G7 leaders plot escalation of world war and promotion of far right at Italian luxury resort

At the invitation of fascist Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the leaders of the world’s seven major “democracies” are currently assembled at the Borgo Egnazia resort in southern Italy, where a suite can be had for between €2,500 and €11,000 per night. The agenda of the two-day gathering is dominated by plans for a dramatic escalation of the US-NATO war on Russia and will include discussions on the further integration of the European far right into established bourgeois politics.

From right, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, European Council President Charles Michel, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni watch a skydiving demo during the G7 world leaders summit at Borgo Egnazia, Italy, Thursday, June 13, 2024. (Luca Bruno/Domenico Stinellis) [AP Photo]

The event graphically depicts the rotten state of bourgeois democracy and exposes the naked dictatorship of finance capital in all of the main imperialist centres. Shielded by over 8,000 military and security personnel and 80 kilometres away from the summit’s media centre, a gang of war criminals is conspiring to intensify trade war measures against their rivals and expand imperialist war around the world. The seven leaders head governments that are hated by their electorates and have backed Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians and escalated the US-NATO war on Russia at the risk of a catastrophic nuclear exchange.

Underscoring their resort to the methods of lawless robbery and plunder, the leaders spent a considerable portion of the first day hammering out an agreement to fund the bloody slaughter in Ukraine with funds illegally seized from the Russian Central Bank following Russia’s US-incited invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The decision to hand over €47 billion ($50 billion) to the far-right regime in Kiev funded by the interest accrued on the assets, rather than the assets totalling €260 billion demanded by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, was aimed at continuing to fund the war without undermining the already precarious position of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

The seven leaders present at Borgo Egnazia are political bankrupts. US President Joe Biden is likely to lose power in November to the fascist Donald Trump. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose Social Democrats achieved their worst election result since 1887 in last Sunday’s European election, heads a government that lacks any base of popular support for its programme of imperialist war and austerity. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be out of power in a matter of weeks. His French counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron, called a snap parliamentary election after suffering a humiliating defeat in the European elections to the fascistic Rassemblement National, which won twice as many votes as Macron’s party. While he postured as a “democratic” opponent of RN leader Marine Le Pen, Macron is just days later ensconced in a luxury resort at the invitation of the fascist Meloni.

Amid this pervasive crisis, which even bourgeois commentators are forced to acknowledge, a concerted campaign is under way to present Meloni, an admirer of “Il Duce” Benito Mussolini, as the main source of “stability.” The 47-year-old Italian prime minister has described Mussolini as a “complex personality,” who must be considered “in historical context.”

She began her political career in the Movimento Sociale Italiano, a neofascist organisation that preserved the legacy of Italy’s fascist dictator. She now leads the Fratelli d’Italia, a party that has nominated Mussolini’s descendants as election candidates and whose members regularly perform the Roman Salute at public meetings.

The German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung argued that Meloni has a “key role” both in securing continued financing for the Kiev regime and the selection of top European Union (EU) officials following Sunday’s election. The Italian Corriere della Sera, evaluating the three EU heads of government taking part at the summit, described Scholz and Macron as “lame ducks,” who are meeting with a “former sovereignist ugly duckling who has become a swan, Giorgia Meloni.”

As host of the gathering, Meloni has invited such well-known “democrats” to participate in working sessions as the despotic rulers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, India’s far-right Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Argentina’s fascist President Javier Milei. Giving this gathering of warmongers and dictators his blessing will be Pope Francis, marking the first time that the head of the Catholic Church has participated in a G7 summit in its 50-year history.

A special session Friday is devoted to investment in Africa and stopping migration to Europe, which includes the authoritarian rulers of Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania. Earlier this year, Meloni supported EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen in finalising a dirty deal with Tunisia that provided billions of euros in support in exchange for the regime’s pledge to prevent migrants, most of whom are fleeing countries devastated by the imperialist powers through war or International Monetary Fund-dictated economic “reforms,” from crossing the Mediterranean.

The distinction between nominally “democratic” governments and fascistic forces like Meloni, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Le Pen is increasingly disappearing. Von der Leyen intends to exploit her presence at the summit to convince Meloni, who heads an alliance of parties in the European Parliament that includes Spain’s fascistic Vox and the far-right Sweden Democrats, to back her for a second term in office.

As part of its remilitarisation and aggressive role in waging war against Russia, Germany’s Social Democrat-led government has implemented the AfD’s anti-immigrant programme and set the stage for the creation of a police state with its brutal suppression of protests against Israel’s imperialist-backed genocide in Gaza.

This process finds its sharpest expression in the United States, which could be governed in a matter of months by a president who sought to overturn the last presidential election with the help of a fascist mob and has been criminally convicted. Following Thursday’s G7 meetings, Biden signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement with the far-right Zelensky regime, which is ruthlessly persecuting opponents of the US-led war and dragooning hundreds of thousands to the slaughter at the front.

The Washington Post reported earlier in the day that the White House has also lifted restrictions on sending weaponry to the Azov Battalion, a fascist unit that draws its inspiration from the Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and his Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists.

The systematic promotion of the fascistic right by the ruling elites in the major capitalist countries corresponds with the interests of imperialism. At the G-7 summit, discussions will revolve around a massive escalation of the war against Russia, which is aimed at subjugating the resource-rich and geostrategically important country to the imperialist powers. The European and North American imperialists are engaged in a redivision of the world, which includes preparations for war against China, and the backing of Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians as a component of a war in the Middle East targeting Iran. Underscoring how American imperialism sees these various fronts as part of a single global conflict, Washington’s latest sanctions package against 300 individuals and institutions it accuses of helping Russia conduct the war in Ukraine included several Chinese firms.

With their reckless turn to world war, the imperialists in all of the major countries aim to strengthen their position at the expense of their rivals, which include those states with which they are presently nominally allied. To this end, imperialism, to paraphrase Lenin, “strives not for democracy but for dictatorship.” All aspects of social life must be subordinated to militarism and the waging of war. No popular dissent can be tolerated by each country’s ruling class, lest it undermine its ability to grab its share of the spoils.

Responding to the bourgeois propagandists of his day who portrayed World War II as a war to defend “democracy” against fascism, Trotsky wrote in the “Manifesto of the Fourth International on the Imperialist War” in the early stages of World War II:

The war has not halted the process of the transformation of democracies into reactionary dictatorships, but on the contrary is carrying this process to its conclusion before our very eyes…

Seeking to gain the advantages of a totalitarian regime, the imperialist democracies launch their own defense with a redoubled drive against the working class and the persecution of revolutionary organizations. The war danger and now the war itself is utilized by them first and foremost to crush internal enemies. The bourgeoisie invariably and unswervingly follows the rule: “The main enemy is in one’s own country.”

Opposition to imperialist world war, genocide and the promotion of fascism can be led only by the international working class. The strikes and mass protests that have erupted around the world against the genocide in Gaza and the sweeping attacks on workers’ living standards to pay for military rearmament demonstrate the hostility among broad sections of the population towards imperialist war and plunder. The urgent task is to fight for the understanding among workers and young people that the return of world war and fascism is rooted in the capitalist profit system, which must be abolished through the revolutionary struggle of the working class for socialism.