the degenerated workers state and yugoslavia

tgs at tgs at
Wed Nov 2 21:04:15 MST 1994

In the first place, we're from the same outfit.  What department are you

In the second place, it may be the enforced brevity of my article that
was responsible, but I in no way meant to downplay the effects of
nationalism upon the conflict there.  I simply wanted to argue that it is
the imperialists, not the Serbs, who must be made culpable, because
the kind of society that yugoslavia was--a society of INTERPENETRATED PEOPLES--
makes it a tinderbox for the nationalist conflicts we see there now:
a tinderbox that the imperialists DELIBERATELY set off to divide up the

It is not simply the case that the imperialists wanted fresh markets.  Yugosl
avia represented not just fresh markets, but instead, the threat of a good
example.  That is why, while the imperialists tried to work for decades
with Tito and his market socialism (and his growing debts to the World Bank),
they also strove for those same decades to destroy Yugoslavia.

Finally, it was Croatia, not Serbia, in service to their German overlords,
who started the ethnic cleansing.  And the Croatian and Bosnian Muslim
armies are uniting, under imperialist sponsorship, to destroy the Serbians
in Bosnia.

I do not condone nor downplay the role of Serbian nationalism. The ISO's
Duncan Blackie, in his essay, The Road to Hell, has shown convincingly how
all the old Yugoslav bureaucrats conspired together years ago to exacerbate
nationalist divisions in order to hold on to power against an increasingluy
militant labor movement.  But what I want to target most of all is the
imperialists' intrigue.  The Schachmanites and other, liberal, laptop
bombadiers are in support of an imperialist genocide far worse than Serbia
ever perpetrated, on the basis of the argument that Serbia is fascist, which
it is not, and that fascism is fought by supporting "our good democratic"
imperialists.  It was another courageous view of Trotsky's that revolutionary
defeatism is applicable even against fascism.  As Gabriel Kolko has shown
WII only to stop the communist partisans from taking over Western his POLITICS OF WAR, the Allies entered WE

I'm not a conspiracy theorist.  I'm just trying to stop a bloodbath, or at
least left support for a blood bath, because any and all suspicion of
imperialist design is met these days with suspicion on the left.  I think
that is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.  When we look at Stalinists and former
Stalinists as the sole source of evil in the world, we are doing imperialism


Tom Smith
Political Science Department


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