Terenzio Maccabelli, Erica Morato

Il "bisognevole" e il "superfluo": occupazioni e distribuzione della ricchezza in Giammaria Ortes

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The paper analyses G.M. Ortes's ideas on the distribution of wealth, the focal point of his economic as well as of his political and religious works. Special emphasis is placed on two different models of social hierarchic representation: one based on the "modern" economic language of "class" and another associated to the traditional social division into "orders" or "ranks" (such as the medireview tripartition "oratores, bellatores, laboratores"). Both models, despite their considerable diversity, coexist in Ortes's thought, and offer him sound arguments to legitimate "entails" and other ecclesiastic privileges. The aim of the paper is to understand this controversial message and to asses the reciprocal relationships which link together his economic analysis and his normative prescription favourable to Church properties. In particular, the paper will stress the redistributive role that Ortes assigns to the Catholic Church, considered as an economic institution able to prevent excessive wealth and power concentration.

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