The Corporate State in Action: Italy under Fascism

The Corporate State in Action: Italy under Fascism

The Corporate State in Action: Italy under Fascism

The Corporate State in Action: Italy under Fascism

Excerpt

Five hundred years ago the leading thinkers, poets, painters, and engineers of Europe were Italians. Certainly it was not mere coincidence that the leading European business men also were Italians. Genoa, Florence, Milan, Venice, cradled modern business enterprise. In all the arts of profit-making, buying and selling and lending, the Italian merchants were teachers of the English, French, and Germans.

But the great navigations and discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries made the Mediterranean an inland sea in a corner of the world. The economic center of Europe shifted to the English Channel. And with it shifted the politically and culturally unifying forces of business enterprise. Thereafter, the Italians slumbered in the evening glories of the Renaissance, dreaming of the material and spiritual grandeur of Roman world empire. The early promise of Italian capitalism was unfulfilled, leaving Italy a land of poor agriculture and localized handicrafts and commerce. As artists of the business traffic, the Northerners soon left the Italians far behind.

The awakened, appraising outsiders saw the hills and valleys beyond the Alps peopled by unlettered yet picturesque peasants and deft, small-scale artisans. They saw these backward regions ruled by a colorful company of petty princes, churchmen, and semi-feudal barons. Here, too, was a battleground for the clashing ambitions of Spanish, French, and Austrian royal dynasties. More than anything else, this was a romantic land of noon-day dreams, of dolce far niente. And . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.