reichlin26_Alessandro BremecNurPhoto via Getty Images_giorgia meloni Alessandro Bremec/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Italian Right Is Coming

The key to the success of Europe’s two big political families, Christian democrats and democratic socialists, has been their well-developed political and ethical cultures. The Brothers of Italy, which will most likely lead the country’s next coalition government, now aspires to lay similar foundations for the right.

ROME – Italy might soon be led, for the first time in its postwar history, by a party with roots in the detritus of Mussolini’s Fascist movement. If the Fratelli d’Italia (“Brothers of Italy”) does end up at the helm of the governing coalition, as appears likely, European politics will be profoundly changed.

Giorgia Meloni, the FdI’s charismatic leader, has been accused of being a “neo-fascist,” and both the FdI and its coalition’s second-largest member, Lega, have been labeled “populists.” Both labels miss the point. Yes, these parties have harnessed the seething discontent some voters feel, and they would take a tough stance on immigration and security. But the Brothers is hardly seeking to upend liberal democracy.

The FdI’s ambitions lie elsewhere. Recognizing that the key to the success of Europe’s two big political families, Christian democrats and democratic socialists, has been their well-developed political and ethical cultures, the Brothers is seeking to lay similar foundations for the right, thereby enabling it to gain and retain power well into the future. This is the insidious challenge that progressive thinking must confront.

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