What is Prout?

The Progressive Utilization Theory, or Prout, is an integrated socio-economic system that enables both people and planet to thrive. It is an alternative to corporate capitalism, the current dominant economic model. While capitalism is focused on the maximization of profits to benefit a few, Prout’s economy seeks to build wealth for everyone.

Learn how Prout aims to achieve a Vibrant Ecosystem, One Human Society and an Economy for All

The Prout model offers an integral approach to social and economic development, including people-centered economics, environmental sustainability, and a new model of prosperity. Its goal is to raise the standard of living so that people can meet their basic needs as well as access resources and opportunities to satisfy their higher intellectual, artistic, and spiritual aspirations. The Prout economy encourages cooperation and strong ethical leadership, placing the vital needs of people and planet ahead of corporate and individual profit.

To achieve a thriving economy, Prout relies on the principles of maximum utilization and rational distribution.

“[This] theory is far superior to Adam Smith’s or that of Karl Marx.”
– Johan Galtung, Founder UN institute of Peace Studies

Maximum utilization is the adequate and sustainable supply of products and services for human consumption by using the most cost-effective and efficient means possible. This includes the use of advanced, eco-friendly technologies for higher productivity, in order to maintain a balance between human demand and healthy ecosystems. It also consists of coordinated local economic planning to avoid duplication and to maximize cooperation.

Rational distribution refers to the demand side of the economy. According to Prout, a healthy economy must provide employment for 100% of the working population so that they can acquire basic goods and services in the marketplace. These jobs must provide adequate wages and earnings in order to meet the changing needs of the population. Rational distribution also includes an incentive system to motivate and reward highly capable and industrious workers. Finally, for those with special needs who are less able to participate in the labour market, resources will be set aside to ensure that their needs are met.

“Prout is very important for grass roots groups and for all who yearn for a liberation which starts from economics and opens to the totality of personal and social human existence.”
– Leonardo Boff, Founder of Liberation Theology

Key Features

  • Serves the whole expression of human nature – people’s physical, mental and spiritual needs – in a balanced and integrated way
  • Expands the concept of humanism beyond a concern for human welfare to a concern for the welfare of all living beings
  • Transcends the left-right political spectrum and acknowledges the positive contribution of many social and economic philosophies
  • Supports a distributed network economy, where economic, social and cultural power lies in the hands of local people, rather than transnational corporations or nation-states
  • Redefines the motives for economic activity. Instead of merely maximizing profits, often at the expense of people and planet, Prout will focus the economy on providing goods and services to meet the changing needs of society.
“Prout is an important contribution to rethinking the disastrous course of the current economy and globalization.”
-Hazel Henderson, Economist, Author of “Beyond Globalization”

Origins

Prout was originally developed in 1959 by Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar, an Indian social thinker, activist and philosopher. Recognising the flaws of existing social and economic models, Sarkar proposed this new socio-economic system dedicated to meeting the all-round needs of both people and planet.

Read Sarkar’s original texts on Prout

Learn more

“When the whole property of this universe has been inherited by all creatures, how then can there be any justification for a system in which someone receives a flow of huge excess, while others die for lack of a handful of grain?”
~ P.R. Sarkar, propounder of Prout

Read more at Books on Prout

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