A new humanism

A new humanism ABSTRACT: In countries that promote civil rights, liberty and a just judicial system, their is a growing division between science and power, between culture and government and between the dominant classes and a new "third state, consisting of men and women with hopes and fears. Politics seems increasingly ill-equipped to conceive of the future opportunities and requirements that will ensure a better and surer life preserve the environment, protect civil and democratic traditions and realise the reforms needed for the next century. There are new horizons to be aimed for and perhaps a new era to represent; there is perhaps a party that can do all that. (The Party New, n.1, June 1991) The "greenhouse effect", the phenomenon predicted by the Club of Rome and its president Aurelio Peccei twenty years ago, has become reality. Scientists tell us there is a "hole" in the ozone layer, above the Antartic, which could transform large parts of Europe into desert. We hear about it on television but they continue to produce the substances causing what could lead toplanetary catastrophe. Billions of people are destined - by the end of this decade - to die from starvation, poverty and war. At the moment tens of millions are already dying as their natural environment withers away and the air and water become polluted. Within fifty years we will have at least fifty megalopolises; it is difficult to imagine, today, what kind of humanity will exist there. A potent cocktail of violence, death, desperation and barbarism. Already millions of children, only fifteen years old, or sometimes as young as ten, live without a home, without family, without education or work, in the festering streets of the shantytow ns of the large cities in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Unbelievable amounts of resources are squandered in projects, mostly military in origin, which are often secret and always out of the control of the people. At the same time there are discoveries and scientific theories that lie untouched, potential solutions to our problems that may be exploited in five thousand years, if we are lucky. However, it is food distribution that is the most devastating and vital issue in contemporary history and the key to the current conflicts. The deserts are expanding in southern areas of the world and hundreds of millions are dying from starvation. This while butter and grain mountains are growing in the EEC and the industrialised world suffers the bloated effects of over-consumption. Policy towards feeding the poor, sees the two big military rivals, the Americans and the Russians, on the same side for once. Now we have the added burden of the AIDS psychosis - the first pandemic disease outbreak in the history of the global village - which has been responsible for new taboos and discrimination. This has focused attention on the developed world at the expense of the Third World, where the spread of the disease is greatly accelerated by the poverty and ignorance that exists. The economic potential offered by selling treatment to AIDS patients is very attractive: 100 billion dollars in the next five years. The multinational pharmaceutical companies are locked in competitve rivalry to ensure maximum profits, encouraged by the individual national governments. The search for a cure and the general health of the world suffer as a consequence. In countries where the principles of liberty, human rights and the judicial process are respected a division has occurred between science and power and between culture and government. A new "third state", comprising the large majority of men and women has become alienated from the ruling classes and the use of modern communication and the mass media fail to reflect their majority feelings and hopes. It is increasingly difficult to "know" about th e real facts and thus to make the necessary decisions which democracy is based on. International, multinational and national institutions are increasingly less able to function effectively, while rules are disobeyed with increasing frequency. Criminal law and judicial adminstration have become crisis-ridden, not only in the United Nations but also the European Court of Justice whose effectiveness is risible. Scientists warn, with scientific certainty, that Europe will face a telluric crisis, in the next twenty years, with all the subsequent serious and far-reaching consequences. Confronted with imminent disaster, governments and "politicians" avoid the problem by ignoring it. It is perhaps something that mankind can cope with, given the necessary measures, otherwise we can expect a disaster of biblical proportions. We only have to consider the numerous German and French nuclear power stations to have some idea of the potential impact. Science and culture have become deluded, in the past two centuries, into thinking that totalitarian systems, whether they be facist, communist, militarist or nationalist, are the most effective way to promote a new humanity to ensure the progress of civilisation. This is at the expense of democracy and the mobilisation and participation of self-governing peoples. This illusion that undemocratic, violent and intolerant action is a necessary means to the end is still apparent, particularly in the USA, but also in the individual states in Europe. The latter continue in this belief despite being the place where civil democratic traditions have their historic origins and the most enthusiastic and creative exponents which is the reason for the measured state of civil peace that exists. Four fifths of the world's population, on the other hand, live under dictatorial regimes. The tendency towards nationalism in the Third and Fourth Worlds are an inherent structural fault. There can be no coherent progress or theoretical and practical strength where people have no rights regarding their religion, consciences, thoughts and development. Intervention by state judicial systems and restrictive regimes actually reinforces those things they wish to ban and international disorder is the result. This is frighteningly exemplified by the fact that international criminal organisations h ave become more powerful than many of the states that make up the United Nations. In continental Europe, constitutional and political structures founded on pluralistic principles of ideological and community representation are crumbling under the influence of political party dominated edifices that are distinctly undemocratic. This is particularly apparent where proportionalism is strongest, which impedes definitive decision-making about the formation of societies' governments. These governments are increasingly ill-equipped to conceive the necessary ideas that will be needed to cope in the future. As we approach the end of the century, the quality of life, the preservation of the environment and the protection of civil and democratic traditions will be gradually eroded, unless essential reforms are introduced. Possessing this uncontrolled absolute, but impotent power, the largest political parties which date back as far as the eighteenth century and those formed more recently, have to all intents and purposes run their historical course. It is time to hand on responsibility to others who are better prepared for the task in hand, whose vision and capacity is no longer limited to national considerations, people who can visualise solutions and policies at a global level. We need to act urgently, but without hurry or impatience, act effectively and create the necessary instruments for the task. There is a new epic poem that is waiting to be written, new horizons to aim for, a new "West" to be conquered and new faiths to be asserted. Salvation is possible, but we have to understand that the promised land can only be reached through our consciences and our hard work. This new framework is composed of different sections and they must transformed, replaced and reinforced by others. The Radical Party philosophy is directed to the consciences of the people in Italy, Europe and the world and contains a simple message: "if the Good are few, the bad will win".