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Author: Vincenzo Scalia

This paper describes and analyses the reponse to the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, tracing its roots in the hyper-neoliberalism of the right and the repressive attitude of the Italian left, developed since the 1970s. It explores the emergency measures enacted against the backdrop of the pandemic and examines how the neoliberal hegemony of the last 40 years has infiltrated common sense to such an extent that even critical thinkers take for granted the role of the state in regulating social relations on behalf of a fully-fledged market economy. This passive acceptance of the ‘state-market match’, the article suggests, not only accepts the restriction of liberties and the extreme privatisation of life, but also provokes the withering of a critical thinking that could promote alternative policies, as well as outlining long-term prospects of political and social change.

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