Today I spoke with Flavia di Mario
, a young scholar of political economy and industrial relations. She coauthored a very provocative book with Andrea Micocci
, The Fascist Nature of Neoliberalism
(Routledge, 2017). Flavia is doctoral student at London Middlesex University, Andrea Micocci was professor of Economics at Link University, Rome, Italy.
In their words, they claim that capitalism is based on a false logic in which all facts and ideas are reduced to a consideration of their ‘feasibility’ within the capitalist system. Thus, all mainstream economic and political theories, including those such as Marxism which are supposed to offer an alternative vision, have been stunted and utopian ideas are completely side-lined. "In order to constantly work out the feasible, you have to hang on to pseudo-factual concepts: nationalism; a constant drive for efficiency; the idea of nation/state; corporatism; managed markets; business ethics; governance etc. Capitalism is reduced to the management of the economy by states that fight each other and marvel at the independence of finance. All this, the book argues, is akin, intellectually, economically, politically, and unfortunately individually, to fascism."
We started our conversation with a 1925 quote from Benito Mussolini. In his inaugural speech as prime minister, he argues for the importance of finance and budget stability. A good starting point to discuss the relationship between fascism and capitalism. We then moved on to neoliberalism.
The Fascist Nature of Neoliberalism
offers a brief, provocative analysis of this issue with special reference to the most visible executioners of its will: the managerial class. "This group simply happens to hold power, and hence visibility, but they do what everybody else does, and would do, all the time. This is because capitalism is an intellectual outlook that thoroughly directs individual actions through fascist and non-fascist repression."
The book argues that the only way to escape capitalism is to recover individual intellectual and sentimental emancipation from capitalism itself in order to produce radical solutions. A very interesting book that many might find worth reading: those who study and are interested in political economy, economic theory and philosophy, as well as fascism and neoliberalism.
Andrea Bernardi is Senior Lecturer in Employment and Organization Studies at Oxford Brookes University in the UK. He holds a doctorate in Organization Theory from the University of Milan, Bicocca. He has held teaching and research positions in Italy, China and the UK. Among his research interests are the use of history in management studies, the co-operative sector, and Chinese co-operatives. His latest project is looking at health care in rural China. He is the co-convener of the EAEPE’s permanent track on Critical Management Studies.