The Corner

What Does It Mean When the Italian Government Falls?

Many friends are calling and asking. The most complete answer is to tell a story about my first summer in Italy, in 1965 (or was it 1865? I can’t remember….). The government fell. I had never been in a country without a government (or so I thought), and it bothered me. So I asked the expert, the barman at the bar next to the National Library, where I was starting research for my doctoral dissertation. It went like this:

ME: There’s no government?

Barman: Right.

ME: So what are we going to do?

Barman: God willing it’ll last until January and we won’t pay taxes…

I still think it’s one of the best philosophical analyses of a political problem EVER.

Michael LedeenMichael Ledeen is an American historian, philosopher, foreign-policy analyst, and writer. He is a former consultant to the National Security Council, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. ...

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