While forming socio-economic units, several factors should be considered. These include same economic problems; uniform economic potentialities; ethnic similarities; the sentimental legacy of the people; and similar geographical features.
1. “Same economic problems” refers to the common economic problems confronting people in a particular unit and may include the lack of markets for locally produced goods, surplus or deficit labour problems, communication or transportation difficulties and lack of irrigation water. Ascertaining whether or not a similar set of economic problems exists in an area is the first thing, which should be clearly analysed when forming a socio-economic unit. The economic problems of the socio-economic unit, and their solutions, should be well understood.
2. Secondly, there should be uniform economic potentialities in the unit. Despite natural variations from place to place, overall the people throughout a unit should enjoy similar opportunities for economic prosperity. Disparity between the haves and the have-nots and the rich and the poor will have to be progressively reduced so that the collective wealth will increase and society will become bountiful.
3. Thirdly, there should be ethnic similarities. In the past many races and sub-races have been suppressed and exploited by powerful or dominant races. Those with evil designs in order to divide society and establish their own pre-eminence have propagated racism. Society must guard against such narrow and dangerous sentiments. This can be done only if every ethnic group has adequate scope for its expression and development. The multi-coloured garland of humanity will be enriched to the extent diverse human groups blend together from a position of strength and independence out of a genuine love for each other, and are not forced together through fear or compulsion.
4. Fourthly, sentimental legacy includes factors such as language, historical traditions, literature, common usages and cultural expressions. It is the common chord in the collective psychology of a particular group of people, which gives them their unique identity, and sense of affinity. Human beings are predominantly sentimental by nature. They establish some kind of relationship with the many objects of the world through their day-to-day activities. If the sentiment for a particular favourite object is adjusted with the collective sentiment then that sentiment can be utilized for establishing unity in human society. The human sentiment for many objects may sometimes run counter to the collective sentiment and create great disunity, so those sentiments, which are conducive to human unity, should be encouraged, and the sentiments which divide human society should be rejected. This is the approach adopted by PROUT’s socio-economic units.
5. Finally, similar geographical features such as topography, river systems, rainfall and irrigation water should also be considered in the formation of a socio-economic unit.
Socio-economic units will give expression to popular sentiments and fight against all forms of exploitation to meet the demands and aspirations of the local people. Movements will have to be launched throughout the world to establish self-sufficient socio-economic units based on the maxim, “Know the area, prepare the plan and serve the people.” Local people are those who have merged their individual socio-economic interests with the socio-economic interests of the socio-economic unit they live in.
PROUT in a Nutshell 13
Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2011