The speech was delivered by Giorgia Meloni in 2020 introducing us to her worldview, values and purpose.. For those prefering to read her remarks, I provide a transcript lightly edited from the closed captions. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.
Giorgia Meloni Winner of Sunday’s Italian Election
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I wish to thank you – thank you to our friends of the Edmund Burke foundation for inviting me to open this important event, for choosing Rome in Italy as a venue for this second edition of the National Conservative conference.
I entirely, entirely agree with your views on the need to put conservatism back into its traditional sphere of national identity. The great challenge facing us today is defending national identity and the very existence of the nation-states as a sole means of safeguarding people’s sovereignty and freedom.
This is why I find the title of Yoram Hazony’s latest book, The Virtue of Nationalism, effective. Because in a few words it clearly sums up the fact that our worldview is the exact opposite to what they would like to force on us. Yoram, your book will scandalize Italy. And I will gladly make my part on this effect because I intend to quote it frequently.
Our main enemy today is the globalist drift of those who view identity in all its forms to be an evil to be overcome and constantly acts to shift real power away from the people to supranational entities headed by supposedly enlightened elites.
Let us be clear, let us bear this clearly in our mind because we did not fight against and defeat communism in order to replace it with a new internationalist regime, but to permit independent nation states once again to defend the freedom identity and sovereignty of their peoples.
It is in this same spirit that today Fratelli d’Italia is fighting for a Europe of free and sovereign nations as a serious alternative to the bureaucratic super state that has been gradually foisted on us since the Maastricht Treaty, following the rationale of the external constraint whereby there is always someone who claims the right to take decisions in place of the sovereign peoples and the national governments.
And although that someone in Brussels or Frankfurt, Davos or the City of London lacks democratic legitimacy, every day it conditions the economic choices and the political decisions of those who have been vested with that legitimacy by the popular vote. It means that whether the false democrats like it or not, national conservatives in every latitude are actually the only real democrats. Because it is only by defending the nation state that we defend the political sovereignty that belongs to the citizens of that state.
But of course a national conservative cannot be content with claiming to be a democrat. Democracy without values becomes demagoguery, and can itself heighten decadence. I believe that it is not difficult for the conservative world to identify the substance with which we want to fill our democracies. We do not need the ideological indoctrination manuals that are so dear to the left.
Our vision of values and our worldview is actually quite simple as a great philosopher that Francesco mentioned who died a few days ago. Roger Scruton pointed out the real reason people are conservatives is that they are attached to the things they love. And another great father of conservative thought, John Tolkien, wrote a similar thing in one of the characters of his Lord of the Rings:
“I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”
This was Faramir’s worldview ; this worldview is embodied every day by millions of ordinary men and women and sometimes even by some of the great men of history. Throughout this history, where John Paul II and Ronald Reagan to whom today’s meeting is dedicated. John Paul II was a patriot who knew perfectly well that nations and the fact of belonging to a people sharing the same historical memory were the bedrock of the freedom of every man. He never tired of repeating that there is no Europe without Christianity, a teaching which is more topical than than ever today when the Christian identity of Europe is under attack by a distorted secularism that even attacks the symbol of the Christian tradition while throwing open the gates to the most intransigent form of Islam that wants to apply Sharia law in our European homelands. In which lies at the heart of the Islamic terrorism that has caused caused bloodshed in Europe and in the United States.
John Paul II’s patriotism also enabled him to view today’s historical events in the light of a Christian realism shorn of all rhetoric, as in the case of immigration. He considered that the right to emigrate had to be preceded first and foremost by a right not to emigrate, to live in peace and dignity in one’s homeland. Christian Petra was also critic of mass immigration when you think about that.
Today John Paul II would be on the European Union’s blacklist as a dangerous subversive; but not for us. Neither would Ronald Reagan have faired any better. More than any President of the United States, Reagan stood for the American “We the People” of that preamble to the Constitution that based national democracy on the principle of popular sovereignty, another great enemy of the globalist league.
I was very impressed by the metaphor Reagan used to describe the conservative movement as a three-legged stool. Without any one of these three legs, the stool will collapse. In the three legs of our defense, fiscal and social, defense– the first leg is a patriotic soul, which today would be called sovereignist. It means the defense of nation and interest in popular sovereignty.
The second leg is economic freedom, which means also a just relationship between government and taxpayers. A great lesson of conservative thought is that an oppressive tax system not only limits free enterprise, production and consumption, but it also destroys the commonality between the state and citizens. Because over taxation enforces the state to build up a system of controls similar to that of the totalitarian regimes, restricting individual freedoms.
Awakening the economy as a free enterprise, lower taxes, less bureaucracy, public investment in infrastructure and the defense of national interests this is the recipe with which President Trump today is making the American economy Strong. And it is the recipe that we would we would like to bring to Italy, to Europe as an an alternative to the blind austerity Germany wanted. which so far has only benefited Germany and the big financial speculators.
And the third leg is the social soul to protect religious and moral values, the noblest purpose of all political action. These values and principles are found in the three concepts of today’s meeting: God, Freedom and Nation. Or in the Italian formula to which I am very attached: God, Homeland and Family.
One of the founding values of conservative movements is the defense of the natural family. They would like us to give up defending the family, considering it to be an archaic and backward concept to be superseded. They would like to convince us that a family is any emotional bond between sentient beings; that it is a sign of great civil and moral progress to pay a poor mother to keep her child in her womb for nine months and then snatch it from the her arms to give it away to whoever has bought it.
We reject all this without a moment’s hesitation even though today it is considered highly scandalous and even revolutionary to say that a family is made up of a man and a woman and any children they may have, They are creating a world of alleged individual rights and formal freedom. In theory we are free or almost free to do anything we like: free to take drugs , free to have an abortion , to take the lives of human beings suffering from serious illnesses and therefore defenseless. Only rights and few if at all do this
Free indeed, but never free for the sake of something, for fulfilling a life project. Free indeed, but fenced in within a predetermined enclosure, because if you dare try to climb to clamber over it, you are censored by the new Menlo Park high priests of the only school of thought allowed.
So our task is to counter this drift and to reaffirm that the nation is the place where our values are safeguarded and transmitted, renewed every day as the common sense of the people forging an identity that is the greatest treasure in the world. Our opponents paint us as obtuse nationalists in love with old verities, rejecting any dialogue, ready to wage war on the slightest pretext.
But that is not the case. The sovereignty of nations is not out to destroy Europe, it wants the true real Europe of peoples and identities, not the abstract Europe decided in back rooms by technocrats. It does not want to impose its own interests at the expense of other nation states. When Trump says America first or we say Italy first, it certainly means defending the national economic interests of those countries.
But as conservatives I think we have to focus above all on the world of high finance and the great economic powers that are imposing their will on the nation-states. As I say it the message our homeland first means reaffirming the primacy of the real economy over the financial economy; of popular sovereignty over supranational entities with no democratic legitimacy. Modern national conservatism defends the identities of nations as the basis for the new forms of cooperation.
That is why while defending the Italian sovereignty, we cannot forget to defend Viktor Orbán’s Hungary or Kachinsky’s Poland, once again under attack from the European progressive mainstream. That is why, without the shameful ambiguity typical of the left, we defend the right of the State of Israel to its security and future peace and prosperity. Our patriotism is the will to defend our homelands from the great challenges of our age; challenges that will mark the future and the very survival of our civilization. We have to face together the division between extreme nationalism which is as bad as the weakness of ill-defined supranational entities such as the European Union.
The only possible answer must be the alliance of homelands that believe in a common destiny. It is this vision that has led us to join the great family of the European conservatives: the idea of a new Europe as a confederation of sovereign nation-states capable of cooperating on important matters while remaining free to take decisions regarding matters affecting our daily lives. It is much more than a choice of political positioning. It is taking up a firm stand and choosing sides.
I have an image in mind of President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II walking in the gardens of the president residence in Florida back in 1987. It is the image of two great men walking together alone along the paths of history in that brief period in the 20th century that was to change the world very shortly thereafter with the collapse of communism thanks also to them.
Remembering them here today it is not simply to pay them tribute. It is a warning, a commitment not to betray their dream of freedom, which is our dream of freedom too. Thank you.
Footnote: Confirmation that Media Pushing Left Wing Propaganda
USA Today: Giorgia Meloni: Who is Italy’s most far-right leader since Mussolini?
NY Post: Far-right pol Giorgia Meloni poised to become Italy’s first female PM
BBC: Far-right pol Giorgia Meloni poised to become Italy’s first female PM
The Guardian: Giorgia Meloni is a danger to Italy and the rest of Europe
CNN: Giorgia Meloni claims victory to become Italy’s most far-right government since the fascist era of Benito Mussolini
NY Times: Some Women Fear Giorgia Meloni’s Far-Right Agenda Will Set Italy Back
The Conversation: Giorgia Meloni and the return of fascism: how Italy got here
France24: Mother, Italian, Christian’: Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s far-right leader
Summary: A person claims to be a proud mother, Italian and Christian. For this she is labeled: Far-right. Which tells you she is mainstream and the labelers are far-left.