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This issue’s excerpts from classic pages of liberalism are taken from two of Italy’s best known liberals’ least known texts: a 1851 parliamentary speech by Camillo Benso di Cavour, the first premier of united Italy, and a 1947 interview with the Neapolitan philosopher Benedetto Croce. Cavour’s speech addresses the problem of the just and efficient taxation of the liberal professions and crafts. Croce’s interview deals with the role of the middle classes in Italy and their relationship with the political liberalism represented by the party of which he himself was chairman, the PLI or Italian Liberal Party. Although the first is almost 150 years old and the second 50, both texts are still of topical interest. This goes to show that the question of the political role of the middle classes (which has many points of contact with another problem – that of "just" taxation) is still one of the crucial, unravelled knots of politics and society in Italy.