Scott Marshall Scott at rednet.org
Sun Jul 23 17:48:00 MDT 1995

>Louis Proyect:

>When Tito was alive, he was able to subordinate regional tensions to
>his own Bonapartist authoritarian rule. After his death, each regional
>party power grouping began maneuvering toward its own advantage.


While I agree for the most part with Louis' post on the former Yugoslavia
and it's roots, I think the question of Tito and the Yugoslav party's
policies needs some further mention. The opportunism of Tito's brand of
socialism ended up with so called 'market socialism,' but it didn't begin
there as Louis points out. I believe that one of the defining
characteristics of Tito's brand was paternalism and accomodation to
nationalism and petty bourgois nationalism.

Instead of building socialism on the basis of working class
internationalism, the Yugoslav party carefully crafted a state apparatus
that not only subordinated building socialism to the various nationalisms
but actually built nationalism into the state structure as a *principal* of
division. To me it is little wonder then that when the failure of 'market
socialism' had run its course and imperialism had pulled the plug so to
speak, that the society would melt down along nationalist lines.

I think its also useful to remember that Yugoslav communism was highly
praised by imperialism for many years. This was the 'acceptable' form of

Yes to Lenin and Zimmerwald etc. One big problem for the left today in the
wake of the setbacks to socialism is the creeping acceptance of a 'peace
role' for imperialism. Somalia and Haiti both illustrate the issue. IMO this
also explains, in part, the slump in the peace movement in general. There
are no neutral roles for imperialism nor for those who are for working class

Finally the reason I think Cockburn's articles are helpful is to show that
imperialism's (and its media's) 'discription' of the situation in Bosnia is
to be taken with a huge grain of salt. German, US and other imperialisms
have all been active participants, not just lately, but for years in fanning
the flames in Yugoslavia. And we should note that interimperialist rivalry
plays no small role in the UN's inablity to function there. We are seeing
much the same "do the imperialist jockey for position rag" that was danced
pre WWI. Only the big new brute on the dance floor is the US this time. And
while none of us are privy to the US and German dance cards, they may yet
come to blows over who gets to force the lady home with them.

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