“Cultures of anyone” are those in which people trust in their abilities to collaboratively construct knowledge of and effective responses to problems that affect them, without the need to infuse this know-how with the monopolistic, exclusive, and hierarchical pretensions that the tradition of “experts” involves.
These cultures don’t reject specialized knowledge, even though specialized knowledge is used to monopolize cultural authority. They avoid creating divisions between people “who know” and people “who don’t know,” and they affirm that all of us know something and nobody knows everything, and that our abilities are better developed when we learn together than when we relate to each other in a hierarchy. “Cultures of anyone” create “collective intelligence.” They trust that “what’s important” is illuminated better when the diverse abilities of anyone are combined than when the monopolies of knowledge of a few are imposed.
They are, in short, “cultures of anyone” because they understand that culture, this constant collective discussion- explicit or implicit- in which it’s decided that which has value, or, in other words, in which it’s decided that which constitutes a “dignified life,” is something in which any person should be able to participate. In this emerging culture, it’s unacceptable for someone to be excluded from the construction of the meaning of their own dignity. Therefore, I propose to understand “cultures of anyone” as ways to democratize culture: not so much in the sense of opening access to an already established body of knowledge and values, as is the habitual meaning given to this expression, but rather because they open up the construction of knowledge and values to the participation of anyone.
Moreno-Caballud, Luis. Cultures of Anyone. Studies on Cultural Democratization in the Spanish Neoliberal Crisis. Liverpool University Press, 2015.