By: Jože Biščak
The book Parallel Mechanism of the deep state by professor and publicist Rado Pezdir is not only important because it proves with documents the parallel economy of the former communist regime and reveals why the transition is not over, but also because it explains events in the first years after independence. In those days, there was already a lot of talk about the post-war massacres and murders of Udba. Decades of fear of the Party police were still among the people, and even the Communists disguised as Democrats did not react excessively to their criminal activities; they were in sackcloth and ashes for a bit and tried to relativize and justify their actions with the legal system of the time. By doing so, they diverted the public debate about the legacy of the totalitarian system far away from the economy, for which they were genuinely afraid it would be revealed.
The only group of journalists who dealt with this issue more seriously was the so-called Slivnikova četica (the late Danilo Slivnik and Vesna R. Marinčič, Vinko Vasle, Igor Guzelj, me, and a few others). If the Organisation, as Slivnik called the Party’s leadership, manipulated and perfidiously blocked (even with moles within the spring parties) the work of various commissions, something happened in the first months of 1993 that caused all the red lights to go off in the deep state, the defence mechanism was triggered and in a good year it dealt with everyone who touched the parallel economy.
In Delo’s editorial “Casinò Royal”, Slivnik wrote about huge amounts of money flowing to the parties of the transitional left, Janez Janša spoke about the money you can use to buy elections. As they wallowed in Udba’s finances, the Udbamafia began preparations for Janša’s political liquidation, which led to the mounted Depala vas affair (later to the Patria affair), the group around Slivnik had to withdraw from Delo to the newly formed magazine Mag. Deep state soldiers, among whom Janez Drnovšek also played a prominent role, ended the purge (with some suspicious suicides) with the abolition of the Social Accounting Service, which was the only one under the leadership of Romana Logar to investigate the red mafia in depth. It took a quarter of a century for Pezdir’s book to be published, which confirms with documents what Slivnikova četica wrote about, mostly on the basis of oral testimonies. Today’s defence of the deep state is that the parallel mechanism is presented as a system for the benefit of the Slovenian nation and preparations for financial assistance in gaining independence. Pezdir has already rejected this thesis, as no document proves it.
How much money (we are talking about billions of euros) disappeared abroad (especially in tax havens) and then came back in the form of various privatisation stories, Pezdir does not answer and we will probably never know. The invaluable value of the book is to describe the operation of a parallel mechanism in concrete examples: from classic crime (cigarette smuggling) of the communist avant-garde and cooperation with the (Italian) mafia after World War II to sophisticated financial operations at the turn of the millennium, which proves that the mechanism is still alive and that money is constantly being returned to Slovenia for purely political and ideological needs; some indications suggest that violent street protests are being funded in agreement with career criminals.
The parallel mechanism defends what is dearest to it: huge amounts of money, care for the blood successors of communism, the integrity of its (im)moral system and its interpretation of the world. The battle to dismantle this mechanism and against it does not take place in daylight, it is fought at the most visceral levels. It seems to the public to be a relentless struggle for supremacy between the right and left poles, but in reality it is an ancient struggle between good and evil, between truth and lie. The left wing experiment, which also built a parallel mechanism, has been going on in Slovenia for more than three quarters of a century, but sooner or later it will collapse under the burden of history. The question is what the price will be and how deep the wounds will be. But this house of cards, this Ponzi scheme, will end the moment people realise that knowing the truth is the result of observation (and experience), and by no means of (empty promises and) imagination. I just hope that it does not take too long.
Jože Biščak is the editor-in-chief of the conservative magazine Demokracija, president of the Slovenian Association of Patriotic Journalists and author of the books Zgodbe iz Kavarne Hayek, Zapisi konservativnega liberalca and Potovati z Orwellom.