Can you design a high-speed car, reduce its braking ability, and boost its engine power all at the same time? Something like that happened in the 1980s and 1990s, with the transition to financial capitalism. The new model’s advent was accompanied by popular catchwords such as “small government”, “privatization”, “competition”, “efficiency”, “dematerialization”, “delocalisation”, “transparency” and “meritocracy”. Rapidly developing technologies helped establish a risk-based economy model, which seemed capable of operating without rules and constraints and arousing new energies at both the individual and collective levels. That world, so full of promise and opportunity, today appears opaque, uncertain, devoid of vision, and a source of inequality. Is it time to change?
Maria Rosaria Ferrarese teaches Sociology of Law at the University of Cagliari.