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International Socialist Principles II Cheat Sheet by

Freedom, Justice & Solidarity
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II. Principles - Freedom, Justice and Solidarity

12. Democratic socialism is an intern­ational movement for freedom, social justice and solida­rity. Its goal is to achieve a peaceful world where these basic values can be enhanced and where each individual can live a meaningful life with the full develo­pment of his or her person­ality and talents and with the guarantee of human and civil rights in a democratic framework of society.

13. Freedom is the product of both individual and cooper­ative efforts - the two aspects are parts of a single process. Each person has the right to be free of political coercion and also to the greatest chance to act in pursuit of individual goals and to fulfil personal potential. But that is only possible if humanity as a whole succeeds in its long-s­tanding struggle to master its history and to ensure that no person, class, sex, religion or race becomes the servant of another.

14. Justice and Equality. Justice means the end of all discri­min­ation against indivi­duals, and the equality of rights and opport­uni­ties. It demands compen­sation for physical, mental and social inequa­lities, and freedom from dependence on either the owners of the means of production or the holders of political power.

Equality is the expression of the equal value of all human beings and the precon­dition for the free develo­pment of the human person­ality. Basic economic, social and cultural equality is essential for individual diversity and social progress.

Freedom and equality are not contra­dic­tory. Equality is the condition for the develo­pment of individual person­ality. Equality and personal freedom are indivi­sible.

15. Solidarity is all-en­com­passing and global. It is the practical expression of common humanity and of the sense of compassion with the victims of injustice. Solidarity is rightly stressed and celebrated by all major humanist tradit­ions. In the present era of unprec­edented interd­epe­ndence between indivi­duals and nations, solidarity gains an enhanced signif­icance since it is imperative for human survival.

16. Democratic socialists attach equal importance to these fundam­ental princi­ples. They are interd­epe­ndent. Each is a prereq­uisite of the other. As opposed to this position, Liberals and Conser­vatives have placed the main emphasis on individual liberty at the expense of justice and solidarity while Communists have claimed to achieve equality and solida­rity, but at the expense of freedom.

Democracy and Human Rights

17. The idea of democracy is based on the principles of freedom and equality. Therefore, equal rights for men and women - not only in theory, but also in practice, at work, in the family and in all areas of social life - are part of the socialist concept of society.

18. Democratic socialists strive to achieve equal rights for all races, ethnic groups, nations and denomi­nat­ions. These rights are seriously in question in many regions of the world today.

19. Forms of democracy of course may vary. However, it is only possible to speak of democracy if people have a free choice between various political altern­atives in the framework of free elections; if there is a possib­ility for a change of government by peaceful means based on the free will of the people; if individual and minority rights are guaran­teed; and, if there is an indepe­ndent judicial system based on the rule of law impart­ially applied to all citizens. Political democracy is an indisp­ensable element of a socialist society. Democratic socialism is a continuing process of social and economic democr­ati­sation and of increasing social justice.

20. Individual rights are fundam­ental to the values of socialism. Democracy and human rights are also the substance of popular power, and the indisp­ensable mechanism whereby people can control the economic structures which have so long dominated them. Without democracy, social policies cannot disguise the dictat­orial character of a govern­ment.

21. There can be no doubt that different cultures will develop their own instit­utional forms of democracy. But whatever form democracy assumes - nationally or intern­ati­onally - it must provide full rights for indivi­duals and for organised minority opinions. For social­ists, democracy is of its very nature pluralist, and this pluralism provides the best guarantee of its vitality and creati­vity.

22. Freedom from arbitrary and dictat­orial government is essential. It consti­tutes the precon­dition whereby peoples and societies can create a new and better world of peace and intern­ational cooper­ation - a world in which political, economic and social destinies will be democr­ati­cally determ­ined.

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