The Euston Manifesto (2)
As I mentioned in a previous post, the importance of the Euston Manifesto for liberal thinkers cannot be underestimated. The authors attempt to reach out to people of all political persuasions and to recreate the political centre. Their commitment is to democracy and to democratic thinking.
"The present initiative has its roots in and has found a constituency through the Internet, especially the "blogosphere". It is our perception, however, that this constituency is under-represented elsewhere in much of the media and the other forums of contemporary political life." (From the preamble)
They provide a clear explanation of their orientation:
"We are committed to democratic norms, procedures and structures — freedom of opinion and assembly, free elections, the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers, and the separation of state and religion. We value the traditions and institutions, the legacy of good governance, of those countries in which liberal, pluralist democracies have taken hold."
One of the most important elements of their argument is the separation of church and state. This appears often and is a founding principle for their manifesto. The fact that the manifesto reaches out to people of all political persuasions is very important. The time has come to carefully rethink how people who support the principles of enlightenment thinking can take part in national and international debates about the many challenges which face us from the deterioration of the environment to unstable governments.
The key to solving some of these issues is the learning process. Ironically, although there is some mention of the educational system in the manifesto, not enough is said and more stress needs to be placed on how education can play a positive role in developing world views that are connected to optimistic and utopian social and community models.