The A. traces back to the Eighties the origins of today’s "building of the Italians" and of Berlusconism. In Italy individualism would take the form of an asocial privatism banning any egualitarianism, thus suffocating an aspiration and partly an achievement of the Seventies; liberalism, meant as a thoroughly totalitarian ideology, would combine with the kind of "property individualism" that celebrated the triumph of the social strata grown on the enormous redistribution of wealth brought about by a long-lasting inflation. Fashionable would become such words as modernization, modernity, success, whose diffusion was largely promoted by the televisions of Berlusconi, who was endowed with the monopoly of private TV broadcasting. The political protagonist of the decade was Bettino Craxi. Though his rather disparate heritage does not suggest an absolute line of continuity between him and Berlusconi, it is under the impulse of the PSI that the old practice of power occupation in the State apparatus by the ruling parties becomes a regulated and codified system of illegal financing and corruption. The long contest between the two major parties of the Left would result in the extinction of both and the collapse of the "constitutional arch" the republican system was based upon.
Keywords: The Eighties, Bettino Craxi, individualism, liberalism, corruption, Berlusconism