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Author Reinert, Sophus A., author

Title The Academy of Fisticuffs : political economy and commercial society in Enlightenment Italy / Sophus A. Reinert
Published Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2018
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource
Contents Introduction: Lupi sacri -- Hard knocks cafe -- Capital (and) punishment -- Cycloid pudding -- Achtung! Banditi! -- Enlightenment socialisms -- The threshold of Utopia -- Arches and stones
Summary The terms "capitalism" and "socialism" continue to haunt our political and economic imaginations, but we rarely consider their interconnected early history. Even the eighteenth century had its "socialists," but unlike those of the nineteenth, they paradoxically sought to make the world safe for "capitalists." The word "socialists" was first used in Northern Italy as a term of contempt for the political economists and legal reformers Pietro Verri and Cesare Beccaria, author of the epochal On Crimes and Punishments. Yet the views and concerns of these first socialists, developed inside a pugnacious intellectual coterie dubbed the Academy of Fisticuffs, differ dramatically from those of the socialists that followed. Sophus Reinert turns to Milan in the late 1700s to recover the Academy's ideas and the policies they informed. At the core of their preoccupations lay the often lethal tension among states, markets, and human welfare in an era when the three were becoming increasingly intertwined. What distinguished these thinkers was their articulation of a secular basis for social organization, rooted in commerce, and their insistence that political economy trumped theology as the underpinning for peace and prosperity within and among nations. Reinert argues that the Italian Enlightenment, no less than the Scottish, was central to the emergence of political economy and the project of creating market societies. By reconstructing ideas in their historical contexts, he addresses motivations and contingencies at the very foundations of modernity.-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (EBSCO, viewed October 10, 2018)
Subject Beccaria, Cesare, marchese di, 1738-1794.
Verri, Pietro, 1728-1797.
Accademia dei Pugni.
Enlightenment -- Italy -- Lombardy.
Socialism -- Italy -- Lombardy -- History -- 18th century.
Lombardy (Italy) -- Economic conditions -- 18th century.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0674916182 (electronic bk.)
9780674916180 (electronic bk.)