Josip Broz Tito
Date: April 19, 1959
Source: Tito: Selected Speeches and Articles, 1941-1961 pp. 244-248; originally published in the "Introduction" to Book I, p. XLII-XLVI.
Published: Naprijed, 1963
Transciption/HTML Markup: Mike B. for MIA, 2009
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2009). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
We, Yugoslav Communists, do not believe that in the future the international situation must inevitably develop along lines whereby countries must align themselves to this or that camp; we consider that it will develop along lines leading to a weakening of the blocs and expansion in all countries of the forces which will carry historical development forward to add strength to socialism on a world scale. Any opposition to this process, and any attempt to limit the develop ment of socialism to a camp framework, and to stamp it with the hallmark of a camp, can only cause and inflict harm to socialism and its rapid development. Let us just look at how much energy and how many resources have been squandered for the purpose of inflicting harm upon the development of socialism in our country. And what are the results of this policy? A great deal of material damage was done to this country, but a hundred times more damage was done to the parties and countries which intr9duced this policy and are today carrying it out. Our capitulation in the face of such policy would act as an incentive for its continuance, and thus the harmful consequences would be much more severe and deadly for the cause of socialism. Our resistance to this policy, however, increases the resistance of allthe progressive forces of socialism which are beginning to see the harmfulness of such a policy. In addition, our resistance gives en couragement to the peoples of countries which have freed themselves from the yoke of colonialism and wish to build their lives on pro gressive foundations the foundations of socialism. Consequently, it adds to the strength of socialism and contributes to the more rapid maturity of conditions for determining more suitable forms of the truggle to achieve new, socialist social relations.
This is the prism through which the problem of our international obligations, and the problem of proletarian internationalism as a whole, should be regarded. The monopolists of proletarian internationalism are already hoarse with their repudiations of the internationalistic character of our Party, our League of Communists. However, during the past forty years we have not just talked about proletarian internationalism, but we have shown our attitude towards the class solidarity of the international labour movement by our deeds. We have the right to be proud of the attitude we have adopted and the part we have played in the past four decades, and we can look every honest worker and revolutionary boldly in the face. From our support of the October Revolution and our assistance to the hungry in Russia stretches a whole line of our activities to help and support the revolutionary struggle in other countries. When the revolt in Bulgaria was crushed in 1923, we gave refuge to more than two thousand Bulgarian fighters, with Comrade Dimitrov at their head. When the international bourgeoisie organised an expedition against the Hungarian Revolution, we proclaimed a general strike, which prevented royal Yugoslav troops from participating in the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution (while from certain other countries, whose leaders today deliver lectures to us on proletarian internationalism, troops were able to leave unchecked and participated in the bloody suppression of the Revolution). The attitude of our Party towards the antifascist struggle in Spain is well known; and more than 1,300 Yugoslav volunteers served in the Spanish Republican Army. Well known too are the great actions of our Party to give support to Dimitrov during the Leipzig trial, to give support to Thällman, and to save Rákosi. In the fateful days for Czechoslovakia, in 1938-1939, our Party organised a volunteer movement for the defence of the Czechoslovak Republic and succeeded in collecting two hundred thousand names. However, since the Czechoslovak Government decided not to put up any resistance, and since the Czechoslovak communist leadership, which today thunders at us, did not consider it necessary, or did not have the courage, to go to the defence of the independence, of their country, our action remained as a great expression of sympathies with these kindred peoples, the Czechs and the Slovaks. The part played by our Party in the Second World War is also known, and so is our contribution to the victory over fascism. In the heat of the fiercest battles we were not merely fighting to liberate our own country, we were also giving assistance to neighbouring countries and the antifascist forces in those countries. We gave valuable help in founding the Albanian Communist Party and in spreading the armed struggle in Albania (but today, you see, certain Albanian leaders behave towards us like the man in the story whose first concern, on having seized power, was to stab his closets associates in the back). During the war against fascism we formed large Italian units on our territory, and Bulgarian brigades, and Hungarian, Czechoslovak Polish, and Austrian units. At the beginning of 1942 we received a re quest from Moscow to issue a proclamation to the enslaved peoples of Europe, calling on them to follow our example. We did so, but the efficacy of the proclamation depended primarily on the internal forces in each country and on the ability of the communists in those countries to lead the masses into the fight. The graves of our communists are scattered over the whole of Europe. From Madrid, which is the burial place of Blagoje Parovia, member of the Central Committee of our Party, and hundreds of others, through Marseilles, which is the burial place of the Commissar of the Southern Zone of the French Resistance Movement, Dimitrije Koturovj, a worker from Rakovica and a Spanish war veteran, and on to the polar regions of Norway, where there are the graves of three thousand of our Partisan prisoners of war, we come to the single graves and the mass graves of the sons of our people who gave their lives for a better future not only for their own people but for the other peoples of Europe.
It can be said without lack of modesty that there are few parties which can appear before the international proletariat and claim that they have so fully repaid their debt of internationalism in the course of forty years of work. We are firmly convinced that our present resistance to unsocialist trends and unsocialist practices in the relations between socialist countries will stand out in history as a bright example of the fulfillment of obligations towards one's own people and towards the international workers movement. We have every right to be proud of our glorious past and of our present activity in building socialism in this country, and also of the contribution, modest though it may be, which we are making to the development of socialism in the world. It is nonsensical to call every expression of pride at the successes of our Party antisocialist or nationalist. For we really have something to be proud of, and we are only sorry that future generations in some countries, although themselves innocent, will bear the disgrace of today's treatment of us.
We are convinced that in spite of all the difficulties the forces of socialism will continue to grow in strength, that socialism will conquer new trophies and will find the strength and means to eliminate what is negative. In the final analysis, life and practical action put things in their place. Today there is considerable ideological confusion in the international labour movement, but in practice, in the building of socialism, obsolete forms are discarded, and new ones begin to be discovered which enable the forces of production to develop more rapidly, and socialist democracy to grow in strength, and more suitable socialist relations between men to be established, both in production and in social relations as a whole.
It was in this situation of great confusion in the workers movement that the 7th Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia was held last year. The Congress laid down our tasks for the future in building socialism and introduced the new Programme of the League of Communists. The adoption of the Programme is primarily of significance for our country and her socialist development. But the uproar that has been raised around this Programme shows that it has also a wider significance for the international workers' movement. The fact is that communist and social democratic parties have for some considerable time been in what might be called a programme crisis. This fact is best illustrated by the example of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union: exactly twenty years ago the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union passed a resolution on the drafting of a new programme. A commission was elected with Stalin at its head, but its work did not bear fruit. At the 19th Congress a new commission was elected, and at the 20th Congress a third commission. The commissions were set up, but there is no programme. Nevertheless, the past twenty years have produced such a wealth of events, changes, revolutionary struggles, and the decay of the colonial system, and add to that the tremendous advances in science and technology, that it is manifestly essential that the enlightened forces of socialism should pass their judgment on all these events and point to the processes of future development and the methods by which they will be steered. Keeping quiet about all this is only an illustration of a certain state of affairs in the field of ideology and practical action, but it does not solve problems nor does it arm the forces of progress for further efforts.
One should not be deceived into imagining that our Programme gives an answer to all the major questions and that it has not got its weaknesses. It is in fact only a serious attempt to give a glimpse of the problems and a partial explanation. This is a great step forward in comparison with the existing state of affairs, and the significance of the Programme of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia lies in the fact that in the present stage it will considerably stimulate the Marxist thought about the necessity of dealing more seriously with contemporary problems. It will help in the general efforts to find the right answers to the questions posed by life. That is the significance of the endeavours of League of Communists Of Yugoslavia up to the present; and we can with real pride look back on the glorious forty year-old revolutionary road travelled y the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and tell everyone and show everyone that we have always carried high the banner of Marx, Engels, and Lenin.
Belgrade, April 19, 1959.