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Libertarian socialism

This equality and freedom would be achieved through the abolition of authoritarian institutions that own and control productive means as private property,[6] so that direct control of thesemeans of production and resources will be shared by society as a whole. Libertarian socialism also constitutes a tendency of thought that informs the identification, criticism and practical dismantling of illegitimate authority in all aspects of social life. Accordingly libertarian socialists believe that “the exercise of power in any institutionalized form – whether economic, political, religious, or sexual – brutalizes both the wielder of power and the one over whom it is exercised.”[7]

Libertarian socialists place their hopes in trade unionsworkers’ councilsmunicipalities, citizens’ assemblies, and other non-bureaucratic, decentralized means of direct democracy.[8] Many libertarian socialists advocate doing away with the state altogether, seeing it as a bulwark of capitalist class rule, while others propose that a minimal, non-hierarchical version is unobjectionable.[9]

Political philosophies commonly described as libertarian socialist include most varieties of anarchism (especially anarchist communismanarchist collectivismanarcho-syndicalism,[10]mutualism,[11] social ecology,[12] autonomism and council communism).[13] Some writers use libertarian socialism synonymously with anarchism[14] and in particular socialist anarchism.[15][16]



Noam Chomsky, a noted libertarian socialist.

Libertarian socialism is an ideology with diverse interpretations, though some general commonalities can be found in its many incarnations. Its proponents advocate a worker-oriented system of distribution that radically departs from capitalist economics (socialism).[17] They proposed that this economic system be executed in a manner that attempts to maximize the liberty of individuals and minimize concentration of power or authority (libertarianism). Libertarian socialists are strongly critical of coercive institutions, which often leads them to reject the legitimacy of the state in favor of anarchism.[18] Adherents attempt to achieve this through the decentralization of political and economic power, usually involving the socialization of most large-scale property and enterprise. Libertarian socialism denies the legitimacy of most forms of economically significant private property, because they view capitalist property relations as forms of domination that are antagonistic to individual freedom.[19]

The first person to describe himself as a libertarian was Joseph Déjacque, an early French anarchist communist. The word stems from the French wordlibertaire, and was used to evade the French ban on anarchist publications.[20] In the context of the European socialist movement, libertarian has conventionally been used to describe those who opposed state socialism, such as Mikhail Bakunin. In the United States, the movement most commonly called libertarianism follows a capitalist philosophy; the term libertarian socialism therefore strikes many Americans as a contradiction in terms. However, the association of socialism to libertarianism predates that of capitalism, and many anti-authoritarians still decry what they see as a mistaken association of capitalism to libertarianism in the United States.[21] As Noam Chomsky put it, a consistent libertarian “must oppose private ownership of the means of production and the wage slavery which is a component of this system, as incompatible with the principle that labor must be freely undertaken and under the control of the producer.”[22]

In a chapter recounting the history of libertarian socialism, radical economist Robin Hahnel relates that thus far the period where libertarian socialism has had its greatest impact was at the end of the 19th century through the first four decades of the twentieth century.

“Early in the twentieth century, libertarian socialism was as powerful a force as social democracy and communism. The Libertarian International – founded at the Congress of Saint Imier a few days after the split between Marxist and libertarians at the congress of the Socialist International held in The Hague in 1872 – competed successfully against social democrats and communists alike for the loyalty of anticapitalist activists, revolutionaries, workers, unions and political parties for over fifty years. Libertarian socialists played a major role in the Russian revolutions of 1905and 1917. Libertarian socialists played a dominant role in the Mexican Revolution of 1911. Twenty years after World War I was over, libertarian socialists were still strong enough to spearhead the social revolution that swept across Republican Spain in 1936 and 1937.”[23]


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See also: Anti-capitalism

Libertarian socialists assert that when power is exercised, as exemplified by the economic, social, or physical dominance of one individual over another, the burden of proof is always on the authoritarian to justify their action as legitimate when taken against its effect of narrowing the scope of human freedom.[24] Typical examples of legitimate exercise of power would include the use of physical force to rescue someone from being injured by an oncoming vehicle, or self-defense. Libertarian socialists typically oppose rigid and stratified structures of authority, be they politicaleconomic, or social.[25]

Libertarian socialists believe that all social bonds should be developed by individuals who have an equal amount of bargaining power, that an accumulation of economic power in the hands of a few and the centralization of political power both reduce the bargaining power—and thus the liberty of the other individuals in society.[26] To put it another way, capitalist (and right-libertarian) principles concentrate economic power in the hands of those who own the most capital. Libertarian socialism aims to distribute power, and thus freedom, more equally amongst members of society. A key difference between libertarian socialism and free-market libertarianism is that advocates of the former generally believe that one’s degree of freedom is affected by one’s economic and social status, whereas advocates of the latter focus on freedom of choice. This is sometimes characterized as a desire to maximize “free creativity” in a society in preference to “free enterprise.”[27]

Libertarian socialists believe if freedom is valued, then society must work towards a system in which individuals have the power to decide economic issues along with political issues. Libertarian socialists seek to replace unjustified authority with direct democracy, voluntary federation, and popular autonomy in all aspects of life,[28] including physical communities and economic enterprises.

Many libertarian socialists argue that large-scale voluntary associations should manage industrial manufacture, while workers retain rights to the individual products of their labor.[29] As such, they see a distinction between the concepts of “private property” and “personal possession”. Whereas “private property” grants an individual exclusive control over a thing whether it is in use or not, and regardless of its productive capacity, “possession” grants no rights to things that are not in use.[30]

[edit]Opposition to the state

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See also: Anti-statism

Libertarian socialists regard concentrations of power as sources of oppression, leading many to oppose the state.

In lieu of states, libertarian socialists seek to organize themselves into voluntary associations (usually collectivescommunescooperativescommons, or syndicates) which use direct democracy or consensus for their decision-making process. Some libertarian socialists advocate combining these institutions using rotating, recallable delegates to higher-level federations.[31] Spanish anarchism is a major example of such federations in practice. Contemporary examples of libertarian socialist organizational and decision-making models in practice include a number of anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation movements[32] including: Zapatista Councils of Good Government and the Global Indymedia network (which covers 45 countries on 6 continents). There are also many examples of indigenous societies around the world whose political and economic systems can be accurately described as anarchist or libertarian socialist, each of which is unique and uniquely suited to the culture that birthed it.[33] For libertarians, that diversity of practice within a framework of common principles is proof of the vitality of those principles and of their flexibility and strength.

Contrary to popular opinion, libertarian socialism has not traditionally been a utopian movement, tending to avoid dense theoretical analysis or prediction of what a future society would or should look like. The tradition instead has been that such decisions cannot be made now, and must be made through struggle and experimentation, so that the best solution can be arrived at democratically and organically, and to base the direction for struggle on established historical example. Supporters often suggest that this focus on exploration over predetermination is one of their great strengths. They point out that the success of the scientific method comes from its adherence to open rational exploration, not its conclusions, rather than dogma and predetermined predictions.

Although critics claim that they are avoiding questions they cannot answer, libertarian socialists believe that a methodological approach to exploration is the best way to achieve their social goals. To them, dogmatic approaches to social organization are doomed to failure; and thus reject Marxist notions oflinear and inevitable historical progression. Noted anarchist Rudolf Rocker once stated, “I am an anarchist not because I believe anarchism is the final goal, but because there is no such thing as a final goal” (The London Years, 1956).

Because libertarian socialism encourages exploration and embraces a diversity of ideas rather than forming a compact movement, there have arisen inevitable controversies over individuals who describe themselves as libertarian socialists but disagree with some of the core principles of libertarian socialism. For example, Peter Hain interprets libertarian socialism as favoring radical decentralization of power without going as far as the complete abolition of the state[34] and libertarian socialist Noam Chomsky supports dismantling all forms of unjustified social or economic power, while also emphasizing that state intervention should be supported as a temporary protection while oppressive structures remain in existence.

Proponents are known for opposing the existence of states or government and refusing to participate in coercive state institutions. Indeed, in the past many refused to swear oaths in court or to participate in trials, even when they faced imprisonment[35] or deportation.[36]

[edit]Violent and non-violent means

Some libertarian socialists see violent revolution as necessary in the abolition of capitalist society. Along with many others, Errico Malatesta argued that the use of violence was necessary; as he put it in Umanità Nova (no. 125, September 6, 1921):

It is our aspiration and our aim that everyone should become socially conscious and effective; but to achieve this end, it is necessary to provide all with the means of life and for development, and it is therefore necessary to destroy with violence, since one cannot do otherwise, the violence which denies these means to the workers.[37]

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon argued in favor of a non-violent revolution. The progression towards violence in anarchism stemmed, in part, from the massacres of some of the communes inspired by the ideas of Proudhon and others. Many anarcho-communists began to see a need for revolutionary violence to counteract the violence inherent in both capitalism and government.[38]

[edit]Political roots

As Albert Meltzer and Stuart Christie stated in their book The Floodgates of Anarchy, anarchism has:

…its particular inheritance, part of which it shares with socialism, giving it a family resemblance to certain of its enemies. Another part of its inheritance it shares with liberalism, making it, at birth, kissing-cousins with American-type radical individualism, a large part of which has married out of the family into the Right Wing and is no longer on speaking terms. (The Floodgates of Anarchy, 1970, page 39.)

That is, anarchism arose as a cross between socialism and liberalism, incorporating the anti-capitalist attitude of socialists and the anti-statist, what would today be called libertarian, attitude of classical liberalismPierre-Joseph Proudhon, who is often considered the father of modern anarchism, coined the phrase “Property is theft” to describe part of his view on the complex nature of ownership in relation to freedom. When he said property is theft, he was referring to the capitalist who he believed stole profit from laborers. For Proudhon, the capitalist’s employee was “subordinated, exploited: his permanent condition is one of obedience.”[39]

Seventeen years (1857) after Proudhon first called himself an anarchist (1840), anarchist communist Joseph Déjacque was the first person to describe himself as a libertarian.[40] Outside the United States, “libertarian” generally refers to anti-authoritarian anti-capitalist ideologies.[41] For these reasons the term “libertarian socialism” is today almost synonymous with anarchism, outside of the US the term “libertarian socialism” would be considered redundant.

Back in the United States, Henry George spearheaded the Single Tax Movement, which sought socialism via progressive taxation, with tax only on natural resources. This might be seen as a predecessor to libertarian socialism trends there.

Libertarian socialism has its roots in both classical liberalism and socialism, though it is often in conflict with liberalism (especially neoliberalism and right-libertarianism) and authoritarianState socialism simultaneously. While libertarian socialism has roots in both socialism and liberalism, different forms have different levels of influence from the two traditions. For instancemutualist anarchism is more influenced by liberalism while communist and syndicalist anarchism are more influenced by socialism. It is interesting to note, however, that mutualist anarchism has its origins in 18th and 19th century European socialism (such as Fourierian socialism)[42][43] while communist and syndicalist anarchism has its earliest origins in early 18th century liberalism (such as the French Revolution).[44]

[edit]Conflict with Marxism

Mikhail Bakunin, 1814-1876.

In rejecting both capitalism and the state, some libertarian socialists align themselves with anarchists in opposition to both capitalist representative democracy and to authoritarian forms of Marxism. Although anarchists and Marxists share an ultimate goal of a stateless society, anarchists criticise most Marxists for advocating a transitional phase under which the state is used to achieve this aim. Nonetheless, libertarian Marxist tendencies such asautonomist Marxism and council communism have historically been intertwined with the anarchist movement. Anarchist movements have come into conflict with both capitalist and Marxist forces, sometimes at the same time, as in the Spanish Civil War, though as in that war Marxists themselves are often divided in support or opposition to anarchism. Other political persecutions under bureaucratic parties have resulted in a strong historical antagonism between anarchists and libertarian Marxists on the one hand and Leninist Marxists and their derivatives such as Maoists on the other. In recent history, however, libertarian socialists have repeatedly formed temporary alliances with Marxist-Leninist groups for the purposes of protest against institutions they both reject.

Part of this antagonism can be traced to the International Workingmen’s Association, the First International, a congress of radical workers, where Mikhail Bakunin, who was fairly representative of anarchist views, and Karl Marx, whom anarchists accused of being an “authoritarian”, came into conflict on various issues. Bakunin’s viewpoint on the illegitimacy of the state as an institution and the role of electoral politics was starkly counterposed to Marx’s views in the First International. Marx and Bakunin’s disputes eventually led to Marx taking control of the First International and expelling Bakunin and his followers from the organization. This was the beginning of a long-running feud and schism between libertarian socialists and what they call “authoritarian communists”, or alternatively just “authoritarians”.

Some Marxists have formulated views that closely resemble syndicalism, and thus express more affinity with anarchist ideas. Several libertarian socialists, notably Noam Chomsky, believe that anarchism shares much in common with certain variants of Marxism such as the council communism of Marxist Anton Pannekoek. In Chomsky’s Notes on Anarchism,[45] he suggests the possibility “that some form of council communism is the natural form of revolutionary socialism in an industrial society. It reflects the belief that democracy is severely limited when the industrial system is controlled by any form of autocratic elite, whether of owners, managers, and technocrats, a ‘vanguard’ party, or a State bureaucracy.”

Autonomist MarxismNeo-Marxism and Situationist theory are also regarded as being anti-authoritarian variants of Marxism that are firmly within the libertarian socialist tradition. Similarly,William Morris is regarded as both a libertarian socialist and a Marxist.[citation needed]

[edit]Notable libertarian socialist tendencies


Proudhon and his children, by Gustave Courbet (1865).

Mutualism is a political and economic theory largely associated with Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Proudhon was in favor of private ownership of the means of production for small enterprises, but in large scale enterprises supported replacing wage labour by workers’ co-operatives, arguing “it is necessary to form an ASSOCIATION among workers . . . because without that, they would remain related as subordinates and superiors, and there would ensue two . . . castes of masters and wage-workers, which is repugnant to a free and democratic society.”[46] Mutualists believe that a free labor market would allow for conditions of equal income in proportion to exerted labor.[47] As Jonathan Beecher puts it, Proudhon’s aim was to, “emancipate labor from the constraints imposed by capital”.[48]

Proudhon supported individual possession of land rather than community ownership. However, Proudhon believed that an individual only had a right to land while he was using or occupying it. If the individual ceases doing so, it reverts to unowned land.[49]Mutualists hold a labor theory of value, arguing that in exchange labor should always be worth “the amount of labor necessary to produce an article of exactly similar and equal utility,”[47] and considering anything less to be exploitation, theft of labor, or usury.

Mutualists oppose the institutions by which individuals gain income through loans, investments, and rent, as they believe the income received through these activities is not in direct accord with labor spent.[47] In place of these capitalist institutions they advocatelabor-owned cooperative firms and associations.[50] Mutualists advocate mutual banks, owned by the workers, that do not charge interest on secured loans. Most mutualists believe that anarchy should be achieved gradually rather than through revolution.[51]

Worker cooperatives such as the Mondragón Cooperative Corporation follow an economic model similar to that of mutualism. The model followed by the corporation WL Gore and Associates, inventor of Gore-Tex fabrics, is also similar to mutualism as there is no chain of command and salaries are determined collectively by the workers.

G.D.H. Cole‘s guild socialism was similar to mutualism.[52] Today, mutualism’s stress on worker association is similar to the more developed modern theory of Participatory Economics, although Participatory Economists do not believe in markets.

Mutualist anarchist ideas continue to have influence today, even if indirectly. Many modern day cooperatives are influenced directly or indirectly by economic mutualism that became popular in the late 19th century.[53]

Some individualist anarchists, such as Benjamin Tucker, were influenced by Proudhon’s Mutualism, but unlike Proudhon, they did not call for “association” in large enterprises.[54]

[edit]Anarchist communism

Main article: Anarchist communism

Anarchist communism was first formulated in the Italian section of the First International, by Carlo CafieroErrico MalatestaAndrea Costa, and other ex-Mazzinian republicans. Out of respect for Mikhail Bakunin, they did not make their differences from standard anarchism explicit until after the latter’s death.[55] In 1876, at the Florence Conference of the Italian Federation of the International (which was actually held in a forest outside Florence, due to police activity), they declared the principles of anarcho-communism, beginning with:

“The Italian Federation considers the collective property of the products of labour as the necessary complement to the collectivist programme, the aid of all for the satisfaction of the needs of each being the only rule of production and consumption which corresponds to the principle of solidarity. The federal congress at Florence has eloquently demonstrated the opinion of the Italian International on this point…”

This report was made in an article by Malatesta and Cafiero in the (Swiss) Jura federation‘s bulletin later that year. Cafiero notes, in Anarchie et Communisme, that private property in the product of labor will lead to unequal accumulation of capital, and therefore undesirable class distinctions.

Anarcho-communists hold that the liberation of the individual, as well as the abolition of wage slavery and the State, requires the introduction of a free distribution economy, and therefore the abolition of the market.[56] In this belief they are contrasted with some anarchists and libertarian socialists who advocate collective ownership with market elements and sometimes barter. Anarcho-communists assert that a gift economy can be operated by collectives through direct democracy.

As Peter Kropotkin put it, “We must recognize, and loudly proclaim, that every one, whatever his grade in the old society, whether strong or weak, capable or incapable, has, before everything, THE RIGHT TO LIVE, and that society is bound to share amongst all, without exception, the means of existence at its disposal.” (Conquest of Bread ch. 3)


Main article: Anarcho-syndicalism

Anarcho-syndicalism is a branch of anarchism which focuses on the labor movement.[57] Anarcho-syndicalists view labor unions as a potential force for revolutionary social change, replacing capitalism and the State with a new society democratically self-managed by workers.

The basic principles of anarcho-syndicalism are:

  1. Workers’ solidarity
  2. Direct action
  3. Workers’ self-management

Flag used by Anarcho-syndicalists and Anarcho-Communists.

Workers’ solidarity means that anarcho-syndicalists believe all workers—no matter their racegender, or ethnic group—are in a similar situation in regard to their boss (class consciousness). Furthermore, it means that, within capitalism, any gains or losses made by some workers from or to bosses will eventually affect all workers. Therefore, to liberate themselves, all workers must support one another in their class conflict.

Anarcho-syndicalists believe that only direct action—that is, action concentrated on directly attaining a goal, as opposed to indirect action, such as electing a representative to a government position—will allow workers to liberate themselves.[58]

Moreover, anarcho-syndicalists believe that workers’ organizations (the organizations that struggle against the wage system, which, in anarcho-syndicalist theory, will eventually form the basis of a new society) should be self-managing. They should not have bosses or “business agents”; rather, the workers should be able to make all the decisions that affect them themselves.

Rudolf Rocker was one of the most popular voices in the anarcho-syndicalist movement. He outlined a view of the origins of the movement, what it sought, and why it was important to the future of labor in his 1938 pamphlet Anarcho-Syndicalism.

The International Workers Association is an international anarcho-syndicalist federation of various labor unions from different countries. The Spanish Confederación Nacional del Trabajoplayed and still plays a major role in the Spanish labor movement. It was also an important force in the Spanish Civil War.

[edit]Council communism

Main article: Council Communism

Council communism was a radical Left movement originating in Germany and the Netherlands in the 1920s. Its primary organization was the Communist Workers Party of Germany (KAPD). Council communism continues today as a theoretical and activist position within Marxism, and also within libertarian socialism. The central argument of council communism, in contrast to those of Social democracy and Leninist communism, is that workers’ councils arising in the factories and municipalities are the natural and legitimate form of working class organisation and government power. This view is opposed to the reformist and Bolshevik stress on vanguard partiesparliaments, or the State.

The core principle of council communism is that the state and the economy should be managed by workers’ councils, composed of delegates elected at workplaces and recallable at any moment. As such, council communists oppose state-run “bureaucratic socialism”. They also oppose the idea of a “revolutionary party”, since council communists believe that a revolution led by a party will necessarily produce a party dictatorship. Council communists support a workers’ democracy, which they want to produce through a federation of workers’ councils.

The Russian word for council is “soviet,” and during the early years of the revolution worker’s councils were politically significant in Russia. It was to take advantage of the aura of workplace power that the word became used by Lenin for various political organs. Indeed, the name “Supreme Soviet,” by which the parliament was called; and that of the Soviet Union itself make use of this terminology, but they do not imply any decentralization.

Furthermore, council communists held a critique of the Soviet Union as a capitalist state, believing that the Bolshevik revolution in Russia became a “bourgeois revolution” when a party bureaucracy replaced the old feudal aristocracy. Although most felt the Russian Revolution was working class in character, they believed that, since capitalist relations still existed (because the workers had no say in running the economy), the Soviet Union ended up as a state capitalist country, with the state replacing the individual capitalist. Thus, council communists support workers’ revolutions, but oppose one-party dictatorships.

Council communists also believed in diminishing the role of the party to one of agitation and propaganda, rejected all participation in elections or parliament, and argued that workers should leave the reactionary trade unions and form one big revolutionary union.

[edit]Within the political mainstream

There was a strong libertarian current in the British labour movement and the term “libertarian socialist” has been applied to a number of democratic socialists, including some prominent members of the British Labour Party. The Socialist League was formed in 1885 by William Morris and others critical of the authoritarian socialism of the Social Democratic Federation. It was involved in the New Unionism, the rank and file union militancy of the 1880s-90s which anticipated syndicalism in some key ways (Tom Mann, a New Unionist leader, was one of the first British syndicalists). The Socialist League was dominated by anarchists by the 1890s.[59]

The Independent Labour Party, formed at that time, drew more on the Non-Conformist religious traditions in the British working class than on Marxist theory, and had a libertarian strain. Others in the tradition of the ILP, and described as libertarian socialists, have been Nye BevanMichael FootRobin Cook, and most importantly, G. D. H. Cole. Labour minister Peter Hainhas written in support of libertarian socialism, identifying an axis involving a “bottom-up vision of socialism, with anarchists at the revolutionary end and democratic socialists [such as himself] at its reformist end”, as opposed to the axis of state socialism with Marxist-Leninists at the revolutionary end and social democrats at the reformist end.[60] Defined in this way, libertarian socialism in the contemporary political mainstream is distinguished from modern social democracy principally by its political decentralism rather than by its economics. Katja Kipping of DresdenGermany is an example of a contemporary libertarian socialist politician operating within a mainstream government.

[edit]Within the New Left

Main article: New Left

The emergence of the New Left in the 1950s and 1960s led to a revival of interest in libertarian socialism.[61] The New Left’s critique of the Old Left‘s authoritarianism was associated with a strong interest in personal liberty, autonomy (see the thinking of Cornelius Castoriadis) and led to a rediscovery of older socialist traditions, such as left communismcouncil communism, and the Industrial Workers of the World. The New Left also led to a revival of anarchism. Journals like Radical America and Black Mask in America, SolidarityBig Flame and Democracy & Nature, succeeded by The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy,[62] in the UK, introduced a range of left libertarian ideas to a new generation. Social ecologyautonomism and, more recently, participatory economics (parecon), and Inclusive Democracy emerged from this.

[edit]Social ecology

Main article: Social ecology

Social ecology is closely related to the work and ideas of Murray Bookchin and influenced by anarchist Peter Kropotkin. Social ecologists assert that the present ecological crisis has its roots in human social problems, and that the domination of human-over-nature stems from the domination of human-over-human.[63]

Politically, social ecologists advocate a network of directly democratic citizens’ assemblies organized in a confederal fashion. This approach is called Libertarian Municipalism. Economically, social ecologists favour libertarian communism and the principle “from each according to ability, to each according to need.”[citation needed]

[edit]Libertarian socialism in modern times

Libertarian socialists in the early 21st century have been involved in the squatter movement; social centersinfoshops; anti-poverty groups such as OCAP and Food Not Bombstenants’unions; housing cooperativesintentional communities generally and egalitarian communities; anti-sexist organizing; grassroots media initiatives; digital media and computer activism; experiments in participatory economicsanti-racist and anti-fascist groups like Anti-Racist Action and Anti-Fascist Action; activist groups protecting the rights of immigrants and promoting the free movement of people, such as the No Border network and No One is Illegalworker co-operativescountercultural and artist groups; and the peace movement etc.

Libertarian Socialists have, also, an MP in Turkish Parliament; Ufuk Uras, selected in 2007 General Elections in Turkey.[64]

[edit]Criticism of libertarian socialism

Some capitalist libertarians argue that freedom and equality are often in conflict with one another, and that promoting equality (as valued by socialism) will inherently require restrictions on liberty (as valued by libertarianism), forcing the society to choose one or the other as their primary value. The Kurt Vonnegut story “Harrison Bergeron“, in which equality is enforced by imposing physical and mental handicaps on overachievers, can be seen as illustrating this point through hyperbole (though Vonnegut’s own belief in socialism is a point of interest).[65]

Libertarian socialists typically dismiss the perceived contradiction between freedom and equality as a red herringNoam Chomsky states that, “human talents vary considerably, within a fixed framework that is characteristic of the species and that permits ample scope for creative work, including the appreciation of the creative achievements of others. This should be a matter of delight rather than a condition to be abhorred.”[66]

Other libertarian philosophers (often referred to as liberals, in the classical sense) such as Frederic BastiatLudwig von MisesMurray Rothbard, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe, stress that liberty is a state of affairs in which one is free from the unjustified aggression of others, and that any understanding of liberty must be grounded in natural rights – and especially property rights. Thus, they argue that absolute freedom for all is not a contradiction, and that the abolition of natural rights (including property rights) would, by definition, also be the abolition of liberty.[67][68][69] As Ludwig von Mises, an Austrian economist, put it, “The continued existence of society depends upon private property.”[70]

Libertarian socialists believe that this criticism stems from a misconception that conflates simple possession with private property as a legal and social institution. For libertarian socialists, the latter produces exploitation and oppression (Proudhon’s “theft” and “despotism”) and so reduces individual freedom for the working class to the ability to change masters.[71] As such, they argue, liberalism fails to understand how private property undermines liberty.[72] For libertarian socialists, “[t]o demonise state authoritarianism while ignoring identical albeit contract-consecrated subservient arrangements in the large-scale corporations which control the world economy is fetishism at its worst.”[73]

[edit]Libertarian socialist periodicals

[edit]See also

(sometimes called socialist anarchism,[1][2] and sometimes left libertarianism[3][4]) is a group of political philosophies that aspire to create a society without political, economic, or social hierarchies, i.e. a society in which all violent or coercive institutions would be dissolved (or at least drastically reduced in scope), and in their place every person would have free, equal access to the tools of information and production.[5]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nonviolence is a philosophy and strategy for social change that rejects the use of physical violence. As such, nonviolence is an alternative to passive acceptance of oppression and armed struggle against it. Practitioners of nonviolence may use diverse methods in their campaigns for social change, including critical forms of education and persuasion, civil disobedience and nonviolent direct action, and targeted communication via mass media.

In modern times, nonviolence has been a powerful tool for social protest. Mahatma Gandhi led a decades-long nonviolent struggle against British rule in India, which eventually helped India win its independence in 1947. About 10 years later, Martin Luther King adopted Gandhi’s nonviolent methods in his struggle to win civil rights for African Americans. Then in the 1960s César Chávez organized a campaign of nonviolence to protest the treatment of farm workers in California. As Chavez once explained, “Nonviolence is not inaction. It is not for the timid or the weak. It is hard work, it is the patience to win.”[1] Another recent nonviolent movement was the “Velvet Revolution“, a nonviolent revolution in Czechoslovakia that saw the overthrow of the Communist government in 1989.[2] It is seen as one of the most important of the Revolutions of 1989.

The 14th and current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. Dalai Lama said nonviolence is the only way progress can be made with China.[3][4]

The term “nonviolence” is often linked with or even used as a synonym for pacifism; however, the two concepts are fundamentally different. Pacifism denotes the rejection of the use of violence as a personal decision on moral or spiritual grounds, but does not inherently imply any inclination toward change on a sociopolitical level. Nonviolence on the other hand, presupposes the intent of (but does not limit it to) social or political change as a reason for the rejection of violence. Also, a person may advocate nonviolence in a specific context while advocating violence in other contexts.


Advocates of nonviolence believe cooperation and consent are the roots of political power: all regimes, including bureaucratic institutions, financial institutions, and the armed segments of society (such as the military and police); depend on compliance from citizens.[5] On a national level, the strategy of nonviolence seeks to undermine the power of rulers by encouraging people to withdraw their consent and cooperation. The forms of nonviolence draw inspiration from both religious or ethical beliefs and political analysis. Religious or ethically based nonviolence is sometimes referred to as principled, philosophical, or ethical nonviolence, while nonviolence based on political analysis is often referred to as tactical, strategic, or pragmatic nonviolence. Commonly, both of these dimensions may be present within the thinking of particular movements or individuals.[6]


Buddha, known for his theory of nonviolence

Mahavira,To liberate one’s self, Mahavira taught the necessity of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct. Right conduct includes five great vows out of which first is Nonviolence (Ahimsa) – to cause no harm to any living being in any manner

Love of the enemy, or the realization of the humanity of all people, is a fundamental concept of philosophical nonviolence. The goal of this type of nonviolence is not to defeat the enemy, but to win them over and create love and understanding between all.[7] It is this principle which is most closely associated with spiritual or religious justifications of nonviolence, the central tenets of which can be found in each of the major Abrahamic religious traditions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) as well as in the major Dharmic religious traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism). It is also found in many pagan religious traditions. Nonviolent movements, leaders, and advocates have at times referred to, drawn from and utilised many diverse religious basis for nonviolence within their respective struggles. Examples of nonviolence found in religion and spirituality include the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus urges his followers to “love thine enemy,” in the Taoist concept of wu-wei, or effortless action, in the philosophy of the martial art Aikido, in the Buddhist principle of metta, or loving-kindness towards all beings; and in the principle of ahimsa, or nonviolence toward any being, shared by Buddhism, Jainism and some forms of Hinduism. Additionally, focus on both nonviolence and forgiveness of sin can be found in the story of Abel in the Qur’an; Liberal movements within Islam have consequently used this story to promote Jewish ideals of nonviolence.

Respect or love for opponents also has a pragmatic justification, in that the technique of separating the deeds from the doers allows for the possibility of the doers changing their behaviour, and perhaps their beliefs. Martin Luther King said, “Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”


The fundamental concept of pragmatic nonviolence is to create a social dynamic or political movement that can effect social change without necessarily winning over those who wish to maintain the status quo.[7] In modern industrial democracies, nonviolence has been used extensively by political sectors without mainstream political power such as labor, peace, environment and women’s movements. Lesser known is the role that nonviolence has played and continues to play in undermining the power of repressive political regimes in the developing world and the former eastern bloc. Susan Ives emphasized this point with a quote from Walter Wink, “In 1989, thirteen nations comprising 1,695,000,000 people experienced nonviolent revolutions that succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations… If we add all the countries touched by major nonviolent actions in our century (the Philippines, South Africa… the independence movement in India…) the figure reaches 3,337,400,000, a staggering 65% of humanity! All this in the teeth of the assertion, endlessly repeated, that nonviolence doesn’t work in the ‘real’ world.”[8]

As a technique for social struggle, nonviolence has been described as “the politics of ordinary people”, reflecting its historically mass-based use by populations throughout the world and history. Struggles most often associated with nonviolence are the non co-operation campaign for Indian independence led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the struggle to attain civil rights for African Americans, led by Martin Luther King, and People Power in the Philippines.

Also of primary significance is the notion that just means are the most likely to lead to just ends. When Gandhi said that “the means may be likened to the seed, the end to a tree,” he expressed the philosophical kernel of what some refer to as prefigurative politics. Martin Luther King, a student of Gandhian non-violent resistance, concurred with this tenet of the method, concluding that “…nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.” Proponents of nonviolence reason that the actions taken in the present inevitably re-shape the social order in like form. They would argue, for instance, that it is fundamentally irrational to use violence to achieve a peaceful society. People have come to use nonviolent methods of struggle from a wide range of perspectives and traditions. A landless peasant in Brazil may nonviolently occupy a parcel of land for purely practical motivations. If they don’t, the family will starve. A Buddhist monk in Thailand may “ordain” trees in a threatened forest, drawing on the teachings of Buddha to resist its destruction. A waterside worker in England may go on strike in socialist and union political traditions. All the above are using nonviolent methods but from different standpoints. Likewise, secular political movements have utilised nonviolence, either as a tactical tool or as a strategic program on purely pragmatic and strategic levels, relying on its political effectiveness rather than a claim to any religious, moral, or ethical worthiness.

Gandhi used the weapon of non-violence against British Raj

Finally, the notion of Satya, or truth, is central to the Gandhian conception of nonviolence. Gandhi saw truth as something that is multifaceted and unable to be grasped in its entirety by any one individual. All carry pieces of the truth, he believed, but all need the pieces of others’ truths in order to pursue the greater truth. This led him to believe in the inherent worth of dialogue with opponents, in order to understand motivations. On a practical level, the willingness to listen to another’s point of view is largely dependent on reciprocity. In order to be heard by one’s opponents, one must also be prepared to listen.[citation needed]

Nonviolence has even obtained a level of institutional recognition and endorsement at the global level. On November 10, 1998, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the first decade of the 21st century and the third millennium, the years 2001 to 2010, as the International Decade for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.


The violence embedded in most of the world’s societies causes many to consider it an inherent part of human nature, but others (Riane Eisler, Walter Wink, Daniel Quinn) have suggested that violence – or at least the arsenal of violent strategies we take for granted – is a phenomenon of the last five to ten thousand years, and was not present in pre-domestication and early post-domestication human societies. This view shares several characteristics with the Victorian ideal of the Noble savage.

For many, practicing nonviolence goes deeper than withholding from violent behavior or words. It means caring in one’s heart for everyone, even those one strongly disagrees with, that is who are antithetical or opposed. For some, this principle entails a commitment to restorative or transformative justice and prison abolition. By extrapolation comes the necessity of caring for those who are not practicing nonviolence, who are violent. Of course no one can simply will themselves to have such care, and this is one of the great personal challenges posed by nonviolence – once one believes in nonviolence in theory, how can the person live it?

Animal rights

Nonviolence, for some, involves extending it to animals, usually through vegetarianism or veganism.


Martin Luther King

Nonviolent action generally comprises three categories: Acts of Protest and Persuasion, Noncooperation, and Nonviolent Intervention. [9]

Acts of protest

Nonviolent acts of protest and persuasion are symbolic actions performed by a group of people to show their support or disapproval of something. The goal of this kind of action is to bring public awareness to an issue, persuade or influence a particular group of people, or to facilitate future nonviolent action. The message can be directed toward the public, opponents, or people affected by the issue. Methods of protest and persuasion include speeches, public communications, petitions, symbolic acts, art, processions (marches), and other public assemblies.[10]


Noncooperation involves the purposeful withholding of cooperation or the unwillingness to initiate in cooperation with an opponent. The goal of noncooperation is to halt or hinder an industry, political system, or economic process. Methods of noncooperation include labor strikes, economic boycotts, civil disobedience, tax refusal, and general disobedience.[10]

Nonviolent intervention

Nonviolent intervention, compared to protest and noncooperation, is a more direct method of nonviolent action. Nonviolent intervention can be used defensively—for example to maintain an institution or independent initiative—or offensively- for example to drastically forward a nonviolent struggle into the opponent’s territory. Intervention is often more immediate and effective than the other two methods, but is also harder to maintain and more taxing to the participants involved. Methods of intervention includes occupations (sit-ins), blockades, fasting (hunger strikes), truck cavalcades, and dual sovereignty/parallel government. [10]

Tactics must be carefully chosen, taking into account political and cultural circumstances, and form part of a larger plan or strategy. Gene Sharp, a political scientist and nonviolence activist, has written extensively about methods of nonviolence including a list of 198 methods of nonviolent action.[11] In early Greece, AristophanesLysistrata gives the fictional example of women withholding sexual favors from their husbands until war was abandoned. The deterrence of violent attack and promotion peaceful resolution of conflicts, as a method of intervention across borders, has occurred throughout history with some failures (at least on the level of deterring attack) such as the Human Shields in Iraq because it failed to ascertain the value of the goal compared with the value of human life in its context of war; but also many successes, such as the work of the Guatemala Accompaniment Project[12]. Several non-governmental organizations, including Peace Brigades International and Christian Peacemaker Teams, are working in this area . Their primary tactics are unarmed accompaniment, human rights observation, and reporting.[13][14]

Einstein was a strong supporter of nonviolence

Another powerful tactic of nonviolent intervention invokes public scrutiny of the oppressors as a result of the resisters remaining nonviolent in the face of violent repression. If the military or police attempt to violently repress nonviolent resisters, the power to act shifts from the hands of the oppressors to those of the resisters. If the resisters are persistent, the military or police will be forced to accept the fact that they no longer have any power over the resisters. Often, the willingness of the resisters to suffer has a profound effect on the mind and emotions of the oppressor, leaving them unable to commit such a violent act again. [15][16].

There are also many other leaders and theorists of nonviolence who have thought deeply about the spiritual and practical aspects of nonviolence, including: Leo Tolstoy, Lech Wałęsa, Petra Kelly, Nhat Hanh, Dorothy Day, Ammon Hennacy, Albert Einstein, John Howard Yoder, Stanley Hauerwas, David McReynolds, Johan Galtung, Martin Luther King, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Daniel Berrigan, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Mario Rodríguez Cobos (pen name Silo) and César Chávez.

We will wear you down by our capacity to suffer.
— Martin Luther King, 1963[17]

Green politics

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Nonviolence has been a central concept in green political philosophy. It is included in the Global Greens Charter. Greens believe that society should reject the current patterns of violence and embrace nonviolence. Green Philosophy draws heavily on both Gandhi and the Quaker traditions, which advocate measures by which the escalation of violence can be avoided, while not cooperating with those who commit violence. These greens believe that the current patterns of violence are incompatible with a sustainable society because it uses up limited resources and many forms of violence, especially nuclear weapons, are damaging for the environment. Violence also diminishes one and the group.

Some green political parties, like the Dutch GroenLinks, evolved out of the cooperation of the peace movement with the environmental movement in their resistance to nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.

As Green Parties have moved from the fringes of society towards becoming more and more influential in government circles, this commitment to nonviolence has had to be more clearly defined. In many cases, this has meant that the party has had to articulate a position on non-violence that differentiates itself from classic pacifism. The leader of the German Greens, for example, was instrumental in the NATO intervention in Serbia, arguing that being in favor of nonviolence should never lead to passive acceptance of genocide. Similarly, Elizabeth May of the Green Party of Canada has stated that the Canadian intervention in Afghanistan is justified as a means of supporting women’s rights.

This movement by Green leadership has caused some internal dissension, as the traditional pacifist position is that there is no justification ever for committing violence.


Certain individuals (Barbara Deming, Danilo Dolci, Devere Allen etc.) and party groups (eg. Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Democratic Socialists of America, Socialist Party USA, Socialist Resistance or War Resisters League) have advocated nonviolent revolution as an alternative to violence as well as elitist reformism. This perspective is usually connected to militant anti-capitalism.

Many leftist and socialist movements have hoped to mount a “peaceful revolution” by organizing enough strikers to completely paralyze it. With the state and corporate apparatus thus crippled, the workers would be able to re-organize society along radically different lines.[citation needed] Some have argued that a relatively nonviolent revolution would require fraternisation with military forces.[18]


Leon Trotsky, Frantz Fanon, Reinhold Niebuhr, Subhash Chandra Bose, George Orwell, Ward Churchill[19] and Malcolm X were fervent critics of nonviolence, arguing variously that nonviolence and pacifism are an attempt to impose the morals of the bourgeoisie upon the proletariat, that violence is a necessary accompaniment to revolutionary change, or that the right to self-defense is fundamental.

Malcolm X criticised nonviolence

In the midst of violent repression of radical African Americans in the United States during the 1960s, Black Panther member George Jackson said of the nonviolent tactics of Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“The concept of nonviolence is a false ideal. It presupposes the existence of compassion and a sense of justice on the part of one’s adversary. When this adversary has everything to lose and nothing to gain by exercising justice and compassion, his reaction can only be negative.”[20][21]

Malcolm X also clashed with civil rights leaders over the issue of nonviolence, arguing that violence should not be ruled out where no option remained:

“I believe it’s a crime for anyone being brutalized to continue to accept that brutality without doing something to defend himself.”[22]

Lance Hill criticizes nonviolence as a failed strategy and argues that black armed self-defense and civil violence motivated civil rights reforms more than peaceful appeals to morality and reason (see Lance Hill’s “Deacons for Defense”)[23].

In his book How Nonviolence Protects the State, anarchist Peter Gelderloos criticizes nonviolence as being ineffective, racist, statist, patriarchal, tactically and strategical inferior to militant activism, and deluded.[24] Gelderloos claims that traditional histories whitewash the impact of nonviolence, ignoring the involvement of militants in such movements as the Indian independence movement and the Civil Rights movement and falsely showing Gandhi and King as being their respective movements’ most successful activists.[25] He further argues that nonviolence is generally advocated by privileged white people who expect “oppressed people, many of whom are people of color, to suffer patiently under an inconceivably greater violence, until such time as the Great White Father is swayed by the movement’s demands or the pacifists achieve that legendary ‘critical mass.'”[26]

The efficacy of nonviolence was also challenged by some anti-capitalist protesters advocating a “diversity of tactics” during street demonstrations across Europe and the US following the anti-World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, Washington in 1999. American feminist writer D. A. Clarke, in her essay “A Woman With A Sword,” suggests that for nonviolence to be effective, it must be “practiced by those who could easily resort to force if they chose.” This argument reasons that nonviolent tactics will be of little or no use to groups that are traditionally considered incapable of violence, since nonviolence will be in keeping with people’s expectations for them and thus go unnoticed. Such is the principle of dunamis (from the Greek: δύνάμις or, restrained power).

Niebuhr’s criticism of nonviolence, expressed most clearly in Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932) is based on his view of human nature as innately selfish, an updated version of the Christian doctrine of original sin. Advocates of nonviolence generally do not accept the doctrine of original sin (though Martin Luther King, Jr., did accept a modified version of Niebuhr’s teachings on the subject).[citation needed]

Property damage

One minor, but commonly debated issue is whether the destruction of or damage to non-living objects, as opposed to people is actual “violence”. In much nonviolence literature, including Sharp, various forms of sabotage and damage to property are included within the scope of nonviolent action, while other authors consider destruction or destructive acts of any kind as potentially or actually a form of violence in that it might generate fear or hardship upon the owner or person dependent on that object.

Other authors or activists argue that property destruction can be strategically ineffective if the act provides a pretext for further repression or reinforces state power. Lakey, for instance, argues that the burning of cars during the Paris uprising of 1968 only served to undermine the growing working and middle-class support for the uprising and undermined its political potential.[citation needed]

Sabotage of machinery used in war, either during its production or after, complicates the issue further. Is saving a life by destroying property that will later be used for violence a violent act, or is passively allowing weapons to be used later the violent act (i.e. non-violence that leads to violence)? At a less abstract level, if someone is being beaten with a stick, it is usually not considered an act of violence to take the stick away, but if the stick falls to the ground and you break it, is that still considered a violent action?

In all of these debates it is relevant to consider the question of whether the perpetrator or victim of violence determines what is “violent”. Also, relative power of parties and the type of “weapon” being applied is relevant to the issue. Palestinian children throwing rocks at Israeli tanks as an example cited. Force itself here becomes a relative measure of power and petty violence by the disenfranchised may be violence, but ultimately is not the same as overarching “power” to destroy.

Differing views

The term nonviolence is sometimes used to define different sets of limitations or features, as different actions are considered violent or not violent. In a Wikipedia article on the 2008 Tibetan unrest, a quotation from Dawa Tsering, an Additional Secretary in the Department of Information and International Relations of the Tibetan government-in-exile claims that actions of beating people and setting fire to a building with people holed up inside who end up being burnt to death are both scenarios of nonviolence; though, some Western definitions would clearly clash with their definition of nonviolence which appears to include everything but intentional causing of fatal harm. In an interview with Radio France International Tsering said[27]:

First of all, I must make it clear that the Tibetan (rioters) has been non-violent throughout (the incident). …the Tibetans rioters were beating Han Chinese, but only beating took place. After the beating the Han Chinese were free to flee. Therefore [there were] only beating, no life was harmed. Those who were killed were all results of accidents. …the Han Chinese all went into hiding upstairs. When the Tibetan [rioters] set fire to the buildings, the Han Chinese remained in hiding instead of escaping, the result is that these Han Chinese were all accidentally burnt to death. Those who set and spread the fire, on the other hand, had no idea whatsoever that there were Han Chinese hiding upstairs. Therefore not only were Han Chinese burnt to death, some Tibetans were burnt to death too. Therefore all these incidents were accidents, not murder.


See also


A Política Sem Legendas

A Política Sem Legendas

[Foto: ministro Marcos Vinicius Pinta Gama]

O ministro Marcos Vinicius Pinta Gama, assessor especial da Secretaria Geral do Ministério das Relações Exteriores (MRE), disse que temas polêmicos, como orientação sexual, a questão palestina, difamação de religiões e tráfico transatlântico de escravos ficarão de fora da agenda da Conferência de Genebra, que revisará a Conferência de Durban contra o Racismo, a Xenofobia e a Intolerância, realizada em 2001. O ministro participou de reunião da Comissão de Direitos Humanos e Legislação Participativa (CDH), nesta quarta-feira (1º), representando o ministro das relações exteriores, Celso Amorim.

Pinto Gama salientou que farão parte da agenda da Conferência temas como a discriminação contra afrodescendentes, indígenas e mulheres, a incompatibilidade entre racismo e democracia e a adoção de ações afirmativas.

– A Conferência não servirá de revisão dos pontos acordados em Durban. Não haverá revisão do racismo – esclareceu o ministro, a respeito do encontro de Genebra, que acontece entre os dias 20 e 24 de abril. Ele assinalou que o Itamaraty pretende levar à Conferência de Genebra uma delegação capaz de articular posições e obter “consensos importantes”.

Marcos Vinicius destacou o papel desempenhado pelo Brasil em Durban ao atuar como “ponte” na busca do entendimento entre posições extremadas de grupos regionais. Segundo ele, a conferência de Durban, concretizada dois dias depois dos atentados de 11 de setembro, foi marcada “paradoxalmente” pela intolerância,

O ministro do MRE informou ainda não haver definição sobre a presidência da Conferência em Genebra. Disse que o Brasil foi um dos poucos países a realizar conferência regional para debater Durban, o que ocorreu em junho de 2008 com a Conferência Regional para América Latina e Caribe – Preparatória para a Conferência de Revisão de Durban.

Também participou da audiência o ministro Edson Santos, da Secretaria Especial de Políticas de Promoção da Igualdade Racial, que assinalou a importância da presença de países europeus e dos Estados Unidos para garantir o sucesso da Conferência.

Edson Santos avaliou que Genebra será diferente de Durban quanto à participação da sociedade civil brasileira e à composição da delegação brasileira, que em Durban foi de 168 delegados. Segundo informou Marcos Vinicius Pinta Gama, 600 brasileiros foram à África do Sul manifestar-se contrários ao racismo e à xenofobia.

– Estamos juntos com o Ministério das Relações Exteriores discutindo formas de abrigar maior número de representantes da sociedade civil para compor a delegação. Em termos numéricos, será bem distante do que foi na África do Sul – avaliou.

Edson Santos reiterou a importância do Brasil no papel de mediador e o empenho brasileiro na preparação da Conferência, ao trazer representantes de países latino-americanos e caribenhos a Brasília em 2008.

– O Brasil tem importância fundamental na costura, na mediação, nas pontes fundamentais para Durban chegar ao entendimento na promoção da igualdade racial. A sociedade civil papel fundamental em torno de um consenso na agenda de Durban – propôs o ministro.

A senadora Fátima Cleide (PT-RO), autora do requerimento para realização da audiência, lamentou a ausência dos representantes da sociedade civil no debate e avaliou como retrocesso o Brasil não defender, em Genebra, as políticas públicas adotadas no país contra a intolerância.

O presidente da comissão, senador Cristovam Buarque (PDT-DF), elogiou o governo brasileiro pela “firme disposição” em garantir respeito aos direitos humanos dos diversos grupos que costumam ser discriminados no Brasil e no mundo.

Ao final do encontro, a senadora Fátima Cleide sugeriu que, após a Conferência de Genebra, seja realizada nova audiência pública para que os representantes do governo apresentem os resultados obtidos em seu documento final.

Cristina Vidigal / Agência Senado
Agência Senado

Encontro espera mais de 3,7 mil participantes; Alta Comissária para Direitos Humanos disse que conclusões da reunião vão influenciar os esforços globais para combater o flagelo.

Mais de 3 mil pessoas participam 

Mais de 3 mil pessoas participam


Mônica Villela Grayley, da Rádio ONU em Nova Iorque*.

Começa nesta seguda-feira, em Genebra, na Suíça, a Conferência de Revisão de Durban sobre Racismo, Xenofobia e outras formas de Intolerância.

O encontro espera receber mais de 3,7 mil participantes e vários chefes de Estado e governo incluindo o presidente do Irão, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Falando numa conferência de imprensa na sexta-feira, a Alta Comissária para Direitos Humanos, Navi Pillay, pediu a todos os países para trabalharem no sentido de garantirem o êxito do evento. Ela disse que as conclusões do encontro irão influenciar os esforços para combater o racismo no mundo.

A reunião irá analisar a implementação da Declaração e Plano de Ação de combate ao racismo e xenofobia aprovado na primeira Conferência de Durban, realizada em 2001 na África do Sul.

O Secretário-Geral da ONU, Ban Ki-moon, deve discursar na abertura do evento.

Um dos destaques do encontro é a proposta de desagregar dados por raça e etnia nos censos nacionais.


A coordenadora do Fundo de Desenvolvimento da ONU para a Mulher, Unifem, no Brasil, Maria Inês Barbosa, que também participa no evento, disse à Rádio ONU que políticas públicas inclusivas não só ajudam a combater o racismo como também gerar mais inclusão para indígenas e negros na sociedade.

“Os indicadores nos permitem medir as desigualdades imputadas pelo racismo; portanto para os Estados poderem cumprir com medidas de reparação, discriminação e afirmação positiva, a melhor forma de fazê-lo é medir. Por isso, é importante que os censos incluam as dimensões de raça, cor e etnia”, disse.

A conferència decorrerá de de 20 a 24 de Abril no Palácio das Nações, a sede da ONU, em Genebra.

*Apresentação: Carlos Araújo, Rádio ONU, Nova Iorque.