Category Archives: Movements

Beyond Party Politics

Picture above: Youth protesters on Madrid's Plaza del Sol manifesting against unemployment and corruption among politicians

[Prout Globe, June 2016] – Issue-oriented movements are challenging old-fashioned party politics everywhere. The trend is obvious in Europe where scores of popular movements, such as Italy’s Five Star Movement (currently holding the mayoral post of Rome), Spain’s Podemos, and Greece’s Golden Dawn continue to create news locally, regionally and internationally.

These and many other movements were non-existent only a couple of years ago and they have generated political participation and vision on a scale not seen in the West since the 1960s. At the time of writing such new movements hold 1,329 governmental seats in 25 European countries. Closed borders, low migration and protected trade are usually at the top of their agenda.

Migration

By addressing a single or a few concrete urgent issues, these new movements have been fuelled essentially by the raw passion their main issues awaken among the public. Take for instance the issue of low immigration. Until very recently it was the exclusive province of the far right. Then suddenly out of the blue the whole of UK leaves the EU largely because of it. What happened?

Basically, the EU dogma that nobody can question the right of the labour force of member states to move freely has failed to keep pace with reality. Locals obviously feel increasingly invaded and ultimately cry “halt!” when they feel that large waves of foreigners continue to inundate their shores in search for jobs in an alarmingly tight job market. As the EU principally serves the interest of market forces, even at the cost of people’s interests, it does not take local sentiments sufficiently into account, and hence the disastrous dogma was exposed.

Capitalism

The apparent reasons for Brexit may be many, and immigration is surely at its core. While we expect from human beings that they reach out and help others in need, we may also expect them to call for timeout when policies collide and people feel that immigration jeopardises their living standards.

Moreover, as most human beings enjoy meeting others, preferring new experiences to the boredom of an otherwise repetitious life plus they generally desire to be at peace and not at war, immigration cannot be the sole or fundamental cause of Brexit. On closer scrutiny the ultimate disease in this case appears not to be racism or xenophobia but the servility and submission to capitalism found throughout the professional political class. Put politely, the surreal centralisation of wealth in the hands of a few at the expense of the welfare of the majority, coupled with obvious bureaucracy in Brussels, have made a very powerful argument in favour of local initiative and self-determination.

Capitalism is indeed the cornerstone of the EU with its highly saturated market of free movement of labour, capital, services and goods which cannot safeguard the interests of local people. On the contrary, the present system of capitalists trying to beat other capitalists, will only continue to play into the hands of a diminishing number of successful players. Briefly put, when elephants fight the grass suffers and there will certainly be other “Exit” referenda following that of the UK.

Democracy

In its present hyper-centralising stage, capitalism reduces the number of the prosperous at an exponential rate. The peoples of Europe and indeed everywhere in the world are therefore in urgent need of a new set of rules to live by. Instead of allowing capitalism to continue, we must develop principles and policies that protect the interests of locals everywhere so that nobody feels pressurised to move elsewhere for economic or other materialistic reasons.

Contrary to the response of commercial media and professional politicians, the current uprisings in so many European countries are neither primitive nor populist and do not pose a threat to democracy. Rather, these movements are obvious warning signs to career politicians and grand party structures that have turned into dangers to democracy themselves.

It is wise to move with the times, obviously. Our understanding of what is radical and conservative is changing all the time: radical today, conservative tomorrow. It should not come as a surprise therefore that any new and intriguing movement is radical, and that this label more often than not with time turns out to be a term for “anti-establishment” or change, and not for “undemocratic” or criminal.

Party politicians

Any living organism has its origin from where it derives support and energy to rise and realise its full potential. If the environment no longer allows that organism to thrive it must retreat to those roots, to those radices (roots in Latin) in order to be able to move forward in a new direction.

In fact, traditional political parties, too, once upon a time rose as determined interest groups to challenge a monarch’s tyrannical powers. Those group efforts that lasted then ended up as standard party choices of the present system of parliamentary democracy. In some countries such forces amalgamated into a broad-based two-party system. In many other countries we still find a plethora of particular interest political parties right, left and centre that make for a continuously shifting and often odd mishmash of governments.

Conventional rightist, leftist and centrist bigwigs may well view the new radicals with abhorrence. The new parties may not however aspire to establish itself on top of a traditional right-left spectrum. Instead, they may be moving towards a new dimension beyond the right and left where party politics may be obsolete.

One world

In truth, we all have the same roots. Only some have opportunistically forgotten our common existence as they increasingly seek to feed on the lifeblood of others. The most important idea to emerge in the 20th Century, Ecology, taught us two remarkable truths about our individual and collective reality:

  1. We all exist together in a web of life, and
  2. That web of our common life may be sustained only if we all start paying serious attention to the unique potentiality of every living being – no one is unimportant and superfluous; we can’t anymore afford to ignore the needs and requirement of anyone.

Our world does require a fresh ideology that embraces collective needs and rights as well as the ability of every living being to progress and contribute in its own particular way. 

The time for Prout is approaching fast. We are a single humanity living in one world: Human beings do not want to be divided at heart. So where is the need for party politics – and capitalism, really?

PROUT Slogans

Brief, electrifying slogans, about 5-12 words each, can inspire people and awaken their curiosity about PROUT. Choose your favorites, combine them, create your own. Put on banners, signs and T-shirts, with small letters at the bottom: “The Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT)” and the local web page.

A new vision for all living beings. Basic necessities for all.
Be a flame in the darkness.
Be a revolutionary guided by great feelings of love. – Che
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Gandhi
Birds need two wings to fly–society needs women’s equal and full participation.
Capitalism: Good for the rich, disastrous for the poor.
Capitalist exploitation is killing human beings and the planet.
Capitalist greed is a mental disease–try PROUT.
Capitalist greed is destroying our planet!
Co-ops are self-help, not charity.
Co-ops create jobs: 100+ million, more than corporations.
Co-ops empower people to decide their own future.
Co-ops with “coordinated cooperation” is the system of the future.
Cooperative enterprises build a better world.
Cooperatives are enterprises with a soul.
Cooperatives are the businesses of the future.
Corporate stores give your money to rich investors–buy local!
Cultural freedom, economic freedom, spiritual freedom!
Each person here = thousands suffering from global capitalism. Economic democracy through cooperatives, regional self-sufficiency.
Economic democracy, not political hegemony.
Economic democracy: Cooperatives of the people, by the people and for the people!
Economic democracy: Economic empowerment of people and communities.
Economic democracy: Economy of the people, by the people and for the people!
Economic liberation for all.
Economics from the heart.
Education and jobs will free all women from economic dependence.
End economic exploitation.
End hunger–there’s enough food on earth, but not enough will.
Ending repressive regimes starts at home.
Exploitation no more!
Fight for justice, meditate for inner peace.
For an exploitation-free society.
For personal and planetary transformation.
For the good of all beings.
Globalize humanity – localize the economy.
Globalize solidarity.
Grow your local economy.
Human beings of the world–unite!
Human society is one and indivisible.
Humanity is one and indivisible.
It is action that makes a person great.
Meaningful jobs with “living wages” is our right.
Money is a human invention, we CAN change the rules.
Neohumanism: Love for humanity and all living beings.
One billion people aren’t wrong: Co-ops work!
One people, one planet, one future.
Our culture is our strength!
Planet Earth has enough for everyone if we share.
PROUT, PROUT–the only way out!
PROUT: Alternative to “global colonialism”!
Rampant materialism is costing us the earth.
Rational distribution of wealth, basic necessities for all. Real education is that which leads to liberation.
Real solutions for a better world. Real wealth comes from within.
Reclaim the economy for the community. Revolution = total transformation.
Save an endangered species: Humans!
Self-reliance, cooperatives and spirituality.
Set maximum wages for the welfare of all.
Share the wealth through local, cooperative-based economies.
Sharing the wealth of our planet.
Support credit unions, not big banks.
The force that guides the stars guides you, too.
There is enough for everyone’s needs, not for everyone’s greed!
“There’s no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women improves.” – P.R. Sarkar
Think globally, act locally.
Together we can build a better world.
Transform yourself and transform society.
Transform yourself and transform the world.
Uniting communities for local self-reliance.
Unity in diversity!
We are all connected.
We are all together in this world.
We are one universal family.
We belong to the universe–discover divinity within you.
We have a dream–food for all, jobs for all!
We need a cap on wealth.
Where every life matters.
Working together for a new world.

Excerpted from After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action by Dada Maheshvarananda (Puerto Rico: Innerworld Publications, 2012): www.aftercapitalism.org

Mass Movements

By Dada Maheshvarananda

All popular movements are rooted in a sentiment, because an emotional appeal is always stronger than logic. Negative sentiments, such as those directed against another race, nation or class, divide humanity and eventually cause great suffering. Instead, leaders should arouse positive sentiments based on the cultural legacy of the people. The spirit of the people can be rallied against exploitation, against immorality, and in support of their traditional cultural identity. This is the way to generate a positive revolution. Though regional in approach, these strong, positive sentiments can unite society and elevate humanity.

“The forces opposed to revolution possess immense military power. In spite of this, the revolutionaries will achieve victory… because moral and spiritual power is infinitely stronger than physical force.”

Proutists should start and cooperate with other movements against specific issues of exploitation. By organizing a demonstration, march or protest rally, the public can be mobilized. João Pedro Stedile, a dynamic leader of Brazil’s Landless People’s Movement (MST), says, “Popular rallies are part of the life of the people… The spirit of marches has been present in the entire history of humanity.” The effort to create a popular samaja regional mass movement is based on all of these factors.

Good, brief slogans, about 5-12 words each, inspire people and awaken their curiosity about Prout–see Appendix E. A banner three or four meters long of cloth or canvas can be stretched in front of your group. Additional people can hold a high stick with two signs back-to-back with different slogans, so by turning the stick, people in every direction can see your messages. The more signs, the better. Every banner and sign should say in small letters at the bottom, “The Progressive Utilization Theory (Prout)” with the web page, so that those who are nearby can read it.

Invite those who will march to come for a sign-making party. Give them the list of slogans, and invite them to choose the ones they like best or make up their own. Some slogans translate well into other languages. If the signs are large and well made, they will get media coverage and will be seen and read by both the protesters and the public. The same banners and signs can be saved and used again in other demonstrations and rallies in the future.

Whereas the signs and banners of other groups protest against what is wrong (such as war, exploitation and corruption), Prout’s messages are mostly positive and inspiring, offering hope to the people.

How can a evolutionary movement hope to succeed against seemingly impossible odds? The powers that be hold tremendous financial and military power. During the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, people said that he had “the three G’s: all the guns, all the gold and all the goons (criminal assassins).” Yet in 1986 the people took to the streets and united against him, and the tactic they called “people power” had to be added to political science textbooks as a successful strategy for social change. Popular citizens’ movements have also toppled dictators in Haiti (Duvalier, 1988), all the Communist countries of Eastern Europe, Thailand (Suchinda, 1992), Indonesia (Suharto, 1998), Yugoslavia (Milošević, 2000), the Philippines again (Estrada, 2001), Georgia (Shevardnadze, 2003), Bolivia (Sánchez de Lozada, 2003), Ukraine (Yanukovych, 2004-5), Kyrgyzstan (Akayev, 2005), Tunisia (Ben Ali, 2010), Egypt (Mubarak, 2011) and Yemen (Saleh, 2012).

P. R. Sarkar explained this type of strength when he wrote: “The forces opposed to revolution possess immense military power. In spite of this, the revolutionaries will achieve victory… because moral and spiritual power is infinitely stronger than physical force.”*

Excerpted from After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action by Dada Maheshvarananda (Puerto Rico: Innerworld Publications, 2012): www.aftercapitalism.org

* “Nuclear Revolution”, P.R. Sarkar. PROUT in a Nutshell Part 21, Ananda Marga Publications.

Why Occupy?

David D Blessing
(Address to the Occupy Denver, Colorado, USA movement, October 2011) – Thank you for taking the time to hear my concerns. I like many of the people here gathered, am outraged by events of recent history involving the influence of private vested corporate interests over government policy. I feel sickened, ripped off, and abused. I am not so naïve as to believe that any politician can correct the problems at hand. I do not imagine that those who most profit from the situation as it is, their agents or employees will do anything more than make pseudo-reforms by rearranging or temporarily mitigating the problem. The vampire will never pull its own teeth out. It will merely change its coat.

The solution that I seek can only come from an awakened population that collectively abandons the old greedy, competitive, oppressive system to embrace a new style of collective civil management. The following list is what I believe must be done in Colorado to correct the disparities at the root of the problem:

1. Compel a change to state and federal law, so that foreclosure shall be prohibited in any and all cases where a foreclosing bank is unable to produce the original, complete, unaltered evidence of debt in court at the time of foreclosure; and prohibit foreclosure where the source of funding for the “loan” was the “borrowers” own note.
2. Compel a change to state and federal law so that usery, interest on debt, be limited to 8% per annum.
3. Create a publicly owned state bank that will provide loans to state citizens, and that will impose only sufficient fees and interest as will cover the cost of running such bank.
4. Create a state healthcare cooperative such as envisioned by Healthcare-for-All-Colorado Senate Bill 168-2011. www.HealthcareforAllColorado.org
5. End the disastrously failed war on drugs, a war which benefits only those who profit from it. Prohibition did not work in the 1930s as it is not working now.
6. Prohibit the United States of America federal Corporation from imposing or enforcing such federal laws as may be contrary to the laws of our state.
7. Review all criminal convictions for possession of personal-use marijuana (less than 1 ounce) and nearly such individuals from prison for time served.
8. Reduce all criminal convictions for possession of personal-use marijuana to misdemeanor status.
9. Prisons-for-Profit have made our criminal justice system disastrously biased and unfair. Return management of all prisons to the public sector.
10. Fund and improve our public school system as necessary to give our students sufficient vision, hope and education such that they will no longer seek solace on the cushion of drugs.
11. Create state and federal legislative acts under which the respective governmental bodies will enter into no new contracts, nor renew any existing contract with any person or entity that directly or indirectly profits from war.
12. Create amendments to state and federal constitutions under which those who accept any title of nobility from any foreign monarchy, state, or nation shall be prohibited from holding any public office.
13. Create state and federal legislative acts that will prohibit the respective governmental body from the participation in any new contract, or the renewal of any existing contract with any company or corporation that pays its highest-paid employee or sub-contractor more than 10 times the rate of pay of the lowest paid employee or sub-contractor.
14. Immediately withdraw United States troops from all offensive foreign military occupations.
15. Create an American foreign policy that offers education for the benefit of the people at home and abroad, rather than military aggression for the benefit of corporate profits.
16. As studies and practical experience show that human populations naturally decrease where education increases, global population reduction can be best achieved by increasing education standards in areas most affected by overpopulation.
17. Create state and federal regulations that will break and prohibit the monopolization of the broadcast and print media.
18. Create sufficient legislation that will limit the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the greedy who currently wield sufficient economic power to bribe extort or murder our political leaders with impunity; who monopolize the print and broadcast media, and who limit and control the information disseminated by such media.
19. We have the resources to guarantee the basic necessities of food clothing and shelter to all inhabitants of our country.
20. As there appears to be no credible peer reviewed scientific study that demonstrates that fluoride has any benefit for the teeth; and there are many studies including studies by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that clearly show that fluoride is detrimental to human health, including causation of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, fluoride must be removed from all water supplies.
21. In order to reduce pollution and reduce the general stress on our planetary ecosystem the people of America must also act upon their own personal initiative to:

  • Maximize the use of all resources including but not limited to participation in the recycling of all resources that can be recycled.
  • Curtail the superiority complex and end the personal desire to take advantage of others through predatory competition.
  • Work together with friends and business associates to create cooperative businesses collectively owned by yourselves.

Copyright The author 2011

Our Occupy Wall Street! Leaflet

(October 5, 2011) – We received a request from Occupy Wall Street! Proutist protesters to chip in a leaflet for today’s march. Here’s the text we suggested (download the leaflet here):

Capitalism + Political Democracy = Slavery

Cap the freedom to accumulate wealth! The Earth and its citizens can no longer sustain capitalism.

Economic Democracy = Welfare and Progress

Sufficient purchasing power and employment for all must be guaranteed! There is enough for everyone’s need but not for even one person’s unbridled greed.

Yes to a Fair Consumption Economy!

ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY ensures:

  • Local economic planning
  • Cooperatively managed businesses
  • Local governmental control of natural resources and key industries
  • Socially agreed upon limits on the individual accumulation of wealth

Basic Necessities for All!

Decentralize the economy and leave decision-making in the hands of local people! Together we can ensure the adequate availability of food, shelter, clothing, health care and education for all.

Sustain the Good, Discontinue the Bad

We are all directly dependent upon the Earth for our survival and well-being. A decentralized economy can better ensure that the ecological systems of the earth are not exploited beyond their capacity to renew themselves.

WWW.PROUTGLOBE.ORG   |   YouTube : OccupyTVNY

Petrol Price Hike “Burning Issue”, PBI


Proutists protesting against rising petrol prices in Faridabad

(Faridabad, Delhi, September 20, 2011) – Under the aegis of the Proutist Bloc of India (PBI) people on the streets of Faridabad registered a strong protest in the form of a demonstration and procession from Hardware Chowk, a main square in Faridabad city outside of Delhi, to the District Commissioner’s office where an effigy of the state government assembly was burnt.

“The continuous rise in petrol prices is not only a burning issue but an issue of the survival of the middle and lower classes and their leading a peaceful life,” PBI General Secretary Rajesh Singh said. “The wide media coverage here today proves that the government has lost control over commodity prices in general. The issue no longer hurts only the poor but have become a serious threat to middle class life as well,” Singh said.

India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, but has been hit hard by rising consumer prices. Rising vegetable prices, transport costs and house rents are slowly squeezing household budgets forcing families to cut down on their food budgets and leaving them with virtually nothing to save, The Times of India has reported. India’s move to increase gasoline prices by the most in three years may accelerate what is already the fastest inflation rate among Asia’s major economies, damping demand for the nation’s assets, Bloomberg has concluded.

A memorandum to the Prime Minister of India demanding an immediate roll back of rising gasoline prices was handed over to the government authorities by PBI representatives.

Copyright PROUT Globe 2011