How much is 2 + 2 really?

Jože Biščak. (Photo: Demokracija archive)

By: Jože Biščak

Once upon a time, people were accustomed to having moral authority in their homeland. When these moral arbiters raised their voices, it was a sign that something was really wrong in society. With the destruction and undermining of traditional values, there are fewer and fewer of those who can be believed and trusted because of their position, whether they are heads of families, teachers, judges, church dignitaries, or simply individuals who have gained the confidence to judge what is right and what is wrong. And then that opinion would also hold. Today, everything has turned upside down. The invasion of progressivism has caused a moral decay, the views of individuals, who are presented by the pro-education activist media as respectable and almost infallible, carefully fit the quasi-liberal view of the world. Literally every deviation from this straight-line party line is marked as a deviation into totalitarianism. This is followed by intimidation and media pogrom.

Two things happened last week to confirm this. First, there is the memorandum on freedom of the media and freedom of expression in Slovenia, which was drafted under the mentorship of the Commissioner of Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatović. If I had not been invited and participated in online conversations (with Slovenian journalists, civil society representatives, and media experts) moderated by its Strasbourg employees, I would hardly have believed that so many manipulations and lies could be fabricated. The report is extremely biased; the issues we have highlighted along with some colleagues who are of a (more) conservative worldview have been (almost) completely omitted. Today, I am really sorry that I was involved at all, because I contributed to the legitimacy of the report. The realisation that I was invited to be used only to confirm their preconceived notions really weighs on me. I could have known.

I admit, I was naïve, although at that moment it seemed to me that Mijatović would still take the opportunity and give a realistic picture of what was happening in Slovenia. Thus, I was able to read that media freedom in Slovenia is endangered and that the victims are exclusively left wing journalists who are afraid of free expression. Once again, it turned out that in their world 2 plus 2 is not (never again) four, but any result that suits their views. Where this leads, is clear; it is a one-way road to ruin. If Mark Watney (Matt Damon) had acted like Dunja Mijatović in The Martian, he would not have spent a minute on a very human-unfriendly Mars. But he accepted reality and relied on his science knowledge, where 2 plus 2 is always (!) four. And survived.

This memorandum was followed, in a dizzyingly short time, by the official statement of four heads of “independent” institutions, led by Tomaž Vesel, President of the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia and the afternoon trade at FIFA, at the helm. In fact, it is an endless whining about the pressures of politics on their “independent” work and “reputable” institutions. Well, truth be told, these institutions have become stinking swamps precisely because of the people who run them. You can be a single, double or triple doctor, you can have all sorts of titles and awards, you can pump your chest, you can have the full support of the media mainstream, and you are still a corrupt idiot. Formal education and intelligence are two different things. You get the first one easily, however, the second you either have or you do not have it; moral authority does not come to you automatically through education, in the long run you gain it through your actions. And the poker signatories (Tomaž Vesel, Robert Šumi, Mojca Prelesnik, and Peter Svetina) are among the viruses that, under the guise of calls for respect for the rules of democracy, are spreading a pandemic of ideologically motivated new morality against the current center-right government and paving Vesel’s path to politics.

Jože Biščak is the editor-in-chief of the weekly Demokracija, a long-term investigative journalist, and since 2020 also the president of the Slovenian Association of Patriotic Journalists and the author of three books.