Fascist Italy’s Illiberal Cultural Networks
Culture, Corporatism and International Relations
Italian fascists presented corporatism, a system of sector-wide unions bringing together workers and employers under firm state control, as a new way to resolve tensions between labour and capital, and to reincorporate the working classes in national life. ‘Cultural corporatism’ – the fascist labour model applied to the realm of the arts – was likewise presented as a historic resolution of the problem of the artist’s role in modern society. Focusing on two art conferences in Venice in 1932 and 1934, this article explores how Italian leaders promoted cultural corporatism internationally, creating illiberal international networks designed to help promote fascist ideology and Italian soft power.
Keywords: Fascism • Corporatism • Capital • State control • Labour