How Italy’s anti-globalist Five Star Movement crashed and burned (shades of Trump and the wall):
For its part, the Five Star Movement has experienced the most spectacular fall from grace of any party in modern European history: at the last elections, in 2018, on the back of a strongly anti-establishment rhetoric, it gained an astonishing 32.7% of the votes, 11 million in total, making it by far the most-voted party in parliament. Today it is polling at around 10%.
This is the result of what many view as a betrayal of the party’s ideals. Failing to achieve much during its short-lived “populist” government alliance with the Lega, it subsequently underwent nothing less than a full-blown transformation, first allying itself with the pro-establishment PD and then offering its unwavering support for the technocratic government of Mario Draghi, the embodiment itself of post-democratic technocratic management. Needless to say, voters weren’t impressed — hence the party’s free-fall in the polls.
Indeed, for the many millions of Italians who placed their hopes in Five Star, the lesson is a bleak one: voting is pointless. …
The deeper, structural problem with Italian democracy:
[Italian] governments, regardless of who gets elected, have little choice but to go along with what Brussels and Frankfurt say. …
To put it starkly, Italy is no longer a democracy — it’s an appendage to the EU empire. There’s really no other way of describing a system where democratically unaccountable institutions, such as the European Commission and ECB, are able to arbitrarily decide the policies of elected governments or even forcibly remove them from office. So citizens can hardly be blamed for thinking that voting is, ultimately, pointless.
Parties are perfectly aware of this, but are unwilling to admit it to voters. And no one is more aware of it than Giorgia Meloni. She knows very well that Italy is not a sovereign nation, and that winning an election is only part of the effort. Having the support of the European (and American) establishment is just as important, if she wants to remain in power. …
The elected politicians can only fiddle with peripheral issues. The real issues are decided by Europe’s bureaucrats:
Meloni prefers to talk of cultural-identitarian issues rather than economic ones. Hence her agenda’s focus on defending and promoting “Europe’s classical and Judeo-Christian historical and cultural roots and identity”, tighter immigration rules and greater crime-prevention measures….
It’s just as much a consequence of the way in which the EU’s economic pensée unique, by ruling out all alternatives to managing society and the economy, inevitably ends up pushing political challenges to the status quo, and to the EU itself, on to a strictly cultural and identitarian terrain.
This explains why, across Europe, opposition to the EU isn’t couched so much in terms of the bloc’s economic policies but of its encroachment upon the “diversity” of the European peoples. This puts Meloni’s Brothers of Italy up there with all major European Right-wing parties — Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz, Poland’s governing Law and Justice or Austria’s Freedom Party — none of which openly challenge the EU’s economic architecture, but mostly focus their criticism on the bloc’s threat to European cultural and religious traditions.
This is not to say that these issues are not important, but this trend is revealing of the way the EU has succeeded in shifting any opposition to itself from the socioeconomic terrain to the identitarian terrain, thus fueling the very culture wars that are tearing our societies apart.
What we might expect from a future centre-Right government was recently spelled out by Lucio Baccaro: “They will pass a few (heinous) laws about migrants, LGBTs, etc., they will get a bit of pork for their constituencies, but otherwise the country will continue being governed from outside.”
The voters know what they want, and keep voting against the globalist narrative. But increasingly western countries aren’t really democracies anymore, because they are not responsive to voter’s wishes.
It’s particularly obvious in Italy. Elections are just window dressing, an outlet for people to blow off steam. The bureaucrats really run the show now, and are settling in for the long run.
A reader chips in:
Nowhere was it more obvious than in the UK establishment’s efforts to overturn the result of the Brexit referendum.