Robert J. Antonio and Alessandro Bonanno1
"Americanism is swamping us." Luigi Pirandello (1929)
This paper has two parts. First, we discuss the development of the discourse on Fordism and post-Fordism and its transition into a broader rubric about globalization. In the second part, we analyze dimensions of neoliberal globalization. Throughout the paper we elaborate and illustrate a socio-cultural approach to "economic" matters—regime analysis—that challenges the neoclassical and neoliberal paradigms which dominate among American policy elites and which the United States exports globally through its political and economic power. Our main focus is on the American role in and hegemonic ideological vision of neoliberal globalization.
Socio-Cultural Rupture and Regime Theories of Capitalism
Fordism: Marxian-Gramscian Origins During the late 1970s, British and Continental thinkers revived the thought of early twentieth-century social theorist Antonio Gramsci. By the mid-1980s the revival was global, spread by new cultural studies approaches that employed his ideas and embraced him as a leading precursor. Stressing his concept of hegemony, cultural theorists shifted from postwar Marxist structuralism to revised or
0026-3079/2000/4102/3-033$5.00/0 American Studies, 41:2/3 (Summer/Fall 2000): 33-77
Robert J. Antonio and Alessandro Bonanno
post-Marxist perspectives, forged fresh critiques and politics, and stirred debate about the composition and very idea of the "left." About the same time, other thinkers, attempting to come to grips with substantial changes in economic conditions and public policy, revived Gramsci's concept of Fordism ( 1971).2 Paralleling cultural theorists, they rejected economic determinism and acknowledged the importance of culture. But following Gramsci' s own break with "mechanical" Marxism, they continued to... [continues]
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