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The dilemma of the present

Prof Dr Andrej Umek (Photo: Demokracija archive)

By: Dr Andrej Umek

The purpose of this column is to draw attention to the incompatibility of European, if you will, Western civilisation and Marxism, which has recently manifested itself as cultural Marxism. In order to make the definitions of both concepts clear, I will use the definitions given in the literature. I understand the definition of European civilisation in terms of the famous British philosopher Bertrand Russell.

This is a civilisation which, in the areas where it dominates, in Europe and North America, has provided the individual with the highest standard of living on a global scale, a democratic society, and respect for human rights. On the one hand, this society preserves its moral-ethical values and adapts itself to current and anticipated changes in a democratic way. The goals and working methods of cultural Marxism are perfectly described in the book by Alejandro Peña Esclusa. Its goal is to establish a communist “paradise” on earth, characterised by extremely low living standards and brutal terror by the self-proclaimed vanguard over all other populations. Like classical communists such as Lenin, Stalin, Tito, etc., cultural Marxists also use liquidations and concentration camps to convince their opponents. The essential difference between the two groups is that the classical communists believed that the contradictions in the society of Western civilisation would enable them to have a communist revolution and take over power, and then they would be able to transform this society according to their wishes and needs. Cultural Marxists are aware that in the future a revolutionary takeover of power will no longer be possible, and even if it were to succeed, the country would eventually return to the circle of Western civilisation, just as it happened to Eastern Europe. They found the complete incompatibility of Western civilisation and Marxism. That is why they set themselves the primary goal of destroying the foundations of European civilisation.

The foundations of Western civilisation, at least in my opinion, were laid thousands of years ago. What followed was a long-term and gradual improvement and deepening of the basic concepts – not always without steps in the wrong direction – through antiquity, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment until today, when we in the European People’s Party expressed this concept in the programme statement that we stand for the freedom of every individual, which is limited only by someone else’s freedom. I see the beginnings and basis of this concept in the Ten Commandments of God. When Moses brought the Israelites across the Red Sea from slavery in Egypt, they were free. Chaos reigned among them, and they were unable to live with each other. So that they could live as a community – a nation, a chosen people, God gave them ten commandments. European civilisation and culture – the wisdom of the West – are still based on this beginning. And if we recall the Ten Commandments of God, it is not difficult to find out that some of them, e.g., do not kill, do not steal, do not covet, are in clear contrast to Marxist goals as defined in the Communist Manifesto. These include revolution, therefore killing, and after that nationalisation, therefore theft, etc. Therefore, the society as planned by the Marxist-Communists is incompatible with the concepts of Western civilisation.

The Italian communist Antonio Gramsci also came to this realisation. He concluded that the communist revolution in Russia succeeded because of the primitiveness of the environment and its disconnection from European culture. Therefore, he assumed that the communist revolution in Central and Western Europe could not succeed. This realisation of his is also proven by the fact that the Yugoslav communist revolution succeeded because its starting point was in Bosnia, a primitive environment that was not fully integrated into the European cultural space. As a convinced Marxist, Gramsci, realising that a communist revolution was not possible in Europe, began to look for an alternative path to a communist “paradise”. He proposed an attack on European civilisation and the demolition of its foundations, which would eventually lead to a communist society. His basic idea was taken over and developed by the Frankfurt school of philosophy with Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, and others. This mutation of Marx’s doctrine was given the name cultural Marxism, its tactics are cultural war instead of the classic Marxist revolution. Followers of cultural Marxism in South America – former Cuban President Fidel Castro, current Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro—founded the São Paulo Forum to promote their ideas, which the aforementioned Peña Esclusa wrote extensively about. Their achievements are also clearly visible both in Cuba and Venezuela. Unfortunately, even in Europe quite a few political parties and movements advocate the ideas and practices of cultural Marxism. It seems to me that the parties of the current government coalition are leading in this regard. Let me just mention the attack on the nation-state and the proposed tax reform, which is effectively nationalisation in a different way.

Let me conclude by saying that we Slovenians are faced with the dilemma of cultural Marxism or European civilisation. If we choose the former, we will follow Cuba and Venezuela into general poverty and deprivation and the brutal suppression of all dissenters. The decision for European culture and the European way of life means that we remain in every respect an integral part of Europe, its democracy and economic success. This decision, at least in my opinion, should not be difficult at all, as it is a logical consequence of our past aspirations and efforts. However, the decision itself is not enough, we must also act in accordance with our pro-European decision.

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