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How the radical left lost Italy's anti-establishment vote.

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In Italy, the idea of direct democracy was never associated straightforwardly with anti-austerity movements, in the way we've seen in other countries. It's more a rejection of existing political structures, but often more posed as distaste for establishment corruption. This kind of call for democracy doesn't have any necessary leftist or progressive content.

Live from Rome, historian David Broder surveys the rise of Five Star Movement (M5S) in contemporary Italian politics - as a reaction against not only political corruption, but immigration and the public sector - and explains how the success of M5S's reactionary, sometimes fascist-inclusive brand of direct-democracy points towards a failure of the radical left to link popular anti-establishment anger with an alternative vision of an Italian future based on solidarity and the common good.

David wrote the recent Jacobin article Losing Ground.

Interview transcript via Antidote Zine

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David Broder

David Broder is a Rome-based writer, translator and a member of the Historical Materialism editorial board.

 

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