Ugo Spirito

Ugo Spirito (September 9, 1896, Arezzo April 28, 1979, Rome) was an Italian philosopher; at first, a fascist political philosopher and subsequently an idealist thinker. He has also been an academic and a University teacher.

Early life

Spirito undertook academic study in law and philosophy.[1] He was initially an advocate of positivism although in 1918, whilst attending Sapienza University of Rome, he abandoned his position to become a follower of the Actual Idealism of Giovanni Gentile.[2] By the age of 22 he was a self-proclaimed fascist and actualist.[2]


Spirito's particular interest in fascism was corporatism and he came to discuss the subject in depth through the journal Nuovi Studi di Diritto, Economica e Politica.[2] He wrote extensively on his favoured topic of 'integral corporatism', a system where ownership would be concentrated in the hands of workers rather than shareholders.[3] This belief in integral corporatism was sometimes equated with a commitment to common ownership.[4] Effectively therefore he represented the left-wing of fascism by supporting corporatism as a means of mass nationalisation and was the butt of criticism from other fascists who accused him of Bolshevism.[5] Spirito's economically left-wing ideals did not come to fruition in Fascist Italy and in the later years of fascism Spirito fell out of favour with Benito Mussolini.[2] Indeed, in 1942 he even attempted to publish a book of his theories, entitled Revolutionary War, but permission was denied by Mussolini.[6]

Academic career

Outside of his involvement in fascist politics Spirito held professorships at the University of Pisa, University of Messina, University of Genoa and at Rome itself.[2] Initially his academic attention was taken up with economics and criminal law but later in his career he became more interested in philosophical questions.[1] In terms of publications he served as editor of the Giornale Critico della Filosofia Italiana and the Enciclopedia Italiana and as joint director of the Nuovo Studidi Diritto, Economica e Politica.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, Simon & Schuster, 1990, p. 371
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 C.P. Blamires, World Fascism - A Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, 2006, p. 629-30
  3. Roger Griffin, Fascism, Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 68
  4. P. Davies & D. Lynch, Routledge Companion to Fascism and the Far Right, 2002, p. 241
  5. Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism 1914-45, Routledge, 1995, p. 220
  6. Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism 1914-45, Routledge, 1995, p. 387

Further reading

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