Ljubljana. Slovenia. Another statement from Slovenia, where comrades are fighting against the current authoritarian far-right government.
Originally published by Komunal.
EAT YOUR LOCAL ELITE
In times of heavy austerity measures, deepening housing crisis and the global fight against the new corona virus, marginalized groups find themselves at the mercy of the elite whose jurisdiction controls the state as well as the rest of our habitats and spaces of survival. In These days, when the pandemic reality is revealing the structural flaws of capitalist-organized systems, oppression is one of the main consequences yielded by the global health system that affects daily lives of the ordinary mortals.
In a situation where panic and repression dominate our alienated lives, women of lower social classes, who already experience exclusion, unemployment and poverty, are forced into even more exploitative and dangerous relationships in order to survive.
As we are getting bombarded with the slogan “stay at home” which entails the privilege of having a home, promoters of this mantra are quick to forget the life-threatening situation of all those who have been forced to stay behind the four walls together with their abusers. Who directs us to a safe house when most of the spaces where we would try to find help are closed? Has anyone asked the prostitutes how they can safely pursue their profession when the streets are empty and cries for help only result in closing blinds and reports to the police? What about the secretaries and assistants who are forced to stay with their slimy bosses late into the night in empty offices? What are the true fears of homeless women, who find the only empty bed in the city inside a container, which they are forced to share with three men?
Patriarchal relations are inherently ingrained in our society and its operations. The struggle against wealthy entrepreneurs and hegemons, who claim the right to impose rules according to which others are supposed to organise their lives, is therefore definitely also a feminist struggle. We are noticing that there are gender-specific dynamics happening within the current corona crisis and the measures related to it. Abolishing public services, intensive privatization and raising market prices for childcare, education, and other care services, are symptoms of covert hidden repatriarchalization of society. Public health, education and social-support systems are being steadily dismantled, and the responsibilities are being relocated to the individual. A woman is either required to perform these functions by herself, or needs to ensure her economic capacity to be able to find and pay for these services on the market. The blame for the inability to cope with such pressure, demands, and the general inability to meet the criteria is, clearly, on her.
The social role of the mother attributed to the female body as a norm is once again reinforced by the unpaid care and household work. Nowadays, in addition to all conventional roles expected of a woman, she is also anticipated to become a “superwoman”, who will take care that the cookies are baked, children’s homework is done and assure the grandad is well-fed and cheerful. She is expected to make sure that the bills are paid, be able to organize a summer family vacation for the family, all while keeping up with a spotless perfect female smiley image from an array of potential on magazines front pages.
Careerism is just another principle of narcissistic individualism and as such it has little to do with anything that would contribute to social cohesion and a better community life for all. The general price for meaningless or even harmful work for society and the world, which needs to be done every day for the sake of survival, is getting higher; be it a toll on physical and mental health, or stealing our time – our lives. The moral compass in the capitalist system finds it difficult to identify any paid work that would be truly meaningful and noble in a holistic sense.
The coronavirus pandemic has only deepened and accelerated the disintegration of the rights that were once already won; both in the universal accessibility to basic needs such as healthcare and education, as well as in the field of labour rights, ecology, gender equality, and the basic standards of dignified life.
However, the elites who dictate, limit, grab, control, and destroy all the elements of social life, are not only those that pose as right-wing iconographic villains to the liberals. For us, the elite includes all those with seemingly friendlier faces, more sophisticated words and coalitions, too.
As we live and work in Ljubljana, an important part of our efforts is also the struggle against gentrification, the struggle for public space in our city. Ljubljana is subordinated to the wishes and perversions of the multi-mandate mayor Janković, who is seizing the city from its inhabitants with the help of his dedicated followers.
Rapid erections of high- class hotels, posh restaurants, luxury apartments, and cultural centres are ousting the “second-class citizens” from the city. As if just before an orgasm in order to become a real capitalist and fully artificial formation, Ljubljana and its mafia boss Janković, have again prepared a whole batch of new projects for next year, some of which include the demolition of much-needed community spaces. There is already confirmed 200 million state investment in tourism, of which a large part will surely be directed to the capital. Even though Ljubljana did not succeed in securing European funds for the European Capital of Culture 2025, the sheriff will with no doubt do everything in his power to make the backdrop finally fall and kill anything genuine in the city, since corrupt deals are definitely not unusual for him.
If anyone wishes to join this gilt-edged society, it is clear how. Let us recall the case of Janković’s ill-suited invitation to an unemployed pharmacist, in which he offered her a job in exchange for sexual services. When the matter broke out in the media, Slovenian celebrities came to his defence, saying that “persuasion is really not a big deal” and that these are “purely private matters”. The complaint was swept under the rug, a pill of social amnesia had been swallowed, and soon Janković was able to take the stage again with the liberals praising him as the most outspoken left-wing mayor.
Today, when we are being oppressed by the “right”, we have not forgotten the proclaimed “left”. Elites are elites, and regardless of their struggles for the consecrated thrones of the highest oppressors, they love to cooperate with each other, do business, and festively plunder social and natural goods for their own profit.
Black Cats are sharpening our claws to fight back the capitalist-patriarchal norms and for our space in our city!
ELITES FUCK OFF!
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