1. SOCIAL AND SECULAR STATE
Definition of social state: It is the state that guarantees the rights and duties of the people who constitute a community and the fair access to resources (natural, technological, financial, energy and production resources) and services, such as health care, education, culture, work, housing, transport, social assistance, legal services, etc.
Definition of secular state: It is the state that effectively separates state from religion.
Why do we defend a Social State?
Because we understand that the rights, services and resources of the community are inherent in it and, thus, they cannot be treated like goods for the advantage of a few individuals. Private management of social goods and services means their loss of quality due to the inability to combine the redistributive essence of public services with the profit motive of companies. Experience shows that in this situation the costs of privatization are transferred to the citizens in form of bailouts and subsidies.
Why do we defend a Secular State?
Because we understand that religions need to abandon the public field and be kept in the personal level, breaking for good the restrictions on society and the individuals that have been created throughout history.
*State: we understand the state as a group of organs and/or programmes that is used to manage what is considered as “common”.
2. DEFENCE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICES
Definition of public services: Group of realities that affect the whole of society such as: health care, education, culture, work, public areas, housing, communication, social assistance, natural resources or energy.
Why do we defend the Public Services?
Because we understand that we cannot allow the private alienation of health care, education or water supply to be a reality. Common services must be managed by the whole of society because only this way we can guarantee equal access to goods, services and resources. This is the reason why we seek to stop, and, insofar as possible, to revert the privatization process.
3. ETHICAL CONSUMERISM
Definition of ethical consumerism: Social behaviour that seeks to encourage citizens to adopt buying habits that are consistent with their real necessities and environmental necessities from a social justice perspective.
Why do we seek ethical consumerism?
Ten percent of the world population consumes 90% of global resources. Also, it is obvious that the current level of exploitation is unsustainable for the planet. These two reasons are enough to understand that we should change our the way we consume. The current system is guiding us towards a consumerism that is based on:
- Buying as the final purpose and not as a means to meet our necessities.
- Purchasing goods as a means of social integration and fulfilment.
- Purchasing short-lived products that make us buy them again constantly.
Buying goods that are produced through the violation of social, environmental and labour conditions.
Definition of environmentalism: Social awareness that seeks to protect the environment, the sustainable development and the preservation of the ecosystem. Nowadays we use this concept in a much broader sense which includes, besides nature, a conception under these very paradigms of culture and society.
Why do we defend an environmental line?
We find ourselves facing an environmental global crisis (exhaustion of natural resources, speciesism, extinction of ecosystems, climatic alterations…) that endangers not only nature, but also our very existence. Thus, it is necessary to develop an environmentalism that attacks the roots of the problem – the capitalist system of production, distribution and consumption – as an essential means to build a fairer society in harmony with the planet. Furthermore, we need to prevent the homogenization of globalization from finishing not only with natural biodiversity, but also with social and cultural biodiversity. In the face of comprehensive standardization we defend the conservation and dignifying of every expression, both individual and collective, of each society and each culture. Thus, we adopt the Galician language as part of our collective identity and as a key element in global and cultural biodiversity.
Definition of globalization: Phenomenon through which the whole of humanity progressively adopts an only economic, political and cultural system, promoted selfishly by a determined group of factual powers. As a consequence, this results in a progressive acculturation of the societies in which it is developed, pushing the previous lifestyles into marginality.
Technological advances, the progressive increase of the influence of economic powers and the socio-political events that cause a global impact are spreading a monolithic system at all levels. Globalization means companies have more rights than people and more sovereignty than states. A new form of colonialism is imposed over the native people who, in addition, are prevented from exercising their right to auto-determination or their food and manufacture sovereignty. This system directly and indirectly imposes an only way of thinking and acting that prevents the free developing as individuals through the limitation of socio-economic and cultural options. Thus, we consider that we need to fight the hegemony of factual powers (WTO, G8, IMF, G20, WB, multinationals…) and favour the diversity of cultures, economies, ecosystems, languages… which create a great variety of development opportunities for individuals and groups. In order to reverse this situation we need to establish a global and coordinated social response supported by the millions of perspectives, idiosyncrasies, initiatives and local actions.
Definition of capitalism: Economic system in which the means of production and distribution are private and are designed for profit-making purposes. It is based on two opposite points: the accumulation of capital in the hands of the few people who own exclusively the means of production and who exploit the rest of the people who have to sell their labour power (and any other valuable thing they still own, even public or communal stuff) in order to survive.
Capitalism is a so deeply rooted in the collective conscience that it is hardly questioned. While the Western world was building (and it still is) a globalised world, capitalist theories started spreading because of their great influence. The current crisis is the result of the very dynamics of the capitalist system that gives priority to the necessities of some elites that unlawfully hold the control of the resources, thus causing negative consequences in the social fabric (armed conflicts, hunger, lack of opportunities…). Thus, we are in favour of eliminating the current system and creating new ways to understand economic relations (Basic Income for Equal Citizens, decrease, self-management, ethical consumerism…) based on direct and active participation of workers in the decision making process, equal opportunities, even distribution of wealth and protection of social, cultural and environmental diversity.
Definition of interculturalism: Situation by which different cultures coexist in the same society, under the same conditions, and where horizontality is predominating, so none of them prevails over the other. Interculturalism stands for fully integration of every member of a society by exercising and respecting the particularities of each culture.
The pressure exerted by globalization generates a system that orbits around the Western society model (with a predominance of Anglo-Saxon societies). The use of English as lingua franca, the spreading of a western lifestyle and military interventions in favour of the interests of transnational companies are evidences of this process. On the other hand, the current crisis situation is favouring xenophobic and restrictive positions based on the suspicion of everything that is foreign, so we reject this perspective. We consider cultural diversity an essential aspect for the development of human beings. The diversity of knowledge and perspectives that imbibe every culture provides tools that allow each of the individuals to adjust to the different situations and necessities they face.
Definitión of violence: Interaction manifested in those behaviours or situations that deliberately cause (or threaten to cause) harm, control, aggression or serious submission (physical or psychological) of an individual or a group.
Galtung Triangle: According to Galtung, violence is like an iceberg: the visible part is much smaller than the part that is unseen.
Direct violence, which can be seen, results in behaviours and it responds to acts of explicit violence. For example: police charge.
Structural violence is focused on the group of structures that prevent the individual from meeting their needs and that results, precisely, in the denial of these needs.
Cultural violence, which creates a framework that legitimizes violence, results in determined attitudes and behaviours that are socially acquired. For example: violence against women.
Because we believe in the freedom, both individual and collective, of people. Because we understand that above every one of us there is only ourselves we are against militarism, xenophobia and the main product of capitalism: fascism. Because violence is submission, harm and/or control of people against our will. Violence is police or state control measures against a demonstration; violence is fences, walls, immigration detention, deportations, discrimination against some cultures (for example, against the gipsy culture) that suffer social isolation; the reflection of a fake reality in the media; homeless people; people without a social environment; unemployed people; people with no access to healthcare or education. Violent are those agents (legislation, bodies of repression, companies, organizations, institutions…) that prevent each of us from achieving our lifestyle. When facing a violence situation, we understand that the person and/or people are entitled to defend themselves.
9. HORIZONTALIZATIÓN OF SOCIETY
Definition of horizontalization of society: Process through which a social group conceives itself as a structure in which nobody is above others in terms of rights and duties, and that understands the decision making process and the accountability of people through an active role inside the system itself. It is opposed to the traditional (vertical) way of understanding the social system, in which there are no hierarchies that dictate the degree of participation and building of rights and duties of individuals.
Why do we seek it?
We seek a horizontal society in which each person takes part directly and actively in a fair society. Every one of us knows what we want, for ourselves and for the rest of society, and should have the necessary mechanisms to decide and express our will. All the people that form society are able to take decisions on many circumstances in their lives. However, this does not work the same way in the election and conformation of rules by which we are guided, since there is a small elite that decides for the rest of us. Thus, we are opposed to the vertical society model: western, heterosexual, Caucasian, rich male… and we defend a diverse horizontal social model based on anti-patriarchy and feminism, LGBTIQ rights, multiracialism and anti-fascism, defence of the poor…
10. DEFENCE OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS (PCR- ESCR)
Definition of Human Rights: Human Rights constitute the basic liberties and rights that every person has, inherent in their human condition, and that guarantee people a dignified life, regardless of particular factors such as status, ethnic group or nationality. These rights are often defined as inherent to the person, irrevocable and inalienable, which means that they cannot be transmitted, transferred or relinquished: nobody, for example, can be sold as a slave. By definition this concept of human rights is universal and equal, and it is incompatible with the systems based on the superiority of a specific class, race, people, group or social class.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes two main groups of Human Rights:
Political and Civil Rights (PCR): they are rights that protect individual liberties from the unjustified violation from governments and private organizations, and they guarantee the possibility to take part in the civil and politic life of the State without being discriminated or repressed.
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR): they are the rights that guarantee economic welfare and health (both physical and mental) access to housing, food and water, and also to jobs, education and culture, thus ensuring the development of individuals and people.
Why do we defend human rights?
Because we understand that any attempt to alter the inherent conditions of a being against their will implies violence against them. Human rights, just like body parts, are inherent to people. Thus, we consider that everyone should avoid and defend any aggression against any of them; the attack on human rights of an individual or people means the weakening of our own rights. Thus, we reveal the false association that the legal or socio-economic situation is equal to a person’s rights, an association that allows an unpunished and repeated violation of certain groups (prisoners, undocumented migrants, victims of reprisal, women, drug addicts, minors, homeless people, disabled people, poor people, elderly people…). We denounce, we are opposed to and we fight against every one of the violations of people’s rights, just as we put pressure in order to deal with the crimes against humanity (historical memory processes, genocides…) following the “justice, truth and reparation” principles.
As a guaranty of ECOAR))))’s independence of actions the following methodological points are taken:
Definition of trade unionism: Social movement created from the professional, economic and social interests of the working class. Trade unionism is shown through the organization of workers in different kinds of actions (strikes, protests, solidarity actions…), associations (unions, cooperatives…) and socio-politic institutions (works committees, agreements, foundations, political parties…).
Contextualisation of trade unionism: Nowadays, trade unionism is strongly controlled by elements which are external and even opposed to the working class (political parties, technocrats, management, church…). These are elements that have the interest and the capability to limit the internal democracy of union associations, to make cynical use of workers’ protests and even to devalue the defensive and instigating capacity of social movements. Some union headquarters are truly socio-political “monsters” that have the interest and capacity of using all kind of organizations as a tool.
What does nonunionism unionism mean in ECOAR?
Nonunionism is one of ECOAR’s methodological principles. It means that:
- Our association is never going to be part of a specific trade union (the cooperation with union association depends on the will of ECOAR’s Assembly).
- No trade union can be part of ECOAR (but this will not prevent individual members from being part of a trade union).
- Our association will stay away and will try to denounce those union tendencies that appear as hierarchic, reactionary and opposed to our ideological principles (but we will not prevent approaching, collaborating and supporting those union tendencies that share our ideological principles).
Definition of partisanism: Social movement created from the interests of a political party. Partisanism is expressed through the classification of different socio-political agents (individuals, collectives, institutions, trade unions, companies…) into a specific strategy or political tactic (electoral or advertising campaign, civil or military insurrection…) whose central axis is a political party.
Contextualisation of partisanism: Political parties tend to hold all the political power. In our context, political parties tend to use any aspect of public life as a tool to reach and perpetuate the power in order to reach their particular objectives, thus ignoring the social objectives. These are structures that subdue trade unions, institutions, associations… and confiscate our political life.
What does nonpartisanism mean in ECOAR?
Nonpartisanism is one of ECOAR’s methodological principles. It means that:
- Our association is never going to be part of a specific political party (the cooperation with a political party initiative will depend on the will of ECOAR’s Assembly).
- No political party can be part of ECOAR (but this will not prevent individual members from being part of political party).
- Our association will try to report partisan manipulations of our socio-political reality.
- Our association can join or oppose the positioning of any political party, always meeting its own reasons and never partisan reasons.
Definition of confessionalism: Social movement created from the religious confession or interests of a clerical hierarchy. Confessionalism is expressed through the submission of social and political participation of individuals and groups to religious designs, with both mystical (faith) or “earthly” origins (hierarchy).
Contextualisation of confessionalism: Religious confessions constrain personal concerns in general and deny autonomy to the group. There are ecclesiastical hierarchies which hold such power that they distort the existence of individuals and society itself.
What does non-confessionalism mean in ECOAR?
Secularism is one of ECOAR’s methodological principles. It means that:
- Our association is never going to identify itself with a religion (but this will not prevent individual members of ECOAR from being part of any religion).
- No group directed by a church or confession can join ECOAR (but this will not prevent individual members of ECOAR from being part of a church or confessional group).
- Our association will seek the emancipation of humanity from confessionalism (always respecting the private experience of religious confessions).
- Our association will fight against the interference of churches in private life.