Neohumanist Perspectives on World Peace
The attainment of world peace challenges human talent and ingenuity but is not an impossible or utopian
dream. World peace is attainable; it may even be imminent. Consider two events that caught humanity by
surprise: the fall of the Berlin wall on November 9, 1989 and the World Trade Center attack on
September 11, 2001. The vulnerability of the mightiest nations on earth have drastically altered world
perception, and the world is still changing, especially politically. An ideological confusion prevails
and humanity once again searches for an ideology. Let us affirm humanity's smooth transition into a new
era. Indeed, "humanity has already crossed the threshold of a new era," claimed P.R. Sarkar in His New
Year's message in 1987-88. Despite our advancements in various fields, we have yet to overcome
psychological complexes that interfere with social harmony. Social psychology is guided by a combination
of sentiments and complexes, which affects our towering world leaders as much as common people.
The world has witnessed devastating wars and conflicts brought on by geo-patriotic sentiments,
socio-sentiments, feelings of racial supremacy, etc. We were all thankful when we escaped WW III, and the
cold war came to a rapid, bloodless end. The ideologies that guide people in their personal lives also
guide them in formulating social constructs and attitudes. Ideologies may be mattercentered, self-centered,
dogma-centered or spirit-centered. Let us look at socio-political systems born from these ideological types.
The Marxist doctrine is essentially matter-centered. Nevertheless, it failed to reliably deliver even
potatoes and milk to its infants and people after its 72-year-long experimentation behind a concrete
curtain. People rejected Marxism and tore down the infamous Berlin wall. Today people live in a
prevailing ideological vacuum in the erstwhile communist states.
Capitalism is self-centered and mirrors the lopsided Darwinian law of evolution where only the strong have
the right to prosper. A capitalist social structure works on the illusory ethos of mutual exploitation.
"I am free to exploit you and you are free to exploit me." In reality, the power to exploit remains
concentrated in the hands of the privileged. For the majority, life in self-centered social structures
degenerates into an endless struggle for existence amidst plenty. It becomes insecure and artificial, full
of contradictions and uncertainties. One is forced to question the glory of a prosperity that excludes so
Religious power structures are based on dogma-centered ideologies, which are purposefully devoid of human
rationality. Such structures use fear to coerce support from the people, yet are incapable of meeting the
basic needs of their subjects. Dogma-centered social structures have never been self-sufficient, but
survive as parasites on socio-economic systems guided by the other two ideologies. While matter-, self-,
and dogma-centered systems have come and gone, no attempt has yet been made to create a social structure
based on Spirit-centered, universal, neohumanistic, and cardinal values. The Indian philosopher
P.R. Sarkar outlines such a possibility in his discourses on Progressive Utilisation Theory (i.e. PROUT).
Sarkar claims that humans are inherently universal and spirit-centered by nature. However, throughout our
history of collective living, our leadership often promoted self-centered, dogma-centered and
mattercentered ideas. We must now move on to higher vistas. No doubt, many are reluctant to sacrifice
their political egos for cardinal human values.
Ignoring the most noble human wisdoms, they continue to push their self-centered agendas. But it's too
late for their games: individually and socially we have reached a critical point on the curve of social
evolution. At this juncture, there may be only two options left: change our value system or perish as a
civilization. What is Sarkar's Neohumanism, and how does he envision a spiritcentered neohumanistic
social structure? First, let us look at what it is not. Neohumanism is free from the following three major
shortcomings of the prevailing political ideologies:
1. Geo-sentiment (nationalism, geo-patriotism)
2. Socio-sentiment, which promotes social inequality via leftist mattercentered ideologies and hatred
related to largely right-wing, dogmacentered philosophies including religious hatreds as well as racial,
ethnic and gender-based inequality.
3. Pseudo-humanistic sentiment, an essentially self-centered outlook used to justify the continued plunder
and degradation of the environment. This can be seen as a type of warfare against other species and the
planet itself. In contrast, Neohumanism is a happy blending of spirituality and rationality, a move beyond
left and right ideologies. Religious leaders who forgo rationality invent dogmas and capture the allegiance
of people by infusing them with inferiority complexes and fear. Progressive rationality without spirituality
is dry and heartless. It creates mattercentered structures, such as communism, which enslave and tortures
humanity. Neohumanism acknowledges the need for an approach that recognizes both the spirit and the
Political ideologies throughout the ages have changed little, although the collective psychology of humanity
is yearning for an altogether new social structure. Political ideologies are still polarized, amongst the
masses and within the leadership, at both local and global levels. Just recollect the "balance of power"
theory of the Cold War era. Although the Cold War ended more than a decade ago, world leaders today are out
to validate a new "Cold War", this time along cultural lines, and, perhaps, not so "cold". That could be
Sarkar's neohumanistic world order, based on the following principles, present a positive new approach for
obtaining world peace:
A. A World Constitution, incorporating the following:
1. A common penal code for all countries of the world,
2. A guarantee that clothes, shelter, medical care, food, and education
are available to all people.
3. The preservation of all species of plants and animals in their natural
habitats wherever possible.
4. Guaranteed purchasing capacity for basic necessities of life to all
5. Four universal rights for all citizens on the planet:
-The right to spiritual practice as per one's belief,
-The right to cultural legacy,
-The right to education, and
-The right to linguistic expression of one's mother tongue.
B. A World Militia - standing army, and
C. A World Government - with more executive power than the current UN
D. Neohumanistic education to replace the out-dated (bi-polar) social structure with a nuclear one,
E. Creating social leaders and Local Guides of high ethical standards, in good number, and at all levels
Ac.Vimalananda Avadhuta is the Sectorial Secretary of Proutist Universal, Inc.