World without Wars and without Violence

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World without Wars and without Violence

Background

World without Wars and without Violence (WwW) is an organism that is part of the Humanist Movement. The Movement first appeared on the 4 th of May 1969, with a public presentation by its founder, Silo, known as " the Healing of Suffering ", in an outpost in the Andes called Punta de Vacas, close to the border between Argentina and Chile.

The Humanist Movement is based on the current of thought known as New Humanism, or Universalist Humanism. This current can be found expressed in Silo's works and in those of the diverse authors who are inspired by it.

This current of thought, which also implies a sentiment and a way of life, takes shape in multiple fields of human endeavor, giving rise to diverse organisms and action fronts. All of them are applied to their specific fields of activity with a common aim: to Humanize the Earth, thereby contributing to increased liberty and happiness in human beings. In themselves they have in common the methodology of Active Nonviolence and the proposal for personal change as a function of social transformation.

Other organisms to emerge from the Humanist Movement are the Humanist Party, the Community for Human Development, the Convergence of Cultures and the World Center of Humanist Studies.

World without Wars and without Violence was presented for the first time in 1995 in the Open Gathering of Humanism that took place in Chile at the University of Santiago .

Objectives

World without Wars and without Violence is a social movement whose objective is the creation of a worldwide non-violent consciousness.

This new consciousness will be the necessary step towards a world free of violence, not only in its cruelest expression of wars and physical violence, but also free from economic, racial, religious, sexual, psychological and moral violence.

In particular it works for the cessation of wars and armed conflicts around the world. It fights for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons; the proportional and progressive disarmament of conventional weapons; the withdrawal of invading troops from occupied territories, the renunciation by governments of the use of war as a means to resolve conflicts through constitutional reforms which explicitly prohibit the use of war; and a redefinition of the role of today's Armed Forces, establishing as their paramount function the prevention of wars. To advance in this it is necessary to limit the use of the Armed Forces, to democratize their functioning and their relations with civil society, and to place them under public control.

The aspiration of WwW is to unite the anti-war movement, to connect the geographically dispersed branches of pacifism and nonviolence and also to give its point of view about apparently unrelated themes in order to advance in a global understanding of war and violence.

The elimination of wars will represent the definitive leaving behind of human prehistory and a gigantic step in the evolutionary path of our species. A "world without wars" is a proposal that looks towards the future and aspires to materialize in every corner of the planet so that dialogue may substitute violence.

WwW states the obvious fact that the vast majority of human beings do not want wars or violence, but at the same time don't believe that it's possible to eliminate them. It therefore understands that, besides carrying out social actions, it has to work to revise beliefs that surround this supposedly unchangeable reality.

Basic ideas

Regarding War.

Human history has witnessed more than 2500 wars in which millions of human beings have perished. Wars are conducted to redistribute social goods by means of armed violence, seizing them from some human beings and delivering them to others. (1)

These interests today are hidden behind motives that are religious, geopolitical, in "defense" of human rights, etc. At the same time, technological progress is leading to the production of increasingly devastating weapons that target the civil population more and more, justifying it as "collateral damage".

In contemporary society there are powerful social forces interested in wars , including the military-industrial complex, racist groups, radical nationalists and fundamentalists, organized crime, etc. The arms trade continues to be one of the most lucrative export businesses for many countries, principally the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Despite attempts by various international organisms (the UN among them), war and violence continue to be justified as part of a supposed "human nature". WwW has a humanist vision of the human being as an historical being whose mode of social action changes their own nature. (2)

It is not only wars and violence that have accompanied humanity in its historical development; we have seen in almost every era and in many geographical points the appearance of an attitude of ethics, solidarity and compassion that is revolutionary and humanizing.

Violence and active nonviolence

Human existence is open to the world and operates in it intentionally. It can nihilize the world (and, therefore the body, nature and/or society) or humanize it. It is from this freedom where human beings choose to accept or deny the social conditions in which they are born, develop and die.

All forms of violence manifest themselves as the denial of the intentionality of other human beings (and of course, their liberty), as an action to submerge another human being, or human groups, into the world of nature. It is this objectification which allows some to deprive others of their right to liberty, happiness and, ultimately, life. It is also this freedom which allows a minority to appropriate the social whole in a violent concentration of wealth and resources.

So, a socio-economic system, international relations and existential rules have been organized that are characterized by violence, and which are considered to be normal for the most part, although personal and social pain and suffering betray the need to transform this system.

Nonviolence can be seen in very early times in nearly all cultures and religions in their most humanist moments, with different expressions such as the Golden Rule, which is expressed in the Principle of Valid Action: " When you treat others as you would like to be treated, you liberate yourself ". (3)

Emerging from such experiences, nonviolence has developed as a methodology of action. From the anti-slavery and decolonization movements, to the civil rights movements of racial minorities, workers and women, through to the opposition to totalitarian regimes, the arms trade, and, above all, nuclear weapons, active nonviolence presents itself as the only methodology of action which is coherent with its objectives. New Humanism has applied it since its inception, not to one conflict in particular but rather to the creation of a global system, a comprehensive change of direction for the world in which we live.

Until the human being is able to fully materialize in a human society, that is, a society in which power is in the social whole and not only one part of it (subjugating and objectifying the whole), violence will characterize all social activity. Therefore, one cannot speak of violence without also speaking about the established world, and if this world is opposed by a non-violent struggle, it must first be underlined that a non-violent attitude is such because it doesn't tolerate violence. It is not the case of justifying a certain type of struggle but rather of defining the conditions of violence that this inhuman system imposes.

Official Materials

•  Document of the Humanist Movement

•  Manual of Personal Development for members of the Humanist Movement. Center of Studies, Punta de Vacas Park, 2009

•  Collected Works, Silo, Volume 1 and 2

•  Disarmament and Reconciliation for a world without wars, Rafael de la Rubia.

•  Self-liberation , Luis A. Ammann .


Organizational guidelines

  • Framework
  • The guidelines that we are giving have the objective of defining an organizational model that channels the impulse of millions of people who reject wars and violence in all areas of human endeavor.

    This therefore implies a worldwide organization; one that is humanist, open and participative; where all its members take a full and active role in the overcoming of violence, the end of wars and military invasions and the elimination of weapons, be they nuclear or conventional.

    It is an organization where every participant is responsible for what they do and build, but mainly where all the members collaborate and drive the construction of a better reality for the whole of humanity.

    From this point of view it is an organization, working from the base, that organizes itself at different levels, with the intention that these levels be a point of coordination for common actions. The basic structure of World without Wars is the "base teams" that develop their activities in neighborhoods, schools, universities, workplaces, the internet, etc.

  • Members and participation
  • Participation is open to everybody without discrimination. Any person who coincides with the basic objectives of World without Wars will be able to integrate into the organization, joining as a full member or a supporter, and collaborate with planned activities, participate in training sessions, and promote new actions.

    Full members : participate in meetings and take responsibility for their own growth, building their own capacities through the personal work that WwW promotes. Full members have the right to vote in the different levels and are invited to do so.

    They also initiate the development and formation of new Base Teams without geographical limitations. Full members are those who economically sustain WwW.

    Supporting members : receive information, participate in activities and collaborate with the development.

    Any action front, group, organization or collective can ask to be included as a "supporter" of WwW.

  • Basic organization
  • When a group of people agrees to set in motion WwW activities, meet periodically and go deeper into the practice and study of nonviolence in the personal and social fields then we are in the presence of a primary base organization that we call a " WwW Promotion Group " (PG).

    This group not only instigates its own activities, but also promotes relationships and behavior among its members based on the Golden Rule: "Treat others as you would like to be treated".

    These promotion groups are coordinated in the first moment by the persons who set these groups in motion and develop them following the proposed objectives in the official documents and materials of World without Wars.

    When these promotion groups reach a minimal development (approximately 10 full members), achieve permanence in their meetings, and choose one of their members to fulfill the team's coordination functions through direct election, they become constituted as a WwW base team.

    The WwW base teams can generate links to other groups and organizations in their environments (interchange, joint actions and collaboration), but without establishing any organizational relationship with them.

    From their beginning, WwW teams or base groups set in motion three basic mechanisms or functions:

    •  Growth : they orientate their actions towards individuals, towards other networks and organizations with the objective of making their proposals and tools known.

    •  Communication : they maintain fluid communication and interchange with other base teams and with other organizations with affinity to their objectives.

    •  Training : they attend to the progressive capacity-building of their members; offering them tools for overcoming internal and external violence. These studies and practices are to be found in detail in the main materials.

  • Coordination in different levels (national, worldwide)
  • Worldwide coordination is the responsibility of the " WwW World Coordination Team " (WCT) , which is made up of 12 members and chosen through direct vote of the full members of World without Wars around the world every two years.

    The composition of the WCT bears in mind the representation of ethnic, cultural and regional minorities.

    The WCT has responsibilities of general worldwide coordination and can propose joint actions of various amplitudes and scope.

    The tasks of the World Coordination Team are:

    •  Coordination of joint actions
    •  World information to the Base Groups (international bulletin)
    •  Official website (international web page in different languages in which the official materials and all the necessary worldwide information can be found)
    •  Official international releases
    •  Relations with other organizations at a worldwide level
    •  Admission of organizations or fronts that act at a regional or worldwide level who wish to incorporate themselves as "supporters" of WwW.

    Any proposal or action that includes the modification of the official materials or important organizational aspects of WwW must be subject to a direct vote by all the full members.

    National coordination is the responsibility of the " WwW National Coordination Team " (NCT) , made up of 12 members, chosen through a direct vote by the full members of World without Wars in each country, every two years. It carries out the functions of the WCT at a national level.

    Summarizing, the NCT and the WCT are permanent bodies of coordination which are elected through a direct vote by the full members.

    Other levels of coordination are transitory and respond to circumstantial needs. They will be formed when needs arise (joint actions, forums, campaigns, etc), but will not have a permanent character, unlike the NCT and WCT.

  • Joint functions
  • The WwW Base Teams, as well as the National and Worldwide Coordination Teams will be able to, if they consider it necessary , define functions that facilitate joint action, such as:

    •  Spokesperson: responsible for representing World without Wars in institutional activities, in front of the press and in all activities or situations where it is necessary to present the points of view of World without Wars.

    •  Relationships with other organizations
    •  Legal and juridical functions
    •  Press and dissemination functions
    •  Other ad-hoc functions

    These functions are elected through a direct vote by the full members of the respective teams (base teams, national or worldwide coordination) and have a duration of one year in the case of base teams, and 2 years in the case of national and worldwide coordination teams.

    These functions are at the service of the whole according to the orientation with precise guidelines that the coordination team gives. Those elected can seek re-election.

  • Finances
  • World without Wars sustains itself through the voluntary contribution of its members. An annual membership fee is paid to sustain the joint activities with the participation of all full members around the world.

    The amount to be collected is defined by the "national coordination teams" taking as a basis a percentage of the average salary of the country in question.

    The money is distributed in a proportional manner between the base teams, national coordination teams and the worldwide coordination team according to the proportion defined by the World Promotion Team.

    In addition, other monies may be occasionally collected based on needs that may arise, in which full members and supporters may participate in a voluntary manner.

    The amount of money in those occasions may never exceed the annual membership fee.

    In coherence with an organization with a human base, the funds to sustain it come from the contributions of its members.

  • Institutional aspects
  • World without Wars is constituted at an international level as a non-profit making Federation.

    In accordance with the degree of development and growth of WwW in each country and with the aim of facilitating the development of the objectives in its relationships with the environment, teams tend to legalize themselves as "non-profit making association" ( or however the name may be in each country ).

    The statues or articles of association of these organizations will reflect an organizational model and principles identical to those proposed in the official organizational materials at a worldwide level.

  • Recommendations for the new stage
  • It is recommended that to start this new stage, worldwide coordination becomes the responsibility of a " World Promotion Team " (4) of approximately 10 members. They may come from the Commission that prepared this document and others may join whom the Commission considers convenient. It will cease its functions when the coordination teams form after the elections.


    (1) Silo, The Dictionary of New Humanism, Collected Works, Vol. II
    (2) Silo, 4th letter to my friends, Collected Works, Vol. I
    (3) Silo. Humanize the Earth, Collected Works, Vol. I
    (4) The definition of the implementation details remains the responsibility of this team, such as calendars with dates for economic campaigns and elections, parameters to define the amount of the annual membership fee, distribution by coordination level of these funds, specific functions of the Worldwide Coordination Team, definition of the official logo, etc.
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