Thursday, September 24, 2009

Failure on the Italian Left

Dissent Magazine has a great article up on how the Italian left has helped keep Berlusconi in power.
"A very large minority among the Italian population actually continues to greet Berlusconi with intense hatred and widespread ridicule. Italy, despite appearances, is not a naturally right-wing country. Rather, the success of the right is explained by the fact that the left-wing half of the country has of late fallen into an angry, impotent slumber.

This is because, over the last two decades, Italy’s center-left politicians have become increasingly inept at representing this segment of the population—or at formulating constructive policies that would make it possible to convert the popular discontent with the political system into electoral success. If Berlusconi has succeeded in monopolizing public discourse, for example, then this is partially owed to the incapacity or even unwillingness of Italy’s left-wing politicians to defend democratic norms. To understand the roots of today’s Italy is, at least in part, to understand the roots of the weakness of today’s Italian left

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