Inside and beyond the illusions of techno-nihilist capitalism. For a different imaginary of freedom


  • Mauro Magatti Facoltà di Sociologia, Università Cattolica Milano
  • Monica Martinelli Facoltà di Sociologia, Università Cattolica Milano


Capitalism, Political philosophy, Sociology, Social imaginary of freedom, Social life


In the last decades of the twentieth century, a powerful restructuring of capitalism – particularly marked by the set up of a new accumulation phase – has progressively occured. In this respect, the most crucial elements are represented by a typology of power system based on flexibility and mobility, by the accentuation of technical dimensions – which allow the efficient management of diverse flows –, and by the nihilistic vision – according to which all meanings are malleable. Thereby, the “techno-nihilist capitalist” has arisen as a new form of social life organisation. On the one hand, it has taken form of a collective imaginary able to support the logic underlying the social world structuring, and on the other, it has claimed the identification of freedom with the will of power self-determination based on a highly reductive anthropological idea. However, this system has soon reached a bottleneck, particularly stressed by the crisis eruption. In fact, the latter, by having severely affected the world economy, has somehow required to rethink this system logic and its underpinning schemes. Finding the exit from the current crisis will need time, and, not irrelevantly, a certain amount of institutional innovation. Anyhow, the solution will be hardly found without referring to a new kind of spirit, namely to a new social imaginary of freedom.



How to Cite

Magatti, Mauro, and Monica Martinelli. “Inside and Beyond the Illusions of Techno-Nihilist Capitalism. For a Different Imaginary of Freedom”. Acta Philosophica 21, no. 1 (March 1, 2012): 41–62. Accessed May 30, 2024.



Monographic section