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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Our new class

By: Mag Andrej Aplenc

I recently re-read the book by Milovan Đilas, New Class. Đilas was Tito’s closest collaborator, but then in the 1950s he became a dissident, spent many years in prison and wrote a book New Class, which was published in 1957 in New York.

In his book, Đilas defines the class as a communist power that developed from a revolutionary to a proprietary and then to a reactionary group. Đilas says: “For the new class, the most sensitive demands are freedom of thought and criticism, the new class opposes all forms of freedom… in the communist system, the legislative power cannot be separated from the executive power… it is not possible to separate the police power from the judicial power… the circle is closed, the executive power and the legislative authority is one and the same, and so are the investigative, judicial, and criminal authorities.”

Does this remind you of anything? The holders of the previous regime became rulers after independence, who controlled our political scene all these years through their connections in the economy. Billions of euros flowed abroad to tax havens. Well, now we have formalised our new Slovenian new class. Due to the almost complete power over the media space, over newspapers, and television, our new class was formed as the Svobo-DA movement and – not very surprisingly – won the elections.

The fact is that now freedom of expression is possible only declaratively, but not actually. With the Svobo-DA movement, we are entering the initial period of the soft dictatorship of a single party. According to Đilas, a large part of the police and judicial authorities in our country is under the direct influence of the Svobo-DA movement, not to mention personnel purges in the state administration and new jobs.

We have some examples of measures taken by the new government which are characteristic of our new class. Prime Minister Robert Golob is undoubtedly an intelligent graduate of electrical engineering. He took Levica party with Luka Mesec in the coalition with their demands for nationalisation. We all remember the comments of the entrepreneur Boscarol and others, some even said that they would move the headquarters of their companies abroad, where they would be safe from Luka Mesec. This is our new class now.

Golob supported the re-candidacy of Zoran Janković for Ljubljana mayor. He cancelled the ban on the construction of sewerage through the Kleče water protection area, which was banned by the government of Janez Janša. Construction across water protection zones is prohibited by law. This is our new class.

Golob supported Zoran Janković, who plans to build a garage under a market. The civil initiative “We are not giving the market” already proved years ago with experts that from a geological point of view, the construction of a 4-story garage is inadmissible, because it would cause damage to all the surrounding buildings and Plečnik’s arcades, which could mean that they collapse. If we need a garage next to the market, there is a place for it under Grajski grič, plans for this were presented years ago. Geologically, this part of Grajski grič, adjacent to Old Ljubljana, is very good for building a garage, the Romans had a quarry there. In this proposed garage, there would be space for around 2,000 cars, while in Janković’s for inappropriately less. The city of Salzburg has such a garage under the hill. In our country, however, we would destroy a well-known market in Europe, for which architects Milan Kovač and Peter Kerševan proposed a suitable arrangement in extensive plans. However, the authorities ignore them. This is our new class.

Golob supports Mayor Janković also in the case of the Plečnik Stadium. The culture minister of Golob’s government did not say anything on this topic, but the fact is that the crumbling stadium on the 150th anniversary of the birth of the architect Jože Plečnik is a Slovenian international cultural shame. Plečnik’s stadium should be restored in its original form, there are plans for this, but the authorities support Pečečnik’s plans to desecrate and destroy Plečnik’s stadium through demolition and megalomaniacal construction and reconstruction, which is against the international conventions ratified by the Republic of Slovenia. The financial side of this project is not clear, but everything points to the fact that it would be similar to Janković’s Stožice stadium with a loss of a quarter of a billion and a concrete desert. This is our new class.

It is a pity that Milovan Đilas is no longer alive. If he did, he could write a Slovenian version of New Class.

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