For a More Progressively Evolving Society

Characteristics of a New Paradigm

The Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) is a visionary political philosophy offering a new paradigm of development. PROUT can be characterized in the following ways:  

      • PROUT is comprehensive, covering all core facets of a political philosophy, including: values base, theory of history, political system, economic system, ecological philosophy, social and cultural concepts, future vision, and methodology of change. 

      • PROUT synthesizes into one theoretical framework a wide array of progressive concerns, such as: cooperatives, economic democracy, bioregionalism, economic decentralization, social justice, environmental protection, guaranteed basic necessities, social equity, world government, fair trade, rights of species, spiritual values, global peace, cultural autonomy, and sustainable development. 

      • PROUT has a values base that is grounded in the holistic cosmology found in such diverse places as the perennial philosophy of the wisdom traditions, indigenous peoples spirituality, deep ecology, and the philosophical implications of quantum physics and modern cosmology. 

      • PROUT is a viable alternative to materialist-based political philosophies: anarchism, communism, and capitalism. It starts from a new, post-materialist worldview that gives rise to a profoundly different political vision from that of existing political paradigms. 

      • PROUT is compatible with an emerging shift in planetary consciousness that synthesizes the strengths of Western, Eastern, indigenous, and holistic scientific contributions to human knowledge. 

      • PROUT is designed to serve the totality of human nature: physical, mental and spiritual. It does not neglect or suppress the development of any facet of human nature, but promotes their balanced and integrated expression. 

      • PROUT does not privilege the material development above the spiritual development, nor spiritual development above material development, rather it recognizes their interdependent contributions to nurturing a healthy, balanced, and fulfilled human society. 

      • PROUT affirms that doctrines and policies must arise from, and get validated by, practice; and that policies of the present must be proactively changed in response to changing social and economic conditions. 

      • PROUT expands the concept of humanism beyond a concern for human welfare and attainment to a new humanism that has concern for the welfare of all living beings. NeoHumanism asserts that the welfare of individuals, groups, and species cannot be separated from the welfare of the whole. 

      • PROUT reconceptualizes the idea of progress from one based in material and technological change to one based in improvement in the all around welfare of human beings. Progress is best indicated at a material level by an increase in people’s standard of living; at the mental level by expansion of NeoHumanist consciousness; and at the spiritual level by growth of love, inner peace, and cosmic feeling. 

      • PROUT takes core social ideals — such as economic democracy, social equity, world peace, and ecological protection — and provides a practical framework for their attainment. 

      • PROUT is not a reaction to social problems, it is a positive effort to envision and build a wholesome, viable and sustainable human society. It does not stem from a critique of current global realities, PROUT starts from the needs of human beings to find holistic fulfillment.  

      • PROUT does not place collective interests above individual interests, nor individual interests above collective interests, it perceives individual and collective interests as being inherently interrelated. The well-being of individuals lies in the development of the collective, and collective well-being lies in the development of individuals. 

      • PROUT asserts that the liberation of society can only arise from the liberated consciousness of individuals. It therefore does not give primacy to political change, but stresses cultural change, proper education of the human intellect, moral development, and spiritual growth. Change in political power should be a consequence of collective consciousness change, not imposed by so-called ‘vanguard’ parties. 

      • PROUT proposes fundamental shifts in the locus of power, such that the locus of economic, social and cultural power must devolve from transnational corporations and nation-states to local and regional levels, and the locus of political and military power be taken from nation-states and invested in a world confederation. 

      • PROUT rejects profit as the core motive for economic activity. While profit is an important practical consideration in operating enterprises, it must not supersede in importance such concerns as consumer needs, community well-being, resource sustainability, environmental health, social equity, and worker fulfillment. 

      • PROUT cannot be characterized as either conservative or liberal; neither can it be called libertarian, socialist, or anarchist. It arises from its own values base, transcends the left-right political spectrum, and possesses the strengths of many social philosophies. 

      • PROUT affirms the importance of sustainability, but conceptualizes a deep sustainability that is grounded in maintaining balance at all levels of material, mental, and spiritual development in society. 

      • PROUT models the way nature works. Those with knowledge of ecological science, complexity theory, systems theory, or the philosophical implications of quantum physics will feel a familiarity with its values, principles, and operational structure. 

      • PROUT calls for neither a free market nor a command economy, but a regulated market economy. It does not support control of enterprises by large corporations or by the state, but by cooperative, small private entrepreneurs, and — in the case of key industries — by public boards. 

      • PROUT affirms the relativism of post-modernism with respect to the phenomenological world, but rejects the notion that there is then no basis for universal values, asserting instead that a sound and durable values base lies in the transcendental source of cosmological existence.