Chile: Elements to Contemplate in a New Humanist Constitution

As Universalist Humanists, we aspire to a Universal Human Nation. Understanding that it is a long process to get there, we will be advancing in proposing a New Humanist Constitution for any territory (inspired by the process carried out and rejected in Chile in 2022).

This Humanist Constitution is valid for all the population that lives in the current territory defined as the respective country, and establishes 3 fundamental principles, on which the rest of the proposals, norms and constitutional laws are based:

1.- the Human Being as a fundamental value, with special emphasis on the care for life, liberty and wellbeing of each person living in the territory.

Human beings live immersed in a space made up of their local, regional and global environment, which must therefore be cared for and protected in order to ensure the best possible human development and evolution.

Non-violence in all its forms, physical, psychological, economic, racial, religious, gender, etc. as a fundamental principle of relationship between Human Beings, and between humans and their environment.

Active non-violence is therefore the value and method to be considered in order to resolve any conflict that may arise, and we define it as a form of action and relationship between the inhabitants of the territory. Likewise, we make it valid for resolving any type of situation that may arise in our relations with other countries or with individuals or groups in other spaces outside the territory affected by this Constitution.

In these times in which we register the disintegration of institutions and the crisis of solidarity, we also highlight the emergence of new sensibilities and behaviours. All this leads us to propose a Constitution of change, which reflects the moment and the new processes in the making, thus allowing for expression and actions that will enable us to outline a more humane and hopeful future for the inhabitants of Chile, especially for the new generations.

Through this Constitution, humanists aspire to a multiple world: multiple in ethnicities, languages and customs; multiple in localities, regions and autonomies; multiple in ideas and aspirations; multiple in beliefs, atheism and religiosity; multiple in work; multiple in creativity.

Thus we define as essential elements :

The new Constitution considers the Human Being as the highest value, above money, state, religion, ideologies and social systems.

Defined by the motto: “Nothing above the human being and no human being below another”.

It promotes freedom of belief and freedom of thought.

It promotes equal rights and equal opportunities for all human beings.

It recognises and encourages diversity of customs and cultures.

It opposes all discrimination.

It enshrines just resistance against all forms of physical, economic, racial, religious, sexual, psychological and moral violence.

Its fundamental moral principle says “Treat others as you want to be treated”.

Positions on certain important issues, which must be specified in the new laws that will be made from this new constitution:

Capital : The world has sufficient technology to solve the problems of employment, food, health, housing and education in a short period of time. For this it will be enough to substantially modify the structures of distribution of capital, making it difficult to speculate and directing it towards a productive use. We do not advocate statist centralism or capitalist democracy, nor spontaneism without progress. The reinvestment of profits, both at the level of enterprises and the state, must be directed towards expansion or diversification, towards creating new sources of work, towards generating maximum productive output. And this will be possible if the management and direction of the enterprises are shared by all those who participate in them.

Democracy : We promote independence between powers, representativeness and respect for minorities.

Through popular consultations, plebiscites and direct election of candidates, every citizen must be allowed to actively participate in the processes of our democracy. Every citizen has full capacity and the right to elect and be elected. The media must be put at the service of the population during election periods, giving everyone exactly the same opportunities.

Political Accountability Act: A candidate who has been elected and fails to deliver what he or she promised to the electorate can be disqualified and/or removed from office or impeached.

Minorities : Minorities must be guaranteed their representativeness and all measures favouring their integration and development must be taken to the utmost.

Regionalism: Decentralised, federative power, in which power is in the provinces, regions or autonomous regions.

Model of society: Flexible and constantly changing, in accordance with the dynamic needs of the people.

Anti-discrimination: This Constitution enhances the values of solidarity and anti-discrimination, it is open and welcoming to the different cultures that inhabit the country and others that may arrive, to foreigners who wish to be part of our spaces (“Chile is the “asylum against oppression” says our national song in its chorus, sung in all schools and institutions. Let’s make it a reality! ).

Education: We understand that the essential objective of Educate is to enable the new generations to exercise a non-naïve look at reality, in which their look takes into account the world as an object of transformation in which the human being applies his action and his intentionality. It must educate towards coherent thinking.

It should aim at an integral formation that includes children learning to make emotional contact with themselves and with others. It is recommended that all bodily resources be integrated in a harmonious way, making contact with one’s own body and learning to govern it with ease.

History: Understood as the growing unfolding of human intentionality in its struggle to overcome pain (physical) and suffering (mental). Understanding history not only as the story of the “victors”, but as the understanding of the processes that have led humans in their development towards overcoming pain and suffering. This could generate “acts of historical restitution”, among others to describe and value the acts of educational, moral, medical and technical construction that have improved human life.

Ideologies: valued as structures of thought oriented towards interpreting the world and giving direction to human, individual and social actions.

Overcoming Violence: We advocate a social model in which power is in the “social whole” and not in a part of it, subjugating and objectifying the whole. We will be proposing a non-violent attitude, which does not tolerate violence, in order to transform the inhuman system in which we are immersed. Non-violence is not pacifism. Pacifism seeks disarmament, which is fine, but it responds to only one form of violence, which is physical violence. Non-violence (physical, psychological, racial, religious, gender, etc.) includes pacifism, but it is much more, as it includes the rejection of all forms of violence. “Just resistance” to external violence against individuals or peoples.

The Law: Today, the law legalises power. Power appears as the imposition of an intention. Today’s laws are born of custom, morality, religion or social consensus, but all these forms depend on the power that imposed them. We take Human Rights as the legitimate aspiration of our intentionality projected to a truly human and solidary future.

The State : Just as the Universal Human Nation will be made up of a multiplicity of Nations (what defines a nation is the mutual recognition established between people who identify with similar values and who aspire to a common future), we understand the project of a Humanist country as a multinational unit, made up of diverse groups who identify themselves as a Nation and who together make up the country where they live and develop, being able to live together in the best way, in respect and mutual acceptance.

We will be proposing a decentralised State with decreasing power, where power will be transferred to the “social whole”, self-managed and supervised in solidarity by the people of Chile.

Reference materials used for this work:
“Humanist Document”, Letter 6 to My Friends …… SILO
“The Human Landscape”, Humanise the Earth, SILO.
“School Proceedings” 31 Oct. 2008, p. 67.

Micky Hirsch Researcher at the Tokarev Institute:

Micky Hirsch