Adam Smith’s contribution to the radicalization of the North American New Right cannot go underappreciated. Not only does it accurately present CasaPound for the first time in the English-speaking world, but it does so in a way that makes the weaknesses of the NANR abundantly clear. I’ve written a follow-up piece for tomorrow’s press that also acts as a preface for my upcoming works on Deleuze and Guattari: We are the real subalterns.
“We are the real subalterns,” I was once told by an activist at CasaPound. His words were astonishing, not only because they so presciently invoke the relationship between CasaPound and the neoliberal Italian state, but also because they come from the American academic radical left’s appropriation of Gramsci. I didn’t have a chance to ask him if he’d chosen “subaltern” on my behalf, and frankly it didn’t matter at the time, for by then I was no longer flabbergasted by the political acuity of my hosts on the Roman social right. In any case, he made his meaning clear with a 45-minute conversation on political and cultural sovereignty; anti-globalization; capitalism and the promulgation of vulgarity; and, most importantly, the use all of these forces make of a regime of multicultural morality. It was this regime that I ended up writing on, but I could have chosen any of the others, as each of them was richly and aggressively understood and combatted by the Romans.
A subaltern is someone who exists outside the normalized representational structures of society. He, she, or it, does not conform to the hegemony of the cultural norms of the state, living outside the universe of the state’s moral obligation. The left has normalized an understanding of the immigrant, racial/sexual minority, or colonial subject as the subaltern, and seeks to give voice to these voiceless souls through a well-developed language of guilt, evil, economic under-development, and outright racism.
CasaPound and other groups in the pantheon of contemporary Roman fascism, however, are using the word and all of its loaded connotations to wake people up to the fact that Italy no longer belongs to Italians. It belongs, instead, to global finance capitalism. It belongs to the fresh immigrants being pumped into the country to work in what is left of Italy’s agricultural, industrial, and cultural production. For many of us on the North American New Right, that would be enough – the story would end here. But in Rome, there is more. There is always more!
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Read the rest at Counter-Currents from 7 March 2013.