STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

This post presents the Statement of principles of the ideology of Revolutionary Humanism, and is meant to serve as a set of guidelines for the International Revolutionary Humanist Movement (IRHM). 


For purposes of this Statement of Principles, we have “appropriated” Marxist terminology to define revolutionary humanist principles. Some terms we have appropriated include, and are not limited to, ‘World Revolution’, and ‘Permanent Revolution’, and ‘Vanguard.’


(Note: The Principles are part of Revolutionary Humanism, and part of the IRHM, similar to how a skeleton is part of the human body; the latter is/are more than the structure of the former, but without the former, the latter is/are a dysfunctional wreck.)


There are sixteen Principles, and the first three are the most important. Anyone who disagrees with any one of the three core Principles is ineligible to join the IRHM.




Principle 1: 

Classical Liberalism (Core Principle)


Classical Liberalism is a philosophy that developed in Europe in the 1700s as a result of theocratic and aristocratic oppression of the masses. The following are its core tenets:


  1. Freedom of speech and expression (the only exception being direct calls to, or threats of, violence),
  2. Freedom of religion: the freedom to practice any religion or no religion, without persecution,
  3. Freedom of the press (freedom from government control or repression),
  4. Freedom of peaceful assembly,
  5. Freedom of markets, and
  6. Limited government; the role of government should be minimal, and limited to as few functions as possible.



Principle 2: 

Secularism (Core Principle)


The conventional definition of secularism may be phrased as the removal of religious influence from government, politics, and the legal system. Though this may seem to be an exhaustive definition, it is not. In the doctrine of revolutionary humanism, secularism is a state of active non-imposition of an individual's religious or nonreligious views on any other individual. The revolutionary humanist's secularism can be expressed as follows:


"Unto you your religion, or lack of one, and unto me my religion, or lack of one. As long as you live and let live, I will do the same."



Principle 3: 

Humanism (Core Principle)


Humanism has been defined, by the International Humanist and Ethical Union, as a democratic and ethical life stance that affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives.   A more detailed definition can be found on the website of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, specifically, in the Amsterdam Declaration of 2002.   


The goal of humanism is the maximizing of human happiness and minimizing of human suffering, irrespective of the sex, age, race, socio-economic status, religion, or nationality of any given human being. Any government policy, any economic system, any way of life that reduces human happiness is to be rejected in favour of one that leads to a relative increase in human happiness.   



Principle 4: 

Anti-Totalitarianism


Totalitarianism can be defined as unlimited state authority, regulation and control over the public and private life of the individual.


Revolutionary humanism is opposed to any and all totalitarianism, for the following three reasons:


  1. It seeks to regulate and control all speech and expression, it seeks to regulate and control all forms of media, as well as the public and private lives of those living under its aegis. As all this is covered by the definition of totalitarianism, it is in conflict with the first Core Principle;
  2. In its goal of absolute control over the lives of others, it is guaranteed to control what religious beliefs, or the lack thereof, that the masses are and are not allowed to hold, which brings it into conflict with the second Core Principle, and
  3. It has been proven to be a form of government – and a way of life – that does not increase human happiness, which brings it into conflict with the third Core Principle.



Principle 5: 

Anti-Imperialism


Imperialism can be defined as a policy of extending one country's rule over other countries, in the form of military, political and/or financial aggression. 


Revolutionary humanism is opposed to imperialism for the following reasons:


  1. It violates the principle of classical liberalism by enforcing authoritarian, almost totalitarian control over the weaker countries, thus going against the limited government tenet of classical liberalism. Imperial nations also tend to act as market monopolists in whichever industry they choose to exploit, thus going against the free market tenet of classical liberalism. Also,
  2. It violates the principle of humanism by using military force, economic attacks, or political intimidation in order to achieve its subjugation, none of which increases the happiness of the human beings living in the weaker countries, and almost all of which increase their suffering.



Principle 6: 

Anti-Communism


Communism refers to a form of government in which the State exercises iron-fisted control over all means – public and private – of economic production. This is one of three central features of communism. The other two central features of communism are as follows:


  • The forcible suppression of the practice of religion, and
  • The collectivization and collective punishment of entire communities on the basis of socio-economic status i.e. the repression of those considered to be the bourgeoisie.


Revolutionary humanism is opposed to communism, for the following reasons:


  1. It violates classical liberalism. In a communist state, the state controls all means of production. This violates the ‘freedom of markets’ tenet of classical liberalism. It also violates the ‘limited government’ tenet of classical liberalism, by giving government the power to produce anything and everything. In a classically liberal state, the government controls as few of the means of production as possible. This is not the case under a communist regime.
  2. It violates secularism. Communist states attempt, actively, to coercively and violently deprive the masses from practicing any religion of their choice, which happens to be a central feature of communism; and
  3. It violates humanism. Communist states actively discriminate against the rich, the landowners, the business tycoons – anyone who could be perceived as an oppressor of the proletariat, by virtue of their socio-economic status. Totalitarian regimes – and communist regimes tend to be totalitarian – generally do not discriminate between wealthy individuals who have oppressed the poor and wealthy individuals who have not, because they tend to see the latter as potential oppressors. This is antithetical to any standard of humanist morality.



Principle 7: 

World Revolution [Humanist]


World Revolution was originally a Marxist concept elaborated on by Leon Trotsky that referred to a worldwide overthrow of capitalist regimes and their replacement with communist regimes. In revolutionary humanist theory, World Revolution refers to a worldwide overthrow of anti-humanist regimes and their replacement with humanist regimes. Revolutionary humanism defines anti-humanist regimes as regimes that are totalitarian, communist, fascist, theocratic, neoliberal, or nationalist.


World Revolution [Humanist] advocates violent and nonviolent tactics to achieve this end, as long as both kinds of tactics are balanced, measured and targeted.



Principle 8: 

Anti-Pacifism


Pacifism can be defined as dogmatic opposition to war and violence, under any circumstances, including self-defense.


Revolutionary humanism is opposed to pacifism, for the following reasons:


  1. It violates classical liberalism, by advocating a refusal, under any circumstances, to physically fight fascist and communists who seek, by their own admission, to rip away individual freedom,
  2. It violates secularism, by advocating a refusal, under any circumstances, to physically fight theocrats even when they wish to destroy secularism, and
  3. It violates humanism, by advocating a refusal, under any circumstances, to physically fight to reduce human suffering i.e. defensive wars, hostage situations etc.



Principle 9: Rationalism


Rationalism can be defined as a principle by which reason is considered to be the ideal basis for beliefs and opinions about the nature of reality, rather than supernatural, non-scientific, and/or irrational explanations. 


Rationalism, in terms of revolutionary humanist ideology, is to be exercised in accordance with the Core Principles. Under no circumstances, for example, will the IRHM engage in religious proselytization.



Principle 10: Anti-Patriotism


Patriotism can be narrowly defined as an emotional attachment to one’s country of birth or residence. However, for the purposes of this Statement, a broader definition of patriotism is in order. Patriotism can also be defined as an emotional attachment to, and perceived superiority of, the ethnic, cultural, religious, political, social and/or historical aspects of the country of an individual’s birth or residence.


Revolutionary humanism is opposed to patriotism for the following reasons:


  1. It is extremely likely to violate classical liberalism by providing justification for censorship and granting the government totalitarian powers, in the name of national pride,
  2. It is likely to violate secularism by engaging in overt or tacit support for public implementation of what the ruling patriots consider the national religion, and
  3. It violates humanism by being both the primary motivator and primary justification for internecine wars between, and within, nations. In others words, it is a causal factor – and a catalyst – in dramatic increases in human suffering.



Principle 11: Anti-Anarchism


Anarchism can be defined as a principle that advocates the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion.


Revolutionary humanism is opposed to anarchism, because in an anarchic society, there is, functionally, no right to (or freedom of) anything, because there is no binding authority to enforce one’s rights or freedoms. In an anarchic society, one has no right to life, liberty, dignity, or property, and no freedoms whatsoever; any rights and freedoms available in an anarchic society are taken by force.


Government, for all its tendencies towards barbarism, inefficiency and repression, is a force for order. Anarchism, for all the romanticizing of freedom in which it engages, is a force for, at best, disorder.



Principle 12: Anti-Neoliberalism


Neoliberalism is a philosophy that advocates for transferring economic control from government i.e. the public sector to the private sector, aggressive privatization and deregulation of industry, and laissez-faire capitalism free from government oversight.  


Revolutionary humanism is opposed to neoliberalism for the following reasons:


  1. It is at grave risk of violating classical liberalism. Corporations, being businesses, tend to seek to maximize profit by any means necessary. This often involves lobbying governments to sideline competition for the purposes of establishing a corporation as a monopoly. This goes against the ‘freedom of markets’ tenet of classical liberalism. Also, for a corporation to sustain its dominance in an industry, it must engage in strengthening favourable regimes through funding elections and propaganda, with the intention of further sidelining competition by influencing legislation. This is likely to involve government discrimination against undesired businesses and in favour of desired businesses, which goes against the ‘limited government’ tenet of classical liberalism, and
  2. It violates humanism, because the deregulation and privatization of industry, especially vital industries such as medical care and food production, leads to the exploitation of hunger and sickness for profit. This does enormous damage to human happiness.



Principle 13: Intellectual Vanguardism


Intellectual Vanguardism is a principle that calls for the protection of democracy from the capricious masses, who can easily be swayed by a populist. It advocates the institution of electoral commissions to screen prospective candidates for elections, and the weeding out of candidates whose rhetoric or policy prescriptions violate any of the Core Principles.


It also advocates the creation of associations of intellectuals, which are to serve as a regulatory force on democratic governments. The leadership of the electoral commissions and the intellectual associations are to be comprised of members of the IRHM.


These commissions and associations – as long as they conduct themselves in accordance with the Core Principles and international law – are to be shielded from dissolution or obstruction by the laws of individual countries.


The intellectual vanguards – which are the commissions and the associations – are to be instituted after revolutionary humanism has been consolidated in each country. 



Principle 14: Social Democracy (Humanist)


Social Democracy is a socio-economic system that advocates socialist interventions in a capitalist economy, with the aim of promoting social justice and the sustenance of the poor and the infirm i.e. the most vulnerable members of society.


In revolutionary humanist ideology, social democracy is an economic and political system which advocates free-market capitalism with an expansive welfare state. In the interest of maximizing individual freedom, income tax is to be abolished, and the loss in government income is to be compensated by increasing business and property taxes, and instituting inheritance taxes. This is to be done for the simple reason that government does not have a right to any part of the fruits of a private citizen’s labour, but businesses and real estate do not have the rights accorded to private citizens, and inherited assets are not the fruits of individual labour, and thus cannot be immune from government regulation in the same way.


Social democracy (Humanist) is to be instituted in each country immediately after revolutionary humanism has been consolidated. 



Principle 15: Decentralized Militarism


Decentralized militarism is a policy of shifting the balance of power with regard to military force between the state and the citizenry. The citizens of a country must have the right to own and bear arms, to provide significant resistance to military enforcement of government tyranny. The citizenry must be organized, trained, and ready to fight to protect their freedoms.



Principle 16: Permanent Revolution (Humanist)


Permanent revolution was a Marxist concept elaborated on by Leon Trotsky; its definition is so disparate from the revolutionary humanist definition of permanent revolution that it will not be specified in this Statement. 


In revolutionary humanist ideology, permanent revolution is a state of vigilance that is to be reached once the revolution has been consolidated around the world i.e. IRHM-approved politicians constitute democratically elected governments around the world. All anti-humanist elements, engaging in activities that transcend free expression and free assembly, must be exposed and stridently campaigned against, as they seek not to undermine the revolution, but to subvert and reverse the progress of the revolution. This is unacceptable in a post-revolutionary society. 


While the price of freedom may be the discomfort of eternal vigilance, the penalty for complacency may well be the horror of revolutionary failure.



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