What does it mean to vote for the Humanist Party in the primary elections on September 12th?
I think that voting for the Humanist Party means voting for a Humanist Cordoba. It means realising that the politicians who have been governing us have failed, the fact that we have 60% of the population below the poverty line proves it. It means putting the human being as a central value and concern. I think it means that it is time for Humanism.
In recent times we have seen a notable renewal in the Humanist Party, with the incorporation of new teams, fundamentally in the interior of the province of Cordoba. Tell us about these developments and what they represent for the PH.
The Humanist Party of Cordoba has matured, we have learned a lot from what we have done since its foundation back in 1984, on the 8th of March to be more precise. This maturity comes from recognising the “human” in the other, the majority of people are tired of the traditional political “style” with the agreements between leaders and in the end the militancy pays the price.
This does not happen in the PH, here we are horizontal because it is part of our philosophy and humanist doctrine. Also, because these are the times that are coming, nobody really likes to be told what to do or how to do it. We have a project whose name is the same as our list “Humanist Cordoba”, it contemplates electoral objectives and personal improvement objectives for everyone who joins.
For example, I have travelled throughout the province in recent months and the result is fabulous, beautiful people with a vocation to work to change society and they see in Humanism “what they have been looking for”. There are times when I have travelled more than 500 km to become a member and these were actions with a lot of internal faith. In almost every place I have travelled to, there are groups militating the campaign. With our horizontality we give them autonomy in the different cities where the Party is developing, they choose their candidates and their way of working. They know the needs in their towns and cities and elaborate their main proposals. They draw on the party’s philosophy and more general proposals.
Ours is a project for 2027, trying to fight for “important” things in the elections. What we are doing is a further step. And the territorial aspect has to do with one of the things I learned that Silo always pointed out to us: “to grow at the base in the communes and in the municipalities”. Sometimes it is hard for us to see things as simple as that.
At a time when we are slowly emerging from the pandemic, what laws does the Humanist Party intend to promote, should any of its candidates be elected?
For these elections the Humanists have prepared about twenty proposals to be presented as draft laws, some of which are to provide answers and reverse the social situation in the short, medium and long term. The first ones that I would like to see dealt with in congress are the following.
In the short term, we urgently need to respond to the 60% poverty rate; there are many people who not only cannot have a plate of food, but whose future is closed. To this end, we propose a Universal and Unconditional Basic Income, which means that every inhabitant of Argentina would receive a monthly income for the mere fact of their existence and for life, which would guarantee them to be above the poverty line.
This would equalise to a certain extent “equality of opportunities” and not only equality of rights. It is framed as a historical reparation for every human being, since today all the progress achieved by mankind is enjoyed by large international monopolies. Every day less and less labour is needed due to technological progress, which on the one hand leads to more unemployment and on the other hand to a greater concentration of economic power in the hands of a few. Just as when we are born, we have the right to a name and a document, we propose that we should have equal opportunities to be able to plan our future. The implementation is easy, it requires political decision and putting the human being as a central value.
In the medium term I can mention what we call the “People’s Super Power” law; it aims to solve once and for all the roots of foreign indebtedness. By contracting debt with spurious interests and without a determined purpose, it has always led to the people paying at the cost of public health, education, food, expensive services and low salaries. The foreign debts at the hands of the global financial empire is not a problem of the Argentines but of most of the countries in poverty.
Paradoxically, the debts of a country are taken by one or two people and then we all pay, what we propose is that those measures that compromise the present and the future of an entire population should be taken by those who are going to pay, that is, the people. Through binding consultations or referendums, the body of the population decides whether it wants to go into debt and for what purpose. For example, within the huge debt taken on by the Macri government there is one that will be paid off in a hundred years, that is to say, several generations will pay for the mistakes we are making.
This law of the People’s Super Power should be applicable at national, provincial, municipal and communal level.
To solve the issue of violence, whose effects will not be seen overnight but which is the only way to put an end to violence, we propose the Law of Education in Nonviolence. Violence is not something natural to human beings, it is a learning process that is acquired from the violent society in which we live. There is not only physical violence, which is the most spectacular, but there is also economic violence that causes suffering to millions of people, discrimination is another form of violence that generally affects minorities who cannot make their situation visible, we have sexual and gender violence, religious violence, psychological violence, moral violence and many more. These forms of violence are learned and what we propose is to learn to live and build our reality in a non-violent way.
Violence can be self, interpersonal, social and institutional. We need to learn to deactivate our internal violence and relate to each other from another internal place that is characterised by “Treating others as we would like to be treated”. To build on solidarity, to see the other as a brother and not as an opponent or an object. These issues need to be addressed by the whole educational community – teachers, non-teachers, parents and students – from kindergarten to university level in the form of weekly workshops.
Another issue that needs to be addressed urgently is the environment. Something is already being done, but it is not enough, and the big problem is extractivism, which plunders everything it touches.
It destroys seas and land, rivers, mountains, native forests, animals and plants disappear, plains are turned into deserts and climate change results in major floods and droughts. This puts all of humanity and its environment at risk. Today there are vast regions with people who see that their environment is already uninhabitable for all living beings. It is necessary that production, whether industrial or of raw materials, be sustainable and sustainable with scientific and technological support.
Enact laws that effectively penalise the big predators and polluters with effective imprisonment; no matter how high the fine, it does not stop the trend of environmental destruction.
The issue of the people’s representatives should be addressed with a law of “political responsibility” that obliges candidates to present their proposals for government or laws in writing with a timetable for their election campaigns. Then, if they do not comply in the first year, they are subject to impeachment for failure to fulfil their campaign promises. There is no reason to wait four or six years for him to leave. Enough of betraying the good faith of the voter, it is common to see how the day after being elected a candidate turns his back on those who voted for him. With this law we will clean up the misuse of politics and we will begin to have representatives who are concerned with drawing up proposals and then fulfilling them.
These that I have just listed are the main ones but as I said at the beginning we have about twenty proposals, all based on basic points such as: the human being as a central value and concern, non-violence as a methodology of action in the construction of a better world, recognising personal and cultural diversity, equality of people, freedom of ideas and beliefs, sponsoring all tendencies towards the development of knowledge over and above the limitations imposed on thought by prejudices accepted as absolute or immutable truths.
Since its foundation, the PH has defined itself as the party of women and youth. It is clear that violence against women and young people is still unfortunately prevalent. What options does the party promote to overcome this violence?
There are several that tend to provide a rapid and concrete response to violence in a comprehensive manner, such as the Law on Education in Non-violence and the Universal and Unconditional Basic Income. In terms of gender for real equality, we propose compulsory paternity leave for three months. Maternal and paternal nurseries and kindergartens. The decriminalisation of abortion in its entirety. Free delivery in hospitals and schools of all types of menstrual management products. Mandatory Miacaela Law training in schools and hospitals. The exclusion of the possibility of being a candidate for any public office if you are a child support debtor or have a complaint of gender violence in progress. As for young people, not only are they victims of different types of violence, but they are also accused of being the cause of violence, which is an aberration. They are growing up in a violent society with less and less of a future. They must be given equal opportunities and an excellent and free education. Above all, a lot of affection.
Throughout Latin America, the demands of marginalised and discriminated sectors such as indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants are emerging with force. How does the Humanist Party position itself in relation to the demand for a Córdoba, an Argentina and a plurinational America?
We stand alongside these demands and make them our own, they are already part of what we call the future Universal Human Nation where violence and discrimination are a bad memory for humanity. What has been done and what is being done to the original peoples is anti-humanism.
What is the meaning of the slogan you often use about the Humanist being “much more than a party”?
Our proposal is social and personal transformation at the same time. If we don’t make the effort to disarm the internal violence we have nothing new can be built outside, for this we have a very important legacy in terms of “internal work” that Silo, founder of our Siloist doctrine, left us.
Innumerable bibliographic materials that are translated into workshops, seminars, retreats and works exclusively to overcome suffering. Ours is based on inner experience, which I could personally summarise in two ways of moving. Treating others as I would like to be treated is one, and that thought, emotion and action go in the same direction is the other, which we call acting with inner unity.
It is obvious that, beyond legislation, there are power relations that define the political possibilities of implementing an ideological line. What strategy of accumulation of forces does Humanism propose to advance in this direction, both at the provincial level, which is strongly conservative, and at the national level?
For some time now we have been participating in fronts, as it is a way of becoming a real force for social change, we are frentistas. In Cordoba we did not get the expected results and we are going it alone but with open doors, we are being joined by people from different sides who have been badly beaten and let down by the local leaders. We are in a moment of strengthening the Humanist Party and at the same time we are creating a political space that we call Humanist Cordoba. Ours is a convergence in diversity and many political forces see fronts as something very circumstantial to position a candidate or obtain a position, ours is something else, deeper and more elevated, I would say. At the national level we are also recomposing our forces, strengthening ourselves in the places where we are and initiating new provinces in order to have the necessary districts to be able to have the party at the national level and to have the option of taking humanists as candidates for president.
Finally, what are the expectations for these primaries, for the November elections and what is the subsequent perspective of the PH in the province and at the national level?
I don’t like to talk about expectations because it generates a lot of anxiety, but we do have clear objectives and we are putting all our strength into it. We want and need to pass the PASO, which is a trap for growing parties like us, because if we don’t, we will be forced to go in front in the next election in order not to lose our legal status. Furthermore, I see it as unconstitutional because we are now pre-candidates and not candidates, and if we do not pass the PASO we will not be allowed to be candidates in November, which contradicts the National Constitution.
The PASO, which were supposed to be internal party elections, have become a filter for minorities, it is discrimination. Beyond what I have just said, I think we are doing a good job throughout the province that will take us to November and there, things will change because from 23 lists we will be competing among 9 political forces, which is something very different. On the other hand, our vision is procedural and we have a project for 2027, everything we do now adds up to that. And at the national level, if we have a good election in Córdoba, it will have a positive impact on the project of a Humanist Argentina.