If Italy is the country of the future, expect to have not just one rightwing populist party but two (Lega + Brothers of Italy). I struggled a bit yesterday to explain to foreign journalist why this is the case.
My sense is that there are 2 parties because of 2 main reasons: 1. territorial divides, 2. divides within the Italian bourgeoisie. Ideology also matters ("post"-fascism in case of Brothers of Italy vis-a-vis post-regionalist populism in the case of Lega). But not as important.
In terms of territorial divides despite Lega becoming national party its heartland still very much in the Po valley, and its free market policy reflects it. Brothers of Italy strong in Centre-South and more economically marginal areas. Its economic policy is more protectionist.
In terms of class divides, I'd say Lega more biased towards medium industry, and dynamic self-employed. Brothers of Italy more oriented towards traditional petty and medium bourgeoisie: stereotype of fascist coalition of pharmacists/tobacconists/lawyers still relevant.
Italy still has one of the most diffused petty bourgeoisie in Europe. Tons of small business, shops, restaurants, bars. Idea of wanting to be your own boss still very strong, despite often being anti-economic. This makes perfect terrain for populist right.
If you are an employee and you are poor you can blame your boss. If you are an owner and you are poor who do you blame?
You can blame 1. immigrants, 2. foreign forces conspiring against your livelihood (euro, international trade, China), 3. intellectuals telling people what to do (for example that we need a carbon-neutral economy.
Copyright for Italy country of the future goes to @BungaCast and @Alex__1789 besides ol' Guy Debord writing 'bout Italy as lab of reaction

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More from @paologerbaudo

5 Aug
The problem of Agamben and philosophical allies is not that they are Foucaultian, but that they are not Foucaultian enough! It is as if they have only read Discipline and Punish skipping the lectures at the College de France.
Discussing rise of political economy Foucault says that entire point of biopolitics is circulation, facilitating movement of people and things. Agamben and the like instead operate with a vision of government as confinement, using the concentration camp as paradigm of modernity.
For example vaccine passports are not about confining people at home. Much to the contrary they are about persuading them to get out of their homes, winning over their reluctance for fear of contagion. It is a means of circulation not confinement.
Read 4 tweets
5 Aug
We are moving from 'exopolitics' of neoliberalism (externalisation, outsourcing, offshoring, exports) to 'endopolitics' of postneoliberal era (reterritorialisation, isolationism, rescue-repair-recovery, domestic demand, insourcing, onshoring).

(The Great Recoil, Intro) Image
1/ Idea here is that we are facing a topological inversion in contemporary politics. Outwardness of high globalisation gives way to a countervailing trend. This is not just a moment of involution/backlash, but also of re-centering and internal re-organisation of political units.
2/ This trend is similar to many previous Polanyian counter-movements. Globalisation's expansionist drive was unsustainable politically (as shown by populist revolts) and economically (global supply chain disruption, stagnating domestic demand).
Read 11 tweets
4 Aug
History and ideology come in waves. After the socialdemocratic era (1940s-70) and the neoliberal era (1980s-2010s) we seem to be entering a new phase in the evolution of capitalism, in which the “protectivist” state takes centre stage.

(The Great Recoil, Ch. 1)
This is key to the overall approach/method of the book. What matters to politics is not just ideology (in the sense of specific left/right positions), but "master ideology" at any given historical time, broad social consensus on key issues.
When people referred to neoliberalism as "unique thought" they alerted to broad consensus cutting across centre-left/centre-right on benefits of free market, with disagreements on how it should be handled. Even anti-neoliberals ended up accepting some of neoliberalism's premises.
Read 12 tweets
3 Aug
Best way to read anti-vaxxers is as extreme coping mechanism: control mania as balancing response vis-a-vis a world out of control. When political control is eroded desires of control focus on the only thing one can still partly control: one's own body.
Anti-vaxx sentiment in this sense is similar to many new age practices: extreme diet regimes, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises. Shared aim is control over body and its functioning.
NIMB: not in my body.
Read 4 tweets
3 Aug
The contemporary ideological horizon is defined by the clash between Neoliberalism and Populism and the rise of an Interventionist Neo-statism which presents itself as a solution to this deadlock.

(From “The Great Recoil”, Chapter 1)
The assumption is that what is changing atm is the general ideological horizon on which various left/right views are positioned.
The basic idea notion here is that of ideological eras:
liberal > socialdemocratic > neoliberal > neostatist (?)
The return of the interventionist state was already apparent in the 2010s as the "phantom content" of various "populisms". Advocacy of hard borders on the right; recuperation of Keynesian economics on the left.
Read 9 tweets
22 Jul
Nell'articolo uscito su Le Grand Continent sostengo che siamo in fase di transizione ideologica simile a quelle vissuta a fine '70 che diede vita all'era neoliberista. Lo stato interventista sta tornando. legrandcontinent.eu/it/2021/07/21/…
Qui alcune idee chiave /thread
1/ L'idea è quella di cicli ideologici che si succedono: 1. era liberista classica fine '800, 2. era socialdemocratica dagli anni 30, 3. era neoliberista da fine '70. Quello che vediamo adesso ha tutto il sentore dell'inizio di una nuova era.
Read 21 tweets

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