Universal declaration of
Throughout its very long history, humanity has grown and spread throughout its small corner of the universe by the formation of organised groups of people and communities, peoples and States between which relations have often had dramatic consequences. This universal declaration recognises that life is an essential value that proceeds from the interdependency between people, groups, communities, peoples, States and the natural environment. The universal aspiration of every being and person for freedom and equality can potentially find a right response in the recognition and respect by all of interdependency. This respect requires us to practice conviviality to organise good societies and ensure the peace of humanity within the universe. It cannot be created without the observation of a certain number of rules and adherence to the convictions of the articles below.
Article 1: Life
Life is an essential common value shared by all over and above differences of sex, skin colour, nationality, language, culture, religion, social origin, political opinions, birth or prosperity. It is consubstantial with the existence of the visible and invisible, material, plant, and animal world that forms the natural environment from which humanity was born. Humanity is indebted to this natural environment and owes it respect.
Article 2: Humanity
There is one single humanity. It is made up of various groups who have each forged their living environment within the natural environment. Humans are beings who have to live together in interaction between them and with the environment in which they aspire to a good life. This quality of life increases with that of the relationships maintained between them and with the natural environment.
Article 3: The individual
The individual is born within a group which is part of the environment that welcomes and forms her/him in this way of life as an interdependent human being, participating in a common sociality. The humanity of each member must be respected. Each person must be recognised as such, without discrimination of any kind. People should be able to create, build, affirm and develop their unique individuality by developing their power to be and act.
Article 4: The collective
The collective is the expression of the common sociality of individuals living in groups within the environment.
1. Everybody shows their own particular individuality in interaction with others and with the natural environment, which inevitably leads to oppositions and conflicts. Individual dynamisms and rivalries upset humanity but remain fertile as long as any resulting destruction is creative and does not threaten the framework of common sociality or the natural environment of collective existence.
2. Human beings live together and form groups, groups of groups, peoples, States, groups of States which, at each level of their group, their unique collective individuality can be flourishing, while preserving, between people, the highest level of conditions of collective existence to the uppermost scale, that of the whole of humanity.
Article 5: The general will
To ensure the maintenance of common sociality without imposing the will of a single person on others, the general will should be able to take form, and be accepted by all.
1. Human beings group together to live together and form associations, peoples and States.
2. Each individual participates in the organisation of interactions within groups of which she/he is a founding member, or joins and contributes to the formation of the general will of these groups, peoples and States.
3. The modes of participation and contribution of everyone constitute a political process through which the Law is established, as an expression of the general will.
4. The general will is formed within the framework of direct participative processes on the scale of base groups, with small numbers, and according to heterogeneous formulae with systems of representations at the highest level, involving a larger number of people.
5. The general will is expressed by the Common Law and is imposed on everyone. In the same way that it is elaborated gradually from the smallest scale to the largest, it is affirmed and implemented according to the principle of subsidiarity. It should be expressed, in the service of life, at the lowest possible scale.
Article 6: The Common Law
The Common Law emanates from the expression of the general will and applies to everyone through justice.
1. The Law ensures that everyone has access to the means to exercise their autonomy to flourish. These means are already known as civil, political economic, social, cultural and environmental rights which give everyone the right to a respectable life.
2. The Law prohibits any action that is not fertile for humanity. By establishing limits, it guarantees implementation of the rights of all responsibly in respect of others and of the natural environment. This consideration in respect of others and the natural environment is the foundation of justice.
Article 7: Conviviality.
Conviviality, the art of living together (con-vivere), promotes relationships and cooperation between all and with the natural environment. This does not exclude divergences or oppositions that enable the recognition of all and the perspectives they may have. Conviviality is a life force. It prohibits the desire for recognition and flourishing does not grow to such a degree as to create a rivalry that would transform into war between groups and into a force of death.
Article 8: The primacy of cultural life
Culture is at the heart of interdependency between human beings and with the natural environment.
1. The creation and sharing of resources (economy) and the exercise of powers (politics) are indispensable activities but they cannot impose their primacy over the functioning of groups, peoples, and States: they are subject to the Common Law.
2. Primacy is given to the cultural, i.e. to life in its dimension of sharing emotions and sensations that encourage at the inter-individual and collective scales, the impressions of happiness and of surpassing oneself.
Article 9: The fruits of interdependency
1. The practice of conviviality enabled by the implementation of the articles of this declaration form an individual ethic of common life, in interdependency, for a good society.
2. Everywhere on Earth, the extension of conviviality among all human groups, according to methods suitable to their specific characteristics, gives everyone the feeling of living with happiness and dignity in a just society. It ensures that humanity flourishes with a natural environment that is respected.
3. Thus all human beings can gradually regain hope in a better future and build the potentials and promises of the present together.
Project written by Marc Humbert and discussed with the authors of A convivialist manifesto.