Observations on Society and the Economy, 1844–1846
Cesare Balbo’s On the hopes of Italy was dedicated to Gioberti, and the book agreed with Gioberti that Mazzini’s idea of Italian unity was “a puerile notion, held at the most by pettifogging students of rhetoric, common rhymsters and café politicians.” Balbo, as a historian, was conscious that Italy had never been a state or a nation, and he thought Italians would never agree to sacrifice their provincial capitals for a national capital. Unlike Gioberti, however, he was convinced that the papacy, far from wanting a large Italian state to exist, was more likely to be its enemy. Before talking of Italian primacy, he said, “better moderate our customary ambition” and wait until we can bring ourselves to the level of parity.
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