A report from a Burkean foreign correspondent on the Continent.
“Because when I am only a number. When I no longer have an identity or roots. Then I will be the perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators. The perfect consumer.” – Meloni
Walking around Rome this weekend, there was nothing to suggest that anything historic was going on. While some streets around the forum were busy, the Piazza della Rotonda was quiet and the streets surrounding the Parliament were empty. Over the space of a day, Italians voted and life went on.
It appears now certain that Meloni’s coalition of the broad right has won the election. This is the first resounding endorsement of a nationalist government in Western Europe in many years and its significance can’t be understated.
Meloni is the first national leader of a major power in my generation to articulate a vision for Europe outside of the market, devoid of higher values and aspirations. Meloni talks of a Europe beyond neo-liberal technocracy collapsed in on itself. A Europe of identity, meaning and rootedness.
In Ireland, the impact the election has had on the political imagination is tangible. I’ve heard genuine support and interest in Meloni and her politics expressed among my apolitical friends and family members.
Similarly, the reaction from Ireland’s political class reflects a growing ideological divide. Josepha Madigan criticised the “Worrying rise of the far-right in another country”. In contrast, Senator Sharon Keogan celebrated the victory saying “Top down EU governance is being forced upon countries & these countries simply want to do what’s right for their people…that’s now labelled as ‘far right’.
Ultimately, Nationalism can no longer be derided as an ideology secluded to the economic backwaters of post Soviet-states. Hungary is foreign but the Italians feel familiar.
D.P.Moran argued there is something deeply rooted in the Irish psyche, that we understand ourselves by looking abroad. As Ireland continues to slide into every crisis imaginable, Italy’s successes will stand confrontationally to our own failures.
The reality is the only alternative to the atomisation and social rot that liberalism has given us over the past decades is a return to nationalism. As time moves on, this fact becomes increasingly transparent. We must cross the Rubicon. As Meloni said, quoting Chesterton, “”Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer.“
1000 Democracy Points! That’s what you Hungarians get for electing someone we don’t like!”). The Commission is rumbling about fines of several billions of euros, while Poland continues to be fined in the millions everyday while it continues to uphold the twin burdens of the Ukrainian Refugee population and the bulk of Europe’s Eastern defence.
Meloni has been sharp to see that the road to true relief and reform for Italy passes through Brussels. As Fazi has pointed out in his article for Unherd, virtually every Italian government has been held hostage by the blackmail of the ECB and Eurofederalist technocrats. The gradual strengthening of relations between the nationalists of Europe has been a slow process, but all are the better for it.
While possible reforms such as the dissolution of the Euro and the rollback of EU federalism may still seem extreme, with the increased presence of patriotic governments in the Council they are now edging in the realm of the possible. And with Ursula’s cold bureaucratic talk of using “tools” against the democratic decision of the Italian people, which is only the most recent example of the EU neoliberals’ anti-democratic and pro-technocratic bigotry, you really have to ask yourself who are the real “extremists” in this situation?
There is no guarantee of this continued progress across europe. The neoliberals, while they are now on the backfoot, and know their vision is about as alive and vital as communism in Gorbachev’s Russia, are all the more likely to lash out because of it. But still I know of no other factions in Europe with the same steady determination and motivation as the nationalists.
In order for Europe to survive, many of us believe that it is necessary for it to be brought apart, and in order to bring it apart we must come together in the mission to do so. I only hope that Ireland will produce a great nationalist political movement, one that our proud history shows us to be capable of rallying even at our lowest points, so that we can meet this tide sweeping Europe.
Otherwise, we risk being kept out in the cold by our neoliberal ideology elites, a cold we will feel physically this winter, all in the name of chasing some insane dream of uniting the world in a market exchange.