“The moment we have been waiting for 50 years has arrived, the cycle has of anti-fascism has closed — determinate ideas have entered the hearts of the Italian people”. Roberto Fiore, veteran fascist, and now national secretary of Forza Nuovo, one of Italy’s fast growing neo-Nazi forces, addressing a conference on “From Populism to Revolution”.
Whatever one might think of the self-regarding Fiore and his posse of thugs, his estimate of the significance of the 4 March 2018 election victory of the populist Five Star Movement of Luigi di Maio and its governmental alliance with Salvini’s La Lega is perfectly comprehensible. Salvini has unleashed a storm of racist propaganda and measures against the country’s actual or potential migrants. First he targeted people from Libya. Now migrants given “humanitarian protection” status (abolished in December) are being expelled from state¬funded care¬centres — tens of thousands pushed into the streets and left to the charitable mercy of the hypocritical pieties of the Vatican.
The routed and ever¬more¬divided remnants of the main “centre” parties, PD (Democratic Party) and FI (Forza Italia), voice pieties about the populist threat to “the democratic institutions” and the suffering of the migrants, but during their long periods in power they paved the way for Salvini. The CGIL, the largest and historically the most radical union federation, is currently electing a new leaders. Its historic equivocation — to put it mildly — before governments of every stripe has become a deafening silence. The “radical left” is in woeful and shameful decline, having half¬endorsed the “libertarian”: claptrap of di Maio and co.
Over the 25 years or so since the political scandals around 1992¬3 which broke up the old major political parties, Italian society and politics has been, and is still being, re-forged under the blows of decades of setback and defeat on every front for the labour movement. Come another severe economic recession, the European revolutionary left will face a real threat of restored fascist power in Italy.
** in the printed paper, the name "Roberto Fiore" was printed by mistake as "Roberto Fico".