Croatia and Serbia

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sat Aug 26 09:16:08 MDT 2000

Owen Jones:
> Firstly the fact that Croatia was ruled by an admirer of Adolf Hitler is
>completely irrelevant grounds for imperialism cosying up with the country.

Not in the context of the Reagan presidency. You must really have a look at
Russ Belant's "Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party." It
documents the long-standing relationship between the Croatian Ustashi and
Nazi Germany. As soon as WWII ended the CIA picked up where the Gestapo
left off.

>To say that our imperialist bourgeoisie are Nazi sympathisers in general
>would be silly demonisation. Since Adolf Hitler was the symbol of German
>imperialism when the imperialism of countries such as Britain came into
>conflict with it, they are more hostile to Hitler as a symbol than anything.

Actually, Britain and the US were supportive of Hitler until he challenged
their own imperial interests. I recommend the excellent Monthly Review book
by Clement Leibowitz titled "In Our Time: The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion"
for more information on this.

> But now we get in a mess. You claim that the main reason for imperialism
>being hostile towards Serbia was its refusal to open up its markets to
>foreign capital. That is thereby the reason they were friendly with Croatia
>which supported its war against Serbia.

Far too static a view. Tudjman of Croatia announced in 1990 that he would
end state ownership. It has turned out to be more difficult than originally
anticipated. In fact a new government exists in Croatia today that was
voted in as a reaction to his excesses. Of course, it is committed to
ending social ownership but we'll see what happens.

> I am sorry, but did you not read the excerpts of the bourgeois programme of
>the SPS which I quoted which was a stimulating introduction to market
>economics? One that proudly boasted to have been the first East-European
>countries to have introduced "the market"?

I did read it. Didn't you read the press account that stated this program
was not carried through?

> Poland didn't have a socialist revolution. Neither did Hungary. Or
>Czechoslovakia. Or North Korea. Or the rest of Eastern Europe.

Yes, they did. A revolution can be carried out bureaucratically but it is a
revolution nonetheless. When the Napoleonic armies left a trail of burning
plantation manors in its wake, it was carrying out a social transformation.

Louis Proyect
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