What do we mean by “civil” and “civil society”? This paper attempts to describe a complex notion of “civil economy” in Sturzo’s theoretical perspective of the social market economy. According to this political theory, “civil” is not opposed to “market,” which is not opposed to “the political” (the state). Rather, instead of being the transmission belt between the state and market, civil is the galaxy in which we find also the market and the state (but not only), each with its own functions. This tradition – rooted in Christianity – was able to oppose both Nazi and communist totalitarianism, while many Catholics made an impossible attempt to exhume corporatism.