Perspective

Italy’s Post-Election Dilemma

Overview

The results of the Italian election are in—and, in good Italian tradition, no one has any idea what they are.

The brief of the matter, to avoid entering into the complexities of the Italian electoral system, is that not one of the major contestants for the Prime Ministry has gained a percentage of the vote sufficient to guarantee a stable government. The Center-Right coalition has taken the plurality of the vote with some 37%, followed by the Five Star Movement with about 32%. (In its usual modesty, the Five Star Movement has wasted no time in proclaiming the rise of the Third Republic of Italy.) The left, led by Matteo Renzi, has received less than 20%, which by all standards marks a crushing blow. (For anyone who would like a general overview of the parties or individuals mentioned in this article, I may refer such a reader to my recent guide to the Italian elections.)

The resolution of the question now falls to the Italian President Mattarella, who has a number of possibilities before him, and several weeks in which to decide the matter. He can give the day to the Center-Right; he can attempt to convince two of the major parties to form a new coalition; or he can send the question back to the vote. He is almost certain to attempt one of the first possibilities, which begs the question—what parties might a new coalition comprise, and who will be nominated Prime Minister?

What follows are some reflections on the few certainties and the many possibilities which issue from this election.

First Some Good News

We have stated that the Center-Right coalition has taken the plurality of the votes. But much more importantly, Matteo Salvini has emerged as the clear leader of that coalition, having nicely defeated Berlusconi, against the predictions of every poll I have seen. Berlusconi’s power is on the wane, and Salvini’s on the wax, which we cannot help but take as a most positive development.

More good news: the political left in Italy is shattered. Matteo Renzi, easily the foremost leftist candidate, has not managed to leverage even a fifth of the national vote—a defeat so shameful that he would not even show his face after the results came in, but opted rather to delegate several of his representatives to admit his humiliation before the press. Also, as a personal satisfaction, I note that the globalist, feminist, pro-immigration, eminently progressive party of Pietro Grasso and Laura Boldrini, Liberi e Uguali (Free and Equal—which name is a contradiction in terms) has not even broken the 4% necessary to guarantee itself a single seat in the Senate or Parliament. (This has not stopped the Partito Democratico, of course, from arbitrarily assigning Boldrini one of its various parliamentary seats in order to salvage her.)

In general, the foremost fact that emerges from this election is the decline of the traditional parties. Trends in this direction can be detected in many Western countries, including the United States. Something parallel was clearly seen in France in the latest election with the upset victory of Emmanuel Macron. The situation in Italy, however, which is a traditionally right-leaning country, is somewhat more promising than in France, on account of the nature of the “populists” who are rising to supplant the establishment parties. At least at this present juncture, not one of these figures can be accused of any really compromising connections to the historical Establishment—something which could not be said for Macron.

Whatever else may be said for this election, one thing remains certain: the extant political class is its foremost loser.

Then the Bad News

The bad news is that this election demonstrates, once again, what already Mussolini had averred: the utter ungovernability of the Italian people. My personal suspicion—and I pray I am proved wrong—is that absolutely nothing will change in the wake of this vote. I suspect that no one has solid enough a foundation to govern, and that no coalition can be formed between the various parties on account of their essential or incidental points of conflict. The result could well be a period of paralysis and frenetic scrambling, followed by the fall of the Prime Minister and the artificial construction of the umpteenth “technical government” (read: puppet government). I am afraid, in short, that the words of Tomasi di Lampedusa might once again prove sadly prophetic for la bella Italia: “Everything has to change, so that everything can stay the same.”

Incidental Reflections

The results of the election, by geography.

A few minor facts from this election will not be without interest to the readers of AltRight.com. In the first place, the general election coincided with several regional elections, including that of Lombardy, in which Attilio Fontana has won by a margin of thirty percent as President of the Region. This is the same Fontana who lately commented (and this is a direct quote), “We must revolt; the immigrants want to cancel out our White race, our ethnicity.” We may take his victory for what it is worth—as a fairly localized, but nonetheless promising, sign.

Secondly, portions of a number of regions which have historically voted communist, including Tuscany, Emilia, and Lazio, have made a surprising showing for Salvini and the League. Whatever else may be said for the far left, its zeal cannot be called into question. The implication that this same zeal might in certain determinate cases be funneled into right-tending populist political movements must be contemplated with great attention in future days.

Finally, and most interestingly, the vote between the two primary contenders (the Center-Right and the Five Star Movement) breaks more or less neatly along geographical lines, as can be seen in the map above. The north of Italy was won roundly by the Center-Right; the south, by the Five Star Movement. There are several factors at play here. The League, originally the secessionist Northern League, is quite naturally viewed with suspicion by southerners. Yet one also cannot help but notice that these same southerners, who enjoy a long-standing reputation for laziness, have voted for the very party which has proposed a guaranteed minimum income for all citizens. It is also suggestive that those regions under the sway of the Mafia have someway perceived their profit in the Five Star Movement—the very same Five Star Movement which likes to paint itself as the sole anti-corruption party in all of Italy. Evidently the Mafia, which has a sure nose for such things, senses that the Great Incorruptibles might in some way or other—possibly through their rank incompetence?—not be so bad for business, after all.

Some Possibilities to Issue from the Election

The two real antagonists now are Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio.

The press, particularly abroad, and even Marine Le Pen, have made this election out to be some kind of blow to the European Union. But the Euroskeptics (amongst whose number, with a few definite caveats, I count myself) should be wary before celebrating, barring some decisive change in the near future. True, this election might lead to Euro-negative results, possibly even a national referendum on the EU similar to Brexit, but this is anything but guaranteed. The Five Star Movement has, in good populist tone, flown from one side of the European question to the other and back again in recent months, and has finally opted for somewhat bland support of a nationwide referendum; but they would need sufficient numbers to guarantee such a thing, and their 32% simply does not suffice. Salvini, though himself decidedly Euroskeptic, refuses to break his coalition with Berlusconi, who is openly pro-Euro. Berlusconi’s influence could easily make itself felt here.

In my latest article on the Italian political scene, I expressed no minor doubts about the Five Star Movement. As the Five Star Movement very well could become the new governing power in Italy (any new coalition would necessarily include it as the leader), it is worth expanding those reflections.

One of my primary gripes with the Movement (and I have a number) is its populistic hollowness on the vital issues. It is essentially undecided on the questions of major importance in our day, and in consequence is swayed by whatever winds may blow. It is laughable, to my mind, to call the Five Star Movement an “anti-Establishment” party. In point of fact it desires nothing more fervently than the renovation of the Establishment, which makes it fundamentally and manifestly pro-Establishment.

For this reason, by far the most appalling outcome of these elections would be an alliance between the Five Star Movement and the leftist Partito Democratico, currently headed by Matteo Renzi. At present such a monstrosity is impeded by the fact that Renzi refuses to step down until a government has been formed, while Di Maio refuses to come to any accord with Renzi. We can only hope that this situation does not change. (Fortunately, Renzi has decided to go skiing in the coming days, which, we can hope, will keep his idle hands away from the Devil’s meddling.) Nonetheless, with pressure mounting from Europe, and the evident desire on the part of the Establishment to maintain its quickly slipping hold on the country, there is a real and present danger that the President might throw the Center-Right to the dogs, despite its victory, and do what he can to force an agreement between the establishment left (the Partito Democratico) and the populist left (the Five Star Movement).

The other major possibility for a coalition is between the League and the Five Star Movement, with Di Maio at the helm. Di Maio will not allow this to happen without a breakup of the Salvini-Berlusconi axis, and Salvini has explicitly refused such a proposal, stating that he has given a promise to Berlusconi, and that he is not accustomed to breaking his word on the whim of a moment. It would moreover be politically foolish of Salvini to throw over a real chance at the Prime Ministry in order to play second fiddle to a politician with whom he has never seen eye to eye. The Five Star-League alliance thus appears presently impossible.

We may pray that Mattarella will give the day to Salvini, who will then be charged with the difficult task of running a minority government, scraping up consensus wherever it can be found for whatever policies he seeks to enact. The best hope at present is that after the formation of such a government, the Five Star Movement will begin to perceive that the populist current in Italy runs decidedly in the direction of anti-immigration and nationalist positions, and that it will align itself accordingly, giving its support to Salvini’s better proposals. This is the one scenario I foresee in which something concrete and worthwhile might be accomplished following this election. I am not holding my breath.

A Warning and a Chance

Yet another somber word is in order at our closing. Even should Salvini find his way to the Prime Ministry, his victory carries with it certain immediate hazards, quite beyond the merely logistical. In the first place, it brings what seems to me one of the foremost dangers to the political rise of the true Right throughout the West—namely, that the liberal-democratic order presently in power might, by moderating its mordant excesses and mollifying the people, succeed in limping on in the same direction toward which it is presently sprinting: toward the irrevocable demographic and spiritual demise of the West. No victory can be proclaimed, so far as our vision goes, without a radical change in the status quo. The rise of populism in our day grants certain discrete opportunities for movement toward this change, but also and as easily could guarantee the impossibility of the same. As with certain well known “nationalist” developments in countries like Poland, Hungary, and Austria, the results of this election could serve merely to convince the people of the “efficacy” of the democratic order to achieve various populist desires or to temper various populist ills; thus the people might be placated into accepting what is essentially the continuation of the Establishment in a gentler guise.

This concern is legitimated in the present connection by the fact that those smaller parties which are most congenial to our worldview—I am thinking, for instance, of CasaPound and Forza Nuova, but also of the larger and electorally significant Fratelli d’Italia—are almost not represented at all in the results of this election. CasaPound and Forza Nuova have taken less than 1% of the vote each; Fratelli d’Italia, which was hoping to break 5%, has only just managed to garner the 4% necessary to retain its seats in parliament. This clearly demonstrates a phenomenon which can be witnessed in other Western countries as well: namely, the redirection of truly radical or revolutionary urges into essentially conventional populist movements. The demos, at the end of the day, does not want the overthrow of the status quo; the demos wants only its pleasant modification and its indefinite perpetuation.

Having noted this, let us close on a note of cautious optimism. The very danger we have just observed opens another, and by no means less important, possibility: the rise of populism, even of a tepid and indecisive kind, buys us time, by slowing the disastrous rush toward demographic catastrophe in the West, and by obstructing the globalist agenda in the short term. This is time which can be used to curry favor for our views, to shift the discourse and public perception in our direction, and to slowly ready the reigning worldview for our emergence—perhaps all of this merely in preparation for a future crisis, in which our chance might truly arise. Such time is therefore precious to us, not certainly in our political struggle, but rather in our metapolitical struggle, the greater war to which we have dedicated ourselves.

John Bruce Leonard
John Bruce Leonard, Editor-in-Chief of Arktos, studied philosophy, letters, and languages in a university curriculum based exclusively on the great books of the Western Tradition. After taking his degree in Liberal Arts he moved permanently to Italy, where he nourishes his ever-living preoccupation with the heritage and the future of Europe.

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Clark Kent
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Clark Kent

The Ancients were right to declare democracy as the lowest form of government. Any political framework that could lead to the legal demographic and spiritual destruction if a people is a failed form of government.

Johnny+Futurismo
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Johnny+Futurismo

comment image?w=640

Stefano
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Stefano

Yes , the win , let’s even call it A HUGE WIN actually , is Attilio Fontana of Lega , The White Race candidate winning and by a much wider margin than anyone expected, the presidency ( The “governor” so to speak) of Lombardy , the largest and most prosperous Italian region .
That should serve as a lesson to all the remaining cuckold-ish candidate of the Right coalition

Stefano
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Stefano

On the bad side : I put 5 stars solidly in the ” left ” column. Totally progressive movement . Totally dishonest movement. I hate Grillo and Di Maio even more than I dislike Renzi. So , except for Lega great showing , and for the various potential and prospective future.. I do not consider that this was the great win that many on the right and in the anti -euro crowd say it is. Not at all. Yesterday I read an Andrew Anglin article about ” what a great triumph ” this was…but then , when you get into… Read more »

Stefano
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Stefano

I think Mister Leonard centered the point perfectly : 5 stars are the most pro establishment movement of them all , by their idea of “renewing and modernizing ” the establishment they give themselves away to anyone with an IQ slightly higher than a temperature ( which is not the case of any one of their Italian electors , who are the most illiterate , ignorant semi-humans to be found in the peninsula ). They simply are a more enthusiastically progressive movement , which were also smart enough to do a paint job , change name , symbols and put… Read more »

Stefano
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Stefano

To be honest , the previous electoral system at least forced a clear win of one coalition or the other , and some stability .
That is why they came up with it around the 2000..
This new one is a disaster.
It brought Italy back to the total mess before those years , nobody knows who won , compromises of all kinds ..all that.
Democracy is always a disaster no matter what , but this system somehow makes it even messier, at least by looking at it from the outside.

Johnny+Futurismo
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Johnny+Futurismo

Yeah. The thing is if they did a new vote between just Lega and Five Star, Lega would squash FS. Perhaps it’s time for a new March on Rome…

Stefano
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Stefano

Yes , they thought of a system where the two top parties go back to square it out just between them but then the majority of the parliament never passed it for some reason. Aparently they like the instability and the compromising mess more. But, attention : The two top partiesyesterday were still FS and PD. Lega was only the third. For Lega to be one of the two top parties they would have had to unite , as parties , with someone else ( F.I. , Fratelli d’ Italia or others ) which they probably would have done ,if… Read more »

RestoreSanity
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RestoreSanity

Looking at the trends you’d almost think the historically and genetically more germanic north had different instincts than the heavily mixed south.

Johnny+Futurismo
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Johnny+Futurismo

The issue isn’t that their mixed (their not) it’s that their more economically impoverished and more prone to voting for the party offering relief in that department. I’m not sure how Universal Basic Income is even possible right now with Italy as badly in debt as it is, but thats one of the things Five Star campaigned on, and it would appear the South took the bait. Five Star seem to be malleable to whatever stances will make them more popular so hopefully Salvini can push them into the right on the EU and immigration (two issues they were initially… Read more »

Stefano
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Stefano

To be honest :
Universal Basic income is an idea whch is not truly doable by any government of any country ,even without the huge debt or the big unemployment rate.
I know Casa Pound likes the idea, but I am just going to say it :
It is just dumb and unworkable, both financially and ethically .

Yes , the North always does have different reactions than the South to these type of proposals ,
An almost Anglo -Protestant -Lutheran despise for all types of welfare.
While the South tends to react more positively to them , no doubt.

Johnny+Futurismo
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Johnny+Futurismo

I think an increasingly automated workforce is going to result in either proles starving in the streets or some kind of UBI/Social Credit program, but it definently isn’t the issue at the top of my list of concerns right now.

Stefano
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Stefano

…jobs ,markets ,activities and necessities for human beings can always be found or new ones created.
I do not believe in unemployment as a natural , necessary condition of society .
Unemployment is actually ,willingly created by evil states ( virtually no such thing during Mussolini’s power by the way )or , secondarily ,simply by a lazy culture and mentality .
It is confirmed to me daily , by many in the South, that the unemployed there refuses a quantity of jobs .

Stefano
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Stefano

Agreed , and I did not mean to say that it is limited to the South at all , it is just that that was the theme being discussed:
” The south with his higher unemployment “.

Johnny+Futurismo
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Johnny+Futurismo

Depends what you consider work. Personally, if I didn’t have to worry about money there is no way I would spend so much time doing what I do right now in exchange for a paycheque. I would use that free time to do gardening, read books, write, build things, pursue creative interests etc. These things are a kind of work, but since I enjoy them it doesn’t feel that way. Sitting around playing video games and doing drugs is a choice.

Thomas Matthews
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Thomas Matthews

I actually think that a M5S-PD government would be the ideal result. Not because I like either party. Quite the opposite. M5S has proven utterly incompetent and corrupt every time it became the governing party on a local level, a trend almost certain to continue on a national level. On top of that, part of their populism is making a plethora of unrealistic promises. When the M5S-PD coalition would inevitably fail to follow through on them, particularly where immigration is concerned, M5S could have its popularity shattered. Who would the populists go to if M5S fell apart? Some might go… Read more »

Stefano
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Stefano

I agree
That’s the basic reasoning behind my post down here:
Expose them and oppose .
Then ,after their failure, the electorate would reward you
Some of the Right minded electorate which picked 5 stars would return home and the Right would win.
And even if they don’t reach a compromise between those two and they don’t put together a government you would have still exposed their weakness.

Atticus Marlott
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John, you are consistently the best writer present on this website. Thank you for your excellent contributions.

Stefano
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Stefano

True.
And there are more good ones.

Albino
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Albino

In Greece they made it: Syriza alliance with Anel. Why not an alliance M5S with Lega?
In France, De Gaulle included some commies in his governments.
Time to look beyond left and right.
Alain de Benoist.

Varonos Minxaouzen
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Varonos Minxaouzen

In actuality with Greece have had the two most destructive forms of ideology govern us for the last years. Syriza is a Sorosian new left type with anarchist an socialist leanings, while Anel(Independent Greeks) are an incarnation of the worst qualities of Greek nationalism, patriotism an right wing politics, the country has had the luck to see. Amel ha allowed ALL th left wing politics of Syriza to pass without any complain, ‘xcept homosexual marriage, even worse they emasculate patriotic politics. A good example is their stance on the migrant crisis which sees th illegals as only children and families… Read more »

John
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John

Both Syriza and De Gaulle betrayed their countrymen, so using them as example are horrible.

Plus, look beyond left and right is stupid nonsense.

Adey
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Adey

Those who are awake, are not going back to sleep, therefore, if we can massively increase awareness amongst the general public, our numbers can only grow larger, they can’t decline if we increase awareness.
So, in view of social media banning of alt right etc, how do we go about increasing public awareness.
There must be 1 million Patriots in Europe at least, that would donate $1 per month, per week to the cause.
Would cryptocurrencies work, as they cannot easily be stopped.

https://prism-break.org

Stefano
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Stefano

What to do now about this hung parliament situation ? To me Salvini had the wrong , knee jerk reaction answer to such obviously stuck game , which I only justify by taking for granted that it was a gut answer, taken during the excitement of the same day of the election : ” Give the government to us( and to me as leader ) ! We are the coalition that has taken more votes ! ” Salvini said. And then do what ? With a minority in both chambers and a pro -euro Berlusconi on his side ? Why… Read more »

Stefano
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Stefano

The old Berlusconi solution , when he was vaguely worth something , would have been to simply buy off a few moderates ,or the vaguely ” right wing-ish wing ” of the 5 stars movement or others .
That was the ” best ” Berlusconi possible in action … LOL ..the only thing that made his show worth anything , when he at least DID have the mafia and power connections to do things like that .
… not anymore .
He is much weakened .

Renzo
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Renzo

Yesterday’s pill in Italy is a little blacker than you think. Salvini just boasted on Facebook that the first black senator in Italy’s history belongs to his party. He threw in some DR3 for good measure. The post literally reads: “Racism in Italy is only on the left”. Which is a blatant and ridiculous lie btw – at least as far as voters are concerned. https://www.facebook.com/salviniofficial/posts/10155598664783155 According to him, legal immigrants are his “brothers” (he always uses that word) and need to be protected from illegal immigration just as much as any other Italian. When asked about black people born… Read more »

Stefano
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Stefano

It would sound very disappointing I admit, yes , if it wasn’t for the fact that you literally cannot , pretty much legally cannot , take any other public position when you are the leader of a major party of a major European country . You have to try to be a little realistic . If you look you will find a similar anti-racist discourse from Le Front Nationelle in France ,from Orban in Hungary…Pat Buchanan put a black woman as his vice-president candidate when he run for the Reform Party..and so on. Lega is still the movement which elected… Read more »

Renzo
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Renzo

They can and they DO take another position: you said yourself Fontana very explicitly mentioned the White Race and won big in Lombardy, probably not *despite* that but *because* of that.

If I remember correctly, Salvini stood by him and didn’t cuck for a second in that instance.

Things may be a bit different in the South, but surely, Salvini and Meloni are at least free to just shut the hell up about based black guys in LEGA hats? I mean, it’s a meme for a reason…

Lerma
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Lerma

It is “discrete” opportunities, not “discreet”.

Albino
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Albino

The real Europe is the Mediterranean. The rest is just conquered land.