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Territory in southern Europe, ruled since 1946 by the Repubblica Italiana

Italy (Italian: Italia), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica italiana), is a country in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km² and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous in southern Europe.

Geographical type: Territory

Latitude: 43° N — Longitude: 12° E

Area: 301,338 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: IT

Birthplace of

Thomas Aquinas, in Roccasecca, on 1225
Giordano Bruno, Filippo Bruno, in Nola, on 1548
John Dalberg-Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, in Naples, on 10 Jan 1834
Maria Montessori, in Chiaravalle, on 31 Aug 1870

Deathplace of

Thomas Aquinas, in Fossanova Abbey, on 7 Mar 1274
Frédéric Bastiat, in Rome, on 24 Dec 1850
Giordano Bruno, in Rome, on 17 Feb 1600
Percy Bysshe Shelley, in Gulf of La Spezia, on 8 Jul 1822

Measures of Freedom

Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2023: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
2021: 7.95, Rank: 36, Personal freedom: 8.45, Economic freedom: 7.25
Italy | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2024
2016: Status: Free, Aggregate Score: 89, Political Rights: 1, Civil Liberties: 1
Several reforms promoted by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi passed or went into effect in 2015, affecting the labor, electoral, banking, and education sectors. Renzi continued to advocate for improvements to the judiciary as well as for an ambitious parliamentary reform plan, which the Senate approved in October. The Renzi government continued to reduce spending and restructure the civil sector to counter the economic problems that had challenged its predecessors.
Level of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 7.17, Rank: 69


Fascism, by Sheldon Richman, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 2008
Defines fascism, contrasting it with other ideologies, identifying Mussolini's Italy and Nazi Germany as its two main exponents and discussing its influence on the New Deal
If a formal architect of fascism can be identified, it is Benito Mussolini ... who ... became Italy's leader in 1922 ... Labor and management were organized into twenty-two industry and trade "corporations," each with Fascist Party members as senior participants. The corporations were consolidated into a National Council of Corporations; however, the real decisions were made by state agencies such as the Instituto per la Ricosstruzione Industriale, which held shares in industrial, agricultural, and real estate enterprises, and the Instituto Mobiliare, which controlled the nation's credit.
Give Me Liberty [PDF], by Rose Wilder Lane, 1936
Originally published as an article titled "Credo" in the Saturday Evening Post; describes her experiences in and history of Soviet Russia and Europe, contrasting them with the history of the United States, emphasizing the individualist themes
I said that in Italy ..., an essentially medieval, planned and controlled economic order was taking over the fruits of the industrial revolution while destroying its root, the freedom of the individual. "Why will you talk about the rights of individuals!" Italians explained, at last impatient. "An individual is nothing. As individuals we have no importance whatever. I will die, you will die, millions will live and die, but Italy does not die. Italy is important. Nothing matters but Italy." ... It was the spirit of Fascism, the spirit that indubitably did revive Italy.
The Idea of Liberty is Western, by Ludwig von Mises, American Affairs, Oct 1950
Argues that the "idea of liberty is and has always been peculiar to the West", beginning in ancient Greece and moving westward to Europe and America, and discusses "liberty" as viewed by Harold Laski, contrasting life under Stalin with Italy under fascism
Fascist Italy was certainly a country in which there was no liberty. It had adopted the notorious Soviet pattern of the "one party principle" ... Yet there was still a conspicuous difference between the Bolshevik and the Fascist ... For instance, there lived in Fascist Italy a former member of the parliamentary group of communist deputies, who remained loyal unto death to his communist tenets, Professor Antonio Graziadei. He regularly received the pension which he was entitled to claim as professor emeritus, and he was free to write and to publish ... books which were orthodox Marxian.


Interview with James Buchanan, by James M. Buchanan, The Region, Sep 1995
Topics include The Calculus of Consent, public choice theory, monetary policy and the Federal Reserve
Buchanan: ... I picked up some of the Italians who had paid much more attention to the model of the state, the model of politics. I spent a year in Italy (1955-56). It changed my perspective on politics because I think a lot of Americans, of my generation anyway, still had a romantic view of politics. Italians, for me at least, served the function of introducing a lot of skepticism, a lot more questions. Had I not spent that year in Italy, I might not have ever really been able to come to the critical realistic view of politics as I did.


Pre-Fascist Italy: Tax and Borrow and Spend | by John T. Flynn, by John T. Flynn, Nathaniel Foote (reader), 15 Jun 2011
Audio of the Mises Daily article of 22 Apr 2011, which is an except of Flynn's As We Go Marching, 1944, Part One, Chapter IV
First we see the conviction ... that there were economic and social problems affecting them that ought to be solved, that foremost ... were those of poverty and of crises, and that they were determined that the government do something about [them]. So deeply rooted were these convictions that no man could arrive in power who did not adopt them as part of his polity. This situation became itself the parent of another settled conviction that began as a little trickle and finally cut its way deep into the terrain of Italian public thought. It began to flow as a full current in the regime of Agostino Depretis, who rose to power as premier in 1876.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Italy" as of 26 Sep 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.