So this is when I actually take up what I’ve been wanting to do for over a year now. I came across some bloody impressive folks in the last couple of years, even months, who need mentioning and celebrating. They all share a capacity to inspire while retaining a huge chunk of humility and humanity. It’s this group of people that deserve to be listed and this is what The Heroes Series is about, celebrating a collection of brave people that have restored and reinforced (my own) hope for the future. Our first entry is a political one, in light of the July 13th parliamentary elections in Slovenia.

Foto: Luka Mesec

Photo: Luka Mesec. Originally published in Borković (2014).

We’ll start with a new kid on the political block: Luka Mesec. Mesec is young but that has no weight, whatsoever, in assessing his freshly developing political persona. His ideas are fantastically  ideal, which has still not proven, at least in my Platonistic mind,  to be a critique of any real significance.  With his colleagues, who have congregated to form  The United Left, he has been pursuing democratic socialism, promoting the abolishment of the political caste system that has been in place ever since Slovenia started flying its own flags in 1991. The political platform has consistently featured a reshuffling of the same actors, who, given the miniature size of the country, have not even endeavoured to hide their imperial right to parliamentary and governmental seats. I actually believe there’s hardly anyone in Slovenia who doesn’t think that the political space is stifling and that the windows need opening. I will concede that it’s almost been a decade since I’ve actually lived in Slovenia but, as time grows—along with the socio-economic plight of the people—I’ve never been more interested in (I can barely say it) politics since it truly represents the only means of working towards large-scale changes.

Mesec and his United Left are as fresh as it gets and their political program has 16 core points, or solutions:

  1. Immediate cessation of the austerity measures (cf. my previous post on Chomsky’s arguments for this).
  2. Bailing enterprises & putting a stop to privatisation.
  3. Labour management in enterprises (i.e., workers actually managing the companies).
  4. Public oversight of banks.
  5. A more cohesive and coordinated economy to salvage unemployment.
  6. A solution to the national debt.
  7. A fair tax reform.
  8. Fight against tax havens.
  9. Defence of the welfare state.
  10. Democratic and participatory government finances.
  11. Direct democracy and the “transformation” of the state.
  12. Extension of personal freedoms and rights.
  13. An ecological transformation.
  14. Sustainable food production.
  15. A commitment to peace and demilitarisation.
  16. Claiming the post-WW2 reparation costs.

Even if you disagree with the political agenda, you’ve got to love the idea that Mesec and his comrades refuse to put on a tie and conform to the traditional political uniform. What’s even more important: in a political debate, Mesec actually answered the questions he was asked, showing his tremendous knowledge of the socio-economic reality of both Slovenia, in particular, and Europe, in general. Unlike many of the candidates, he did not resort to pulling defensive tricks to save his face—a political practice so common it’s verging on becoming a national sport.

On as objective note as possible, the United Left program appears as watertight as others’. The idealism they promise to deliver provides a potential romanticism that Slovenia desperately needs (it is a rather depressed place, let’s admit it). The party is fresh and full of vibrant people refusing to wear ties—I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a chance to make a change. Plus, there’s hardly anything that can deteriorate much further.

If they disappoint, we’ll hunt them down and make them cry publicly—until then, they should get a shot at it. At least that’s what I think.

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