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16 December 2012

There IS a maximum wage in USA and most countries??!!

Because the physical resources of the planet are limited, the hoarding wealth or using it for speculation rather than productive investment reduces the opportunities of other people and causes poverty. A fundamental principle of Prout is to limit the accumulation of wealth and create a maximum salary that is tied to the minimum wage.

In the United States, all government federal employees have a starting annual salary of US$17,803 (General Schedule grade 1). With education, experience and promotions, the highest pay scale for a president or general or judge is US$179,700 (Senior Executive Service), just ten times higher. Similar pay scales exist for all state and municipal government employees.

By comparison, the lowest salary for a Norwegian government employee in 2010 was twice as high, US$36,000 annually (207,900 kroner, wage level 1), while the highest was US$192,000 (1,106,400 kroner, level 98), only 5.3 times more than the starting salary.

Prout recommends an adequate “living wage” for every worker, and that all earnings in the private sector should also be capped at reasonable maximum levels. The difference between the minimum wage and the maximum salary helps to motivate people to be productive and contribute to society, but they should be fair and appropriate. As the quality of life for everyone increases, the gap will have to be gradually decreased; however, it should never be reduced to zero.


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

Source: Wikipedia

14 December 2012

GRATITUDE

I am very humbled by all the wonderful friends, both old and new, that I met during my 10-week tour of 33 cities in the United States and the tremendous help they gave me. They opened their homes to me, they fed me, they organized talks and media interviews, they bought extra copies of my book to give to their friends and clients, they gave me donations; most of all, they renewed my spirits again and again. Here are a few of them:

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Ron Baseman and his family for hosting me, Lawrence Huff for organizing a talk for me at NPTI Technical Institute and to his yoga class at the public library, and for lending me his car.

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA: Mirra Price for driving me, organizing an interview with Rob Neufeld published in the Asheville Citizen-Times, and a talk for me at the Firestorm Cooperative Cafe (40 people came) and a reading at Malaprops Bookstore (46 people came). Donald Moore and his brother Pat for hosting me.

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA: John Gross for hosting me.

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA: Allan Rosen for organizing 2 meetings and a talk for me (10 came).

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: Dr. Steve Landau for hosting me.

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND: Dada Vishvarupananda for hosting me.

FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA: Randy Goldberg for organizing a talk for me at Apurva Wellness (9 came).

BETHESDA, MARYLAND: Victor Vyasa Landa and Shanti Yoga for organizing a talk for me (25 came) and hosting me.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Consul General Carol Delgado and her husband Greg Wilpert for organizing a great talk for me at the Venezuelan Consulate (45 came). Diego Esteche and his family for hosting me.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: Thanks to Lucy Parsons Center for giving me their space to hold a talk, and to Michael Romani and Dinali Abeysekera for hosting me.

NORTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: Prakash and Devanistha Laufer for hosting me and for bringing me to the Path of Bliss retreat at Earthdance where I spoke (60 participants).

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: David Scheickart for hosting me and organizing a talk for me at The Heartland Café sponsored by Portaluz and Venezuelan Consul General Jesús Rodriguez (45 came). Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn for driving me. Candrashekhar for hosting me.

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, ILLINOIS: Dada Vedaprajinananda for hosting me and organizing a talk for me at the Urbana Free Library (20 came).

CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS: Chuck Paprocki (Citsvarupa) and all the loving members of the Sufi Community for hosting me, giving me a wonderful tour of all their projects, and organizing a talk for me at Southern Illinois University (20 came).

SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI: Dada Shamitananda for hosting me.

IOWA CITY, IOWA: Andy Douglas (Alok) for hosting me, organizing a talk for me at the public library -- (25 came) and publishing a review of my book in the Iowa Press Citizen newspaper.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: David Griffin for hosting me.

MANKATO, MINNESOTA: Mark Friedman and Jane Dow for hosting me, organizing a talk for me at South Central College Global Connections Conference (25 students came) and driving me to Madison.

MADISON, WISCONSIN: Beth Wortzel and the Economic Democracy Alliance for organizing the Economic Democracy Conference from October 11-14 (more than 220 participants came). Bill Ayers for co-leading a workshop with me, "The Ethical Need for Revolutionary Change." Rashad for driving and helping me.

AUSTIN, TEXAS: Peter and Yamuna Fleury and their family for hosting me and organizing a talk at University of Texas (20 came) and at Monkeywrench Books (30 came). Apekshit and Kalyanii for driving all the way from Dallas to meet me and discuss Prout with the Austin group.

SAN CARLOS, TEXAS: Ray Guthrey for driving me and organizing a talk at the San Carlos Public Library.

EL PASO, TEXAS: A for driving me 8 hours from Austin. Claudia Ortega for organizing a talk for me at 'Life Force Consciousness' event (35 came). Rubi Orozco and Roberto for hosting me.

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO: Matt Oppenheim (Mayajiit) and Kanako for hosting me and organizing a talk for me at Central New Mexico Community College Montoya Campus (45 students came). (Aditi) for organizing a talk for me to the New Mexico Health Equity Working Group (12 health professionals came).

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Vaekunta and his family for hosting me. Ammadevi for organizing a talk at her home. Dr. Manuel Yara for organizing a talk (20 came).

LOS ALTOS HILLS, CALIFORNIA: Dada Nabhaniilananda for hosting me. The Conscious Living Collective, a student club at Univesity of California at Berkeley, for inviting me to speak at their lovely meditation retreat (30 came).

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Consul General Tibisay Lugo and her wonderful staff at the Venezuealan Consulate who organized a talk for me.

SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA: Satya Tanner and Abraham Heisler for driving me to the beautiful home of Kevin Rossey and Jill Lawless who hosted me.

EUGENE, OREGON: Amara East for driving me up from Berkeley. Kamala Quale for hosting me. Wayland Secrest and Carin for hosting me and organizing a talk for me (20 people came). Ravi Logan, Madhulika and Jason Shreiner for hosting me and organizing a talk (20 people came) and a tour of the Prout Institute, and for driving me to a beautiful old growth forest.

PORTLAND, OREGON: Maetri for hosting me and organizing a talk at the Kailash Ecovillage (12 people came), and for showing me around New Day School.

OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON: Lori Blewett organized an interview with me on the Evergreen State College TV station. John Regan and Professor Anne Fischel organized a talk for me at the Olympia Center (40 people came). Professor Peter Bohmer hosted me and organized a talk for me at Evergreen State College, with Professors Michale Vavrus, Karen Gaul and Therese Saliba (135 students crammed into the hall for an hour!).

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: Doris Olivers for hosting me and driving me around. Steve at East West Books for bravely organizing a book reading just 24 hours before the event!

BOULDER, COLORADO: Maeve Conran for interviewing me twice on KGNU Community Radio. Doug Reichlin and Carolyn organized a talk for me at the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, and Joe Richey, producer for David Barsamian's Alternative Radio program, who recorded it.

DENVER, COLORADO: Ed and MJ Glassman for hosting me, setting up a talk (8 people), and lovingly sending me on my way home to Caracas!

06 November 2012

USA Book Tour, Part 2: Nov. 6 - Dec. 6, 2012

Dear friends, How do I feel? Nervous, of course! Tomorrow morning I fly from Caracas to Austin, Texas to start the second half of my speaking tour to launch my new book, After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action -- four weeks across the Southwest and up the Pacific coast. I love meeting people, so every presentation is an exciting opportunity to interact, listen and grow. But in some places nothing is planned. If you're in any of these places I'd love to see you. If not, please give me a call on my cellphone: 336-567-6912.

Wed, Nov 7, Austin, TX: 7pm talk "After Capitalism", University of Texas, RLM 7.104.
Thu, Nov 8, Austin, TX: 7pm talk at MonkeyWrench Books, 110 E. North Loop.
Fri, Nov 9, San Marcos, TX: 1pm talk at San Marcos Public Library, 625 E Hopkins St.
Sat, Nov 10, bus to El Paso
Sun, Nov 11, El Paso, TX: 1pm talk at 'Life Force Consciousness' event at corner of Texas St. and Campbell St.
Mon, Nov 12, Albuquerque, NM: 4:30pm talk at Central New Mexico Community College Montoya Campus, Room H126.
Tue, Nov 13, Albuquerque, NM: 1:30pm talk to NM Health Equity Working Group, at Parents Reaching Out, 1920 B Columbia Dr. SE.
Wed, 14 Nov, train to Los Angeles
Thur-Fri, Nov 15-16: Los Angeles, CA.
Sat, Nov 17, North Hills, CA: Talk after collective meditation at 8555 Haskell Ave.
Sun, Nov 18, Los Altos Hills, CA: beginners' meditation retreat at 27160 Moody Rd.
Mon-Wed, Nov 19-21, San Francisco Bay Area
Thu, Nov 22: bus to Eugene, OR
Fri, Nov 23, Eugene, OR: Ananda Marga, 510 West 27th Ave.
Sat-Sun, Nov 24-25, Eugene, OR: Prout Institute, 356 Horn Lane.
Mon, Nov 26, Portland, OR: 4311 SE 37th Ave.
Tue, Nov 27, Olympia, WA: evening talk at Orca Books, 509 E. 4th Ave.
Wed, Nov 28, Olympia, WA: 12pm talk at Evergreen State College, Sustainability and Justice symposium
Thu-Sun, Nov 29-Dec 2: Seattle, WA
Mon, Dec 3: Fly to Denver, CO
Tue-Wed, Dec 4-5: Denver, CO
Thu, Dec 6, Fly to Caracas

25 September 2012

MYTH: Rich people, companies and countries became rich because they were smarter and worked harder.

This unspoken, unverified belief is not only widespread among the rich, but, sadly, many middle class, poor and uneducated people in the world also share it. Everyone who shares this belief will logically also believe that poor countries remain poor because their people are not as smart and do not work as hard.

The reality is quite different. For hundreds of years, the rich countries have stolen the wealth of and exploited people in the rest of the world. Imperialism, colonialism and slavery brought incredible riches to the countries that executed these.

Small-scale free enterprise encourages invention, innovation and diversity, and contributes to local communities. The economics faculties of most Western universities highlight these benefits of a transparent market in which many small firms are fully competitive. Unfortunately, since 1600 when the British East India Company and the Dutch East India Company were formed, multinational corporations have played by different rules. Fabulously lucrative, they inspired future generations of capitalists to invent ingenious strategies to turn their corporations into the most wealthy and powerful entities on the planet.

Huge multinationals have tremendous capital on hand to pour into new endeavors, a resource that can’t be matched by smaller competitors. They can produce enormous quantities of goods at lower costs, and even sell at a loss to bankrupt the competition. In most Western countries predatory pricing and other actions intended to bankrupt a competitor are illegal, but these are difficult to prove and rarely prosecuted. Even when they are prosecuted, it’s almost always too late to prevent the harm. By the time Microsoft was brought to trial for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, it had already effectively destroyed Netscape, once the most widely used web browser.

Of course there are smart, hard-working people who are rich. There are also millions of smart, hard-working people who are poor. Capitalism works well for some people, but not for everyone. What the world needs today is economic democracy, the empowerment of people to make economic decisions that directly shape their lives and communities through locally-owned, small-scale private enterprises, worker-owned cooperatives, and publicly-managed utilities. It decentralizes decision-making and gives citizens the right to choose how their local economy should be run.

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

18 September 2012

Speaking Tour of USA East Coast & Midwest Sept. 11 – Oct. 14

Speaking Tour to launch new book, After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action,

Dada Maheshvarananda's USA cellphone: 336-567-6912

Tues, Sept. 11 Miami: 7-8:30 pm
NPTI Technical Institute
4000 West Flagler Street,
Miami, FL
"Alternatives to the Current“

Sept. 12-13 informal talks in Miami

Sept. 14 Fly to Asheville, NC

Sat, Sept. 15, 5:45 p.m. Firestorm Co-op
48 Commerce St
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 255-8115

7:00 p.m. Malaprop's Bookstore-Cafe
55 Haywood St., Asheville
(828) 254-6734, (800) 441-9829

Sun, Sept. 16, 12:15pm "Economic Democracy and Prout"
1:15-2:15pm "Cooperative Games Workshop"
WWD-F, 22 Ravenscroft Drive
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 255-8777

Tues, Sept. 18 Carrboro, NC
Inter-Faith Council for Social Services
110 W. Main Street, Carrboro, NC 27510 (919) 929-6380

Wed, Sept. 19, 7:30pm
Apurva Wellness
2841 Hartland Rd. Suite 207
Falls Church, VA 22043

Thur, Sept. 20, 7pm
talk in Shanti Yoga Ashram,
4209 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD
301-654-6759

Fri, Sept. 21, 5pm, Talk at
Venezuelan Consulate
7 East 51st St
New York, NY 10022

Sat-Sun, Sept. 22-23 New York City

Tues, Sept. 25, 7pm
Lucy Parsons Center Bookstore
5358A Centre St.
Boston, MA - (617) 522-6098

Thur-Fri, Sept. 27-28 Northampton, MA

Sat-Sun, Sept. 29-30
Tantric Futures Boston Regional Spring Retreat
Earthdance, 252 Prospect St, Plainfield MA

Mon, Oct. 1 Chicago, IL, 6:30 pm
The Heartland Café
7000 North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago

Tue, Oct. 2, 7:00 PM
Urbana Free Library, 210 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Wed-Thur, Oct 3-4 Dayempur Farm, Carbondale, IL

Fri, Oct. 5 St. Louis, MO

Sat, Oct 6, 5pm
123 South Linn Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
319.356.5200

Sun, Oct 7 Iowa City, IA

Mon, Oct 8 Minneapolis, MN

Tues-Wed, Oct 9-10 Mankato, MN

Thu-Sun, Oct 11-14
Economic Democracry Conference
Madison College
Madison, WI 53711


Mon, Oct. 15, fly to Caracas

08 September 2012

Speaking Tour of USA Southwest and West Coast, Nov 6-Dec 3, 2012

Speaking Tour to launch new book, After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action
Dada Maheshvarananda's USA cellphone: 336-567-6912


Tues-Thur, Nov 6-8 Austin, TX
Fri, Nov 9 San Antonio, TX
Sat, Nov 10 El Paso, TX
Sun-Tue Nov 11-13 Albuquerque, NM
Wed-Sat, Nov 14-17 Los Angeles, CA
Sun-Wed, Nov 18-21 San Francisco Bay Area
Thu-Sun, Nov 22-25 Eugene, OR
Mon-Wed, Nov 26-28 Olympia, WA, Evergreen State College
Thu, Nov. 29 Seattle
Fri-Sat, Nov 30-Dec 1 Vancouver, BC
Sun, Dec 2 Los Angeles, CA
Mon, Dec 3 Fly to Caracas

If you have an idea where I could speak in any of these cities, or are interested in meeting me when I am passing through, please contact me.

03 September 2012

Did you know this about co-ops?

Throughout the twentieth century and until today, cooperatives have been mostly invisible, ignored by the mass media and political leaders who are more interested in power, fame and control. Yet more than one billion people, a sixth of our global population, are members of co-ops. The world’s largest non-governmental organization is the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), representing 246 national and international organizations...

Cooperatives provide over 100 million jobs around the world, 20 percent more than multinational enterprises. Cooperatives are also more likely to succeed than privately-owned enterprises. In the United States, 60-80 percent of companies fail in their first year, while only 10 percent of cooperatives fail during that period. After five years, only three to five percent of new U.S. corporations are still in business, while nearly 90 percent of co-ops remain viable. [World Council of Credit Unions, Statistical Data: United States Credit Union Statistics, 1939-2002.]..

The NAFTA agreement of 1994 caused Mexico to charge co-ops twice the tariffs that they charged private enterprises, requiring them to carry expensive life insurance on every member–in effect tripling their total tax burden. Since then the legal status of cooperatives in Mexico has changed continually, sometimes yearly. NAFTA does not allow Mexico to subsidize coffee or corn growers, even though the US government subsidizes their own corn growers as well as coffee growers in Vietnam. Brazilian law requires a minimum of 25 members to incorporate a cooperative, compared to Venezuela, which requires only five. In countries with discriminatory legal structures, most would-be cooperatives are forced to register as an association, “civil society” or something else, with no legal protections...

Laws concerning cooperatives are different in every country; in fact some laws were written to hinder and block cooperatives. Those who wish to start a cooperative should first consult their national association of cooperatives and visit successful co-ops, ideally those which operate in the same sector, to learn as much as possible from the experience of others. These experienced cooperative workers can also advise about psychological ways to win the support of the local people.

Cooperatives benefit the community at large by creating jobs, retaining wealth and increasing social connections among the inhabitants. The practice of economic democracy in co-ops raises awareness of democratic issues among the workers as well as in the wider community.


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

15 August 2012

From David Schweickart


About After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action --
"This is an amazing book, breathtaking in its range and ambition: an uncompromising critique of capitalism, an outline of new world economy centered on cooperatives and local, sustainable production, a theory of history, a compelling philosophical/spiritual vision, specific information about movements and experiments going on today all over the world, guidelines for getting involved, becoming a social activist and “spiritual revolutionary,” even slogans to write on your protest banners. And more. One need not agree with everything here to find this book a treasure-trove. Congratulations on a fine piece of work." - David Schweickart, Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, author of (another book entitled) After Capitalism

13 August 2012

"Economic Freedom"?

A clever trick of neoliberal economists has been to call the license of individuals and corporations to amass wealth beyond measure “economic freedom,” as though it were equal to human rights. They claim the right to maximize one's wealth.

The idea of “economic freedom” conflicts with the reality that the world’s resources are limited and that some actions limit the opportunities of others. In law, we grant individual rights only to the extent that they do not harm others. Prout includes this idea in economics.

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

The chart below shows what percentage of jobs — about 1 in 4 in the United States — pay low wages and do not offer employment benefits like health insurance, retirement savings accounts, paid sick days or family leave. These low-wage jobs are replacing jobs that have historically supported a broad middle class.




24 July 2012

What others are saying about "After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action"

"After Capitalism is a crucial contribution towards figuring out where we want to go, not only after capitalism, but now, as we try to build the new world within the old. It is so important not only because of the thoroughly considered vision it presents, but also because it incorporates a spiritual dimension that is missing from most post-capitalist visioning." - Gregory Wilpert, author of Changing Venezuela by Taking Power

"The world is in urgent need of new ideas on how to house, feed and shelter us all, without destroying the planet we are on. After Capitalism is a rich and varied warehouse of new ideas and new thinking that will do much to contribute to a better humanity and a better world." - Kevin Cahill, author of Who Owns the World

“I enthusiastically recommend this book for a college classroom and for those who are organizing for economic and social justice.” - Peter Bohmer, activist and faculty in Economics and Political Economy, The Evergreen State College

"The search is on for new ways to inhabit a strained earth. There are plenty of interesting leads in these pages that will get you thinking!" - Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

“The constitutional proposals of Prout are the ethical summary of everything that humanity needs to accomplish universal fraternity. The importance of Prout is that its vision of a new world is not just concerned with political, social and economic relationships, but also with education, gender relationships and spirituality.” – Frei Betto, activist and author of the bestseller Fidel and Religion

"From Caracas, where the author is putting his ideas into practice, comes this accessible guide to the spiritual socialism of P.R. Sarkar. Activists working on contemporary issues from local food production to economic inequality will find much of value in this innovative volume." Jeffery M. Paige, author of Agrarian Revolution

“The very concept of After Capitalism is liberating. This book is a must for those of us who are striving for a more equitable, ethical and just world–one which views society and the environment holistically and ethically.” - Frank Emspak, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin; CEO and Executive Producer of Workers Independent News

“Dada Maheshvarananda’s book enriches the paradigm of P.R. Sarkar, who proposes that human development in its highest sense should be the goal of economic development. It has the power to construct itself in a post-capitalist project.” – Marcos Arruda, author of External Debt: Brazil and the International Financial Crisis

18 July 2012

Launching a new book, After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action

Dear friends,

In 2003 I published After Capitalism: Prout's Vision for a New World. It was subsequently translated into nine other languages and sold a total of about 15,000 copies with no distribution or marketing. However, when I undertook to update it, both the world and the development of Prout had changed so much that I wrote 80 percent new content in the 390 pages. Economic democracy, a fundamental demand of Prout, is also starting to resonate with the indignados movement of Spain and Portugal, the global Occupy Movement and with many other progressive activists.

I am finally emerging from nearly a year of living like a hermit on this project. Next week, After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action will be available for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. A Kindle version, an audio book and an electronic version will quickly follow; the latter two will also be for sale at Apple iTunes.

What's new in this book? There are six new essays by Prout activists and two revised ones, a conversation with Noam Chomsky, many more examples of successful cooperatives and Prout projects, a number of resource tools and practical techniques to effectively present Prout to the public, and a deeper analysis of the fundamental principles and how to apply them. The book has new sections on leadership training, Sadvipra governance, guerrilla street theater, a greatly expanded and improved section on the exploitation and liberation of women, a block-level planning exercise with detailed questions, instructions for the popular Sarkar Game, and much more. At the end are discussion questions for each chapter so the book can be used as a study guide; Appendices B and C are tools to design your own Prout Study/Action Circle.

The cover photo is provocative, showing an Occupy protest in San Francisco with a veteran holding a U.S. flag upside down, which symbolizes distress. The book is written for activists, progressives and the majority of people who want a better world. Mirra Price in Asheville will start a strong marketing campaign, sending the book to progressive magazines and newspapers, setting up radio interviews by telephone and eventually organizing a book promotion tour. I will be going to the United States to attend the Economic Democracy Conference in Madison, Wisconsin on October 11-14 and plan to tour for about a month. If you have any suggestions or contacts for this marketing campaign, please contact her at: mirraprice[at]gmail.com.

Please go to the paypal Donate button on the right menu. It works with a credit card even if you don't have a paypal account:
For $25: we'll ship you one book as soon as it comes off the press (in about two weeks).
For $75: we'll ship you a box of five books
For $125: we'll ship you a box of 10 books
For $200: we'll ship you a box of 20 books (all amounts include shipping)
If you want to make a donation of another size to support this project, we'll send you as many books as you want at these prices plus the pdf file of the book.

I have often said that the best part of the previous book was the acknowledgements, and it is even more true of this book. More than 70 friends, including economists, ecologists, activists, agriculturalists, and some very good writers have generously given their time to review, correct and improve the text. The book is much better because of them.

With your generous support, this book can effectively spread the empowering messages of economic democracy and Prout to many people, including some whose voices are seldom heard, connecting us to make the world a better place for the good and happiness of all.