“We have no kulaks such as there were in the U.S.S.R. Our rich peasants took part en masse in the people’s liberation war …. Would it be a mistake if we succeeded in getting the kulaks to pass over to socialism without class struggle?”
– Ales Bebler, Yugoslav Vice-Minister of External Affairs
“We Jugoslavs have discarded classic deviations between revolutionary and evolutionary socialism. History has erased such a distinction. Life now pushes toward the evolutionary progress… I think that even in the United States there is a tendency toward socialism. A big change began with your New Deal and your economy retains many of its features. For example, state intervention in the economy is much larger.”
– Tito, quoted in Cyrus Leo Sulzberger. The Last of the Giants. New York: Macmillan. 1970. p. 270.
“Despite repeated requests by Tito in 1948 and 1949, the United States refused to include Yugoslavia in the Marshall Plan, therefore limiting its participation with U.S. allies in Western Europe.”
– Joyce P. Kaufman, NATO and the Former Yugoslavia, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., p. 64.
“The leadership of the Communist party acknowledged officially in 1950 that unemployment could exist under socialism, and the number of people registered as unemployed and as seeking work became ever larger as the years went by. In 1952, the newly reopened employment bureaus recorded a rate of unemployment at least two points above the 5 percent then considered the normal rate in Western Europe; in 1985, when the number of Yugoslavs looking for work went above one million, the rate surpassed 15 percent, ranging from 1.5 percent in Slovenia to more than 30 percent in Kosovo and Macedonia.”
– Susan L. Woodward, Socialist Unemployment: The Political Economy of Yugoslavia: 1945-1990, p. 4.
“Nevertheless, the growing tension with the Soviet Union and the rest of the Communist bloc brought about a patriotic surge of support within Yugoslavia for the new regime. Tito and the Communists had been losing popularity between 1945 and 1948 with a substantial part of the 94 per cent of the population who did not belong to the party. Now a majority of the people rallied behind them…
Before long, however, they were to get an additional source of support, perhaps unexpectedly… Following the expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Cominform, the Truman administration took a decision to offer economic assistance which would help keep an independent Yugoslavia afloat. US Secretary of State Dean Acheson, in a communication with the American embassy in Belgrade in early 1949, said that it was in the ‘obvious interest’ of the United States that ‘Titoism’ should continue to exist as an ‘erosive and disintegrating force’ in the Soviet sphere. In November 1950, President Truman sent a letter to Congress in support of a Yugoslav Emergency Relief Act, making no mention of Yugoslavia’s Communist political and economic structure, but using a strategic argument: ‘The continued independence of Yugoslavia is of great importance to the security of the United States. We can help preserve the independence of a nation which is defying the savage threats of the Soviet imperialists, and keeping Soviet power out of Europe’s most strategic areas. This is clearly in our national interest.’”
– Archie Brown. The Rise and Fall of Communism. New York: HarperCollins. 2009. pp. 208-209.
“In just the first 5 months of this year the deficit was 2 billion dollars. At the 11th Congress of the League of ‘Communists’ of Yugoslavia, Tito declared, ‘the deficit with the Western market has become almost intolerable’. Nearly three months after this congress, he declared again in Slovenia, ‘We have especially great difficulties in trade exchanges with the European Common Market member countries. There the imbalance to our disadvantage is very great and constantly increasing. We must talk with them very seriously about this. Many of them promise us that these things will be put in order, that imports from Yugoslavia will increase, but up to now we have had very little benefit from all this. Each is putting the blame on the other’. And the deficit in foreign trade, which Tito does not mention in this speech of his, exceeded 4 billion dollars in 1977. This is a catastrophe for Yugoslavia.”
– Enver Hoxha. Yugoslav “Self-Administration”: A Capitalist Theory and Practice. Tirana: 8 Nëntori Publishing House. 1978. pp. 39-40.
“The loans it has received amount to over 11 billion dollars. From the United States of America alone Yugoslavia has received over 7 billion dollars in credits.”
– Ibid. pp. 25-26.
“Yugoslavia is up to its neck in debts and cannot repay them with more loans. In that country there is immense unemployment, inflation is galloping, prices are going up every day beyond the reach of ordinary working people.”
– Enver Hoxha, Selected Works Vol. 4, p. 531.
“Dr Spasoje Medenica, a Federal Minister, calculated that the internal debt (including the outstanding bills, the overruns of investment costs and the credit obligations to the National Bank arising from the devaluation of the dinar) amounted in 1983, to 2,000 billion dinars: a figure representing one half of Yugoslavia’s national income. According to Branko Ćolanović, the Chairman of Jugobanka of Belgrade in 1983, ‘Yugoslav enterprises are indebted to the banks and the banks to each other, and everyone is indebted to everyone else. We are excessively preoccupied with foreign currency and have neglected dinar insolvency.’ In these circumstances the persistent IMF clamour for ‘a positive rate of interest’ i.e. one that is higher than the current rate of inflation, has predictably fallen on deaf ears.
To prevent a financial breakdown, massive rescue operations worth several billion dollars each had to be put together in 1983 and again in 1984, by international institutions, capitalist governments and commercial banks, under the sponsorship of the US administration, relieving the Yugoslavs of the immediate obligation to repay the capital.”
– Nora Beloff. Tito’s Flawed Legacy: Yugoslavia and the West since 1939. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. 1986. p. 235.
“For, from its 7th congress of April 1958, the Yugoslav party held that Communists ‘should no longer be concerned primarily with questions relating to the overthrow of capitalism’, that it was possible to achieve socialism without a revolution and that Communist parties need not enjoy a power monopoly in pursuit of socialism.”
– Geoffrey Stern. The Rise and Decline of International Communism. Aldershot: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. 1990. p. 177.
“Yugoslavian president and communist party leader Josip Tito visited Beijing in a sign of the early post-Mao leadership’s interest in his decentralized type of ‘market socialism’… Shortly after Tito’s visit, the influential Guangming Daily newspaper ran an editorial arguing that workers should be paid bonuses for higher output or better work, while a meeting of provincial agriculture heads made similar arguments for rural labor.”
– William A. Joseph. Politics in China: An Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press. 2010. p. 106.
“Tito made a state visit to Beijing, and in 1978, Hua Guofeng went to Belgrade, at which time the Chinese press heaped lavish praise on Yugoslavia’s social and economic systems.”
– Melvin Gurtov and Byong-Moo Hwang. China Under Threat: The Politics of Strategy and Diplomacy. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. 1980. p. 255.
“We firmly believe that the heroic Yugoslav peoples will carry out Comrade Tito’s behests, unite closely and forge victoriously ahead along the road of socialism, self-management and non-alignment, and that the friendship between our parties, countries and people will grow in strength and develop steadily.”
– Hua Guofeng on May 12, 1980, quoted in Beijing Review Vol. 23. p. 11.
“I met with Comrade Tito just as an old soldier. We had a cordial talk and agreed to forget the past and look to the future. This is the attitude we adopted when we resumed relations with other East European parties and countries; we take the present as a fresh starting point from which to develop friendly, cooperative relations. Of course, it’s still worthwhile to analyse events of the past. But I think the most important thing is that each party, whether it is big, small or medium, should respect the experience of the others and the choices they have made and refrain from criticizing the way the other parties and countries conduct their affairs. This should be our attitude not only towards parties in power but also towards those that are not in power. When we had talks with representatives of the Communist parties of France and Italy, we expressed this view that we should respect their experience and their choices. If they have made mistakes, it is up to them to correct them. Likewise, they should take the same attitude towards us, allowing us to make mistakes and correct them. Every country and every party has its own experience, which differs from that of the others in a thousand and one ways.”
– Deng Xiaoping. Fundamental Issues in Present-Day China. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. 1987. p. 186.
“A comparison of the policies of the Deng regime up to 1992 with those implemented by the Tito regime in Yugoslavia after 1948, when it broke with Stalin, shows many similarities. Indeed, the similarities are not coincidental. In 1981 the Deng regime began avidly studying Yugoslavia’s bureaucratically-controlled system of atomised ‘workers’ self-management’ and its post-1965 combination of state planning and markets. By 1984, the Deng regime had begun implementing a whole range of Titoist-style policies. These included allowing state industrial enterprises to keep up to 70% of their investment funds under their own control and to make their own decisions abut the bulk of what they would produce. Like the Tito regime, the Deng regime also allowed… the setting up of joint ventures between state-owned enterprises and foreign capitalist investors.
Limited forms of workers’ participation in enterprise management were also introduced. These took two forms. The first was annual workers’ congresses (which were to review enterprise budgets and production plans, welfare and bonus funds, safety issues, wage systems and management structures and make recommandations on these to the higher levels of economic administration). The second was the authorisation of the election of factory managers by work collectives. However, as under the Titoist system of ‘workers’ self-management’ such elections were not by secret ballot… such elections could easily be controlled by the bureaucracy.”
– Doug Lorimer. The Class Nature of the People’s Republic of China. Chippendale: Resistance Books. 2004. pp. 19-20.
“Like the Tito regime in Yugoslavia, the Deng regime in China in the 1980s allowed a considerable relaxation of Stalinist ideological control. As with the Tito regime, this relaxation extended to the official publication of anti-Stalinist Marxist literature. In 1984, for example, the Chinese CP’s Institute of Marxism-Leninism began publishing writings by Isaac Deutscher, Ernest Mandel and Leon Trotsky.”
– Doug Lorimer. The Class Nature of the People’s Republic of China. Chippendale: Resistance Books. 2004. p. 20.
“Like our Democratic Cambodia, Yugoslavia is a non-aligned country which has adhered to the position of preserving independence. Friendship between our two countries is therefore based on the same principle. We have always esteemed and respected Comrade President Tito and the friendly Yugoslav people. Comrade President Tito and the Yugoslav people have always supported and helped us. We have sympathy for them and wish to express our thanks to Comrade President Tito and the friendly Yugoslav people.”
– Pol Pot, quoted in Journal of Contemporary Asia Vol. 8 No. 3, 1978. p. 413.
“In fact, the effectiveness of workers’ control varies… The collective was normally led by skilled and white collar workers (comprising some 80% of the membership of self-management organs by 1970), who were primarily concerned with issues of income and welfare, and left the bulk of production decisions to management. However, they retained rights of consultation over all choices, and an effective veto in cases of disagreement with the Director. Moreover, the operation of the BOALs [Basic Organization of Associated Labor] gave shop-floor workers considerable influence over low-level and organisational decisions. While there was clearly considerable leeway in the interpretation of collective preferences, the Director could not consistently implement decisions in opposition to the membership, and had to accept the general orientation favouring labour incomes and employment security.”
– Saul Estrin. Self-Management: Economic Theory and Yugoslav Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1983. p. 69.
“Each BOAL had nominal authority to make investment and hiring decisions and set production targets, prices, conditions of work, wages, and salaries and pursue alliances iwth other units of labor.
… At each level, enterprise plans were developed by technical specialists and administrators and were reviewed by pertinent councils or assemblies. Operating plans were discussed, negotiated, and integrated… Any unit of associated labor (BOAL, WOAL, COAL) could freely pursue international trade, arrange external financing, and establish links (e.g., joint ventures and licensing agreements) with foreign firms. Their autonomy was not total, however, because key decisions (e.g., production and investment decisions and managerial appointments) were also reviewed by municipal and communist party officials.
The Yugoslav system was a model for similar experiments elsewhere, such as an industrial community system of producer co-ops tried in Peru in the 1970s.”
– Ralph B. Edfelt. Global Comparative Management: A Functional Approach. London: SAGE Publications. 2010. p. 165.
“Nevertheless, the growing tension with the Soviet Union and the rest of the Communist bloc brought about a patriotic surge of support within Yugoslavia for the new regime. Tito and the Communists had been losing popularity between 1945 and 1948 with a substantial part of the 94 per cent of the population who did not belong to the party. Now a majority of the people rallied behind them…
Before long, however, they were to get an additional source of support, perhaps unexpectedly… Following the expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Cominform, the Truman administration took a decision to offer economic assistance which would help keep an independent Yugoslavia afloat. US Secretary of State Dean Acheson, in a communication with the American embassy in Belgrade in early 1949, said that it was in the ‘obvious interest’ of the United States that ‘Titoism’ should continue to exist as an ‘erosive and disintegrating force’ in the Soviet sphere. In November 1950, President Truman sent a letter to Congress in support of a Yugoslav Emergency Relief Act, making no mention of Yugoslavia’s Communist political and economic structure, but using a strategic argument: ‘The continued independence of Yugoslavia is of great importance to the security of the United States. We can help preserve the independence of a nation which is defying the savage threats of the Soviet imperialists, and keeping Soviet power out of Europe’s most strategic areas. This is clearly in our national interest.'”
– Archie Brown. The Rise and Fall of Communism. New York: HarperCollins. 2009. pp. 208-209.
“In actual reality, of course, self-management – after a long period of increasing suffocation by the bureaucratic cancer – has already effectively been terminated. Reflecting on the circumstances of its demise, it is instructive to note that it was the West rather than the East which dealt the final blow…
In a recent survey of Yugoslavia by the Financial Times, it was noted that ‘Yugoslavia’s protracted economic crisis, now in its fourth or fifth year, is beginning to change the political system.’ … as the commentaries in both The Times and the Financial Times noted last June, the country’s acceptance of capitalist economic principles – exclusive reliance on monetary mechanisms – is seen as implying that ‘the West is ahead ideologically’ of the Soviet Union. This year, furthermore, Yugoslavia has agreed to move away from the barter trade with Comecon towards greater exchange with the West. Current agreements with the IMF and the World Bank show Yugoslavia’s commitment to liberalize controls, which still cover over 80 per cent of all imports, to relax the terms under which foreign capital can invest, and to open (for the first time) the service sector to it as well. In return, the banks are promising patience and tolerance.
However, it is obvious that this addiction to foreign loans, which the LCY leadership has acquired over the past decade or two, will have to be paid for by the Yugoslav working class.”
– Branka Magaš. The Destruction of Yugoslavia: Tracking the Break-up 1980-92. London: Verso. 1993. p. 97. [Article is from 1984]
“The papers give – in all the Yugoslav languages – advance notice of new wage cuts and price increases. I read with interest that shipyard workers in Split will have their wages lowered by 40 per cent. Average wage cuts: 20-40 per cent. Average price increases: 30-100+ per cent. The prices of black bread, milk and cooking oil will be protected. The IMF has demanded a drastic cut in domestic consumption and the closure of loss-making enterprises. Hundreds of telexes arrive daily at the door of the Federal government in Belgrade protesting against wage cuts.”
– Ibid. p. 131.
“The persecution of Communists [“Stalinists,” or “Cominformers”] in Yugoslavia that began in 1948-49 was probably one of the most massive persecution movements that Europe had yet witnessed, including those of the Soviet Union from the 1920s to the 1940s, Germany in the 1930s, and the repression of Communists during the Nazi occupation. What happened in Yugoslavia was a truly immense phenomenon considering the number of inhabitants and the number of Communists. According to official sources that were long kept secret, the purges affected 16,371 people, 5,037 of whom were brought to trial and three-quarters of whom were sent to Goli Otok and Grgur. Independent analysis by Vladimir Dedijer suggests that between 31,000 and 32,000 people went through the Goli Otok camp alone. But even the most recent research has been unable to come up with a figure for the number of prisoners who died as victims of executions, exhaustion, hunger, epidemics, or even suicide—a solution chosen by many Communists to escape their cruel situation.”
– Stéphane Courtois & Mark Kramer (trans.). The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. 1999. p. 425.
The Essence of Titoism
In 1948, Yugoslavia became the first socialist country to turn Bukharinist. Tito received the firm support of the United States. Since then, Titoist theories infiltrated in most countries of Eastern Europe.
The book by Cohen, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution , published by the English social-democrat Ken Coates, president of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, served as the basis for the international campaign to rehabilitate Bukharin during the ’70s. This campaign allied revisionists of Italian and French communist parties with the Social-Democrats – from the Pelikan Gilles Martinet – and, of course, the various Trotskyist sects. These same currents would support Gorbachev until the day of his fall. Each claimed that Bukharin represented an “alternative to Stalinism and Bolshevism.” Some even proclaim it a precursor to Eurocommunism. “(L’Affaire Bukharin, Blanc et Kaisergrüber, pp. 11 and 16)
Soon in 1973, the orientation of this whole campaign has been given by Cohen: “The ideas and policy style of Bukharinism again be raised. In Yugoslavia, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia, communist reformers advocated “market socialism,” a planning and a balanced economic growth, an evolutionary development, civil peace, a mixed farming sector and acceptance of social and cultural pluralism within a one-party state. “(L’Affaire Bukharin, Blanc et Kaisergrüber, pp. 11 and 16) is a perfect definition of the velvet counterrevolution finally triumphed in the years 1988-1989 in Eastern Europe.
“If the reformers are able to create a more liberal communism, a “socialism with a human face,” the vision of Bukharin and NEP-type policy that he championed may finally appear as the true foreshadowing of the communist future – the alternative to Stalinism after Stalin. “(Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution, Stephen F. Cohen, p. 386)
Gorbachev, drawing on the experiences of “vanguard” of the countries of Eastern Europe in the 60s and 70s, also adopted the old program of Bukharin. Needless to say, Cohen was welcomed and acclaimed in Gorbachev’s Soviet Union as a major precursor of the “new thinking” and “socialist renewal.” Let us add that the “school of Bukharin” gained influence in China under Deng Xiaoping.
Why Yugoslavia was Expelled from the Cominform
Nikos Zahariadis: Tito Clique’s Stab in the Back to People’s Democratic Greece
Prelude to Genocide: How Capitalism Caused the Balkan Wars
Thoughts on Titoism & its Revisionist Implications for the Future of Marxism-Leninism
The Albanian People Will Stand By the Yugoslav Peoples
Partija Rada on the Dissolution of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia: “The Left & the False Left”
Resolution of Partija Rada on the National Question in Yugoslavia
The Warmongering Plans of the Chinese Leaders & the Visit of Hua Kuo-feng to Yugoslavia & Rumania
The Marxist-Leninist Position on Kosova – A Statement of the NCMLU (Britain)
Partija Rada: For the Balkans Without NATO Occupiers! Freedom for the Balkan Peoples!
Tito’s revisionism and the United States
The Central and Eastern European countries, which led bitter struggles during the years 1945–1948 to build socialism, had much less experience than did the Soviet Party. Ideologically, they were not solid: the fact that hundreds of thousands of new members joined, often coming from social-democratic circles, made them easily subject to opportunism and bourgeois nationalism.
As early as 1948, the anti-Soviet social-democratic model was adopted by the leadership of the Yugoslav Communist Party.
By provoking the struggle against Tito’s revisionism in 1948, Stalin showed himself to be clear-sighted and firm in his principles. Forty-five years later, history has completely confirmed his predictions.
At the time of the German invasion in 1941, the clandestine Yugoslav Party had 12,000 members; 8,000 of these were killed during the war. But it gained 140,000 members during the resistance and 360,000 more before mid-1948. Tens of thousands of kulaks, bourgeois and petit-bourgeois had joined the Party.
James Klugmann, From Trotsky to Tito (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1951), p. 13.
Tito relied more and more on these elements in his struggle against real Communists. The Party had no normal internal life, there was no political discussion, so no Marxist-Leninist criticism and self-criticism; the leaders were not elected but chosen.
Ibid. , p. 22.
In June 1948, the Information Bureau of the Communist Parties, including eight parties, published a resolution criticizing the Yugoslav Party. It underscored that Tito payed no attention to the increase in class differences in the countryside nor to the rise of capitalist elements in the country.
Ibid. , p. 9.
The resolution affirmed that, starting from a bourgeois nationalist position, the Yugoslav Party had broken the socialist united front against imperialism. It concluded:
`(S)uch a nationalist line can only lead to Yugoslavia’s degeneration into an ordinary bourgeois republic’.
Ibid. , p. 11.
Once this criticism was published, Tito set off a massive purge. All the Marxist-Leninist elements of the Party were wiped out. Two members of the Central Committee, Zhujovic and Hebrang, had already been arrested in April 1948. General Arso Jovanovic, Chief of Staff of the Partisan Army, was arrested and assassinated, as was General Slavko Rodic.
Ibid. , p. 43.
The London newspaper, The Times, referred to numerous arrests of Communists upholding the Kominterm resolution; it estimated the number of imprisoned persons at between 100,000 and 200,000.
Ibid. , p. 143.
In his report to the Party’s Eighth Congress, held in 1948, Karelj quoted Stalin on numerous occasions to insist that Yugoslavia was `pushing back kulak elements’ and would never take `anti-Soviet positions’.
Rapport: Le PCY dans la lutte pour la Yougoslavie nouvelle (Belgrade, 1948), pp. 94, 25.
But, a few months later, the Titoists publicly took up the old social-democratic theory of passing from capitalism to socialism without class struggle! Bebler, Vice-Minister of External Affairs, declared in May 1949:
`We have no kulaks such as there were in the U.S.S.R. Our rich peasants took part en masse in the people’s liberation war …. Would it be a mistake if we succeeded in getting the kulaks to pass over to socialism without class struggle?’
Klugmann, op. cit. , p. 129.
In 1951, Tito’s team declared that the Soviet `kolkhozy reflected state capitalism which, mixed together with feudal remnants, forms the social basis of the USSR’. Developing Bukharin’s ideas, the Titoists replaced planning by the free market:
`No one outside the co-operative sets production goals or categories’. The Titoists organized `the passage to a system with more freedom for objective economic laws to come into play. The socialist sector of our economy will triumph over capitalist tendencies through purely economic means.’
`Directives du CC’, in Questions actuelles du socialisme (Paris: Agence Yougoslave d’Information, Jan.-Feb. 1952), 10:160, 161, 145.
In 1953, Tito reintroduced the freedom to buy and sell land and to hire agricultural workers.
In 1951, Tito compared the Yugoslav Communists who remained loyal Marxist-Leninists to the Hitlerian Fifth Column, thereby justifying the arrest of more than 200,000 Communists, according to Colonel Vladimir Dapcevic’s testimony. Tito wrote:
`The attacks of the fascist aggressors have proved that much importance can be attributed to a new element: the Fifth Column. It is a political and military element that gets into gear in preparation for aggression. Today, something similar is being attempted in our country, under different forms, particularly by the Cominterm countries.’
Ibid. , p. 85.
In the beginning of the 1950s, Yugoslavia was still essentially a feudal country. But the Titoists attacked the principle according to which a Socialist State must maintain the dictatorship of the proletariat. In 1950, the Yugoslav revisionists began a forum on `the problem of the withering away of the State, in particular of the rôle of the State in the economy’. To justify the return to a bourgeois state, Djilas called the Soviet state a `monstrous edifice of state capitalism’ that `oppressed and exploited the proletariat’. Still according to Djilas, Stalin fought `to increase his state capitalist empire and, internally, to reinforce the bureaucracy’. `The Iron Curtain, hegemony over the countries of Eastern Europe and an aggressive political line have become indispensable to him.’ Djilas spoke of `the misery of the working class that works for the “superior” imperialist interests and the bureaucracy’s privileges.’ `Today, the USSR is objectively the most reactionary power.’ Stalin `practices state capitalism and is the head and spiritual and political leader of the bureaucratic dictatorship.’ Acting as agent for U.S. imperialism, Djilas continued:
`Some of the Hitlerian theories are identical to Stalin’s theories, both from the standpoint of their contents and of the resulting social practice.’
Ibid. , Oct.-Nov. 1952, 14:2, 5, 18, 35–36, 30, 37, 44, 47.
Let us add that Djilas, who later moved to the U.S., referred in this text to Trotsky’s `critique of the Stalinist system’!
Ibid. , p. 44.
In 1948, Kardelj was still claiming to be faithful to the anti-imperialist struggle. Two years later, Yugoslavia upheld the U.S. war against Korea! The London Times reported:
`Mr. Dedijer sees events in Korea as a manifestation of the Soviet will to dominate the world … if this is to be resisted successfully … the workers of the world must `realise that yet another pretender to world domination has appeared, and get rid of illusions about the Soviet Union representing some alleged force of democracy and peace’.’
The Times, 27 December 1950. In Klugmann, op. cit. , p. 111.
So Tito had become a simple pawn in U.S. anti-Communist strategy. Tito declared to the New York Herald Tribune that `in the event of a Soviet attack anywhere in Europe, even if the thrust should be miles away from Yugoslavia’s own borders’, he would `instantly do battle on the side of the West … Yugoslavia considers itself part of the collective security wall being built against Soviet imperialism.’
New York Herald Tribune, 26 June 1951. In Klugmann, op. cit. , p. 98.
In the economic field, the socialist measures that Yugoslavia had taken before 1948 were liquidated. Alexander Clifford, the Daily Mail correspondent, wrote about the economic reforms adopted in 1951:
`If it comes off, Yugoslavia looks like ending up a good deal less socialised than Britain’: `price of goods … determined by the market — that is, by supply and demand’; `wages and salaries …\ fixed on the basis of the income or profits of the enterprise’; economic enterprises that `decide independently what to produce and in what quantities’; `there isn’t much classical Marxism in all of that’.
Daily Mail, 31 August 1951. In Klugmann, op. cit. , p. 150.
The Anglo-American bourgeoisie soon recognized that Tito was to be a very effective weapon in its anti-Communist struggles. The April 12, 1950 issue of Business Week reads:
`For the United States in particular and the West in general this encouragement of Tito has proved to be one of the cheapest ways yet of containing Russian Communism.
`To date the West’s aid to Tito has come to $51.7 million. This is far less than the billion dollars or so that the United States has spent in Greece for the same purpose.’
Business Week, 12 April 1950. In Klugmann, op. cit. , p. 175.
This bourgeoisie intended to use Tito to encourage revisionism and to organize subversion in the socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. On December 12, 1949, Eden spoke to the Daily Telegraph:
`Tito’s example and influence can decisively change the course of events in Central and Eastern Europe.’
Daily Telegraph, 12 December 1949. In Klugmann, op. cit. , p. 191.
Understanding the Communist demagogy of Tito for what it really was, the London Times wrote:
`Titoism remains a force, however, only so long as Marshal Tito can claim to be a Communist.’
The Times, 13 September 1949. In Klugmann, op. cit. , p. 194.
Titoism took power in 1948 as a bourgeois nationalist current. It is with nationalism that Yugoslavia abandoned all principles of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Nationalism was the soil in which Trotskyist and Bukharinist theories flourished.
After the Second World War, this nationalist orientation had great influence in other Communist Parties in Central and Eastern Europe.
After Stalin’s death, Great-Russian nationalism developed in Moscow and, in backlash, nationalist chauvinism spread throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
Let us examine the principles that are at the heart of this controversy. In 1923, Stalin had already formulated an essential aspect of proletarian internationalism in these terms:
`It should be borne in mind that besides the right of nations to self-determination there is also the right of the working class to consolidate its power …. There are occasions when the right of self-determination conflicts with the other, the higher right — the right of a working class that has assumed power to consolidate its power. In such cases — this must be said bluntly — the right to self-determination cannot and must not serve as an obstacle to the exercise by the working class of its right to dictatorship. The former must give way to the former.’
Stalin, Marxism and the National and Colonial Question (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1936), p. 168.
Starting from the principle of proletarian internationalism, Stalin was a resolute adversary of all nationalism, starting with Great-Russian nationalism. Still in 1923, he declared:
`The principal force hindering the amalgamation of the republics into a single union is … Great-Russian chauvinism. It is not fortuitous, comrades, that the Smenovekhists have recruited a large number of supporters from among the Soviet officials.’
Ibid. , p. 153.
`Smenovekhism is the ideology of the new bourgeoisie, which is steadily growing and gradually joining forces with the kulaks and the bureaucratic intellectuals. The new bourgeoisie has created its own ideology … which declares that the Communist Party is bound to degenerate and the new bourgeoisie to consolidate itself. We Bolsheviks, it appears, will imperceptibly to ourselves move towards this threshold of a democratic republic and cross this threshold, and then, with the help of a Caesar, who is to rise either from the military or from the civil ranks, we are to find ourselves in the position of an ordinary bourgeois republic.’
Ibid. , p. 300, n. 43.
But in the world struggle between socialism and imperialism, Stalin also understood that bourgeois nationalism could be used as a powerful anti-socialist weapon:
`When a life-and-death struggle is being waged, and is spreading, between proletarian Russia and the imperialist Entente, only two alternatives confront the border regions:
`Either they join forces with Russia, and then the toiling masses of the border regions will be emancipated from imperialist oppression;
`Or they join forces with the Entente, and then the yoke of imperialism is inevitable.
`There is no third solution. So-called independence of a so-called independent Georgia, Armenia, Poland, Finland, etc., is only an illusion, and conceals the utter dependence of these apologies for states on one group of imperialists or another ….
`And the interests of the masses of the people render the demand for the secession of the border regions at the present stage of the revolution a profoundly counter-revolutionary one.’
Ibid. , pp. 79–80.
In the semi-feudal republics of the Soviet periphery, bourgeois nationalism constituted the main form of bourgeois ideology rotting inside the Bolshevik Party:
`It should be borne in mind that our Communist organisations in the border districts, in the republics and regions, can develop and firmly establish themselves, can become genuine internationalist, Marxist cadres, only if they get rid of their nationalism. Nationalism is the chief ideological obstacle to the training of Marxist cadres, of a Marxist vanguard in the border regions and republics …. In relation to these organisations nationalism is playing the same part as Menshevism played in the past in relation to the Party of the Bolsheviks. Only under cover of nationalism can various kinds of bourgeois, including Menshevik, influences penetrate into our organisations in the border regions. Our organisations in the republics can become Marxist cadres only if they are able to withstand the nationalist ideas which are pushing their way into our Party in the border regions … because the bourgeoisie is reviving, the New Economic Policy is spreading, nationalism is growing; because there are still survivals of Great-Russian chauvinism, which also tend to develop local nationalism, and because there is the influence of foreign states, which are fostering nationalism in every way.’
Ibid. , p. 178.
`The essence of the deviation towards local nationalism consists in the attempt to isolate oneself and shut onself up within one’s own national shell, in the attempt to hush up class differences within one’s own nation, in the attempt to resist Great-Russian chauvinism by turning aside from the general current of socialist cosntruction, in the attempt to shut one’s eyes to that which brings together and unites the toiling masses of the nationalities of the U.S.S.R. and to see only that which tends to estrange them.
`The deviation towards local nationalism reflects the dissatisfaction of the moribund classes of the formerly oppressed nations with the regime of the proletarian dictatorship, their endeavour to separate themselves off into their national state and there to establish their own class supremacy.’
Ibid. , pp. 262–263.
Stalin came back to the question of internationalism in 1930. He formulated a principle that became crystal clear during the Brezhnev era:
`What does a deviation towards nationalism mean — irrespective of whether it is a deviation towards Great-Russian nationalism or towards local nationalism? The deviation towards nationalism is the adaptation of the internationalist policy of the working class to the nationalist policy of the bourgeoisie. The deviation towards nationalism reflects the attempts of “one’s own” “national” bourgeoisie to undermine the Soviet system and to restore capitalism. The source of these deviations … is a common one. It is a departure from Leninist internationalism ….
`The major danger is the deviation against which one has ceased to fight and has thus enabled to grow into a danger to the state.’
Ibid. , pp. 267–268.
James Klugman, From Trotsky to Tito, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1951, p. 13.
Ibid, p. 22.
Ibid, p. 9.
Ibid, p. 11.
Ibid, p. 43.
Ibid, p. 143.
Kardelj Edvard (1910-1979), Slovenian, a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia since 1926. Worked in Comintern in Moscow between 1936-37. After the invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, becomes a leader of the People’s Liberation Front, Slovenian, joining the resistance led by Tito in May 1945 (NT).
Rapport: Le PCY lutte dans la nouvelle pour la Yougoslavie … Belgrade, 1948, pp. 94, 25.
Klugmann, op. cit., p. 129.
“Directives du CC”, in Questions Actuelle du Socialisme, 10, Jan-Feb. 1952, Yougoslave Agence d’Information,
pp. 160, 161, 145.
Ibid, p. 85.
Milovan Djilas (1911-1995), Serbian, Montenegrin, a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia since 1932, the CC since 1938 and the Politburo from 1940. Along with Tito is one of the organizers of the resistance, becoming a guerrilla commander. After liberation, he occupies the position of vice president of the Tito government. In late 1953, it is assumed as a critic of the regime demanding more democracy in the Party and country. Sacked the government and party offices, abandoned the party in 1954, declaring in December, the New York Times that Yugoslavia was being ruled by reactionaries. In 1956 he was sentenced to nine years in prison for supporting the Hungarian counterrevolution (NT).
Ibid, No 14, Oct-Nov. 1952, AYI, Paris, pp. 2, 5, 18, 35-36, 30, 37, 44 and 47.
Ibid, p. 44.
The Times, December 13, 1950.
New York Herald Tribune, June 26, 1951.
Daily Mail, August 31, 1951, p. 150.
Business Week, April 12, 1950, p. 175.
Robert Anthony Eden (1897-1977), British Conservative, Foreign Minister in three periods, including World War II, led the parliamentary opposition between 1945-51, becoming prime minister in 1955-57 (NT).
Daily Telegraph, 12 Décembre 1949, p. 191.
The Times, September 13, 1949, p. 194.
Translated from the Russian original, “Closing remarks concerning the report to the XII Congress of the PCU (b) on national aspects of the constructive action of the Party and State, April 23, 1923”, in IV Stalin, Works, Gossudártvenoi Izdatelstvo Politítcheskoi Literature, Moscow, 1947, volume 5, pg. 265 (NT).
Smenovekhovistas, supporters of the current bourgeois appeared around the newspaper Smena vekha (change of orientation), founded in 1921 by White Guard emigres. Refusing the armed struggle against the Soviet regime, smenovekhovismo considered that the adoption of new economic policy would lead gradually to the Soviet system the model of bourgeois democracy (NT).
Translated from the Russian original, “Report on the national aspects of the constructive action of the Party and State, the XII Congress of the PCU (b), 23 April 1923”, in IV Stalin, Works, Gossudártvenoi Izdatelstvo Politítcheskoi Literature, Moscow, 1947 , volume 5, pg. 244 (NT).
Stalin, Le et la question nationale marxisme et coloniale, Ed Norman Bethune, 1974 75.
Ibid, p. 117.
Ibid, p. 203.
Translated from the Russian original, “Political Report of the Central Committee to the XVI Congress of the PCU (b), June 27, 1930” in IV Stalin, Works, Gossudártvenoi Izdatelstvo Politítcheskoi Literature, Moscow, 1949, volume 12, pg. 371
Stalin, Le et la question nationale marxisme et coloniale, Ed Norman Bethune, 1974, pp. 344-345.
The South Slav Federation and the Macedonian Question
by Georgi Dimitrov
Dimitrov’s account of the history of the South Slav Federation and the Macedonian question which formed part of his classic report to the 5th Congress of the Bulgarian Communist Party in 1948 is important as it represents the application of the Marxist principle of constructing federative states based on the right of nations to secession along the lines of the formation of the Soviet Union itself, a principle which had been adopted by the CPC, the Indo-Chinese communists and our very own CPI in their revolutionary days. Writing shortly after the previous article Dimitrov tells us of the effects of the nationalist course of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia on the national question particularly with reference to the Pirin district of Macedonia which lay within the territory of new democratic Bulgaria. This history is virtually unknown in the communist movement today principally because Dimitrov’s writings on this as on many important questions have been sought to be obliterated after the advent of revisionism in Bulgaria. This is apparent from the version of the report to the 5th Congress of the BCP which was published in volume 14 of Dimitrov’s writings in Bulgarian which omits the passages published below.1 The same is the case in the editions of Dimitrov’s writings which have been published in English.2 Dimitrov’s perceptiveness on the national question in the Balkans emerges in its full clarity today when German and U.S. imperialism have smashed the Yugoslav Federation:
‘In the past, the unification of the South Slavs has always met with the stubborn resistance of German imperialism. Today the new pretenders for world domination – the American and British imperialists – oppose unification and merger of the Southern Slavs.’
The Marxist-Leninist forces which are regrouping today in the Balkans will no doubt be compelled to return to the principles of Lenin, Stalin and Dimitrov on the national question.
1. Georgi Dimitrov, ‘S’chineniya’, Volume 14, mart 1948-yuni 1949, Izdatelstvo na B’lgarskata Komunisticheska Partiya, Sofia, 1955, p.312.
2. Georgi Dimitrov, ‘Selected Works’, Volume 3, Sofia, 1972, p. 328.
Fraternal Yugoslavia, with whom the closest brotherly relations and a common and age-old ideal united us – the establishment of a South Slav federation – is unfortunately ruled today by men – Tito and his group – who betrayed the great doctrine of Marx-Leninism, the pre-condition for mutual confidence between the Communist parties and the basis for their cooperation on the road to socialism. The nationalist policy of the Tito group increasingly alienates Yugoslavia from the USSR and the new democracies, subjects it more and more to the danger of falling into the clutches of greedy imperialism. Our Party watches with anxiety the degeneration of the present Yugoslav Communist Party leaders into an ordinary bourgeois-chauvinist clique, inimical to Communism. But we do not doubt the loyalty of the Yugoslav Communist Party to internationalism and Marx-Leninism and its ability to bring Yugoslavia back again into the fold of the USSR and the people’s democracies….
The treachery of Tito’s group towards the USSR and the united democratic anti-imperialist camp, its anti-Marxist and nationalistic course, condemned by the Informburo, by all Communist parties and all genuine democratic organizations, found expression in its attitude toward the federation of the Southern Slavs and the Macedonian question.
With the overthrow of the Fascist dictatorship in Bulgaria on September 9th 1944, and the establishment in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia of a people’s democratic regime under the leaders of the Communist parties, most propitious conditions were created for a consistent and democratic settlement of all outstanding issues between the two countries, including the Macedonian question.
Under the newly created domestic and international conditions, the vital interests of the Bulgarian and Yugoslav peoples made it imperative that both nations seek the closest rapprochement which would quickly lead to their economic and political unification – to the establishment of a federation of South Slavs. Such a federation, resting firmly on friendship with the USSR and fraternal collaboration with the other new democracies, could have successfully defended the freedom and independence of its peoples and ensured their proper development toward socialism. Within the framework of such a federation would have been solved correctly, all the old unsolved problems legated by the bourgeois-monarchic regimes regarding the unification of the Macedonians from the Pirin district with the People’s Republic of Macedonia, as well as the return to Bulgaria of the purely Bulgarian Western Border Region which the Yugoslavia of King Alexander had grabbed after World War I.
Our Party firmly chose that course, relying on the word of the Yugoslav Communists to whom we were tied by common work and association covering a period of many years. This is the present stand of our Party. But the nationalist leaders of Yugoslavia went off this only correct path. After the two Governments had agreed on a series of measures regarding the forthcoming establishment of the federation, the Central Committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party informed our Party in March 1948 that it had changed its mind on that question, that one should not rush the federation, and refused to discuss the matter any further. At the same time, the Yugoslav leaders set as the central task the transformation of the Pirin district into an autonomous region with a view to its inclusion in Yugoslavia, independently of the existing understanding on the creation of a federation.
Evidently this turn-about of Tito and his group on the question is intimately tied up with their betrayal of Marx-Leninism. This group is skidding down the slippery road of nationalism and today takes the same stand as the Greater Serbia chauvinists who were striving for hegemony in the Balkans and for Macedonia’s annexation to Serbia and Yugoslavia.
The disclosures made at the Congress of the Albanian Communists in regard to the aggressive intentions of the Tito group toward Albania are another proof of its double-faced policy, crass nationalism and deviation from the united Socialist front of the Soviet Union and the people’s democracies.
There exist two alternatives for the solution of the Macedonian question which for decades on end has been in the centre of Balkan rivalries and wars.
1) A democratic revolution for Macedonia’s liberation from the Turkish yoke. This road was chosen by the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) – Gotse Delchev, Sandansky and others – as well as by the Macedonian revolutionary Social-Democrat Union – Hadji Diniov, Nicola Larez and others. These Macedonian organizations enjoyed the full support of our Party, many of whose members were activists in the Macedonian revolutionary movement.
2) The bourgeois nationalist road, viz. the liberation of Macedonia from the Turkish yoke through a war, and its annexation by one or several Balkan states. Our Party has always firmly opposed military-bourgeois nationalism and has fought steadfastly against the plans of the Balkan monarchies and the bourgeois-capitalist cliques to enslave and carve up Macedonia.
The second alternative prevailed, leading to the two Balkan wars (1912-13). Macedonia was freed from the Turkish yoke, but carved up between Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria.
In the face of the growing danger of an imperialist aggression on the Balkans, the Balkan Socialist parties raised the slogan of a Balkan democratic federation. United in a mighty federation, the Balkan peoples could have defended more easily their freedom and independence against any aggressive moves by the imperialist forces. At the same time, the federation would have facilitated the solution of all pending national issues in the Balkans including that of Macedonia. Within a Balkan democratic federation, trisected Macedonia was to unite as a state with equal rights.
Our Party correctly bracketed the solution of the Macedonian question with the creation of a Balkan democratic federation. That is why it has waged a long, consistent and uncompromising fight against Greater Bulgarian chauvinism. It adhered to that position during the Balkan wars and World War I.
What is the essence of the Greater Bulgarian chauvinism of the Bulgarian monarchist and capitalist bourgeoisie?
It consists, first, of an attempt to gain hegemony in the Balkans and, second, of an attempt to forcibly incorporate Macedonia into the Bulgarian state. This policy, which during World War II was carried out under the overlordship of Nazi Germany, was in fact a treacherous policy, concealing the attempts of Nazi Germany to turn so-called ‘Great Bulgaria’ into a German colony.
After the October Socialist Revolution and the accession of the Balkan Socialist parties to the Communist International, the Balkan Socialist Federation became a Balkan Communist Federation, in which our Party played a very active role. The Balkan Communist Federation saw the solution of all Balkan problems, including that of Macedonia, in the creation of a Balkan democratic federation, capable of defending the freedom and independence of all Balkan peoples.
Our Party had thus taken a correct and traditional stand on the Balkan questions and also offered a truly democratic solution of the Macedonian question. The slogan for a Balkan federative republic was in complete harmony with the Marx-Leninist doctrine on the national problem.
“The conscious workers in the Balkan countries”, wrote Lenin in 1912, ‘were the first to raise the slogan for a consistently democratic solution of the national problem on the Balkans. It was the slogan of a federative Balkan republic. As a result of the weakness of the democratic classes in the present Balkan states (where the proletariat is numerically small and the peasantry backward, illiterate and disunited) the economically and politically necessary union became an alliance of Balkan monarchs’.
Prior to World War II there had grown up a powerful progressive Macedonian movement in Bulgaria which advocated the right of self-determination of the Macedonian people, as a free nation. It was fully supported by our Party which, during the war, worked in full agreement with the Macedonian Communists. Bulgarian partisans fought shoulder to shoulder with Macedonian partisans against the German-Bulgarian troops of occupation. Our Party warmly welcomed the establishment of a Macedonian People’s Republic, within the Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia.
As is well known, our Party made great sacrifices in the struggle for the defence of the Macedonian people’s right to self-determination, and against the aggressive policy of the Bulgarian bourgeoisie.
After the Bled Agreement, and in order to facilitate the process of rapprochement and future unification of the Macedonian regions in both countries, our Party gave its consent to the introduction of the official Macedonian language as an obligatory subject in all schools in the Pirin district, and admitted many Macedonian teachers from Skopie as instructors, as well as Macedonian librarians to diffuse Macedonian books. This was a proof that our Party harboured the greatest sympathy toward the unification of the Macedonian people.
But our Party was double-crossed in its good intentions by the Belgrade and Skopie leaders. Most of the teachers and librarians sent from Skopie, evidently on instructions from their Yugoslav leaders, became agents of a Greater Yugoslav and anti-Bulgarian chauvinist propaganda, and later, after the treachery of Tito’s group toward the USSR and the united anti-imperialist camp, turned into an anti-Soviet agency.
That which the agents of Kulishevsky did in the Pirin district was only a reflection of what has happened within the People’s Republic of Macedonia. Under the pretext of a struggle against Greater Bulgaria chauvinism and with the aid of the state apparatus and all other public organizations – political and cultural – a systematic campaign was waged against everything Bulgarian, against the Bulgarian people, their culture, their people’s democracy, their Fatherland Front and especially against our Party. No Bulgarian books or newspapers, not even ‘Rabotnichesko Delo’, were permitted into the People’s Republic of Macedonia. All Bulgarian inscriptions on old school buildings and other monuments were meticulously erased. Family names, as for instance Kulishev, Uzunov, Tsvetkov and others, became, as we know, Kulishevsky, Uztunovsky, Tsvetkovsky, so that they would have nothing in common with Bulgarian names.
Public officials in the Macedonian People’s Republic had the cheek to make declarations directed against the Bulgarian people and against Bulgaria. In his well-known speech, delivered on March 23rd 1948 before the 2nd Congress of the Macedonian People’s Front, Kulishevsky slanderously accused our country and our people’s authority of oppressing the Macedonian population in the Pirin district.
Kulishevsky’s provocatory speech was avidly reproduced by the newspapers, agencies and radios of the Anglo-American imperialists in order to launch a scurrilous campaign against the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the unification of the Macedonian people.
Last July, from the tribune of the 5th Congress of the Yugoslav Communist Party in Belgrade, the main darts in the attacks against the people’s democracies were directed against our nation. In their speeches Tito, Djilas, Tempo, Kulishevsky, and Vlahov spluttered out their chauvinist venom against Bulgaria, against our Party, whose fault, it seems, consists of its refusal to let them grab the Pirin district and its condemnation of the Yugoslav leaders’ treason. General Tempo went even so far in his chauvinist delusion as to insult and deride the anti-Fascist struggle of the Bulgarian people and their partisan movement, although it is well-known that our partisans fought together with Yugoslav partisans and that our army actively participated under the command of Marshal Tolbukhin in the war for the final liberation of Yugoslavia.
Toward the end of September 1948 the Prime Minister of the Serbian People’s Republic, Peter Stambolich had the effrontery to publicly slander our country in the Belgrade Skupstina, alleging that responsible Bulgarian politicians were spreading propaganda directed against Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
It is clear that such slanders can have only one aim: to antagonize the peoples of Yugoslavia against the Bulgarian people, to create a chasm between the two fraternal peoples and to furnish imperialist propaganda with a weapon with which to heap new lies and slanders on Bulgaria.
Late in November 1948 a trial was held in Skopie against Bulgarian Fascists, police agents and other war criminals, who during the occupation had indulged in excesses in Macedonia. This trial, however, was turned into a vicious chauvinist campaign against the Bulgarian people and against our country. The prosecutor, the judges and the accused Fascist criminals in this trial, according to a pre-arranged understanding, with touching unanimity cast aspersions on the Bulgarian people.
The nationalist and chauvinist policy of the Titos and Kulishevskys, which is the other side of the coin of their anti-Soviet course, is not only directed against Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people but also against the Macedonian people. This policy has adopted the methods of the Bulgarian and Serbian nationalists and is sowing hatred among the Macedonian people, inciting one part against the other, resorting to terror and persecution against those who disapprove of the official course of the present Yugoslav leaders. In this way the realization of the age-old ideal of the Macedonian people – their national unification – is being artificially delayed.
The population of the Pirin district, however, refuses to fall for this vicious anti-Bulgarian and dissident propaganda. It is opposed to the inclusion of its land into Yugoslavia before the realization of a federation between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, because since time immemorial it feels itself economically, politically, and culturally tied to the Bulgarian people and does not wish to cut loose from it. Besides, among that population are still alive the traditions of the Macedonian revolutionary movement and, in particular, of its Seres wing, headed by Sandansky, which has always advocated federation as the only correct solution of the Macedonian question.
We are well aware that the nationalist and chauvinist policy of the Belgrade and Skopie leaders of the Tito and Kulishevsky type do not have the approval of the majority of the Macedonian people who are convinced that their national unification will be built on an understanding between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, in cooperation with these peoples and with the powerful assistance of the USSR.
Our Party has always advocated and continues to advocate, that Macedonia belongs to the Macedonians. True to the traditions of the Macedonian revolutionaries, together with all honest Macedonian patriots, we are deeply convinced that the Macedonian people will translate into reality their national unity and will ensure their future as a free nation with equal rights only within the framework of a federation of Southern Slavs.
In the past, the unification of the South Slavs has always met with the stubborn resistance of German imperialism. Today the new pretenders for world domination – the American and British imperialists – oppose the unification and merger of the Southern Slavs. They have acquired worthy allies in the present Yugoslav leaders.
Assured of the support of the USSR, the new democracies and the world forces of democracy, the Southern Slavs will be able to smash the opposition of the imperialists and realize their vitally necessary unity. The main obstacle to the federation of the Southern Slavs are today the traitors to Marx-Leninism, the nationalist leadership in Belgrade and Skopie, the Titos, Djilases, Kulishevskys, Vlahovs. But history is marching on and sweeps aside everything which stands in the way of progress. The cause of the unification of the Southern Slavs, including the Macedonian people, will triumph.
‘Political Report Delivered to the V Congress of the Bulgarian Communist Party’ (December 19th, 1948), Sofia, 1949, p. 62, pp. 64-70.
Where is the Nationalism of Tito’s Group in Yugoslavia Leading To?
By J.V. Stalin
In the well-known resolution of the Information Bureau of the Communist Parties adopted in June 1948 ‘On the Situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia’ it is pointed out that in recent months the nationalist elements that covertly existed even earlier have come to dominate the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, that the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia has broken away from the internationalist traditions of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and has taken up the course of nationalism.
All the Communist Parties, the entire camp of Peoples’ Democracy and Socialism unanimously accepts the Resolution of the Information Bureau ‘On the Situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia’. All the Communist Parties of the world recognize that the present Yugoslavian leadership i.e. Tito’s group, by pursuing a nationalist policy, is playing into the hands of the imperialists, isolating Yugoslavia and weakening it.
Has Tito’s group learnt any appropriate lessons from these facts?
Has Tito’s group understood that a nationalist policy means losing Yugoslavia’s most loyal allies represented by the Communist Parties of the world and that it has already led to the isolation of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, and weakening of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia both within and outside the country?
Has Tito’s group understood that the only way out of the difficult situation into which it has lead the party and the country is to recognize its mistake, break with the policy of nationalism and return to the fraternity of the Communist Parties?
No, Tito’s group has not learnt any lessons and it does not appear that it understands these simple and unmistakable facts.
On the contrary, to all justified and comradely criticism of Tito’s group by the fraternal communist parties and the entire camp of Peoples’ Democracy and Socialism, Tito’s group is responding in the pages of Belgrade’s press with the foul language of the street, by igniting nationalist hatred towards the people of neighbouring democratic countries, widespread repressions, arrests and murders of communists and non-communists who dare to express doubts regarding the policy of nationalism pursued by Tito’s group. Very recently, Colonel-General Arso Iovanovich, a hero of the liberation struggle of Yugoslavia was murdered by the agents of Tito’s assistant, the infamous Rankovic. He was killed because he expressed doubts about the policy of nationalism and terrorism of Tito’s group. In this connection it is openly said in Yugoslavia that ‘Tito’s group has degenerated into a clan of political murderers.’
Evidently, Tito’s group has no intentions of recognizing and rectifying its mistakes. It is afraid and does not have the courage to recognize the mistakes because to recognize and rectify ones mistakes would need courage. Even worse, out of ‘fear’ it is arresting and subjecting to repression anyone who dares to remind it of its mistakes.
Lenin says: ‘How a party relates to its mistakes is the most important and convincing criteria of a party’s significance and its capacity to fulfill in deed its obligations towards its class and the working masses. Ability to recognize one’s mistakes openly, reveal its causes, analyse the conditions leading to it and conscientiously discuss the means of rectifying it is the sign of a determined party, of fulfilling one’s obligation and educating and teaching the class and, following it, the masses.’
Evidently Tito’s group just cannot be put in the rank of such courageous, honest and devoted party leaders that Lenin speaks of.
The most important point in the evolution of nationalism of Tito’s group occurred in the spring of 1948 just before the summoning of the Information Bureau. The unconcealed policy of nationalism of Tito’s group began with its refusal to participate in the Meeting of the Information Bureau of the Communist Parties and discuss the situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia with the fraternal Communist Parties. Notwithstanding numerous requests to send a delegation of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia to and explain its position in the Meeting, following the example set by other Communist Parties in earlier meetings, Tito’s group blatantly refused to participate in the working of the Meeting. It became evident that Tito’s group attaches no importance to the friendship with other communist parties, including the Communist Party of the USSR. This constituted an open split with the international united front of the Communist Parties. It was breaking away from the position of internationalism and a shift to the rails of nationalism.
The newspaper ‘Borba’ printed from Belgrade asserts that Tito and his accomplices support the united anti-imperialist front. This, certainly, is a sham, designed to deceive ‘simple people’. In reality, which anti-imperialist positions can we talk about when this group cannot stay together in a family even with the Communist Parties of the countries close to Yugoslavia.
The second major fact indicating the falling of Tito’s group into the sin of nationalism is the improper, hypocritical and anti-Leninist conduct at the V Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Some naïve people expected the Congress would work under the banner of friendship with the Communist Parties, under the flag of strengthening of the anti–imperialist front of the countries of People’s Democracy and the USSR. In reality, however, everything happened to the contrary. In reality, Tito’s group converted the Congress into an arena of tussle against the Communist Parties of the neighbouring countries, into an arena of a tussle against the united anti-imperialist front of the countries of Peoples’ Democracy. This Congress was a campaign against the countries of People’s Democracy and their Communist Parties, against the USSR and its Communist Party.
Of course in Yugoslavia it is not totally safe to speak openly about the campaign against the USSR and the countries of People’s Democracy as the people of Yugoslavia fully support unity with the countries of People’s Democracy and the USSR. Therefore, Tito’s group has taken to deceit and has decided to disguise this reactionary campaign behind pompous words of praise for the USSR, friendship with the USSR, the enormous role of the USSR in the national liberation movement etc. Things reached a stage that Tito’s accomplices advised Stalin to join up in this deceitful campaign and to take on himself to defend Tito’s nationalist group from criticism by the Communist Parties of the USSR and other democratic countries. The Belgrade press let loose all possible tricks and intrigues, tried out the most unexpected and ludicrous twists and turns in order to prove to the peoples of Yugoslavia that black is white and white is black, that the campaign of Tito’s group against Socialism and Democracy is of secondary importance and that ‘alliance’ with the USSR and a ‘united front’ with it is the main concern of Tito’s group. In reality it turns out that Tito’s group in this period has placed itself in a common camp with the imperialists by rubbishing the Communist Parties of countries of Peoples’ Democracy and the USSR to the satisfaction of the imperialists of the whole world. Instead of a united front with the Communist Parties we have a united front with the imperialists. The V Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia has approved and strengthened the nationalist policy of Tito’s group.
The political acrobats from the newspaper ‘Borba’ demand that the Communist Parties stop exposing the mistakes of the group and that they extend support and confidence to this group as, otherwise, such a campaign can seriously harm Yugoslavia.
No gentlemen, the Communist Parties cannot trust or extend support to the nationalist policy of Tito’s group. It is possible that such a situation can hurt Yugoslavia. It is not the Communist Parties that need to be held responsible for it, but Tito’s nationalist group which has broken away from the Communist Parties and that has declared war on them.
The political acrobats from the newspaper ‘Borba’ must be clear in their minds that Marxism and nationalism are incompatible, that nationalism as a bourgeois ideology is antagonistic to Marxism. It must be clear to them that Marxism cannot reconcile with nationalism or nationalist leanings in the Communist Parties and that they must eliminate nationalism in whatever form it covers itself in the name and interests of the workers, in the name of peoples’ freedom and friendship and in the name of the triumphant construction of socialism.
Lenin says: ‘Bourgeois nationalism and proletarian internationalism are two ceaselessly incompatible slogans that correspond to the camps of the two large classes of the whole capitalist world and reflect two policies (even more so, two world perceptions)’.
In circumstances when the power of the bourgeoisie has already been put an end to, the exploiter class and its agents are trying to use the poisoned weapon of nationalism in order to reestablish the old formation.
Regarding this Stalin says: ‘Nationalist leanings are an adjustment of the internationalism of the working class to the nationalism of the bourgeoisie… nationalist leanings are a reflection of the attempts by ‘our’ nationalist bourgeoisie to restore capitalism’.
Nationalism in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia is a blow not only for the common anti-imperialist front, but above all, for Yugoslavia herself, the peoples of Yugoslavia and the interests of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia both in the field of foreign and internal affairs.
The nationalism of Tito’s group in foreign affairs leads to a break with the united front of the world revolutionary movement of the working people, to a loss of Yugoslavia’s most trusted allies and to self-isolation of Yugoslavia. Nationalism of Tito’s group works against Yugoslavia in the face of her external enemies.
The nationalism propagated by Tito’s group in the sphere of internal politics leads to a policy of compromise between the exploited and the exploiter, to ‘uniting’ the exploited and the exploiter into a single ‘national’ front, to a policy of retreat from the class struggle, to propagating the falsehood of a possibility of constructing socialism without a class struggle, of a possibility of peaceful transformation of the exploiter under socialism i.e. to wrecking the combativeness and morale of the working people of Yugoslavia. The nationalism of Tito’s group is incapacitating the working people of Yugoslavia before their internal enemies.
A year ago, when Tito’s group did not yet expound nationalist leanings and cooperated with the fraternal communist parties, Yugoslavia was forcefully and fearlessly marching ahead supported by its closest allies represented by the Communist Parties of other countries. This was the situation in the recent past. However, after the change of course by Tito’s group towards nationalism, the situation is altered radically. As Tito’s group broke away from the united front of the Communist Parties and became scornful towards the countries of Peoples’ Democracy it began to lose its most loyal allies and found itself isolated in the face of its external and internal enemies.
Such is the distressing outcome of the policy of nationalism pursued by Tito’s group.
Tito’s group has not understood that which is absolutely clear and obvious for any Communist. It has not understood the simple truth that in the present conditions of the international situation, the solidarity of the fraternal Communist Parties, mutual cooperation and friendship of countries of Peoples’ Democracy and cooperation and friendship with the USSR is the crucial prerequisite of growth and prosperity of the countries of Peoples’ Democracy in the construction of socialism and the main guarantee of their national freedom and independence in the face of imperialist coercion.
The political tricksters from the newspaper ‘Borba’ further assert that the criticism of the mistakes of Tito’s group has now ballooned into a campaign against the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and against its people.
This, certainly, is a falsehood. There never was and there is no campaign against the peoples of Yugoslavia. It would be criminal to conduct any campaign against the peoples of Yugoslavia whose heroism is known to everyone. It is also known that the peoples of Yugoslavia strongly support a united front with the countries of Peoples’ Democracy and the USSR. They are not at all responsible for the policy of nationalism pursued by Tito’s group. We look upon the peoples of Yugoslavia as our true allies.
There never was and there is no campaign against the Communist Party of Yugoslavia as a whole. We know very well that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia stands determinedly for friendship with the Communist Parties of other countries, for friendship with the USSR and its Communist Party. The persistence of anti-imperialist traditions among the majority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia is not doubted at all. We also know that the majority of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia does not approve of the policy of nationalism of Tito’s group. We know that for this particular reason it is being subjected to brutal repression by Tito’s group and his agents.
A ‘campaign’ is being conducted not against the peoples of Yugoslavia and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia as a whole, but against Tito’s nationalist group in order to help the Communist Party of Yugoslavia to figure out the mistakes of Tito’s group and reverse the nationalist policy of the Yugoslavian leadership.
The political tricksters from the newspaper ‘Borba’ assert that, after all, Tito’s group is inseparable from the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and that it represents the majority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.
This is also incorrect. A year ago Tito’s group, perhaps, represented the majority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. But that was one year ago. At present, after it has broken with the Communist Parties, after having fought the neighbouring republics and after defecting to the camp of nationalism, Tito’s group does not any more represent the majority in the party. Now Tito’s group represents Tito’s faction enjoying the trust of only a minority in the party, that uses the State apparatus for the purpose of suppressing the internationalist majority in the party, that has thrown the party under the domination of the hangman Rankovic and that has established a regime of terror with its repressions, mass arrests and murders. Indeed, now Tito’s faction is in a state of war with its own party. Only the blind cannot see this. If Tito’s faction has been incapable of maintaining discipline in the party through usual democratic methods and has been forced to make use of mass repressions, then it means that it has already lost the trust of the majority of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.
Tito’s faction represents only a minority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and does not enjoy the trust of the party but only of the administrative-police apparatus of Yugoslavia.
‘Pravda’, 8th December, 1948.
With acknowledgements to Svetlana Alekseyevna Bondareva and Tim Davenport.
Translated from the Russian by Tahir Asghar.
Georgi Dimitrov And The Fight Against Titoism In Bulgaria
The following portions of the report by Vulko Chervenkov on the phenomenon of Traicho Kostovism constitutes formidable evidence of the bitter struggle between Marxism and Titoism which took place in Bulgaria in the late 1940s and early 1950s. But there is also specific information on the role of Dimitrov in confronting the menace of Titoist ideology which had secured important footholds in the party and the state. Chervenkov cites two important extracts of Dimitrov’s report to the XVI plenum of the Bulgarian Workers’ Party which was held in July 1948 shortly after the correspondence of Stalin and Molotov with Tito and Kardelj and the 1948 resolution of the Information Bureau which adverted to the serious shortcomings of the Yugoslav leadership on political and economic questions. They reveal the lessons drawn by Dimitrov from the negative impact of the activities of the Yugoslav leaders on the policies of the Bulgarian communists with regard to the Fatherland Front and the state apparatus. This material substantiates further the criticism made by Dimitrov in December 1948 of the Tito group at the Fifth Congress of the Bulgarian Communist Party for its striving for hegemony in the Balkans while claiming to uphold the project of Lenin and the Comintern to construct a Balkan Federation.(1) These materials provide further proof that the Yugoslav contention that Dimitrov gave succour to them in their battle against the CPSU(b) and the USSR is without any basis. Shortly after the death of Stalin the CPSU and the CPC re-established fraternal relations with the Yugoslav revisionists.(2) It was to be the harbinger of the rapid introduction of the Yugoslav-style nationalism and ‘market socialism’, which had been built up by Tito in Yugoslavia in a systemic manner from 1948-49, into the economic relations of society in the Soviet Union and People’s China after the 20th Congress of the CPSU and the 8th Congress of the CPC in 1956. In the new political dispensation and as part of the policy of the removal of communists from positions of authority in the Soviet Union and the people’s democracies Vulko Chervenkov was compelled to abandon the post of party secretaryship in February 1954 which was then taken up by the rank revisionist Todor Zhivkov. The writings of Dimitrov were now re-edited to correspond to the requirements of modern revisionism. The critical remarks of Dimitrov at the XVI plenum regarding Titoism were omitted from the ‘authoritative’ collection of his writings which was published in Bulgaria.(3) Later editions of the writings of Dimitrov did not carry this speech at all.(4) It is apparent that the bulk of the writings of Dimitrov published after 1953 which are circulating internationally and have been consulted by two generations of the communist movement can neither be considered to be representative selections of the corpus of his written work nor may they be treated as textually reliable expressions of his actual writings.
1 Georgi Dimitrov, The South Slav Federation and the Macedonian Question, ‘Revolutionary Democracy’, Volume VIII No. 2, September 2002, pp. 106-112.
2 See Moni Guha, Yugoslav Revisionism and the Role of the CPSU and the CPC, Calcutta, 1978; and Mao Zedong On Diplomacy, Beijing, 1998, p.195.
3 Georgi Dimitrov, S”chineniya, Tom 14, mart 1948-yuni 1949, Sofia, 1955, pp. 162-177.
4 Georgi Dimitrov, Selected Works, 3 Volumes, Sofia Press, Sofia, 1972. The CPI publications of Dimitrov in this country followed this trend. The bulk of Dimitrov’s work available on the internet conforms to the revisionist redaction.
Nationalism and nationalistic manifestations must be rooted out wherever they are encountered, as a hostile, fascist ideology, as the greatest evil.
Nationalism reveals itself in hostility to the Soviet Union, in the disparaging of its successes, in the refusal to recognise and in the denial of the universal historic experience of the Great October Socialist Revolution as an example and model for all workers and toilers in the whole world, in the underestimation of one’s own strength and successes, in the underestimation of the strength and successes of others, in the denial of international proletarian solidarity. Nationalism is the ideology of treachery to the camp of peace, democracy and socialism, of departure from this camp and transference to the camp of imperialism, of the restoration, of Bonapartist counter-revolution.
Nationalism means the perverting of the Party into a bourgeois, counter-revolutionary party. Nationalism means the turning of Bulgaria into an imperialist colony. Nationalism is a death blow to patriotism, to true love of the native land. Without unsparing struggle to death against nationalism, there can be no communist party.
Traichokostovism is Bulgarian nationalism, the betrayal of socialism, of Bulgaria. We must smash to pieces the vile and dangerous conception of some peculiar Bulgarian path towards socialism, of the superiority of our Bulgarian path toward socialism over the Soviet path, of the possibility of the smoothing over of the class struggle in the period of transition from capitalism to socialism. We must frankly confess that we paid tribute to this conception under the influence of the Titoists in the period when we still considered them honest folk. That harmful influence was reflected in some attitudes at the time of the reorganisation of the Fatherland Front, in the work of some Ministers. On how rotten and treacherous a plank we then tried to set our feet, is now clearer than ever. We took measures in time, but in this respect we must thank comrade Stalin, the Central Committee of the CPSU(b), the resolution of the Cominform-bureau of June 1948.
Still further with all our might must we strengthen, broaden and guard as the apple of our eye Bulgarian-Soviet friendship, and train the Party in the spirit of proletarian internationalism, which in our time has its clearest and best expression in friendship with the Soviet Union – the mighty citadel of victorious socialism, of international revolution – in loyalty and devotion to the Soviet Union, the CPSU(b) and comrade Stalin. Not in word, but in deed let us still more energetically train and prepare the Party to be faithful and loyal to proletarian internationalism, to the Soviet Union, the CPSU(b), to the great and beloved teacher and guide comrade Stalin – to the end and in all circumstances.
We must be true to the legacy of comrade Georgi Dimitrov.
In his speech to the XVI Plenum of the Central Committee comrade Georgi Dimitrov declared:
‘We frequently lose sight of the fact that although the Communist international does not exist, the communist parties form one single international communist front under the leadership of the mightiest, experienced in the fight against capitalism and in the construction of socialism, party of Lenin and Stalin: that all the communist parties have one single scientific theory as their guide to action – Marxism-Leninism, and that they all have one general universally recognised guide and teacher – comrade Stalin – the leader of the glorious Bolshevik party and the great land of socialism.
‘The Yugoslav example sufficiently clearly shows that those who stand at the head of the collective leadership of their parties, whoever they may be, must sense the control of the Party. They must never forget that leaders of the Party can change, but the Party remains, and will remain. It is not the Party that should depend on the leaders, but the leaders on the Party and they will be true party leaders to the extent that they remain loyal to the invincible Marxist-Leninist teaching and fulfil the sound collective will of the Party.
‘If we, the leaders of the Party, remain to the end faithful pupils of Lenin and Stalin, if like Bolsheviks we instantly discover, admit and quickly correct our mistakes and weaknesses, the danger for our party of a crisis such as the Yugoslav crisis will be completely ruled out.
‘But we in fact have decided to remain faithful to death to Marxism-Leninism, to international communist solidarity, to our genial teachers – Lenin and Stalin, and also to learn from them constantly, tirelessly, always more enthusiastically and proficiently.’
At the Fifth Congress of our Party comrade Georgi Dimitrov declared:
‘Our party has before it the example of the great Bolshevik party, from whose experiences it learns, and whose Central Committee and its genial leader, comrade Stalin have more than once given us invaluable aid with their advice and directions. Our party, which takes an active part in the Information bureau of communist and workers’ parties, is proud to find itself in the great family of the whole world, headed by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the genial leader of the whole of progressive mankind – Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin.’
This legacy of comrade Georgi Dimitrov we must fulfil without contradiction and to the end….
For over a year or more we have been fighting to overcome the shortcomings and weaknesses in our work. We are already having remarkable successes, particularly since the discovery of the Traichokostovist gang, after the June Plenum of the Central Committee. Yet in this respect an enormous amount of work lies ahead of us. We have finally to overcome the principal weaknesses and shortcomings in our work. For that reason and in order to bring out clearly why we did not discover Traichokostovism earlier, in my report I drew the greatest attention to our shortcomings, weaknesses and errors as they existed on the eve of the discovery and destruction of Traichokostovism.
The present plenum, drawing lessons from the fight against Traichokostovism, will arm us for the fresh struggle to overcome successfully our own shortcomings.
Second. We must beware of incorrect generalisations when we speak of the shortcomings in our work. Such incorrect generalisations would lead us to incorrect and dangerous conclusions. One or two comrades who have spoken mixed their colours too thickly, and I fear lest they should paint too black a picture, lest the whole of our work in the period up to the V Congress should appear to be almost entirely mistaken. That is incorrect. That is absolutely incorrect, comrades.
The general line of our party was and is correct. The Traichokostov blackguards prepared their conspiracy, they wished to oust comrade Georgi Dimitrov precisely because the general policy and work of our party was correct.
The letters of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) to the Central Committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party were and are of remarkably valuable assistance to the Communist parties. You know how these letters were received by the present day ‘leaders’ of Yugoslavia. But among us, the leadership of our party headed by comrade Georgi Dimitrov, it was quite the reverse. With all our might we undertook to implement the advice and recommendations contained in those letters and, in the light of sustained, just and penetrating criticism of the Titoists, to review our work, to remove admitted errors, and to beware of false steps.
What is evident from this fact? This fact bears evidence that our political line was and is correct, that thanks to it we achieved several important positive results. But that does not mean that we did not admit errors, that we were without serious weaknesses. This fact shows that our shortcomings and weakness were not organic, insuperable shortcomings. They can be overcome. In a short time we can overcome them, and we will overcome them if only we seriously wish to do so. I think that the present plenum of the Central Committee wishes to do precisely this.
That is how the matter stands. For that reason when criticising our shortcomings we must not fall into extremes. The criticism and self-criticism which we should develop and instil into the party by every means, must raise and increasingly strengthen the authority of the Central Committee and of the whole party as a Bolshevik party. I am deeply convinced that as a result of the sustained implementation of the decisions of our plenum the authority of the Central Committee and of the whole party will increase.
Third. Some comrades ask who is personally responsible for our earlier adoption of negative Yugoslav experience.
The question is very simple. At the time of the civil war in the Ukraine, as comrade Stalin has stated, the revolutionary workers and sailors who were pursuing the White bandits not far from Odessa were saying: let’s only get to Odessa, arrest the Entente and then that will be the end of all our suffering and hardship.
On the question of personal responsibility for our adoption of negative Yugoslav experience before the Cominformbureau resolution, some comrades are seeking to ‘arrest the Entente.’
The task is more complicated unfortunately. Up to the beginning of 1948 all of us in the leadership of the party were insufficiently vigilant, were uncritical and blindly trustful of the Titoists. That circumstance enabled the envoys of the present-day fascist henchmen of imperialism from Belgrade to spy upon us, to study us thoroughly, to establish nests of conspirators in our country with the aid of their fellow-spies in Traicho Kostov’s gang.
On this point comrade Georgi Dimitrov in his report to the Central Committee at the XVI Plenum declared:
‘… as the nearest neighbours of Yugoslavia, bound in closest collaboration with the Yugoslav Communists, we did not display the necessary vigilance towards these leaders, we had an uncritical attitude towards them although some of them clearly gave us cause for adopting a critical attitude. We did not follow closely the policy and activity of the Yugoslav leaders, with whom we proposed to establish a federation of South Slavs. It is precisely the absence of careful and close study of the policies pursued by the Yugoslav leaders, and our blind trust in them, which explains a certain harmful influence which their policy had upon our party also. That harmful influence is reflected especially in the reorganisation of the Fatherland Front and the State apparatus. The transfer of party cadres into the state apparatus and the Fatherland Front took place in such a manner that it produced a certain undisputed weakening of the party leadership – at the centre and in other places.’
The blame for our adoption of negative Yugoslav experience falls upon us all, upon the whole party leadership. The letters of the Central Committee of the CPSU(B) to the Central Committee of Yugoslav Communist Party saved us from grave disaster.
Fourth. Comrade Krustyu Stoychev finds that we criticise him because he carried out the decisions on the Macedonian question taken at the X Plenum of the Central Committee.
Is that why we criticise comrade Krustyu Stoychev? If that is the case, why should we criticise comrade Krustyu Stoychev alone? If that is the case we should first of all criticise ourselves.
Comrade Krustyu Stoychev is making a diversion. The decisions of the X Plenum of the Central Committee on the Macedonian question were the party line during the period up to the betrayal of the Titoists, up to the Cominformbureau resolution.
What is the point at issue, Comrade Kr. Stoychev? For what should you answer? For upholding the party line in that period? No! As if a party worker could be brought to account… for upholding the party line!
Comrade Stoychev, the point at issue is quite a different one. The point is this. Was the Central Committee of our party circumvented by the then District Committee of the party in the Pirin region when it entered into relations with the Kolishevists? Were meetings with them arranged without the knowledge of the Central Committee? Was comrade Georgi Dimitrov discredited in the Pirin region, were his portraits taken down? To whom did certain groups of Septemvriiche take the oath – to comrade Georgi Dimitrov or to Tito? At that time was there an agreement between you and the Titoists behind the back of the Central Committee of our party?
That is the point at issue. That is why we are asking: Are you in any way to blame in this matter? Did you know of such occurrences? Did you warn the Central Committee of them? Did some member of the Central Committee direct you to act behind the back of the Central Committee – who, where, when? We ask you to reply on these points and not on the other.
Comrade Krustyu Stoychev says nothing about it. In my opinion, he has taken a step backwards from his own self-criticism on this question at the XVI Plenum of the Central Committee and has made a diversion….
From: Vulko Chervenkov, ‘Fundamental Lessons of Traicho Kostov’s Group and the Struggle for its Destruction and the Shortcomings in Party Work and our Tasks’, Report to the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party, 16th January 1950, People’s Publishing House, Bombay, 1950, pp. 35-36, 46-49.
The Role of Titoism and Other Revisionist Trends in the Global Strategy of Imperialism and Social-imperialism
By Enver Hoxha
In the savage fight which imperialism and social-imperialism, world capitalism and reaction are waging against the revolution, socialism and the peoples, they have the support of the modern revisionists of all trends. These renegades and traitors assist imperialism in the implementation of its global strategy by undermining from within, splitting and sabotaging the efforts of t he proletariat and the struggle of the peoples to get rid of social and national bondage. modern revisionists have taken upon themselves to denigrate and distort Marxism-Leninism, to confuse people’s minds and to alienate them from the revolution- struggle, to assist capital, to preserve and perpetuate its system of oppression and exploitation.
Along with the Soviet and Chinese revisionists, whom we mentioned above, the Yugoslav Titoite revisionists play a role of first-rate importance in this great and dangerous counterrevolutionary game.
Titoism is an old agency of capital, a favourite weapon of the imperialist bourgeoisie in its fight against socialism and the liberation movements.
The peoples of Yugoslavia fought self-sacrificingly against the nazi-fascist occupiers :for freedom democracy and socialism. They succeeded in liberating their country, but were not allowed to continue the revolution on the road to socialism. The Yugoslav revisionist leadership wit, h Tito at the head, which had long been worked on secretly by the Intelligence Service and which, during the period of the war, posed as preserving the features of a party of the Third International, in fact, had other aims, which were contrary to Marxism Leninism and the aspirations of the peoples of Yugoslavia for the construction of a true socialist society in Yugoslavia.
The Communist Party of Yugoslavia, which came to power, had inherited many mistakes of a deviationist nature. After the Second World War, it displayed pronounced national-chauvinist features, which had shown up as early as the time of the war. These features were apparent in its departure from the Marxist-Leninist ideology, in its attitude towards the Soviet Union and Stalin, in its chauvinist stands and actions towards Albania, etc.
The system of people’s democracy, which was established in Yugoslavia, was temporary. It did not suit the clique in power, though this clique continued to call itself “Marxist”. The Titoites were not for the construction of socialism, or f or the Communist Party of Yugoslavia to be guided by the Marxist-Leninist theory, and they did not accept the dictatorship of the proletariat. This was the source of the conflict that broke out between the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers’ Parties and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. This was an ideological conflict between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism, and not a conflict between persons over -domination,,., as the revisionists try to make out. Stalin defended the purity of the Marxist-Leninist theory, Tito defended the deviationist, revisionist, anti-Marxist trend of modern revisionism, following in the footstep of Browder and the other opportunists, who emerged on the eve of and during the Second World War.
In the early post-liberation years, the Yugoslav leadership pretended that it was taking the construction of socialism in the Soviet Union as an example and proclaimed that it was allegedly building socialism in Yugoslavia. This was done to deceive the peoples of Yugoslavia who had shed their blood and aspired to genuine socialism.
In fact, the Titoites were not, and could not be, for the socialist social order or the form of organization of the Soviet state, because Tito was for the capitalist system and for an essentially bourgeois-democratic state, in which his clique would hold power. This state was to serve to create the idea that socialism was being built in Yugoslavia, a “specific” socialism of a “more humane type>, that is, precisely the kind of “socialism” which would serve as a fifth column in the other socialist countries. Everything was well calculated and co-ordinated by the Anglo-American imperialists and the group around Tito. Thus, by playing the game of imperialism and world capitalism, and coming to terms with them, the Yugoslav revisionists placed themselves in opposition to the Soviet Union.
From the time of the anti-fascist national liberation war, in pursuit of their old plans, British and, subsequently, US imperialism helped Tito not only to break away from the Soviet Union, but also to carry out acts of sabotage against it, and especially to work to detach other countries of people’s democracy from the socialist camp, in order to isolate the Soviet Union from all these countries and unite them with the West. This was the policy of world capitalism and its agency, Titoism.
The rabid anti-communist, Churchill, took a direct and personal part in ensuring that Tito and his group were placed in the service of capitalism. During the war he sent ,xhis most trusted friends-, as the British leader put it, and later his own son, to Tito’s staff. Eventually, he himself met Tito in Naples of Italy in May 1944, in order to make quite sure that Tito would play no tricks. In his memoirs, Churchill wrote that, in his talks with Tito, the latter expressed his readiness to make a public statement later that “communism would not be established in Yugoslavia after the war”.
Tito worked with such great energy to serve his masters that Churchill, appraising his great services, told him: “Now I understand that you were right, therefore I am with you, I like you even more than I did previously”. A lover could make no warmer declarations to his love.
Almost before Yugoslavia had broken completely with the Soviet Union and the countries of people’s democracy, the imperialists, the American imperialists in particular, sent it great economic, political, ideological and military aid, which became more frequent and constant later on.
This aid was supplied only on condition that the country would develop on the capitalist road. The imperialist bourgeoisie was not against Yugoslavia maintaining its outward socialist forms. On the contrary, it was greatly in its interest that Yugoslavia should keep its outward socialist colour, because in this way it would serve as a more effective weapon in the struggle against socialism and the liberation movements. Not only would this kind of “socialism” be radically different from the socialism envisaged and realized by Lenin and Stalin, but it would even come out against it.
Within a relatively short time Yugoslavia became the “socialist” mouthpiece of US imperialism, a diversionist agency to assist world capital. From 1948 to this day, Titoism has been characterized by feverish activity against Marxism – Leninism to organize a propaganda campaign everywhere in the world to present the Yugoslav system as the form of a “genuine socialist” order, a “new society”, a “non-aligned socialism”, which is no longer like the socialism Lenin and Stalin built in the Soviet Union, but a socialist order “with a human face” which is being tried for the first time in the world and which is yielding “brilliant results”. The aim of this propaganda has always been to lead the peoples and progressive forces fighting for freedom and independence everywhere in the world up a blind alley.
The Yugoslav revisionists adopted those forms of running their country that the Trotskyites and the other anarchist elements, encouraged by the capitalist bourgeoisie, tried to adopt in the Soviet Union in the time of Lenin, in order to sabotage the construction of socialism there. While he talked about building socialism, by adopting these forms, Tito completely distorted the MarxistLeninist principles on building up industry, agriculture, etc.
The Republics of Yugoslavia assumed such features of administration and organizational political leadership that democratic centralism was liquidated and the role of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia faded into insignificance. The Communist Party of Yugoslavia changed its name. It was transformed into the “League of Communists of Yugoslavia”, which looks like a Marxist name, while in its content, norms, competences and aims it is anti-Marxist. The League became a spineless front, was stripped of the distinguishing features of a Marxist-Leninist party, preserved the old form, but no longer played the role of the vanguard of the working class, was no longer the political f orce which led the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, but, according to the Titoite revisionists, allegedly performed only general “educational” functions.
The Titoite leadership placed the party under the control of the UDB, to Which it was subordinated, turned it into a fascist organization, and the state into a fascist We know full well the great danger of these activities, for Koçi Xoxe, the agent in the pay of the Titoites, tried to achieve the same thing in Albania.
Tito, Rankovich and their agency entirely liquidated anything which might have had the true colour of socialism. Titoism waged a fierce fight against the attempts of those internal elements who sought to blow up this agency and this capitalist-revisionist organization, as well as against all the Marxist-Leninist propaganda which was conducted abroad to unmask thh regime which posed as socialist.
The Titoite leadership quickly abandoned the collectivization of agriculture which had begun in the early years, set up the capitalist stAte farms, encouraged the development of private property in the countryside, allowed land to be bought and sold freely, rehabilitated the kuIaks, left the field free for the private market to Flourish In town and country, and carried out the first reforms which strengthened the capitalist direction of the economy.
Meanwhile, the Titoite bourgeoisie was searching for a “new> form to camouflage the Yugoslav capitalist order, and this form was found. They called it Yugoslav “self-administration”.
They dressed it up in a “Marxist – Leninist” cloak, claiming that this system was the most authentic socialism.
At first, “self-administration” emerged as an economic system, then it was extended to the field of state organization and all the other fields of life in that country.
The theory and practice of Yugoslav “self administration” are an open negation of the teachings of Marxism-Leninism and the universal laws of the construction of socialism. The economic and political system of “self-administration” is an anarcho-syndicalist form of the bourgeois dictatorship, which is ruling a Yugoslavia dependent on international capital.
The system of “self-administration”, with all its characteristic features, such as the elimination of democratic centralism, the role of unified management by the state, anarchist federalism, the anti-state ideology in general, has brought about permanent economic, political and ideological chaos and confusion in Yugoslavia, weak and unequal development of its republics and regions, great social-class differentiations, national feuds and oppression, and the degeneration of spiritual lif e It has brought about great fragmentation of the working class, by putting one detachment of it in competition with another, while fostering the bourgeois sectional, localist and individualist spirit. The working class in Yugoslavia not only does not play the hegemonic role in the state and society, but the system of “self-administration” places it in such conditions that it is unable even to defend its own general interests and to act as a unified and compact class.
From the capitalist world, particularly from us imperialism, large amounts of capital have poured into Yugoslavia in the f orm of investments, credits and loans. It is precisely this capital which constitutes the material basis of the “develop- of Yugoslav capitalist “self – administrative socialism”. Its indebtedness alone amounts to over 11 billion dollars. Yugoslavia has received over 7 billion dollars in credits from the United States of America.
Despite the numerous c edits the Titoite leadership receives from abroad, the peoples of Yugoslavia have not enjoyed, nor are they enjoying, the “brilliant results” of this specific “socialism”. On the contrary, there is political and ideological chaos in Yugoslavia. A system which engenders large-scale unemployment at home and mass emigration of labour abroad prevails there, and this makes Yugoslavia completely dependent on the imperialist powers. The Yugoslav peoples are being exploited to the bone in the interests of the class in power and of all the imperialist powers which have made investments in that country. The Yugoslav state is not concerned that prices go up every day, that the poverty of the working masses is steadily increasing and that the country is not only up to its neck in debt, but is also deeply involved in the great crisis of the capitalist world. Yugoslavia has only limited independence and sovereignty, because, apart from anything else, it has no economic potential completely its own. The greater part of it exists in joint ownership with various foreign capitalist firms and states, therefore it is bound to suffer the destruct tive effects of the crisis and foreign exploitation.
But it is not accidental that world capitalism gives Yugoslav “self – administration” such great political and financial support and sings in har- mony with the Titoite propaganda to pass this system off as “a new tested form of the construction of socialism” for all countries.
It does this because the form of Yugoslav “seòf administration” provides a way of ideological and political subversion and sabotage against the revolutionary liberation movements of the proletariat and the peoples, a way to open the road to the political and economic penetration of imperialism into the various countries of the world. Imperialism and the bourgeoisie want to keep selfadministration,.,. as a reserve system for various circumstances and different countries, in order to prolop the life of capitalism, which does not give up the ghost easily, but is striving to find various forms of government at the expense of the peoples.
The Yugoslav theories and practices of “non alignment” render a great service to various imperialists, for they help them hoodwink the peoples. This is in the interest of the imperialists and social-imperialists alike, because it helps them to stablish and strengthen their influ~nce in the “non – aligned countries”, to divert the freedom loving peoples from the road of national liberation and proletarian revolution. Therefore, both CarteF and Brezhnev, as well as Hua Kuo-feng, lavish praise on the Titoite policy of “non – alignment” and try to exploit it for their own purposes.
Titoism has always been a weapon of the imperialist bourgeoisie, a fire-extinguisher to quell the flames of the revolution. It is of the same line and has the same aims as modern revisionism, in general, and its different variants, with which it is in ideological unity. The ways, forms and tactics they use in the struggle against Marxism-Leninism, the revolution and socialism may be different, but their counterrevolutionary aims are identical.
In the efforts which the bourgeoisie and reaction are making to put down the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat and the peoples, the revisionist parties of Europe, in the first place, and those of all countries on the other continents render them a great service.
The revisionist parties of the countries of Western Europe are making efforts to concoct a theory about a “new society”, allegedly socialist, which will be achieved through “structural reforms” and in close coalition with the social-democratic parties, and even with the right-wing parties. This society, according to them, will be built on new foundations, through “social reforms” “social peace”, “the parliamentary road” and the “historic compromise” with the bourgeois parties.
The revisionist parties of Europe, such as those of Italy, France and Spain, and following them all the other revisionist parties of the West, deny Leninism, the class struggle, the revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. All of them have embarked on the road of compromise with the capitalist bourgeoisie. They have named this anti-Marxist line “Eurocommunism”. “Eurocomunism” is a new pseudo-communist trend which is and is not in opposition to the Soviet revisionist bloc. This wavering stand is explained by their aim to have a coexistence of ideas with European social-democray and the whole welter of views setething in the cauldron of Europe. The “Eurocomunist” can unite with anybody at all except those who fight for the triumph of the revolution and the purity of the Marxist-Leninist ideology.
All the revisionist, opportunist and socialdemocratic trends are going the whole length to assist the superpowers in their diabolical activ- to suppress the revolution and the peoples. The support of all these trends for the allegedly neiw organisms of the bourgeoisie has a single aim: to smother the revolution by raising a thousand and one material, political and ideological obstacles to it. They are working to disorientate and split the proletariat and its allies, because they know that, divided and split by factional struggles, the latter will be unable to create, either at home or on an international plane that ideological political and militant unity which is essential to cope with the attacks of world capitalism in decay.
The coalition of modern revisionism with social-democracy is afraid of the advent of fascism, especially in certain countries which are threatened by the extreme right. To avoid the fascist dictatorship, the revisionists and social-democrats make efforts “to mitigate” the contradictions and “tone down” the class struggle between the masses of the people and the proletariat, on the one hand, and the capitalist bourgeoisie, on the other. Thus, in order to secure “social peace”, these subjects of the coalition have to make concessions to one another and to reach a compromise with the capitalist bourgeoisie, come to agreement with it over some sort of regime suitable to both sides. Thus, while the capitalist bourgeoisie and its parties openly continue their fight against communism, the revisionist parties endeavour to distort Marxism Leninism, the guiding ideology of the revolution.
The trade-unions, which are reformist and are especially educated and trained in compromises With the owning class and only f or economic claims and not for strikes with political demands and aims of the seizure of state power by the proletariat, have become the mainstay of the revisionist parties of Europe. Naturally, their bargaining is; aimed at striking a balance between the demand and the offer — one side begs alms and the other side determines the size of this alms. The two sides, both the reformist trade-unions and the revisionist parties, and the owning class with its parties, state power and trade-unions, are threatened by the revolution, by the proletariat and its; genuine Marxist-Leninist parties. Therefore, they are in search of a reactionary compromise a solution that cannot be the same in all the capitalist countries, because of the differences in the strength of capital, the depth of the crisis and the extent of the contradictions eroding them from within.
Excerpt from “Yugoslav ‘Self-Administration’: A Capitalist Theory and Practice”
By Enver Hoxha
The System of “Self-Administration” in the Economy
The theory and practice of Yugoslav “self-administration” is an outright denial of the teachings of Marxism-Leninism and the universal laws on the construction of socialism.
The essence of “self-administration socialism” in the economy is the idea that allegedly socialism cannot be built by concentrating the means of production in the hands of the socialist state by creating state ownership as the highest form of socialist ownership, but by fragmenting the socialist state property into property of individual groups of workers, who allegedly administer it directly themselves. Already in 1848 Marx and Engels stressed:
“The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class” (K. Marx / F. Engels, Selected Works, vol. 1, p. 42 Tirana 1975, Alb. ed.)
Lenin stressed the same when he sternly combated the anarcho-syndicalist views of the group hostile to the party, the “Workers’ Opposition”, which demanded the handing of the factories to the workers and the management and organisation of production not by the socialist state but by a so-called “Congress of producers”, as a representative of groups of individual workers. Lenin described these views as representing
“… a complete break with Marxism and communism” (V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 32, p. 283, Alb. ed.)
He pointed out that
“any justification, whether direct or Indirect, of the ownership of the workers of a certain factory or a certain profession for their specific production, or any justification of their right to tone down or hinder the orders from general state power, is a gross distortion of the fundamental principles of Soviet power and complete renunciation of socialism” (V. I. Lenin, “On Democratisation and the Socialist Character of the Soviet Power”)
In June 1950, when Tito presented the law on “self-administration” to the People’s Assembly of the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, while developing his revisionist views on ownership under “socialism”, he said, among other things: “From now on state property in the means of production, factories, mines, railroads will gradually go over to the highest form of social ownership. State ownership is the lowest form of social ownership, not the highest form…” Among “the most characteristic acts of a socialist country” is “the transfer of factories and other economic enterprises from the hands of the state into the hands of the workers, for them to manage… “ because in this manner the “slogan of the action of the working class – Factories to the Workers! – will be realized.” (“Factories to the Workers”, Prishtina 1951, pp. 37, 19, 1)
These assertions of Tito and the reactionary anarcho-syndicalist views of the “Workers’ Opposition”, which Lenin exposed in his time, are as like as two peas in a pot but they are also similar to the views of Proudhon, who wrote in his work “The Theory of Property” that “the spontaneous product of a collective unit… can be considered as the triumph of freedom… and as the greatest revolutionary force which exists and which can be opposed to the state.” Or let us see what one of the leaders of the Second International, Otto Bauer, said in his book “The Road to Socialism”: “Who, then, will lead socialised industry in the future? The government? No! If the government was to run all the branches of industry without exception, it would become too powerful over the people and the national representative body. Such an increase of government power would be dangerous for democracy” (Otto Bauer, “The road to Socialism”, Paris 1919, p. 18)
In unity with Tito’s views, E. Kardelj also stresses in his book: “Our society is compelled to act in this manner as soon as it has decided for self-government and the self-governing socialisation of the social property and against the perpetuation of the state-owned form of the socialist relations of production.” (p. 66) [All quotations from E. Kardelj’s book are taken from the Albanian translation by the Prishtina Publishing Board in 1977 – Publishing House “8 Nentori”, Tirana]. This means that the system of private property has been established in Yugoslavia, and state socialist property, the property of the entire people, does not exist anymore.
Quite the opposite happens in our country, where this common socialist property is managed by the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat with the participation of the working class and the masses of working people in direct, centralised forms which are planned from below and orientated from above.
The course of the decentralisation of the means of production, according to the anarcho-syndicalist ideas of workers’ “self-administration” is, in essence, nothing else but a clever way to preserve and consolidate capitalist private ownership over the means of production, although in a form disguised as “property administered by groups of workers”. In fact, all the confusing and obscure terms invented by the “theoretician” Kardelj in his book, such as “fundamental organizations of united labour”, “complex organisation of united labour”, “workers’ councils of the fundamental or complex organisations of united labour”, “self-administrative communities of interests”, etc. etc., which have even been written into the law of the Yugoslav capitalist state, are nothing but a glossy facade behind which the stripping of the working class of its right to ownership over the means of production, its savage exploitation by the bourgeoisie, is hidden.
This kind of private property exists in Yugoslavia not only in a disguised form but also in its open form, both in town and countryside. This, too, is admitted by E. Kardelj in his book when he says: “in our society such rights as… the right of personal property or, within given limits, also of private property… have special importance…” (p. 177). Kardelj tries in vain to play down the negative effect which the open acceptance of the right to private property might have even in the form of small-scale production, which, as Lenin says, gives birth to capitalism every day and every hour. The Yugoslav revisionists have issued special laws to encourage the private economy, laws which recognise the citizens’ right to “found enterprises” and “to hire labour”. The Yugoslav Constitution explicitly states: “Private owners have the same socio-economic position, the same rights and obligations as the working people in the socio-economic organisations.”
Small private property reigns supreme in the Yugoslav agriculture and occupies nearly 90 per cent of the arable land. Nine million hectare of land belong to the private sector whereas over 10 per cent, or 1.15 million hectare belong to the monopoly, the so-called “social sector”. Over 5 million peasants in Yugoslavia are engaged in cultivating privately-owned land. The Yugoslav countryside has never embarked on the road of genuine socialist transformations. Kardelj has not one word regarding this situation in his book and he avoids dealing with the problem how his system of “self-administration” is extended to agriculture. However, if he pretends that socialism is being built through this system, then how is it possible that he should have forgotten about “building socialism” in agriculture, too, which accounts for nearly half the economy? The Marxist-Leninist theory teaches us that socialism is built both in the city and in the countryside, not on the basis of state capitalist ownership, the ownership allegedly administered by workers’ groups, or of private ownership in its open form, but only on the basis of socialist social ownership over the means of production.
In Yugoslavia private property of 10 to 25 hectare is allowed (V. Vasic, “The Economic Policy of Yugoslavia”, Prishtina University Press, 1970) But the Yugoslav law which permits the buying and selling, renting and mortgaging of land, the buying and selling of agricultural machinery and hired labour in agriculture has also created the possibilities for the new bourgeois class of the countryside, the kulaks, to add to the area of their land, means of work and implements, tractors and trucks at the expense of the poor peasants and consequently, to step up and intensify their capitalist exploitation.
Capitalist relations of production are so deeply rooted in the Yugoslav economy that even the capitalists from foreign companies have now a free field of action in making investments and, together with the local bourgeoisie, exploiting the local working class and the other masses of working people in Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav system of “self-administration” can rightly be described as a state of the co-operation of Yugoslav capitalism with US capitalism and other capitalists. They are partners sharing Yugoslavia’s resources in all respects – in factories, means of communication, hotels, housing, up to the souls of people.
If the Yugoslav economy has made some steps forward in its development this is in no way due to the system of “self-administration”, as the Titoite revisionists try to claim for themselves. Large amounts of capital from the capitalist world in the form of investments, credits and “aid” have been poured into Yugoslavia and this constitutes a considerable part of the material base of the Yugoslav capitalist-revisionist system. The debts alone amount over 11 billion dollars. Alone from the United States of America, Yugoslavia has received over 7 billion dollars in credits.
The international bourgeoisie did not support the Yugoslav system of “socialist seIf-administration” with such a material and financial base without a good reason. The crutches supplied by Western capital have kept this system on its feet as a model of the preservation of the capitalist order under pseudo-socialist labels.
With their investments, foreign capitalists have built numerous industrial projects in Yugoslavia which turn out products ranging from the highest to the lowest quality. Most of the best products are, of course, sold abroad and only a fraction of them are marketed within the country. Although there is great capitalist overproduction abroad and all the markets there are monopolised by the same capitalists who have invested in Yugoslavia they nevertheless sell the best Yugoslavian goods precisely on these markets for fabulous profits because labour power in Yugoslavia is cheap, products are turned out at a lower cost in comparison with the capitalist countries where the trade unions, more or less, make demands on capital in the workers’ name. The best products the factories in Yugoslavia produce also go to he multinational companies which operate in Yugoslavia. However, on top of the profit they extract in this way, the foreign capitalist investors also squeeze out other profits – by the interest on the capital they have invested in Yugoslavia. These profits are often taken in the form of resources or raw material.
In his book, the demagogue Kardelj has a great deal to say about the system of “self-administration” but he maintains total silence about the presence and very major role of foreign capital in keeping the “self-administrative” system on its feet.
In the bourgeois countries, says Kardelj, the real power is based and “… manifested first of all in the relationships of the state executive power with the political cartels outside the parliament… parallel to the growth of the power of the extra-parliamentary internal force”, Kardelj continues, “there is a new phenomenon, characteristic of contemporary social relations in the highly developed capitalist countries – the creation of the international or world-wide extra-parliamentary force.” (p. 54). This way Kardelj seeks to prove that the Yugoslav “self-administration” has allegedly escaped such a situation. But as we explained in the foregoing the reality presents quite a different picture: the Yugoslav “self-administration” is a Yugoslav and foreign capitalist joint administration. The foreign capitalists, that is, the companies, concerns and those who have made investments in Yugoslavia determine the policy and the all-round development of Yugoslavia just as much as the Yugoslav state power itself.
The so-called self-administrated enterprises, whether big or small, are in fact compelled to take account of the foreign investor. This investor has his own laws, which he has imposed on the Yugoslav State, has his own direct representatives in these joint companies and has his own representatives or his influence in the Federation. In fact, directly or indirectly, the investor imposes his will on the Federation, the joint enterprise or company. This is precisely what the “self-administration” is seeking to conceal. Kardelj needs this camouflage, this tour de passe-passe (conjuror’s trick), as the French say, in order to “prove” the absurdity that Yugoslav “self-administration” is genuine socialism.
But what he endeavours to deny in his book is confirmed every day by many facts revealed by the Western press, indeed even by the Yugoslav news agency TANJUG itself which on the 16th of August that year reported about a new regulative issue of the “Federal Executive Veche” concerning the foreign investments in Yugoslavia. Under these regulations the rights of foreign capitalist investors in Yugoslavia are extended even further. “Under this law”, reports TANJUG, “the foreign partners, on the basis of the agreements concluded between them and the organisations of socialised labour of this country, can make investments in currency, equipment, semi-finished and finished products and technology. Foreign investors have the same rights as the local organisations of socialised labour which invest their means in some other organisation of united labour.”
Further on TANJUG stresses: “Under this set of regulations greater interest (on the part of foreigners) is anticipated, because it guarantees the security of the joint economic activity on a long-term basis. Besides this, there is now practically no field in which foreigners cannot invest their means, with the exception of social insurance, internal trade and social activities”.
The country could not be sold to foreign capital more completely than this. And in face of this purely capitalist reality, the “communist” Kardelj still has the nerve to claim that “… our society has gained much strength in its socio-economic content and structure by the socialist and self-administrative relations of production…” which, he writes on, “… make possible and ensure that our society will develop more and more in a free, independent and self-governing manner…”! (pp. 7-8).
In Kardelj’s book the individual is mainly considered as a chief element of society – the element which produces, the element which has the right to organise and to distribute production. According to him this element socialises work in an enterprise and exercises its leadership by the so-called workers’ council which are “elected” by the workers and which allegedly regulates – together with the instituted administrative functionaries – the whole fate of the enterprise, the work, the income etc., within the system of “self-administration”.
This is the typical form of capitalist enterprises where in fact it is the capitalist who rules, surrounded by a large number of officials and technicians who know the situation about the production and organise its distribution. Naturally, the bulk of the profits goes to the capitalist who owns the capitalist enterprise, that is, he appropriates the surplus value. Under the Yugoslav “self-administration” a large part of the surplus value is appropriated by the officials, the directors of the enterprises and the engineering technical staff. The “lion’s share” goes to the Federation or the republic, in order to pay the fat salaries of the horde of officials of the central apparatus of the Federation or the republic. Funds are needed also to maintain the Titoite dictatorship – the Army, the Ministry of the Interior and the State Security Service, the Foreign Ministry etc., which are in the hands of the Federation and which are constantly inflated and extended. In this federal state a huge bureaucracy of non-producing officials and leaders, who are paid very high salaries from the sweat and blood of the workers and peasants, has developed. Apart from this a considerable part of the income is set aside for the foreign capitalist who has made investments in these enterprises and has his own representative in the “administrative council” or in the “workers’ council”, that is, he participates in the leadership of the enterprise. In this system labelled “self-administration socialism” the workers find themselves continuously under total exploitation.
The machinery of the “workers’ councils” and “self-administration committees” with their commissions has been devised by the Belgrade revisionists simply to create the illusion among the workers that by being “elected” they take part and speak in these organs, it is allegedly them who decide the affairs of the enterprise, of “their” property. According to Kardelj, “… in the fundamental organisation of united labour… the workers run the activity of the organisation of united labour and the means of social reproduction… decide on all the forms of uniting and coordinating their own work and means as well as on all the income they make with their united labour… and divide the income for personal, joint, and general consumption in accord with the basis and criteria laid down on the basis of self-administration…” (p. 160) etc., etc.
All this is just nonsense because under the conditions that bourgeois democracy is ruling in Yugoslavia no genuine freedom of thought and action exists there for the workers. The freedom of action in the “self-administrated” enterprises is false. In Yugoslavia the worker does not run things, nor does he enjoy those rights which the “ideologist” Kardelj proclaims so pompously. In order to show that he is a realist and opposed to the injustices of his regime, Tito himself admitted recently in the speech he delivered at the meeting of leading activists of Slovenia that ”self-administration” does not stop those who work badly from increasing their incomes at the expense of those who work well, while the directors of the factories who are to blame for the losses incurred can sneak out of their responsibility by taking responsible positions in other factories without worrying that somebody may reprimand them for the mistakes they committed.
Although E. Kardelj liquidated the bureaucracy and technocracy, eliminated the role of a dominant technocratic class “in theory”, in reality, in practice this class was rapidly created and discovered a broad field of activity in this allegedly democratic system in which the role of the working man is supposedly “decisive”. In fact, the role of that stratum of officials and the new bourgeoisie who dominate the “self-administrated” enterprise is decisive. It is them who draft the plan, who fix the amount of investments and everybody’s income, the workers’ and their own and, of course, they take good care of themselves first. Laws and rules were established in order to keep the profits of the leadership as high as possible and the wages of the workers low.
In Yugoslavia this narrow stratum of people, fattened on the workers’ sweat and toil, who take decisions in their own interests, turned into a capitalist class. This is how the political monopoly in decision-making and division of income by the elite in the enterprises of socialist “self-administration” was created, while Kardelj continues to harp on the same old tune: that this political system, invented by the Titoites, contributes to the creation of conditions for the genuine realisation of the workers’ “self-administration” and the “democratic” rights which the system recognises in principle.
The formation of the new capitalist class was encouraged precisely by the system of “self-administration”. Tito himself has admitted this bitter fact as he allegedly made a “severe criticism” of the exploiters of workers, all those who run this system of “socialist self-administration” for their own profit. In many speeches, no matter how much he tried to hide the evils of his pseudo-socialist system, he had to admit the existence of the great crisis of this system and the polarisation of Yugoslav society into rich and poor. “I do not consider the gains someone makes enrichment, even when he has been able to build a holiday cottage with his profits”, says Tito. “But when it comes to a matter of hundreds of millions or even billions then this is theft… this is not wealth gained by one’s own sweat… this wealth is being created through speculations of different kinds inside and outside the country… now we must look take a close look at those who are building houses – one in Zagreb, one in Belgrade and another at the seaside or some other place. And these are not simple holiday cottages but villas which can be rented out very well. Besides this, they have not just one but two or even three cars per family…” (Tito’s interview with an editor of the newspaper “Vjesnik”, October 1972). On another occasion, in order to show that he is against the stratification of society into rich and poor, Tito has also mentioned that some rich private persons have deposited about 4.5 billion dollars in the Yugoslav banks alone without taking account of how much they have deposited in foreign banks and how much they carry in their pockets.
In writing about the system fabricated by the Titoite revisionists, Kardelj is compelled to shortly mention the need for the fight “… against the various forms of distortions and attempts to usurp the rights of self-government of the workers and citizens.” (p. 174). But again he seeks the way out of these “misuses” within the system of “self-administration” by “… extending the respective mechanism of democratic social control…” (p. 178).
Here the question arises: to what class is Kardelj referring when he speaks about the “usurpation of the workers’ right to self-government”? Of course, though he does not say so, here he is referring to the old and new bourgeois class which has usurped the power of the working class and is riding on its back and exploiting it to the bone.
Kardelj tries in vain to present “the workers’ councils”, “the fundamental organizations of united labour”, etc. etc., as the most authentic expression of “democracy” and the “freedom” of man in all social fields. The “workers’ councils” are nothing but entirely formal organs, defenders and implementers not of workers’ interests but of the will of the directors of enterprises because, being materially, politically and ideologically corrupted, these councils have become part of the “worker aristocracy” and “worker bureaucracy”, agencies to mislead and to create false illusions among the working class.
Yugoslav reality shoes clearly that there is no genuine democracy for the masses there. And it cannot be otherwise. Lenin stressed that
“’industrial democracy’ is a term that lends itself to misinterpretations. It may be read as a repudiation of dictatorship and individual authority. It may be read as a suspension of ordinary democracy or as a means of evading it.” (V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 32, p. 80, Alb. ed.)
There cannot be a socialist democracy for the working class without its state of dictatorship of the proletariat. Marxism-Leninism teaches us that negation of the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat is a negation of democracy for the masses of working people.
The negation of the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist social property on which it is based, by the Yugoslav revisionists, has led them to a decentralised management of the economy without a unified state plan. The development of the national economy on the basis of a unified state plan and its management by the socialist state on the basis of the principle of democratic centralism is one of the universal laws and fundamental principles of the construction of socialism in every country. Otherwise capitalism is built, as in Yugoslavia.
Kardelj claims that the workers in their “self-administrative” organizations have the right “… to govern the work and the activity of the organisation of united labour…” (p. 160), i.e., of the enterprises, hence they can also allegedly plan production. But what is the truth? In these organisations the worker neither runs nor constructs so-called basic plan. The new bourgeoisie does these things, the leadership of the enterprise, while the workers are given the impression that the “workers’ councils” supposedly make the law in this “self-administrative” organisation. This happens in the capitalist countries, too, where the power of the private enterprise is in the hands of the capitalist who has his own technocracy, his technocrats who run the enterprise, while in some countries there are also the workers’ representatives with a negligible function, just enough to create the illusion among the workers that they, too, allegedly take part in running the affairs of the enterprises But this is a lie.
The so-called planning which is done in the Yugoslavian “self-administrative” enterprises cannot be called socialist but, on the contrary, is carried out according to the example of all capitalist enterprises – it leads to the same consequences which exist in every capitalist economy, such as anarchy of production, spontaneity and a series of other contradictions which manifest themselves in the most overt and savage manner in the Yugoslav economy and market.
Kardelj writes that
“… the free exchange of labour through the production of commodities and the free, self- governed market (emphasis ours) at the present level of the socio-economic development is a condition for self-government… This market… is free in the sense that the self-governing organisations of united labour freely and with the minimum of administrative intervention, enter into relations of the free exchange of labour. The suspension of such freedom is bound to lead to the regeneration of the state property monopoly of the state apparatus.” (p. 95).
There could be no more flagrant denial than this of the teachings of Lenin, who wrote:
We must foster ‘proper’ trade, which is one that does not evade state control, it is beneficial to support it …for the free market is a development of capitalism…” (V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 32, pp. 426, 213, Alb. ed. – emphasis ours).
From the political economy of socialism it is known that, under socialism, trade, like all other processes of social reproduction, is a process which is planned and directed in a centralised manner, which is based on the socialist social ownership of the means of production and itself is a constituent part of the socialist relations of production. However, these teachings are totally alien to the revisionist Kardelj and this results in his denial of the economic role of the socialist state and socialist property. The Yugoslav home market is a typical decentralised capitalist market where the means of production are freely sold and purchased by anyone, which is contrary to the laws of socialism. For these reasons TANJUG is forced to admit that entrepreneurs, middlemen and speculators dominate all Yugoslav trade. Chaos, spontaneity, catastrophic fluctuations of prices, etc. prevail in the market. According to data from the Yugoslav Federal Institute of Statistics, prices for 45 main products and social services increased 149.7 per cent in the period from 1972 to 1977 in Yugoslavia.
In regard to sales of commodities inside the country purchasing power is very weak in Yugoslavia because of the low wages of the workers and also because, in the final balance of enterprises, there is not much left to be distributed among the workers. The enterprise wants to sell its products anywhere it can and in an independent manner, because the principal leaders, that is, the bosses, the new bourgeoisie, want to create profits. But where can they create the profits they want when the purchaser is poor? Therefore they have contrived new forms, one of which is the sale of goods on time payment. The selling of goods turned out in these “self-administrated” enterprises on time payment is another chain around the necks of the Yugoslav workers, just as the workers of the capitalist countries are chained by the same capitalist system which, is called “socialist self-administration” in Yugoslavia.
Similar features also characterise Yugoslav foreign trade in which no state monopoly exists. Depending on the wishes of its owners every enterprise can conclude contracts and agreements with any firm, multinational company or foreign state to buy or sell raw materials and machinery, finished products, technological means, etc. This anti-Marxist policy also has had its influence on the Yugoslav State becoming a vassal of world capital and on its deep involvement in the economic and financial crisis which holds the entire capitalist-revisionist world in its grip, a crisis which is also manifested in other fields.
As a die-hard revisionist, E. Kardelj also denies the role of the socialist state in other fields, such as financial relations and other activities of various character. He writes that “ the relations in the fields on which the self-governing communities of interest are founded, are realised according to regulations without the intervention of the state, that is, …without the intermediary of the budget and other administrative-fiscal measures… (p.167).
In Yugoslavia, just as in the other capitalist countries, the system of the provision of credits by the banks instead of the budgetary financing of investments for the development of the productive forces and other activities, has become very popular. The banks have become centres of financial capital and it is precisely them that play a very important role in the Yugoslav economy – in the interests of the new revisionist bourgeoisie.
Thus an anarcho-syndicalist system has been established in Yugoslavia and this has been named “socialist self-administration”. What has this “socialist self-administration” brought to Yugoslavia? All kinds of evil. Anarchy in production in the first place. Nothing is stable there. Each enterprise throws its products on the market and capitalist competition takes place because there is no coordination, since it is not the socialist economy which guides production. Each enterprise goes it alone, competing against the other, in order to ensure raw materials, markets and everything else. Many enterprises are closing down because of lack of raw materials, the huge deficits created by this chaotic capitalist development, the build-up of stocks of unsold goods due to the lack of purchasing power and the saturation of the market with outdated goods. Yugoslavia’s handicrafts services are in a very serious state, too. Referring to this problem at the meeting of Slovenia’s leading activists, Tito could not hide the fact that “Today you have to sweat a good deal to find, for example, a carpenter or some other craftsman to repair something for you and even when you find him you are fleeced so blatantly that it makes your hair stand on end.”
Regardless of the previously mentioned fact that some of the modern combines turn out good quality products, a difficult situation is created for Yugoslavia because it has to find a market for the sale of these commodities. Because of these difficulties Yugoslavia’s balance of foreign trade is passive. Just in the first 5 months of this year the deficit was 2 billion dollars. At the 11th Congress of the League of “Communists” of Yugoslavia, Tito declared that “the deficit with the Western market has become almost intolerable”. Nearly three months after this congress, he declared again in Slovenia: “We have especially great difficulties in trade exchanges with the European Common Market member countries. There the imbalance constantly very seriously about this. Many of them promise us that these things will be put in order, that imports from Yugoslavia will increase, but up to now we have had very little benefit from all this. Each is putting the blame on the other.” And the deficit in foreign trade, which Tito does not mention in this speech of his, exceeded 4 billion dollars in 1977. This is a catastrophe for Yugoslavia. The entire country is in the grip of an unending crisis, and the broad working masses live in poverty.
Many Yugoslavian workers are out of work, are being thrown into the street or emigrating abroad. Tito has not only acknowledged this economic emigration, this capitalist phenomenon, but has even recommended that is should be encouraged. Unemployment cannot exist in a socialist country, the best example for this is Albania. Meanwhile in the capitalist countries, among which Yugoslavia is of course included, unemployment exists and is developing everywhere. When Yugoslavia has over one million unemployed, and over 1.3 million economic emigrants are selling their labour power in West Germany, Belgium, France, etc., when the wealth of individuals occupying important posts either in the state administration or in enterprises and institutions is increasing rapidly, when the prices of consumer goods are mounting day by day, when the bankrupt enterprises and branches number thousands, the system of Yugoslav “self-administration” is proved to be a great fraud. And yet Kardelj, without being ashamed in the least, has the temerity to write: “In our conditions, socialist self-administration is the most direct form and expression of the struggle for the freedom of the working man, for the freedom of his labour and creativity, for his decisive economic and political influence in society.” (p. 158).
Deepening his bourgeois type of demagogy by stale phrases, Kardelj reaches a new level of deception, saying: “With the constitutional and legal guarantee of the workers’ rights on the basis of their socialised labour in the past, our society further extends the dimensions of real freedom for the workers and working people in the material relations of society.” (p. 162). And what does this apologist of the bourgeoisie have in mind when he talks of the extension of the “dimensions of true freedom for the workers”? Is it the “freedom” to be unemployed, the “freedom” to leave their families and homeland in order to sell the power of own muscles and minds to the capitalists of the Western world or is it the “freedom” to pay taxes, to be discriminated against and savagely exploited by the old and the new Yugoslav bourgeoisie as well as by the foreign bourgeoisie?
2 thoughts on “Yugoslav Revisionism”
I’m from Romania and I fully share the views presented here. With your permission I would like to translate this material in Romanian, of course, mentioning the author and source, to make known Romanian readers interested in this topic. Congratulations for this site very useful and rich in informations, a real gold mine !
Are you from Albania ?
Sure, go ahead and re-print it!
Stay tuned for more in the future.
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