The Common Good of Humanity – Actors and Strategies

Roland Kulke

Report on the conference in March 2012 in Rome

The inherent crisis of neoliberal policies got stronger in the 1990s with different the currency crisis around the world. Liberal thinkers talked about a crisis of governance and the concept of Global Governance was invented as a kind of social democratic answer to the internationalization of the state. It was an attempt to re-embed markets into the political and social processes – today we know that this was a feeble hope.

The post-Lehman crisis has for a long time developed itself into a fully fledged multiple-crisis. Proposals that a strengthening of the national political arena might help here do not understand the dramatic impact the crisis also had on democracy. Large parts of the populations understand today that the state as such is not a neutral agent of the people’s wishes, but can be turned into a tool for the ruling block. In Europe this has become clear since two leading Goldman Sachs members (Monti and Papademos) have become part of „Government Sachs“ and became Prime Ministers in Greece and Italy.
Democracy is under attack in different regions of the world, but also the social security systems are on the brink of destruction. The questions of food sovereignty, energy production, and private vs. public property are only few of the many controversial topics which need to be solved in a peaceful and sustainable way.

Many different actors all over the world try to work on practical solutions to the many pressing aspects of the multiple crises. Some actors are rather practically and often short term oriented; others work in favor of a structural break with the current system of the globalised capitalism. Feminists groups, environmental groups, trade unions, religious groups, all work to solve different aspect of the current crises.

To combine these different struggles, to give them a common understanding of the crisis, but also to offer them ideas for short term actions Francois Houtart has developed the concept of the „Common Good of Humanity“ (CGoH). It consists of four dimensions:

1. redefinition of the relationship between humanity and nature
2. Developing new modes of production, prioritizing the use value over the exchange value.
3. Generalization of democracy in all social institutions, like churches, NGOs etc
4. Instituting interculturalism to break once for all with the idea of hegemony of Western culture.

These four dimensions can encompass the current crisis and present the appropriate counter strategy. On the other hand they are developed broadly enough so that they do not homogenize thinking and action. The CGoH as concept is not meant to become a hegemonic concept marginalizing other local strategies. The left had to learn that a top-down approach, with centrally planned economies has historically been a failure. Although great leaps forward in the basic industries and in social protection had been made possible by the socialist states in the middle of the 20th century, these politico-economic systems lacked the ability to adopt it. They were neither successful to adapt themselves to the changing needs and (participatory) wishes of their societies, nor where they able to respond to the diversification of consumption wishes and goods. Many ideas, which were of central concern for the socialism of the 20th century, a ruling single party, political centralism, nationalization of the means of production, strong censorship of the public opinion and the centrality of the working class (at least in theory) cannot be included in a concept of the socialism of the future. Elmar Altvater thus pleaded recently to move from “socialism of redistribution” (Raymond William) to “socialism of the 21st century”.

The way we produce the goods we need, has to be radically rethought, as this will have impacts on the environment and the way we cooperate with each other. It has to be clear, especially for the left in the capitalist states of the global north that any future socialism has to cope with the end of the fossil age. Despite other things a coming socialism can thus only be a solar socialism with decentralized production and consumption. The financialised capitalism confronts us today with an economic system which gives birth to products with only little use value but with the highest possible exchange value. We all had to learn many different abbreviations, like CDOs, CDS or BDS or even LCDS. The challenge for the global left today is how to change the oligopolistic structure of the financial system to a system where money works as a common good in favor of the people and the real economy they need. The idea, that the coming socialism could be a computerized one, where computers would make it possible to determine the hierarchy of needs, and could thus determine the planning, production, distribution and consumption of the surplus, that we would thus enter the era of a coordinated cybernetic regulation of the direct producers might be tempting, but wrong. The experience of the real existing socialism proves that it was not possible to replace the price system with something else. The fact that the so called socialist world system was not able to develop an alternative to the dollar centered price system for trade between sovereign states makes this inability obvious. The left has therefore to discuss in depth the problem of how the overwhelming power of the exchange value on the real economy can be limited.

Radical democracy is the only way to prevent the oligopolization of power positions, and more generally it is the only way for humans to exist in dignity. The true practice of interculturalism shall end the predominance of any culture and will end the denigration of supposedly inferior cultures, only because they are not accepted as belonging to the currently hegemonic discourses.
In the two daylong conference it became clear that the concept of the CGoH is nothing else than the content of what the socialism of the 21st century could be. It is a concept of a true „buen vivir“ for all of us, based on mutual respect and sustainable way of living and producing the necessary means of life in a way where the needs of the people are always the determining source of inspiration, and the quest for profit.

Introductory panel
Chair: Luciana Castellina
Speakers: Birgit Daiber, François Houtart

François Houtart:

The worldwide struggles of the social movements are in dire need of a holistic vision. Only with a holistic vision concrete actions can be based on profound analyses. Different aspects of the crises must be taken together. Here the role of the intellectuals becomes very important. We have to rethink the interrelation of the four fundamental aspects of our common life: nature, the material bases of our societies, organization and culture. We need to envision the whole; we need a perception of the wholeness of social processes. In the 16th and 17th century the enlightenment period marks a break with the until then hegemonic holistic vision of life on earth. The time has come to take up what was lost a few hundred years ago. We need a dialectical vision to define the process of the transition between the crisis of today and the possible world of tomorrow. Actors and strategies have to be identified. In this process we have to learn from the failures of the last century. Our way must be a dialectical way, we can’t afford to think and act in a linear way, instead we have to practice a historical approach, which a priori accepts the fact of permanent change of knowledge, technologies etc. But not only these more of less objective facts and tools change; we too have to change ourselves, as much as the common understanding of the common good is changing.

Today three terms are used, which sound pretty similar, and all of them are used by social movements and parties around the world. Where is the difference between the “common good”, the “common goods”, and last not least the common good of humanity (CGoH)?

The common good is based on ancient philosophical/religious ideas. The idea of the common good as special way of the public interest was popularized by Aristoteles in the fourth century BCE, it was taken up again by Thomas Aquino in the 13th century CE when the closed world of the European feudal method of production came under pressure from trade capitalism, slowly destroying the well known local economies. It’s difficult to talk today about the common good as the capitalist mode of production is in need of the state and social service for its own reproduction. For that reason the public interest, as is it presented to us today, is deeply influenced by the needs of capitalism. For that reason city planning, infrastructure, or even education and culture can be assisted by the state in the name of the public interest without posing the slightest challenge to capitalism. The Christian churches have also contributed to this system stabilizing interpretation of the concept of the common good. Large parts of the Christian social doctrines are based on the perception of social stratification, not of the understanding of classes. In the interpretation of many Christian scholars there are no structurally antagonistic interests, which prevent successful cooperation between different social actors in favor of the common good. As the common good can thus be included into capitalism, and can even legitimize this mode of production, the critical social movements and intellectuals have to transcend this concept.

The same problems exist with the even narrower concept of the common goods. These, too, have their origin in pre-capitalist mode of productions. For that reason one of the first victims of the emerging capitalists actors were the commons of the “commoners”, the ordinary people, like forests, water and land. The recent land-grabbing movement is another attempt to privatize as much of the „unused“ assets as possible, in order to squeeze out profit where ever it is possible. The concept of the common goods is not only (until now) often capital friendly. Worse than this, supporters of the common goods approach often neglect the fact that antagonistic interests are inherently dominant in our societies. The reservation of some social fields for common goods should, in this approach, pacify the virulent antagonisms in our society.
As the last year’s conference was devoted to the debate on the CGoH, there is no need to reiterate this. It should be just mentioned here that the main issue to think about more radical is the metabolism of our societies with nature.

We can thus conclude that we are here to discuss in a profound way the possibilities for a post-capitalist paradigm, which is not determined by profit but by the needs of life. We thus also need a critique of the socialism of the eastern bloc, but not only in the negative sense. What we have to do here in Rome is thus to debate on the content of the socialism of the 21st century.

Birgit Daiber:

The systemic crisis of the current capitalist system leads to direct attacks on the social fabric of the societies. As mere regulations are not sufficient any longer, the left needs to take up any opportunity to rethink and open the room for counter hegemonic structures. This implies the urgent necessity to avoid any partial view of transformation. The CGoH offers a unique possibility as tool to understand and analyze the crisis; it is by far more than a simple tool for tactic action. The three major actors, trade unions, social movements and indigenous movements can work with this concept to outline divergences of interests and to work in a constructive way on contradictions between them.


In the following discussions Tina Ebro pointed at the contrariness of the development of recent capitalism. On the one side the question was posed if the capitalism would again be able to recuperate like in the 1930s by inventing the social welfare state, or in the 1970s, than using post-fordistic measures to uphold the rate of profit. But are there any new “territories to conquer”? There exist no countries outside the capitalist world system, and many formerly non-capitalist areas have been put into profit, like the health system, the education or even the pension systems. Antonio Tujan on the other hand mentioned the strength of capitalism, with its incredible ability to cooptate sections which might have become relevant as counter hegemonic forces. Mamdouh Habashi also pointed out that capitalism, and even neo-liberalism, has not lost its ideological clout in the “Planet of Slums”. The marginalized masses in the slums of the world capitals would still believe in the wrong but easy understandable moral appeals of Neoliberalism. For that reason the left must be very careful not to believe that a short lived “revolution” might change anything structurally.

If the resilience of the system is still a given thing, something to be accepted as starting point for the left, than how to deal with the multiple crises? Pedro Paez made it clear that the current capitalist system has lost any of its progressive substance and promise, aspects so famously mentioned in the Communist Manifesto. What does all this mean if we want to understand the ongoing debate in Latin America on social transformation? We have some post-neoliberal regimes in Latin America, but they are by all means not post-capitalist. So how can we organize concrete steps towards a sustainable transformation? What kind of concrete practical steps for short term solution can be thought of?

In the North
Chair: Roberto Musacchio
Speakers: Riccardo Petrella,
Tommaso Fattori, Commons: social justice by sharing

Roberto Musacchio:

Musacchio introduced the panel by asking the question “What has changed in Italy in recent years?” There is a new government and a new trend in Europe. The new Italian government reflects the new European trend. At the same time, common goods have conquered space in the public political discourse. In this sense, an example is the slogan of the Italian trade union FIOM coined in its latest manifestations: “Work is a common good”. It is debatable whether or not work is a common good, but it is significant that the fight for the rights and dignity of labour has been characterized in this way. The same can be said for the choice of the struggle in Val di Susa to present itself as resistance in the name of the common goods. The victory of the referendum on the water has not been reflected in the law yet, because the government wants to overturn the result of the referendum. From a place of democracy and welfare, Europe has become the place where we experience non-democratic practices and privatization.

Riccardo Petrella:

The first concept to be addressed is the definition of “northern hemisphere”. The concept is diverse, we must understand which “north” we want to talk about. The North includes all the other rich countries: China, Brazil, Russia, India. The 300 million Chinese are part of the rich north. The 200 million richest Indians, the 30 million Brazilians too. Are integrated into the financial systems in large companies and multinationals. The second element that draws a diverse northern alternative is that the movements of the north have created a compact and coherent movement. The World Social Forum has attempted to propose alternative strategies, but failed. A worldwide water movement is not there, there is only a convergence of common struggles, but not common strategies. The opposition movement is extremely localized. The transition is unfolding in the transition from a carbon based economy to a low-carbon based economy. This is the green economy. The transition from a capitalist society that is destructive of nature to a post-market capitalism which “values” nature, as theorists say, meaning – monetization of nature. If we accept this concept of transition, we are dependent on prevailing theories. It is the great capitalist innovation that internalizes nature in the market. The founding principles of change must change, and we should speak of change, not of transition. Social change and system change, with new principles: the principle of life being the first; principle of humanity, not as the set of human beings, but human beings who want to live together, the principle of living together, the so-called buen vivir y convivir for the South Americans. Life, humankind, living together – all this leads to the idea of common goods. This is why this idea occupies a central place at this time, and why it has become a condition for democracy, representation and participation. To conceive a utopia to make the future a reality. So in the march towards a new society we must organize different areas of attack: attacking the wealth and its basis in the capitalist system. Then safety. If we accept safety as conceived today, we will not move forward. Peace and buen vivir must be the foundation of the system, against the values of competition for limited resources and of war. We must not put the the community against humanity. Humanity should not be opposed to local communities. Humanity must instead articulate itself starting from the polis and the citizen.

Tommaso Fattori:

Tommaso Fattori emphasized the urgency of building a movement of movements for the commons: water, seeds, software and our environment. The advantage of the concept of the common good is that it is already used worldwide; it is neither a western, nor an eastern concept. The basic idea is that access is a right for all. Those goods are basically a gift of nature, and we have to treat them as gifts for the coming generations. These common goods are essential for life. The common goods are far more than having access to some material or immaterial goods like knowledge; what makes them so unique is that fact that the concept of common goods encompasses a special culture: the culture of sharing. Out of that culture a specific social practice emerges, the commoning. This verb, which was popularized by Linebaugh, wants “to describe the social practices used by commoners in the course of managing shared resources and reclaiming the commons.”

In the following discussion Dario Azzellini advanced the view, which the crucial question would be: who is the actor in favor of transformation? History would have shown that the state could not be an actor to achieve just transformation. Only the social movements, based in communities could be sustainable actors. States would tend voluntary or involuntary to a reproduction of capitalism. The only viable tool for a transformation is real open communication. Tommaso Fattori added that all tools of direct democracy must be used. The Italian example of the water referendum would be a very good example.

14.30 – 16.00
The Common Good of Humanity as basis for a new fundamental charter /
Chair: Norbert Schepers
Speaker: Antonello Ciervo, Human Rights and common good

Antonello Ciervo:

According to Antonello Ciervo there has been an explosion in the use of the political concept of common goods – an “empty container” not in the negative sense, but because it is filled with the struggles of social movements. The concept of the common goods has created new social bonds. It is an anti-liberal approach. The political debate in Europe has not been followed by a proper legal reflection on the concept, whereas in Latin America the legal form has accompanied the political use. Common goods must be viewed as extra-commercium goods managed by public – but not necessarily State – entities. Common goods are seen a third type of property, in addition to the public and the private ones. From a juridical point of view, the most striking constitutions in this sense are those of Bolivia and Ecuador. Ecuador in 2008 recognizes the rights of Pachamama, Nature. Indigenous lands are recognized as non-alienable and divisible. It provides for financial compensation to communities affected by environmental damage by private entities. Even more advanced is the constitution of Bolivia of 2009, where a new legal category is introduced: “most-fundamental” rights. These are the rights to life, physical integrity, nutrition, water, shelter, education and health. These rights cannot be suspended during a state of emergency. If suspended, anyone has the opportunity to go to court to get them restored. Also important is the experience of Brazil, which includes the expropriation of large estates. The Constitution of 1988 establishes the social function of private property and the right of indigenous peoples to enjoy their lands. The courts have therefore recognized the legitimacy of land occupation by the “Sem Terra” movement. In Italy Article 43 of the Constitution states that public services with poor management can be managed by community workers and citizens. This article could prove helpful in preventing the privatization of strategic sectors and allow us to theorize a social and public management of goods, not necessarily by the government. The public body in this case could manage the assets, but at the same time it should take into account the wishes of the citizens, because they are the very owners of the goods in question

16.30 – 18.00
Fundamental rights and political strategies
Chair: Carlos Tablada
Speakers: Julie Canovas
Francine Mestrum, Social protection and the Common Good of Humanity
Gabriela Bernál Carrera

Gabriela Bernal:

Gabriela Bernal focused her speech on the indigenous issue, noticing that it is strange to talk about indigenous rights when no indigenous are present. It is important to understand when we formulate the “us” and “them” concepts. What is the role of memory and its incorporation into the present. An important step to recognize the collective rights is to not call people “minorities”, as this increases the distance between the formal and the substantial recognition of rights. Real marginalization is due to racism and to public policies that consider the natives like children, who must always be subjected to the protection of the state or, at times, the church, while transforming all forms of culture into merchandise. Cultural human rights are not just education or symbols, but all those that allow the survival of the cultural life of a community. In this sense, the cultural perspective does not respond to the capitalist system.

Julie Canovas:

Julie Canovas explained that “commons” mean that private property cannot be applied to everything. We can divide the commons into three fields: the first refers to nature and culture, the second to survival and buen vivir (e.g. health, education). The third concerns the management of the two previous ones, such as in the case of social relations. These three fields must be seen as connected and preserved for the good of the planet. Everything revolves around solidarity between human beings. There is a convergence of social actors in the various struggles, where there is responsibility from both an individual and social perspective. Recognising the interdependence between humans and between humans and nature, against the prevailing logic of capitalism, is the first step. The indigenous worldview focuses on life. The universal must be put at the centre, when planning the transition from the neoliberal to the community-based system based on biodiversity and cultural diversity. We must therefore create other political categories, such as crimes against nature or the establishment of an international environmental court. Useful in this sense are experiences such as ALBA, which can be developed and imitated in other parts of the world. All this cannot be achieved by means of reform, because the system as a whole needs to be radically changed.
Francine Mestrum questioned the audience if not one central aspects of a buen vivir would be missing in the concept of the CGoH, which comprises the four perspectives:

1. Redefining the relationship with nature: from exploitation to respect for it as the source of life
2. Redirecting production of life’s necessities, prioritizing use value over exchange value
3. Reorganizing collective life through the generalization of democracy in social relations and institutions
4. Instituting interculturalism while building the universal Common Good

Francine Mestrum:

Francine Mestrum asked now why the basic idea of social protection would not be mentioned in this concept. Social protection is one of the most important common goods of all. The Western left would be a kind of schizophrenic by looking with admiration to Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador and other countries, just because they have achieved great advantages in the field of social protection. But at the same moment the same left hesitates to demand the same in the Western countries. To hold up the idea of a social protection system which is as strong as possible becomes more and more relevant with every das where the crisis undermines the rests of the social protection systems in Europe.


In the discussion two fundamentally different approaches to this topic appeared: the poverty reduction scheme, which is perfectly compatible with the neoliberal system of exploitation, and which is therefore famously advanced by the World Bank. The other one is the already mentioned concept of social protection, which, understood in the right way, can have a transformative aspect. A counter argument against a proposed social protection system is usually the accusation, that it can be recuperated by capitalism. Is this true? Yes of course. But that cannot be a counter argument, as nearly everything we can think of can be included into a profit maximizing system. Social protection is for sure not the savior of the left. It is not more, but also not less than one usual tool towards a more socially just world. Just because it can function inside a capitalist system does not mean it cannot help to overcome the same.

The great advantage is that social protection directly answers to the needs of the people. It provides them with the opportunity to regain their dignity. This is thus one of the needed social transformation projects which are so needed for the left today. Social protection defends social life and is a prerequisite for positive social practices as it make the social life of us more harmonious.

In the discussion the point was made that the “declaring poverty illegal“ campaign needs to be supported as poverty is a social relation, not a status.

In the South
Chair: Mamdouh Habashi
Speakers: Yash Tandon, Tina Ebro, Monica Bruckmann,

Yash Tandon:

Yash Tandon approached the discussion on the CGoH from a completely different perspective. Who speaks for the south was his question, and pointing out that identity comes from suffering he asked the audience to answer the question who had been in jail, in exile or who had been regularly been “kicked in the ass by the army”. He stated that these experiences would be made mostly in the countries of the south. This epistemological question would be necessary to understand the knowledge, which is taught in the LSE in the field of economics is just not being applicable in Africa.

Tina Ebro:

The world is in crisis and the multiple crises hits large parts of the human population. We are at a critical juncture of history. States’ actions have sparked massive resistance, expressed in the “Occupy” movements in the US and Canada, in the “Indignados” and “Occupy” mobilizations across Europe, the anti-regime uprisings in the Arab world, and the social and economic justice movements in Asia. The peoples of the North, on one hand, are rising in defence of their rights. The peoples of the South, on the other hand, are asserting a more fundamental right—the right to life, a life of dignity for all.
Faced with these challenges, Asian activists have joined together in the Network for Transformative Social Protection (NTSP) to initiate a militant campaign to restore the right to life and human dignity. They are calling for transformative social protection, pressing on governments in all countries to unconditionally guarantee all people the following fundamental economic and social rights:

• The right to work, including a guarantee of living wages;
• The right to food;
• The right to essential services, including quality health care and education, as well as water and electricity;
• The right to social security, including pensions and insurances

Asian activists reject the ceaseless commodification of all essential goods and services. They are fighting for the de-commodification of these essential goods; this struggle acknowledges that people have the right to live a life free from want and deprivation.

The poor and the powerless are put at the forefront of this struggle, being the overwhelming majority in the region. As a result, it is transformative; the poor in this struggle are conscious agents of change, working to lift their own selves from poverty and participating in this effort to improve the quality of life of their communities and societies as a whole.

The Network for Transformative Social Protection’s immediate agenda is to oblige the states in Asia to have a strong role in institutionalizing and legislating for at a national-level a system of universal social protection.

From this experience, Asian activists see the utmost importance of developing a different kind of State, one which regulates and disciplines the market and subordinates the interests of corporations and the elite on behalf of the poor majority and the common good. More than social assistance and redistribution, the State must address power imbalances and develop mechanisms for the participation of the poor and marginalized not only during elections but at all levels of decision-making processes that affect their lives.
Developing countries must strengthen their domestic markets to serve as the main stimulus of economic growth. They should increase the purchasing power of their poor through income and asset redistribution measures like reforming land ownership, providing living wages to workers, full employment and universal social protection programmes. Agriculture should become the focal point of the economy, ensuring food sufficiency. To give agricultural development impetus, a thorough-going land reform programme should be implemented and state subsidies provided farmers. Industries should be made to support agriculture.

Monica Bruckmann:

Monica Bruckmann gave a moving speech on the “Common Good, geopolitics of natural resources and the challenges of Latin America”. Her point was that the natural resources become an even more critical tool and aim in the international political sphere as the struggles for both, profit and political hegemony sharpens with every further step into the crisis of the capitalistic world system. One huge problem is the rising of the speculation with natural resources; the most recent are the speculations in the food sector. These speculations have escalated in the last years due to the deliberate liberalization of the rules for financial “products”. The biggest power in the Americas are naturally the USA, and they are the ones who try in favor of “their national champions” to secure access to a broad range of “critical” resources. These resources, as Monica Bruckmann commented on, are enumerated explicitly in “Facing Tomorrow’s Challenges—U.S. Geological Survey Science in the Decade 2007–2017“ :

„Currently (2007), the United States imports a huge array of mineral materials, including 100 percent of 16 mineral commodities and more than 50 percent of an additional 26 mineral commodities. Increasing demand for new mineral materials is not likely to diminish in the future. Emerging technologies are requiring increasing amounts of mineral commodities that are unequally distributed around the world. For example, in 2005 the United States imported more than 90 percent of the platinum, indium, and rare earth minerals required for everyday technologies, such as cell phones, computers, and video monitors. Demand for these rare metals is likely to increase as new technologies, such as advanced batteries and fuel cell electronic vehicles, are developed.“ (p. 24) the report further states that: „Energy and mineral resources are the backbone of human food supplies, shelter, economies, and national security…. Unbiased, scientifically sound knowledge describing domestic and international energy and mineral resources, therefore, is important to Federal leaders for developing policy about commerce, the environment, and national security.“ (p. 22)

Minerals are naturally concentrated in a few places of the earth. Unfortunately for Latin America a lot of the minerals which are necessary for the production process of the US enterprises can be found below the earth in Latin America. As the capitalist production process is getting more and more advanced in China, this country will need more of these resources, too, so China will stop to export a lot of the international wanted minerals in the near future. For that reason it is foreseeable that the pressure to grant access to US enterprises to the resources will grow in Latin America. The „US National Security Strategy 2010“ states very clearly: „As long as we are dependent on fossil fuels, we need to ensure the security and free flow of global energy resources.“ (p. 20) In a cynical disguise even the concept of common goods is used here: „Safeguarding the Global Commons: Across the globe, we must work in concert with allies and partners to optimize the use of shared sea, air, and space domains. These shared areas, which exist outside exclusive national jurisdictions, are the connective tissue around our globe upon which all nations’ security and prosperity depend. The United States will continue to help safeguard access, promote security, and ensure the sustainable use of resources in these domains.“ (49 ff.)

Common goods, public services and money
Chair / Dario Azzellini
Speaker: Pedro Páez Pérez, Considerations on common good, money and credit

Pedro Paez:

Pedro Paez pointed out that the concept of the homo oeconomicus is not only a theoretical aberration, it is an aberration of reality. Homo oeconomicus is in itself a societal project functional to the needs of the dominating elites. In the frame of the episteme that capitalist modernity generates, centered on the notion of the homo oeconomicus, the concept of the common good looks to take a back entrance, a defensive stance, like a concession or an anomaly. In the world of increasingly growing omnipresent commodification, the market would be the one to solve the common good. Common goods, public goods or externalities are different categories that reflect the inadequacy of the Neoclassical Paradigm to deal with the intrinsically social character of the consuming production and the productive consumption. Authors so opposite as Keynes and Schumpeter established the critical role of money and credit in the functioning of the economy and, in one way or another, pointed theoretically towards the transformation of both concepts in line with the development of conditions for a better world. An exploration of human history from the concept of the noosphere of Vernadski and Teilhard de Chardin shows that the different relation individual-community is not an utopia, but rather has been the most extended way of existence of the species: the appearance of the noosphere, in other words, of a field of existence of life that intentionally projects upon itself. As recent contributions of the Theory of Regulation and the Post-Keynesian Schools demonstrate based upon the thesis of authors as diverse as Marx, Simmel, Mauss, Keynes and Girard, money is intimately tied to the notion of credit, from its historical origins in the most complex fabric of rights and obligations of diverse nature and quality. The development of mercantile production requires a process of standardizations and real abstractions of social life. This gradual alienation of sociability demands a series of social mechanisms that acquire their own dynamics in the objective and subjective fields, yielding to the disintegration of communitarian modes of life. A necessary but not sufficient condition for these transformations is a new financial architecture at a local, national, regional and world level, including other forms of money and credit.

14.30 – 16.00
Conclusions on the panels with the rapporteurs
Chair: Birgit Daiber

The debate of the rapporteurs was refreshing and extremely stimulating. At the beginning the audience and the participants were reminded by Norbert Hagemann, that the left has always to remind itself that we have to go to the people that we have to understand their daily lives, wishes and problems. The left thus has to avoid working on a holistic vision for the people, instead only the left can work on a holistic vision with the people. It would be even better to work on a holistic practice, not a vision. Carlos Ruiz added that political strategies are needed, which can finally help to overcome the memory of colonialism as one of its manifestations is the virulent racism. Sandeep Chachra asks for the concrete forms of support the radical left can offer to the social democratic left. Renato Sabbadini pointed out that the ideas which have been developed in this conference need to be made accessible for the social networks

Luciana Castellina asks for the concrete relationship of the two concepts: transformation and CGoH as the content of socialism. What does socializing the state under the concept of CGoH mean? Will it happen spontaneously? What will the concept of regionalism look like under CGoH?

See also:

>> Page of the event with programme
>> Photos of the event