Ugo Spirito (1896, Arezzo – 1979, Rome) was an Italian philosopher; at first, a fascist political philosopher and subsequently an idealist thinker. He has also been an academic and a University teacher.
Spirito undertook academic study in law and philosophy. He was initially an advocate of positivism although in 1918, whilst attending Sapienza University of Rome, he abandoned his position to become a follower of the Actual Idealism of Giovanni Gentile. By the age of 22 he was a self-proclaimed fascist and actualist.
Spirito's particular interest in fascism was corporatism and he came to discuss the subject in depth through the journal Nuovi Studi di Diritto, Economica e Politica. He wrote extensively on his favoured topic of 'integral corporatism', a system where ownership would be concentrated in the hands of workers rather than shareholders. This belief in integral corporatism was sometimes equated with a commitment to common ownership. Effectively therefore he represented the left-wing of fascism by supporting corporatism as a means of mass nationalisation and was the butt of criticism from other fascists who accused him of Bolshevism. Spirito's economically left-wing ideals did not come to fruition in Fascist Italy and in the later years of fascism Spirito fell out of favour with Benito Mussolini. Indeed, in 1942 he even attempted to publish a book of his theories, entitled Revolutionary War, but permission was denied by Mussolini.
Outside of his involvement in fascist politics Spirito held professorships at the University of Pisa, University of Messina, University of Genoa and at Rome itself. Initially his academic attention was taken up with economics and criminal law but later in his career he became more interested in philosophical questions. In terms of publications he served as editor of the Giornale Critico della Filosofia Italiana and the Enciclopedia Italiana and as joint director of the Nuovo Studidi Diritto, Economica e Politica.
- Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, Simon & Schuster, 1990, p. 371
- C.P. Blamires, World Fascism - A Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, 2006, p. 629-30
- Roger Griffin, Fascism, Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 68
- P. Davies & D. Lynch, Routledge Companion to Fascism and the Far Right, 2002, p. 241
- Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism 1914-45, Routledge, 1995, p. 220
- Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism 1914-45, Routledge, 1995, p. 387
Works about Ugo Spirito in Italian
- Antonio Cammarana, Proposizioni sulla filosofia di Giovanni Gentile, prefazione del Sen.Armando Plebe, Roma, Gruppo parlamentare MSI-DN, Senato della Repubblica, 1975, 157 Pagine, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze BN 758951.
- Antonio Cammarana, Teorica della reazione dialettica : filosofia del postcomunismo, Roma, Gruppo parlamentare MSI-DN, Senato della Repubblica, 1976, 109 Pagine, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze BN 775492.
- Antonio Russo, Ugo Spirito. Dal positivismo all'antiscienza, Milano, Guerini editore, 1999, 240 Pagine.