[P2P-F] Fwd: [CommonGood] Fw: Tribute Francois Houtart
michel at p2pfoundation.net
Sat Jun 24 17:53:59 CEST 2017
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Birgit Daiber <bir.dai at hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 10:06 PM
Subject: [CommonGood] Fw: Tribute Francois Houtart
To: "commongood at listi.jpberlin.de" <commongood at listi.jpberlin.de>
Dear Friends and Colleagues, please find below the tribute to Francois by
Tina Ebro - she added the design of the "Universal declaration for the
Common Good of Humanity project" Francois and Antonio Salamanca where
developing at IAEN in Quito.
*bir.dai at hotmail.com <bir.dai at hotmail.com>*
*Mobile: 0039-366-4207762 <+39%20366%20420%207762>*
*Casella Postale No. 28, *
*Uff. Posta, Via Vittorio **Emanuele*
*From:* tina ebro <cgebro at gmail.com>
*Sent:* Wednesday, June 21, 2017 10:12 AM
*To:* Birgit Daiber
*Subject:* Fwd: Tribute Francois Houtart
Below my tribute to Francois.
Cheers and warm wishes,
* Focal Person for Asia *
*Asia-Europe People's Forum (AEPF)*
* Mobile: +63-9178146311 <+63%20917%20814%206311> *
www.aepf.info <http://www.aepf.info/> *
* Tribute to Francois Houtart *
's well-spent life
inspiration to all of us.
emeritus professor of sociology and theology
well-known public intellectual
As an activist in this milleneum, he
*Universal Declaration for the*
could serve as a
ce and vitality to struggles for
has been significant
especially to those who advanced liberation theology and organised basic
For them he
a fountain of
in the Philippines
and in the Asia-Pacific.
*Universal Declaration *
*for the Common Good of Humanity Project*
*This nascent project whose elaboration is fruit of an international
collaboration of jurists and social leaders, is presented by the World
Forum for Alternatives to the social movements and organizations attending
the “peoples’ summit” in Rio de Janeiro in June, 2012, to solicit their
observations and proposals before a formal presentation of this document
at the occasion of the 2013 World Social Forum in Tunisia. All
contributions by groups and individuals are welcome; please send them to
the following email address: **declara2012 at gmail.com*
<declara2012 at gmail.com>
We live in a critical time for the survival of natural and human life. The
attacks against the planet are multiplying, affecting all living species,
ecosystems, biodiversity, even the climate. Peoples’ and communities’
lives are destroyed by land dispossession. The monopolistic concentration
of capital, the hegemony of the financial sector, deforestation,
monoculture agriculture, the massive use of toxic agents, wars, cultural
imperialism, austerity policies and the destruction of social advances, are
Humanity’s daily bread.
We live in times of a multidimensional crisis; it is financial, economic,
food, energetic, climactic. It is a systemic crisis, a crisis of values
and civilization, with logics of death. This historic moment does not
allow for partial answers, but demands a search for alternatives.
We live in times marked by a demand for coherency. The Resolutions of the
General Assembly of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights (1948 <1948>), the United Nations’ International Covenants on Civil,
Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966 <1966>), the Charter
of Economic Rights and Duties of States (1974 <1974>), the World Charter
for Nature (1982 <1982>), the Declaration on the Right to Development (1986
<1986>), the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992
<1992>), the Earth Charter (2000), the UNESCO Universal Declaration on
Cultural Diversity (2001), the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples (2007), among others, demand the articulation of a
holistic perspective and an integrated ecological, economic, political and
cultural system for decision-making, in the service of life.
We live in times in which human beings are realizing they constitute the
conscious part of a Nature that can live without them and that they are
progressively destroying the earth. This destruction results from the
irrationality of their predatory actions guided by a logic which seeks
profit and capitalist accumulation and is fed by an anthropocentric vision
of linear infinite progress on a planet with inexhaustible resources. In
order to survive, we must shift from anthropocentrism to biocentrism.
We live in times when social and political movements’ actions are
multiplying as they fight from below for ecological justice and peoples’
collective rights. The perception that the life of Humanity is a common
and shared project, conditional on the life of the planet is growing and is
expressed in various documents such as: the Universal Declaration of the
Rights of Peoples (Algiers, 1976), the Beijing Declaration of Indigenous
Women (Beijing, 1995) and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother
Earth (Cochabamba, 2010) is requiring an intense shared effort which
To reestablish the rights of nature and to construct interpersonal
solidarity globally, tasks inseparably linked, a new initiative parallel to
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is today necessary. Its aim is
to redefine, from a holistic perspective, the essential elements of
humanity’s collective life on the planet, in order to propose a new
paradigm around which social and political movements can converge.
The Declaration attempts (1) to shift from exploiting nature as a natural
resource to respecting the earth as the source of all life; (2) to
privilege use value over exchange value in economic activity; (3) to
introduce the principle of spreading democracy in all human relations,
including gender relations, and in all social institutions and (4) to
promote interculturality to allow all cultures, knowledge, philosophies
and religions to clarify the perception of reality, to participate in the
construction of the ethic necessary for its permanent construction , and
contribute to the anticipations that permit to say, “Another world is
possible.” It is the paradigm of the “Common Good of Humanity” or the
principle of the “Good Life” (Buen Vivir) that offers the possibility,
capacity and responsibility to produce and reproduce the planet’s existence
and the physical, cultural and spiritual life of all human beings in the
world. Hence, the proposal of a Universal Declaration.
*The Universal Declaration of the Common Good of Humanity*
- *(1) To respect Nature as the source of physical, cultural and spiritual
*Article 1 (To establish the symbiosis between the earth and the human
gender, the conscious part of nature) *
Nature is the origin of the multiple forms of life, including humanity,
having the earth as its home. The core and crust, air, sunlight,
atmosphere, water, soil; the rivers, oceans, forests, flora, fauna,
biodiversity; the seeds and living species’ genomes are all elements which
constitute her reality. Nature should be respected in her beauty and her
fundamental integrity, her equilibriums and the richness of her ecosystems
which produce and reproduce biodiversity, and in her capacity for
regeneration. It is the responsibility of the human race to consciously
respect ecological justice and the rights of nature, on which depend its
existence and the Common Good of Humanity.
All practices that destroy the regenerative capacities of “Mother Earth”
such as the savage exploitation of natural resources, the destructive use
of chemical products, the massive emission of greenhouse gases, the
depletion of soils and aquatic reserves by monoculture agriculture, the
irrational use of energy, and the production of nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons are inconsistent with humans’ responsibility to nature,
the Common Good of Humanity and the Good Life (Buen Vivir) and for these
reasons susceptible to sanctions.
*Article 2 (To build the harmony between all elements of nature)*
The peoples of the earth have the duty to live in harmony with all other
elements of nature. They should not initiate any development intervention
which could gravely or irreversibly endanger the life of nature which is
also the basis for the reproduction of the physical, cultural and spiritual
life of humanity.. The principles of information provision and prior
consultation of communities or peoples concerned by mineral extraction
projects, public works, and all other actions using natural riches should
be the rule.
All actions, institutions and environmental systems that implement
development models contrary to the integrity and reproduction of the
ecological system are inconsistent with the Common Good of Humanity and are
therefore will be submitted to sanctions.
*Article 3 (To care for the earth, the foundation of all physical, cultural
and spiritual life)*
Nature is a unique and finite reality, the source of life for all species
that inhabit her and all living entities not yet born. The earth can be
administered by human beings with the necessary guarantees for the
continuity of the administration, but it cannot be appropriated,
commodified, or made a source of speculation. It cannot suffer
irreversible systematic aggression for the purpose of any mode of
production. Natural resources (mineral, oil, ocean, forest resources) are
collective heritage and assets that cannot be appropriated by individuals,
corporations or financial groups. The elements of the earth (soil, air,
water, sea, rivers, jungles, forests, flora, fauna, spaces, genomes, etc.)
should be administered, extracted and treated with the upmost respect for
the reproduction of ecosystems, biodiversity, species’ lives, the wellfare
of both current and future generations.
The contamination of water, soil, the seas; the patenting of nature; the
privatization of the earth; the commodification of natural riches and
natural elements necessary for the reproduction of life among living
species, particularly water, oxygen and seeds, are all inconsistent with a
constructive respect for nature, the Common Good of Humanity, and are
therefore prohibited and susceptible to sanctions.
*Article 4 (To assure the regenerating capacity of the earth)*
It is urgent that the regenerative capacity of the earth be restored. All
peoples and individuals are obligated to contribute to this end.
Environmental impact inventories and audits must be implemented,
assessments and reparations for damages administered. All peoples and
individuals and especially industries, corporations and governments, have
the responsibility to reduce, reuse and recycle the materials used in the
production, circulation and consumption of goods.
Practices of planned obsolescence, the waste of energy and other primary
materials, irresponsible disposal of hazardous waste, and the omission or
avoidance of ecological restoration are inconsistent with the Common Good
of Humanity, and therefore susceptible to sanctions.
- *(2) Economic production at the service of life and her continuity*
*Article 5 (To organize social forms of production and, without private
It is necessary for the Common Good of Humanity and the Good Life (Buen
Vivir) that people, institutions and economic systems prioritize social
forms of ownership of the principal means of production and economic
circulation: community, family, communal, cooperative, citizen, and public,
thus avoiding processes of individual or cooperative accumulation that
provoke unjust social inequality. Workers’ and consumers’ control of the
production and circulation of goods and services will be organized
according to adequate social forms, from cooperative to processes of
citizen participation and nationalization.
The appropriation of the means of production and circulation by individuals
or corporations for the purposes of private capitalist accumulation is
contrary to the Common Good of Humanity and the Good Life (Buen Vivir) and
is therefore prohibited.
*Article 6 (To give priority of use value over exchange value)*
The economic system of production and circulation is destined to satisfy
the needs and capacities of all peoples and all individuals on the planet.
Accessing use values is a fundamental right necessary for the production
and reproduction of life. The exchange value, product of
commercialization, should be subjected to use value rather than serving
private capital accumulation and creating financial bubbles resulting from
speculation and being a source of large social inequalities.
All individual or corporate actions that commodify use values as mere
exchange values, that instrumentalize them with advertising for irrational
consumption by consumers, and that encourage speculation for the private
accumulation of capital, are inconsistent with the Common Good of
Humanity. Also inconsistent with the Common Good of Humanity are: tax
havens; banking secrecy; speculation on food commodities, natural resources
and energy sources. Public and private “odious debts” and poverty as the
result of socially unjust relations, are declared illegal.
*Article 7 (To promote dignified and non-exploitative labor)*
Processes of production and circulation should ensure workers a dignified,
participatory job that is adaptive to family and cultural life, that
fosters their skills and ensures them an adequate material existence.
All modern forms of slavery, servitude and labor exploitation, especially
of children, for the purposes of individual profit or private accumulation
of surplus value as well as limitations on labor organizing are
inconsistent with the Common Good of Humanity and Good Life (Buen Vivir)
and are therefore prohibited.
*Article 8 (To reconstruct territories) *
Facing “globalization” which has favored a unipolar economy, the
concentration of decision-making powers, the hegemony of financial capital
and the irrational circulation of goods and services, it is indispensible
to reconstruct territories as a base for food, energetic sovereignty and
for the main exchanges, to regionalize economies and base them on
principles of complementarity and solidarity; and for the peripheral
regions, to “delink” from the hegemonic economic center, in order to assure
commercial, financial and productive autonomy..
The constitution of monopolies and oligopolies, whatever their area of
productive or financial activity, are inconsistent with the Common Good of
Humanity and are therefore prohibited.
*Article 9 (To guarantee access to common goods and universal social
There are certain common goods that are indispensible for the collective
life of individuals and peoples and that constitute inalienable rights.
These are: food, housing, health, education, and material and immaterial
communication. Various forms of citizen control or social property exist
for the effective organization of access to these goods. “Universal
protection” is a right of all peoples and individuals, a responsibility of
public authorities that should be assured by an adequate fiscal policy.
The privatization of public services in order to contribute to capital
accumulation is inconsistent with the Common Good of Humanity and is
therefore prohibited. The following are susceptible for sanctions:
speculating on food, housing, health, education, communication as is
corruption while exercising these rights.
- *(3) Collective democratic organization based on participation*
*Article 10 (To generalize democracy and the construction of the subject)*
All peoples and human beings are subjects of their histories and have the
right to a collective social and political organization that guarantees
this. This organization must ensure harmony with nature and access to the
material needs of life trough production and circulation systems built on
social justice principles. To achieve these goals, collective organization
should allow everyone’s participation in the production and reproduction of
the life of the planet and human beings, i.e., of the Common Good of
Humanity. The organizing principle of this goal is to spread democracy
into all social relationships: family, gender, work, political authority,
between peoples and nations and in all social, political, economic,
cultural and religious institutions. Along with political forms of
participatory democracy, participation should be organized in all sectors
of common life, economic, social, cultural.
All non-democratic forms of organizing society’s political, economic,
social and cultural life are inconsistent with the Common Good of Humanity
and the Good Life (Buen Vivir) and are therefore prohibited. Genocides are
condemned as irreparable acts of discrimination. Susceptible to sanctions
are all discriminations based on gender, race, nation, culture, sexual
orientation, physical or mental capacity, religion or ideological
affiliation. Along with political forms of participatory democracy,
participation should be encouraged in all sectors of common life.
*Article 11 (To buid equality between men and women)*
Particular importance will be given to relations between men and women,
unequal since time immemorial in the various types of societies that have
existed during human history. All institutions and all social and cultural
systems should recognize, respect and promote the right to a life in
plentitude for women in equality with men.
Social and economic practices, institutions and cultural or religious
systems that defend discrimination or actively discriminate against women
are inconsistent with the Common Good of Humanity. All forms of masculine
domination, particularly differences in wage income and the non-recognition
of family domestic work linked to the reproduction of life, are susceptible
*Article 12 (To prohibit war)*
Democratic international relations do not allow the use of war to resolve
conflicts. In this day and age, peace is not guaranteed by an arms race.
The availability of nuclear, biological, chemical weapons directly
jeopardizes the life of Humanity. Arms have become a business. Their
production causes an enormous waste of energy, natural resources and human
talents; their use means, aside from the loss of lifes, serious
The manufacture, possession and use of weapons of mass destruction, the
accumulation of conventional weapons to guarantee regional hegemony and
control of natural resources, hegemonic regional pacts, military solutions
to solve internal political problems are inconsistent with the Common Good
of Humanity and are therefore prohibited.
*Article 13 (To build the State on the basis of Common Good)*
The role of the State, as collective administrator, is to guarantee the
Common Good, i.e. the public interest, as compared to individual or private
interests. Democratic participation is therefore needed to define the
Common Good (constitutions) and how it will be applied. All peoples and
communities of the earth, in the plurality of each of their members,
organizations and social movements, have the right to political systems of
direct or delegated participation with a revocable mandate. Regional
governments and international organizations, particularly the United
Nations, must be constructed on democratic principles. The same is true
for all institutions that represent specific interests or economic sectors,
such as industrial companies, estates, financial or commercial organisms,
political parties, religious institutions or trade unions, NGOs, sports or
cultural groups, humanitarian organizations.
All dictatorial or authoritarian forms of exercising political or economic
power, where no representative minorities, formal or informal, monopolize
decisions without participation, initiative or popular control, are
inconsistent with the Common Good of Humanity and are therefore
prohibited. Also prohibited are public subsidies for organizations, social
movements, political parties or religious institutions that do not respect
democratic principles or that practice gender or racial discrimination.
*Article 14 (To respect the rights of indigenous peoples)*
Native peoples have the right to be recognized in their differences. For
this they need the material and institutional foundations necessary for the
reproduction of their customs, languages, worldviews and communal
institutions: a protected territory of reference, a bilingual education,
the ability to have their own judicial system, public representation, etc.
They make important contributions to the contemporary world: the protection
of Mother Earth, resistance to the extractive-export mode of production and
accumulation, and a holistic vision of the natural and social reality.
Actions, institutions and economic, political and cultural systems that
destroy, segregate, discriminate against or hinder the physical, cultural
and spiritual life of native peoples are inconsistent with the Common Good
of Humanity and are therefore prohibited.
*Article 15 (The recognize the right to resistance)*
All peoples and social groups have the right to develop critical thought,
to practice peaceful resistance and if necessary, insurrection against
destructive actions taken against nature, human life, collective or
Thought censorship, the criminalization of resistance and the violent
repression of liberation movements, are inconsistent with the Common Good
of Humanity and are prohibited.
- *(4) The intercultural as a dynamic of thought and social ethics*
*Article 16 (To build Interculturality)*
The Common Good of Humanity requires the participation of all cultures,
knowledge, arts, philosophies, religions, and folklore in interpreting
reality and in the development of the ethics necessary to its construction,
the production of its symbolic, linguistic and aesthetic expressions, as
well as the formulation of utopias. The cultural richness of humanity,
which throughout history has become patrimony, cannot be destroyed.
Interculturality assumes the mixed contribution of all cultures, with their
diversity, to the various dimensions of the Common Good of Humanity:
respect for nature as the source of life, the priority of use value over
exchange value within processes of justice, widespread democratization and
diversity and cultural exchange.
Cultural ethnocide, the practices, institutions and economic, political and
cultural systems that hide, discriminate against or commodify cultural
achievements of peoples and those that impose a mono-cultural
homogenization, identifying human development with Western culture, are
inconsistent with the Common Good of Humanity and therefore prohibited.
Also prohibited are the practices, institutions, and political-cultural
systems that demand the return of an illusory past, often endorsing
violence or discrimination against other peoples.
*Article 17 (To assure the right to information and the circulation of
All peoples of the earth have the right to information, to exchange
knowledge, expertise and information useful for constructing the Common
Good of Humanity.
Monopolies of the media by groups with financial or industrial power,
commodification of the public by advertising agencies, exclusive and
non-participatory control by States over the content of information, and
patents of scientific knowledge that impede the circulation of knowledges
useful for the well-being of peoples are inconsistent with the Common Good
of Humanity and are therefore prohibited.
- *(5) Obligations and sanctions for noncompliance with the declaration *
*Article 18 (Applying the paradigm of the Common Good of Humanity)*
All peoples of the earth have the right that any noncompliance with or
violation of the rights set forth in this Declaration, that in its entirety
aims to construct permanently the Common Good of Humanity, or the
non-execution of the mechanisms set forth herein, shall be known,
prosecuted, punished and redressed according to the scale and impact of the
damage caused, in agreement with, when they do exist, with the dispositions
of domestic or international law. Short or middle range transition measures
(reforms and regulations) are allowing to change the relations with
nature, to establish the priority of use value, to generalize democracy and
to create multiculturality. However they should not become only adaptations
of the existing mode of accumulation to new ecological and social demands.
All impunity and all full stop laws, amnesty or any other dealing that
denies victims justice, that is, to nature and her conscious part
humankind, is inconsistent with the Common Good of Humanity and the Good
Life (Buen Vivir) and are consequently null and void.
JPBerlin - Politischer Provider
CommonGood at listi.jpberlin.de
Check out the Commons Transition Plan here at: http://commonstransition.org
P2P Foundation: http://p2pfoundation.net - http://blog.p2pfoundation.net
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