Pareto biographical and intellectual experience offers a privileged point of view on First World War. His life work, Treatise on General Sociology, was published in 1916 by Barbera Publisher in Florence. It is through the conceptual tools contained in this work that he deciphers the ongoing conflict. His interpretative method is based on the distinction between residues and derivations. The firsts are the real motifs that determinate actions, the seconds are false explanations men create to justify their behaviour. War is a conflict between residues and more specifically between two residues: the persistence of aggregates – a conservative residue, politically represented by Germans and Central Powers – and the instinct for combinations – typical of innovators, represented by the Allies. Post war disorder cannot last and be tolerated by any stable social system. Pareto in a first moment is sceptical toward Fascism but he was fascinated by Mussolini’s personality later, when he recognises him as the only man capable to re-establish social order in a country out of control. Pareto’s support to Fascism is ultimately a support to a realistic principle able to use Machiavelli methods to beat all fractions that without a political synthesis can threat the social life of a country.
Download the article in PDF to read it.
Mario Aldo Toscano has been professor of history and sociological theory, Chair of the Department of Social Sciences and President of the PhD program in History and Sociology of Modernity at the University of Pisa. From 1992 to 1995 was President of AIS (Italian Sociological Association). He was visiting professor in several universities (UK, Japan, USA) and field researcher in Amazon and Central America. Among his publications: Evoluzione e crisi del mondo normativo. Durkheim e Weber (“Evolution and Crisis in the Normative World. Durkheim and Weber”), Laterza, Bari 1975; Introduzione alla sociologia (“Introduction to Sociology”), Milano 1978, 6th ed. 2006; Malgrado la storia. Per una lettura critica di Herbert Spencer (“In Spite of History. For A Critical Reading of Herbert Spencer”), Feltrinelli, Milano 1980; Marx e Weber. Strategie della Possibilità (“Marx and Weber. Strategies of Poassibility”), Guida, Napoli 1986; Liturgie del Moderno, Positivisti a Rio de Janeiro (“Liturgies of Modernity. Positivists in Rio de Janeiro”), Pacini Fazzi, Lucca 1992; Trittico sulla guerra. Durkheim, Weber, Pareto (“Triptych on the War. Durkheim, Weber, Pareto”), Laterza, 1996; Sociological Spirit, Pisa University Press, 2002; Ostmark 1916, Jaca Book, 2006; Prove di società, Donzelli 2011). After his retirement, he received several literary awards for his narrative and essayistic activity (Scanno 2010, Basilicata 2012, Carlo Levi 2017).
- Bobbio N. (1964). “Introduzione al Trattato di sociologia generale”, in: V. Pareto, Trattato di sociologia generale. Milano: Comunità, pp. I–XL.
- Castelli A. (2015). Il discorso sulla pace in Europa 1900-1945. Milano: Angeli.
- Croce B. (1965). L’Italia dal 1914 al 1918. Pagine sulla guerra. Bari: Laterza, pp. 54–55.
- De Rosa G. (ed.) (1964). Carteggi paretiani, 1892-1923. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura.
- Gentile G. (1989). Guerra e fede. Ed. by H. A. Cavallera. Firenze: Le Lettere.
- Giacalone-Moncano T. (1957). Vilfredo Pareto dal carteggio con Carlo Placci, Lettera n. 36. Padova: Cedam.
- Mann T. (1963). Epistolario 1889-1936, ed. by L. Mazzucchetti, Mondadori, Milano.
- Pareto V. (1915). “La guerra e i suoi principali fattori sociologici”, in Scientia, March 1915.
- Pareto V. (1919). “Realtà”, in: Idea nazionale, September the 7th 1919.
- Pareto V. (1935). The Mind and Society, ed. by A. Livingston, translated by A. Bongiorno and A. Livingston, with the advice and active cooperation by J. H. Rogers. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.
- Pareto V. (1962). Lettere a Maffeo Pantaleoni, 1890-1923, ed. by G. De Rosa. Rome: Ed. di Storia e letteratura, volume III.
- Pareto V. (1973). Scritti politici, volume II. Torino: UTET.
- Pareto V. (1980). Scritti sociologici minori. Ed. by G. Busino (2nd ed.). Torino: UTET.
- Sensini G. (1948).Corrispondenza di Vilfredo Pareto. Padova: Cedam.
- Toscano M. A. (1996). Trittico sulla guerra. Durkheim, Weber, Pareto. Bari: Laterza.
- Toscano M. A. (2006). Ostmark 1916. Milano: Jaca Book.
- Zweig S. (2014). The World of Yesterday: Memoirs of a Autobiography. London : Pushkin Press.