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Old 07-10-2010, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
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In Italy during World War II, there was a saying that Mussolini was 'the monkey who let the tiger out of his cage.'
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzleman View Post
In Italy during World War II, there was a saying that Mussolini was 'the monkey who let the tiger out of his cage.'
Care to translate that?
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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The main reasons cited by economists for the difficulties experienced in the drive for Italian industrialization from the 1880’s to the 1930’s are: lack of basic minerals, shortages of raw materials, and limited access to financial capital from domestic and foreign sources to fund development and expansion.
Japan has no raw products needed for an advanced industrial society. It has the second biggest economy in the world. Norway, Israel, Denmark, and Finland come to mind readily as societies that built a thriving economy without much in the way of raw products. People not raw products are the central element of an economy. The Italian problems were political and educational not resource related. Incidently I have read no economist that relates Italian problems to resources, they tend to stress issues such as politics, personal capacity, and the tax system in Italy.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
Japan has no raw products needed for an advanced industrial society. It has the second biggest economy in the world. Norway, Israel, Denmark, and Finland come to mind readily as societies that built a thriving economy without much in the way of raw products. People not raw products are the central element of an economy. The Italian problems were political and educational not resource related. Incidently I have read no economist that relates Italian problems to resources, they tend to stress issues such as politics, personal capacity, and the tax system in Italy.
Since it was apparently missed the first two times I said it, I will try one more time:

My comments dealt with Italy's initial period of industrialization; the 1880's to the late 1930's, with my primary focus being the Mussolini era. The problems encountered during that time period are directly related to the points that I raised; lack of basic minerals, shortages of raw materials, and limited access to financial capital from domestic and foreign sources to fund development and expansion. Incidentally, I have read extensively about Fascist Italy, including books that dealt specifically with it's economic workings. Whether the writer was a historian or economist, all listed the exact reasons I set out as being what hindered Italy's ability to industrialize, especially during the Fascist period.

The issues you cite have no relation to the time of Fascist rule, but are relevant if you wish to get into an in depth discussion of post World War II Italian economics. I'd be willing to guess that the economists you speak of were writing about the post-war period, not the 1930's. As for Japan, that country does have the world's second largest economy NOW. However, this was not the case in the 1880's through the 1930's, which is what we are dealing with here. Yes, the two countries share a common thread of being "poor" in regards to mineral wealth, but that's about it. So beyond that, I fail to see how comparing the Japan of today with the Italy of eighty plus years ago is anything other than a exercise in pointlessness.
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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You missed my point entirely. Industrial production is not tied to raw products. Its tied to the people and the way they are organized. Time has little to do with this, it was as true in the 1880's as now. Had the Italians had a better education system and a better set of political and economic leaders they would have achieved more. States that were successful economically, such as England and France, commonly exported much of their metals and other raw products from the 1880's to 1930's. For that matter the Japanese industrial system expanded rapidly in this period with the same lack of raw products.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
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Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Care to translate that?
I don't know what you mean.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
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Originally Posted by dazzleman View Post
I don't know what you mean.
I think the saying refers to the fact that at one time, Mussolini was the senior partner in the Hitler-Mussolini axis, and Mussolini prevented Hitler in particular from bringing about anschluss with Austria in 1934. But in 1938, Mussolini stood aside and let Hitler take Austria, and that made him a lot more powerful.

Truth be told, the saying probably isn't really accurate. Hitler became more and more powerful due to his armaments and the weak reaction of the British and French (and isolation of the United States and Russia), much more so than anything Mussolini did or didn't do.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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Had Italy allied with France and England to block the austrian invasion Hitler might have thought twice about it. But its hard to be sure how exactly he would have reacted for sure. And the allies showed no interest in gaining Italian (or for that matter Russian) alliances against Hitler.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
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Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
Had Italy allied with France and England to block the austrian invasion Hitler might have thought twice about it. But its hard to be sure how exactly he would have reacted for sure. And the allies showed no interest in gaining Italian (or for that matter Russian) alliances against Hitler.
The allies were too weak at that point. They wouldn't have been willing to stand up to Hitler and prevent the Anschluss, and all Mussolini would have accomplished would have been to invite Hitler's wrath.

It seems the other fascist dicator of southern Europe, Francisco Franco, made out much better. He managed to stay out of the war, even after getting Hitler's help in his civil war, and cling to power long after Mussolini was hanging upside down from a lamppost.

I always found it interesting how Spain seemed to be one of the only countries whose integrity Hitler respected. Franco deliberately kept Hitler waiting for a full hour when they met in October 1940 for Hitler to request Spain's entry into the war. Franco wisely demurred, and Hitler didn't force the issue, even though he could have easily taken over Spain and with it the Straits of Gibraltar. That might have knocked the British out, and brought a totally different end to the war. Spain had a lot more strategic value as an ally than Italy. Yet Spain was the one country it seems that got away with saying 'no' to Hitler. Every other country that tried was smashed.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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Hitler did not try very hard to get Italian participation. Mussolini did that pretty much on his own. I dont think Hitler really cared about Gibralter because he cared little about the Med or the seas. He made only a half hearted effort to get Spanish support then droped the matter.
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