by Dr. Roy Cordato
Senior Economist, Emeritas
I just came across a wonderful expression reading a novel by the iconoclastic Italian author Carlo Levi, whose most famous book, Christ Stopped at Eboli, is about his exile by Mussolini in the mid-1930s for anti-fascist activities. I am currently reading one of his novel’s The Watch, published in 1950. Without going into too much background, the expression he uses is “luiginistical charity.” The name is from a fictional character named Don Luigi and unfortunately the work of fiction is not specifically identified in The Watch but is clearly known to Levi’s characters in the novel (it must be an Italian thing.) Anyway, here’s the description of “luiginistical charity”:
The state is the incarnation of [luiginistical] charity, and its dispenser, and spreads it among its own members, its functionaries, their families, their friends, on those who live on it directly or indirectly…Someone’s got to pay the expenses…and those are the one’s who don’t play any part in the state.