Year XLIV, 2002, Number 3, Page 155
Five years on from the death of Mario Albertini, the Universities of Milan and Pavia, together with the European Federalist Movement, devoted a special meeting to Albertini the scholar and militant. “Mario Albertini in the History of Federalist Thought” took place in Milan on April 8th, 2002.
Albertini’s contribution to the theory of federalism and the struggle for European unity constitutes a rich and unique heritage, essential for anyone wishing to understand the history of our times and to add their “grain of sand” to the cause that is European federation and, ultimately, world federation.
Through Albertini, the theory of federalism shifted from a purely institutional approach (federalism as the theory of the federal state) to the global approach that has given it the stature and dignity of a political doctrine on a par with liberalism, democracy and socialism.
Drawing on Kant, Albertini saw federalism as a canon for interpreting history — history understood not as the sum of national histories but as the history of mankind on its journey towards perpetual peace. Taking as his starting point Hamilton’s thought and battle to create the American federation, Albertini developed and probed the institutional aspects of federalism, and the problems of political and strategic action that arise wherever an attempt is made to create, through the unification of historically established states, a federal state.
Convinced of the revolutionary significance of federalism as a response to the problems with which mankind is faced in the present supranational phase of history, Albertini revisited the course of history concept, that western culture had assimilated in a mechanical fashion from Marxism, through an innovative reworking of the thought of Marx and Kant. Similarly, he reconsidered, and extended, the ideas of the theorists of the raison d’état, analysing the power aspects of politics.
At the Milan meeting, features of his thought and his fight for Europe were examined by John Pinder, Salvatore Veca, Francesco Rossolillo, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Lucio Levi and Sergio Pistone. By publishing their contributions in this issue, The Federalist wishes to help keep alive the intellectual and moral legacy of its founder.