CWI Statement on Serbian Uprsing]

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Oct 10 13:04:06 MDT 2000

Socialist Alternative: This movement contained an important social element
of revolt against the whole of the ruling elite and especially Milosevic's
cronies. The uprising and what has followed has not simply been a
repetition of what took place in Eastern Europe in 1989/92. Since then the
working class has had the concrete experience of the capitalist market. The
situation of western capitalism is also vastly different. The economic
crisis in Asia, Latin America and other regions and the movements in
Seattle, Washington and Prague against globalisation and neo-liberal
policies are a different backdrop to the conditions that existed for
capitalism in 1989/92.

LP: This is false from top to bottom. There is ZERO indication that the
revolt against Milosevic has any kind of left-wing or radical aspect.

Socialist Alternative: Of, course this does not mean to say that Serb
workers have a clear understanding of the need for a genuine socialist
alternative. The idea of replacing a "bad manager" with a "good manager"
can easily gain support if a real socialist alternative is not explained.
However, these events are not a simple repetition of the upheavals that
shook eastern Europe a decade ago.

LP: This kind of mush-mouthed prose makes me sick to my stomach. "Of,
course this does not mean to say that Serb workers have a clear
understanding of the need for a genuine socialist alternative." In plain
English, this can be translated thusly: "There is no evidence of
anti-capitalist sentiment in the Kostunica revolt. But we Trotskyists pray
to our ancestral gods that it might develop if by some miracle the workers
read our obscure press rather than listen to B-92 radio or the other
pro-imperialist media."

Socialist Alternative: This uprising is now of crucial importance and must
be discussed by CWI members and workers activists and every effort made to
assist the Serb workers embrace the alternative of a revolutionary
socialist programme.

LP: And what kind of efforts are you talking about? Sending email? This
kind of pompous pronouncement-mongering is the bane of the Trotskyist
movement. It symbolizes the fetish over the word over the deed, as if
phrases such as "must be discussed" have any relationship to the real world
discussions going on in Yugoslavia. The last thing that will be discussed
there is how obscure Trotskyist groups numbering less than 500 members
world-wide can affect the imminent swallowing up of a nation of millions by
NATO and the IMF.

Louis Proyect
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