Justin Salhani, “There’s a Resurgence of Far Right Groups in Italy and They’re Sponsored by Putin,” ThinkProgress

“The Italian right is passing from mobilization to techniques of public intimidation. The recent attacks on the important media outlets La Repubblica and L’Espresso mimic those of the original squadrists who assaulted socialist, liberal, and Catholic newspaper headquarters and their printers,” Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, told ThinkProgress. “The fragmented left and a public that does not want to come to terms with the crimes of Italian Fascism are a recipe for the right’s further growth.”

And in Italy, a country in which fascism never really went away, the far right is not only politically active but attempting to smash the political norms of liberal democracy.
Ben Ghiat realized this firsthand when a piece she wrote in The New Yorker about Italy’s standing fascist monuments was met with days of social media trolling.

“I woke up to find myself trending in Italy and not in a good way … every newspaper published sarcastic and highly critical articles about me and the piece, and I was besieged by hundreds of trolls on every platform,” she said. “It was crazy, the volume of trolls was so high that my Facebook Messenger would not load for days.”

The main concern for the future, then, is the continental and global seeds being planted by these far-right groups. The groups in Europe and the United States are coagulating around similar issues — particularly when it comes to anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim platforms. A lot of what emerges from the far right is reactionary in nature, but the objective is clear and dangerous.

“Axis 2.0 has been shaping up for some time in Europe,” Ben Ghiat said, “with Putin in the place of Hitler as funder and instigator and United States President Donald Trump helping him and the right achieve their aim of undoing liberal democracy.”

Justin Salhani, “There’s a Resurgence of Far Right Groups in Italy and They’re Sponsored by Putin,” ThinkProgress
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