Yugoslavia-method of analysis

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Sun Jul 30 07:54:35 MDT 1995

Thanks to everyone for the penetrating critiques of US policy on
Yugoslavia. This seems to point one way forward: we do not necessarily
have to agree totally, or even start from the same positions, but
a critique of the policy of the ruling class illuminates the nature of
the problem.

I like Jerry's formula which seems to me to be 90% if not 100% of the
marxist dialectical materialist approach to such analysis:

 Perhaps the way that the
decisions are actually made is that government officials try to consider
all of the variables and possible outcomes and then decide, on balance,
what is in the best interests of the US government and the capitalist
class.  However, they bring  their own preconceptions, ideological
understandings, and ambitions to  this decision-making process so it is
by no means an entirely rational or scientific thought process.

I welcome Howie's exchange on this question of how far we can push a
marxist analysis. I have found Howie a bit more cautious than myself
(I am thinking of my analysis of the faction fighting within the British
Conservative Party). But I think once we start making an analysis, no
body really wants to push it to dogmatic lengths but it is worth

One very concrete example: the rail communications between Zagreb and the
lower Dalmatian coast run through the Bihac region. That does not produce
a mechanical cause and effect which automatically meant that this became
the focus for the reentry of Croatia into the war with the Croatian Serbs
when they entered the Bihac region, but a dialectical materialist
model of human consciousness suggest it would have been noted in
strategic discussions in Zagreb. A sort of attractor for their thinking.

I want to post again on the question of what is to happen now, because the
news is that Croatia is ready to go to war for the recovery of the whole of
Kraina. I want to join in the analysis of the options for the US ruling
class, and to question whether in principle it is possible to shape them
even if it is politically very delicate for left-wingers to try to do
such a thing.

Meanwhile I am crossing London before the traffic builds up.


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