After Giorgia Meloni’s historic election victory to become Italy’s new Prime Minister, American media are trying to paint her as a “far right” figure. The Associated Press traced her party’s roots back to the post-World War Two Italian Social Movement.
The Italian Social Movement, or MSI, was founded in 1946 by Giorgio Almirante, a chief of staff in Mussolini’s last government. It drew fascist sympathizers and officials into its ranks following Italy’s role in the war, when it was allied with the Nazis and then liberated by the Allies.
Throughout the 1950-1980s, the MSI remained a small right-wing party, polling in the single digits. But historian Paul Ginsborg has noted that its mere survival in the decades after the war “served as a constant reminder of the potent appeal that authoritarianism and nationalism could still exercise among the southern students, urban poor and lower middle classes.”
But fascism has not been a right wing philosophy. It’s a collectivist, statist one. And it was celebrated (and mimicked) in America by progressives.
Unfortunately for the left, it turns out that Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and other key Democrats were actually fans of Adolf Hitler and his Italian fascist copycat Benito Mussolini. If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle…(well, you know).
Yes, it’s true. The architect of the modern left and the patriarch of neo-liberalism admitted to drawing considerable inspiration from the fascist uprisings led by both Hitler and Mussolini prior to the outbreak of WWII (when admission of Nazi sentiments became hazardous to one’s health.)
Also, apparently, David Gray isn’t singing about Italy in that song “This Year’s Love.”