• Davide Cadeddu
Part of the The European Heritage in Economics and the Social Sciences book series (EHES, volume 15)


In the numerous references to the political thought of Adriano Olivetti, which have featured in journalistic articles or historiographical essays, the term constantly employed to indicate the characteristics of his thinking is ‘utopia’. And it is from this word, or, rather, from the consideration, which can be put forward, of the misuse of this word, that one needs to begin in order to shed light on Olivettian political thinking. Indeed, the word ‘utopia’, which ought to be used with a degree of caution given that it implies value judgements that are far from harmonious, appears often to almost elude discussion of its basic premises and passes silently over the whole range of its implications; used in a vague manner and thus lacking in descriptive function, the word appears with a merely prescriptive value, which is to say it is furtively ideological. Sometimes just such a lack of precision falls short, but the reasons employed to justify the poor reputation of utopianism reveal their purely ideological intent, often connected to Marxist ideology. So, precisely because the literature on the political thought of Olivetti appears to suffer greatly from ‘empirical’ influences, it seems necessary to pointedly confront the Gordian knot of his presumed utopianism, with the aim of establishing if it is possible, or not, to cut through it with a suitable methodological approach.


Diffuse Meaning Political Thought Numerous Reference Historical Reality Poor Reputation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Cadeddu
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MilanMilanoItaly

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