Extracts from “Convivialist Manifesto. A declaration of interdependence”

Convivialism is the term used to describe all those elements in existing systems of belief, secular or religious, that help us identify principles for enabling human beings simultaneously to compete and cooperate with one another, with a shared concern to safeguard the world and in the full knowledge that we form part of that world and that its natural resources are finite. 

Convivialism is not a new doctrine, another addition to the list of doctrines, that claims to invalidate or move radically beyond these. It is the process of mutual questioning that arises between these doctrines under the pressure of looming disaster. It aims to preserve what is most valuable from each of the doctrines we have inherited.

And what is it that is most valuable? How should we go about defining it? There is not, and cannot be – indeed should not be – a single, unequivocal answer to this question. It is up to each of us to decide what we think. Having said that – caught as we are between potential disaster and promising future, and hoping to find elements we can universalize, or pluriversalize – we do have one criterion available to us when it comes to deciding what we should retain from each doctrine. We must, without question, retain: anything that helps us understand how to manage conflict in a way that ensures it does not degenerate into violence; anything that helps us cooperate within the bounds imposed on us by limited resources; and anything which acknowledges the credibility of answers which other doctrines propose to this same question and thus opens us up to dialogue and challenge.

These considerations are sufficient to enable us to plot the overall lines of a universalizable set of beliefs suited to the urgent demands of the day and global in scale – although concrete application of it will necessarily be local and dependent on circumstance; and although there will clearly be as many, perhaps conflicting, permutations of convivialism as there are of Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, liberalism, socialism, communism, etc.- not least because convivialism in no way invalidates these.

So... is this getting serious?

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