John Maynard Keynes’ main merit was to rediscover the priority of demand over supply for an efficient and socially equitable functioning of the modern economy. However, the great English economist, who has always declared himself and remained liberal, was the heir to an older tradition than himself, aimed at finding ways to associate between producers and share the work in the management and profits of companies. A tradition that dates back to the conservative and post-revolutionary critique of liberalism, but which, during the nineteenth century, having moved away from the immediately reactive perspective, had been adopted and developed in its reformist postulates and programs by social Catholicism, Mazzinianism, non-marxist union socialism, social democracy and social nationalism, which in the same years as the Keynesian “General Theory” appeared in the 20th century, would have found attempts to realize it in the business experiments conducted in Europe, which, in a silent but substantial continuity, also inspired the economic policies of the period of great economic development in the second period after the war. The idea of association and participation has also been explored in the field of economics by renowned economists with different orientations, from Einaudi to Meade. All stressed the possibility of an efficient economic trend and, from a Keynesian perspective, a tool to support aggregate demand. However, it remains essential to act counter-cyclically even on the base wage, maintaining or increasing from time to time during a recession, the historically prevailing level in relation to technological production capacity. Tax cuts, including on labor, must always be considered in the light of the greater propensity to spend lower middle classes than the rich, while earning the minimum wage, a proposal that initially does not belong to the “left”, this reasoning must be applied in such a way that it does not deprive workers of the protections guaranteed by national collective labor agreements.
Corporativism, Keynesianism, demand, offer, profit-sharing, Catholicism, socialism, nationalism, taxation, basic wage, minimum wage.