A system has been established in Slovenia, which serves primarily the elite. The self-appointed and self-proclaimed elite. The first-class citizens. They use all means possible for the preservation of their power, their status and their privileges. One of the most disastrous long-term consequences of this system is the erosion of the human capital and the cornerstones of Slovenian statehood.
This system defends the privileges of the elite and thus prevents the natural competition of talents in society. Consequently, each year thousands of talented and ambitious people leave Slovenia. The second-class citizens who stay, don’t have equal opportunities for success. The immigrants who replace our talents are low-skilled labourers and consumers of social funds. Everyone capable of looking past the everyday false reality presented by the regime media is aware that values in Slovenia are being threatened and we are heading to a breaking point. There are two possible outcomes.
In spite of a favourable external environment, Slovenia has not reduced its shortcomings compared to the developed world in the last decade. Because of exclusionary politics of the first-class citizens and consequently the sluggish development, the vast majority of population, i.e. the second-class citizens are forced to pay higher taxes and contributions and vegetate on substantially lower incomes and pensions than are realistically possible given their financial input and Slovenia’s development potential.
Serious stagnation in state development is the result in every country where negative elitism becomes prevalent and is protected by the system. The basic criterion of the success of each individual in society is his predetermined or enabled position, not his capabilities. This situation could escalate to the point of a legitimacy crisis. It must be said that there is a great difference between countries where the formation of elites is the result of a relatively fair competition and meritocracy or contest between entrepreneurship, innovation and knowledge, and countries where the elites gained their position with the help of revolutionary bayonets and physical liquidation of the “old elite”. As dr. Frane Adam has established in his study concerning Slovenia, those elites mostly recycle themselves. It is no coincidence that a member of such self-proclaimed Slovenian elite feels exceptionally familiar in the company of his elitist peers from Moscow or even Tehran, while he is more avoidant of competent Western managers.
The first line of defence used by negative elitism is bureaucracy. In a country with a population of two million, more than 20,000 laws and governmental decrees are in force. Many procedures are inconsistently enforced. The nature of many is such that they are almost inapplicable in practice. Most regulations are unnecessary for a normal life in a democratic country. After mostly shaping our own statehood in 1996, we had one fourth the amount of decrees we have nowadays. After three decades, we have returned full circle to the times when Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia was on the brink of collapse. It was said you were only allowed to do what decrees explicitly stated. When Slovenia became independent and the Constitution was enforced, those who had drafted it guaranteed that henceforth everything was allowed apart from things that were explicitly forbidden. Today, the grip of bureaucracy is stronger and in places even less responsive than in 1989. Many decrees stipulate many more new sanctions for fictitious infringements. Disproportionately high fines are prescribed for road traffic offences. It can all become absurd when a farmer is forced to pay a high fine for his cow wandering to his neighbour’s meadow and grazing there and that money is then given by the first-class government to the illegal migrant who came to Slovenia unlawfully and applied for asylum.
Many people mistakenly think that all that bureaucratic nonsense is a result of the government’s incompetence. Or because of the interests of the self-proclaimed elite who fills up its pockets by making up and charging different vehicle vignettes or registrations of vintage motorcycles. In reality, the ayatollahs of the first-class citizens use the unpassable bureaucratic quagmire to make an impression of their own indispensability and as an instrument of control of the second-class citizens. The people must be kept in constant fear while thinking they are doing something wrong. Who could know even one tenth of the decrees currently in force? What entrepreneur can find his way in a labyrinth of contradictory and illogical tax acts? In order to be submissive, the second-class citizens must live with the constant feeling of guilt and experience joy only when the rules are bent for them by a member of the elite. In much the same manner do the ayatollahs exploit the long waiting lists in the healthcare system and delays in the judiciary. In Slovenia, the bureaucracy or similarly, the administration has transformed itself into its own opposite. Instead of making order, fairness and using the same standards for everyone, it is exploited by the first-class citizens as a tool of disorder and chaos. In a systematic factory of inequity. We find ourselves in a state described by Marcus Tullius Cicero over two thousand years ago: “Summum ius, summa iniuria – Extreme law is the greatest injustice”.
The first-class citizens know very well that the most basic need of every human society is order. This allows us to establish freedom and justice, mortal enemies of each unnatural elite. When dr. Jordan Peterson was visiting and lecturing in Slovenia in 2018, the nerves of the first-class citizens were quite obvious because he advocated in an intelligible and “populistic” way the normality and those logical, natural and common sense perspectives of the world that the offensive of the cultural Marxism was trying to exterminate by using “political correctness” as an excuse.
Human beings spontaneously experience injustice, but it takes them much more effort to project it outwardly unless it is publicly recognized as such. That is why they express their spontaneous subconscious resistance against the unnatural flow of things or direct iniquities by not going to elections. The self-appointed elite actively encourages such reactions of the second-class citizens (mostly with autosuggestion populistic paroles, such as: the politicians are all the same, nothing can be changed, there is no option, my vote cannot decide anything …) and thus, paradoxically, by deliberately causing the injustices to occur, strengthens its force twofold.
Today, we recognize the basic ideological instruments for maintaining the power of the so-called elite with the use of the adjective “public”. In Slovenian newspeak, this adjective has become a synonym for monopolistic. However, the first generation of the first-class citizens still recognizes this concept as “social”. To them, this word had the same meaning as “ours”, i.e. “theirs” because as a self-proclaimed avant-garde they had all the assets of society at their unlimited disposal. A member of the first-class citizens or self-appointed elite can today be recognized by their steadfast campaigning for everything that is supposed to be public. Public healthcare system, public education, public finances, public housing … even public toilets. In reality, they push for such an organisation of social subsystems that help the so-called elite maintain its influence and power. If necessary, they finance other monopolies and provide jobs for their members (let us remember how they financed the owners of the weekly magazine Mladina by paying quadruple price for vein stents). To keep the misdeeds out of the sight of the people, there must not be a noteworthy competition in those sectors, a competition that would allow the comparison of the rationality and efficiency. However, sometimes absurd situations do occur, when children of the most vocal proponents of “public education system” are discovered to attend private schools or when members of the first-class lobby that are actively acting under the name of “Movement for public healthcare system” can afford first-class operations at private clinics in Switzerland or Austria. When former presidents Milan Kučan and Danilo Türk were discovered to have undergone surgical operations in Switzerland and Austria respectively, their defenders used the idiotically cynical excuse of them being sent there “within the context of services that the public healthcare system provides for”, with all the expenses being paid for by the Slovenian Healthcare Institution, just as if they would for any other citizen.
The mistrust of the free private initiative anywhere, including the economy, is something that first-class citizens are born with. Because of the European framework and rules of the common market, they are forced to tolerate it, but they never gave up the control which can nowadays be enhanced to the level where they can simply get rid of any entrepreneurs who stand in their way. The key instrument of limiting the entrepreneurial initiative is the tax screw, while the individual ones are: bureaucratic impediments, discriminatory treatment of individuals by the members of politicized tax administration, not paying the subcontractors for the services provided at the state or municipal projects and arbitrarily long commercial litigation. Thousands of entrepreneurs who constitute the backbone of the Slovenian economy and state are reluctant to show themselves in public and try to remain “under the radar” of the first-class citizens as much as they can. When they are perceived as successful, usually the tax inspections follow, as well as labour inspections, with allusions appertaining to the sponsorship of the “right” organisations, especially The Union of Associations for the Values of the National Liberation Movement of Slovenia and invitations to support various political nominations etc. The treatment of the “supervisors” can become more pleasant if the entrepreneur is susceptible to the hints of the first-class citizens. However, if he rebels against such handling directly or turns a deaf ear to the hints, unannounced house searches are result, with the obligatory presence of the POP TV cameras and a few days of media lynching of the entrepreneur and his business.
As such, Slovenia is the only country that labels itself as democratic and wherein the influence of the economy on society is third-rate. When the luminaries of the main unions of public sector begin to complain, the whole government is ready to listen, while the demands of economists are dealt with by some parlamentarian of the then non-coalition leftist party, declaring them parasites and if necessary, threatens them with nationalization and thus tames them. Slovenia is also probably the only “democratic republic” where limited donations to political parties by private enterprises were forbidden by the first-class citizens who thus additionally restricted the possibility of indirect influence of second-class businessmen in order to create more favourable circumstances for economic development of enterprises and consequently, the state.
The preclusive politics of the self-proclaimed elite has had disastrous consequences for the welfare of the nation. There are many examples that confirm this, even outside of economy. In the beginning of 2019, the case of internationally renowned expert dr. Marko Noč and his team reverberated in Slovenian society. The first-class citizenry by anonymous “evaluators” deprived him of funds for an important research programme and even prevented his appeal. Ever since he publicly pointed out the chaos reigning in the public healthcare system and especially the theft of one hundred million euros through buying overpriced vein stents paid out of the money of Slovenian contributors, dr. Noč has been the object of various attacks and personal discreditation. Because he endangered the criminal fief run for decades by the first-class ayatollahs, their reaction was merciless.
Young Slovenians are the biggest collective victims of the first-class citizens and their politics of exclusion. During our presidency of the European Council and the Council of Europe, we have systematically trained a few hundreds of young Slovenians coming from all business profiles. They followed the work of governments and ministries of different EU member states and studied good practices across different areas of expertise. The wide range of good practices represents one of the greatest assets of the EU. And while there isn’t a country in the EU where everything would function flawlessly, one can always find exceptionally good experiences. The methodically regulated public healthcare system in the Netherlands, the de-bureaucratised administration in the United Kingdom, the regulated social dialogue in Germany, the effective system of public procurement in Austria are just some of the aforementioned good practices … We have assembled an enormous wealth of extremely useful practical knowledge with the possibility of immediate counselling from experts of each EU member state. Despite the looming crisis, in the governmental mandate 2008-2012 Slovenia could have been transformed into a country where transition was finished and an open and inclusive system would guarantee the simultaneous resolution of problems, development and justice. Namely the prosperity, which is the constitutional purpose of the Slovenian state.
The administration of Slovenian state, tested by the reforms necessary to join EU, NATO, EMU and the Schengen area, was at that time capable of carrying out that accomplishment with the help of the available EU funds. And today? We can only feel sorry for ourselves. The abuse of the rule of law has been initiated under the name of Patria. The new socialist government dismissed with revulsion the wealth of knowledge, acquired during the EU presidency. Today, I cannot find a single one of those several hundred young experts, trained purposely for observing the good EU practices, because they all had to find new jobs in Brussels, Madrid, the Hague, Vienna, London … In Slovenia, they were seen as a threat to the system. There are surely some exceptions, but these were due mostly to their familial or political relations with the elite.
In the year 2009, the socialist government, instead of increasing the pace of reforms, expanded public spending by nearly one tenth, whilst experiencing record GDP downfall. All that followed were just consequences of that decision. A few years later, Slovenia lost 8% of the average EU purchasing power (from 91% to 83%) and the public debt increased from 22% of the GDP to almost 90%. At that time, the whole EU was facing the prospect of the same financial crisis. Over a span of ten years, nearly 8 billion euros were paid to various foreign financial funds for the interests of the public debt.
An enormous price was paid for the preservation of the system that upholds the power of the self-appointed elite. Because of this, Slovenia lacks transport links connecting Koroška and Bela krajina, lacks the funds to modernize its healthcare system, lacks the means to finance the second tube of the Karavanke tunnel, lacks the bypasses in numerous Slovenian towns, lacks the second railway track between Koper and Divača, lacks the means to modernize the railway in general. The average salary or pension in Slovenia is at least 250 euros lower than it could have been.
Janez Janša (61) is a Slovenian Prime Minister. Janša also led the Slovenian government from 2004 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2013. Biography of Janez Janša HERE.