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“The fascists of the future will call themselves antifascists”

Dr. Štefan Šumah (Photo: Demokracija archive)

By: Dr Štefan Šumah

Does the cult of tradition and newspeak remind you of anything? Or perhaps the attempt to quickly adopt a state law that would enforce shorter working hours for all workers, constant increase of the minimum wage as given to industry leaders or public servants, the same trust in trade unions (which are supposed to prove themselves technically and morally worthy), talk of reorganising railways and the transportation sector, demands for a strong progressive tax on capital (which involves a “partial expropriation” of concentrated wealth)?

Yes, in Slovenia, there is a cult of tradition, a cult of the Partisan liberation struggle (NOB), where modern-day fighters for privileges pilgrimage to sacred revolutionary sites. There is also newspeak, which is used when the government runs out of ideas or capabilities to solve problems. A typical word of the government’s newspeak is “timeline”, a word that shifts the solution to problems somewhere in the future. And both concepts, “cult of tradition” and “newspeak”, as defined by Umberto Eco, characterise fascism. In his essay on Ur-Fascism, he also stated that one of the most distinctive features of historical fascism was its appeal to the frustrated middle class, which was affected by the economic crisis or felt politically humiliated. He further continued that in our time, when the old “proletarians” are turning into petit bourgeoisie (and lumpenproletariat is almost entirely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority. And it has found it. An audience of almost 400,000 people, who were truly frustrated by the events due to the coronavirus crisis, who had enough of Janša’s “fascist government” and were eagerly waiting for freedom to dance.

And furthermore. In Slovenia as well, “there are attempts at the quick adoption of a law that would enforce a shorter working hours for all workers, a constant increase in the minimum wage, equal trust in workers’ unions as in employers, the reorganisation of railways and the transportation sector, a progressive tax on capital” … In all of the mentioned, it is merely a minimal adaptation of the fascist manifesto published on June 6th, 1919, in the newspaper Il Popolo d’Italia.

If I continue listing the characteristics of fascism, we can quickly conclude that Slovenia is not far from it. The incitement of acute hatred towards certain minority groups or individuals, treating them as enemies and blaming them for all the society’s problems (in this case, J. Janša); irrationality based on complete unreasonableness, where essentially no evidence can refute prejudice (e.g., that Tito was not a dictator and a criminal); attempts to achieve complete social hegemony; a combination of street violence (political cyclists, Antifa) and the use of state power against targeted groups and, of course, against all liberal, democratic, and progressive opinions that oppose them (investigative commissions, FURS, police…); the use of modern propaganda techniques and censorship to suppress political opposition (Delo, Dnevnik, Pop TV, RTVS…), extensive economic and social organisation (various NGOs); pressure on the judiciary; corporatism! Yes, in Slovenia, under this regime, we are indeed on the path to fascism. Or perhaps to Bolshevism, communism, socialism…, whatever someone wants to hear. Unfortunately, all these birds come from the same nest.

And to further support my thesis about the emergence of fascism in Slovenia, here is a quote from A. Hitler, under which every member of the Levica party would surely sign: “Socialism as the ultimate concept of duty, ethical duty of work, not only for oneself but also for fellow human beings, and above all the principle: Common good before individual good, the fight against all forms of parasitism, and especially against easy and undeserved income.”

All of the things I have listed are being implemented by the current government in the name of antifascism. And all those who oppose it are labelled as fascists by its supporters. The legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (or whoever it was) was absolutely right when he warned: “The fascists of the future will call themselves antifascists.”

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