By Panayiotis Alimisis*
Last Sunday, Italian voters run to the ballots in order to vote for the new government, but most importantly, to get rid of the current political establishment. Following the examples of many countries like Austria, Hungary, Holland and to some extend Germany and France, Italians decided to give a chance to the Eurosceptic/anti-European parties. By rejecting the mainstream politically correct speech, they plunked traditional political parties for the first time after the fall of Mussolini! More specifically: The centre-Left party in Italy appeared to have been punished by voters for persistently high unemployment, security, a laggardly economy and the reception of 600,000 –maybe more- migrants arriving by boat from Africa in the last four years.
Until recently, it was almost nonsense in Italy to refer to issues like immigration and multiculturalism, in fear of stigmatisation by the so called ‘humanist’ of the far left and the liberal Right. But now it seems that Italians and generally European peoples, have started to believe that there are ‘alternatives’ to beat corruption, poverty, and mass immigration.
For more than 50 years, almost since the Second World War, Europe tried to avoid another ‘Big War’ by reducing, among others, the sense of ‘national collectivism’ of the European nations. National identity or nationhood became a matter of mockery. For many years state-multiculturalism promoted by the Mass Media, the big multinationals, from higher education and… cinema, causing an interracial violence and finally led to the rise of racism. Ghettos and high unemployment turned people against each other, but the final break between European voters and their governments, came when the terrorist attacks socked European capitals. Islamic terrorism is perhaps the greatest cause for the popularity of the traditional political parties.
Bad but… necessary
The shift to ‘alternative’ political ideologies did not have many good choices for the Italian voters. The North league along with Berlusconi’s party ‘Forsa Italia’ and some fascist minor parties, all together are about to form the new far right political force along with the… comedian Peppe Grillo who won the biggest part of the Southern provinces. Unfortunately, it looks like European political life falls slowly but steadily into a new era, when political ‘extremism’ will become the dominant way of thinking…
So far European elites ignore what the simple logic demands: The coexistence of different peoples in pluralistic societies with strong central national identity, in order to stop or reduce the rise of fascism. We all agree that nationhood is not defined by blood, but by the collective memory of the people. Italian voters, didn’t approve the ideology of the North league. They just tried to found those who can drive Italy and its identity safely into the future globalized world. Perhaps, they chose to give power to extremist, because they don’t trust any more the patriotism of the traditional elites.
Yet, still today, the western political elites, put European voters into a dilemma. The bottom line for many intellectuals, journalist, academics and politicians is this: Either we will use to leave into a melting pot as this has been constructed after the War, or the political life in the West will get dominate by fascism…
*Panayiotis Alimisis is a journalist. He studied Modern History and International Relations at London Metropolitan University