World March for Peace and Nonviolence

Wellington, October 2, 2009 - Punta de Vacas, January 2010

September 24 2007

Humanism and Antihumanism

Given the announcement in Mexico of the formation of a “humanist party” linked to the right, which joins others that have been formed in Peru, Brazil, and Central America; in order to avoid any confusion in the public opinion in those countries, we find ourselves obligated to point out that their intentions are to appropriate and to illegitimately distort a name that has long been associated with New Humanism, a very different current of thought. The foundations and the history of this current of thought are diametrically opposed to those that are proclaimed by the right all around the world. Given this, the right wing has neither moral authority nor the ideology to name the groups that they are forming “humanist”. The Humanist Party has been developed since 1984, based on an ideology, a spirit and a way of life known as New Humanism. We call on the Humanist Parties that are members of the Humanist International to initiate legal actions against these usurpers and to use all available channels of communication to clearly explain the difference between humanism and antihumanism.

In Latin American, humanists have suffered persecution, incarceration, assassinations and deportations at the hands of the military dictatorship in Chile and Argentina, which they combated with the methodology of Active Non-Violence, contributing to the re-establishment of democracy on the continent. In Europe, they protested against NATO and the arms build up, the discriminating laws against immigrants and against international financial capital, which was making its first attempts at eliminating peoples’ civil rights.

All Humanist Parties around the world adopted the Humanist Statement written by Silo in 1993, in which he clearly draws the dividing line between Humanism and Antihumanism. “…humanism puts labor before big capital, real democracy before formal democracy, decentralization before centralization, anti-discrimination before discrimination, freedom before oppression, and meaning in life before resignation, complicity and the absurd”.

In this way, the Humanist Parties have worked tirelessly (and continue to do so) to achieve the complete decentralization of power, be it political, economic or religious, searching for an advancement in the forms of direct democracy that surpass the formal democracy that is found today. They have also proposed mixed economic models that go beyond the fight between capitalism and statism, and promote freedom of beliefs and customs, overcoming intolerance and fundamentalism.

It is typical of the antihumanists to disguise themselves as “humanists”, because they are trying to confuse people and by doing so are hoping to gain electoral support that would be denied them if they were to show their real faces. That is why we want to warn people so that they are not misled by these linguistic bandits: humanism puts the human being as the central value, not God, nor the State, nor Capital. With this fundamental definition, the right will never be humanists and any attempt to appear so is nothing more than a cheap trick.

The Humanist Parties erupted into the political scene in over sixty countries around the world in the decade of the 80s, from the Humanist Movement’s social action groups inspired by Universal Humanism, a current of thought that came from the Latin-American thinker, Silo.

On January 7, 1989, in the city of Florence (Italy), the Humanist International was formed, and has continued to meet every year since. With the participation of thousands of representatives from Europe, America, Africa and Asia it approved the Declaration of Principles, in which human liberty is affirmed and all forms of violence are rejected, in particular economic violence.

Tomas Hirsch
Latin-American Spokesperson for Humanism
Chris Wells
North American Spokesperson for New Humanism
September, 2007

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