Futurism was an art movement that pursued a total makeover of the social and political conditions prevailing in the modern world and attempted a permanent revolution in all spheres of human existence. The overturning of aesthetic traditions and conventions was part and parcel of a programme of political and social, intellectual and moral regeneration. Many of the ideas synthesized in the Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism (1909) can already be detected, at least in nuce, in the decade preceding Futurism, when Marinetti gained influence on the cultural climate in Italy through his activities as a poet, journalist, critic and publisher. Marinetti's studies of law (1895-1899) had provided him with a sound knowledge of modern political theories. He also took a lively interest in the practical politics of his country, particularly those pursued by radical and subversive groups. Therefore, his aesthetic programme of renewal was always complemented by a political engagement. Marinetti's literary works and theoretical essays of the years 1900 to 1909 were a testament to his ideological development and prefigure many of the militant concepts expressed in his political manifestoes of 1909-18.
Marinetti's early Weltanschauung was derived from a number of sources. He was an admirer of Nietzsche's radical individualism and Bergson's dynamic concept of the universe, but he also studied Marx and Engels, Bakunin and Kropotkin. Georges Sorel's theory of violence became a lasting influence on his political viewpoints, as did