MIA: History: ETOL: Documents: International Communist League/Spartacists—PRS 4

Privas-Marin Resolution on the Yugoslav Crisis

PCI Resolution on the Yugoslavia Crisis

Written: 1948
Source: Prometheus Research Library, Prometheus Research Series No. 4, New York, 1993
Transcription/Markup/Proofing: John Heckman.
Public Domain: Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line 2007/Prometheus Research Library. You can freely copy, display and otherwise distribute this work. Please credit the Marxists Internet Archive & Prometheus Research Library as your source, include the url to this work, and note the transcribers & editors above.

The following resolution, submitted by Privas (Jacques Grimblatt) and Marcel Marin (Marcel Gibelin), was adopted by the Fifth Congress of the French Parti Communiste Internationaliste, held in July 1948. The French text appeared in the PCI’s internal bulletin, La vie du parti No. 1, August 1948. The translation is by the Prometheus Research Library.


The crisis which has broken out in the Cominform between Tito and the Kremlin should be considered from the standpoint:

1)  of the underlying causes of this crisis;

2)  of the prospects for development of this crisis;

3)  of our intervention into these events.

A precise analysis is necessary exactly because of the importance of the repercussions this event is having and will have among the ranks of the Stalinist workers.

1) The Causes of the Crisis

The Stalinist policy has as its underlying line the exploitation of the workers movement for the needs and the defense of the interests exclusively of the privileged bureaucrats of the USSR.

In the countries of the buffer zone this policy takes the concrete form of exploiting these countries: economically, diplomatically and strategically (preferential treaties, privileged treatment of the ruble, exploitation of the economy to benefit the Red Army or the Soviet state).

This policy which preserves capitalist relations in the economy out of fear of the masses, which blocks the development of the buffer zone countries, necessarily creates a profound crisis in these countries. This crisis is expressed in the pressure of the bourgeois elements to re-establish ties with imperialism, and even in halfhearted notions of finding a solution on the part of indigenous Stalinist leaders (Dimitrov proposing a Balkan federation). Against these pressures and notions, in order to contain the crisis while maintaining its exploitation, the Kremlin is obliged increasingly to utilize methods of terror

a) against the bourgeois politicians

b) against the revolutionary elements

c) and even to replace the indigenous Stalinists with direct emissaries of the Kremlin (five “Russian” members on the seven-member Bulgarian PB).

This general situation, the necessary result of the application of the Stalinists’ policy, is governed by military and police measures, but this does not resolve the crisis. If in Yugoslavia the Stalinist CP has been led to resist this Russification, it is because, having assumed full responsibility for the state, it must respond to the needs of Yugoslav society and of each of its components: to assure a minimum of economic stability and to somewhat satisfy the needs of the different social classes. Complete control by the Kremlin absolutely prevents the fulfillment of this task.

If this situation—which is fundamentally that of all the countries of the buffer zone—has provoked active resistance first in Yugoslavia, this is due to its particular situation originating in the struggle of the Yugoslav masses during the occupation, which gave the Yugoslav CP a mass base and much more independence.

Stalin could not permit such independence in a party—especially of the buffer zone—without risking the breakup, not only of the system of exploitation of the buffer zone, but also of the whole hierarchical police state system of world Stalinism.

2) Prospects for the Crisis

One thing is certain: if it is impossible in general for a customary transitional situation to be maintained in the countries of the buffer zone, it is even more impossible in an isolated country.

The importance of the situation that has been created in Yugoslavia is that it objectively poses to the Yugoslav masses—not in general terms, but one could say immediately—the need to choose between socialism and capitalism.

The choice, even if it is still muddled, will necessarily lead to discussion and struggles between currents and classes in Yugoslavia.

The Yugoslav CP can only capitulate to the Kremlin, to the U.S., or embark on the path of revolution—although of course it is not possible to predict today which path will be taken or what the pace of development will be.

In any case, it is almost certain that without an intervention by the proletariat of the buffer zone and of the world, the path taken by the Yugoslav proletariat will not be that of revolution. Capitulation to the Kremlin or to the U.S. would be inevitable.

3) The Thrust of Our Intervention

The first major crack in the Stalinist apparatus is necessarily leading immense masses of Stalinist workers to fundamentally reconsider Stalinist politics. Obviously, we cannot remain indifferent to an event of this importance; rather we must intervene aggressively to help the proletariat as a whole to understand the Stalinist betrayal, and the Yugoslav proletarians to find the path of revolution.

In the Western countries, we must give an overall explanation of the causes of the Yugoslav crisis, demonstrating in particular the Stalinist conception of the defense of the USSR, the counterrevolutionary nature of the ties imposed by Moscow and of the theory and practice of “people’s democracy.”

To the Yugoslav proletarians we will demonstrate that the rupture with Moscow is the indispensable step for the struggle for socialism, and we will indicate the concrete and programmatic paths that make it possible (soviets, proletarian democracy, appeal to proletarians of other countries).

We do not at all reproach the I.S. for appealing to the Yugoslav CP and its CC. This step is appropriate given the relations between the masses and the CP. But we do object to these letters for idealizing Tito and the Yugoslav CP (revolutionary workers party—“continue your struggle for socialism”).*

* This objection does not in any way signify a disagreement with the I.S. on the nature of the USSR, the buffer zone, and Stalinism.

On the other hand, the issue of La Vérité devoted to Yugoslavia, which defends the point of view of the I.S., provides no useful explanation when it gives the apparatus’ own laws as the cause of the crisis of the apparatus.

If this resolution is adopted, it does not mean that the PCI exempts itself from the discipline of the international leadership.