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martedì 26 Gennaio 2021

Long-form Moondo: strengthening democracy, starting from culture

Moondo: strengthening democracy, starting from culture

Autore del contenuto

Read the italian version: “Moondo: rinsaldare la democrazia, partendo dalla cultura

Perhaps we have not noticed it, or worse, we pretend and adapt ourselves thinking we can survive anyway, but the fact is that we have achieved such a point that it is no longer possible not to realize that civil and cultural degradation has come to unimaginable levels only a few years ago.

Even the most absent-minded observers sound a warning of danger to democracy. It was not a hurricane that demolished our certainties, but a drop that dug the stone of rational tradition and the forms that had the emotions in a civilization, the European one, that from the Greek Roman genesis had been able to build humanism, the Renaissance, the bourgeois revolution, the nation states, the right to regulate every absolute power. Even the horrible dictatorships that oppressed Europe could not extinguish the desire to regain freedom and restore the values of equality and solidarity in an even more advanced form than before. No one, before social network capitalism, had ever imagined that that drop could dig into minds to build with the bricks of mediocrity an environment capable of erasing, little by little, our founding values. Even those who at the beginning had twisted their noses by treating the phenomenon with sufficiency, and even with a bit of arrogance are sniffing out the danger. The drop risks producing the same effects as dictatorships, but supported by a people happy with their own slavery. The old industrial capitalism has given way to finance, money generates money and becomes purpose; not instrument, dream, scope, it becomes aspiration of few and frustration of many. On the net even the poorest can live as rich people by proxy, just follow the so called influencers, simulacra of a virtual reality for us and the reality for them. Idols, in the sense in which Plato defined deception; many of our young people have appropriated those lives in a process of reification of their own. Democracy is confused with the majority opinion in all fields and not as the activity best done for the benefit of all.

The crisis is first of all cultural and consequently, the forms of artistic representation are the first to suffer becoming only “what the public wants”, we have discussed it many times on these pages. No attempts to look for emotions, no endeavor to motivations, no attention to the growth of diffused knowledge, not even to the message to leave, to look for consensus, immediate, even if artificial, and, if this comes from the low quality of the products, it does not matter, that is okay too. This is why is built a cage of pure fun where to live, time is spent watching a screen without attention to the bars of the cage. Educational and training institutions are transformed into entertainment, perhaps with the help of conniving accomplices who theorize the edutainment; without realizing that undermining knowledge means losing that authentic pleasure and intimate satisfaction that comes from overcoming an obstacle. It all began by making the classics, dangerous vehicles of the values of humanism disappear from schools, hiring hot air salesmen to claim that the non-digital past is an era that no longer counts and sowers of rhetoric and esotericism that, in exchange for power, also transform academies and places of knowledge into environments alien to the needs of the society condemned to become only mass.

I believe that the time for resistance has come, without rhetoric, without fear and without unnecessary alarmism. Never before had humanity lived such a period rich in discoveries, in technology, in possibilities to face risks, diseases, to defeat ignorance and poverty, the conditions are there.Yet, according to IPSOS research, the abstract thinking capacity of our contemporaries is less than that of previous generations, the bridges of the highways collapse, white elephants abound, (Moondo Francisco Dias https://moondo.info/when-the-elephant-comes-on-the-scene/) and health care is struggling to keep up with a virus that is the result of the imbalance between the evolution of the planet and the possibilities of mankind.  Ready to go to Mars we remain in crisis due to the absence of protective masks: the least technological object ever.

So: no more excuses, those who had noticed the decline, those who had noticed that cultural asphyxia endangers democracy, those who had noticed that the institutions that created the critical conscience of the citizen are obtuse bureaucracy built to avoid autonomous thought, those who had noticed that forces far more dangerous than dictatorships are building an autoimmune slavery, have the duty to react like the avant-garde of the new Renaissance.

Moondo has noticed this and makes his pages and structure available. He restores himself, opens up to languages other than Italian in the awareness that the challenge is planetary or is not. He calls together anyone who believes in the need to fight with the weapons of reason, culture and tradition ( Moondo Mariana Calaça Baptista https://moondo.info/il-coronavirus-e-la-liberta-ridotta-al-massimo/).

The French philosopher Michel Onfray identified the impoverishment of the written language (see Moondo Eugenio Santoro https://moondo. info/the-show-show-show-2/) as one of the actions that allow the great financial capitalism the power. Multivalent language becomes popular (analyze a sentence of any politician preposition by preposition and you will understand what it means) and making classic authors disappear from the baggage and tradition to replace them with what Mario Vargas Llosa calls mediocre or insignificant but flashy and pyrotechnic writers, thinkers and artists, skilled in advertising and self-production or able to satisfy the worst instincts of the public. These will achieve popularity and will be considered, by the uneducated majority, the best. So far nothing to object, it is right that everyone can have fun as he wants, but a system that also measures creativity and culture with the audience will be led to define these products as those that express the highest market value with the direct and dramatic consequence that the highest works, the most cultured, the most interesting as a message for future generations will be set aside, underestimated and often never produced because they would have no market. If this was the case in Italy in the 60s we would never have had Fellini or Antonioni and maybe not even Italo Calvino ( Moondo Sergio Bellucci https://moondo.info/scheduling-the-unpredictable/).

Culture is not defined by the majority, the quality of a product is defined only within a group of experts who are certified by the community as being able to discern truth from lies, history from fiction, opinions from the power of reason, doxa from episteme. Unfortunately, the weapon we will have to try to come up with is precisely the one according to which everyone can have opinions on everything regardless of their own experience and study. This is the generator of confusion with the highest destructive impact: the idea that giving the same importance to everyone regardless of competence and specific experience is more democratic. A community is a very complex system of individuals in relation to each other and the internal dynamic exists only if it is made by different people. Energy, in a dynamic system, is only manifested when there is a difference in altitude, charge or pressure between two points: in short, it is the differences that make us move forward and men are and must necessarily be different, in talent, discipline, intelligence, preparation, experience to form a community that evolves in civilization ( Moondo Mona Erfanian Salim – Ali Afshar https://moondo.info/bani-adam-figli-di-adamo/). Equal before the law and before fundamental rights, but not before a scientific or professional opinion. A scientist’s opinion about viruses is only as valid as a singer’s opinion on TV talk shows. And yet, drop by drop, we have reached the point where, by making men feel equal in the face of any opinion, we undermine the very rights of equality; we make them feel like masters while making them slaves of the dominant opinion enslaved to their own community of idols on the screen.

When the slave thinks he is master, he doesn’t realize he is at the service of someone who, on the other side of the smartphone, directs his mind, he sells his stressful freedom in exchange for a magic mirror, like the one in the fairy tale, which continuously reassures who is the most beautiful one in the kingdom. Today the mirror has the form of an algorithm that builds around each of us an environment of equals, I should say homologated to use an expression dear to Pier Paolo Pasolini, a protected environment in which one’s conviction, or prejudice as it may be, is shared by all. By everyone because the opponents will be in a separate community controlled by a similar algorithm, happy, too, to have the same common opinion. Then the equals grow and their rights diminish Moondo Enrico Panai https://moondo.info/che-filosofia-scegliere-per-il-futuro-delleuropa/).

Television, an invention that around the 1960s helped to build rural communities within an idea of a nation confined to spoken languages and cohesive around a cultural identity and civil tradition, today becomes an instrument of unstoppable decline of culture. From rational confrontation, existence becomes spectacle and falling in love with slavery leaves no choice. I’m not talking about the variety of Saturday night to escape from the labors of work commitments, but about the everlasting entertainment that becomes the concretization of the idea of Huxley and his “new world”, of a dictatorship that controls the consciences of its citizens through the pleasures it distributes.

Onfray always argues that an essential operation for the suppression of freedoms with the consent of slaves is the suppression of history. Even the Italian government has tried to remove it from schools, and then backtracked. The dictatorship of the present reigns in the net and flattens any protrusion. It is an absence of perspective that leads to the demolition of the statues of heroes who until yesterday were guilty of having trampled on the creed of today. They are the same people who would accuse Medea of murder (if they had read it) and would not understand why at the end of the tragedy she is rewarded by the god even though she killed her two sons. History builds the perspective of facts over time, and the perspective allows rational and cognitive relationships, a subversive danger for the world’ s rulers. This is a good reason why power wants to abolish it

History links the relationships of facts to the context in which they occurred and requires a considerable mental effort: to go towards the past. The opposite of history only the soaps with a historical background that television proposes: any period is treated with the rules of contemporary civilization, you fall in love as today even if we talk about the Middle Ages, you fight and challenge each other for reasons similar to ours even if we talk about the Romans, all then submitted to the like count to define who is a hero and who is not, who is condemned by the social court and who is acquitted, you make the history seems to say the announcer on duty that ends with the traditional: ” thanks, you are wonderful!” How horrible is TV when it’s like this.

Moondo wants to bring together people with different opinions chosen only according to their experiences, which in turn will be the catalysts of a similar world in the hope of enlarging the square or building a square that is no longer there to help generate ideas.

What could be a recipe, the ingredients to use to build the flavor we need?

Having an idea and immediately afterwards being aware of the necessary means to realize it, where and how to get them and once the appropriate checks have been made, we need to DECIDE.

Decide is a Latin verb caedere (to cut, to cut) its participle: decisus, clearly conveys the idea that we have excluded anything that is not directly convenient and relevant to the strategy that we want to survive as useful to evolution. Nature decides, on its own, but decides (deciding in Latin has the same root as scissors). Whoever manages a project must take on the task of deciding. Now, as befits science, let us deny the proposition just expressed and try to define its opposite: not to decide. How does this happen?

On the one hand there are the undecided, like the  Giovanni Buridano Donkey (Moondo Giorgio Garuzzo https://moondo.info/la-germania-lunione-europea-e-lasino-di-buridano/) who was equally attracted by two piles of hay, undecided which of the two to eat remained in the middle and died of hunger. In Italian, “to be the Buridano’s donkey” is said of a person who does not know how to choose between two pretenders and remains alone, or, of a graduate who is offered two jobs and who, remaining in the balance without deciding, will be unemployed.

Up to this point it could be personality or fear, but there is a perverse practice that is a common philosophy of life among decision makers with power, that of seeking, among the many proposals, a path that could be good for everyone. To accommodate everyone, to go ahead without creating problems with power groups that may not be very influential at the moment, but that could become so at the next elections. Then the decision is not to cut anything, that is, not to decide. It is done by postponing things, and then postponing them again, asking everyone for opinions, carefully evading the experiences in the field because it would be difficult to say that it was decided otherwise or in any other way, then convening meetings and again meetings and again meetings attended by the widest possible audience, so that no one can ever say “I wasn’t there”, and all for a single high purpose: not to decide. The important thing is just to call yourself a decision maker. If the project under discussion is about culture, I say this because on the subject I have an experience that has whitened the hair in my head, the only result is to water down the strategy so much that it makes it totally useless. This generates two results: it reduces the quality of the work to zero regardless of the quality of the authors and puts the management team in a position to say that “it has been done”. How? It doesn’t count. How precious the work is for the community: it doesn’t matter. What international resonance it will have for the territory: it’s inessential, not abroad they vote for us! So the rule of “thousand island” is applicable: mix everything, whatever is offered to you and in the end don’t ask yourself what it tastes like, eat and shut up. The paradox is that those who work in this way, in general, nourishes, of himself, the deep conviction of being a valuable and high-profile manager precisely because he always manages to get everyone in agreement by satisfying the opinions of everyone. This is the typical problem that generates problems.

With what spirit does Moondo approach its restoration in the direction of culture? From the political point of view, I think it is clear from this writing, but I would like to conclude with a metaphor extracted from Article 9 of the Italian Constitution, which will inspire us. Let’s read the text together.

The Republic promotes the development of culture and scientific and technical research.

It protects the landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the Nation.

It is about research, landscape technology, history and cultural heritage. Too often, at least in Italy, those who talk about it take possession of the piece that concerns them: See: the Constitution protects the landscape! See: the Constitution protects the cultural heritage! Everyone, according to their field of interest, finds in the constitution their own protective shield, but on condition that they lose sight of the recipe that I have always imagined reading in that article. I mean that the list of things to be protected is not in a random order. How can cultural heritage be protected if the technique that allows it has not first been developed and safeguarded? How can the landscape be protected if scientific research has not been developed beforehand? And how can research be developed if the culture of a country is not first protected, developed and promoted as a heritage of its own identity? Then I always thought that article 9 was like the recipe for “spaghetti pomodoro e basilico”, the queen of the Mediterranean diet. It requires water, then salt, then spaghetti, then tomato, then basil and finally Parmesan cheese. Parmesan is not less important than salt because it comes last, but if we put it directly in the water at the beginning I could make a disaster. So the development of culture is the basis for everything else to be possible, if we wanted to make a gastronomic comparison and go on in the metaphor of spaghetti culture would be the boiling water. With this conviction Moondo opens up a space in which confrontation and confrontation can be practiced, if necessary, in which one can escape from homologation and the already said, a place where the ambition is to build culture and not only to tell it, to boil water for the benefit of all the other sections and other disciplines. With the ambition to favour and put at ease that man of multiform intellect that Homer sings at the beginning of his poem. In his time the technical-scientific knowledge was limited and that man could be one, today the complexity of the system pushes us to put together different talents to create a complex and multiform organ that, like the Homeric hero, is ready to live to the full his own condition as a man and to look for his own identity outside the role written on his business card. Maybe we are too visionary, but simple challenges bore us.

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