David Welch david.welch at SPAMst-edmund-hall.oxford.ac.uk
Sun Nov 12 11:10:40 MST 2000

On Sun, 12 Nov 2000, Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx wrote:
> Now, Lenin's distinction between sectarian class consciousness and
> revolutionary consciousness perfectly makes sense. There is no
> guarantee that those workers' strikes are revolutionary in the real
> sense, as long as the Serbian working class is not conscious of the
> imperialist game played by the US. If workers want to save their asses
> for the sake of gaining individual rights, this is SELFISH.  They
> should know by now that they will have less economic rights
> (protection) when Kostunica starts his neo-liberal program of
> plundering state enterprises. POLITICAL RIGHTS DO NOT GUARANTEE
> ECONOMIC RIGHTS. Before cheering freedom of speech, workers need to
> press their hunger in the first place.  Under Kostu, umemployent will
> increase; poverty will follow and IMF will suck the country to its
> last blood. Workers will be impoverished, more so than they were under
> Milo.
Which only serves to demonstrate that you know very little about Leninism.
One of the political tendencies that Lenin opposed was economism, the
belief that the political struggle should be subordinated to the economic
one. Insisting that Yugoslav workers give up the possibility of
independent organisation (which includes freedom of speech) because former
President Milosevic and his government would defend their economic
interests (in itself a highly dubious proposition) is the antithesis of

Yugoslavia has been taking loans from the IMF since the beginning of its
first five year plan, of course prior to 1989 the imperialists were
impelled to grant the local bourgeoisie some leeway so Yugoslavia could
act as a buffer between them and the USSR. Post 1989 it served the
need to relegitimize imperialism to breakup Yugoslavia while
simultaneously appearing to be intervening to defend human rights, prevent
genocide and so forth. Inevitably this placed the imperialists in conflict
with local elites particularly President Milosevic's government, but to
conclude from this conflict that President Milosevic (an arch privatiser
while foreign buyers were available) was defending workers economic
interests is unsupportable. If Louis Project has read this far he will be
preparing to post articles from US newspapers accusing President Milosevic
and his wife of being communists, of course by a similar method one could
demonstrate that Presidents Putin and Magabe and probably anyone else out
of favour with the imperialists are also communists.

I don't whether it is necessary to say it, but I fully supported the call
for the victory of Yugoslavia and the defense of the most elementary
democratic right of all, freedom from foreign interference. But I don't
understand the wish to side with the former Yugoslav government against
the working class.

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