[L-I] Re: Turkey and Islamic Capitalism (with an addenda on the Balkans)

Lou Paulsen wwchi at SPAMenteract.com
Tue Aug 1 08:48:24 MDT 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Johannes Schneider <Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net>

>IMHO the relationship of all of the former
>Yugoslavia (mainly Serbia proper, Croatia and Slovenia) with Kosovo had
>aspects of a colonial relationship: E.g. capital export to Kosovo,
>concentration of the industry in mining, remainders of substitence in
>agriculture, export of work force.

Now, wait:  these are not aspects of a 'colonial relationship', they are
aspects of the fact that Kosovo was much less developed, economically,
technologically, and sociologically, than the northern republics of
Yugoslavia.  In fact, in even the most perfect socialist society, if there
were uneven development between the regions, then of course there would be
'capital export' from the most developed to the less developed.

The 'colonial relationship' would exist if the northern republics were
sending capital in AND extracting surplus value.  Yugoslavia in fact spent a
lot of money on development projects in Kosovo, and in fact there was a lot
of improvement in the standard of living, but the standard of living in the
north improved as fast or faster, so the gap did not close.

The big problem they faced, it seemed to me, was that they were using a
'market socialism' system rather than a system involving central planning.
This had the unfortunate effect that, although they were sincerely trying to
develop Kosovo, the laws of the capitalist market had an ongoing tendency to
pull the money back out again.  And then of course the IMF and the western
banks would suck it out.  I suppose you could call this 'automatic
colonialism' if you really wanted, but I think it should be stressed that it
was not a matter of policy on the part of the state.

Another aspect of the lag in development in Kosovo, it seems to me, was the
low participation of women in the work force, which in turn was related to
the relatively cautious way in which Yugoslavia attempted to transform
social relations in Kosovo.  In Albania they were much more aggressive in
attacking the patriarchy.

Lou Paulsen

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