Milosevic, etc.

Borba100 at Borba100 at
Wed Mar 7 17:48:18 MST 2001

In a message dated 03/06/2001 9:46:16 AM Eastern Standard Time,
lnp3 at writes:

<< Therefore, it
 fosters illusions to think that Yugoslavia will be able to dislodge
 Kostunica or future Kostunica-like regimes. Even if Milosevic comes back
 into power, he will not be able to reverse the privatization process that
 began shortly after the coup. As a general rule of thumb, it takes
 revolutionary mass mobilizations to create a "workers state", to use
 Trotskyist lingo, in the first instance. It will certainly take
 revolutionary mass mobilizations to bring them back into power once
 overthrown.  >>

When it comes to places like Serbia, my contribution is this: The job of
people like Lou or myself, that is thoughtful progressives who live in the
dominating countries of the U.S. Empire (e.g., the U.S., European countries,
Australia and New Zealand, even places like  Turkey) , regarding foreign
affairs, is to try and mobilize awareness among ordinary citizens of those
countries against the assault on the most oppressed people, such as the
Serbs, TO EXPOSE THAT IT IS UNJUST.  I fear that the thrust of Lou's
argument, that they  cannot possibly win can, have the effect of demobilizing
people on this list  instead of encouraging them to use this situation to
reach ordinary people in Western countries.  That, after all WE can do. That
is a GIFT from these persistently foolish Serbs who took on and beat 44 nazi
German divisions during World War II.

Factually, Lou may be mistaken. Otpor etc. of course had a huge effect, but
their effect came only with the FULL backing of the resources of the U.S.,
German, Norwegian, British, Italian and Spanish covert forces all
concentrated,  their key talent and HUNDREDS of millions of dollars, all
focused on building psychological warfare groups and media and stormtroopers
to attack little impoverished Yugoslavia -  Otpor's effect also occurred in
the context of the inherited bureaucrat tendencies especially strong in
Yugoslavia which had a separate bureaucracy for each republic and each
autonomous region - to the point it was almost a joke.  I have seen from the
discussion I have with people there, that  the lesson of losing power has to
an extent shaken the socialists' awake like men shaken in a dream and that
there is much struggle now - just as Henry Liu has pointed out that beneath
the surface in China there is a struggle by those who want to resist
imperialism. Many little struggles are taking place.

The energy of the immense SPS, hundreds of thousands, is now devoted to
organizing and participating in these struggles as much as each is able. Let
us not dismiss this before the fact.  Let us rejoice that a) this is now
their BOAST that it is their PRIDE that they are doing this - what is wrong
with that?  Their assessment now is that most people are responding on a
self-interest level and do not yet see the necessity for political strikes -
so there are all forms of resistance to rampant abuses which of course can be
dismissed as "reformist" - but why? Why dismiss them at all?  They are
fighting the thrust of their enemy's attack, whther the constant turning off
of elecricty, the layoffs, the seizing of worker owned businesses, and so on.
 All fields for struggle and the exposure of the POLTICAL-SOCIAL character of
the DOS rule.

As Nestor says, quoting Bolivar "let us allow them to live through their own
middle ages"
. The hope of SPS leaders I have spoken to is that these many small
struggles, most of which they are not publicizing for obvious reasons, since
they are living in semi-totalitarian conditions with an attempt to install
Hague type justice in Yugoslavia's formerly progressive courts - their hope
is to turn this into a massive political struggle.

There is also much of value in the fact that Miloshevich refuses to flee or
to crawl (unlike Peron) It calls on those whom this new Empire is oppressing
to fight back and that, more than the (in this case) tactical question of
dealing with privatization (within which, by the way, there are pro- and
anti-  people ways of handling what is sometimes necessary)  is all
important.  In this, of course, Yugoslavia is quite different, let us say,
from Rumania - on the other hand, it shares some things with Belarus.
Lukashenko has thrown Soros out of Belarus and threatens to arrest the paid
agents of the OSCE - this is more substantial than his ordering
nationalization of some industry because it is meeting the thrust of the
US/Euro attack.  General abstractions can miss the point that the key thing
in the life of struggle in a country targeted by the U.S. Empire is the
transformation of the awareness of people - that is why Marx said that the
Paris Commune represented an attempt to storm heaven - even though they did
not socialize production and even though they lost.  We must ask ourselves:
what do we do to make the INJUSTICE of what the U.S. has done and is trying
to do to Yugoslavia known BROADLY - to ORDINARY people.  If not, then it is
we who may be failing to reach out to the people, not the Serbian SPS.


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