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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Democratic deficit

By: Dr Stane Granda

There is a consensus among Slovenians about the existence of a democratic deficit, which goes beyond the division into left and right. That is why the question is whether we all understand it in the same way. In our case, we assume respect for democracy and its place in the system of civic values.

I remember conversations during the time of Slovenian independence, when we wondered whether there was a true attitude among Slovenians towards democracy as the highest civic value. Relatively soon, it became clear that there is considerable consensus about independence, but little or not enough about democracy. Despite this, it was not given adequate attention, but was placed on the altar of the independent Slovenian state.

The fact that we Slovenians have lived under a dictatorship since 1929 has left deep traces. The communists made brilliant use of this and began to fill its deficit with the concepts of people’s democracy and then with self-management. In both cases, it was a typical Bolshevist exploitation of the great freedom-loving notions of the vast majority of the population. Post-war political violence took its toll on the school system, and many began to believe that both were truly what they were claimed to be. It is for this reason that our political and economic emigrants and Slovenians who live outside the Republic of Slovenia have a particularly meritorious place in our movement for an independent Slovenian state. The latter, especially with Trieste’s Draga and meetings in Sveti Višarji, offered help that is not appreciated today. The former rulers understood this immediately. That is why they threw themselves into the return of Slovenian political emigrants with particular enthusiasm. They blamed them for their absence during the time when we were rebuilding the country destroyed after the war and building a new Slovenia. Very clever for simpletons. They had to escape if they wanted to stay alive. I especially remember the attacks on Dr Andrej Bajuk, before whom, if we ignore the wealth of his knowledge, we should all kneel because of his father’s merits for Slovenian refugees in Carinthia.

As misfortune never comes alone, the sacrifice of democracy has also brought with it the same, or more likely, even greater misfortune in the long run. At the time of independence, the importance of primary and secondary education was underestimated. In accordance with the Marxist mentality in which we were brought up, there was a war to conquer the capital positions of the previous regime, and at the same time, education and the culture that rested on it were skilfully taken away from us. Alienated media is a logical consequence of both. It is becoming more and more clear what is one of the biggest mistakes or shortcomings of Slovenian independence. Here is also the key to finding the cause of the great electoral defeat of Slovenian democracy in the last elections.

Yugoslavia was doomed from birth. During World War II, the communists, with the help of the Soviets and more of the English than the Americans, extended its life by mass executions, especially of Serbs and Croats against their will. As in the old Yugoslavia, most of them were for it in Slovenia. It became a typical communist formation, and the breakdown of its European ideological framework led its nations to what should have happened after World War I: their own nation-states. This is precisely why the tragic and bloody history of inter-national relations pushed democracy into the background, and the new countries are therefore paying a high price. How else to understand that in the elections for the president of the country, the totalitarian Kučan defeated the democrat and leading pro-independence leader Pučnik? Of course, the communists, who had been systematically preparing for their collapse and takeover of real power for several years, also exploited other mistakes of the democrats, in particular the underestimation of the social issue, which was not difficult in the face of a severe economic crisis.

Clearing up the past should not be seen as reprimanding, because this is characteristic of marital, but not civil, disputes. It is mainly to ensure that Slovenian independence with the predominance of democratic values really makes sense. It will not be easy or quick to achieve. Above all, more attention should be paid to education. Not financially, but substantively. Slovenes as a nation and democrats are increasingly alienated from each other. The current government, which, according to RTVS, celebrated its 100 days of existence with caviar and quail eggs, the only thing missing was “quail milk” and the engagement of a well-known journalist as a court jester, introduced cynicism as a fundamental principle of government. This is not only a normal and logical result of the connection of the oligarchy (Golob) with the left (Mesec), but also a sign of desperation. In the normal state of democracy, something like this, despite its imperfection, could not or should not happen. It was revealed that it was no longer a deficit, but rather an acute absence.

The latest election result is alarming. Blaming and humiliating voters is neither a short-term nor a long-term solution. The sole pursuit of the latter must be the true aim of politics. Therefore, it is necessary to immediately prepare a thorough reform of education, especially civic education, to which all subjects in terms of education must be subordinated. It cannot be prepared by people for whom the content of politics is the school president of the parliament, but by people like those who achieved independence. There is no need for a subject as such, because sooner or later it would arouse resistance or be played with LGBT theory; it is about the attitude of the school as an educational institution, not the content of the subjects. The independent Slovenian state is our greatest achievement in history and deserves such generally inhuman and ungrateful effort.

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