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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Dr Rončević on Golob’s hostile statement: It is the politics of the left, which demonises an important part of the body politic and systematically excludes it from the political process

By: Gal Kovač / Nova24tv.si

A few days ago, on the election night of the first round of the presidential elections, the Prime Minister surprised the Slovenian public with an extremely inappropriate public statement. The second chapter of the pre-election campaign, which the left wants to turn into a cultural struggle, unfolded yesterday. Nika Kovač revealed on social media that she was the victim of an alleged attack. We talked about both events with sociology professor Dr Borut Rončević, who described the Prime Minister’s speech as terribly problematic, and regarding the attack on Nika Kovač, he said that the alleged attacker should be immediately found and punished accordingly. Otherwise, he clearly stated what the original sin of the degradation of public discourse is. It is the politics of the left, which demonises an important part of the body politic and systematically excludes it from the political process.

As we know, these days the Prime Minister indulged in statements that we do not remember in independent Slovenia and remind us of some darker times more than of democracy. He said that they will not allow the “SDS candidate” (fn. Anže Logar is running an independent campaign) to enter the presidential palace. The desire to exclude a political opponent was repeated yesterday, when Nika Kovač, who in the public discourse acts as a kind of street hand of the ruling party and the backgrounds that rule it, pointed her finger at our media house for an attack that was condemned by almost the entire public, including our media.

Against all this, the right-wing political pole has developed a belief that the original sin of degraded public discourse is the exclusion of one part of the body politic – the right. Not just exclusion, more than that, demonisation, and dehumanisation. We first spoke with a sociologist Dr Borut Rončević about the highly controversial and undemocratic speech the Prime Minister made on election night.

Golob has no right to communicate in such a way

“I find the mentioned speech extremely problematic. Let’s not forget that this is a person who has a repressive and intelligence apparatus under him. But it is the fact that he does not even feel the need to communicate differently, i.e., respectfully to his political competitors or to people who disagree with him, which is the most problematic in this story. He has every right to support another candidate, that is the most normal thing in politics, but he has no right to communicate in such a way with those who do not agree with him, who have a different worldview,” said Rončević.

The desire to dehumanise and demonise a political opponent

When asked if he agrees with the assessment that the original sin of violence and degraded public discourse lies precisely in the desire of the left to exclude the right from the public debate, he answered: “Exactly so! One part of the body politic, which is not even that small, is demonised, portrayed as someone who has no right to exist. For example, insulting with fascists, the purpose of these insults is precisely to dehumanise political opponents. To take away their basic legitimacy and right to exist. You might say, whoever causes something bad, it will be returned to him to an even greater extent. This is never good. I think that everyone who works in the political space, and especially the radical left, which now controls Slovenian politics, should calm down and think about how to proceed.”

The alleged attack on Nika Kovač should be investigated as soon as possible

All in all, it is clear that there is a desire on the left to instrumentalise the alleged attack on Nika Kovač as much as possible as a means of cultural struggle. The latter immediately published the attack on her on social networks, and this publication was followed by another one in which she took a picture with an unusually bandaged hand, which led the public to wonder whether the attack was not completely “staged”, which is what we are talking about in the article we wrote titled Was it an invented excess with Nika?.

“I want the police to track down the alleged attacker as soon as possible. For two reasons. Firstly, so that the inhabitants of this country will have a sense of security. When something like this happens, the police must react quickly and efficiently. This should happen because of the fact that there are demands, assumptions that this attack did not actually happen at all. Which is terrible in its own right. If the attack was ‘staged’ with the aim of political instrumentalization, it is terrible that it happened. But if the attack really happened, it is terrible that questions will arise in the public for a long time about whether it really happened. It is therefore extremely important that the alleged attacker be found and punished. Considering that this happened at the Bavarski dvor, there is probably a recording of the event, after all it is the centre of Ljubljana, where many cameras are installed. This person must be found and punished. If the attack was staged, we need to get this information, but if this person was actually attacked, it is extremely important that the alleged perpetrator be found and punished appropriately,” said Rončević firmly, adding that the event has already been instrumentalized in the political fight, namely from the side that actually itself spreads the hatred of exclusion and misunderstanding.

He was a victim of political violence in the past

Rončević explained that he himself was a victim of political violence in the past. During the self-styled all-Slovenian “people’s” uprisings, when an official at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports was exposed, he was verbally attacked by an unknown man on the streets of Nova Gorica. “Then a person whom I do not know, whom I have never seen again, felt the need to shout at me in the street and threaten me. It was extremely uncomfortable. It is important that this does not happen and that we understand, listen, and hear each other.”

The left pole in particular should think

When asked what the way back to a different public discourse is, Dr Rončević answered that it is a difficult question. “Once the situation boils over, it is extremely difficult to fix it. I think it would help tremendously if the left side of the political spectrum would hold their horses a bit. The left part of the political spectrum is the one that does not want to offer a hand, that does not want to communicate, that glorifies the values of non-democratic regimes, such as the socialist one and the like. Of course, everyone must always contribute to this, so that the political discourse is cultured, tolerant, inclusive, and understanding, but at the moment and for some time now, the situation is such that those who shout the loudest against hate speech are at the same time producing hate speech.”

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