Matteo Salvini: ‘I am a Leftist’

Matteo Salvini contesting EU migration policies. European Parliament, April 2015.

Our movement, the Northern League (Lega Nord), has always fought against race, national and class. Therefore, we always support the democratic choice of the proletariat – that workers alone should decide their destiny.

Neither are we afraid to state and uphold our ideas and beliefs in any historical moment, even if it puts us at risk of looking like the late PCI – the Italian Communist Party, which happens regularly to our friends Podemos, in Spain, Syriza, in Greece, and Die Linke, in Germany, and other European workers movements which Brussels would like to put under lock and key forever.

We do not like politically incorrect language, nor do we like the dictates of those who wish to unjustly subject us to the law of supply and demand. We want a more social Europe, with a single, stable currency – the euro – and one that ejects populist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe from the EU, and views Putin’s Russia as an imperial hegemon in Georgia and Ukraine.

Where Hungary is concerned, we support the efforts of George Soros to rehabilitate the Jewish community and enfranchise Roma and Muslim Hungarians as equal citizens. Soros is an important person who during the 2105 refugees crisis was on the front lines for the defence of Hungarian democracy and its commitment to taking in victims of Russia’s war in Syria.

That is why we share a common criticism of nationalism with France’s Parti de Gauche and ANTIFA activists and uphold a welcoming culture towards refugees and migrants. We are firm proponents of socialist globalisation and see internet and computer technology, and robotics, as tools to enhance community and liberate workers from alienating labour.

During the 1980s, the Northern League was just another small local party seeking to mobilise Milanese workers to agitate for higher salaries and lower wages. We were Communists in all but spirit, but our emphasis was on the local. By emphasising regionalism, we thought, we could more effectively insert socialist doctrine in city politics. Not just any city but that of decadent, market-oriented Milan, with its stock exchange and bourgeois couturiers like Giorgio Armani and Donatella Versace.

Any attack on Milan was an attack on the Italian political system, with its noxious regionalism, and provincial attitudes towards the European Union and migrants. That is why we were always the target of subversive forces, especially when the League sat in a coalition with the Partito Democratico, as it’s leftwing anchor, and we really tried to change the foundations of the state.

However, it was then that we realized that the federalist revolution had only received verbal support from our allies in the government: it just remained a moot point on paper and our unfulfilled dream. Our goal was to make a more centralised government capable of reaching out to every backwater place in federal Italy and empower it on a federal level, like Lombardy.

That is why we have now opened a new front and we are not just fighting against the irrelevance of Rome but, above all, against Russian intervention in the European Union. Italy’s only place is in Europe. But that Europe has to be one that’s sovereign and independent, not dependent on Moscow the way it once was on Washington. That’s why we are European not Italian nationalists. The Russians sold out their socialism long ago. The EU is the last best place to push for a post-capitalist society.

Concerning the potential of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement, I think that they are slowly taking off their mask and showing their demagogic essence. They pose no threat to the current system of government as they do not have any concrete suggestions except to denounce migrants, like fascists. They can’t decide whether they are right or left, and that will be the end of them. The League will siphon off their anarchist and Marxist voters and all Grillo will be left with is his boring blog.

At that point, we will find ourselves in a position to tackle the rot at the heart of the European Union project: the US dollar.  It was not I, Matteo Salvini, who said it, but the winner of the Nobel Prize for economy Joseph Stiglitz, an American. In this he is in excellent company with other eminent Nobel Prize winners such as Thomas Piketty, James Galbraith, Amartya Sen, Paul Krugman, and Yanis Varoufakis – they have all said that through the IMF, American money ruined Europe.

The only thing I’d add is that we can and should extricate ourselves from this nightmare, and soon, by refuting the apocalyptic claims of doom from Wall Street if the dollar should fail. The euro is not the dollar, and our currencies should be separated and individually valued. What happens on the Bourse should not be tied to the NYSE or the FTSE. There’s so much value in Europe. To seek it elsewhere, and not rely on our remarkable cultural diversity is why we are so easily dominated from abroad.

We are on the side of the ordinary people and workers who are carrying that whole pyramid on their backs and we would like to give them another chance in deciding their own destiny. After all, we are the party of Neukölln and Molenbeek, of Saint-Denis and Lampedusa. History is unfolding again in Europe and the people want to return to their future. The Lega will get them there.

This essay is a remix of an interview given by Lega chief Matteo Salvini to Serbia’s Geopolitika.  It is entirely satirical. Photograph courtesy of the European Parliament. Published under a Creative Commons license.