I Would Never Have Heard Of Marian Kotleba

Shouting Irrelevancy Loudly

November 19, 2017

Allan Stevo

I don’t usually care for people who hold political office. They miss how irrelevant political life is in the world. For one to overlook such an obvious detail leaves me to generally see those in political office as dim and behind-the-times.

America politics can be so high profile, yet I barely care who the US Senators or the US Presidents are, unless it’s for the occasional chance to deride the dimmest in the lot.

Even more so, whoever holds the governorship of the region around the Slovak city Banska Bystrica, a small position in an off-the-beaten-path place is so incredibly irrelevant to me.

Yet over and over again, for years now, I have heard about Marian Kotleba more than any Slovak politician from friends and business associates of mine. The insistence to talk about him and to take a stance on him is annoying. There is little of value to be had from discussing a Slovak politician.

“But his election was a true shock,” I am told. “Don’t you see how telling this is of Slovakia’s (insert unpleasant concept here). “No one expected him to win.” I’ve heard that plenty. “The pollsters didn’t even predict it, there must be fraud.” It’s called the “Shy Tory Effect” in British politics – no one publicly talks about how conservative they really are, least of all to pollsters, so polls always seem to have a left leaning bias, claims the British journal Nature. That’s one great reason public polls are not credible. There are 51 other reasons I’ve identified and written about on why public polls should never be trusted.

The self-appointed intellectual elite in Slovakia who take instruction and permission from the West rely too heavily on polling data, because Nate Silver or any other host of fools has insisted that all human behavior can be scientifically predicted with a high level of accuracy. Trusting a publicly released poll is a pretty good indication that you don’t know what you are talking about. Talking about polling is probably even an indication. Obsessing over politics is another indication.

I would never have heard of Marian Kotleba before, expect for the fact that the people who claim to “stand for everything that he is against” or “to be against his extremism,” are the very people who have told me about him time and again.

These are the people who believe in polls and who think politicians still need to matter. They are the people who I fear, rather than coming up with their own thoughts, spend too much time listening to self-appointed intellectuals who take instruction and permission from the West.

How do I even know Marian Kotleba exists? Because his self described opponents obsess over him and talk about him so much to me. So much. Though I’ve never heard the man speak, nor read a word that he’s written, if he stands for some of the things that they are opposed to, and if he opposes some of the things that they love, he might not be all bad. He might even be well worth my time to dig a little further into.

This speaks to the lack of contact with reality of some of his most vocal opponents. They seem to have a lot of feelings and little data to rely on as they interact with the outside world. They may “feel” like telling everyone they know how horrible Kotleba is. They may “feel” like venting to everyone who comes near about Kotleba. They may “feel” that no one could possibly like Kotleba. Feelings are not enough to put one in touch with reality. Quite the opposite, they often help one craft a dreamy world divorced from reality. This is a perfect example of that.

I would never have heard about Marian Kotleba, except the people who claim to oppose him are his most effective, least expensive, and biggest marketers.

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

Photo credit: Sputnik News

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • I must disagree with you. One of Kotleba’s primary electoral tools is the dehumanization of others. He does not simply disagree with others or critique their arguments. He questions their status as full human beings. The severity of that position and its incompatibility with democracy has caused many Slovaks from many parties to take alarm, and the degree of concern was significant enough to encourage cross-party cooperation that otherwise was unlikely to happen. In the process, they managed to use electoral data along with a wide variety of other kinds of information to devise a strategy that successfully removed him from a position of political power. The alarm was justified and had such a direct connection to political reality that it altered the political balance in favor of a far better candidate. Slovakia is better off because ordinary Slovaks from many sides used precisely the techniques you criticize here.

Leave a Comment

  • join our mailing list
  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments on 52inSk.com