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From Austerity to Fascism: The Capital Order

Sat, December 10, 2022 @ 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

$5 – $12
A video of this December 10, 2022, event is available on the MEP’s YouTube channel.

The Capital OrderClara E. Mattei presents The Capital Order, in which she explores the intellectual origins of austerity to uncover its originating motives: the protection of capital – and indeed capitalism – in times of social upheaval from below. Drawing on newly uncovered archival material from Britain and Italy, she offers a damning account of the rise of austerity – and of modern economics – at the levers of contemporary political power. Mattei reveals how the threat of working-class power in the years after World War I animated policies that elevated owners, smothered workers, and imposed a rigid economic hierarchy across societies. Where austerity “succeeded,” relatively speaking, was in their enrichment of ruling-class interests who accumulated power and capital at the expense of labor. Here is where the true value of austerity can be observed: its insulation of entrenched privilege and its elimination of all alternatives to capitalism.

Clara E. Mattei is assistant professor of economics at the New School for Social Research in New York City. She was a 2018-2019 member of the School of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Studies.