How would Macchiavelli have commented on the historical period we are experiencing? Can we draw some useful suggestions from his “Il Principe” even in an era of globalization and post-pandemic? According to Matteo Minà, journalist and fashion teacher, but above all author of the recent “Macchiavelli Social” (Vallecchi Florence, 2021), written jointly with fellow journalist Filiberto Passananti, the answer can only be affirmative.
Just citing your latest book “Macchiavelli Social”, published a few years later than your other volume “Il Galateo del Terzo Millennio” (Guido Tommasi Editore, 2017), how would the author of “Il Principe” comment on the season we are experiencing?
In the same way he would have commented on it 500 years ago, when in exile in San Casciano in Val di Pesa (Florence) he wrote Il Principe. In many years in our beautiful country nothing has changed, but we continue in the art of changing everything in order not to change anything.
Considering this “immobility”, but also with respect to your experience in writing this book, what indications present in Machiavelli’s text could be useful to contemporary man in addressing this complex historical period?
The suggestion came from the many Italians we involved in responding to Machiavelli’s tweet-thoughts. A well-known entrepreneur, for example, told us that the rules dictated in “Il Principe” would also be useful for organizing a modern company. But there are those who went much further, such as a university professor who indicated the ideas of the Florentine political scientist as valid for a better management of globalization.
A transversal book therefore, which lends itself to multiple levels of reading….
The purpose of this book, the idea of which was born in the days of the first lockdown when, like all Italians, I drew from the home library by re-reading highly respectable texts just like “Il Principe”, is twofold: to transmit to young people the knowledge and values of history, because those who do not remember the mistakes of the past are forced to repeat them and, at the same time, make them passionate about good politics by speaking their language, that is using the techniques of social networks. It is undeniable, however, that our ambition is also to make a “review” to politicians of the main work of the famous Florentine Secretary. Unfortunately many of them have not read it or have forgotten it, despite often misquoting it. Knowing it, on the other hand, it could start a debate on strongly contemporary current events, albeit starting from a Renaissance thought that has however been able to cross the centuries.
Debate that could not ignore the “reading” of the phase we are experiencing. As an insider, having you the pulse of the spinning world, writing about it, what is your vision regarding the post-pandemic?
In the high-end knitwear segment, our country has confirmed its role as an international leader, so much so that Italian spinning mills are recognized as increasingly strategic companies for the supply chain. Just think of the growing and constant interest among fashion brands for knitwear, but also of the innovative business model proposed by these realities, between experimentation and sustainability. And Tollegno 1900 is a clear example: at each trade fair the company always present many news that make innovation and sensitivity for environmental protection as focus.
If for Tollegno 1900 investments in innovation and sustainability have always been a basic, what are the focuses of the companies of yarn sector in this restart phase?
As in the case of Tollegno 1900, the major investments are focusing precisely on sustainability, product research and customer service. But storytelling also proved to be a barycentric to include the upstream link, therefore the spinning sector, in the supply chain story.
In this panorama of evolution, are there any critical issues that companies have to deal with that could severely limit them?
The increase in the cost of raw materials and especially energy is an undeniable problem, the effects of which are felt on multiple levels. But also the difficulty in finding the same raw materials and the increase in transport prices are not to be underestimated.
Resuming Macchiavelli: “There is nothing more difficult to manage, with an uncertain outcome and so dangerous to realize than the beginning of a change”. The last 2 years have required a substantial revision of the paradigms, which, however, has had the merit of accelerating projects that have been “suspended” for some time. Do you have any project in your drawer to give light to?
Yes, and we are already working on it: to introduce the new generations to a work by the much discussed Giovanni Boccaccio.