An empowering concept in PROUT’s theory of historical dynamics is that of the social cycle — the cyclic rotation of class dominance involving four social classes: workers, warriors, intellectuals and entrepreneurs. A summary explanation of the social cycle is given in this article.
History is the expression of the collective psychology — the psychic flow of a society that results from their collective ideas, values and sentiments. The strongest influence on the collective psychology is the mentality of the dominant social class. Class dominance is not static, but is characterized by a rotation of classes into and out of power. This movement of classes in and out of dominance follows a cyclic pattern — from laborers to warriors to intelligentsia, clergy to merchants/capitalists. This rotational pattern is called the social cycle. There are five basic ways in which a society may undergo transitional movement from one era of the social cycle to another; it can come through natural change, evolution, revolution, counter-evolution, or counter-revolution.
Leadership is important to the well-being of a society. Leaders reflect the values of the people. If superficial qualities of leadership appeal to voters, they will select inept and corrupt individuals to lead. But if the populace possesses high values and high aspirations, they will put into office leaders having noble character and a spirit of service. The ideal leader is the sadvipra, a deeply moral and spiritual personality devoted to the collective welfare and established in neohumanistic values. Sadvipras do not identify with any particular group but with all living beings. Sadvipras can inspire collective unity and social vitality.
PROUT offers a new theory of history, one that gives perspective for those wanting to understand history so they can maintain the progressive bearing of society. In the PROUT view, class oppression is the central problem of human history. Humanity has been oppressed, in succession, by the rule of the warrior class, the rule of the priestly class, and the rule of the capitalist class. To remedy this perennial problem, PROUT proposes that spiritually and humanisticly dedicated people establish themselves in the nucleus of the society — positions of influence from which they can inspire social action to remove the dominant class as soon as it becomes oppressive and bring forward new opportunities for society to regain its progressive bearing.