Conception of an Encyclopedia
Edited By Jürgen G. Backhaus
The Pareto Sociological Theory Of The Elites And The Italian Parliament (1861-1928) Silvia Fedeli and Francesco Forte
1. Introduction The purpose of this paper is to test, in a fiscal sociology perspective, the rel- evance of the Pareto’s theory of the members of the political class as elites, considering the composition of the Italian democratic parliament from the foun- dation of the Italian Kingdom in 1860 to 1928, the year of the last elected legis- lature before the Second World War. We focus on some of the main characters (e. g., age, level of education and profession, parties) of its members considering the legislatures under restricted suffrage up to those under quasi universal male suffrage. Very important contributions to the sociological theory of the political class as elite have been offered by Vilfredo Pareto, in its three books, Le Sistemes Sociali- stes1, Manuale di Economia Politica2 and Trattato di sociologia3. This theory is particularly relevant for the fiscal choices because of its interconnections with his own sociological theory of the maximum of utility of the community and the economic theory of the public finance processes.4 The distinctive characters of the Pareto’s theory of elites appear to be the fol- lowings. a) The elites, meaning by this expression those who exert the economic and / or the political power and have superior roles in a given community or may succeed in these superior roles, as new elite, replacing an existing elite, are composed of individuals of superior talents in their own activity. The distribution of the quali- ties is similar to that of the wealth curve, with a...
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