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The Pučnik Symposium On The Culture War: This Is A Clash Of Civilisation Against Barbarism

The Dr Jože Pučnik Institute, in cooperation with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, hosted the 14th Pučnik Symposium in Slovenska Bistrica. The central theme of the symposium was Cultural Marxism – which has a lot in common with the old Marxism but has changed its rhetoric. It has turned the class struggle into a cultural one, but it still aims at an extreme mental transformation of man. This new culture war is a threat to our civilisation. The speakers see a more terrible potential in the emergence of Cultural Marxism than in classical Marxism.

The 14th Pučnik Symposium was held in the Knight’s Hall of the Castle of Slovenska Bistrica. The main theme touched on values, which is the danger of Cultural Marxism, an ideology that uses new approaches to create a global communist state. These new approaches led from classical Marxism, which understood capitalism as the temporary culmination of human society, to a complete negation of Western civilisation.

Among the participants in the discussion was the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) President Janez Janša, who said that today’s clash of values within Western civilisation is something different from what it used to be. “We need to call things by their right name. It is a clash of civilisation against barbarism, it is a dismantling of the very foundations, to return to the time when we were living in caves. A good symbol of this return to barbarism is the Fotopub affair. Involved in this affair, we found the same leftists saying how these values must be dismantled,” Janša said. In light of the Slovenian situation, he was most harsh towards the Left party (Levica), which, according to Janša, is determining the key measures of the current government coalition, despite its small number of MPs. Among the measures, he mentioned the abolition of the Office for Demography and the abolition of the Museum of Slovenian Independence, in addition to erecting a monument to the so-called “Erased”, which he described as one of the biggest lies in modern Slovenian history. “Everything else is just talk about reforms that will be presented on the 1st of April, and if not then, then on the 1st of June, and so on. The key reform in Slovenia is thus postponing the dates when some reform is supposed to start,” Janša said.

The discussion was also attended by publicists Žiga Turk, Dimitrij Rupel and Matevž Tomšič, as well as Andrej Fink, a legal expert on the theory of the state, constitutional and international law, and international relations.

“The ideological war has been intensifying in recent years,” Tomšič said, pointing out the great deception, as the new left has nothing to do with the workers, it is a new class, a new elite. “Who were the people who cycled in Ljubljana every Friday during the previous government’s term? They were not representatives of the working class, they were representatives of the middle class, descendants of the red bourgeoisie,” he said. He also believes that we will need to find thoughtful approaches to tackle Cultural Marxism, which is so widespread at the moment, especially in politics, education, science and the media, that it is difficult to defeat it in one fell swoop. “Occupy the education system, the media, the judiciary, and usurp the civil society. All of this is happening today, when it is being proclaimed that real civil society is only left-wing,” he added. In his view, it is not only the right that can counter this, but instead, all those who are committed to the heritage of European civilisation should try to do so.

Janša then said that this is a parasitisation of the national substance, which must be fought, above all, by noticing these dangers, recognising them, and not being afraid to name them because of some political correctness. “Sometimes, that is enough. To expose someone who claims to be part of a non-governmental organisation, to reveal that it is not, in fact, that, but that its founder is a government minister and that the purpose is mainly to run and finance various campaigns in a non-transparent way,” he said. The European institutions are also a great ally of this lack of transparency because, for them, too, NGOs are the essence of democracy, even though they are one of the biggest bypasses and tools of the dismantling of democratic institutions. “It is the rule of the unelected. Ten people circling the squares, proclaiming themselves to be the voice of the people. But they are not. The voice of the people is the Member of Parliament who has received 5 000 votes and is, therefore, the voice of his constituents.”

According to Rupel, the front against Cultural Marxism is already present in Slovenia, and they should not back down in presenting their views and should respond to the things they find to be wrong. “In 2007, during the first Janša government, there was the 571 Petition, in 2012, there were the uprisings, and between 2020 and 2022, there were the cyclists. These people are repeating old platitudes or formulas, you could say they are repeating a grade.”

Antonio Gramsci is considered the father of the idea of Cultural Marxism. But he does not understand why such a good Marxist had established himself in the most backward country in Europe at that time. “Starting from the fact that his idea was realised in the most backward country in Europe – Russia. Marx did not develop this for Russia, but for Germany, for England,” said Dr Andrej Fink. And so Cultural Marxism was born – the idea of destroying the values on which Western civilisation is based. “How do you change a value? You have to devalue it first,” he said, adding that the most important values of the National Liberation Movement cannot exist under the aegis of the Communist Party, although he respects the guys who joined the Liberation Movement with the best intentions, but Cultural Marxism, in his view, wants to turn values upside down.

Cultural Marxism is a heresy of Christianity, said Žiga Turk. It is necessary, he says, to defend what has been achieved, but not to be rigidly set on the shackles that nothing can change.

The symposium also saw the awarding of the Pučnik plaque to academic Dr Janko Kos. The award was accepted on his behalf by the President of the Assembly for the Republic, Franc Cukjati.

Sara Kovač

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