lunedì 23 giugno 2008

Micro Forces

In these posts I often focused my attention towards capacities and adequacies of local institutions in planning and managing processes of local development. I strongly believe that these capacities at micro level are key factors to concretely determine quality of life of local communities: in Italy local institutions are the only possibility people have to stay in touch with politics because macro level is likely to be completely taken apart from the reality of common people being only capable to interpret the pushes and needs of powerful forces which have no interest in pursuing common good. This is particularly relevant for rural communities also because urban realities seem influenced by the same perverse dynamics characterizing national politics. The possibilities to trigger good models and initiatives are linked to a participatory approach involving local communities as a whole in which local administrators play a fundamental role. At local level the struggle between those mechanisms pervading every aspect of personal and collective life is particularly evident. At micro level the distinct dynamics and logics of “extrapolation” and “interaction” dimensions activate an evident confrontation. The former is directed to transform a person (per-sè / myself) in an individual (no more divisible) that is atomized units, oriented to “utility” and to achieve “success”; within this dimension all the mechanisms useful to put people in competition with each other, to increase instability and insecurity in any kind of relationship, to “instrumentalize” the outside world and Nature, etc. are supported by indicators such as GNP, growth at any costs, productivity, economic competition, etc. In this dimension technologies, fast food restaurants, big outlets and department stores, theme parks, Playstation, mobile phones, TV and so on have a central role also because they provide and translate a sound imagine of efficiency and success. The “interaction” sphere involves persons who act mainly to achieve a mutual reciprocal understanding; they operate on the base of free actions and on the prevailing of non monetary values over monetary ones. A large part of the problems we have to cope with derives from a remarkable disequilibrium between these spheres: in brief the pathological feature of our present society consists of the colonization of sensitive aspects of our everyday life (mainly the sides characterized by communication and sentimental links such as the family or friendship) by “extrapolation” systems based on success and efficiency and the prevalence of “results” (a product deriving from an action) over impacts (modification of the context produced by results). It is not possible to evaluate a family or a group of friends in terms of efficiency or success: the unavoidable result is their failure because a family or a group of friends rely on completely different values and principles. The awareness about these mechanisms represents a critical step towards a re-appropriation of our spaces and time: it is necessary that a balance between these dimensions can be achieved at micro level with a widespread support thanks also to small initiatives from those capable to bring people out of their houses in town places and other public spaces to the implementation of small sustainable energy actions capable to stimulate a sense of autonomy and self-sufficiency. This commitment should inspire the design and implementation of local policies also because what is raining from above at macro level (politics, economics, technologies) will be always inspired to “extrapolation” criteria.

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