What We Believe
Violence strikes the world and spreads over the planet in the form of conventional wars, occupied territories, nuclear threats, ecological disruption, massive migrations, economic exploitation, terrorist attacks, violence at schools, in the cities, in the homes, and violence also within people, expressing itself as internal suffering. Violence, in all its forms (physical, economic, racial, religious, moral and psychological) is a fundamental part of an individualistic and dehumanizing system whose methodology of action always generates more violence.
The solution to the problem of different forms of violence exists, and lies in applying a precise methodology: the methodology of Active Nonviolence. Nonviolence promotes a profound individual and social transformation. Nonviolence is a force capable of changing the violent and inhuman direction of current events. Nonviolence promotes a new internal and external attitude towards life, having as main tools:
- Personal change, strengthening and internal development, and simultaneous social transformation
- Rejecting and creating a void in front of different forms of discrimination and violence.
- Non-collaboration with violent practices.
- The denunciation of all the facts of discrimination and violence.
- Civil disobedience to institutionalized violence.
- Organization and social mobilization, voluntarily and with solidarity.
- The development of personal virtues and the best and deepest human aspirations.
The Methodology of nonviolence has been expressed in history with clear actions and developments in its attempt to transform the world, with contributions made by Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and more recently, Silo. Nonviolence is also expressed in the common actions that millions of people do daily around the planet: organizations, groups of volunteers and individuals who, with a spirit of solidarity, try to transform the situations of violence that exist around them. It is the right time for expressing the calm and powerful message of Nonviolence. A moment of great need, in which we must express our best qualities to build a nonviolent future.
Universalist Humanism, or New Humanism, is a current of thought developed by the Argentine thinker Silo. Acknowledging the many historical developments of humanism, it is based on a new conception of the human being, expressed as follows:
- As human beings we find ourselves in a situation not of our own choosing. We are born into a natural and social world plagued by physical and mental aggression experienced as pain and suffering. Consequently, we seek to overcome pain and suffering, and in doing so produce objects and signs which are incorporated into society and are transmitted historically.
- The history of humanity -- our economy, politics, science, art -- is the story of the struggle against pain and suffering. That struggle is the engine of human progress.
- Thanks to the extension of the temporal horizon, the human being can defer responses, choose between situations, and plan for the future. It is that freedom that allows us to deny ourselves, deny aspects of our bodies (or deny it completely, as in suicide), or deny others. This freedom has allowed some to illegitimately appropriate the social whole. There is the essence of discrimination, its methodology being physical, economic, racial and religious violence. Violence can be established and perpetuated thanks to the management of the apparatus of regulation and social control, i.e., the State.
- Those who reduce the humanity of others cause great pain and suffering. To humanize, therefore, is to reject objectification and instead affirm human intentionality.
- It is without a doubt the future that prevails in human endeavors, modifying the present and making possible all revolution and all change. The pressure of oppressive conditions is not enough for change to happen: it is necessary to realize that such a change is possible and that it depends on human action.
- This struggle is not between mechanical forces, nor is it "natural." It is a struggle between human intentions. And this is precisely what allows us to speak of oppressors and oppressed; of just and unjust; of heroes and cowards.
In short, Universalist Humanism is based on two basic points:
- Solidarity – defined as treating other people the way one would like to be treated and,
- Coherence – defined as thinking, feeling and acting in the same way.
It will not be enough to say "man is a social animal", nor to define him as a manufacturer of objects, or a developed of language, as other animals demonstrate these skills as well. For Universalist Humanism, man is a historical being whose mode of social action transforms his own nature.