New challenges

New challenges of the left

1. For a model of sustainable development. To advance on the path of sustainable development other energy and transport policies should be applied.  Regarding the politics of transport, public transport must prevail for the both passengers and freight. With regard to freight, Aralar will impulse rail and sea transport.

Aralar energy policy will have three pillars: sustainable use of energy, promotion of sustainable energy and diversification of energy sources, and their adaptation to local needs. Moreover, we do not believe that nuclear fission is a suitable alternative to the power supply, because it causes serious environmental problems such as waste disposal.

We are committed to the struggle for sustainable human development and this defence leads us directly to criticism of western consumerism.

All this shows us the importance and the different dimensions that consumption has in the current society, turning into one of the main sources of alienation of the people. But at the same time, we have to take consciousness of the potential power that possess in what consumers that are, in the measure in that a responsible consumption and critic can turn into a powerful weapon to advance in the social transformation.

For all the above reasons, and because a sustainable development model requires it, we demand a profound cultural change, to recover 'the notion of enough', and the transformation of the capitalist cultural maximum which states that 'more is better', by another culture that is based on the notion of  'I have enough with this'.

2. About women and men. The idea that gender equality is a fact is a widespread idea. That could be a Trojan horse for current feminism, because that idea has resulted in the weakening of the tension of the movement. The main goal of the feminist struggle is the empowerment of women. We call for the participation of women in all spheres of society on an equal basis, and the right of all women to develop their own lives. In short, women must be masters of their own lives.

Thus, it is also necessary to rethink masculinity, and challenge many perceptions, values ​and attitudes. New ways of being men should be develop.

3. Job crises; the end of the society of the work. The work, or rather, the employment (paid work), has been, and still it is, the core of the organization of modern society. Work has been a way for material support, through money income. Work has been one of the most important ways of social integration, since, besides income, it has integrated the citizen in a network of social relations. We have acquired our social status through work. It also guarantees the social system (unemployment, retirement, health...). And finally, work also has emerged as one of the core aspects of personal identity. All this has been called the "the society of work".

The left and the historical approach of unionism have had much to do in this exaltation of the culture and society of work, since the left-classical perspective has also been the historic carrier of the labour ideology.

Currently we live to the end of the society of work. Work has largely lost personal and social centrality that it had in the industrial society. Unemployment and job insecurity are event that are changing the face of the world of work.

Employment is ill and requires new measures to be cured. Part of the left continues with old recipes, putting in the core of the solution, almost exclusively, expansionary economic policies based on economic growth. But it is increasingly clear that economic growth does not lead to job creation in the same measure, and therefore, economic growth by itself will not solve the problem of employment.

Basic income can be an important new tool in the search of solutions to the employment problem, since it breaks with the very foundation of the society of work: the close link between employment and civil rights. In other words, everyone should be guaranteed access to a minimum income, simply by being a member of society, thereby to have the ability to meet his or her basic material needs. Every society should ensure the material and dignified life for all its citizens.

4. About North and South. If we stand in the global perspective (and today's world requires it), class conflict that occurs within each nation and state is not the central tension of capitalist civilization. Currently the key lies in the conflict between nations, regions and even continents. The main antagonism of current times happens in a global dimension, and surely, this antagonism will be, in its various forms, the social conflict witch will mark the twenty-first century.

The human tragedy occurring in the South, whose dimensions we just fail to see clearly, has clear political roots. The ultra-liberal political management of the world lies in the heart of that situation. The left of 21st century has to place that human tragedy in the forefront of political and ethical responsibilities. We are conscious of the direct implications that a just solution to this problem would have on our daily life, and thus, corresponds to us realise efforts for developing some sustainable lifestyles involving ourselves collectively and individually in this matter.

5. The Basque society of the future: a multicultural society. The cultural diversity will be one of the main characteristics of the western society of the future, also of the Basque society.

The phenomenon of immigration has a relatively important dimension in specific areas of the Basque society. That has implications in many areas of social life: economical, political, sociological, cultural, educational, health policies, social welfare, housing policies, language planning, ... This can create tensions in the short term. So, the political and social space of the left must be vigilant in defending the rights of immigrants, claiming policies for social welfare, and activating expressions of solidarity.

Belonging to a minorized culture like Basque makes us especially sensitive to the difficulties experienced by the migrants and, in its obstacles and difficulties of trying to live normally their difference. Our starting point is respect to all cultural identities and to the right to development of all. As a logical consequence, our north is the defence of Basque and Basque identity, in coexistence with other ways of life, with other languages and identities.

6. Pluralism, individualism and society. At present, individuals of modern societies do not share a unique and exclusive way to see the world. The advent of the modern era has been the end of the monopoly of the meaning of life and truth. In such societies, there are multiple instances that offer us a diversity of religious believe, lifestyles, aesthetic and ethical positions, possible articulations of identity,  ... The multiple "us" living in society are articulated on the basis of different normative, political, social and identity criteria.

Basque society is a modern society, and therefore, it is a plural society in its very essence. But besides of being a modern society, Basque society, unlike many other modern societies, is crossed by a lack of consensus with regard to basic and fundamental aspects of it: the national and cultural identity of its people. Aralar consider important to realize that plurality and express deep respect and approval for all the feelings of the people who conform Basque society.

In modern societies individuals have lifestyles increasingly individualized. The idea that each of us can and must build a project exclusively individual has achieved an unusual social strength, as if life was built from a unique process of autogenesis, forgetting the dense interdependencies that are inevitably part of who we are. This idea is spreading as a cultural axiom.

The possibility of individual life project is one of the most important achievements of modern societies, and yet at the same time, has its costs: one of them is the difficulty of living with a purpose. In our advanced societies sense elements are increasingly constructed in the private sphere of life (family, relationship, friendship...), senses that are generally weak and precarious.

With respect to our society, Aralar wish a balanced reconstruction of community spaces. The defence of the restructuring of the agora must be from deep appreciation to core values such as individuality and individual responsibility.

7. The right to die with dignity. Aralar claims the right to die with dignity. If a person in that condition freely and consciously choose to end his life, we claim that is entitled to it. In the case of the terminally ill are incapable of consciousness to make a decision, the family has the right to make the decision to discontinue therapies that artificially lengthen life.