Protecting the Weak and Creating Community

  • Emilio Di Somma


Article 42 of the Italian Constitution prescribes that the Italian state protect and encourage the possession of private property. At the same time, it prescribes that the Italian state reserve to itself the prerogative to regulate, acquire and even expropriate (previous payment of a compensation) private properties of Italian citizens. This was to ensure the social utility of property, make sure that private property was used for the wellbeing of the community of citizens as a whole and ensure the fair possibility for everyone to acquire his own share of property within the community. It was the acknowledgment, from the constitutionalists, that private interests may conflict and go against “other” interests, that is, the interests of the social and political community as a whole, to which the constitutionalists decided to give the higher value. I wish to investigate the influence of Christian social ideals and movements into the development of the principles of social utility of private property within the Italian Constitution and political tradition. As referencing example, I will examine the ideology of a great social entrepreneur like Adriano Olivetti, who believed that the private gains of the entrepreneur should be reinvested for the benefit of the community of workers. I wish to present the figure of Olivetti as an example of Christian social entrepreneurship and a history of success in the harsh economic environment of Italy after the Second World War.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilio Di Somma
    • 1
  1. 1.Evangelische Theologische FaculteitLeuvenBelgium

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