Resolution of Partija Rada on the National Question in Yugoslavia

Partija Rada (Party of Labour) is a Marxist-Leninist Party in Serbia. The party was founded in March 1992 by Vlado Dapčević, an anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist who was a long-time political prisoner in SFR Yugoslavia. He formed it after splitting from the Communist Party of Yugoslavia over what he saw to be its soft stance against nationalism.

“Of all human feelings, the strongest, toughest, and deepest is national feeling”.

This was Lenin’s thought on the best way to express how great an importance does national feeling play in the lives of all humans. That is why revolutionaries have paid great attention to the national question.

Lenin and Stalin contemplated the national question as a revolutionary question and as an integral part of the socialist revolution. The National Question can be rightly and fully solved, only in Socialism:

According to the principle that each nation has a right on self-determination up to the point of separation and of the creation of a independent state.

According to that, we should not mix up “rights” with “duties”. Revolutionaries of oppressor nations should be, unconditionally, for the separation of the oppressed nation(s), and revolutionaries of the oppressed nation(s) be for for the drawing closer of nations and their unification.

Yugoslavia is a multi-national state. By its’ historical conditions, the peoples of Yugoslavia have got so mixed together, till today there is no one Republic which is really nationally homogenous. They are all, by the composition of their population, multinational.

At First, Yugoslavia was shaken from a genuine socialist basis by the national question because of Great-Serb nationalistic oppression; and then Secondly – by repeated attempts of the restoration of a Great-Serb hegemony.

Twice in fifty years – this came to broad fratricidal wars, which brought into question the ethnic survival of the peoples that participated in them.

Because of the great importance of the national question Yugoslavian revolutionaries pay an especial attention to it. After some wandering at the beginning, Yugoslavian revolutionaries adopted Leninist principles and carry them out consistently in multi-ethnic Yugoslavia. Starting on the basis of the internationalist principle of brotherhood of peoples, during World War Two issues on the national questions were solved as a constituent part of the socialist revolution. By the victory of Socialism in Yugoslavia – the national question was solved on the basis of a full equality of all of the peoples.

But, with Titoistic nationalistic-bourgeois counter revolution, the liquidation of Socialism and its’ replacement with state capitalism, with the rule of a bourgeois Party bureaucracy, nationalism burst out in its’ full sharpest forms. The rebirth of a great-state chauvinism and mutual struggle of national bourgeois around territories brought about a series of fratricidal wars and the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

That process is not finished yet. The national question in the territory of the ex-Yugoslavia is still not solved. It can be solved when Serbian and Croatian great-state chauvinisms, have suffered a full defeat and when all the nations of ex-Yugoslavia would be in a position to achieve their national sovereignty.

By the intervention of USA and Western powers using the force of the NATO alliance, a more important factor intervened. This became a potential to solve some matters, not only on the question of Bosnia and Herzegovina and implementation of Dayton agreement, but also on the question of
Kosovo and Montenegro.

In her approach to national question, Partija rada always starts from an internationalist principle. If we look at the past, we can proudly ascertain that PR literally obeyed those principles. Practice irrefutably proved that her analysis and prognosis was correct, that her principal, patriotic, and internationalists position line – was completely confirmed:

PR was from the very beginning was unconditionally against the criminal conquerors’ war of the Great-Serb nationalists in Slovenia, Croatia and
Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Partija rada was persistently on the side of Slovenian, Croatian, and Bosnian-Moslem peoples in their justified defensive wars.

PR was persistently for a united Bosnia and Herzegovina, and she was against the shameful agreement between Milosevic and Tudjman for dividing-up of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for the creation of a Greater Serbia and Greater Croatia.
PR sharply condemned the criminal war of Tudjman’s pro-Ustasha army against the Bosnian-Moslems. The Party was, and it would be, for a free and safe return of all Serbs in Croatia, for their equality, national and social rights, and for return of all refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina and for their citizen and national rights.

Partija rada was always on the side of Albanian people on Kosovo and their righteous struggle against Great-Serb occupation and an imposed Apartheid, for their right to bring decisions about their destiny, their sovereignty, and their state.

The Party supported these forces in Montenegro which leads struggle in
defense of sovereignty and state Montenegro, against aspirations of Great-Serb nationalism. The Party supported the struggle for autonomy of Vojvodina, and mercilessly condemned terror and crimes against Bosnian-Moslems from Sandzak and supported their right for political and cultural autonomy.

But, PR did not, nor it would, supported any single national movement in isolation. She treats national question only wholly. If one part is contradictory to the overall and complete solution of the national question, he must be rejected. This Party does not support national movements which helps any imperialists – either the great ones or the small ones – to achieve their wars of conquest.

That is why PR was, and it is, against pro-Ustasha nationalistic movement of Croats in western Herzegovina, not just because of its’ fascistic-mafia character, but before all, because it is extending the hand of a Great-Croat policy, for the further dividing of Bosnia and Herzegovina and for the creation of a Greater Croatia.

Also, PR was against the Chetnik Great-Serb movement in so called Republic of Srpska, because it was an exponent of Great-Serb nationalism, and because it was for the further dividing of Bosnia and Herzegovina and for Greater Serbia.

Partija rada is also against those national movements whose policy was and is in contradiction with the interests of revolution and socialism.

The main goal of members of our Party, who orginate from the oppressor nations is the resolute struggle against great-state chauvinism of their own nations, and for the unconditional right of oppressed peoples on self-determination.

“Nations which oppress other nations, can’t be free”.

Revolutionaries which belong to oppressed nations must fight consistently and persistently against narrow-mindedness, and for coming closer to and unification with, other nations. Main path of development that is marked by history is:

Firstly, full independence of each nation, and then

Secondly, An economic, cultural, and political drawing close to each other; an assimilation and unification in a broader state entirety.

Because of that PR supports the struggle of all peoples from Yugoslavia first for their independence, and then for the restoration of Yugoslavia.

The crazy chauvinist idea that “we can’t live together, without destroying each other” is false as former events already show. Previous experiences clearly teach us – that the former nations of Yugoslavia can either live together in peace or could destroy each other.

All the reasons that had allowed the creation of the first and second Yugoslavia exist even now, even much more than ever before.

A Third Yugoslavia would be unavoidably created, and for this, Partija rada will fight. That Third Yugoslavia will be better from both previous, since this time it would be created only by the full freely expressed will of all nations, and on the basis of absolute equality.

The path toward creation of that goal is traced. Each idea that captures the masses, whether it was progressive or reactionary, became a material force. The idea of nationalism and chauvinism came into the consciousness of the masses in Serbia and Croatia.

Only by decisive, patient, and constant work for the liquidation of nationalistic consciousness, and its replacement with an internationalist consciousness of brotherhood of all peoples, is it possible to achieve that goal.

After the restoration of Yugoslavia, the next goal of PR would be work and struggle for the drawing closer and unification of Balkan nations, so mixed between each other that the national question of the Balkans – which is a geographical, economic, and cultural entirety – can be solved only by the unification of the Balkan peoples in a single united state entirety.

From: “Program and Statute of Partija rada” pp. 84-90

Published by Victor Vaughn

Anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist, National Secretary of the American Party of Labor (APL).

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