Draft of Manifesto

In 1986 Danilo Dolci initiated what he called “Bozza di Manifesto” (Draft of manifesto). It was the beginning of a long work time that lasted for 8 years. You may be asking yourself what he did during this period. Danilo wrote a draft expressing some main ideas concerning the problems that corroded society and relations, and some proposal to solve those problematic situations. Later on this draft was sent to several people (Noam Chomsky, Johan Galtung, Paulo Freire, Scott Kennedy, Franco Alasia, Gilbert Silva Ruiz, etc.) who had the chance to read it and give their own personal contribution, permitting, in this way, to improve the first draft and enriching it. When it was ready, after more than 120 people had contributed to the final text, it became a true “maieutic text” that encompassed the thoughts and feelings of hundreds of people. Even if it was written some years ago, it is still very actual. It offers each individual the opportunity to think about the problems and wounds of the planet and its creatures yet at the same time it encourages positive actions, by showing different possible ways to pursue the search for a new future.


Aware that:

In order to solve the complex and intricate problems faced by the world, deep analysis and intuitions are needed and everyone should bring their own personal contribution;

important opportunities to choose, resist and invent are avoided by those who claim to be victims (conforming to social rules arises from, as we should all know, as much a lack of auto determination as from fear);

it is not possible to communicate without a sincere, nonviolent and creative engagement by each participant. Moreover creative development requires the effective capacity to communicate and connect;

authentic communication, which is a difficult and rare outcome of attentive reciprocity and not a string of symbols and words, strengthens the “immune systems” of life on earth. This liberates us from our parasites. This form of communication is vital to society’s growth, as the probability of the transformation of information into development grows, thus growing in strength;

whilst we study in order to regulate bi- and pluri-voice interactions, we try to guess the global interactions that exist around us (we try to imagine the culture of the environment, the ecological structures or the biosphere) but we should not confuse real communication and understanding with moments in which everyone talks but no one listens, as often happens;

the workers of huge factories (not excluding the education system) are distanced from the finalities and the sense of working together towards these aims. Thus, they become more and more lured into the system, driven by “circumscriptive” rules created by the dominant minority who manage to create a false “legal” majority;

in the commercial maze, uncritical consumerism strengthens the producers/owners, and this often strengthens the “virus” of the dominant: if consuming is always transforming (as one can see in mechanical processes, e.g. engine and petrol), using is a cultural event only if it becomes a choice and a re-elaboration- an authentic recreation;

the growth of people depends on the quantity of their pluri-directional connective relationships: whilst people of integrity and who are sincere can communicate, the “viruses” and deceit pollute by transmitting and are instead unable to communicate;

in unmasking this system of dominance generally one cannot count on the help of the socalled “mass media”. It is a unidirectional expression of a distorted culture (and by claiming to be free and unbiased they demonstrate their autonomy). Mass media tend to transmit on television also university courses or masses (which should be spaces for research or community initiative) and this reduces sport or religious events to a show, changing its nature and degenerating these moments into mass television dependency;

television programmes, led by experts, packaged as winning images, substitute political debate. The result is that people become accustomed to be dependent upon the dominant;

One who likes noise and stench, and desperately tries to escape, kills himself whilst those who are free do not want to damage or hurt themselves, they won’t let themselves go or let themselves be sold, they do not want owners, and try to cooperate with those who live fully;

in order to discover and express the secrets of communication, workshops are needed everywhere, strenghtening themselves by sharing the same meaning.

We ask:

To one who senses the importance of these issues, is aware of the unexplored resources within each person, of peace or of exploitation and violence, to those who educate in different contexts.

Inviting everyone, wherever possible:

To promote, especially for youngsters, initiatives where they all can express themselves (amongst themselves and with those who can help them find themselves), already knowing what their fundamental needs are.

Thus promoting liberating initiatives that make possible comparative evaluation: is it necessary to be able to truly express oneself in order to realise the aim of a personal collective growth? Can we communicate?

To organise seminars and courses so as to create experts, in every field and level, on how we can grow as a group in conditions that favor personal and collective creativity, thus substituting unidirectional authority with inner structures. Knowing that growing in/with a community structure in its many infinite variations, is necessary, although it is not easy: experts of maieutic structures are not only required to change education systems but they are also needed in creating structures in every field, like urban planning, medicine, industrial science and politics;

To find a way to experiment, in every environment, at every level, the methodologies that can provide the most effective results, so that everyone can question: up until which point are we obstructed from building civic communication structures, and up until which point, taken from shortsighted quarreling, are we not capable of understanding these structures or creating them? Don’t parasites grow better where people cannot live in a healthy autonomy?

Cooperating to distinguish in different contexts the power from the regime or the creative life giver from the polluter, as well as to distinguish the helping hand from the one creating dependency: especially when they come from the same person or the same institution;

To promote the discovery of real interests and also to provoke the strength needed to ensure these necessary changes, therefore enabling people to abandon anacronistic systems and inert behaviour (what is urging this movement? Towards what type of solution? How can youth contribute in giving life to a deep transformation necessary for the false, immature reality in which we are currently living?): whilst incoherent hardwork destroys people, real true work strengthens the meaning their most intimate nature;

To start, one must work with people who live in not industrially developed areas and therefore economically disadvantaged, using self-analysis processes in order to discover and make the most of their values and nature (also noting their limits and defects) but avoiding comparing themselves with other models present in society that can condition their own self-analysis in a negative way. Through this process people can compare their values (as obvious disadvantages can be unlimited resources) with others;

To analyze with appropriate groups, composed also of experts, how the effects of unemployment can be resolved by specific interventions;

To provoke analysis, comparison and controls on certain symbolic events (e.g. to group together hundreds of thousands of fans in a stadium, senseless successes etc), thus creating at the same time experiences- and working in ways- that educate everyone to be self-organised, motivated and to evaluate, choose and take control;

To create specific processes of research- action- reflection in order to identify the ideal conditions for the development of structures that favor the strengthening of intelligence, as well as group and personal creativity, including the capacity to choose, decide, announce and take actions against the fashion world that empties the notion of “creativity”. Where is it possible to take advantage of the existing initiatives (educational, cultural, pacifist, ecological, religious, trade unionist, cooperative, authentically political)? Where are these structures, based on the notions of reciprocal respect, needed?

Invoking self-analysis amongst youngsters: how do they live and with what expectations, especially in urban areas where it is difficult to leave, either physically or mentally? What are the causes of pain and misfortunes? How to disassemble the different forms of dominance? Does emarginalisation come before drugs or vice versa? If those who want to impose themselves group together with others, how can people learn, through communication, to rid themselves of any form of parasite? When and where do certain constitutional abilities, or negative predispositions, manifest themselves?

Everywhere, people without hope take the risk of running away from their problems and from their land, and they group together, enrooted, in places anti-economic in every sense. Therefore one must promote initiatives, also at international and intercontinental levels, excluding dominant relationship (different people working together is an occasion to reciprocally enrich and learn about oneself) in order to permit these people to learn about themselves, to value themselves and their indigenous land whilst, at the same time, using advanced organic research and planning methods. Thus creating with adequate systems the experts that are needed: governments that half-close their borders to people fleeing the poorest countries. This is usually done in order to maintain a low minimum wage (thus benefiting the richest) and also to gain those who are willing to carry out unwanted jobs. In the meantime they try to build in the poorest countries the polluting transnational industries that the more developed countries refuse to have.

UN needs to understand and resolve the more serious international problems especially with authentic experts, in order to become a coherent organism. This need is more urgent as distances shorten and issues arise in every environment and every field. The UN must be capable to effectively support and guide the government of a communicating world towards peace.

By Danilo Dolci with the contribution of hundreds of people!

Please click here to download Danilo Dolci’s Manifesto