The web portal 24ur published a draft of the programme starting points of the largest parliamentary party, the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS), ahead of its upcoming June congress. In the title of the article, they are manipulatively implying that the largest government party wants to start a civil war in Slovenia. “The article published on 24ur.com web portal is a worrying example, not the first nor the last, of the political instrumentalisation of a mass media. The manipulative title of the text suggests that the SDS party is promoting or perhaps even wants to resume the civil war. The truth is, of course, completely different – the SDS party warns of the danger of history repeating itself in its resolution already, as the events from our history have already brought a lot of misery to this nation, so the SDS party points out that we need to be cautious,” sociologist Dr Bortu Rončevič commented on the article. Historian Dr Stane Granda claims that all of today’s problems in Slovenia regarding the notion of democracy are related to the misguided school system set up by the former Minister of Education Slavko Gaber.
Part of the left-wing opposition and the mainstream media once again grabbed on to the news that was published on the web portal 24ur, where the title of the article implied that the Slovenian Democratic Party wanted to start a new civil war. As these are serious accusations, we turned to sociologist Borut Rončević and historian Stane Granda to help us analyse the article, which was written by the journalist Daniel Fazlić.
The news was published on the same day as we published a document on Nova24TV from a book by a former prominent LDS politician and long-time director of the National Housing Fund, Edvard Oven, which describes the strategy of the former LDS party. Namely, their strategy includes slandering conservative and patriotic politicians, businessmen and other citizens by continuing the cultural fight, which was first started in Slovenia by the communists during the Second World War. It also ignited the fratricidal war, the worst tragedy in the history of our nation.
Rončević warns that left-wing fascism is on the rise again
The full professor at the Faculty of Applied Social Studies, Dr Borut Rončević, warns that a democratic future in Slovenia is not something that should be taken for granted. The published excerpts from the 24ur web portal actually draw attention to the dangers posed by left-wing politics, along with the radicalised civil society and its obedient media. “For some time now, at least a decade, we have been able to observe a problematic trend of increasing radicalisation and the slipping of an increasing part of the left-wing political option into left-wing fascism, and recently also an increasingly obvious articulation of anti-Semitism within this political option, which is strongly presented in the National Assembly,” Rončević describes the socio-political phenomenon.
He believes that the democratic option has failed to successfully oppose this trend. We should be concerned, as there are several reasons for it. Rončević does not believe that democracy will collapse in Slovenia as a result of internal processes, as Slovenia is too small for something like that, but he points out the unfavourable international circumstances and recalls an example from the year 1939, “when very few people imagined that the coming years would soon be written about in history textbooks as a period of the greatest horrors in European history.” Therefore, he believes we can never be too cautious.
The left does not see its opponents as rivals but as enemies
Historian Stane Granda sees the problem with democracy in the fact that for several generations now, Slovenia has had no experience with the classic democracy, as it has not actually existed on Slovenian soil since 1929. There is speculation that many attribute the responsibility for the problem of Slovenian society to multipartyism. However, the problem is actually the party leaders and part of the membership of the parties, “especially members of the parties of totalitarian origin, who are unable to see other parties as legal rivals but instead only see them as enemies. In any case, a true democratic system of a country should not allow the existence of such parties.” Therefore, according to Granda, when getting registered, each party should sign a document that states that it will respect the constitutional order and advocate for its changes in a constitutional and democratic way. However, he finds the demands for the abolition of partisanship and calls for the assassination of competing leaders unacceptable, “as they are a real threat to Slovenia. The demand for the abolition of the parliament, the National Assembly, the illegal procedures for the change of the government are a blatant threat to democracy!”
According to Granda, the Slovenian Democratic Party and the former United List of Social Democrats (Združena lista socialnih demokratov), the current Social Democrats party (Socialni demokrati), are considered the central political parties. Their task should be to sincerely agree to democracy and its foundations. This would neutralise the extremists “in their own leftist ranks.” But instead, at the SD party, led by Tanja Fajon, we are witnessing incitement, which is far from the serious attitude that prevails in successful European democracies. According to Granda, their only political strategy is to incite hatred and sow fear, as well as play into the vilest emotions.
“Since 1984 onwards, members of the old regime have been going after Janša with about 200 different administrative, judicial and other measures and procedures. They produced a huge number of scandals, such as the JBTZ, the arms trade, Depala vas, and the scandal of all scandals – Patria, with which the political abuse of the judiciary came to the fore in the most drastic way imaginable… But the goal of the first-class citizens is no longer just the elimination of Prime Minister Janša and the SDS party; their goal has been upgraded. Now, it is about establishing a new social order based on Marxism-Leninism-Kardeljism! And Fajon does not deny any of this,” historian Granda made it clear.
According to Granda, the SD party was still more or less normal at the time when it was being led by Igor Lukšič. Even the former president of the party and the current president of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, tried to make sure that the central left-wing party would not get too radicalised. However, Granda believes that with Fajon, the SD party has experienced an intellectual slip. “And a person like that sees herself as the leader of an alternative to the existing government?” As the Social Democrats and Fajon are unable to offer a democratic alternative to the current situation, Granda points to another danger, which he sees in the far-left Levica party (the Left), the civil society, trade unions and individuals who have managed to amass more material goods than ever before in history. Finally, Granda added that the core of the problem is in the education system, so only a “new school” could destroy the totalitarianisms which are threatening Slovenia.