Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Sun Nov 12 11:54:14 MST 2000

David Welch:
>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.

Actually it confuses things to frame the problem in terms of defending
Yugoslav "socialism" or "communism". As I have stated repeatedly, I view
Trotsky's definition of the USSR under Stalin as a society in transition
from capitalism to socialism more useful. I even hesitate to use the term
"workers state", since this has practically become synonymous with
socialism in Trotskyist circles.

The articles I posted to this list about Yugoslavia under Milosevic made
clear that the goal was privatization of Yugoslav industry. Yugoslavia was
considered a dinosaur in Eastern Europe, the one country that chose not to
privatize. I think it is fairly obvious that despite some concessions to
the west, Milosevic never went far enough. That is why they wanted to see
him removed.

The comparison with Putin is stupid. Putin is a continuation of Yeltsin,
who represented for the Soviet Union what Kostunica represents for
Yugoslavia today. Milosevic is a Gorbachev type figure, who might be
faulted for not fighting more intelligently for the defense of public
property but not for pushing for its overthrow.

For those who think that it is immaterial whether Yugoslavia suffers under
Stalinist misrule or capitalist restoration, obviously they have not been
following events in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union where such a
transformation has led to the immiseration of the masses. It is actually no
surprise that Milan recommends that we read the Cliffite website to find
out about Yugoslavia. This "state capitalist" current has a total inability
to tell the difference between opposing economic systems and can not even
tell the difference between Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Louis Proyect
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