Boris Ziherl

Communism and Fatherland


After this consideration of the essence of bourgeois cosmopolitanism and of the need for principled Marxist-Leninist struggle against it, let us return to the question from which we departed in the hope that such a departure would make the reply to it easier and more comprehensible.

On the one hand, today we see in the Soviet Union an ever more intensive struggle against cosmopolitanism, against a tendency whose aim is to lull both the national consciousness and the national pride of a definite people with the view to enslaving it the easier, a straggle against a bourgeois ideology which can be preached only by men without respect for their people and homeland. No one can deny the justifiability of such a struggle if it is being conducted from principled, Marxist-Leninist positions.

On the other hand, we see, in relation to the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and to the peoples of Yugoslavia, acts with which only men, in Yugoslavia and outside, who have no respect for their people and their homeland can agree. No one can admit the justifiability of such acts because they are not based on principle.

To accept Cominform procedure and the consequences which it foresaw and which logically derive from it would have meant, actually, to stifle the national pride of the Yugoslav peoples, to degrade that which every progressive Yugoslav rightly prides himself on, that gives him strength for new great feats in the struggle for socialist construction, for the consolidation of the socialist front in the world.

After all that we have said, we can now once again in concise form ask and answer the question: What is it that every progressive Yugoslav prides himself upon, what is it that the entire working people pride themselves upon? It is the fact that they, too, led by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, knew how to apply successfully the powerful teachings of Marxism- Leninism in the specific conditions of Yugoslav reality, to achieve huge revolutionary transformations which opened the way to socialism, it is the fact that today in the specific conditions of their country they are finding and creatively applying all that can facilitate their struggle in socialism construction, that enables them to achieve even greater successes which simultaneously mean the consolidation of the international socialist front as a whole. In short, the Yugoslav working people are proud of the fact that in the struggle for socialism they are not an immature burden for others and superficial imitators of what is foreign, but creators who do not deny the significance of the example of others, but likewise do not underrate their own strength and abilities.

Such national pride is nothing specifically Yugoslav but a trait distinguishing all peoples striving to invest their national qualities and abilities as comprehensibly and fruitfully as possible into the universal task of attaining proletarian victory and building socialism and communism. The Communist Party of Yugoslavia does not have a nationalist, much less a narrowly national character owing to this stand; it reflects the striving towards a correct solution of a problem of decisive international significance imposed by the situation created after the Second World War, with the existence of a number of new socialist countries.

Since the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia refuted a series of monstrous charges and untruthful allegations regarding our National Liberation Struggle, our present foreign and domestic policies, socialist construction in Yugoslavia, in which that leadership was guided by Stalin's view that "slander should be branded and not taken up as a subject of discussion",1 the whole of Yugoslav contemporary reality and the whole of the recent past of the Yugoslav peoples were turned upside down with one single resolution.

The National Liberation War of 1941-1945 and the revolutionary transformations which were inseparably linked with it in Yugoslavia, are the greatest, most conscious and most progressive efforts of the Yugoslav masses in their history, testimony that the Yugoslav peoples are fully mature and equal to the peoples of the most progressive countries.

Having overthrown the yoke of the traitorous bourgeoisie, the Yugoslav working people began the building up of their free, socialist homeland as a component part of the united socialist front headed by the USSR and achieved significant success in the realisation of their next great goal — socialism.

All these irrefutable facts are now supposed to be wiped out for the sake of an objective fully incomprehensible to the working people of our country, in respect of which events during the past ten months have clearly shown them that this objective has nothing in common with the consolidation of the united socialist front, with the equality of revolutionary peoples who overthrew the yoke of capitalism and who are building socialism.

All the precious achievements of the truly internationalist policy which the New Yugoslavia pursued towards other countries, and especially towards her neighbours, have been artificially struck out and what is more, struck out in the name of some struggle or other "against nationalism", and for "internationalism". Official relations among the Balkan and Danubian countries have again slipped back to the form they had when the foreign policies of these countries were actually run by foreign imperialists through their agents in the ranks of the domestic bourgeois, these imperialists being guided by the ancient rule "divide and rule". That which their peoples were already considering the dark past has returned to the relations among the Balkan and Danubian countries.

Methods obviously calculated at causing the deepest humiliation to the Yugoslav peoples are being applied in the relations towards the New Yugoslav state, created by the revolutionary struggle of the working masses in which these same working masses are today building socialism, hence, in the relations towards Yugoslavia's working people. It is obvious that these people must be "convinced" by different political and economic measures, of their helplessness and incompetence for independent creative work, their national pride must be broken and they must be compelled to surrender pursuant to the Cominform resolution, to negate themselves and their deeds, their past and their present revolutionary reality.

In implementing anti-Yugoslav measures, individuals are very often being employed in the countries of people's democracy, and especially persons from Yugoslavia, who could at best be termed cosmopolites because they have shown by their acts that they are not only alien to their country and their people but, when offering their services, even incapable of differentiation between the imperialist and the socialist world, namely, people who for the most part are simply agents of the big capitalist powers.

The reality in which the Yugoslav people were working and fighting is by no means developing according to Cominform speculations for the simple reason that the latter do not issue from reality, but are intended to serve exclusively to justify a gross political error. All the undertakings against Yugoslavia, insofar as they were calculated at moving the Yugoslav working people, had perforce to meet with ruin for the simple reason that the politically literate Yugoslav working masses did not understand and could not understand why they should answer the calls of the Cominform to revolt, in the name of what class and against what class. From the Yugoslav Communists, they learned the Marxist-Leninist postulate that the measure of truth is revolutionary practice, and not the opinion of "infallible" authorities.

The bulwark upon which the calculations made along arbitrary Cominform lines are being shattered, and will continue to be, with respect to Yugoslavia is precisely the revolutionary patriotism of the Yugoslav working people, who are conscious that they are fighting for something that not only tallies with the vital interests of their country but also consolidates the front of socialism and progress in the entire world. This patriotism is neither an aspiration, nor an ideal, nor a programme, nor a remote goal; it has a tangible realistic basis: the rule of the bourgeoisie has been overthrown and the rule of the working people has been established with the Communist Party as the leading political force; the basic means of production are in the hands of the socialist state, namely, in the hands of the working people; the working peasantry are being organised in the struggle against the exploiting elements in the village, with the view to bringing about the socialist reconstruction of Yugoslav agriculture; the political equality of the Yugoslav peoples has been realised with a consistency worthy of envy; a principled anti- imperialist foreign policy is being pursued which fully corresponds to the socio-economic essence of the New Yugoslavia and which serves to consolidate the socialist world and all democratic, anti-imperialist forces. That is the reality in which the working people of Yugoslavia are living, the progressive development of which they are witnessing every day with their own eyes, that is their socialist fatherland.


1. Stalin, Problems of Leninism, Belgrade, 1946. p. 357.

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