How Economists Invented Austerity and Paved the Way to Fascism
"The Capital Order uses the historical record in Europe to argue that austeritytightening the belt, cutting government programsis less about budgets and debt and more about deliberately making the labor force feel insecure." * APM's Marketplace Morning Report * "Mattei reminds us that . . . austerity is a one-sided class war, conducted in numbers and defended by economists jargon. -- Aditya Chakrabortty * The Guardian * Illuminating . . . Any reader of The Capital Order will be struck by the contemporary resonances. * The New Statesman * "In our current moment, as policymakers are once again entertaining monetary tightening as a means to impose necessary hardship & discipline on working people, The Capital Order is a potent reminder of the cruel rationality of austerity." * Dissent Magazine * "Mattei shows how austerity emerged as the response of international capital to the risks to its power and wealth. Its aim was to rescue capitalism from its enemies by taming an increasingly politicized and restive class and restoring the prewar order." * History Today * [With The Capital Order], we can begin to see method in the madness: austerity is a vital bulwark in defense of the capitalist system. * Business Recorder * Its often been pointed out that austerity just doesnt achieve its stated aims of balancing the books and paying down public debt. [In Matteis] analysis the actual aim is not the stated one, it is to discipline the working population. Over the last century it would seem to have achieved that quite successfully. * The National * Shocking disparities underlie economist Clara Matteis topical study of austerity measures promoted over the past century. Focusing on 1920s liberal-democracy Britain and fascist Italy, she argues that the profitable application of austerity to these dissimilar nations licensed its use as a capitalist tool of class control. * Nature * A serious economic history of the 1920s and its fiscal and credit policies, and you should not dismiss it. -- Tyler Cowen * Marginal Revolution * Brilliantly provocative . . . powerfully argued. . . . With her history of the relationship between liberal economists and fascism, Mattei puts the skids under complacent champions of liberal democracy who today summon the fascist figure as a reassuring boogyman. . . . A round house critique of the role of liberal economics in general. -- Adam Tooze * Chartbook * "There are few books that once read manage to leave a clear idea and a full-fledged thesis imprinted on the readers mind: Chiara E. Matteis book is one of them." * The Journal of European Economic History * "Through meticulously compiled archival material, Mattei explores austerity by studying economists in the 1920s from the birthplace of liberalism (Britain) and the birthplace of fascism (Italy) to draw a provocative conclusion about its nature: 'an anti-democratic reaction to threats from bottom-up social change.' * Politics Today * A powerful critique. * Asiana Times * She argues that forcing a recession or cutting social welfare is not really about budgets and debt. This so-called economic pain is inflicted deliberately to make the labour force feel insecure and to stop demanding better conditions. * Irish Examiner * "Austeritys defenders claim that any adverse impact on employment will quickly end and will be justified by eventual success. Such is the theory. Clara Mattei will have none of it. Her vigorously written and well-researched new study, The Capital Order, insists that austerity is a class strategy, not just a policy to restore economic equilibrium." * European Review of Books * A work with remarkable resonance for the moment we are living through. I found it impossible to put down. -- James K. Galbraith Clara Mattei shows how the supposedly apolitical science of e
Clara E. Mattei is assistant professor of economics at the New School for Social Research in New York City.
Introduction Part I: War and Crisis 1 The Great War and the Economy 2 A Wholly New School of Thought 3 The Struggle for Economic Democracy 4 The New Order Part II: The Meaning of Austerity 5 International Technocrats and the Making of Austerity 6 Austerity, a British Story 7 Austerity, an Italian Story 8 Italian Austerity and Fascism through British Eyes 9 Austerity and Its Successes 10 Austerity Forever Afterword Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index