Against The Ruscist Creeps

Uncategorizable cunts


Oh Laibach… How the heroes of the 80s/90s became a disgrace and a parody of themselves, hated both by pro-Ukraine and pro-russians. Of course, nothing new, Laibach announced a concert in Kyiv which was cancelled a couple of days after, and of course they are massive cunts… But, let’s remind ourselves how we went from point A to point Z.

Things started online on 28 February 2022 with Laibach’s first reaction since the start of the full scale invasion of Ukraine by russia, 4 days before.

Of course, quoting massive douche Noam Chomsky and bringing out NATO as responsible was the most intelligent thing to do for them.

And of course, that triggered a massive amount of critics (and obviously, a few of the usual useless anticonformist idiots saying ‘yaaaay, russia!’, those same useless idiots whose selective memory keeps forgetting what Chomsky was saying about unvaxxed people).

1st March 2022, Laibach announces the cancellation of their moscow concert, because unfortunately they can’t fly there.

That’s when the community manager of Laibach started to post comments of epic proportions which will take us faster to point Z.

Once you start a fire, you got to keep it burning, so after two days of intensely thinking about it, Laibach posted this. In caps. Without more comment.

And finally posted about “hey, get us to play in Ukraine”, because the urge was strong after being Number One in North Korea (which is an achievement that Bono didn’t get), to be also Number One in Ukraine. But in the end Bono managed to be Number One, as he can’t stand to be Number Two – as we all know.

Of course, that wasn’t received very well after the previous posts and comments they had.

Oh no.
They did it again. More Noam Chomsky.
Kudos to that guy for the best response ever.

We’re now 16 September 2022 and French magazine Tecnikart releases an interview with Laibach that starts straight with the subject of Ukraine. It’s in french, but thankfully Google Translate is our friend. And oh my, how you should have shut up again.

From the beginning of the 1980s you anticipated the dislocation of Yugoslavia. Was the war in Ukraine avoidable?
Laibach: It could have been avoided if politicians and diplomacy had been prepared to work for peace. But this is clearly not the case, and it now appears that a reasonable compromise is in no one’s interest. Russia’s security demands were quite basic, justified and rational, and the conflict could have been resolved through negotiation. If Europe had really wanted to help Ukraine, it could have prevented the war. On the contrary, by synchronizing with the United States, it contributed to the escalation and metamorphosis of Putin’s “special operation” into a proxy war against Russia on Ukrainian lands. Although Putin appears to be the main criminal aggressor in this war, the blame lies primarily with the European Union, and especially the United States, which has openly pursued a policy of arrogant exclusion against Russia over the past few years. decades, even when Moscow seriously proposed cooperation and integration in economic, military and political spheres. The most important victim remains the Ukrainian people, but Russia itself (at least the part of the Russian population which is not hostile to Europe) will suffer from this war, the food and energy crises will be lasting and deadly for Europe and many other countries, without forgetting the cultural damage. This is why this war must be brought to an end as quickly as possible.

And how to get out of the conflict?
Once again, only and exclusively through intense diplomatic efforts, serious discussions during which, beyond Ukraine and Russia, at least the European Union, China, probably Turkey and especially the USA should get involved. Continuing the war only amplifies it and increases the devastation of Ukraine, destabilizing the international economy and the political situation. But the interests of the military industry once again seem more powerful than peace initiatives.

Now before we go on with the next part, let’s have a flashback thanks to Anton Shekhovtsov

So yep, Ivan Novak from Laibach called the annexation of Crimea by russia a “reunification”. Awesome, dude.

And thus, the promo stunt for Laibach – or should we say, the real shitshow – begins.

Obviously triggering both sides (vatniks names have not been hidden, because fuck them), mixed with provocative comments from Laibach’s CM.

The publicity stunt expanded with articles from The Guardian and the Washington Post while the uproar was going on from both sides.

We’re 24 February 2023 and Laibach posts an “explanation” written by an artificial intelligence. They couldn’t do it themselves, too busy being arty  and shit. But at the same time, the venue was already cancelling Laibach’s performance. I guess the AI didn’t see that coming?

Laibach announced the cancellation on the next day, under the laughter of both pro-Ukraine and pro-russia.

Let’s end up this post quoting the article by Roman Cherevko posted on

There has been a lot of clamor this last week around the announcement of a show of Laibach, a veteran industrial band from Slovenia, in the Ukrainian capital. The concert with the attention-grabbing title “Eurovision” — alluding to the annual song contest that will take place in May in London despite the last year’s victory of Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra — is supposed to be held on March 31, 2023, at Bel Etage Music Hall that, just over a month ago, has provoked another scandal by inviting the Ukrainian hardcore/nu metal band Skinhate known for their misogynistic and homophobic lyrics from the early 2000s.

The announcement aroused outrage among Ukrainians and Ukraine’s supporters abroad for a number of reasons: false promotional claims, band’s imagery, and their statements regarding the culprits of the current war.

Let’s look into these three points and try to figure out whether the indignation is justified and whether Laibach should perform in Ukraine.

An Honest Mistake or a PR Stunt?

The news of the scheduled gig first appeared on February 22 in several Ukrainian outlets where it was claimed to be “the first big concert of a foreign band since February 24, 2022”. A few hours later this claim was mindlessly repeated by a number of international publications including The Guardian.

Many social media commentators pointed out the fact that, in addition to the subway performance by U2’s Bono and the Edge in May 2022, Samsas Traum, Rome, Die Weisse Rose, as well as a number of lesser-known artists, all performed in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities during this last year, and it’s not really obvious that the Laibach show would really be much “bigger” than any of those.

The band then recognized the mistake, blaming it on the organizer’s promotional text, and some (but not all) publications, including The Guardian, subsequently fixed it, but many were left questioning the band’s intentions.

In 2015, Laibach claimed to be the first Western band to perform in North Korea, which is still often cited whenever the band gets mentioned. However, a quick research shows that at least the rockers Peer Günt and Sielun Veljet from capitalist Finland played in North Korea in the late 1980s. Was Google Search less efficient in 2015 than it is now? On the contrary, it must have been easier to find this information back then, because today you have to sift through dozens of Laibach-related links to find out whether someone else ever played in Pyongyang.

The fact that this news quickly appeared in various media in almost identical wording, while the other performances never received such a broad coverage — except for the one by Bono and the Edge, which is understandable given their popularity, — makes one suspect a paid promotional campaign. And, while we’re at it, it also tells us something about certain media. A reputable outlet like The Guardian should better check their facts instead of blindly publishing everything they’ve been sent.

Whether or not the part about being the first originated from the organizer, given that the latter admitted in a Facebook post that it was the band who first contacted him, and not the other way round, it looks like the band is really interested in playing in Kyiv and creating a lot of uproar about it.

Laibach will not profit from the show directly: the proceeds are going to be donated to a charity (which hasn’t been named yet). But, I bet, they didn’t earn much in Pyongyang either. As a marketer would tell you, a properly organized hype, even at an immediate loss, can pay off thousandfold in the future.

All this raises profound moral concerns, which are only amplified by the other points considered below.

Imagery Matters?

Laibach’s art — music, lyrics, graphics, and visual appearance — is centered around incendiary totalitarian and militaristic aesthetics. There is no overt propaganda of any ideology or regime, but rather an art performance that imitates propaganda.

Due to the apparent ambiguity, the band gained following among both the far-right and the far-left. Some on the right will tell you Laibach is right-wing, but too refined and intellectualized for the profane. Others accuse them of being communists. Similarly, some lefties call Laibach comrades, while others accuse them of crypto-fascism.

Laibach was allegedly censored and banned in totalitarian socialist Yugoslavia — which their homeland was part of in the 1980s, when the band started, — at least that’s what their official story says. On the other hand, they were allowed to perform in totalitarian communist North Korea — and someone must have really taken pains to convince the Little Rocket Man of their ideological decency and loyalty.

Moreover, Laibach influenced the entire martial industrial scene, which is often associated with right-wing ideologies, although there are numerous far-left and seemingly apolitical martial acts.

We’ll get to their actual views in the next section, but it’s hard to deny that, even if they don’t glorify totalitarian regimes, their imagery, inadvertently or not, contributes to romanticizing them, so much so that many listeners take it seriously.

Provocation, intellectual sophistication, putting-on-airs, and role playing are all inherent to art, and especially to the avant-garde. The question is whether it’s appropriate for a band with totalitarian and militaristic imagery to perform in a country that is at war with an aggressive totalitarian neighbor.

So What Do They Really Believe In, If Anything?

Laibach’s compatriot Slavoj Žižek, a left-wing Slovenian philosopher, is known for defending the band against accusations of fascism on several occasions. He used the concept of subversive affirmation to explain that, by grotesquely overemphasizing totalitarian ideologies, they actually challenge and subvert them.

The band’s interviews and public statements are more often than not vague, pretentious, ambiguous, leaving considerable room for interpretations and misinterpretations, and reinforcing the “true anti-trend underground act” image.

However, the general impression is that they indeed don’t extol totalitarianism, but rather mock and expose it. Yet they don’t stop at it. They talk about “democratic totalitarianism”, call the United States one of the most totalitarian countries, and bash America and NATO as the roots of the world’s tribulations.

Although they won’t accept any labels, their critique of capitalism and the state per se as well as their NSK State venture — a “stateless state” proclaimed by Neue Slowenische Kunst, an art collective founded by Laibach, — evoke anarchist associations.

In view of this, it’s not surprising that they, like many anarchists, would berate a symbol of capitalism (the US) and a symbol of militarism (NATO). However, that’s just following the crowd and focusing on symbols while ignoring the reality. A free world without states and borders is impossible while there exist aggressive regimes like those of Russia, China, North Korea, or Iran, as well as people who don’t respect the others’ basic rights for life, health, freedom, fairly acquired property, and dignity. Abolish NATO, armies, governments, borders, and law enforcement — and these vultures will rush at the easy prey. Not to mention that the existence of NATO currently prevents conflicts between its own members like in the case of Türkiye and Greece or Hungary and Romania.

But even that in and of itself is not the main reason for the outrage. After February 24, 2022, Laibach repeatedly implied, in their social media commentaries as well as interviews, that the US and NATO are the culprits of the war in Ukraine who “pushed Putin into a corner” and “forced him” into unreasonable action, or probably even initiated the conflict.

Coupled with the band’s 2018 interview to a pro-Kremlin Russian media where they affirmed their readiness to perform in occupied Crimea and Donbas, their 2006 Russian anthem cover song, their recurrent curtsies to the “great (imperialistic) Russian culture”, and their statement about logistic hurdles being the only reason for canceling their Russian shows in 2022, this unsurprisingly made people suspect them of sympathizing with Russia and pushing pro-Kremlin narratives.

After all the angry commentaries that forced the organizer to ask the band to make an official statement to clarify their position, Laibach responded with a “message to the Ukrainian public”, where they assured everyone of their support for Ukraine, condemned Putin, but did not disavow any of their previous statements. The message ended with a strange remark, “Text was composed and translated with the help of AI”, which could easily be perceived as mockery and a pinnacle of cynicism and make one wonder whether this time they are more honest than when they had to flatter the Juche regime to perform in North Korea.

The statement satisfied the organizer, but not the majority of Ukrainians.

To B Or Not to B?

The “B” above is for Boycott.

So, Laibach declares support for Ukraine, yet demonstrates dubious ethics and shady political opinions. What should we make of it?

As long as they show support for Ukraine and don’t root for Putin or justify the genocide, there are no legal reasons to ban them entry into the country or forbid them to perform in a democratic society, which Ukraine strives to be. And, of course, no one is entitled to commit violence against them as some commentators suggested.

However, what Ukrainians need is awareness. They have to be aware of who they are dealing with if they are considering attending at the show.

Artists have the right to provoke. They don’t have to meet the public’s expectations. Art must be free. However, the public also has the right to respond to provocations and to decide whether to accept or cancel an artist.

Political views per se are not a reason for canceling. There is no “one and only” party line in a democratic society. However, there are values that a democratic society agrees upon, and when statements or deeds put these values in danger, the society can react appropriately to protect its values. Thus, when your statements align with malicious propaganda — especially when this propaganda is adversarial to the society in question, — be prepared to assume the consequences.

The above-mentioned bands Rome and Die Weisse Rose, who played in Kyiv before Laibach, are also politically and intellectually sophisticated. Being part of the martial industrial and neofolk scenes, they were probably even influenced by Laibach, or at least by those who were influenced by Laibach.

A cursory glance may see right-wing aesthetics, but a closer inspection reveals references and dedications to left-wing activists. It may well be that they’re not fond of the US and NATO, but they are perfectly clear as to their position regarding this war and its culprits, they never made harmful statements that resonate with malicious propaganda, and they have already visited Ukraine several times in 2022 and 2023, not always with concerts, but invariably with humanitarian aid, yet never needed fancy advertisements.

If Ukrainians are aware of all these moral and political ramifications, they will be able to decide whether they can relate to them, and then they will vote with their feet and wallets. And we’ll see whether this will really be such a “big” concert as promised in the advertisements.

Update: As of February 27, the show was cancelled.