We know of the mental evolution by which man evolved, but we do not consider that society has a mental evolution too. In theory, not only man and society but every act, event, organisation, institution, form of life does undergo the different stages of evolution of which the mental evolution is the culmination. This is the hour when the process of Social Development has reached its point of mental evolution. Social Development which has been going on so far under the direction of vital energy and physical experience has now come under the direction of mental comprehension. What man has been doing so far without thinking must hereafter be done by conscious thought. Social Development is entering the conscious phase from its unconscious past. In that sense it is a historical moment or even an evolutionary juncture. Only Ghali has voiced the need for a theory of social development. Among the foremost of economists, the need is not perceived. In their view it is beyond the ken of human thinking. This confirms the old experience that the present establishment in any field serves more as an unthinking obstacle than a perceptive pioneer. It is striking that the recognition should come from outside the academics. What Indira Gandhi was so anxious to know of, all the senior administrators under her considered as of no significance. Social Development, thus, belongs to the political field rather than the field of economics or the practising economists.

A field lends itself to theory when the experience there saturates the different branches of it. During the past few centuries society was at great pains to conquer nature, discover ways to surmount the obstacles to peaceful living, devising instruments that make living convenient and comfortable. In that endeavour he has largely succeeded and that success has spread over a quarter of the globe. It can be considered that the developmental effort has reached a point of saturation. Mental theorising is possible only when the previous planes of vital and physical are saturated with experience.

A theory, especially one that is comprehensive, will not only embrace all areas of the subject, but will be capable of explaining every phenomenon in the field. If that is so, our theory must satisfactorily explain every stage of development society has so far passed through and every project that succeeded. In fact, a theory must be able to explain every failure so far. In that case, it will be a tool in the hands of every government, particularly governments of the developing world, for national planning. That may be considered the greatest contribution of the theory. But that will be the least valuable service the theory will be able to render.

Its highest service will be elsewhere. When an unorganised field gets organised, its power and effectivity do not rise five or ten-fold, but more than a hundred-fold is a repeated social experience as witnessed in the birth of the state, the creation of banks, the advent of money, commerce, trade routes, warfare and so on. Its minor versions are the improvements in technology such as we meet with in computer. The spread is phenomenal. Before getting organised, the mind must come to grips with the underlying process of a successful activity carried on without the precise mental comprehension directing it. A theory does it. Theorising is to understand mentally what we have been doing successfully all these years without knowing how or why. At this point the unconscious activity becomes conscious. This is a process that converts the finite resources into infinite usefulness, the fixed value of the parts and tools into unlimited value.

Mankind which has been developing so far facing constraints of all types of resources will suddenly realise its resources are infinite and the environment and circumstances that decided its course till now are determined by it. The knowledge of this theory will give man a mental freedom over the life circumstances that have presided over him so far, unparalleled in human history. He would discover that the only constraint he faces is the constraint of his comprehension.

This theory will give the world a view that every event has an infinite creative potential in it. It is very perceptive of Harlan to have seen it. It is a world view and a view of the infinite.

When framed, this theory must mentalise the process that has so far been physical. Presently there are developmental policies, strategies, programmes, approaches, etc. and there is a fertile confusion that mistakes the one for the other. The theory will codify each of them, grade them, put them all in their places and above all bring them all under one unifying umbrella of theory. Thereafter, no confusion is possible. As they fall into their allotted places, each can function with a greater vigour it was not capable of so far. The mere presence of this theory will render the policies, strategies, and programmes more effective. No doubt it will serve as a powerful tool in the hands of planners all over the world.

The field of economics has collected enough superstitions and they are all now ruling the roost. Inflation, unemployment, budget deficit, recession are the main ghosts that haunt the field. Once a theory has come into its own, it has to spell out its views on them. These superstitious positions have to describe themselves in the light of the theory which is being increasingly accepted by the world. The one result will be all these illusions will die their natural death and quickly too.

As this theory will put development on a scientific basis, scientific thinking of every other subject will rise. There is a hope of economics becoming a subject in its own right and that influence may spread to physics and botany. Presently subjects are there on the strength of the information available in the field. Some of them are governed by laws that are partial, but no subject is organised as a department of study in its own right under an outline that can be styled complete or full.

One other direct result will be that the theory will put the crime of the West and poverty of the South in their own perspective. Now that material resources are discovered in abundance and social potentials in greater abundance, poverty and crime stand no chance of survival.

Money now enjoys a prime place in the effort of development. It is in short supply in several quarters and over supply in other places. Both hurt. In areas of short supply, the theory will enable the societies to create real money ten-fold by the newfound knowledge. In areas of over supply, innovative uses of money not for generation of more money, but for the generation of higher social good can be found in great number. As the theory will be in existence by then, no one will be able to raise superstitious opinions to counter them.

Humanity, which is now in a few thousand ethnic pockets dreaming of their own uniqueness and generating local tensions will then be able to conceive of the fact that aspirations all over the globe are the same. Such an attitude will form the basis of one world.

The theory will be able to show war in its implications in the past as well as future. Now that there is no cold war, war’s effect can be more fully understood across the world and help to abolish wars of all descriptions.

Infrastructures will emerge into their right significance and therefore their power can multiply. More can be done with less in the future with the knowledge of infrastructures.

Social development is only a broader version of individual development, only that the application is in a wider field. The individual of every plane can emerge with this knowledge. The political individual arose by the institution of democracy. Guaranteed employment can create economic individuality. Freedom from subservience to society creates the psychological individual. Theoretical comprehension of society is the basis for the birth of the mental individual.

This theory brings in a mental freedom to all aspects of society, especially its forces of development. That freedom enhances the effectivity of the existing tools and enables us to fashion new tools such as the indicators.

Man is presently confronted with thousands of obstacles to his development or his efforts to develop the society. Every institution that served the cause of development so far will turn into an obstacle hereafter. The government administration is the primary one. At least in India the social forces such as village unity which were initially a help have now turned into a hindrance. People joined together to defeat the very purpose of any scheme. Opinions, social customs, deep-seated beliefs, institutions social as well as organisational will rear their heads as insurmountable obstacles when the society wants to forge ahead.

This theory will offer the necessary social awareness to all levels of population and anachronisms of all description will be wiped out in one stroke.

I would consider this hour in human history as comparable to that day when Man realised he had a mind to use and began using it.

Great scientists dream of a final theory but grope about with facts that can only lead them away from any theory. No social scientist is able to dream of such a theory for the social sciences. Though it is a theory of social development as we present it, in truth this theory contains the whole basis of a final theory, not only for science, but for all knowledge.

Science is knowledge. Knowledge compartmentalised as knowledge of science and knowledge of economics is no knowledge. Knowledge knows no bounds. And this theory presents to the world that KNOWLEDGE.