The Oton Župančič Library in Ljubljana canceled Monday’s presentation and discussion on the book “A Manifest for European Rebirth” by Alain de Benoista, who is considered to be the main representative of the so-called New Right (Nouvelle droite). A discussion was also planned with a Croatian-American writer, publicist, translator, former diplomat and professor Tomislav Sunić, Ph.D. This cowardly cancellation of the event, which has been agreed upon, announced, and advertised throughout October, naturally makes it impossible for the organizers to find a substitute in such a short time. The event is, at least for now, canceled.
The pressures of the political left piled up in the last few days. They demanded the cancellation of the presentation from the library (and even from state authorities). The library or its Head, Barbara Bračič Fabjančič, succumbed to the pressures, canceling the event. That this was due to external pressures can be inferred from the fact that in her dismissal, Fabjančič could not explain the reason why the event was canceled. The organizers were simply sent the message: “I must inform you that we are canceling the event because we were not familiar with all the information related to the presentation of the book, that is, the information that has just come to us.” The organizers asked in reply if they could find out what information prompted them to cancel the event. There was no answer to this question.
The library is a public institution that should treat all citizens equally regardless of their views. We have hoped that after almost three decades, Slovenia would have made a civilization leap into a society in which ideas and knowledge are no longer subject to approval by the ideological commission of the Central Committee of the Party or any similar body. However, we were obviously mistaken. This case stands in a mosaic of similar ones, proving that ideological leftist censorship is still alive and well in Slovenia. We can ask ourselves what the next step will be. Cleansing libraries of “hostile” literature like in 1945? Secret indexes and prohibited book bunkers? Stakes on which politically inappropriate works will be burnt? Slowly but surely the Slovenian society is moving in this direction in recent weeks.