The Brothers of Italy (FI) party of Giorgia Meloni is leading the right-wing coalition that won the 25 September snap parliamentary election in Italy. Early election results made public by the Interior Ministry on 26 September indicated that the coalition would hold a commanding majority in both houses of the Italian parliament after the bulk of votes had been counted.
The rise of the right-wing parties in European governments is signaling an unprecedented wave of shock from the liberals. The election results indicate that Meloni will be Italy’s first female prime minister and that it will have the most right-wing administration since World War II. Additionally, it presents the nation with a rare chance for political stability following years of upheaval and flimsy coalitions. Apparently raising concerns in Brussels, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered a veiled threat to right-wingers before of the vote.
Even though Italy hasn’t exactly been a socialist stronghold in recent years, many analysts believe the FI party poses a distinct threat. Giorgia Meloni, the party’s leader, appears poised to head a coalition government with Lega and Forza Italia, two other populist parties that each support distinct right-wing ideologies.
Meloni’s victory is likely to continue a trend of the far-right ideology becoming more mainstream. Examples of this trend include the rise in support for Marine Le Pen in France, the establishment of an anti-immigration party in Sweden, and the Germans’ support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
Almost 77 years after the conclusion of World War II, Europeans seem prepared to once more embrace the hatred and populist fear-mongering of the far-right. Despite the fact that her party insists it is not fascist, Meloni has praised Mussolini as “the best politician in the previous 50 years” and an “excellent politician.”
The most successful traditional parties in Europe today are frequently mainstream right-wing parties that have attempted to appropriate nationalist right issues, most notably Boris Johnson’s Tory Party, which surpassed UKIP by embracing Brexit, or parties purposefully built around the technocratic center in order to unify the middle against the far right. True left-wing parties like Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour or Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s in France have mainly failed. A recent example of a new phenomenon on the far right is France’s Eric Zemmour, who has outperformed Le Pen on the right by being even more nationalist.
The neoliberal project was kept alive by the creation of the European Union. It aimed to establish a politically neutral Europe, one that went beyond left and right, socialism and conservatism, that would enable the nations to function under any circumstances.
The EU wants the continent to be ruled by major coalitions or parties that are solidly in the political center. But a lot of Europeans—including progressives—are getting a little weary of this never-ending search for “the broad center.” The actual needs of the people are not taken into account while establishing policies by moderate governments, parties, and coalitions in the center. The majority of European citizen desire transparent, direct solutions that can address their economic issues. All of this is opening the door for the emergence of extremists who can provide a crystal-clear political message, and the far-right is answering to this call.
Undoubtedly, the war has taken away the extreme right’s main tool for appealing to voters: its catastrophic predictions of the effects of mass immigration. The majority of Europeans have welcomed the region’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Putin’s campaign may also provide the populists a big boost as the price of the sanctions against Russia begin to show through in the form of skyrocketing energy and food prices. It has already become clear that Le Pen was wise to focus her campaign on problems related to the expense of living.
The support, according to a piece by the Spanish philosopher Josep Ramoneda in El Pais, indicates that “we are in a regressive phase of European democracy.” Yet the American and British media hardly touched on it.
This might be because of the fact that the Western strategists drawing out plans for confronting Eastern powers feel that, this upheaval would be beneficial for European ties with America if it led to a political realignment in Europe that reined in the far right by reviving a more inward-focused traditional conservatism. America could easily live, work, and trade with a Europe that prioritized national cohesion over unfettered immigration, global humanitarianism, or free markets.
From Washington’s point of view, it can be considered significantly better to either a push to the far right or a collapse into civil strife if by doing so the continent was able to attain greater political stability and consistent force to tackle Russia and China in the new Great Game. The right-wing parties will fervor for a national revival, which will be detrimental to Russian and Chinese interests in the continent and pitting the EU on a direct collision course against the East. As Meloni stands behind Ukraine, it might be a similar scenario for other aspirant far-right leaders.
Many have questioned if Europe has in any way learned from its mistakes in the past or if it is destined to repeat them in light of Italy’s unrepentant acceptance of its fascist past and the increasingly prevalent toxic ideology emanating from Italy and other European states.