From crisis of socialism to financial crisis


With the fall of the right-wing government of Janez Janša and the consolidation of a new left/centre wing government, the Slovenian uprisings came to an end. In the aftermath of the uprisings, the most pronounced aspect is the repression that hit hardest in Maribor; recently, seven people were sentenced to seven months’ imprisonment on the grounds of being a part of an organized group, which obstructed police during the third Maribor uprising. The charges are absurd: those people were randomly chosen and did not even know each other. Considering this fact, each and every one of us who were at the uprisings were a part of an organized group which tried to obstruct a work of police, protecting those against whom the uprisings were directed.[2] Also the repression was certainly not limited to Maribor: we have already seen one person that was active on Ljubljana protests being sentenced to probation in his absence. Police also resorted to widespread issuing of fines to protesters all across the country. Thus, one immediate task is quite clear: we have to struggle with all those who were hit by repression and demand amnesty for all political prisoners.

But the experience of the uprising also opened other paths of thinking that need to be analyzed for better understanding of the process:

Linking of the uprising to the individual national context is a problem that we detect not only in the case of the Slovenia, but also elsewhere, where mass revolts follow the same course (for example Turkey, as Turkish students presented on 7th September). Even if they are strong in dissolving corrupt, authoritarian forms of power, they will come to a dead end if they are interpreted within the framework of the nation-state and existing institutional settings. Destroying the regime of corruption, then, demands that we construct a common, instituent European struggle.

Slovenian uprisings are part of the global resistance to the crisis and its management that manifest itself on specific local level, which is determined also by transformations of society during transition period. Among many others, two subjects are worth mentioning when speaking about uprisings since they, very generally speaking, dictated two different articulations of the discontent and possible alternatives. One is composed of people unsatisfied with the process of transition, who are proposing alternatives aimed at correcting the “mistakes” done in the past resulting in corruption and widening gap between rich and poor. The other is composed of mostly young people criticizing the system, which is not offering any opportunities and future perspectives and therefore needs to be changed. How can (if at all) different subjects handle dynamic that was dictated in the period of uprisings in the terms of cooperating to institute a common struggle?

The main question therefore remains: How can we think about alternatives? In the months of protests we saw a gradual transformation from using the slogan “No one represents us!” to address the crisis of representation to a widespread idea about the establishment of a new left party as the only possibility of a “real social change”. On one side this was a result of normalization process but on the other it was also a result of slow development of alternative forms of organizing. This is why we have to develop a movement structures that will play their role also in the times of uprising.

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