Questions about "Slobo"

Tom Siblo tsiblo at
Fri Feb 15 21:12:19 MST 2002

In the early 80s while finishing my BA at SUNY New Paltz I did an
independent study for Professor Araon Bindman concerning Workers
Self-Management in Yugosolvia.  I read a host of economic analysis both pro
and con and it was here that I first ran into the name Milosevic  and
Markovic.  The Mira Markovic's father and Milosevic his student developed a
plan approved by Tito and the YCP to create workers self-management.  The
workers self-management was viewed by Tito, Markovic and Milosevic to be the
answer to the problems of  different nationalities and their historical
hatred for each other.  Creating workers self-management would enable the
working people to own and run the industries and services.

It was also designed to keep and attract the young Yugosolvic youth to
remain at home instead of moving to France or Western Germany.

There is a lot said about how Tito's form of Stalinism was different than
"socialism in one country."  Tito invisioned an international movement lead
by workers self-management as a transition to socialism and a planned
economy.  This is what gave Tito the power to control the three diverse
nationalities. However, the fear was it would all fall apart after his

The truth is it did not and what the IMF and World Bank wanted to do is
reverse the very roots of what Markovic and Milosvic fought so hard as young
men to create. Markovic passed away too leaving Slobo and Mira to keep the
dream going.
The problem is Tito's death marked an end to the national unity and pride
created and workers self-management achieve the goal of national planning
but could not overcome the hatred between the three ruling nationalities.

 Slobo tried to walk the narrow line but could not overcome the material
conditions and as a result lost his battle against the capitalist
restoration and is now being charged as a war criminal due to the actions
his government took to stop the breaking up of Yugosolvia. He still talks
about Yugosolvia and defends himself as a revolutionary in realtionship to
this struggle.  The problem is war crimes on all sides were committed and he
is the loser.

The loser as we know either gets death or life in these situations.  So is
Slobo the same as the other Eastern European Stalinist? When you use
standard socialist definitions he is to their left but he failed none the

When I studied and interviewed actual Yugosolvian students who came to SUNY
new Paltz along with reading the original and secondary sources I was
impressed. It was as if I were looking at a form of sydicalism that worked
for a period of time very well in three separate nations but never together
as one. If left alone by the capitalist I think the system established would
have continued for many years to come and it is going to be harder to turn
the workers from a socialist planned economy than it was in the rest of
Eastern Europe and Russian Federation but we know what the drive is designed
to do as far as the imperialist interests in the area and that is to divide,
privatize or else.  It will eventually work unless capitalism begins to
stagnate and enter into a crisis.

Tom Siblo

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