By Lili Bayer
Italy is moving to the forefront of history due to its evolving banking crisis. But to understand this crisis and its implications, it is necessary to understand the underlying geopolitics. The banking crisis is a small eddy in the larger current of Italy, and Italy is a larger part of Europe than many people realize. All events require perspective, and this is intended as a framework for thinking about Italy. Let us begin with the heart of Italy: Niccolo Machiavelli.
In the final chapter of The Prince, Machiavelli exhorts the leader to “liberate Italy from the barbarians.” In Machiavelli’s time, Italy was not a political entity, and the age of nationalism was still a few centuries away. Italy was highly divided and fragmented. Nevertheless, Machiavelli ends his treatise with this quote from Petrarch:
“Virtue against fury shall advance the fight,
And it in combat will soon put to flight.
For the old Roman valor is not dead,
As it lives on in Italian