A great amount of publicity is being given to a book published in Yugoslavia last year by the leading theoretician of Titoite revisionism, Edvard Kardelj. It is called “Directions of the Development of the Political System of Socialist Self-Administration”.
The anti-Marxist ideas of this book were the basis of the entire proceedings of the 11th Congress of the Yugoslavian revisionist party, which the Titoites, in an effort to disguise its bourgeois character, have named “League of Communists of Yugoslavia”.
The Titoites and international capitalism propagate, as the 7th Congress of the PLA pointed out, the “system of self-administration” as “a ready made and tested way to socialism”. It is serving as their favourite weapon in the struggle against socialism, the revolution and liberation struggles.
Considering this danger, I thought it necessary to voice some thoughts about this book.
Capitalism has been fully restored in Yugoslavia, as is well-known, but this capitalism knows how to disguise. Yugoslavia portrays itself as a socialist state, but of a special kind, as the world has never seen it before! The Titoites even boast that their state has nothing in common with the first socialist state which emerged from the socialist October Revolution and which was founded by Lenin and Stalin on the basis of the scientific theory of Marx and Engels.
The Yugoslav renegades abandoned the scientific theory of Marxism-Leninism on the socialist state right from the beginning and have worked to prevent the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, to ensure that Yugoslavia would proceed on the road of capitalism.
I have already explained at another occasion that the Titoite renegade group, which disguised itself and portrayed itself as followers of the socialist system established in the Soviet Union and which trumpeted that it would build socialism on the basis of the scientific theory of Marxism-Leninism, in reality both before and after the liberation of Yugoslavia was opposed to this ideology and to the Soviet revolutionary experience. This correct conclusion arises clearly from the content of Kardelj's book, too.
The national liberation war of Yugoslavia under the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia embodied the courage and bravery of the people as well as the honesty of the genuine communists of Yugoslavia. During this struggle, however, certain dubious tendencies appeared within the Yugoslav leadership, which made one think that in its stand towards the anti-fascist alliance of the Soviet Union, the United States of America and Great Britain, the Tito group leaned towards the Anglo-Americans, which became quite clear later. At that time, we observed that the Titoite leadership maintained very close contacts with the Western allies, especially with the British, from whom they received extensive financial and military aid. Likewise the obvious political rapprochement between Tito and Churchill and his negotiators became obvious, at a time when the national liberation war of Yugoslavia ought to have been closely linked with the liberation war of the Soviet Union, since the hope of all peoples for the all round liberation, as far as the external factor was concerned, rested at precisely this war.
The tendencies of the Titoite leadership, which aimed against the Soviet Union became more evident on the eve of the victory over fascism, when the Red Army, in hot pursuit of the German army, entered Yugoslavia to assist the national liberation war there. Especially at the time when the conclusions of this great war were being reached among the great and small states involved, it became obvious that Titoite Yugoslavia had been supported by British and US imperialism. At that time, the diplomatic and ideological frictions between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia grew more evident. These frictions were, among other things, over territorial questions. Yugoslavia claimed territories in the North, especially on its border with Italy. But it was silent about its southern borders, especially its border with Albania, about Kosovo and the Albanian territories in Macedonia and Montenegro. The Titoites could not speak about this, because they would have violated the chauvinistic platform of the Serbian nationalists.
Today it is common knowledge that the differences between the Yugoslav leadership and Stalin were deep-rooted. The revisionist views of the Yugoslav leadership were crystallized long before the liberation of their country, possibly since the time when the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was a member of the Comintern and worked in total illegality under the regime of the Serbian kings. Even at that time, its leadership had deviationist, Trotskyite views, which the Comintern condemned when they were expressed. Later Tito wiped off the condemnation by the Comintern, even going so far as to rehabilitate the greatest deviationist, the former general secretary of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, Gorkic.
After the liberation of Yugoslavia a problem of great importance arose: what direction would Yugoslavia take? This direction, of course, would depend to a great extent on the Marxist-Leninist respectively revisionist world outlook of the leaders of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. They passed themselves off as Marxist-Leninists. At first, we believed them. In fact, however, from their activity not only in general, but also from their concrete attitudes towards us, we observed many things about them which were not in conform with the scientific theory of Marxism-Leninism. We saw that they were moving away as far as possible from the experience of the construction of socialism in the Soviet Union.
It was the tendency of the Yugoslav leading group, headed by Tito, Kardelj, Rankovic and Djilas, a tendency which had been noticed since the time of their illegal activity but especially after the liberation of Yugoslavia, that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia should not come out openly under its own name, but should be disguised under the cloak of the so-called Popular Front of Yugoslavia, as it was. This illegality was justified under the pretext that otherwise the big and petty bourgeoisie of the city and the countryside “could be worried and frightened off”, that they “might abandon the new State power which had emerged from the revolution” and that “the Anglo-American allies might be frightened by communism”. Efforts were made to convince the bourgeoisie that the communists were not in power, that the communist party existed but was, so to speak, a member in a broad front, in which Mihailovic's men, Nedic's men, Stojadinovic's men and the men of all the other reactionary “-vics” in Yugoslavia could participate.
Tito also formed a provisional government with Subasic, the former prime minister of the royal government in exile in London but under constant pressure from the people he did not permit it to govern very long and liquidated it. Then he pretended that he had not wanted Subasic but that the allies had imposed him, while later he accused Stalin of the same thing. The truth is that Tito accepted Subasic to please Churchill, that he did not like Stalin.
The views of Tito and his associates showed from the very beginning that they were far from being “hard-line Marxists”, as the bourgeoisie calls the consistent Marxists, but “reasonable Marxists”, who would collaborate closely with all the old and new bourgeois and reactionary politicians of Yugoslavia.
Although it claimed to be illegal, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia operated legally. Yet Rankovic and Tito did not give it the power and the leading role it should have had, because they were not for the construction of socialism in Yugoslavia. Tito and Rankovic distorted the Marxist-Leninist norms of the structure and the role of the party. The Communist Party of Yugoslavia was from the very beginning not built on the basis and the teachings of Marxism-Leninism. This party, which was allegedly merged with the Popular Front of Yugoslavia, made the law together with the Army, the Ministry of the Interior and the State Security service. This party which had led the war of the Yugoslav peoples became a detachment of the State organs of repression after the war - of the Army, the Ministry of the Interior and the UDB. Together with them, it also became an organ of oppression of the working masses, instead of being the vanguard of the working class.
The propaganda it used and the authority the party had won during the national liberation war and during the initial steps of the construction of Yugoslavia after the war gave the Yugoslavian working class the impression that this party was in the vanguard. In reality it was not the vanguard of the working class but of a new bourgeois class that had begun to settle in. This class relied strongly on the prestige of the national liberation war of the peoples of Yugoslavia for its own counter-revolutionary aims, while it obscured the perspectives of the construction of the new society. Such a degenerate party like this was bound to lead Titoite Yugoslavia on anti-Marxist paths.
The anti-Marxist course of the Yugoslav Titoites, of the Tito-Kardelj-Rankovic group, came – and this was inevitable - in open opposition to Marxism-Leninism, the communist parties, the Soviet Union, Stalin, and all the countries of people's democracy which were created after the Second World War. Of course, this clash developed gradually, till the critical moment came, when the chaff was separated from the wheat.
It is an undeniable fact that the peoples of Yugoslavia fought. Yugoslavia made great sacrifices, just as Albania did. The Yugoslavian anti-Marxist leaders abused this fight for their own goals, they also abused the Soviet appraisal of Yugoslavia for the public opinion at home and abroad, in which this country was described as an important ally on the Marxist-Leninist road to socialism.
It didn't take long till the Titoites displayed dominating tendencies, expansionism and hegemonism in their relations with the newly founded states of people's democracy, especially in their relations with our country. As we know they sought to impose their anti-Marxist political, ideological, organisational and state views on us. They went so far as to make despicable attempts to transform Albania into a republic of Yugoslavia. In this unsuccessful and disgraceful undertaking the Titoites encountered our determined opposition. At first, our resistance was uncrystallised because we did not suspect that the Yugoslav leadership had set out on the capitalist and revisionist road. But after some years, when its hegemonic and expansionist tendencies were clearly displayed, we opposed them sternly and unreservedly.
The Titoites tried to impose their will on us by using the most various kinds of pressure and blackmail. To that end they also organized the conspiracy with Koci Xoxe. They pursued this same imperialist practice, although not to the same extent, towards other countries, too, like Bulgaria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. All these dirty acts clearly showed that Yugoslavia was not following the road to socialism, but had become a tool in the service of world capitalism.
With each passing day it was becoming clearer that a socialist society of the Leninist type was not being built in Yugoslavia, but that capitalism was developing instead. The steps taken on this capitalist road were meanwhile disguised with the alleged quest for new, specific forms of “socialism”. Precisely for this purpose, the Yugoslav revisionist leadership with Tito, Kardelj, and Rankovic at the head, in an effort to somehow justify their betrayal “theoretically”, borrowed the most various ideas from the arsenal of the old revisionists and in this way strengthened their fascist-type state by all possible means. The Army, the Ministry of the Interior, and the UDB became all-powerful.
Though it was establishing capitalism, the Yugoslav revisionist leadership tried to create the opinion among the masses of the people that the war aims were not being betrayed in Yugoslavia, that a state with a socialist orientation existed there, led by a communist party that defended Marxism and allegedly exactly because of this had come into opposition with the Soviet Union, Stalin, the communist parties and the countries of people's democracy.
To protect their positions which were badly shaken as a result of their exposure in front of the public opinion of the country and of the international communist and workers' movement, the Titoites, in continuation of their deceptive policy, proclaimed that they would take “serious” actions for the construction of socialism in the countryside, for the collectivization of agriculture according to Leninist principles and therefore they formed the so-called zadrugas. As for the seriousness of the intentions of the Titoite renegades about the construction of socialism in the countryside, it is enough to recall that the zadrugas collapsed before they were properly established and now no trace remains of the collectivisation of the Yugoslav countryside.
Up till 1948, when the final came split between the Soviet Union, the countries of people's democracy and the international communist movement on the one hand and Yugoslavia on the other, the latter was still in the initial phase of chaotic capitalism, in a state of political, ideological, economic disorganisation, in an extremely grave situation. This drove the Tito-Kardelj-Rankovic group to act more openly, to link itself more closely with world capitalism, especially US imperialism, in order to maintain its power and to change the situation to its advantage.
After 1948 Yugoslavia, being in a grave political, ideological and economic crisis, found itself at the crossroads because of the anti-Marxist deviation of its leadership. The Titoite renegades wanted, so to say, to sit on two “chairs”. They wanted to sit on the chair of Marxism-Leninism merely for the sake of keeping up appearances, only for form's sake, while the wanted to plant themselves firmly on the other, the capitalist-revisionist “chair”. But in order to achieve this aim, a certain amount of time would be necessary. The period from 1948 onwards was very troubled and shattered by the grave crises, by confusion and chaos.
The Tito-Kardelj-Rankovic group faced the question: How to keep power and crush any resistance by the proletariat and the peoples of Yugoslavia who had fought for socialism in friendship and complete unity with the Soviet Union and the countries of people's democracy? With this aim in view, the Yugoslav revisionists worked in the first place to liquidate any trace of Marxism-Leninism left in their party in order to transform it into an instrument of their bourgeois-revisionist ideology and policy, to divest it of any leading function. The working class was meant to be transformed into an inert mass which would not be able to see the betrayal and to fight against it as the decisive political force of the revolution. The norms of democratic centralism in the party were violated. The party was made dependent on the UDBA which was used as a mean to suppress all the elements who were not in favour of their regressive anti-Marxist turn. The party was “purged” of all those who were loyal to socialism. Though it appeared to retain some norms of elections, meetings and conferences, in reality its bureaucratic leadership concentrated all power in this allegedly Marxist-Leninist party in its own hands and transformed it into a mere tool for the implementation of its orders and those of the State Security Service. Thus the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was radically transformed and lost all the features of the vanguard party of the working class, the leading political force of society. This was a great victory for capitalism, for the foreign and local bourgeoisie.
In order to maintain their rule, the Titoite renegades had to quietly liquidate the state which had emerged from the national liberation war and to build another state, a ferocious fascist dictatorship.
In other words, the Tito-Kardelj-Rankovic leading group undertook the liquidation of all Marxist-Leninist features of the revolution and set out in quest of allegedly new “socialist” roads which were in fact capitalist in the economy, the internal and foreign policy, education and culture and in all other sectors of life. In this situation the State Security organs and the Yugoslav Army became the favourite brutal weapon in the hands of this handful of renegades, who punished anybody in a draconian way who dared denounce the betrayal. The mass persecutions and killings of all sound Marxist-Leninist elements began. The dreadful concentration camps, one of which was that of Goli Otok, were filled with prisoners and internees.
At that time Yugoslavia's economy was in very bad situation. This was because of the war devastations, the confused policy of the Yugoslavian leadership and because of the breaking off of all relations with the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia no longer received the considerable aid it had received in the first years after liberation, as well as because it could no longer plunder the other countries of people's democracies, like Albania, through the “joint” companies set up on an unfair basis, which benefited only one side, namely Yugoslavia. Of course the Yugoslav renegades saw terror as the only way to get out of the crisis. As a long-standing agency of world capitalism, they immediately turned in that direction for aid and American imperialism in particular was ready to give Tito and co all the aid and support they needed to save their skins and to make them an important tool in its fight against socialism, the revolution and the liberation movements. The imperialist powers had been waiting impatiently for such a turn because they had been prepared for this since the time of the war. Therefore they did not fail to give them major economic “aid” but also gave them strong political-ideological support. They even supplied them with various weapons and military equipment and bound them to NATO by the Balkan Pact.
In the first period Yugoslavia was “aided” by capital investments from foreign companies, especially in industry and agriculture.
In the field of industry, where US imperialism showed itself particularly “generous”, its “aid” enabled the beginning of the reconstruction of the old existing factories so that these could be made more or less operational and their production could suffice to keep the bourgeois-revisionist regime, which crystallized itself and which had turned its face towards world capitalism, on its feet.
The Titoite regime also had to liquidate that half-baked system of collectivization of agriculture which had been set up in a number of rural economies and to create a new system in which the kulaks and the great land owners would be favoured again. Forms and means were found for the redistribution of the land, under which the old kulaks were re-established without causing great unrests in the country. The state adopted a series of capitalist measures, such as the breaking up of the machine and tractor stations and the selling of their equipment to the rich peasantry which could afford to buy them as well as the imposition of heavy taxes on the peasants. The state farms, likewise, were transformed into capitalist enterprises in which also foreign capital was invested, etc.
The local merchants and industrialists, to whom major concessions were made, benefited greatly from the foreign capital invested.
These measures proved beyond any doubt that the “socialism” which was being built in Yugoslavia was nothing other than the road of integration into capitalism.
Thus the ground was prepared for the invasion of foreign capital on an ever larger scale, in a situation politically, ideologically and organisationally very suitable to world capitalism. The latter, by aiding the Titoite regime, would use it as a bridgehead for its push into the other countries of people's democracy.
This political, ideological and economic orientation of Titoite Yugoslavia towards capitalism made the class struggle there take another direction and did not develop any longer as a driving of the socialist society but as a driving power in the struggle among opposing classes, as is the case with any capitalist state where the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie prevails. The Titoite bourgeois-revisionist state spearheaded the class struggle in Yugoslavia against the progressive elements of the working class, against the communists who resisted the course of betrayal.
Democratic centralism was soon liquidated in the fields of the economic and state administration, too. It is true that in Yugoslavia some factories had been nationalized, the foreign trade had been proclaimed state monopoly and it was claimed that the principle of democratic centralism was implemented in the organization and activity of the state and the party. But these measures which seemed to have a revolutionary character were neither complete nor consistent. The centralism in Yugoslavia did not have the true Leninist meaning that the entire economic and political life of the society should be developed by combining the centralised leadership with the creative initiative of the local organs and the working masses. It rather aimed at creating a dictatorial force of the fascist type which would be in a position to impose the will of the regime in power on the peoples of Yugoslavia from above. As the years passed by these initial measures, which were advertised as allegedly socialist tendencies, took a clearly anti-Marxist, counter-revolutionary direction. The entire state organisation and State activity in the economic field adopted capitalist features in open opposition to the fundamental experience of the construction of socialism in the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin.
In the first years following 1948 we can say that the principle of centralism was implemented in the activity of the Yugoslav state, because the Federation of Yugoslavia had to carry very heavy and difficult burdens which it would not be able to solve decentralised. The times were such that the preservation of centralism was required because the Federation was made up of republics, each of them with different nationalist political currents, which were seeking to break away from it. But that sort of centralism was bureaucratic centralism, the economic plans were decided from above without being discussed at the base, they were not well-studied and were not designed to promote an harmonious development of the various branches of the economy of the republics and regions of the Federation, the orders were arbitrary and were executed blindly, the products were procured by force. From this chaos, in which the initiative of the local organs of the party and state and the initiative of the working masses were nowhere to be seen, of course, disagreements were bound to emerge, as they did in fact, and they were suppressed by terror and bloodshed.
Such a situation was also encouraged by the capitalist states which had taken the Titoite regime under their wing in order to give Yugoslavia a capitalist orientation. Profiting from this state of affairs, the various imperialists were competing with each other in their efforts to get a tighter grip on this corrupt state so that, together with the credits they provided, they could also impose their political, ideological and organisational views.
The foreign capitalists who supported the Titoite renegade group recognised clearly that this group would serve them but they felt, after the turbulent and chaotic situation was overcome, that a more stable situation had to be created in Yugoslavia. Otherwise they could not be sure about the security of the big investments they were making and which they were to increase in the future.
In order to create the desired situation in favour of capitalism it was necessary to bring about the decentralisation of the management of the economy and the recognition and protection by law of the rights of the capitalists who were making large investments in the economy of this state.
The Tltoite leadership understood clearly that world capitalism wanted Yugoslavia, as a tool in its hands, to be in the best possible position to deceive others. Consequently it could not accept a bloodthirsty, openly fascist regime, which the anti-Marxists Tito-Kardelj-Rankovic had established. Because of this the group Tito-Kardelj took measures in 1967and liquidated the Rankovic group which was made responsible for all the evils of the Titoite rule up till that period.
With the liquidation of Rankovic, the League of “Communists” of Yugoslavia did not emerge from the crisis into which it had entered. It continued to be treated according to the old Titoite views, the essence of which was that the League should keep up only its “communist” disguise but never play the leading role in the state activity, the Army, or in the economy. The Titoites had even changed their party's name, calling it the “League of Communists”, allegedly in order to give it an authentic “Marxist” name, taken from the dictionary of Karl Marx himself. The only officially recognised role of this so-called “League of Communists” was an educational one. But even this educational role was non-existent because Yugoslav society, which was lulled to sleep by the propaganda of an allegedly Marxist-Leninist policy and ideology, in the cradle of the so-called
“Socialist Alliance of Yugoslavia”, was led astray on the capitalist road.
Although the Yugoslav revisionist party emerged from illegality it dissolved, as a result of the capitalist decentralisation, into that sort of ideological pluralism which later would be called “democratic” system. The main aim was that, after the party had been transformed into a bourgeois party, the capitalist features of the economic development of the country should be completely crystallised.
Thus suitable ground was prepared in Yugoslavia for the flourishing of anarcho-syndicalist theories, against which Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin had fought. Under these conditions the pseudo-Marxist-Leninist theory of the political system of “socialist self-administration”, which Kardelj deals with in his book, was concocted.
I have dwelt a bit longer on the historical side of the development of Yugoslavia on the revisionist road, not because these problems are unknown to us but in order to bring out more clearly the falsity of the “theoretical” ideas of Kardelj. As Tito's collaborator he cannot adopt any other position in the great betrayal of the revolution and socialism than that to presents white as black and to call capitalism socialism. Now, seeing the inglorious development to which they have brought their country, these renegades are trying to find “theoretical” justifications for the chaotic situation which they created themselves. This also explains Kardelj's obscure ideas. The Yugoslav reality is chaotic, too, and all the “theorising” about it is confusing. And how could it be any different?