Get it together!

The convivialist movement is holding a colloquium in Rennes on 26-27-28 October 2015. Practitioners, associations and intellectuals will testify to the convergence of the abundant approaches of the current transitions: new wealth indicators, local currencies, convivial food systems, carpooling, social and solidarity economy... What if convivialism became the watchword of a generation inclined to evacuate liberalism? Swapping freedom and performance for sharing and cooperation. Program.
Illustration: Chess players: a Jew and a Muslim in Spain, in 1282
« L’The urgency of the situation obliges us and our societies are looking for a strong unifying symbol". Alain Caillé is one of the driving forces behind the convivialist movement, born in June 2013. The outstanding sociologist, who has long been a radical critic of the dominant utilitarianism (he founded the "Sociologie hors norme" in 1981), is one of the driving forces behind the convivialist movement, born in June 2013. Anti-utilitarian movement in the social sciences (MAUSS), dreams of revealing a common mainspring of any commitment, that of conviviality. "Sports people tell us that our reality is not about champions, scandals or doping; the truth is that above all we like to get together and share".. Thus, Jean Philippe Acensi, Delegate General of the Agency for Education through Sport confirms that "Sport is what holds up in the cities when all else fails.". He has drafted a "charter of convivial sport" which gives concrete expression to the behaviour of a "good life together". What if he showed us an example? 

Alain Caillé, Professor Emeritus University of Paris Ouest, Director and Founder of Mauss


The convivialist movement brings together all those who, from near and far and for the past 30 to 40 years, have been experimenting with alternative paths to neo-liberal brutality. Those of the alternative movement (Attac), of the new wealth indicators (FAIR), of degrowth, of the world social forums, of political ecology, of the social and solidarity economy... A concentrate of energy on the agenda of the colloquium of 26-27-28 october held at the University of Rennes 2 under the title "Another world is being built". We will be able to listen to Patrick Viveret, Serge Latouche and Thomas Coutrot (Attac spokesman), Jean Baptiste de Foucauld (former Plan Commissioner, spokesman of the Civic Pact, President of Democracy and Spirituality), Gustave Massiah (initiator of the World Social Forums, engineer and economist, Attac vice president). Brazilians, Germans, Italians and Japanese will be present in Rennes to demonstrate the international dimension of conviviality.
The economist Marc Humbert (researcher at Rennes 2 and co-founder of Pékéa), who is at the origin of this dynamic, will no doubt evoke the meeting he initiated in Tokyo in 2011 on the theme "Is a convivial society possible? ». A question that highlighted the urgent need to "make it happen" beyond different visions. It was from this meeting that Alain Caillé mobilized some forty intellectuals who focused on the baptismal font on the User-Friendly Manifesto currently translated into fifteen languages, and signed by nearly 3000 people. 
In France, this Manifesto serves as a " rallying signal" for most of the citizen dynamics driven by the Civic Pact which brings together hundreds of associations, the Pierre Rahbi's Hummingbirdsthe Roosevelt Collectivethe Collective for a citizen transitionthe movement Alternatibaor that of the common goods, Dialogues in Humanity, or the States General of Citizen Power all these networks constituting a kind of "convivialist movement for a society of the good life or of the "buen vivir"dear to Alberto Acosta. 

An art of living together 

The convivialist signifier is not insignificant: "It is a tank to be filled" as Alain Caillé put it... The vital aspiration to conviviality was developed by Ivan Illich (see "La Convivialité" published in Le Seul in 1973) in a luminous way. The philosopher, a critic of industrial society, explains that at a certain point in the industrial development of a society, the institutions, set up by the latter, become ineffective. Thus, school standardizes, discriminates and excludes instead of educates, the car immobilizes instead of transports, medicine makes sick instead of cures, energy endangers instead of contributing to comfort. It is a question of getting out of the postures of slavery in order to conquer autonomy and achieve a certain "union-in-the-world" (see Erich Fromm who was one of the first thinkers of the 20th century to talk about the idea of an unconditional basic income).
To implement conviviality, four principles can serve as guidelines: The first is that of common humanity (there can be no humans outside it). The second insists on the value of the relationship (the common sociality) which is the main richness of our lives. The third principle poses the singularity of beings and the need to allow individuation, that is to say the elaboration of the self. Here responsibility takes precedence over the desire for power (hubris). The last principle poses the recognition of fruitful rivalries: oppositions are not an obstacle as long as they generate an acceptance of interdependence. A means to ward off violence and death impulses. Principles that contain the means to invent "levers to face political, economic, ecological and moral challenges", the convivialists stress. 

Taking care of each other and nature

These references that lead to openness to the other, to empathy but also to the demand for integrity and understanding become vital in a world where hybridization is fading away. They revive the cultural heritage of ConvivenciaThis was a period of Spanish history that lasted almost eight centuries, during which Jews, Christians and Muslims lived together. In a scholarly article, Florence Delay, an associate academician of Spanish, tells how Toledo made possible the translation of ancient Greek texts into Latin, Hebrew and Arabic, and the maturity between East and West. She recalls that her Academy has recognized the importance of including the word "convivance" in its dictionary. A powerful word for a Europe that has broken down (see the European Charter of Convivance). 
With this heritage, can the convivialist movement open a furrow, give us the common energy to regain control of a barbaric system whose damage is debasing us more and more each day? "Get back on your feet! »Alain Caillé echoed Stéphane Hessel. An injunction that he will take up again in a small tonic and mobilizing manifesto that he is preparing with Edgar Morin and Alexandre Jardin.
"Convivialism is a key idea without which there will be no politics of civilization. » 
Edgar Morin 
Dorothée BrowaeysGuest Editor UP' Magazine
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