A society may be described as the collection of numerous parallel psychic waves which originate due to the psychic tendency of moving together in unison. The glory of human society lies in the formation of a universal collective structure inspired by exalted ideas.
Dynamicity and staticity are inseparably associated with both individual and collective movement. Society is constantly moving; inertia means death. Social movement is the active effort to demolish a static structure and construct a dynamic structure in its place, and the characteristic of this movement is that it is rhythmic or systaltic, not linear.
All arenas of individual and collective life undergo changes with the changes in time, place and person. In comparison to the speed of change in social, economic, political and cultural life during the last 500 or 600 years, the speed of social change has greatly accelerated in the twentieth century. In the future, changes in society will take place with accelerating speed.
One of the scientific processes of social change is revolution. The Sanskrit word viplava is derived from the Vedic root verb vi minus plu plus al. In the wake of every revolution, radical changes occur in individual and social life, and far-reaching changes take place in the collective psychology.
The main factor in revolution is the application of tremendous force to move society forward. PROUT defines revolution as,
Tivrashaktisampa´tena gatibardhanam´ viplavah.
“Revolution is the application of tremendous force to accelerate the speed of the social cycle.”
Replacing one age by another by crushing exploitation and bringing about a change in the collective psychology within a short period of time through the application of tremendous force is what is called “revolution”.
If the reverse takes place, and the social cycle moves in the opposite direction by the application of tremendous force, it is called “counter-revolution”. In counter-revolution, society is taken backwards to the previous age. PROUT defines counter-revolution as,
Tiivrashaktisampa´tena vipariitadha´ra´yam´ prativiplavah.
“Counter-revolution is the application of tremendous force to turn the social cycle in the reverse direction.”
The main task of revolution is to overcome the barriers of staticity and inertia in the collective psychology of one age and establish the next age in the order of the social cycle. Society moves according to the inexorable laws of the social cycle, yet those who are concerned for the collective welfare will always endeavour to accelerate the speed of social movement by fighting relentlessly against exploitation so that all can move forward together in unison.
When the psychic balance in social life undergoes a revolutionary change, certain factors remain inseparably associated with that change. Some of those factors are the collective upsurge against exploitation; revolt against the status quo; effective struggle of the benevolent forces against the malevolent forces; and the longing for a new collective psychology among the people.
Human civilization has now reached a critical stage of transition. Exploitation of one human being by another has assumed alarming proportions. At critical junctures in the past, when exploitation had reached the zenith point, history witnessed the emergence of mighty personalities who were able to overcome the problems in society. Today also, the guidance of mighty personalities with a comprehensive ideology is required to lead humanity away from the edge of disaster towards a glorious future. The emergence of such personalities is an indispensable necessity of history.
The Social Cycle
There are predominantly four types of collective psychology. These psychologies are the labourer (shu´dra), warrior (ks´atriya), intellectual (vipra) and capitalist (vaeshya). They have nothing to do with casteism and are completely psychological phenomena. Labourers are those who are influenced by materialistic waves; they cannot overpower materialistic waves by their individual psychic waves. Manual power is their only means of social security. Warriors bring the materialistic waves under their control through their physico-psychic waves. Intellectuals do the same thing through their penetrating psychic waves. For the warriors, physical strength or valour is the principal means of attaining social security, while the intellectuals rely on their intellects. A perusal of history illustrates that the intellectuals , by dint of their intellectual acumen, created a sense of reverence and subordination in the minds of the warriors, and were thus able to control their physical strength and prowess. The capitalist psychology is somewhat different. Capitalists do not want to enjoy material objects; rather they get enjoyment at the thought of accumulating them.
Primitive society was guided by labourer mentality. Gradually society became compact under the influence of warrior mentality, and the warrior era was established in the world. This was an era of heroes and kings. The warrior age was subsequently replaced by the vipra age – the age of intellectuals and priests. Next came the age of the capitalists. The difference between the former two classes and the capitalists is that the capitalists seldom come to power directly. They put the warriors or intellectuals in power, and control the society, economy and polity from behind the scenes. Generally, the amount of physical and psychic clash is less during the warrior and intellectual eras compared to the vaeshya era, where poverty, deprivation and exploitation are extreme.
The transition from one age to the next may take place through natural change, evolution or revolution. Natural change or evolution can bring about change from the warrior era to the vipra era, and from the vipra era to the capitalist era, but to eliminate capitalist exploitation, the application of tremendous force is absolutely essential.
As a result of capitalist exploitation, those having warrior or intellectual mentalities are transformed into the disgruntled slaves of the capitalists. They have no alternative but to toil at the behest of the capitalists to fill their bellies. Those warriors and intellectuals who are turned into labourers under circumstantial pressure carry a simmering discontent in their hearts. This group are known as the “disgruntled workers” (viks´ubdha shu´dras). These disgruntled workers – the exploited intellectuals and warriors – give systematic expression to the frustrations of the masses to end capitalist exploitation. This is the class with revolutionary distinction.
The revolution which terminates the capitalist era requires the united struggle of the disgruntled workers. Labourers can never be the actual revolutionaries because they lack sufficient moral stamina, responsibility and fighting spirit. They are vulnerable to many vices and are not well-established in human values, hence they cannot develop the requisite revolutionary character. The disgruntled labourers develop into genuine revolutionaries because they acquire the moral courage and discipline to oppose exploitation.
The revolution against capitalist exploitation is termed “labourer revolution”. Although the warriors and intellectual are turned into disgruntled labourers due to capitalist exploitation, immediately after labourer revolution, the disgruntled labourers revert to their warrior and intellectual psychologies. Because of the martial character of labourer revolution, the leadership of society passes into the hands of the warrior, hence a new warrior era emerges. Even during the era, the intellectuals try to establish their influence through force of intellect and attempt to move society along the path of intellectual psychology. The intellectual era is followed by the capitalist era and then again by labourer revolution. So, the movement of the social cycle and revolution are inseparably related.
The four types of psychology dominate the social cycle in cyclic progression. Towards the end of an era, the collective psychology undergoes marked deterioration. Moral degeneration and social retardation cause psycho-social stagnation. Exploitation becomes rampant. This sort of unhealthy situation signals the end of an era. The different classes try to usurp social power and establish their hegemony by trampling on the rights of others. This conflict has been discernible from the dawn of human civilization. Through this clash and cohesion, human beings try to find the path of emancipation.
In the modern world, capitalist exploitation is rampant almost everywhere. Capitalism is now rapidly moving into the final stage of degeneration. In the early part of the capitalist era, society experienced certain advantages, but towards the end, society has become the victim of insatiable rapacity, unbearable hardship and heartless deprivation. Those countries suffering under the weight of capitalist exploitation are rapidly moving towards labourer revolution.
Types of Revolution
According to their form and character, it is generally considered that the types of revolution include palatial change and pyramidical revolution. Palatial change and pyramidical revolution are not revolutions in the true sense because they may or may not result in the change of the collective psychology and the forward movement of the social cycle.
PROUT advocates another type of revolution called “nuclear revolution”. In nuclear revolution, every aspect of collective life – social, economic, political, cultural, psychic and spiritual – is completely transformed. New moral and spiritual values arise in society which provide the impetus for accelerated social progress. The old era is replaced by a new era – one collective psychology is replaced by another. This type of revolution results in all-round development and social progress.
Nuclear revolution can only be brought about by sadvipras who reside in the nucleus of the social cycle. Through their concerted effort, moral and spiritual power and all-round endeavour, they mobilize the exploited sections of society to overthrow the ruling class – the exploiters. This very struggle for mass upheaval liberates society from exploitation and ushers in a new era of peace and prosperity.
Sadvipras will control the key points at the nucleus of the social structure. In nuclear revolution, there is minimum loss of life and property, and the transformation of society is accomplished within a very short span of time.
Requirements For Nuclear Revolution
There are several requirements for the success of nuclear revolution – the presence of exploitation in any form, revolutionary organization, positive philosophy, revolutionary cadres, infallible leadership and revolutionary strategy. All these requirements are necessary.
The presence of exploitation
There are various types of exploitation in society. The form and character of exploitation changes as per changes in time, place and person. In every era of the social cycle, there are various kinds of exploitation. For example, in the economic sphere there is feudal exploitation, colonial exploitation, capitalist exploitation, imperialist exploitation and fascist exploitation. Exploitation may also manifest in such spheres as the physical, psychic, economic, political and cultural spheres. In the past the slave system was prevalent in the Greek and Roman Empires. The rulers sucked the blood of the vanquished to bolster their own interests. In psychic exploitation, the masses are misled with the help of pseudo-philosophies which encourage dogma and narrowmindedness. Democratic socialism and the theory of peaceful coexistence are examples of the hypocrite’s psychology. In economic exploitation, vested interests deprive people of their minimum requirements. Money lending, charging exorbitant interest rates, compelling poor farmers to sell their produce through distress sales, etc., are examples of economic exploitation. Regardless of the type of exploitation used by the exploiters, when society is moving towards revolution, the role of the exploiters is exposed. The exploiters are unable to disguise their exploitation any longer.
The existence of exploitation in society can be ascertained through the prevalence of such factors as extreme poverty; social insecurity; injustices against the common people; lack of purchasing capacity to acquire the minimum requirements of life; huge economic and social differences between various classes; the irrational distribution of wealth; etc. The present social, economic and political conditions in India exemplify all these ailments. India is on the verge of revolution.
Revolution and war are almost the same. Revolution is a type of war. The difference between the two is that in war force is applied on behalf of a person or state, but in revolution, force is applied by a group of people to establish a society free from exploitation. A revolutionary organization is essential for revolutionary war. During the psychic preparation for revolution, the disgruntled sections of society will have to build a revolutionary organization which will create a congenial environment for revolution.
A diverse, multifarious organization is required to conduct revolution. The responsibility of the organization is like that of a government. The revolutionary organization must be operational from the highest level of the state down to the village level. Local activists or coordinators are connected to every level of the structure. All the activities of the revolution are directed by the highest body.
If a revolution is started without building a proper structure, or if loopholes are left in the formation of the structure, the results will be disastrous. In the struggle for Indian independence, for example, the revolutionary leaders failed to build a structure down to village level, and the British seized upon this organizational weakness. Such loopholes cause unpardonable losses. This occurred in recent Indian history.
The revolutionary organization must follow a positive philosophy. A progressive, comprehensive ideology is the invincible weapon of the revolutionary organization. It counteracts negative ideas in society and generates a powerful, positive psychic flow in the collective psychology. People become revolutionary-minded, yet vested interests determinedly try to resist positive change, hence polarization occurs in the collective psychology. The duty of the revolutionary leaders is to create polarization through the propagation of a positive philosophy.
The philosophy of the revolutionary organization should be free from all kinds of narrow defects and dogma. If there are any defects in the philosophy or if it is not comprehensive, there is the danger that the leadership of society will go out of the control of the revolutionaries. This will be extremely harmful for the progressive development of the society.
In addition, the philosophy must be based on practice, not on theory. If there are any defects in the practical implementation of the philosophy then can be rectified, but if there are fundamental defects in the philosophy itself, the philosophy can never be implemented, nor can it be rectified.
The theories of Marx and Gandhi are examples of defective philosophies. The fundamental principles of Marxism are unpsychological, irrational and anti-human. Marxists say that revolution is the only solution to capitalist exploitation. This is a positive idea. But the concepts of dialectical materialism, the materialist conception of history, the withering away of the state, proletariat dictatorship, classless society, etc., are defective ideas which can never be implemented. That is why the post-revolutionary stage in every communist country has suffered from turmoil and oppression. There is not a single country in the world which is established according to Marxist ideals.
Gandhism is also defective. Instead of guaranteeing liberation from exploitation, it favours the interests of the exploiters, hence it is a negative philosophy. Liberation from exploitation is impossible when the exploiters themselves find shelter in the philosophy. The co-existence of the exploiters and the exploited can never lead to a society free from exploitation. No revolutionary organization can accept Gandhism as an ideal philosophy. If any organization does, then it will no longer be a revolutionary organization, and it will break apart within a short time. This is an historical inevitability. Thus, the revolutionary organization must adopt a positive philosophy which is without defects.
Before the revolutionary organization gives the clarion call for revolution, there must be intensive preparation. In spite of the presence of all the conditions for revolution, revolution may not take place unless the exploited masses are psychologically prepared for revolution. If the people do not support revolution, the clarion call for revolution will not be heeded. Ideologically educated revolutionary workers will have to channelize the psychology of the common mass towards revolution and inspire them to undertake revolutionary struggle! Such workers must adopt a rational approach inspired by the positive philosophy, have a well-developed socio-economico-political consciousness, and be dedicated to uplifting the standard of the common people. The duty of these workers is to inspire the frustrated masses along the path of revolution. Through their dedication and dynamism, they will be able to bring the collective psychology in their favour. The first and foremost duty of the revolutionary organization is to create dedicated workers.
The success of the revolution depends on the leadership. Loss of life and property will be minimized to the extent to which the leadership is free from defects. Ideal leadership is the wealth of the society as well as of the revolution. It will not only lead to a successful revolution, but will also fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people in the post-revolutionary phase of society.
In many countries a well-knit and prosperous society could not be built in the post-revolutionary phase due to the defective leadership. Concepts such as Plato’s philosopher king, Confucius’ sage, Nietzsche’s superman, Marx’s proletariat dictatorship, etc., were propounded to develop ideal leadership, but all these concepts have failed. There is a vast difference between a theory of leadership and the practical, human qualities of a leader. Due to intelligence, acumen, social awareness, oratory skill and some other qualities, a few leaders were successful in the instigating revolution, but later on they became the objects of slander because they were unable to guide society along the path of real progress. They were unable to solve the pressing problems confronting the people or eradicate exploitation.
Sadvipra leadership is the ideal form of leadership. Such leaders will be physically fit, mentally developed and spiritually elevated. With their help and guidance, revolution will be materialized.
The forces opposed revolution possess immense military power. In spite of it, the revolutionaries achieve victory. This victory is due not only to a well-knit organization, progressive ideology and exemplary leadership, but also to revolutionary strategy.
Leadership is not imposed from above, rather it establishes itself through dedication, sincerity, ideological zeal, fighting spirit and all-round capacity. Leaders gradually acquire such capabilities – step by step.
A common base of integrity and unity amongst the exploited members of society will have to be established. This is essential because at the time of revolution there will be an all-out fight against antisocial activities and corruption. The revolutionaries will have to fight against three forces – outside exploiters, internal exploiters and other inner evil forces. All these three forces are powerful. Yet the moral, psychic and spiritual strength of the revolutionaries will be the cause of their victory, because physical weapons are not the only source of power. Moral and spiritual power is infinitely stronger than physical force.
Although the primary duty of the revolutionaries is to drive out the exploiters, they also have to ensure that these exploiters do not get new opportunities to capture power or undermine society in the future. The greatest achievement of a revolution is to eradicate exploitation and bring about a progressive change in the collective psychology through the minimum loss of life and property.
The Role of Sentiments
Revolution always takes place around a sentiment. If there is no strong common sentiment, a revolution cannot take place. Sentiment is always stronger than logic.
Communism propagates sentiments like workers of the world unite. Initially, people were attracted to such sentiments, but after some time they discovered that they were hollow, consequently intellectuals became dissatisfied with them. Communism is now unable to fight against the local sentiments that are coming up in different parts of the world because these sentiments are stronger than communist sentiments.
PROUT is based on a universal sentiment which is applicable for the whole cosmological order, and it is systematically moving towards the implementation of this sentiment. Who will make the local people conscious of their local sentiments keeping universalism in mind? Only PROUT can do this. Communists have no such idea. Only PROUT can tackle all local sentiments and lead everyone in the world to universalism by gradual stages.
Revolutionaries must be well-versed in arousing the sentiments of the people and channelizing the sentimental legacy of the society towards universalism. During the preparation for revolution, unstinting effort must go into arousing the sentimental legacy of the people, because sentiments inspire popular support for the cause of revolution, and infuse the revolutionary workers with tremendous power and conviction.
According to PROUT, there are two types of sentiments – positive sentiments and negative sentiments. Positive sentiments are synthetic in nature. They unite society and elevate humanity, enhance collective interests and encourage progressive development. Negative sentiments are narrow in scope and divide society.
Some important positive sentiments include anti-exploitation sentiment, revolutionary sentiment, moral sentiment, cultural sentiment, universal sentiment and spiritual sentiment. Some negative sentiments include communalism, patriotism, nationalism, provincialism, lingualism and racism.
Negative sentiments should never be used to divide people into castes and communities – to create artificial fissiparous tendencies in society. Rather, they should always be used to bring unity amongst people. Hitler used racism in an effort to unite the German people and he succeeded in the short-term, but because he used negative sentiments only and had no positive sentiments, his approach resulted in a world war and the near destruction of Germany. The path of negativity is extremely dangerous and harmful for society. Positive sentiments are the real weapons to build society. This must never be forgotten under any circumstances.
From Prout in a Nutshell Volume 4 Part 21
Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2011