by Emanuele Mastrangelo

Progressive hegemony at local level

"Denuclearized municipality." The average commoner man has always smiled a bit in front of such road sign - usually posted at the entrance of an Italian town below the toponymic one. But what does it mean? That there are no atomic power plants? That they do not take X-rays or that smoke detectors using radioactive isotopes are banned? A smirk always accompanied these gimmicks. Which, however, instead had a well-defined role, even if elusive to the common man: to create a collective cultural substratum of hostility toward nuclear energy, so that the result of the 1987 referendum banning it would be entrenched in the collective consciousness and there would be no risk of a reconsideration of national energy policy.

Knowingly or not, the local administrator who spent public money to tell the passerby on the state highway that there were no nuclear reactors or NATO Nike Zeus missiles in his town of 1,256 inhabitants (cats excluded), he contributed to a large-scale campaign in favor of the interests of those who wanted to keep Italy away from the quest for energy self-sufficiency. This is just one example of how small local administrators' actions can contribute to the "big picture," on medium to long timescales that are far better understood by the center-left parties (and especially their think-tanks and "upper echelons" contacts) than by the center-right political class.

While in fact the latter flounders between attempts to name streets after the historic MSI secretary Almirante and sheriffesque law-and-order ordinances that are easier written than enforced, the Center-Left seems to skillfully master the "Overton window" technique for the purpose of directing public opinion toward its political agenda. And it does so through the unscrupulous use of local governments as a ram's head to break through political and social resistance to the desired "changes" or to test the resistance of the people. For center-left administrations, there seems to be no such thing as the incapacitating myth of "it can't be done," the passe-partout answer with which the center-right politician continually apologizes when rejecting proposals and projects from his increasingly mistrusted supporters, intellectuals and councilors. Here are a few examples.

Gay "marriage": from local registries to state law

Today gay "marriage" is an established reality in our legal system. But just 9 years ago it was some mayors who opened the dance, in the face of parliamentary resistance, by devising those "civil unions registries" that circumvented the lack of a law that followed the gay lobby's wishes and the progressive agenda.

Commenting on the move by the then Rome mayor, Ignazio Marino, his predecessor Gianni Alemanno dismissed it with the sentence "pure provocation paying homage to progressive single-mindedness." Not understanding that the shove - with all the media parade they managed to organize around it - was perfectly functional in shifting Overton's window on gay "marriage" in a possibilist direction. Within a few years, what was a comedy sketch topic became a priority on the local, then national political agenda; finally people became convinced that the thing was "tolerable," then "doable." And at that point it was done.

Starting out - as said before - from a "comedy sketch topic" - that of gay "marriage" is now in danger of even becoming a taboo crime of opinion. Rejected (for now) by parliament, the Zan Bill gets back through the (Overton) window thanks to local administrators. So woe betide joking about gay "marriages" or transvestites, or even "misgendering" some gender-confused in the municipalities of Morterone (LC), Cancellara (PZ), Madonna del Sasso (VB), Ferla (SR), Castiglione Cosentino (CS), San Nicolò d'Arcidano (OR), Castelnuovo Cilento (SA) and Oriolo (CS). Up to 500 euros in administrative fines are provided for an opinion offense all at the arbitrary discretion of the enforcer who must impose the sanction. Can a joke about homosexuals told at the pub be sanctioned? It is unclear. When in doubt, fine and then talk to the justice. In the meantime, these municipalities have also approved a "day against homobitransphobia" for May 17, as in the auspices of the Zan Bill. The intent is clear: "We hope that these initial endorsements will act as a pull for larger municipalities and regions. In particular, we urge all new mayors to approve it," said Fabio Marrazzo of the Gay Party.

Honorary citizenships, declarations of ideological orthodoxy, restrictions on freedoms

Like rainbow demands, those of the immigrationist agenda are brought forward by local administrators when Parliament seems not to be responding fast enough to orders from above. Such is the case with the delivery of "honorary citizenships" by municipalities. It started in Bologna last June 28, soon imitated by other municipalities, including Cosenza and Chivasso. Nothing new under the sun: similar initiatives had been implemented between 2015 and 2016 in several leftist municipalities to "spur" the Chambers to give Italy an easy citizenship law for immigrants' children. Unlike gender-rainbow issues (which the majority of the population still underestimates by considering them inoffensive shenanigans), immigration is perceived by most Italians as a danger, so Overton's window moves much more slowly. And yet, it moves...

Destra conservatrice o progressista? [VL 6]

But the list of initiatives carried out by local governments as a ballon d'essai or push against parliamentary resistance is long. Take, for example, the "declarations of antifascism" to be signed, autodafé-style, to obtain public places in more and more Italian municipalities. Totally unconstitutional acts (discrimination on political grounds is forbidden by our Constitution, does anyone remember that?) which, however, have paved the way for far worse discrimination, as we have seen in the last two years of the health regime.

If the Constitution can be pierced on one side, under the guise of the "fascist emergency," it may well be bypassed, stomped on, circumvented for a hundred other reasons. And here, too, leftist local governments have led the way: the orders making outdoor masking mandatory in September 2020, a tool of overt social engineering, devoid of any real health significance, were approved by the Campania and Lazio regions a month ahead of the central regime. And instead of serving as scientific experiments (by which their uselessness in changing the trend of covid-19 contagions would be demonstrated per tabulas), they were simply ballon d'essai: the health regime, then headed by Giuseppe Conte, having observed the relative meekness of Lazio and Campania populations, extended the measure to the whole country within a few weeks.

What are the right-wing local administrators doing?

Against this background, the initiatives taken by center-right local governments are almost at zero. It can be said that the only activity that has had any feedback is that of "A Rose for Norma," promoted by the February 10 Committee (C10F) to raise awareness about the plight of the Italians of Istria and Dalmatia through the emblematic story of Norma Cossetto. A small success that is involving dozens and dozens of municipalities, but which remains more unique than rare. For the rest, local and regional administrations of the center-right seem paralyzed like cats lit by headlights in the middle of the road, when they are not even proactive toward globalist instances: think, for example, of the Sicily region's leapfrogging forward the health regime's ukases in 2020-21 or the pioneering initiatives for the application of facial recognition via camera in public places implemented by some center-right municipalities.

Naturally, for such a tactic to be successful, an overall strategy must exist. The example of "A Rose for Norma," however small, is illustrative. The municipalities involved are coordinated by C10F; efforts are made to stir up (as much as possible) the press and intellectuals; political opponents are put in a position to accept a fait accompli or risk a confrontation on a slippery slope where they face moral disapproval from public opinion...

None of this, however, is happening on other far more worrisome fronts: from the advance of the rainbow wave to immigrationism, from cancel culture (a threat against which municipalities would already have an immense panoply of tools completely unused, from symbolic "de-cancelcultured municipality" style ones to draconian ordinances against vandalism on monuments), to the creation of "sanctuaries" against opinion laws (in imitation of the pro-illegal immigrant "sanctuaries" implemented in the US by liberal mayors against Trump's policies). Not to mention any form of resistance to health dictatorship, which no center-right administration (whatever its main traction, government or opposition) has even remotely thought of implementing.

So far, therefore, the center-right administrations have been distinguished only by their wishful thinking, collaborationism toward the globalist agenda or by handing over the keys of cultural activities to the Left, thus giving up exercising any kind of action on the Overton windows opened or to be opened. In this way, despite their flaunted adherence to the area of "conservatives," they fail to conserve a damn thing, failing neither to set a barrier nor even to reverse the trends of the liberal-globalist political agenda.

The discouraging picture is that the voter is now faced with a Procrustean Bed choice: an administration that will either serve the interests of the globalist agenda or an administration that will serve the interests of the globalist agenda, but with a street named after Giorgio Almirante.

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Editor of the Machiavelli Study Center's blog "Belfablog," Emanuele Mastrangelo has been editor-in-chief of "Storia in Rete" since 2006. A military-historical cartographer, he is the author of several books (with Enrico Petrucci, Iconoclastia. La pazzia contagiosa della cancel culture che sta distruggendo la nostra storia e Wikipedia. L'enciclopedia libera e l'egemonia dell'informazione).