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Fabian Michael Tassano was born on 18 May 1963 in Munich to German parents. He changed his original family name of Wadel to Tassano on the marriage of his mother to a Major in the British Army, Michael Tassano, in 1967. He has lived in the United Kingdom as a British citizen since 1973.
Tassano was educated at a variety of schools in Dorset. He studied Natural Sciences at Churchill College, Cambridge, specialising in Physics and Philosophy of Science. He graduated with a First in 1984, winning the Bronowski Prize.
In 1991 he qualified as a Chartered Accountant, having trained first at Grant Thornton and subsequently at KPMG Peat Marwick. He came tenth nationally in the Institute of Chartered Accountants' qualifying exam. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
He subsequently took a Master's degree in economics at New College, Oxford, and carried out research on the economics of vertical mergers for which he was awarded a doctorate by Oxford University in 1996. From 1994 to 2000 he held College Lecturerships at Oxford in Economics, successively at Jesus College, Balliol College, St. Peter's College and Pembroke College.
He is currently a Research Director at Oxford Forum.
In 1995 Tassano published The Power of Life or Death: Medical Coercion and the Euthanasia Debate (Duckworth). The book had a Foreword by Thomas Szasz, an American psychiatrist well known for his libertarian views on mental illness.
The Power of Life or Death was essentially an attempt to bring free-market and libertarian ideas into the discussion of medical treatment, and in particular the treatment of the terminally ill. Despite its radical agenda the book received serious, if guarded attention from the medical profession, the British Medical Journal, for example, commenting: ‘We would not recommend this book as comfortable bedtime reading. ... If you like an intellectual challenge this one is for you.’
More recently Tassano has turned his attention to modern culture in general, in a book entitled Mediocracy: Inversions and Deceptions in an Egalitarian Culture (Oxford Forum, 2006). The book argues that both ‘dumbing down’ in the popular media, and the obscurantism increasingly prevalent in academic discourse, are manifestations of the same underlying ideology: one which appears to be egalitarian but is in fact designed to privilege a paternalistic elite and exclude those who might criticise it. In this he sees strong parallels with communism.
Other selected publications
- ‘Tax aspects of corporate activity’, Energy Utilities, February 1996.
- ‘Are vertical mergers harmful?’, European Competition Law Review, 7, 1999.
- 'Information Complexity as a Driver of Emergent Phenomena in the Business Community' (with J. Efstathiou et al.), Proceedings of the International Workshop on Emergent Synthesis, Kobe University, 1999.
- Tax for the Terrified, Tassano & Co, 1994.