Workers assert themselves in Yugoslava

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Wed Oct 25 07:11:21 MDT 2000


Luko:
>  d) the ICN plant is, as you noted, a much publicized case of
>privatization, and why not call it this way, sellout to US interests,
>of a Yugoslav company by the Milosevic regime, which should tell you
>that this regime was and is in no way a force protecting the
>collective property against private capital (dont let yourself be
>fooled when thieves fall out, and one takes the bounty away from the
>other);

I have no idea what you are talking about. The plant was seized from the
boss under Milosevic; now it is being returned to the boss. If you had any
understanding of what took place in Bulgaria, Romania and surrounding
countries, this should be obvious. The US and Western Europe fought for 10
years to break the resistance of the Yugoslav people. The population is
weary of being under the gun and living under economic sanctions. If the
Kostunica regime came to power on the basis of sweeping away the old
system, the shock troops in the factories are operating on that principle.
Miners backed Yeltsin as well.

>  e) what the workers in Jugoslavia are doing and how they think about
>what they are doing, has to be judged aa) in light of the fact that
>the Yugoslav revolution is quite recent, and that there has been a
>real popular revolution, in contrast to all other East and Central
>European workers states (except Albania); bb) that there is no
>revolutionary workers party in Yugoslavia, which remains to be built.

What is the class content of a "real popular revolution"? I would think
this would involve demonstrations and protests making a clear statement
that the IMF and NATO must be resisted. The popular movement against
Milosevic, by all accounts except the sectarian press, is in accordance
with a desire to be accepted by the West. Marxism proceeds on the basis of
objective reality, not sectarian wet dreams.

>  Expanding on the last consideration, I want to point out that this
>is the decisive question in the political development of those workers
>states: the working class needs to conquer the political consciousness
>of itself, materializing this consciousness in a political party to
>take political power in their hands. This task is not easy after
>decades of stalinist rule over the working class, destroying any trace
>of class consciousness, and can't only by done by the workers
>themselves, making experiences, and learning from these experiences.
>The political class consciousness does not come handed down the school
>steps by some superiour teacher, nor by a police tutelage, the cops
>clubs and political surveillance.

Actually, "stalinist rule" over Yugoslavia since 1990 or so would seem to
be a rather inappropriate designation given the objective reality of free
elections. I suppose it makes no difference to Luko that the workers freely
elected Milosevic repeatedly. One of the most depressing aspects of the
degeneration of the Trotskyist movement and its fellow travelers has been
its willingness to parrot bourgeois propaganda about Yugoslavia. When I was
in the Trotskyist movement, the term "stalinist rule" referred to people
being put in mental hospitals for demanding self-determination for the
Crimean Tatars, dictating what artists could paint, a controlled press,
etc. In Luko's world, the all important question of dictatorship and
democracy gets hopelessly confused. A sure sign that Stalinophobia rather
than dispassionate analysis is at work.

>   "The materialist theory of the changing of the conditions and
>education forgets, that the conditions are changed by the human beings
>themselves, and that the educator himself has to be educated. So it
>has to divide society into two parts, with one superior to the other.
>
>   "The unification of changing the conditions and of human activity
>or self change can only be seen and understood rationally as
>revolutionary praxis"

Actually, I find Lexis-Nexis much more useful in understanding Yugoslavia.


Louis Proyect
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