Throughout history both democratic and totalitarian States have sought to take advantage of the possible political contributions of art and culture. This study presents the first in-depth historical study of the relationship between accounting and culture in a totalitarian State; the Fascist State in Italy between 1934 and 1945. Accounting documents in the form of budgets and reports provided by the Fascist government, along with other accounts prepared by the Fascists, were used to build a narrative that identified the ways in which the Fascist regime sought to win the committed allegiance of the Italian people in unseen ways. Accounting documents and the cultural activities to which they relate show the ways in which the Fascists developed their own conception of popular culture and sought control of cultural organisations and intellectuals in spreading their values and beliefs through cultural artefacts. The study documents the importance of accounting records as a less obvious, often underscored source for social history. It also adds to the growing literature that has explored the place of accounting in totalitarian regimes by focusing on the unexplored context of Fascist popular culture and identifying the contributions of accounting to the management of propaganda activities.

Popular Culture and Totalitarianism: Accounting for Propaganda in Italy under the Fascist Regime (1934-1945)

Enrico Deidda Gagliardo
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

Throughout history both democratic and totalitarian States have sought to take advantage of the possible political contributions of art and culture. This study presents the first in-depth historical study of the relationship between accounting and culture in a totalitarian State; the Fascist State in Italy between 1934 and 1945. Accounting documents in the form of budgets and reports provided by the Fascist government, along with other accounts prepared by the Fascists, were used to build a narrative that identified the ways in which the Fascist regime sought to win the committed allegiance of the Italian people in unseen ways. Accounting documents and the cultural activities to which they relate show the ways in which the Fascists developed their own conception of popular culture and sought control of cultural organisations and intellectuals in spreading their values and beliefs through cultural artefacts. The study documents the importance of accounting records as a less obvious, often underscored source for social history. It also adds to the growing literature that has explored the place of accounting in totalitarian regimes by focusing on the unexplored context of Fascist popular culture and identifying the contributions of accounting to the management of propaganda activities.
2023
Antonelli, Valerio; Bigoni, Michele; Funnell, Warwick; Mattia Cafaro, Emanuela; DEIDDA GAGLIARDO, Enrico
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2508690
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