Government and Politics of Italy

Government and Politics of Italy

Government and Politics of Italy

Government and Politics of Italy

Excerpt

Government and Politics of Italy is one of a series of books which portray national states of the present day. In other members of the series there is scant need of history, a mere introduction to the description of present-day political institutions. But in the case of Italy, Fascism has entered upon the scene during the present decade and seems to alter fundamentally the whole scheme of things, seems to deny that Italian government can be dealt with in the same forms of thought, or described in the vocabulary, that has been current in other countries. Some competent observers, it is true, regard the Fascist movement as a mere factional episode, the career of a fifteenth-century condottiere born out of due time. But whatever the historian of the future may do, we of today must take Fascism more seriously; for it claims, and temporarily seems, to have created a new Italian political world. Hence, to make clear the problems of Italian politics, we must make a preliminary sketch of the geographic and social conditions, and then go more deeply into the recent political history of men, institutions, and parties, especially the story of the Fascist conquest of the state. Only upon this background can we portray the governmental institutions, first as operated under the royal, democratic constitution, and then as transformed by Mussolini.

So dynamic a subject suggests a movie, not a portrait. In presence of something so piquant, picturesque, chal-

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