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The first leaflet that caught my attention in life was signed by the “Mental Agitation Group”. I immediately liked this theme of agitating the mind, the consciousness. Consciousnesses seem a bit passive in these days, passive in the sense of ready to accept any filth that’s presented to them. In the field that interests me, reporting and commenting on the news from a specific point of view, this means information in one direction, sometimes strangely similar to propaganda whose not-so-hidden objective is to defend the old idea; “I am money, your God, you shall have no other gods before me.”
Fortunately this old idea is falling down and increasing numbers of people understand that what is presented to us by the traditional media is increasingly incoherent.
But this is only the first part of the story: the second and much more difficult part consists of the creation of new information: information that explicitly presents its point of view and makes novelty, diversity and human evolution appear.
This work is not easy, because we are carrying with us all the pieces of the old world that is collapsing and we still can’t decipher the pieces of the new world with sufficient clarity.
In this situation, the idea of agitation of the consciousness seems useful to me. What does it mean? It means that in situations of conflict that are appearing more frequently, I can think of no other more comforting solution than to propose something that agitates the consciousness, that puts in doubt the certainties that we have consolidated for ourselves.
I’ll try to give an example. When the issue of Syria became internationally relevant news (and this happens in general when things are unstoppable) we even disseminated the first vision (close, if not identical to the propaganda) that a Syrian version of the “Arab Spring” was appearing peacefully and that a cruel dictator was repressing those nice demonstrators. Obviously to unmask this point of view is not very difficult. But the problem cannot be resolved by declaring that the cruel dictator is just a regular head of state and that any attack in Syria is the result of mercenaries and Al-Qaeda terrorists: this just sounds like the propaganda of the other side.
We had a big debate among the editors of Pressenza about which path to follow; a very fiery discussion ensued because the issues of the destiny, the deaths and freedom of people are subjects that are very close to our hearts.
In this context, the search for other possible solutions has been one of our common concerns: to give space to a democratic and nonviolent stance, the phenomenon of assemblies of reconciliation.
But at the same time I think that the idea of agitating the consciousness is a valid idea; in this specific case I tried to do it by publishing articles and interviews where very different points of view were given the opportunity to be expressed; I tried not to give space to propaganda, but I well know that I also interviewed people who, maybe in good faith, were very close to the propaganda of one side. In doing so, I hope that I have sufficiently agitated the consciousness of our readers; certainly I have not presented their ready-made solutions, but rather the stimuli that are useful for thinking. I think that this is one of the important tasks that we must pursue in these times of crisis and confusion: to give our readers the elements with which to reflect and decide without blinkers.