Political democracy cannot fulfil the hopes and aspirations of people or provide the basis for constructing a strong and healthy human society. For this, the only solution is to establish economic democracy.
The first requirement for economic democracy is that the minimum requirements of life must be guaranteed to all. The minimum requirements of a particular age — including food, clothing, housing, education and medical care — should be guaranteed to all. Not only is this a individual right, it is a collective necessity, because the easy availability of the minimum requirements will increase the all-round welfare of society.
The second requirement for economic democracy is that increasing purchasing power must be guaranteed to each and every individual.
In economic democracy, local people will control economic power, consequently local raw materials will be used to promote the economic prosperity of the local people. That is to say, the raw materials of one socio-economic zone should not be exported to another zone. Instead, industrial centers should be built up whenever raw materials are available. This will create industries based on locally available raw materials and ensure full employment for all local people.
The third requirement for economic democracy is that the power to make all economic decisions must be placed in the hands of the local people.
Economic liberation is the birthright of every individual. For this, economic power must be invested in the hands of the local people. In economic democracy, the local people will have the power to make all economic decisions, to produce commodities on the basis of collective necessity, and to distribute all agricultural and industrial commodities.
The fourth requirement for economic democracy is that outsiders must be strictly prevented from interfering in the local economy. The outflow of local capital must be stopped by strictly preventing outsiders or a floating population from participating in any type of economic activity in the local area.
For the success of economic democracy, PROUT must be implemented and the economic welfare of all people must be enhanced step by step. This in turn will lead to greater opportunities for the spiritual emancipation of human beings.
Finally, it should be remembered that economic democracy is essential not only for the economic liberation of human beings, but for the universal well being of all — including plants and animals. Economic democracy will devise ways and means for the smooth progress of society by recognizing the unique value of both humans and non-humans alike.
Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2011