Meloni’s “Neo-Fascist” Image & Political Hold! 

Giorgia Meloni

Right-winged party’s victory in Italy’s parliamentary elections has led to speculations being voiced about political importance being gained by “extremist” or far-right parties in recent years. Prior to Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy securing victory, Europe has witnessed right-winged parties taking over political command in Poland and Hungary. Should it be assumed that this phase of right-winged politics is here to stay and spread? Not really.

With respect to political language used by so-called far-right politicians, it tends to focus more on electoral language focused on securing them victory. Meloni spoke against LGBTQ, abortion, immigration and nationalism. Around 74% of Italian population are Catholics. Meloni is a Catholic. In simple language, she openly used language, particularly regarding LGBTQ and abortion, which majority of Italians probably agree with. There is yet another side to these issues voiced by her. In addition, she probably chose to focus on what she could easily voice rhetoric on, specifically regarding immigration and nationalism. Certainly, she has created an image of being hard-liner against immigration.

While rhetoric played a certain part in helping her win elections, there is no guarantee that the same will help her stay in power. As is well-known, her victory does not rest on majority of votes. Only 63.95% of eligible voters cast their votes. This turnout has been described as an all-time low in Italy. It also suggests that media hype created about Meloni’s success appears to have ignored the political reality of significant percentage of voters not having been moved by her right-winged language to support her by casting their votes. The other message is her victory not really being suggestive of a right-winged political wave having spread its wings influencing all Italians. In addition, she heads a coalition government.  Prospects of coalition-politicking spelling problems cannot be sidelined. When and who changes political rhetoric in support of what/who can hardly be predicted in coalition governments.

Besides, recent decades have witnessed lasting of Italian governments for around 13 months. Meloni’s government is the 70th after World War II’s end.

Some importance has also been accorded to her victory being hailed by some Republicans in United States. Well this would have had some credibility if Republicans headed the present government in United States. Of course, they may return to power but there is no knowing as to whether Meloni or another far-right leader would be then heading the Italian government.

Undeniably, Meloni has succeeded in gaining more media coverage in international circles than probably her predecessors. To a degree, this may be linked with her being the first woman prime minister of Italy. Media coverage gained by her views has also contributed to speculations about far-right politicians increasing in Europe. From one angle, some have always been around. It is possible, communication boom, increasing outlets of social media and other such means have given them greater opportunity to voice their identity with greater emphasis than before. Paradoxically, they have not given much importance to taking care of economic problems faced by people in general. It is possible, they have deliberately chosen to go overboard in giving importance to conservative issues and win elections. It is imperative to note, economic problems aggravated by Covid-phase – including inflation and unemployment – are least likely to be taken care of by whatever rhetoric and/or genuine commitments has been (and will be) voiced by far-right leaders. As for instance, strict measures regarding abortion, LGTBQ and so forth are least likely to help create jobs or ease other economic problems. Irrespective of Meloni having been fairly vocal regarding immigration, there is a difference between making claims and initiating the needed measures as well as ensuring implementation of the same.

True, at present, greater emphasis is being given to Meloni’s “victory” as that of a neo-fascist assuming power in Italy. This certainly does not stand symbolic of each Italian having become a neo-fascist. Votes secured by her party and her heading a coalition government are not at all suggestive of Italians having been politically swept by any Meloni (neo-fascist) wave. Besides, just as far-right, conservative and also extremist forces can probably never ever totally disappear from any society, the same may be said about left-wing as well as liberal factions. As suggested earlier, ultra-conservatism and to a degree neo-fascist rhetoric have helped Meloni this far. Now, it is to be watched as to whether she dons different masks to hold her coalition government, silence critics, pursue foreign policies, gain media coverage and so forth. After all, her hold on power seems fairly shaky, hardly as strong as the image about her appears to have been circulated in international circles!

Nilofar Suhrawardy is a senior journalist and writer with specialization in communication studies and nuclear diplomacy. She has come out with several books. These include:– Modi’s Victory, A Lesson for the Congress…? (2019); Arab Spring, Not Just a Mirage! (2019), Image and Substance, Modi’s First Year in Office (2015) and Ayodhya Without the Communal Stamp, In the Name of Indian Secularism (2006).

Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

The Bundle of Fascism in Italy

The recent election win of neo-fascist Meloni in Italy has renewed the interest in the history and ideology of neo-fascism. The original ideology of Italian fascism dates back to Fasci…

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News