Luigi Einaudi and the Dilemmas of Liberal Democracy
Luigi Einaudi (1874-1961), economist, historian and political theorist, was one of the most distinguished liberal intellectuals in XX century Italy. At the beginning of his career, frightened by the development of mass-society (as many european liberals at that time), he endorsed quite a conservative political philosophy, mainly based upon the ruling-class theory of his friend Gaetano Mosca. After the establishment of fascist dictatorship in 1922, he suddenly changed his mind by recognizing the importance of popular participation to power and he tried to put together a traditional liberal-democratic theory with his original realistic approach to politics. After the Second World War Einaudi soon became one of the leaders of Italy’s democratic revival: in 1948 he was appointed President of the Republic. Though never completely rejecting ruling-class theory, he sketched a model of liberal democracy characterized by a complex institutional structure, in which a crucial role was played by the separation of powers and local governments’ policies.