OUR HUMANIST POLITICS –WHICH WORLD INSPIRES IT?
NOTES OF AN EXCHANGE OF FERNANDO GARCIA WITH FRIENDS OF THE HUMANIST PARTY OF INDIA. India’s Semiannual Get-together with friends of the Humanist Movement and Silo’s Message. Madhupur (Jharkhand, India), July, 18-20, 2014.
Dear friends, as you all know, I no longer collaborate with the Humanist Party of India. Maybe I am not acquainted with many details about politics in society and its formal democracy. However, as a Siloist, and as part of the Humanist Movement, I am an observer of the sociopolitical scene, and I believe that I am enabled enough so as to distinguish between what is humanist and what is not, and, consequently, to have a vision about what, in my opinion, is convenient for us and what is not. Thus, since I have been invited to share my vision, I will do it with you now; and you, obviously, are free to agree or not with it.
As humanists, our action in the environment has been inspired, given a foundation and a framework by the thought of our founder, Silo. This thought can be found in his Collected Works, the validity of which, far from diminishing as developments and time pass by, keeps on growing and getting stronger.
One of the main central points of his vision and his action is the perception of the terminal crisis of an old world, and the laborious rise of a new world --being this the context within which our joint task as a reference is proposed.
This was foreseen by Silo from the very beginning of his endeavour, and we have witnessed its punctual fulfillment throughout decades. And we have not just witnessed it, but we have worked in building an alternative to the old world, and a reference for the new one. That is to say, our action was always with a view to building the new world we aspire at.
That this old world is marching towards its decline, is something that operates thanks to a process, irrespective of the willfulness of some or the others. We busy ourselves in building the reference for the new world. In Silo’s own words: “The collapse of this global system will follow the logic of the structural dynamics of all closed systems, in which disorder necessarily tends to increase.”… “Whether everything ends up in chaos and civilization starts anew, or we begin a stage of progressive humanization, will no longer depend on inexorable mechanical designs, but on the intentions of individuals and peoples, on their commitment to changing the world, and on an ethic of liberty, which by definition is something that cannot be imposed.” 
Violence in all its multiple forms and discrimination are part of the genetics of the agonizing world that we reject. This translates into many ways. Among them, chauvinism, concentration of power, manipulation, uniformization, betrayal of oneself, others and agreements, ethical relativism, Machiavelism, personalism, double-standards, authoritarianism, dilatory gradualism, unethical pragmatism, short-sighted adhocism, immobile bureaucracies, monopolies of all kinds, individualism, cynicism, dialectic confrontation, corruption, Manichaeism, vengeance, etc.
Indeed, the list is long, and its explanation is even longer. But in any case it is all about behavioural and psychological characteristics that are alien to the new world we aspire at. The sum of them all configures an obsolete sensibility, inadequate for the growth of the human being, its happiness and freedom.
Our humanist political expression is not a universe enclosed in itself, isolated from the other expressions of Silo’s thought and the other organisms of the Humanist Movement. As a part of the Humanist Movement, the same considerations we just made apply to it. The Humanist Party as an organism is, above anything else, the expression of Universalistic Humanism in the field of politics. This is more important than the fact of being a political party. That is why in its inception we declared that the Humanist Party is “something more than a party”.
The world change we envisage and we promote as a whole, is not merely a political change, but much more –it is an integral change of a social, cultural and spiritual type. Without that integral change, no political achievement within a formal democracy and within a global crisis will be more than partial and shaky. Without that perspective, our political action and our party will not have that “something more”, but rather it will be more of the same.
Thus our political action should always and at every time choose, whichever the conditions within which it should do it, to contribute towards the new world we aspire at. Similarly, every time it should choose not to adapt itself, either due to resignation or calculation, to the pseudo-ideologies, anti-values and practices of the agonizing old world, because then it will undergo the same fate. At any rate, it would be a serious contradiction to aspire at a new world while using the old ways to collaborate actively in patching up the old world.
In times of crisis such as the present one, pseudo-ideologies bloom pretending to represent the very reality, while giving false references and promising illusory solutions. Its influence is not based on their goodness, but rather on profiting from the mental and emotional vulnerability of the populations undergoing a crisis. Our humanist proposal should maintain its identity, without echoing their siren call.
Political parties and their messianic leaders rise and fall, a recurring fact that shatters illusions and increases discredit. Should our action become subordinate to those swayings of a society undergoing a de-structuring crisis, the centre of our process would shift away from us due to acting in a reflex and dependent manner.
Furthermore, what is “normal” or “natural” in politics and political parties should not be so in our political action and in our Humanist Party. We were not born to be tamed and assimilated to their formal democracy, but to give it our reference and to help change it into real democracy. It will always be more coherent to fail in this dignified attempt than achieving short-term illusory “success” thanks to adding to the system and detracting from our coherence as humanists.
Should we adopt the ways of the old world to achieve our goals of the new world, we would not be very different from its representatives. That is, we would affirm that the end justifies the means, adducing –as they do- that our end is better than theirs. Should we act like that, we should revise those declared ends, and see whether if they really are those we share, since our in our humanist ethics there is no contradiction between ends and means. We do not just reject the practices of the old world in those that are not part of our whole, but among ourselves too.
In line with the above, and in terms equally valid for any organism of the Humanist Movement, it is most inconvenient that our personal stand for or against the clashing factions in society is used within us, in such a way that it generates or exacerbates internal divides. This does not only harm the whole, but it is also a psychological error. That is not the way to promote convergence of diversity; rather, the “victory” of one’s own faction and the “defeat” of the others is placed above the joint cohesion. While the search for the convergence of diversity is characteristic of the new world –thus uniting and strengthening us- the excluding dialectic confrontation is characteristic of the old world –and that divides and weakens us.
Moreover, our work does not consist mainly or exclusively in supporting or rejecting the struggling factions of an old world, but in developing and positioning ourselves as an autonomous reference for the new world. This entails, among others, the growth of a human base that is active, coordinated and ideologically sound, that produces our proposals and influences with them. This entails that our humanist proposal will not just be based on denouncing violence in all its forms, but mainly, and in these times, to contribute with a creative and original production of our own solutions.
It is not superfluous to remember that we never sign a blank check without date to personalities or organizations, whether they belong to us or to society. Rather, we proceed by supporting facts and behaviours according to whether these come closer or move away from our Universalistic Humanism.
Our way of working is not individualistic, whether within groups, teams or networks. The joint functions belong to the whole, and not to individuals or factions. This is the sensibility of the new world, and to despise it is that of the old world.
Groups improve their individuals, and the individuals that dissociate themselves from the groups, deteriorate themselves. They equally dissociate themselves from the groups those who maintain monopolistic positions as much as those who do it because they fail in a similar pretension. They dissociate themselves too those who spare their support when there are problems to face. They dissociate themselves those who pursue their personal interests while disregarding the whole. In spite of their justifications, they objectively deteriorate the joint cohesion and convergence that are so necessary in this moment.
And finally, in moments of crisis, change and de-structuring like the present one, we do not work to join the collapse and ethical relativism. Quite the contrary, we work to compensate it and to give the reference of the new world that is coming and its new sensibility that is dawning.
This is not the time to go against the evolution of things by adapting ourselves to a dying world, but to adapt ourselves to the world that is being born. The time has come to leave behind the ruins of an old world, and to advance with resolution towards a new world. Dilatory gradualisms and reformisms can only be entertained by those for whom the chimera of the agonizing old world is still more real than the evidence of the dawning new world. It is not the case of still patching up what is beyond remedy, but of contributing towards building the new world that is already coming up.
As a synthesis of our stand, Silo’s words are worth quoting: “This is why we need to understand processes that are more ample than simple immediate circumstance, and to support, even if we do not see immediate results, everything that goes in the direction of evolution. When courageous human beings who are moved by a spirit of solidarity become disheartened, this slows the march of history. But it is difficult to grasp this broader meaning if one does not also organize and orient one’s personal life in a positive direction.”
My friends, in this difficult present, we aspire at incarnating the new sensibility of the future human being, thus liberating ourselves from the dehumanizing past. The spokespeople of the old world have always tried to discourage and disqualify us, branding us as naive, idealistic, and utopian. But history shows that their old world advances towards a demise of nihilism and entropy, while our new world becomes every day more possible, more necessary and more desirable. As Silo rightly told: “… the triumphant of today cannot be assured of their victory in the future, because a new spirituality is beginning to express itself all over the world.“ In short, history shows that although theirs is the present, the future is ours.
Peace, Force and Joy to you all!
Fernando A. Garcia (firstname.lastname@example.org)