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Nation Europe

With the election result in Italy in March as the starting point, Italian Marxist theorist Franco Berardi describes the nationalist and racist trends he sees in today's Europe.


The European Union (EU) was conceived as a post-national project. There was only a small (fascist) minority of popular opinion in Europe that in the following decades referred to Europe as one nation. However, the post-national project has failed, and has given way to Europe's new identity as one white nation.

The Italian elections in March marked a new and possibly crucial chapter in the dissolution of what was once the EU, highlighting how the post-national project has now been transformed into a European nation in permanent racial war. Ever since the Maastricht Agreement, the EU has served as a neoliberalist device that transfers resources from society to the economic system. 25 years of monetary policy aimed at dismantling the welfare state and downgrading safe working conditions have had an inevitable consequence: a growing criticism of the European project – a criticism most often based on nationalism linked to the impotent rage of those suffering from social debasement.

Financial poverty

In most European countries, the people are protesting against globalized and neo-liberal politics, especially against Fiscal Compact: the imposition of a debt that breaks down all social life and transfers capital to the banking system. In the beginning – from 2011 to 2015 – this opposition was expressed through social opposition: the Spanish acampada-the protest, the Occupy movement, and finally the Greek referendum on the Troika intent. This marked the attempt to stop the economic depletion and degradation of social structures. But the protesters suffered a defeat, as they did not have access to the necessary conceptual and material instruments. The social movements were limited to physical territory and were powerless against the economic control of a post-national, abstract domain. After the crisis in 2008, society was unable to withstand capitalist predation, prevent the destruction of public structures such as school and health, and maintain the standard of living of previous generations. It didn't take long for this impotence to turn into bitterness, revenge and reactionary nostalgia for national sovereignty.

The election in Italy has completed the EU's Nazis.

Then a new threat was presented: "the Great Migration". It is the result of a very long process (colonial prejudice on human and economic resources, destruction of the environment) and a newer, shorter process (the wild war the Bush clan led in the Middle East, to which EU countries joined, as well as the French the wars against Libya and Syria, which really triggered the pandemonium).

Impotent rage

The EU crisis – in which the elections in Italy, in my opinion, represent the last paragraph – therefore lies in the reaction to two parallel processes of deterritorialization: the failed post-national government, which has led to demands for more sovereignty, and the great migration, seen as an invasion of the white territory – performed by the victims of white invasions of the past.

These two strands of impotent rage have merged and merged into one potent, reactionary movement to claim back territory. Democratic and neoliberal opinion, which is unable to conceptualize what is going on, has sought to summarize the dual response with one single word: populism. But this expression makes no sense, as it blends together two completely different phenomena: the social movement against humiliation, and the racism that has arisen in the European unconscious.

A new threat was presented: "the Great Migration".

Democratic and neoliberal opinion defends a fetish (democracy, which no longer exists in post-national political reality) and an occupation (economic growth, competition; in short, the concentration of economic power in the abstract capital machine). But to defend this fetish and the obsession, the growing reactionary wave is defined in a way that facilitates the same reactionary wave: populism is all that opposes economic exploitation and migration, and the deterritorialization that it entails. But these two tendencies are different, although of course they work together: One thing is to defend social life against the profits of finance, while another is to fear the great migration. The combination of the two movements leads to what we have before us: an unstoppable wave of what can only be called national socialism.

History repeats itself

Although "Nazism" is a word not to be said aloud, Nazism is on the rise in large parts of the European continent. In the absence of a left-wing which is able to resist the economic offensive, or a European policy that manages to include the legacy of colonialism in the calculus, the same dynamic we saw in Germany after the Treaty of Versailles is now spreading throughout Europe .

We are witnessing the development of a gigantic, racist concentration camp.

Regardless of how the situation in Italy develops over the next few months, it is clear that the only thing that unites all the political forces, in Italy as well as in other European countries, is the exclusion of migrants from the perpetual migrant wave. For there is one thing the winners of the election, the Lega and the Five Star Movement, and the losers of the election, the Democracy Party (which, with Marco Minniti openly giving expression to the constitutional racism of the EU), agree, is racial expulsion and extermination. At this point, in fact, the European facade appears to be completely unanimous.

The European nation, like other nations, is founded on racial identity and promotes extinction and war. Its new identity is based today on the racism of the European people, and not on the national governments, which at this point reflect the will of the majority. The racism and nationalism we are now witnessing in Europe is the consequence of and the opposite of a social impotence that has accumulated over the last ten years. The election in Italy has completed the Naziization of the EU, although this reality cannot be expressed publicly. Today we are witnessing the development of a giant concentration camp where millions of non-whites are trapped, tortured, held as slaves, annihilated or eventually drowned if they try to escape. This racist extermination is a future that has already been written by those who continue to call themselves the European Union with an unparalleled disdain for proof.

The essay was also printed in Italian Alphabet2 in April 2018.
Translated from Italian for Ny Tid by Emma Bakkevik.

Bernardi is a philosopher, writer and activist living in Italy.

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