humanity.
- New in PROUT PHILOSOPHY POLITICAL SYSTEM: PROUT’s Expanded Conception of Liberty
People desire liberty. Deprived of freedom, they rebel. Since the time of Voltaire and Jefferson, liberty has been championed as a fundamental right. For liberty to be a meaningful social principle, it cannot be equated with unrestrained license. In any social structure, restraints imposed by custom and laws are necessary. The proper principle for imposed restraint is this: Liberty must not extend so far that one person’s actions results in harm to others. In what arenas, then, is there the potential for liberty to bring harm?
- New in PROUT PHILOSOPHY–ECONOMIC SYSTEM: Block Level Planning
Economic planning should start at the level where the expertise of local people can best solve economic problems and create prosperity according to local needs. There may be aspects of economic planning which should be undertaken at the global, regional, or district levels, but, so far as is practical, planning activity should occur mainly at the local level. So the most basic level of planning for most purposes is that of the block. A block is a political unit of at least 100,000 people, the boundaries of which are determined on the basis of geographic factors, similar socioeconomic factors, and common economic problems and potentialities.
- New in PROUT PHILOSOPHY–ECONOMIC SYSTEM: PROUT’s Three-Tiered Enterprise System
In a PROUTist economy, economic activities would be conducted by three types of enterprise: small private businesses, cooperatives, and key industries. Private enterprises would be small-scale businesses, such as specialty stores, handcraft producers, and street vendors. Cooperatives would undertake all production and marketing except that on a scale too small to be viable for cooperatives or that which is strategic to the society. Key industries would be the large-scale economic operations involved with products or services having strategic importance, such as banking, telecommunications, and energy utilities.
- New in PROUT MOVEMENT: Short History of the PROUT Movement
This account follows the history of the PROUT movement from the mid 1970s through the mid 1990s. It tells the story of the intellectual and experiential journey that shaped the direction of activities during this era of the PROUT movement. This history focuses largely on the PROUTist activity that came out of North America. The North American centered experience, in the 1975-1995 era, built important understandings and undertakings that, over time, created a heightened potential for projecting PROUT. The ideas Proutists came to espouse were sophisticated and powerful, and by the mid-1990s a pathway was envisioned in which the PROUT paradigm could begin to stand out in the world of progressive change.
- New in PROUT MOVEMENT: Thoughts on a Programmatic Direction for Proutists
The PROUT Institute developed this strategy statement to submit for the PROUT Strategic Planning Seminar, held in Asheville, North Carolina in May 2016. It first sets up the core elements for the balanced development of a PROUT movement, then gives recommendations for strengthening the internal conditions that support an effective PROUT movement, and concludes with the PI’s views on the four questions developed as the focus for collective discussion at the Strategic Planning Seminar.