Death to Janšizem (Janša = Prime Minister of RS) – Just a rude parable or a deliberate provocation?

Franci Kindlhofer. (Photo: Demokracija archive)

The president of the Association of Political Prisoners and Other Victims of Communist Violence, Andrej Aplenc, took the initiative called Hate speech in order to achieve through the judiciary that the slogan “Death to Janšizem” should not be used in public. The report filed through a lawyer against several suspects who carried banners with the slogan “Death to Janšizem” at anti-government protests was rejected by the District Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ljubljana, explaining that it was not a crime.

I cannot agree with the decision of the prosecution for the following reasons:

Courts should act against such phenomena in public. If the prosecution and the judiciary make excuses that they have no legal basis for this, then we need to create it through legislative instruments.

In Slovenia, great social changes took place after 1990, but there was no extensive treatment of the past in all structures, as required by the given civilizational changes. Thus, we find that many expressions of opponents of democracy also originate from communism or even fascism. Thus, for example, verbal anti-Janšizem articulates the attitude towards an independent, democratic state of Slovenia.

Opposition to democracy among communists is the result of a deep-rooted historical experience that communism has always been firmly rejected by all established social groups. Not only by the church and capital, but also by the working class, which sought and found a solution to social problems in, otherwise decisive struggles with capital, but always in some clever dialogue. That this path is more successful than communist radicalism has been most clearly shown in capitalist countries, where labour has had and still has, despite all the negative phenomena, a higher standard of living than in the so-called socialist countries. It is absurd, however, that the communist revolutions in the world claimed more casualties than wars, and the results were devastating.

Since its establishment, the Communists have given themselves a fourth name

In this context, we must also understand the actions of the Slovene Communists, or left-wing extremists. From its founding in 1937 until today, the Communists have given themselves a fourth name, (KPS, ZKS, SDP, SD), but their influence on social development is diminishing. For today’s influence they still have, they must thank precisely the democracy they are constantly attacking. Because it was this democracy, which at the time of independence and liberation from communism, treated them almost unreasonably humanely and failed to dump them in the dustbin of history.

Today, proponents of communism resort to old methods known to them. They not only try to define and condemn their opponent, but also create one for themselves. Thus, they do not give a realistic picture of what their political opponent really is, but what it is supposed to be.

Language can also be used as a weapon

For this reason, we need to pay close attention to what kind of language is used by opponents of the current government and democracy in general. Namely, language is a working instrument and can also be used as a weapon. Violence is just a subtype of active power. Verbal violence is a destructive form of exercising power. It happens consciously with a goal, to insult another, to exclude, to spread slander, and so on. If I listen to and read the statements and constructs of left-wing opponents of the government, I get the feeling that I am still living in a dictatorship where people are stigmatized, discriminated against, and at the same time manipulated with public opinion. People are harmed not only individually but also as a negative part of society. This is the case, for example, with SDS members, Catholics, patriots, researchers of communist crimes in the past, fighters for an independent Slovenia and others. Thus, the collective consciousness is massively affected.

Public media, which is supposed to spread reliable and true information in a democracy, has the potential in our country to negatively influence the thinking and feelings of many people. After all, most people trust that their interpretations correspond to truth and objectivity. Therefore, we should take the first step in this direction so that the public media does not spread such a hostile slogan that evokes associations in people with half-past history and hinders the normal development of our society in all segments.

Therefore, we cannot look at a slogan such as “death to Janšizem” as an otherwise tasteless mockery of the adversary. We know what it meant to be labelled a fascist during and after the last war. Whomever was affixed with this title became a lawless person, exposed to the mercy and disfavour of their environment. Thus, this password was not chosen randomly and recklessly. There is more explosive power in it than those who do not think, believe. With the judiciary at the helm.