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Will Italian PM To Be Melloni be Far-Right Indeed

Georgia Meloni new Italian prime minister to be (October 2022 courtesy public domain photo for education only)

Georgia Meloni new Italian prime minister to be (October 2022 courtesy public domain photo for education only)

WebPublicaPress – New York/Rome - Italy handed a clear victory to a right-wing coalition led by a party with historic links to fascism. What is soon-to-be Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s appeal, and why have Italians reverted to what appears to be a politics of the past?

In a conversation with FP’s (Foreign Policy Magazine) Cameron Abadi for the podcast Ones and Tooze, Adam Tooze corrects a common misconception about the new right-wing politics in the 21st century. “The image that we have is that of the left behind, the disenfranchised, the frustrated, post-industrial working class,” says Tooze, pointing to the Le Pen movement in France as embodying that constituency. Fascism, Tooze continues, is—historically, at least—a different beast and “limited in its ability to appeal to a wider population.” Read more of that illuminating conversation here. And don’t miss Ben Munster arguing that this result is just the latest in a cycle of populist waves for Italy.

And in America there seems to be some confusion about the election of incoming Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and the post-Great Recession rise of a more populist, nationalist conservative politics across the West. Specifically, many right-of-center (and formerly right-of-center) pundits fear American conservatism is trading away its traditional, Reaganite, “fusionist” principles for a mess of European, throne-and-altar pottage – writes Kevin Roberts of American Conservative. 

“American conservatives aren’t cheering on phenomena like Brexit, Viktor Orban’s enduring popularity in Hungary, and Meloni’s victory in Italy because we are becoming more like European conservatives, but because the European right is becoming more like us. A center component of British and Continental conservatism was aristocratic. The cultural inheritances they sought to conserve were based on institutional privilege and social hierarchy.

The U.S. Constitution was, in many ways, a radical innovation. For the Framers asserted universal human equality not just in our endowment of God-given rights (the hypocrisy of slavery notwithstanding) but in our equal capacity for evil as well. The Constitution is a wholesale rejection of the idea that any class of people could be trusted with power. That’s why America has a Bill of Rights and federalism, andregular elections, and an oath of office, and a ban on titles of nobility, etc.

American conservatism has always sought to recommit our national life to the founding principles of freedom, equality before the law, and constitutionalism—principles native to us, foreign to many Europeans, and utterly hostile to centralizing elitists of all stripes.

What are Brexit, Orbanism, and Meloni but national rejections of the same globalist elitism Americans’ fought at Bunker Hill and Yorktown?

Pundits who long for a lost (or rather, reordered) consensus of libertarianism at home and adventurism abroad and bemoan the rise of “Us versus Them” conservatism misunderstand both. “

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