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Monday, August 8, 2022

Tomaž Štih: Slovenes do not allow savagery in the mountains even if it is about Tea Jarc’s political frustrations

By: Sara Rančigaj / Nova24tv

Through a column, Tomaž Štih presented the work of Slovenian politics. The reflection of Slovenian politics is not dazzling, at most avoiding conversations, confronting facts and arguing leads us to a point where we continue to decline. On the part of political cyclists, however, we are witnessing more and more extremes and support of the defence of their own elite under the auspices of “charity and support for the people” while politically and media-wise killing a promising and honest politician. “Imagine how we grind a young politician who really wants to change something!”, Štih pointed out how Slovenian politics and the media work. Among the sudden changes that Slovenes do not like is political hooliganism in the mountains.

The events in Triglav, when the protester Tea Jarc verbally attacked the Prime Minister Janez Janša and the Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs, resonate at home and abroad. The latter was also commented on by Tomaž Štih, who followed the events from the United Kingdom. In doing so, he stressed that things are normal when they are usual.

The opposite is true in the case when we label something as extreme, as it communicates that it deviates considerably from what we are used to. “Because cultures are quite different from each other, the notion of the normal and the extreme also differs. We think Sharia law is extreme, and the Taliban consider bikini extreme,” he wrote for Siol.

As he continues to figure out, Slovenia is culturally one of the old societies. Above all, we have a slow way of life, while in most cases we live slowly and calmly, and Štih also accuses us of toothless grumbling. “Compared to the vibrant parts of the world, nothing ever happens to us. Most of us know the varied environment only from Turkish telenovelas and from daily news programmes, in which journalists track down dictators and fascists in every Alpine village, in which someone accidentally hangs our flag on a day other than a national holiday. Instead of a rainbow flag,” he said.

Despite the fact that we want changes, no one wants to accept them

He believes that such is also our political culture and observes that in elections we always decide for change, while in the end everything remains the same as before. “In every election, we vote for changes that guarantee that everything will remain the same. If something is really going to change, it should be returned to the previous state, when there was no need for change,” he pointed out.

We lack people in politics who would act decisively and honestly, but as Štih observes, the most popular politician in our environment is a fearful German teacher without any views and with the charisma of an elderly lady who chases children out of the bushes so that thorns do not scratch them. “Even the rebels in our society are likeable adapters,” he was critical.

Privileged people, through the “fight for the vulnerable”, prefer to nurture their elite and exploit others

In 1968, students in Yugoslavia demanded fewer social disparities and rights for blacks. They wanted to splash in the water like the whole world, but not just to make waves. A similar pattern is observed by Štih in modern political cyclists: “Even modern political cyclists are not brilliant builders of future entrepreneurial empires; but the “little” of the upper middle class of the existing elite. Jenull’s “little”, Jarc’s “little”, and Kovač’s “little”.”

As he further notes, Slovenian politics has a similar organisation and ideas as two decades ago, which actually leads us in the opposite direction of development. “What is a firmer guarantee that nothing will change than turning on the television and hearing the same ideas of the same advocates on it as half a century ago; only version 2.0?” Štih wonders. In doing so, we are all too well aware that we do not like bickering in politics and we want the parties to come together.

Brutal media murders those who want to change things for the better

Avoiding quarrels, (not)confronting the facts and hiding behind a mask prevents us from making progress, while those “enlightened who look at things from a higher angle” are soon brutally murdered and excluded by the media. But there remains rhetoric, ignorance, because as Štih mentions: because we are all aware that the search for consensus is the best guarantee that nothing will change. “Politics without quarrelling is like a museum train in Celje, which one train driver wanted to take to Ljubljana and the other to Maribor, but they did not want to quarrel. That is why it did not go anywhere and stayed in Celje forever,” he added.

In the end, such a politician despairs and prefers to focus on personal gain, as he cannot do anything else at all. But we are all happy because we can grumble about corruption and get upset that nothing ever changes!

We are a distinctly gradual society that has the hardest time forgiving the desire for change

“Imagine how we grind a young politician who really wants to change something!” He further pointed out. If he proposes tax cuts to leave people with more of what they have created, he is labelled a neoliberal extremist. If he wants the bureaucracy to be less of a hindrance to people building a house, he becomes an extreme denier of climate change. “If he wants a more flexible labour market so that the capable without connections can climb the corporate pyramids faster, he is an exploitative turbo-capitalist extremist. If he does not want migration to burden the budget, he is a Nazi-extremist. If he wants to shrink the public sector and introduce more private competition in the delivery of public services, he is a privatisation fundamentalist. If he wanted to save people from the forced financing of non-governmental organisations, state television and the press agency, he would be an autocratic extremist.”

Štih pointed out the case of Tea Jarc, who attacked Janez Janša and Aleš Hojs on Triglav. “But every now and then this switch still hits the right ass. And this time it symbolically happened at the foot of Triglav to Tea Jarc,” he pointed out. He emphasises that the unwritten rule of kindness applies in our mountains. To the environment and to other mountaineers. That is how our grandparents raised our parents, our parents raised us, and that is how we raise our offspring. “If we could ban bathing in high-altitude lakes because a thousand bathers produce a single gram of phosphate, which promotes algae growth and deprives lake microorganisms of oxygen; then on Kredarica we can also keep our temper and tongue behind our teeth, at least until we return to the valley!”

In doing so, Štih wonders why we force ourselves into the mountains at all, if we cannot respect others. “What will we gain from putting our traumas in our backpacks instead of goodwill and angrily trying to pass them on to other people on Kredarica?” he added. He says that Jarc did not respect this, but went to release her political frustrations. “And this time, all the media, political and union support and the fact that she was “on the right side” did not help. Because she did something we do not do. Among the sudden changes that Slovenes do not like, thank God, is also political hooliganism in the mountains,” he was critical.

Some traditions hold us back, others are the guardians of the future

The act has been condemned by all of Slovenia, and the few politicians who try to justify it will not go to the dustbin of history because they would be right; but because they do not know what is right. They are traditions that we wear around our necks like a millstone and prevent progress. And then there are those who deserve a defence against change. “Among them is respect for the refuge in the mountains for all the people who bring goodwill there. The public response inspires hope that it will remain so even when Tea Jarc and I are long gone,” he added critically at the end.

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