Napoleon III had a vivid vision of the future, especially for Italy. By the age of 22, he attempted to proclaim his cousin as King of Italy, which failed. Further plots failed, until he became French Emperor in 1852. Then, Italian Unification progressed. Italy itself was only a geographical expression before 1860. The peninsula was made up of weak, oppressive states; the people entrenched in a deep history and rich diversity – so what brought them together to form a Kingdom of Italy?
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. Carl Sagan