Some Basic Components of PROUT's Social Vision
The Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) offers a comprehensive and synthetic social vision.
Some significant components of this social vision are briefly summarized below.
Social and Cultural Principles
Individual development. Everyone should have opportunity and encouragement to develop, in a balanced way, their physical, mental and spiritual potentials.
Social welfare. The full development of individual potentialities requires a vital society motivated by the welfare of all, and the development of society's potentials requires vital individuals whose welfare, needs and comforts are met in return for their contribution to society.
Coordinated cooperation. Gender relations, workplace relations, and other social and economic relations, should be based on coordinated cooperation, not subordinated cooperation.
Unity in diversity. Diversity is the law of nature; humanity must value all people and their diversity, and achieve unity by giving all people scope to participate fully in society.
Cultural expression. All nations or groupings of people should be free to develop cultural expressions that are authentic reflections of their communities, convey their aspirations as well as social, economic and political truths, are empowering, unifying and uplifting.
Universalism. No limited ism should be adopted as a basis for human unity; only the sentiment of universalism, promoting the welfare for all, is suitable to unite the planetary humanity.
Production and Distribution Principles
· Basic necessities and common amenities. The basic necessities and common amenities of life must be guaranteed to all people (by adequate purchasing power in exchange for their labour according to their capacity). This fundamental right must extend to the whole of humanity.
· Effective incentives. While maintaining social equity, incentives or special amenities should be distributed to those who can make meritorious contributions to society through their labour.
· Limits to accumulation. There must be limits placed on the accumulation of wealth by individuals, limits which can only be exceeded by social permission.
· Rational distribution. The resources of the planet should be equitably distributed so that all human societies have proper capacity for development.
· Maximum utilization. Natural resources and human potentialities should be utilized without waste, and for purposes that promote the quality of life.
Regulated and planned market economy. While the role of markets is important to economic activity, there is need for market regulation and for the supportive role of economic planning.
Economic planning. Economic planning should go together with markets to promote purchasing capacity, increase productivity, build infrastructure for distribution, and meet collective necessities.
Socio-economic decentralization. The locus of control of social and economic development should be local communities and bioregions.
Localized economic self-sufficiency. The bulk of the basic commodities of life and goods and services generally should be produced regionally, and these local enterprises should be cooperatively controlled by local people. Local government may mange essential large-scale key industries and private entrepreneurs may manage small businesses.
Progressive adjustment. All aspects of economic and social life should maintain dynamic equilibrium by undergoing progressive adjustments (such adjustments may be reactive or proactive).
Economic democracy. Economic security and the decentralization of economic power are required for the proper functioning of democratic societies. This can be achieved in an economy in which the cooperative enterprise is the main form of production and for distribution of goods and services to consumers.
Bioregional nations. Nation-states should be transformed into socio-economic zones (or natural nations) defined by factors that create common identity and cultural unity of its peoples, and by the economic resources and potentialities, and geographical features of an area.
Political institutions and law. The laws around the world should be harmonized into a global law consisting of principles developed at the world level, and practically implemented by other relevant levels of government, such as those of nations, states and regions of the world.
Planetary federation. Increasing authority should be given to a world governing body to ensure human rights (civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural), protect the environment, maintain peace, oversee the equitable distribution of resources, and guarantee the minimum necessities of life for all. Such a world government should initially have representation on a population basis (lower house) and country basis (upper house).
Rights and Values
Existential value. The existential rights of all forms of life should be recognized so that: for human beings, they have their individual and social security and right to life; and for ecosystems, all life forms (animals, plants and other organisms) have ample biological diversity and can be sustained according to a productive environment.
Utility value. Every human being should be able to contribute and increase their usefulness to society, and the usefulness of all other life forms and things is to be understood when making decisions that affect human beings, other life forms and the environment.
Liberty. People should have full freedom of expression in mental and spiritual spheres of life, but be constrained from excess accumulation of wealth in the physical sphere.
Cardinal social rights. All people should have fundamental rights, such as education, expression of culture, use of their mother language, and spiritual practice.