Thoughts on Titoism & its Revisionist Implications for the Future of Marxism-Leninism

“The Yugoslav communists and the Yugoslav people must attend to that matter; it is up to them to solve the problems of the present and the future of their country. It is in this context, also, that I see the problem of Kosova and the Albanian population living in other parts of Yugoslavia. We must not leave any way for the Titoite enemy to accuse us later of allegedly waging our fight to break up the Yugoslav Federation. This is a delicate moment and needs very careful handling, because by saying, ‘See, they want to break up Yugoslavia,’ Tito not only gathers reaction around him, but also tries to win the patriotic elements over to his side.”

— Joseph Stalin

The “comrade” Broz led the anti-Nazi guerrilla campaign in the 40’s. No one will take away from his leadership, but on one occasion he promised British Prime Minister Winston Churchill that he had no interest in implementing socialism in Yugoslavia, and swore that he would not.

Once the Second World War was won, Titoite policy was nationalist deviation, and from 1948, his policy was a program of economic liberalization, in which, among other gems, commodity prices were allowed to be set by the market, a characteristic of classical liberal economics.

Private investment and foreign investment in factories did not stop, and the factories could produce as they deemed necessary, without undergoing any rigorous economic planning by the state. To include kulak elements within the economy and the government without waging the class struggle was deemed necessary by the Titoite administration.

The Yugoslav Communist Party had a complete lack of proletarian democracy and popular participation. This party was warned by the Cominform in 1948, to denounce Tito’s abandonment of the socialist bloc and his collaboration with the capitalist powers.

The expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Cominform resulted in a massive anti-communist purge within the PCY that was reflected in the overwhelming number of arrests: between 100,000 and 200,000. Most of these were tortured and killed as “Stalinists.”

Tito helped the imperialists in the Korean War, and was always a dividing element in Europe, where the Yankees relied on Yugoslavia to implode neighboring socialist governments. As for the promise he made​to Churchill, if we consider the “market socialist” economy and the capitalist “workers’ self-administration” program that characterized the Yugoslav model, then Tito fulfilled his promise.

Particularly in favoring the capitalist model of uneven development even within the confines of Yugoslavia, developing states like Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro while leaving such states as Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo as backwater neo-colonies exploited and oppressed by the more developed states, we can see the Titoite policy’s responsibility for the violent events of the collapse of Yugoslavia as a country in the 1990’s.

Yugoslavia and its leader Tito was (and still is) the darling of all mushy “socialists” opposed to Stalin’s rule in the Soviet Union. Tito brought “market socialism,” subsequently adopted by the revisionists in China and the Soviet Union. In Tito’s version of “market socialism” there was also “local control” and “workers self-administration,” thus he gained the support of various half-baked “anarchists” as well. 

Many of the “left” looked on in admiration at Yugoslavia’s standard of living and this furthered the pro-Tito and pro-U.S. illusions propped up with billions upon billions in Western loans.

Today, all the petty-bourgeois advocates of the Yugoslavian model are nowhere to be found, except in total stupor in younger generations. There is no Titoite International, no ruling Titoite party nor any Titoite parties active in any country except the countries that constituted the former Yugoslavia.

There are no mea culpas coming forward from any of the people who found Tito preferable to Stalin. However, there is a new danger, in that potential advocates of “workers self-administration” are so lacking in theoretical seriousness that they do not know if Yugoslavia was a model of socialism or not. In this way there is another generation of unconscious Titoites rising.

In the present time we can see clearly where “workers self-administration” of the economy leads. Each ethnicity retained its own economic interests and never learned what centralized cooperation should be. Workers of each ethnicity never understood concretely how they were damaging each others’ interests. In fact, in Yugoslavia’s case, the lack of socialism bred suspicions and illusions about other ethnicities. In reality, it was imperialism robbing Yugoslavia, with Tito’s blessings.

Without centrally-planned economic production among workers, conflicts occur in relations among nations. Not surprisingly, when Western liberalism swept eastern Europe, Yugoslavia had the biggest explosion of ugly ethnic violence, right out of Hitler’s game plan from World War II. Russian revisionism played a scandalous role in ex-Yugoslavia. It was Khrushchev who abandoned Stalin and a principled position on the national question. It was also Khrushchev who looked to nothing more than the size and economic strength of Yugoslavia as a reason to abandon principled relations with Albania and cozy up to Tito.

When we see extreme actions of ethnic cleansing or rioting, as in ex-Yugoslavia, we can be sure that small nations are writhing in pain from the punishment of bigger nations. Once Khrushchev abandoned Stalin on the national question and allowed for corruption to enter the party in the name of opposing the dictatorship of the proletariat, all the nations smaller than Russia knew that bourgeois self-interest was the new watchword of the day. Instead of viewing imperialism as the source of economic problems, all ex-Soviet people since Khrushchev have increasingly looked at their neighbors as the source of economic problems. Thus, revisionists of a feather…

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