Corrado Gini, he of the Gini index, was a numbers man, at a time when statistics had become a modern science. In 1925, four years after Gini wrote “Measurement of Inequality of Incomes,” he signed the “Manifesto of Fascist Intellectuals” (he was the only statistician to do so) and was soon running the Presidential Commission for the Study of Constitutional Reforms. As Jean-Guy Prévost reported in “A Total Science: Statistics in Liberal and Fascist Italy” (2009), Gini’s work was so closely tied to the Fascist state that, in 1944, after the regime fell, he was tried for being an apologist for Fascism. In the shadow of his trial, he joined the Movimento Unionista Italiano, a political party whose objective was to annex Italy to the United States. “This would solve all of Italy’s problems,” the movement’s founder, Santi Paladino, told a reporter for Time. (“Paladino has never visited the U.S., though his wife Francesca lived 24 years in The Bronx,” the magazine noted.) But, for Gini, the movement’s purpose was to provide him with some anti-Fascist credentials.
There is more here at the Jill Lepore review of the new Robert Putnam book (and other books), via the excellent Kevin Lewis. And please no, I am not trying to suggest that an interest in inequality numbers is fascist in orientation, I simply find such historical tidbits fascinating. Here are further sources on Corrado Gini, not surprisingly he was into eugenics too.