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Branko Bembič - The Shifting Balance of Class Forces in Slovenia

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Slovenia underwent some far reaching political and economic changes in the course of a few decades. After the abandonment of the system of self-managed socialism, the so-called gradualist approach to the transition to capitalism was adopted. This model, however, collapsed in the recent crisis. Future developments of this socio-economic system will be shaped by the class struggles that have been taking place in recent years. The aim of this lecture is twofold: (1) to analyse the changing balance of forces between the main classes and class fractions in Slovenia in recent years; and (2) to provide an outline for a mid-term strategy of working-class political action in Slovenia.

The lecture builds on the following hypotheses. First, the so-called gradualist approach adopted during the transition was based on the balance of forces characterised by the alliance between the emerging national bourgeoisie and the working class mobilised by organised labour. Second, the gradualist model is now exhausted, and its collapse in the recent crisis was inseparably linked to the change in the balance of forces. And third, the key to the strategy of the Left in Slovenia today lies in finding the appropriate form and necessary resources for the reproduction of the unity of the working class.[divider]Branko Bembič has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Economics, both from the University of Ljubljana. He is a junior researcher and doctoral student of Sociology at the University’s Faculty of Arts.

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