Given the current situation in the country and the announced protests on the Day of Uprising Against the Occupation, we checked with historian Jože Možina whether it is possible to draw any parallels with the left from back then and today’s left. As he noted, the left has retained its arrogance, but its representatives are much weaker compared to the former leaders. This weakness is also evident in the protests, where those who are otherwise well-situated but are afraid of losing their privileges are mostly the ones who protest. On the other hand, we have people who are struggling to survive, who are filling the pockets of the more privileged ones with their work, and instead of protesting, they are working in their gardens. “Those who blame others, for example, the government for their own failure, are probably also protesting. Those who are struggling to survive do not have time to parade around,” Možina believes.
Historian, sociologist, journalist and author of the book Slovenski razkol (The Slovenian divide), Jože Možina, noted that the celebration would make sense if, on the Day of Uprising Against the Occupation, we celebrated the uprising against all oppressive regimes and ideologies that pushed us to National Socialism and Communism. However, that is not the case. Namely, nothing happened on the 27th of April 1941. Instead, one day before that – on the 26th – members of the Association of Friends of the Soviet Unions, the opponents of imperialism, which was personified by Great Britain and the already-defeated France at the time, met in Vidmar’s villa in Rožna dolina.
At the time, the Communists did not think about the uprising; the uprising only happened after Russia was attacked. Given that the left sees the current Prime Minister Janez Janša as an occupier, we were interested in whether it is possible to draw parallels with the then- and the present uprising. Možina notes that in the present, only a part of people, especially those who are fighting for their privileges, is creating a revolt. As noted by Ernest Petrič, Ph.D., in the interview with Možina a year ago already, nowadays, it is only the privileged people who are protesting, despite the fact that they have had nothing bad happen to them yet. “This probably also includes those who blame others, for example, the government, for their own failure. Those who are struggling to survive do not have time to parade around,” he believes.
Fighting for their privileges
Further, Možina went on to point out that on Friday, MP Boris Doblekar saw the activist Jaša Jenull cycle to the “battlefield” with a loudspeaker, and then Možina also mentioned his 72-year-old mother, who was gardening at the time, despite the fact that she is receiving a minimum pension after 40 years of service. “And this is all that you need to know about the matter. The protesters see the whole thing this way, in ideological terms. They are protesting because they are worried about their privileges. Their main problem is that they do not have any actual content to defend or the ‘fitness’ they would need to stand behind it. The only selfless support they receive is from the dominant media, without whom they would not exist,” he added.
Given that today, the mainstream media play a major role in promoting protests and supporting the protesters, we wanted to compare the media situation from the time of the two World Wars to that of today. Možina pointed out that the media situation was completely different back then. During the occupation, public media, newspaper and radio were under the occupier’s censorship. The illegal press played a key role in influencing the people, especially in Ljubljana, where the communists were extremely strong and penetrating in terms of propaganda.
“They tugged on the patriotic strings in people and abused the established norm in the then-civilisation, that the written word has the attribute of truth. People were not used to lying and manipulation from the media, so at first, they believed many things that were not true,” Možina said. He added that at the time, the media played an extremely important role in declaring who the national traitors were, who were killed by the communists. The first reactions of the people were often something in terms of: “’Yes, he must have done something wrong, you do not just kill a person for no reason.’ At the time, people did not know that the threatening ideologies of the 20th century, National Socialism and Communism, were, in fact, killing people ‘for no reason.’ Later, many of them realised the truth.” Možina noted that today, media manipulation is once again a fundamental tool – of course, no murders are happening anymore, but “media murders” are common.
And as for the parallels with the then-collapse of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and today’s independent state, he sees no direct parallels. “It is true, however, that the pre-war communists directed most of their activities towards the overthrow of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Recent events, related to the so-called non-paper, as well as the examples of open lies about the media situation in Slovenia that have been spread abroad, show that part of the radical left does not care about this country,” he was critical. He notes that for political domination and the removal of the current government, they are even willing to threaten the country’s reputation. “This is extremely worrying. If you will, it was typical for the communists before and during the war that they used any and all means available to reach their goals.”
Just like the left “collaborated” with the Germans and Nazism, they are now willing to work with anyone they might benefit from in achieving their goals
The collaboration or alliance of the Communists with Hitler’s Germany – from the signing of the Hitler-Stalin Pact in August 1939 to the attack on the Soviet Union on the 22nd of June 1941, is clear. “Even today, many people worry that the radical currents of the Slovenian left are willing to ‘collaborate’ with anyone, and even launch lies and false documents so that many people would be able to come to power,” he says, noting that the left is clearly not worried about the country’s reputation.
A kind of war between the East and West has been dragging on from recent history, as the Western Allies have in many cases been treated as enemies by the left. “There is a lot of confusion here, even regarding such wars – who is against whom? And it might even be funny if it were not also sad, and if it were not threatening our way of life and values,” he added. He noted that the Slovenian left, which has been completely exhausted in terms of ideas and with the negative personnel selection without any charismatic leaders, finds the global ideologies, which are now being born in the already somewhat tired West, which some even consider to be degenerate, to be useful.
The left has kept the arrogance of the past, but its leaders are becoming increasingly weak
As Možina also noted, the revolutionaries in World War II, unlike today’s left, had leaders that were extremely hard-working and tough. “Many of them were primitive, but many of them also had some arrogance in them – the arrogance remained, but from generation to generation, their leaders are becoming weaker,” he explained. However, he believes that the left could only be able to lead the country successfully if it was able to form a supporting, charismatic and capable figure of a leader, which is increasingly becoming a problem, even among the world authorities. With this, he highlighted the performances of Alenka Bratušek and Marjan Šarec. He is convinced that the media did not do its job at the time, as they did not reveal their shortcomings because they were not balanced and critical. “It was about maintaining something, and meanwhile, we all know that Marjan Šarec’s rule was a disgrace, as was Alenka Bratušek’s interview for the CNN.”