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Urbinati, Nadia

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La Repubblica - Italy | 19/02/2009

Nadia Urbinati on the war of the needy

In the left-liberal daily La Repubblica Nadia Urbinati describes the trickle-down theory according to which economic growth and the general wealth of the rich gradually trickles down to the lower classes of society as a fairytale. "Today it is clear that the droplets of wealth, the trickle-down effect, can no longer sustain the illusions of the many who believe the immense profits of the few will be able to quench the thirst of the less well-off. The masses, which today include the middle classes, have lost everything and are desperately fighting for their jobs. They almost always fight against each other: against the outsiders who come to steal their bread. The rise of racism, of angry and violent nationalism is proportional to the destruction of the illusion of the trickle-down effect. … The governments of many countries have found in protectionism the most obvious answer to unemployment among their citizens. It seems we are once again reading the chapter of a sadly well-known story that began with the protectionism of the liberal states at the end of the 19th century and ended with the grim nationalism of the fascist regimes."

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