1857 – 1943
Who was Achille Loria?
He was educated at the lyceum of his native city and the universities of Bologna, Pavia, Rome, Berlin, and London and graduated at the University of Bologna. He became professor of political economy in the University of Siena in 1881; and he held a similar appointment in the University of Padua, and University of Torino. He was elected to the Accademia dei Licei and appointed to the Italian Senate in 1919. His work draws on a wide range of predecessors: Karl Marx, Charles Spencer, Charles Darwin, Adolf Wagner and Luigi Cossa, who was his teacher. With this background and on the basis of research on landholding in the British Museum he developed an original deterministic theory of economic development. It is based on the premise that the relative scarcity of land leads to the subjugation of some members of society by others, a mechanism that works differently in different stages of development. This concept was developed in a large number of books, many of which were translated into foreign languages. They had an impact on writers like Charles A. Beard and indirectly influenced their interpretation of American history. Achille Loria is also seen as a forerunner of socio-legal studies. Loria was one of the earliest critics of Marx's ideas, and as such his views were ridiculed by Engels. An original conception of Loria was his idea that glue spread on the wings of aircraft would be able to trap birds in such quantities that it would solve the world food problem.
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