The Other World Agenda: New paths and changing power relations

By Riccardo Petrella, Roberto Morea, Roberto Musacchio, respectively

Agora degli Abitanti della Terra, ,

The system that dominates the world today is inspired and guided by the logic of power and domination. The Other World Agenda must be inspired and guided by the logic of preserving and regenerating life, i.e. preserving, caring for and promoting the lives of all members of the global Earth community.  Changing course implies having clear ideas on the new paths to take and on how to acquire the capacity to change, even if only partially, the social power relations.

What new paths?

Today, to get to the root of the problems, the other world agenda means trying to uproot the pillars on which the current system of power is built, and to delegitimise the principles that feed the strength of the dominant social groups. 

Globalised private finance (think of the investment funds, of which the Black Rock Fund is the most brutal but eloquent example) and conquering technology (of which, for example, the GAFAM-Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon-Microsoft companies are the concrete embodiment) are the two pillars of world power to be dismantled. The private ownership of every form of material and immaterial life and the claim of the unstoppable artificialization of life are the two principles to be abandoned. The case of patents on vaccines and the violent refusal by the private and public ruling powers to even accept the temporary suspension of the application of patents (even though this is provided for in the WTO-TRIPs treaties) speaks volumes about the totalitarian nature of these two principles. 

The paths of the Other Agenda identified above reveal a fundamental strategic fact. At the basis of the power of the two principles and the strength of the dominant social groups is private appropriation, political control and cultural hegemony over and of knowledge. This is why the dominant groups call themselves “knowledge-based societies and driven economies”.   

The current system has reduced knowledge to technoscience only. All other forms and dimensions of knowledge have been neglected, discredited and marginalised. The dominant social groups have imprisoned knowledge in mystifying concepts such as: efficiency, cost-benefit analysis, competition, and, merit, productivity, knowledge markets, ROI (return on investment), utility, earnings, competitiveness, human resources, smart economy, digitalisation, ecological transition, resilience.

Is it possible to change social power relations ?

As shown by the social conquests of the 19th and 20th centuries by workers, peasants, women and colonised peoples, the roads to the Other Agenda must pass through a profound transformation (not transition) of the perception, conception and experience of knowledge. Knowledge must be re-invented as the spirit of life, the integral, collective and conscious expression of life, because it is consciousness, a feeling of common responsibility and re-awareness of the other, of all the others that we are.

To this end, the starting point must be a clear denunciation of the inadmissible actions of today’s notorious predators of life and the de-legitimisation of their cultural hegemony, which they have acquired with the support of a large part of the public authorities. This work has been carried out with determination in three areas in particular: that of costs and benefits (beyond the principle of utility), that of resources and their management (beyond techno-financial governance and the ‘stakeholders’), and that of values (beyond the survival of customers).

A work whose common thread is to promote links for a knowledge aimed at the liberation of humanity from the logic of power and domination. Three fields, where today it is conceivable and indispensable to rebuild solid relationships of cooperation and solidarity between farmers, workers, workers of “public” services, universities, young people, women, populations and the population. , universities, young people, women, indigenous populations, migrants, poor workers, women, indigenous populations, migrants, the new damned of the Earth.

The dominant social groups are proving more and more incapable. of solving the world’s problems. Will humanity be able to re-know itself?