CPUSA and CP Russia on Yugo

Bryan A. Alexander bnalexan at umich.edu
Sat Sep 16 19:06:12 MDT 1995

I think Chris is right on the criticize the CP-USA's line, especially
given his tactful approach and careful attention to at the same time
criticizing the US.
	One additional note to toss into this debate, as a gesture towards
the sort of analysis that Chris - and Louis, earlier - called for: what do
we make of the town-country split in the Balkan Wars?  Evidence shows that
the militias involved are overwhelmingly rural, and that a majority of
their targets urban centers.
	I glanced back at the relevant sections in THE GERMAN IDEOLOGY
("Division of Labor: Town and Country", 68 ff in the International pb) for
help, and was reminded of the more important element here: that the towns,
the urban centers, persist and remain largely in control.  Milosevic may
be using a brilliant array of peasant units all over former Yugoslavia,
but remains an urban power.  Tudjman might be pillaging villages for
linguistic assistance, but his power base is similarly seated in the
cities.  In short, forces of reaction are developing and using this
antagonism for their own ends - which are of course the furtherance of
state capitalism (different degrees in each nation).
	A opposition that remains in the cities will easily fall into this
trap, as Milosevic was able to dispense with massive Belgrade opposition
to his rule circa early 1990 (ask me if you want the specs - don't have my
books on me now).  Rural opposition that refuses co-optation can be
destroyed by the coalition.  So what is needed is a bimodal opposition, a
resistance grounded in both city and field.  Marx and Engels insist (see
above) that true community can only exist once this antagonism has been
solved, "a condition which depends on a mass of material premises and
which cannot be fulfilled by mere will" (69).  My first instinct is to
look to the Bosnian government for the seeds of such a force, or better
still to the army - there research awaits.

Bryan Alexander
Department of English
University of Michigan

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