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Sir Oswald Mosley’s contribution to the Interwar Policy Debate and Fascist Economics

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  • Emilio Ocampo

Abstract

After being dormant for decades, in the last two decades, right-wing populism resurfaced strongly in Europe and the US channeling a reaction against globalization. This resurgence has prompted economists to pay increasing attention to populist economics. Current versions of right wing populism share many elements with early fascism, particularly the type that developed by the British Union of Fascists (BUF) in the UK under the leadership of Sir Oswald Mosley. Less aggressive and racist than its continental counterparts, one of its pillars was isolationism, which figures prominently in the platforms of modern populist parties in Europe and North America. Although more sophisticated in his economic thinking than Hitler and Mussolini, Mosley’s was less successful politically. His stubborn obnoxiousness and inability to acknowledge his mistakes cemented his status as a political pariah and contributed to the academic neglect of his 1930 program of radical economic reform which he later incorporated into the BUF’s platform. The study of Mosleynomics also has historical value. Mosley’s proposals not only contributed to the interwar policy debate but also anticipated many key elements of the economic policies of fascist and non-fascist regimes on both sides of the Atlantic, not only in the US, Germany and Italy in the 1930s but also in the UK under the Labor Party and Argentina under Perón in the immediate postwar. This essay seeks to contribute to fill a gap in the literature, by tracing the intellectual roots and evolution of Mosley’s economic policy proposals.

Suggested Citation

  • Emilio Ocampo, 2020. "Sir Oswald Mosley’s contribution to the Interwar Policy Debate and Fascist Economics," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 730, Universidad del CEMA.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:doctra:730
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fascism; Economic Policy; Fascist Economics; Keynesianism; Interwar Policy Debate.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches
    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • P11 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Capitalist Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • P40 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - General

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