Sarkar Game

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= futures game using the caste-model of Sarkar



1. by Peter Hayward, Joseph Voros, Sohail Inayatullah:

"The Sarkar Game is a foresight role-playing game designed to glean insight into social reality and help players discover other ways of knowing, thus to better understand and appreciate alternative futures. The Sarkar Game specifically helps players (individuals and organizations) comprehend macrohistory – the timing of the future – as well as the structured shape of the future(s). The game also helps players scrutinize the leadership characteristics for themselves and for their organization or institution.

The game is based on a model of social change from Indian philosopher and macrohistorian Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar. Sarkar developed a cyclical theory of social change with a belief that understanding history boosted the stimulation and creation of alternative futures. His emphasis was on creating a new type of leadership spiraling to a transformational future.

Sarkar identifies macro-sized, evolutionary categories that describe long swathes of human development. Frequently, a revolution or evolution takes place when each cycle concludes. Then the cycle begins once more. Four types of power (epistemes) are drawn from these historic cycles: the worker, the warrior, the intellectual and the capitalist (merchant). No type is ideal because each contains a negative (backward reasoning) as well as positive (forward looking) aspect. Sarkar noted the turbulence between cycles and the subsequent potential for creation of a new class of leaders with a planetary-wide sense of identity (neohumanism).

Sarkar's planetary model is also applied to organizations and institutions. Subsequently, the Sarkar Game provides opportunity for players to examine their leadership style and think about personas they may have repressed, projected or disowned. Organizations are presented with probing the types of leadership styles active throughout their institutions and its associated power dynamics. With such insight comes the opportunity and ability to change the future." (

2. Jan Krikke:

"n 1961, Sarkar published his book Ananda Sutram that outlined his Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT), an economy that was cooperative and decentralized, and focussed on collective welfare rather than on profit, while not neglecting individuals and their merits. “Progressive utilization” means optimizing the use of natural, industrial, and human resources on a sustainable basis for the entire ecosystem.

Showing its Tantric (pre-Vedic) inspiration, PROUT encompasses the whole of the individual and collective existence for all beings, including physical, educational, mental, cultural, and spiritual. In 1968, Sarkar founded the organization “Proutist Block of India” (PBI) to advance the ideals of his theory through political and social action. PROUT has centers in countries around the world. Fig 3. The PROUT triangle with spirituality at its base

Sohail Inayatullah, one of the world’s leading Sarkar scholars, is the author of Understanding Sarkar as well as numerous books and articles about Sarkar and PROUT. He inspired Australian scholars Peter Hayward and Joseph Voros to develop the so-called Sarkar Game. Inayatallah reasoned that if humans have a psychological profile in which one of the four types is predominant, role-playing can foster mutual understanding, collaborations, and empathy. He wrote:

“By ‘creating’ the experience of the Social Cycle in the classroom, the students learn of their own social constructions and roles. They experience the frustration of how these roles and constructions limit the effectiveness of their actions. They can also recognize the qualitative difference in the potential of actions that arise from adopting an ‘integral’ stance in participating in social change.”

The Sarkar Game experience, says Inayatullah, taps into the ‘deep’ scripts that we all have, scripts that cover role, power, and relationship. “Our societal processes have programmed those scripts into us and they continue to operate unconsciously until an experience draws them into consciousness, thereby making them accessible to inquiry and examination… The game, therefore, is a serious one. While we ‘play’ at learning, the consequences of not learning are serious indeed. Sarkar’s social cycle at its heart is revolutionary…”

Participants of the Sarkar Game receive written instructions, including a description of the worker, merchant, warrior, and spiritual types developed by Hayward and Voros."



Jan Krikke:

"A description of the worker, merchant, warrior, and spiritual types developed by Hayward and Voros:

Group 1 — Workers

You want safety, security, and reasonable comforts. You want inspiration and faith to alleviate suffering and the fear of death. You usually leave complicated political and economic decisions to leaders you trust. When inspired, you loyally follow leaders of the other classes. But if your needs are not met, you can disrupt, create chaos, or even bring the system down.

Group 2 — Warriors (soldiers, policemen, etc.)

Your physical strength and courage are your greatest assets. You embrace challenge and struggle. You value honor, discipline, and self-sacrifice. Your will, patience, and work are your strengths. You protect society from danger and chaos by enforcing order. Sports and martial arts are your hobbies. You obey and expect others to obey authority and follow orders, no matter what.

Group 3 — Intellectuals (thinking, seeking, contemplative types)

Your developed mind is your greatest asset. The search for truth, removing errors and confusion, is your purpose. Some of you have knowledge of science, while others have knowledge of spiritual reality. You protect everyone by making rules and laws and ordering the warriors to enforce them. You debate hard so that the best ideas win. You create enlightenment. You lead others by establishing your religion, your science, or your political system as the Truth.

Group 4 — Entrepreneurs (merchants)

You excel in administration and organization. Efficient and effective, you manage large numbers of people to produce new products and accomplish difficult tasks. Through wealth and power, you can help everyone. You reward loyal service with higher salaries. Efficiency is very important."


More information

  • Sarkar, Prabhat Ranjan (1982). The Liberation of Intellect: Neohumanism. Kolkata: Ananda Marga

Publications. ISBN 81-7252-168-5

  • Sarkar’s theory and the game in an article in the Journal of Futures Studies ( September 2013, 18(1))

entitled “Using Gaming to Understand the Patterns of the Future The Sarkar Game in Action.” The article provides an overview of the Sarkar Game, shares results from several case studies of the game in use;, and quotes numerous "lessons learned" comments from participants in the game