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Today the new left movement tends to deal with creating antithesis and

critiques of capitalism with lack of attention to showing the way for


new alternatives. Slogans of post-modernist intellectuals are shy to
project an ideological spirit in clear terms. Now is the time to
portray alternatives. But the fundamental principles must be there. In
this regard, socio-economic units should form the basis of social
cohesion in different parts of the world and each socio-economic unit
must provide the minimum necessities of life to all.

100% employment is not a dream and it all depends on what you count as
employment and what is considered socially useful at all the levels of
existence. Today, the pressure is on in developed countries to accept
that people staying at home to take care of children should be socially
rewarded for doing so and for benefiting society. A genuine
co-operative society would cater for this and see to the minimum basic
necessities of all.

100% Employment for the Local People

P.R. Sarkar

First, there should be 100% employment for the local people. The basic
right of all people is to be guaranteed the minimum essentials for
their existence, including at least proper food, clothing, housing,
education and medical care. This basic right should be arranged through
cent percent guaranteed employment, not through welfare or dole-outs.
Unemployment is a critical economic problem in the world today and 100%
employment of the local people is the only way to solve this problem.
This is possible once a proper definition of employment is considered
and the value of all labor and skill is recognized - not just the
notion of careerist aspirations. All work and effort must be recognized
and rewarded including household and domestic duties, service to the
needy, etc and a co-operative economy is capable of doing this.

Local people are defined as those who have merged individual interests
with the interests of the unit they live in. The primary consideration
is whether or not people have merged their individual interests with
their unit, regardless of their color, creed, race, mother tongue,
birthplace, etc. Drainage of capital necessary for the continued growth
of that unit undermines its economic development and is contrary to
economic democracy.

Capitalists, in either their singular or collective forms, are the most


pernicious economic exploiters today. All over the world they are
continually exploiting local economies and draining their wealth. In
nearly all cases the profits they accrue are spent outside the local
area and remitted to outside stockholders and parent companies.
To create 100% employment among local people, there needs to be both a
short term and a long-term economic plan. In the short-term plan,
labor intensive industries based on the collective minimum
requirements of life should be started immediately or made more
productive where they already exist. These industries should be based
on the consumption motive. They should also provide a rational profit
in order to guarantee adequate purchasing capacity to those employed in
them and to ensure their continued existence and growth.

In the long-term plan, capital-intensive industries should also be


developed to increase the productive capacity of the unit. Prout
advocates a three-tiered economic structure, that is, small scale
privately owned businesses, medium scale cooperatives and large-scale
key industries managed by the immediate or local government as a
fiduciary to the people. Such an economic structure should be based on
the principles of self-reliance, maximum utilization, rational
distribution, decentralization, rationalization and progressive
increases in the standard of living of all people. Through the never
ending creation of new industries, new products and new production
techniques incorporating the latest scientific discoveries, the
vitality of the economy can be increased. As part of the long-term
economic plan, working hours may also be progressively reduced to
maintain full employment.

To solve the unemployment problem in both the short and long term there
must be an accurate understanding of the surplus and deficit manual and
intellectual labor trends. In most of the countries of the world where
there is high unemployment, there is surplus manual labor. Manual
labor-intensive industries are required to create employment. In some
instances where deficit labor exists for an expanding industry,
retraining programs may equip workers with the necessary skills for
employment.

Another way to help solve unemployment, especially in rural


communities, is the utilization of plants for economic self-reliance.
All units have the potential to increase their plant and crop varieties
by properly matching these with the soil, topography and climatic
conditions etc. in their units. Reforestation can reclaim arid and
semi-arid regions, and some unique plants like the peranica or fern,
which has the capacity to attract clouds, can help radically transform
the rainfall and weather patterns of a region.

Agro- and agrico-industries based upon the productive potential of


different plants can also help solve rural unemployment by creating a
range of new goods and services.

Cultural Aspirations of Socio-economic Units


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P.R. Sarkar

Socio-economic units will not only have to fulfil people's social and
economic needs, but also their cultural aspirations. Culture denotes
all sorts of human expressions. In a sense, culture is the same for all
humanity, though there are obvious differences in cultural expression.
The best means of communicating human expressions is through one's
mother tongue, as this is most natural. If people's natural expression
through their mother tongue is suppressed, inferiority complexes will
grow in their minds, encouraging a defeatist mentality and ultimately
leading to psycho-economic exploitation. Thus, no mother tongue should
be suppressed.

To arouse the cultural legacy of the people and raise their


socio-economic consciousness, they must be made aware of who the
exploiters are and the nature of psycho-economic exploitation so that
they become imbued with fighting spirit.

All languages must be encouraged, but this does not mean opposing the
languages spoken by others. In this context, language in itself is of
secondary importance. Of primary importance are the negative cultural
and socio-economic consequences of linguistic imperialism. A language
usually changes every 1,000 years and a script every 2,000 years. The
seed of expression of all languages is the same. Geo-racial differences
were responsible for the emergence of different races, which developed
numerous languages.

Geo-racial conditions produce changes in the vocal chords and other


nervous centers or plexi of the body, and consequently the entire
pronunciation and other items of language change. Thus, while no
language should be suppressed and cultural expression must always be
encouraged, language alone is not a sound basis upon which to demarcate
socio-economic units or build an integrated society.