Andrea Mariuzzo
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Towards a legitimation of prosperity?
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This chapter deals with the consequences of post-Second World War economic development on Italian political identities. The guarantee of economic growth in view of the prosperity of citizens became the main parameter for measuring the effectiveness of policy proposals. In Italy, the main political families presented the themes related to massive increases in production and living standards through the idealisation of opposing models. The representations of the Soviet Union and the United States were the points of reference through which different socio-economic concepts surpassed their opponents’ criticism of their attitudes and offered a positive proposal regarding the demand for an assurance of prosperity throughout Italian public opinion. The differing fortunes of these foreign models of economic and civil development in Italy can be understood through a comparison of the treatment that the party press and popular magazines reserved for them. In spite of Communist efforts to present the Soviet ‘myth’ as an effective model of egalitarian and participated development, any comparison with the real success of the American way of life was impossible, and even Communists proved to be influenced, though with doubts and critics, by the emerging force of post-war ‘Americanisation’

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