26.04.2019 – Santiago de Chile – Pía Figueroa
We interviewed Guillermo Sullings, former Argentine humanist candidate for the Presidency of the Nation and current coordinator of the Real Democracy Network at the IV Latin American Humanist Forum, which will meet in Santiago de Chile on May 10, 11 and 12 in various locations in the Yungay neighbourhood.
Pressenza: We would like to know what is the work you do?
Guillermo Sullings: This network is not an organisation, but rather a convergence of people who are interested in the subject, because we are concerned about the situation of current democracies, which are purely formal and a lie. Some of us who tune in and communicate in this network are carrying out some actions; there are those who perform functions in municipalities and there promote activities in which participation is open to the social base; others work in a trade union where they try to use some tools of Direct Democracy; in my case I have been coordinating a workshop on Participatory Budget, others are studying policies of Political Responsibility, and many others are not currently carrying out activities, and simply want to exchange about these issues in our facebook group, or in various face-to-face or virtual talks. We are just getting started.
Pressenza: Why the face-to-face meeting within the framework of the Latin American Humanist Forum? What do you expect from that meeting?
GS: Precisely, we believe that a face-to-face meeting within the framework of this Forum will allow us to deepen in these topics, to strengthen the exchange and to enrich ourselves with each other’s experiences and knowledge, to arrive at some conclusions, and from there to agree on some project that we can set in motion among those who are willing. I also believe that many of the thematic areas addressed by other networks that will participate in this Forum have many points of connection and surely we will be able to broaden our point of view with the contribution of others, and contribute at the same time with what we can. We hope that this meeting will allow us to secure a purpose and arrive at some images of activities to which we invite many more people and organisations interested in the subject.
Pressenza: How do you plan to give continuity to the work after this Forum?
GS: The long-term objective is to install in society the need to change the current democratic system dominated by economic power and the powerful of the political caste, for a new paradigm of democracy, that of a participatory and empowered population that recovers its sovereignty. In order to achieve this, it will be necessary to work hard on the dissemination and clarification of the tools of Real Democracy, but also on their practice and experimentation, in order to avoid falling into the development of theoretical superstructures that are not accompanied by a cultural change that makes them practicable. So I think that the continuity of this network should be projected on a path of permanent interaction between theory and practice, and from that point of view undertake the task of broadening participation towards concrete projects.
Pressenza: Would you like to add something for our readers regarding the May meeting in Santiago?
GS: Although I’m working specifically on the Real Democracy network, I think the only way to achieve the transformations that the world needs in all areas is through convergence between different networks, a kind of Network of Networks, which at some point accumulates the necessary strength to make the changes. And in that sense, I am certain that this type of encounter adds up a lot in that convergent direction.
Translation Pressenza London