What best describes Yugoslavia before its breakup? It was home to many ethnic groups. What happened when the Czechs tried to implement liberal reforms in 1968?
- 1 When Hungary opened its borders it created a hole?
- 2 What were the main causes of the breakup of Yugoslavia?
- 3 What do Czechs think of Russia?
- 4 Was Austria behind the Iron Curtain?
- 5 What are the five communist countries?
- 6 What type of socialism was Yugoslavia?
- 7 Was Yugoslavia a communist or capitalist country?
- 8 What was unique about Yugoslavia in the time of Yugoslavian communism?
What is most likely reason the Republic of Yugoslavia held together until the fall of communism?
What is the most likely reason the republics of Yugoslavia held together until the fall of communism? All six republics shared strong historic bonds. The constitution forbade the republics to separate.
What happen when the Czechs tried to implement?
What happened when the Czechs tried to implement liberal reforms in 1968? The communist government was forced to step down. Slovakia protested and blocked the proposed changes.
When Hungary opened its borders it created a hole?
Thirty years ago, Hungary lifted restrictions on travel to Austria, enabling tens of thousands of East Germans to flee to the West. The September 1989 events in Hungary are often described as the first cracks in the Berlin Wall.
Which was a factor contributing to the collapse of communism in Germany?
First, domestic problems inherent in the ineffectual East German social, economic and political systems contributed to the communists’ fall from power. Second, the successful West German penetration into East Germany gave the East Germans aspirations towards another political, social and economical model.
What were the main causes of the breakup of Yugoslavia?
NOTE TO READERS “Milestones in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations” has been retired and is no longer maintained. For more information, please see the full notice, Issued on October 18, 1990, National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) 15–90 presented a dire warning to the U.S.
- Policy community: Yugoslavia will cease to function as a federal state within a year, and will probably dissolve within two.
- Economic reform will not stave off the breakup.
- A full-scale interrepublic war is unlikely, but serious intercommunal conflict will accompany the breakup and will continue afterward.
The violence will be intractable and bitter. There is little the United States and its European allies can do to preserve Yugoslav unity. 1993 map of the former Yugoslavia. (Central Intelligence Agency) The October 1990 judgment of the U.S. intelligence community, as Thomas Shreeve noted in his 2003 study on NIE 15–90 for the National Defense University, “was analytically sound, prescient, and well written.
It was also fundamentally inconsistent with what US policymakers wanted to happen in the former Yugoslavia, and it had almost no impact on US policy.” By January 1992, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ceased to exist, having dissolved into its constituent states. Yugoslavia—the land of South (i.e.
Yugo) Slavs—was created at the end of World War I when Croat, Slovenian, and Bosnian territories that had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire united with the Serbian Kingdom. The country broke up under Nazi occupation during World War II with the creation of a Nazi-allied independent Croat state, but was reunified at the end of the war when the communist-dominated partisan force of Josip Broz Tito liberated the country.
Following the end of World War II, Yugoslavian unity was a top priority for the U.S. Government. While ostensibly a communist state, Yugoslavia broke away from the Soviet sphere of influence in 1948, became a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961, and adopted a more de-centralized and less repressive form of government as compared with other East European communist states during the Cold War.
The varied reasons for the country’s breakup ranged from the cultural and religious divisions between the ethnic groups making up the nation, to the memories of WWII atrocities committed by all sides, to centrifugal nationalist forces. However, a series of major political events served as the catalyst for exacerbating inherent tensions in the Yugoslav republic.
Following the death of Tito in 1980, provisions of the 1974 constitution provided for the effective devolution of all real power away from the federal government to the republics and autonomous provinces in Serbia by establishing a collective presidency of the eight provincial representatives and a federal government with little control over economic, cultural, and political policy.
External factors also had a significant impact. The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989, the unification of Germany one year later, and the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union all served to erode Yugoslavia’s political stability. As Eastern European states moved away from communist government and toward free elections and market economies, the West’s attention focused away from Yugoslavia and undermined the extensive economic and financial support necessary to preserve a Yugoslav economy already close to collapse.
The absence of a Soviet threat to the integrity and unity of Yugoslavia and its constituent parts meant that a powerful incentive for unity and cooperation was removed. Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia’s president from 1989, took advantage of the vacuum created by a progressively weakening central state and brutally deployed the use of Serbian ultra-nationalism to fan the flames of conflict in the other republics and gain legitimacy at home.
Milosevic started as a banker in Belgrade and became involved in politics in the mid-1980s. He rose quickly through the ranks to become head of the Serbian Communist Party in 1986. While attending a party meeting in the Albanian-dominated province of Kosovo in May 1987, Serbians in the province rioted outside the meeting hall.
- Milosevic spoke with the rioters and listened to their complaints of mistreatment by the Albanian majority.
- His actions were extensively reported by Serbian-controlled Yugoslav mass media, beginning the process of transforming the former banker into the stalwart symbol of Serbian nationalism.
- Having found a new source of legitimacy, Milosevic quickly shored up his power in Serbia through control of the party apparatus and the press.
He moved to strip the two autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina of their constitutionally-guaranteed autonomy within Serbia by using mass rallies to force the local leaderships to resign in favor of his own preferred candidates. By mid-1989 Kosovo and Vojvodina had been reintegrated into Serbia, and the Montenegro leadership was replaced by Milosevic allies.
- The ongoing effects of democratization in Eastern Europe were felt throughout Yugoslavia.
- As Milosevic worked to consolidate power in Serbia, elections in Slovenia and Croatia in 1990 gave non-communist parties control of the state legislatures and governments.
- Slovenia was the first to declare “sovereignty” in 1990, issuing a parliamentary declaration that Slovenian law took precedence over Yugoslav law.
Croatia followed in May, and in August, the Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina also declared itself sovereign. Slovenia and Croatia began a concerted effort to transform Yugoslavia from a federal state to a confederation. With the administration of George H.W.
- Bush focused primarily on the Soviet Union, Germany, and the crisis in the Persian Gulf, Yugoslavia had lost the geostrategic importance it enjoyed during the Cold War.
- While Washington attempted during the summer of 1990 to marshal some limited coordination with its Western allies in case the Yugoslav crisis turned bloody, Western European governments maintained a wait-and-see attitude.
At the same time, inter-republic relations in Yugoslavia spiraled out of control. Slovenia overwhelmingly voted for independence in December 1990. A Croatian referendum in May 1991 also supported full independence. Secretary of State James Baker traveled to Belgrade to meet with Yugoslav leaders and urge a political solution to no avail.
- Slovenia and Croatia both declared formal independence on June 25, 1991.
- The Yugoslav Army (JNA) briefly intervened in Slovenia, but it withdrew after 10 days, effectively confirming Slovenia’s separation.
- The Serb minority in Croatia declared its own independence from the republic and its desire to join Serbia, sparking violence between armed militias.
The JNA intervened in the conflict ostensibly to separate the combatants, but it became quickly apparent that it favored the Croatian-Serbs. The war that followed devastated Croatia, resulting in tens of thousands dead, and hundreds of thousands of people displaced.
- In Bosnia-Herzegovina, a referendum on independence took place in March 1992, but was boycotted by the Serb minority.
- The republic declared its independence from Yugoslavia in May 1992, while the Serbs in Bosnia declared their own areas an independent republic.
- Macedonia itself also declared independence following a September 1991 referendum, and a U.S.
peacekeeping and monitoring force was dispatched to the border with Serbia to monitor violence. Croatia and Slovenia were internationally recognized in January 1992, with Bosnia’s independence recognized soon thereafter. The three countries joined the United Nations on May 22, 1992.
Serbia and Montenegro formed a new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a successor state to old Yugoslavia, but the international community did not recognize its successor claim. Over the next three years, the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions from their homes, as Europe witnessed the most horrific fighting on its territory since the end of World War II.
In 1998–1999, violence erupted again in Kosovo, with the province’s majority Albanian population calling for independence from Serbia. A NATO bombing campaign and economic sanctions forced the Milosevic regime to accept a NATO-led international peace keeping force.
What was Yugoslavia before communism?
Kingdom of Yugoslavia – The country was formed in 1918 immediately after World War I as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by union of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and the Kingdom of Serbia, It was commonly referred to at the time as the ” Versailles state”. Later, the government renamed the country, leading to the first official use of Yugoslavia in 1929.
What do Czechs think of Russia?
Public opinion – A caricature of a Russian matryoshka doll as a symbol of communism in a museum in Prague While economic relations were good prior to the 2014 sanctions, and the Czech Republic is a common tourist destination for Russians, the Czech people themselves tend to be distrustful of Russia due to the Soviet invasion of 1968, and tend to hold a negative opinion of Russians as a legacy of Soviet-era conflicts.
How many Czechs died in WWII?
Deaths by Country
|Country||Military Deaths||Total Civilian and Military Deaths|
Was Poland behind the Iron Curtain?
Was Budapest behind the Iron Curtain?
Take a private full-day tour of sites in Budapest that memorialize Hungary’s time behind the Iron Curtain, and learn about life during that era. Visit the Citadella to learn about the siege of Budapest toward the end of World War II, which was the beginning of the story of the country’s occupation.
Was Austria behind the Iron Curtain?
Eastern Bloc – While the Iron Curtain remained in place, much of Eastern Europe and parts of Central Europe (except West Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Austria ) found themselves under the hegemony of the Soviet Union, The Soviet Union annexed:
as Soviet Socialist Republics within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Germany effectively gave Moscow a free hand in much of these territories in the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, signed before Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. Other Soviet-annexed territories included:
- Eastern Poland (incorporated into the Ukrainian and Byelorussian SSRs ),
- Part of eastern Finland (became part of the Karelo-Finnish SSR )
- Northern Romania (part of which became the Moldavian SSR ).
- Kaliningrad Oblast, the northern half of East Prussia, taken in 1945.
- Part of eastern Czechoslovakia ( Carpathian Ruthenia, incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR).
Between 1945 and 1949 the Soviets converted the following areas into satellite states :
- The German Democratic Republic
- The People’s Republic of Bulgaria
- The People’s Republic of Poland
- The Hungarian People’s Republic
- The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
- The People’s Republic of Romania
- The People’s Republic of Albania (which re-aligned itself in the 1950s and early 1960s away from the Soviet Union towards the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and split from the PRC towards a strongly isolationist worldview in the late 1970s)
Soviet-installed governments ruled the Eastern Bloc countries, with the exception of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which changed its orientation away from the Soviet Union in the late 1940s to a progressively independent worldview, The majority of European states to the east of the Iron Curtain developed their own international economic and military alliances, such as Comecon and the Warsaw Pact,
When did Poland stop being communist?
1970s and 1980s – In 1970, Gomułka’s government had decided to adopt massive increases in the prices of basic goods, including food. The resulting widespread violent protests in December that same year resulted in a number of deaths. They also forced another major change in the government, as Gomułka was replaced by Edward Gierek as the new First Secretary.
Gierek’s plan for recovery was centered on massive borrowing, mainly from the United States and West Germany, to re-equip and modernize Polish industry, and to import consumer goods to give the workers some incentive to work. While it boosted the Polish economy, and is still remembered as the “Golden Age” of socialist Poland, it left the country vulnerable to global economic fluctuations and western undermining, and the repercussions in the form of massive debt is still felt in Poland even today.
This Golden Age came to an end after the 1973 energy crisis, The failure of the Gierek government, both economically and politically, soon led to the creation of opposition in the form of trade unions, student groups, clandestine newspapers and publishers, imported books and newspapers, and even a “flying university.” Queues waiting to enter grocery stores in Warsaw and other Polish cities and towns were typical in the late 1980s. The availability of food and goods varied at times, and the most sought after basic item was toilet paper. On 16 October 1978, the Archbishop of Kraków, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, was elected Pope, taking the name John Paul II,
The election of a Polish Pope had an electrifying effect on what had been, even under communist rule, one of the most devoutly Catholic nations in Europe. Gierek is alleged to have said to his cabinet, “O God, what are we going to do now?” or, as occasionally reported, “Jesus and Mary, this is the end”.
When John Paul II made his first papal tour of Poland in June 1979, half a million people heard him speak in Warsaw; he did not call for rebellion, but instead encouraged the creation of an “alternative Poland” of social institutions independent of the government, so that when the next economic crisis came, the nation would present a united front. General Wojciech Jaruzelski served as the last leader of the Polish People’s Republic from 1981 till 1989 A new wave of labour strikes undermined Gierek’s government, and in September Gierek, who was in poor health, was finally removed from office and replaced as Party leader by Stanisław Kania,
However, Kania was unable to find an answer for the fast-eroding support of communism in Poland. Labour turmoil led to the formation of the independent trade union Solidarity ( Solidarność ) in September 1980, originally led by Lech Wałęsa, In fact, Solidarity became a broad anti-communist social movement ranging from people associated with the Catholic Church, to members of the anti-Stalinist left.
By the end of 1981, Solidarity had nine million members—a quarter of Poland’s population and three times as many as the PUWP had. Kania resigned under Soviet pressure in October and was succeeded by Wojciech Jaruzelski, who had been Defence minister since 1968 and Premier since February. The new Warszawa Centralna railway station in Warsaw had automatic doors and escalators. It was a flagship project during the 1970s economic boom and was dubbed the most modern station in Europe at the time of its completion in 1975. On 13 December 1981, Jaruzelski proclaimed martial law, suspended Solidarity, and temporarily imprisoned most of its leaders.
This sudden crackdown on Solidarity was reportedly out of fear of Soviet intervention (see Soviet reaction to the Polish crisis of 1980–1981 ). The government then disallowed Solidarity on 8 October 1982. Martial law was formally lifted in July 1983, though many heightened controls on civil liberties and political life, as well as food rationing, remained in place through the mid-to-late-1980s.
Jaruzelski stepped down as prime minister in 1985 and became president (chairman of the Council of State). This did not prevent Solidarity from gaining more support and power. Eventually it eroded the dominance of the PUWP, which in 1981 lost approximately 85,000 of its 3 million members. Throughout the mid-1980s, Solidarity persisted solely as an underground organization, but by the late 1980s was sufficiently strong to frustrate Jaruzelski’s attempts at reform, and nationwide strikes in 1988 were one of the factors that forced the government to open a dialogue with Solidarity.
From 6 February to 15 April 1989, talks of 13 working groups in 94 sessions, which became known as the ” Roundtable Talks ” ( Rozmowy Okrągłego Stołu ) saw the PUWP abandon power and radically altered the shape of the country. In June, shortly after the Tiananmen Square protests in China, the 1989 Polish legislative election took place.
Much to its own surprise, Solidarity took all contested (35%) seats in the Sejm, the Parliament’s lower house, and all but one seat in the elected Senate, Solidarity persuaded the communists’ longtime allied parties, the United People’s Party and Democratic Party, to throw their support to Solidarity.
This all but forced Jaruzelski, who had been named president in July, to appoint a Solidarity member as prime minister. Finally, he appointed a Solidarity-led coalition government with Tadeusz Mazowiecki as the country’s first non-communist prime minister since 1948. On 10 December 1989, the statue of Vladimir Lenin was removed in Warsaw by the PRL authorities.
The Parliament amended the Constitution on 29 December 1989 to formally rescind the PUWP’s constitutionally-guaranteed power and restore democracy and civil liberties. This began the Third Polish Republic, and served as a prelude to the democratic elections of 1991 — the first since 1928,
- The PZPR was disbanded on 30 January 1990, but Wałęsa could be elected as president only eleven months later.
- The Warsaw Pact was dissolved on 1 July 1991 and the Soviet Union ceased to exist in December 1991.
- On 27 October 1991, the 1991 Polish parliamentary election, the first democratic election since the 1920s.
This completed Poland’s transition from a communist party rule to a Western-style liberal democratic political system, The last post-Soviet troops left Poland on 18 September 1993. After ten years of democratic consolidation, Poland joined OECD in 1996, NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
Who built the Berlin Wall?
Table of Contents –
The Berlin Wall: The Partitioning of Berlin The Berlin Wall: Blockade and Crisis The Berlin Wall: Building the Wall The Berlin Wall: 1961-1989 The Berlin Wall: The Fall of the Wall
On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) began to build a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall,” or “antifascist bulwark,” between East and West Berlin. The official purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep so-called Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West.
The Berlin Wall stood until November 9, 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border whenever they pleased. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others brought hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself.
To this day, the Berlin Wall remains one of the most powerful and enduring symbols of the Cold War.
What are the five communist countries?
|Current communist states|
|Previous communist states|
During the 20th century, the world’s first constitutionally communist state was in at the end of 1917. In 1922, it other former territories of the empire to become the, After, the occupied much of Eastern Europe and helped bring the existing communist parties to power in those countries.
Originally, the communist states in Eastern Europe were with the Soviet Union. would declare itself, and later took a different path. After a and a resulting in a victory, the was established in 1949. Communist states were also established in,,,, and, In 1989, the communist states in Eastern Europe collapsed after the broke as a result of the, under public pressure during a wave of mostly non-violent movements as part of the which led to the in 1991.
China’s socio-economic structure has been referred to as “nationalistic state capitalism” and the Eastern Bloc ( and the ) as “bureaucratic-authoritarian systems.” Today, the existing communist states in the world are in,,,, and, These communist states often do not claim to have achieved socialism or communism in their countries but to be building and working toward the establishment of socialism in their countries.
Why is Croatia split in two?
History – The Neum corridor dates back to the Treaty of Karlowitz of 1699, whereby the Republic of Ragusa was separated from the Dalmatian possessions of its rival Venice by two buffer zones ceded by Ragusa to the Ottoman Empire to prevent the possibility of Venice invading via land: north of its territory is Neum and the bay of Klek, and south of its territory is Sutorina with the port of Herceg Novi on the Bay of Kotor, now part of Montenegro since 1947 (later the topic of the now-resolved Sutorina dispute ).
The Karlowitz borders were reaffirmed in 1718 by the Treaty of Passarowitz, but then the Ottomans, tired of negotiating in vain with Venice for a widening of their maritime access, simply usurped the territory of Gornji Klek and most of Klek from Ragusa, which it had bought from King Dabiša of Bosnia at the end of the 14th century.
After the fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797, and the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Austrian Empire, which had annexed both the Dalmatian possessions of Venice and the territory of Ragusa, tried to buy back the Neum and Sutorina enclaves from the Ottomans, but in vain.
Instead, it stationed a warship to block access to the port of Neum until the Treaty of Berlin, which gave the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria-Hungary in 1878. Neum had been under Ottoman control for 179 years. Consideration was given to a plan to build a new advanced naval base at Neum-Klek by the Austro-Hungarian Navy,
General Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf considered fortifying Neum with coastal batteries and torpedo craft to supplement seafront defenses (in order to prevent Italian raids, or worse a large scale Italian landing). The project never got past the planning stage prior to the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
- In 1918, as a consequence of Austro-Hungarian defeat, Neum joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes which would become the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929.
- Under the Karađorđević dynasty, the Yugoslav Government ignored the borders inherited from history twice: in 1929, when the Neum area was included in the Littoral Banovina, and in 1939 when, following the Cvetković–Maček Agreement, it was included in the Banovina of Croatia,
Josip Broz Tito ‘s federal Yugoslavia was founded on the principle, declared at the 1943 AVNOJ session in Jajce and comparatively well-respected by the Đilas commission in 1945, of establishing the federative republics in their borders of 1878, which is why the Neum enclave is now part of independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, including most of Klek (Ponta Kleka, Rep Kleka), the two islets Veliki and Mali Školj and the rock of Lopata in the Bay of Klek.
Since the 1990s, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been in negotiations on how to handle traffic across the Neum region, including signing a Neum Agreement, When Croatia was admitted to the European Union in 2013, the border crossings in the Neum region became governed as external borders of the EU,
The construction of the Pelješac Bridge, which bypasses Neum entirely, has significance for Croatia’s integrity and also for its future Schengen Area membership and the EU as a whole. It significantly improves traffic flow and the traffic connection of Dubrovnik to the rest of mainland Croatia, avoiding negotiating long, costly queues at Neum, and strict customs checks twice within the space of 20 kilometres (12 mi).
Encouraged by the recent developments in Croatia–Slovenia border disputes (June 2017), the ruling Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and other Bosniak political parties decided to obstruct the construction. The construction cost was €420 million, to which the EU contributed by allocating €357 million from Cohesion Policy funds.
The bridge is among the largest infrastructures in Croatia currently and one of the most substantial EU infrastructural investment ever. The work was completed in mid 2022. The EU is also funding supporting infrastructure, such as the construction of access roads, including tunnels, bridges and viaducts, the building of an 8 km-long bypass near the town of Ston and upgrading works on the existing road D414.
- There are Bosniak plans to convert Neum to a freight port, contrary to the wishes of the local population and international laws and agreements concerning the ecologically significant and protected Bay of Mali Ston, of which Bay of Neum is a part.
- There are plans to build a seaport, rail and a motorway and thus the Croatian bridge must have a high clearance according to the view of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Bosniak political parties.
Due to the above, the Republic of Croatia has significantly increased the height of the bridge by adapting it to ships whose dimensions cannot enter the Bay of Neum at all. Today the main freight port for Bosnia and Herzegovina is Ploče (in Croatia) further north, which has a railway to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
BiH coast guard / border police
What was the breakup of Yugoslavia short summary?
GIF Hoshie/Wikimedia Commons Over the course of just three years, torn by the rise of ethno-nationalism, a series of political conflicts and Greater Serbian expansions,, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia disintegrated into five successor states: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (later known as Serbia and Montenegro).
- The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, founded in 1943 during World War II, was a federation made up of six socialist republics.
- From 1960 to 1980, the country was something of a regional power and an economic success story.
- Following Tito’s death in 1980, leaders such as Slobodan Milosevic rose to power and took advantage of the weakening state by utilising Serbian ultra-nationalism to fan the flames of conflict throughout the various neighbouring countries.
As the rise of nationalism grew, Slovenia followed by Croatia voted for independence and broke away from Yugoslavia by 1991. On 29th February, and 1st March 1992 a referendum on independence was held in Bosnia.99.7% of the those who voted declared “yes” and thus Independence was declared on 3rd March 1992.
How many countries were created when Yugoslavia broke up?
What is the former Yugoslavia ? The Tribunal was given authority to prosecute persons responsible for specific crimes committed since January 1991 in the territory of what is referred to as the former Yugoslavia. What is meant by the term former Yugoslavia is the territory that was up to 25 June 1991 known as The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). On 25 June 1991, the declarations of independence of Slovenia and Croatia effectively ended SFRY’s existence. By April 1992, the further declarations of independence by two other republics, Macedonia, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, left only Serbia and Montenegro within the Federation. : What is the former Yugoslavia ?
Dissolution and war – Tensions between the republics and nations of Yugoslavia intensified from the 1970s to the 1980s. The causes for the collapse of the country have been associated with nationalism, ethnic conflict, economic difficulty, frustration with government bureaucracy, the influence of important figures in the country, and international politics.
Ideology and particularly nationalism has been seen by many as the primary source of the break up of Yugoslavia. Since the 1970s, Yugoslavia’s Communist regime became severely splintered into a liberal-decentralist nationalist faction led by Croatia and Slovenia that supported a decentralized federation with greater local autonomy, versus a conservative-centralist nationalist faction led by Serbia that supported a centralized federation to secure the interests of Serbia and Serbs across Yugoslavia – as they were the largest ethnic group in the country as a whole.
From 1967 to 1972 in Croatia and 1968 and 1981 protests in Kosovo, nationalist doctrines and actions caused ethnic tensions that destabilized the country. The suppression of nationalists by the state is believed to have had the effect of identifying nationalism as the primary alternative to communism itself and made it a strong underground movement.
In the late 1980s, the Belgrade elite was faced with a strong opposition force of massive protests by Kosovo Serbs and Montenegrins as well as public demands for political reforms by the critical intelligentsia of Serbia and Slovenia. In economics, since the late 1970s a widening gap of economic resources between the developed and underdeveloped regions of Yugoslavia severely deteriorated the federation’s unity.
The most developed republics, Croatia and Slovenia, rejected attempts to limit their autonomy as provided in the 1974 Constitution. Public opinion in Slovenia in 1987 saw better economic opportunity in independence from Yugoslavia than within it. There were also places that saw no economic benefit from being in Yugoslavia; for example, the autonomous province of Kosovo was poorly developed, and per capita GDP fell from 47 percent of the Yugoslav average in the immediate post-war period to 27 percent by the 1980s.
However, economic issues have not been demonstrated to be the sole determining factor in the break up, as Yugoslavia in this period was the most prosperous Communist state in Eastern Europe, and the country in fact disintegrated during a period of economic recovery after the implementation of the economic reforms of Ante Marković’s government.
Furthermore, during the break up of Yugoslavia, the leaders of Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, all declined an unofficial offer by the European Community to provide substantial economic support to them in exchange for a political compromise. However, the issue of economic inequality between the republics, autonomous provinces, and nations of Yugoslavia resulted in tensions with claims of disadvantage and accusations of privileges against others by these groups.
Political protests in Serbia and Slovenia, which later developed into ethnic-driven conflict, began in the late 1980s as protests against the alleged injustice and bureaucratization of the political elite. Members of the political elite managed to redirect these protests against “others”. Serb demonstrators were worried about the disintegration of the country and alleged that “the others” (Croats, Slovenes, and international institutions) were deemed responsible.
The Slovene intellectual elite argued that “the others” (Serbs) were responsible for “Greater Serbian expansionist designs”, for economic exploitation of Slovenia, and for the suppression of Slovene national identity. These redirection actions of the popular protests allowed the authorities of Serbia and Slovenia to survive at the cost of undermining the unity of Yugoslavia.
- Other republics such as Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia refused to follow these tactics taken by Serbia and Slovenia, later resulting in the defeat of the respective League of Communists of each republic to nationalist political forces.
- From the point of view of international politics, it has been argued that the end of the Cold War contributed to the break up of Yugoslavia because Yugoslavia lost its strategic international political importance as an intermediary between the Eastern and Western blocs.
As a consequence, Yugoslavia lost the economic and political support provided by the West, and increased pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reform its institutions made it impossible for the Yugoslav reformist elite to respond to rising social disorder.
- The collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union undermined the country’s ideological basis and encouraged anti-communist and nationalist forces in the Western-oriented republics of Croatia and Slovenia to increase their demands.
- Nationalist sentiment among ethnic Serbs rose dramatically following the ratification of the 1974 Constitution, which reduced the powers of SR Serbia over its autonomous provinces of SAP Kosovo and SAP Vojvodina,
In Serbia, this caused increasing xenophobia against Albanians. In Kosovo (administered mostly by ethnic Albanian Communists), the Serbian minority increasingly put forth complaints of mistreatment and abuse by the Albanian majority. Feelings were further inflamed in 1986, when the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU) published the SANU Memorandum,
In it, Serbian writers and historians voiced “various currents of Serb nationalist resentment.” The SKJ was at the time united in condemning the memorandum, and continued to follow its anti-nationalist policy. In 1987, Serbian Communist official Slobodan Milošević was sent to bring calm to an ethnically-driven protest by Serbs against the Albanian administration of SAP Kosovo.
Milošević had been, up to this point, a hard-line Communist who had decried all forms of nationalism as treachery, such as condemning the SANU Memorandum as “nothing else but the darkest nationalism”. However, Kosovo’s autonomy had always been an unpopular policy in Serbia, and he took advantage of the situation and made a departure from traditional Communist neutrality on the issue of Kosovo.
Milošević assured Serbs that their mistreatment by ethnic Albanians would be stopped. He then began a campaign against the ruling Communist elite of SR Serbia, demanding reductions in the autonomy of Kosovo and Vojvodina. These actions made him popular amongst Serbs and aided his rise to power in Serbia.
Milošević and his allies took on an aggressive nationalist agenda of reviving SR Serbia within Yugoslavia, promising reforms and protection of all Serbs. Milošević proceeded to take control of the governments of Vojvodina, Kosovo, and the neighboring Socialist Republic of Montenegro in what was dubbed the ” Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution ” by the Serbian media.
Both the SAPs possessed a vote on the Yugoslav Presidency in accordance to the 1974 constitution, and together with Montenegro and his own Serbia, Milošević now directly controlled four out of eight votes in the collective head-of-state by January 1990. This only caused further resentment among the governments of Croatia and Slovenia, along with the ethnic Albanians of Kosovo ( SR Bosnia and Herzegovina and SR Macedonia remained relatively neutral).
Fed up by Milošević’s manipulation of the assembly, first the delegations of the League Communists of Slovenia led by Milan Kučan, and later the League of Communists of Croatia, led by Ivica Račan, walked out during the extraordinary 14th Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (January 1990), effectively dissolving the all-Yugoslav party.
Along with external pressure, this caused the adoption of multi-party systems in all of the republics. When the individual republics organized their multi-party elections in 1990, the ex-Communists mostly failed to win re-election. In Croatia and Slovenia, nationalist parties won their respective elections.
On 8 April 1990 the first multiparty elections in Slovenia (and Yugoslavia) since the Second World War were held. Demos coalition won the elections and formed a government which started to implement electoral reform programs. In Croatia, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) won the election promising to “defend Croatia from Milošević” which caused alarm among Croatia’s large Serbian minority.
Croatian Serbs, for their part, were wary of HDZ leader Franjo Tuđman ‘s nationalist government and in 1990, Serb nationalists in the southern Croatian town of Knin organized and formed a separatist entity known as the SAO Krajina, which demanded to remain in union with the rest of the Serb populations if Croatia decided to secede.
The government of Serbia endorsed the Croatian Serbs’ rebellion, claiming that for Serbs, rule under Tuđman’s government would be equivalent to the World War II fascist Independent State of Croatia (NDH) which committed genocide against Serbs during World War II.
Milošević used this to rally Serbs against the Croatian government and Serbian newspapers joined in the warmongering. Serbia had by now printed $1.8 billion worth of new money without any backing of Yugoslav central bank. In the Slovenian independence referendum, 1990, held on 23 December 1990, a vast majority of residents voted for independence.88.5% of all electors (94.8% of those participating) voted for independence – which was declared on 25 June 1991.
Both Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence on 25 June 1991. On the morning of 26 June, units of the Yugoslav People’s Army’s 13th Corps left their barracks in Rijeka, Croatia, to move towards Slovenia’s borders with Italy. The move immediately led to a strong reaction from local Slovenians, who organized spontaneous barricades and demonstrations against the YPA’s actions.
- There was, as yet, no fighting, and both sides appeared to have an unofficial policy of not being the first to open fire.
- By this time, the Slovenian government had already put into action its plan to seize control of both the international Ljubljana Airport and the Slovenia’s border posts on borders with Italy, Austria and Hungary.
The personnel manning the border posts were, in most cases, already Slovenians, so the Slovenian take-over mostly simply amounted to changing of uniforms and insignia, without any fighting. By taking control of the borders, the Slovenians were able to establish defensive positions against an expected YPA attack.
This meant that the YPA would have to fire the first shot. It was fired on 27 June at 14:30 in Divača by an officer of YPA. The conflict spread into the ten days war, with many soldiers wounded and killed in which the YPA was ineffective. Many unmotivated soldiers of Slovenian, Croatian, Bosnian or Macedonian nationality deserted or quietly rebelled against some (Serbian) officers who wanted to intensify the conflict.
It also marked the end of the YPA, which was until then composed by members of all Yugoslav nations. After that YPA consisted mainly of men of Serbian nationality. On 7 July 1991, whilst supportive of their respective rights to national self-determination, the European Community pressured Slovenia and Croatia to place a three-month moratorium on their independence with the Brijuni Agreement (recognized by representatives of all republics).
- During these three months, the Yugoslav Army completed its pull-out from Slovenia.
- Negotiations to restore the Yugoslav federation with diplomat Lord Peter Carington and members of the European Community were all but ended.
- Carington’s plan realized that Yugoslavia was in a state of dissolution and decided that each republic must accept the inevitable independence of the others, along with a promise to Serbian President Milošević that the European Union would ensure that Serbs outside of Serbia would be protected.
Milošević refused to agree to the plan, as he claimed that the European Community had no right to dissolve Yugoslavia and that the plan was not in the interests of Serbs as it would divide the Serb people into four republics (Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Croatia).
- Carington responded by putting the issue to a vote in which all the other republics, including Montenegro under Momir Bulatović, initially agreed to the plan that would dissolve Yugoslavia.
- However, after intense pressure from Serbia on Montenegro’s president, Montenegro changed its position to oppose the dissolution of Yugoslavia.
With the Plitvice Lakes incident of late March/early April 1991, the Croatian War of Independence broke out between the Croatian government and the rebel ethnic Serbs of the SAO Krajina (heavily backed by the by-now Serb-controlled Yugoslav People’s Army).
- On 1 April 1991, the SAO Krajina declared that it would secede from Croatia.
- Immediately after Croatia’s declaration of independence, Croatian Serbs also formed the SAO Western Slavonia and the SAO Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Syrmia,
- These three regions would combine into the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK) on 19 December 1991.
The influence of xenophobia and ethnic hatred in the collapse of Yugoslavia became clear during the war in Croatia. Propaganda by Croatian and Serbian sides spread fear, claiming that the other side would engage in oppression against them and would exaggerate death tolls to increase support from their populations.
- In the beginning months of the war, the Serb-dominated Yugoslav army and navy deliberately shelled civilian areas of Split and Dubrovnik, a UNESCO world heritage site, as well as nearby Croat villages.
- Yugoslav media claimed that the actions were done due to what they claimed was a presence of fascist Ustaše forces and international terrorists in the city.
UN investigations found that no such forces were in Dubrovnik at the time. Croatian military presence increased later on. Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Đukanović, at the time an ally of Milošević, appealed to Montenegrin nationalism, promising that the capture of Dubrovnik would allow the expansion of Montenegro into the city which he claimed was historically part of Montenegro, and denounced the present borders of Montenegro as being “drawn by the old and poorly educated Bolshevik cartographers”. At the same time, the Serbian government contradicted its Montenegrin allies by claims by the Serbian Prime Minister Dragutin Zelenović contended that Dubrovnik was historically Serbian, not Montenegrin. The international media gave immense attention to bombardment of Dubrovnik and claimed this was evidence of Milosevic pursuing the creation of a Greater Serbia as Yugoslavia collapsed, presumably with the aid of the subordinate Montenegrin leadership of Bulatović and Serb nationalists in Montenegro to foster Montenegrin support for the retaking of Dubrovnik,
In Vukovar, ethnic tensions between Croats and Serbs exploded into violence when the Yugoslav army entered the town in November 1991. The Yugoslav army and Serbian paramilitaries devastated the town in urban warfare and the destruction of Croatian property. Serb paramilitaries committed atrocities against Croats, killing over 200, and displacing others to add to those who fled the town in the Vukovar massacre.
With Bosnia’s demographic structure comprising a mixed population of Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, the ownership of large areas of Bosnia was in dispute. From 1991 to 1992, the situation in the multi-ethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina grew tense. Its parliament was fragmented on ethnic lines into a plurality Bosniak faction and minority Serb and Croat factions.
- In 1991, the controversial nationalist leader Radovan Karadžić of the largest Serb faction in the parliament, the Serb Democratic Party gave a grave and direct warning to the Bosnian parliament should it decide to separate, saying: “This, what you are doing, is not good.
- This is the path that you want to take Bosnia and Herzegovina on, the same highway of hell and death that Slovenia and Croatia went on.
Don’t think that you won’t take Bosnia and Herzegovina into hell, and the Muslim people maybe into extinction. Because the Muslim people cannot defend themselves if there is war here.” Radovan Karadžić, 14 October 1991. In the meantime, behind the scenes, negotiations began between Milošević and Tuđman to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina into Serb and Croat administered territories to attempt to avert war between Bosnian Croats and Serbs. Bosnian Serbs held the November 1991 referendum which resulted in an overwhelming vote in favor of staying in a common state with Serbia and Montenegro.
- In public, pro-state media in Serbia claimed to Bosnians that Bosnia and Herzegovina could be included a new voluntary union within a new Yugoslavia based on democratic government, but this was not taken seriously by the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s government.
- On 9 January 1992, the Bosnian Serb assembly proclaimed a separate Republic of the Serb people of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the soon-to-be Republic of Srpska ), and proceeded to form Serbian autonomous regions (SARs) throughout the state.
The Serbian referendum on remaining in Yugoslavia and the creation of Serbian autonomous regions (SARs) were proclaimed unconstitutional by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the independence referendum sponsored by the Bosnian government was held on 29 February and 1 March 1992.
That referendum was in turn declared contrary to the Bosnian and federal constitution by the federal Constitution Court and the newly established Bosnian Serb government; it was also largely boycotted by the Bosnian Serbs. According to the official results, the turnout was 63.4%, and 99.7% of the voters voted for independence.
It was unclear what the two-thirds majority requirement actually meant and whether it was satisfied. Following the secession of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 27 April 1992, the SFR Yugoslavia had, de facto, dissolved into five successor states: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (later renamed ” Serbia and Montenegro “).
Abstract – For many years the Yugoslav economic system appeared to offer a middle way between capitalism and Soviet central planning. The Yugoslavs’ brand of market socialism placed reliance on markets to guide both domestic and international production and exchange, with the socialist element coming from the “social ownership” and workers’ self-management of enterprises.
The system seemed successful until the late 1970s. However, in recent years, many of the problems besetting other socialist economies like Poland and Hungary—like stagnation, international debt, enterprise inefficiency, and inflation—have emerged to bring the whole experiment into question. Reforms paralleling those elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe are now on the agenda.
This paper will first describe how the Yugoslav economy has been distinguished from those of its socialist neighbors. The following sections will describe the economic record of Yugoslavia since the 1950s and the lessons to be drawn from the long-standing Yugoslav experiment.
Was Yugoslavia a communist or capitalist country?
Self-Government in Yugoslavia: The Path to Capitalism? Submitted: June 13th, 2020 Reviewed: August 21st, 2020 Published: September 24th, 2020 DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.93673 This chapter analyzes self-governing Yugoslavia in the context of capitalism. Regarding the problem of capitalism in socialist world, the practice of the former Yugoslavia cannot be ignored.
The socialist Yugoslavia was predetermined to be qualified as capitalist. The Yugoslav leadership developed: (a) self-government, (b) elements of market-biased socialism, and (c) openness to the international economy or the integration in the world market. Its economy achieved remarkable results by the mid-1960s.
Some notable economists compliment the results and suggest that the model is sustainable. However, since the mid-1960s, regressive tendencies have emerged that perpetuate significant social dissatisfaction. In 1968, students protested against the state of Yugoslav socialism, believing that it had absorbed capitalism.
- Others felt that Yugoslav socialism had not sufficiently developed market-based socialism.
- There were authors that argued that Yugoslav socialism had become capitalist but without capitalist rationality.
- In the 1970s, the de iure existing federation became a de facto confederation with closed national economies.
The chapter discusses the presence of elements of capitalism in this form of socialism based on (a) dependence on the world market, (b) banks as the institutionalization of “financial mode of capital,” and (c) the existence of perpetuated unemployment.
Emerging after World War II, Yugoslavia was destined to be qualified as a capitalist country. Its openness to the world market, market-framed consumption, self-management that introduced democracy to economic entities, and supremacy over the working class are just a few things that have always fueled suspicion about the socialist character of Yugoslavia.
- However, the same qualification was given from different sources and with different intentions: sometimes as a stigma and sometimes as a praise.
- The list is long: as early as 1951, a prominent Trotskyist economist Ernest Germain (Mandel) wrote that the emergence of the restoration of capitalism in Yugoslavia was imminent.
In 1963, a Chinese party leadership said that there had been a “counter-revolution” and “replacing of socialism with capitalism” in Yugoslavia, Paul Sweezy, a well-known American economist, also argued in the panorama of socialist countries in the 1960s that the existing socialist countries (except China) had opened the door to the invasion of capitalist content, and Yugoslavia did it as well.
Now, let us do a little time traveling: Ernst Lohoff, a modern German Marxist, used the term “ideeller Gesamtkapitalisten” (ideal total capitalist) to describe the Yugoslav situation, that is, to represent the communist party which took care of the “social capital.” This does not mean that the list is exhausted.
The mentioned assessments definitely stand for certain elements of the historically created situation in Yugoslavia. Yet, they contain certain reductions and do not capture the procedural character of the existence of capitalist aspects in Yugoslavia; if it is claimed that capitalism existed per se in Yugoslavia and a priori a sign of equality is placed between capitalism and Yugoslav socialism, then some important interpretation dimensions are lost.
Socialist Yugoslavia disintegrated at the end of the 1980s, and that already created the impression of pre determination, that is, the absence of any alternatives. However, capitalism in self-governing socialism arose as an unplanned outcome of various socio-economic determinations and certain conflicts that were actually the articulation of the same conflicts.
Capitalism in Yugoslav socialism could not be perceived on the basis of predetermined paths. A conceptual distinction should be made between capitalism and the existence of elements of capitalism : whatever the definition of capitalism we give, it represents a kind of socio-economic completeness and wholeness.
First, the paper presents a conceptual clarification based on which we have enframed the selected problems. After that, we are going to determine two ideological foundations of the Yugoslav system (self-management and social property) and describe, but not in-depth, the characteristic stages of Yugoslav socialism which relate to the chosen topic of our work.
The following sections will contain discussions of the selected moments that show strong presence of capitalist elements which truly anticipate later capitalism on the ruins of Yugoslavia (reliance on the volatile world market as the supreme arbiter of economic rationality, the supremacy of banking and financial capital over social reproduction, the presence of labor market elements).
This chapter does not present empirical investigations, but the claims are supported by empirical illustrations. We will neither discuss the causes of the collapse of Yugoslavia, nor the phenomena of “imitated modernizations.” We will only treat the problem of the existence of capitalism in self-governing Yugoslavia on the basis of selected examples.
Capitalism has always been prone to different interpretations. Max Weber, Werner Sombart, Joseph Schumpeter or Milton Friedman formulated the essence of capitalism in different ways. Moreover, capitalism is currently experiencing renewed and heterogeneous interpretations, some of which have even been questioning the existence of a “unitary definition of capitalism” due to “heterogeneity”,
Nevertheless, when discussing about Yugoslavia, we must turn to the author who is valued as the supreme landmark in terms of self-governing socialism, namely, Karl Marx because in this way the effects can be measured immanently, that is, we confront Yugoslav socialism with our own ideological self-understanding.
However, Marx did not use the term capitalism as much as he referred to the “mode of capitalist production.” In his perspective, structural determinations of capitalism imply certain social relations which mean that: (1) there must be wage labor which conditions (a) that direct producers are separated from the means of production and do not make investment decisions and (b) there is exploitation of direct producers in the sense that those who have the means of production command the use of labor, that is, achieve “exploitation as domination”, (2) there is competition between capital in the market, (3) “monetization of the economy” and the “financial mode of existence of capital”, and (4) ideological infrastructure that supports structural determinations.
- Socialism implies the appearance as well as a set of different intervention practices that abolish the specified conditions of capitalism.
- The same practices imply a synthesis of different interventions both in the field of ideology/rights/politics (e.g.
- Disempowerment of property rights) and in the economic domain (e.g.
creation of nonantagonistic relations in production, creation of socio-economic conditions for appropriation of surplus labor of direct producers). Therefore, socialism implies a deep-seated political-economic transformation: that was the intention of the Yugoslav communists as well.
Yet they (like many others) understood socialism as a “transitional state” between capitalism and communism, that is, as a process that led to the goal of history. In other words, socialism was viewed both procedurally and teleologically: the communist party was considered to be the one that was “supposed to know” the paths of history leading to the desired goal.
At least two things need to be clarified here. First, although the ideologists of Yugoslav self-governing socialism were not clear about this, it must be said that capitalism and (self-managing) socialism exist in the same conceptual field. Both are based on what the Yugoslav communists called “commodity-based production.” However, the same communists projected the possibility of turning commodity-mediated collective organizations into a means that could be harnessed in the course of teleologically understood history.
Successful instrumentalization of the commodity-principle is the main prerequisite for socialism not to regress into capitalism. Socialism represents a certain relationship between fine-tuning of instruments (commodity/market) and anticipated goals (communism). It is important to mention that the criticism that affects the ideological projections of the Yugoslav communists from leftist perspectives centers on that they managed to realize legal and political interventions with respect to the fabric of society, but not epochal changes in terms of transforming the structure of productions.
Second, Yugoslav ideologists like Edvard Kardelj referred to social capital, The semantic context of this term brings us back again to Marx, who in Volume III of Capital wrote about the self-transformation of capital (about joint-stock companies as forms of socialization of capital) “within the capitalist mode of production itself.” “Cooperative firms” and “joint-stock companies” are signs that capitalism has come to its own “superseding” independently of the property rights of the means of production, which means that “workers in the association become their own capitalists.” The same stands for the Yugoslav communists.
- The above given arguments indicate the existence of capitalism and socialism on the same soil,
- Does this mean that there is capitalism in socialism or vice versa, socialism in capitalism? Johanna Bockman raised a provocative thesis stating that “neo-liberalism” does not only have transnational roots but also “leftist origins.” She explicitly mentions Yugoslav economists as interlocutors who, because of greater intellectual freedom in the former Yugoslavia, had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the neoclassical logic of Western economists and, during the intensive communication and scholarship, thus also became acquainted with the appropriate economic techniques.
In addition, more liberal worldview that emerged in Yugoslavia after the break with Stalin resulted in systematic translations of economic literature in the West. This would then mean that the discursive constructions of liberal economists in Yugoslavia, who were attacking the system anyway, were an inevitable “source” for the renewal of liberal capitalism.
Or it meant that one of the most famous Yugoslav economists (who regularly used the neoclassical technique), Branko Horvat, a theorist of self-management, malgré lui contributed to the emergence of neoliberalism. Bockman is not surprised that the Yugoslav self-governing enterprise has become an exceptional subject for various economic theorists in a capitalist perspective: neoclassical discourse has followed with great interest the models of employees being “their own capitalists”,
Bockmann’s thesis is problematic as it overemphasizes neoclassical discourse (which cannot be equated with Hayek’s Austrian discourse who played a significant role in the reshaping of the framework of today’s “neoliberalism”). Moreover, changes of socialism toward capitalism or the affirmation of capitalism can be understood only by measuring the relationship between structure and agencies in Yugoslav society.
The proposition that local economic discourse could contribute to the emergence of “neo-liberalism” should not be questioned, but it is of greater significance to notice that (at least if we accept that we can talk about embryos of “neoliberalism” in Yugoslavia) different social agencies were the “bearers” of this constellation.
However, there is an idea in Bockman’s thesis that is important to us: it actually suggests that there is ante litteram capitalism on a discursive level. As for the relevance of discursive articulations, we can say that discourses have a function of revelation.
Indeed, if we take a look at, for example, some economic and political discourses in the 1960s (regardless of Bockman), they actually anticipate transitional discourses of the late 1980s when, after the collapse of self-management, there was official transition to capitalism and ideology propagated definite supremacy of capitalism with respect to socialism.
Or, if we evaluate the various economic discourses in the 1960s regarding the international market, then we see the absolutization of such export orientation, which is also emphasized in the post-socialist order as a panacea. Broadly speaking, Bockman’s argument is the basis for our further argumentation: the “transition period” was burdened with the ” recurrences of the past ” as ideologists said many times before (hence, there is always a path-dependent logic that determines the present) and at the same time it was determined by the elements of future that later became unambiguously “capitalist.” Thus, the “transition period” develops diachronic time sequences as well as synchronous temporality.
It is a temporal framework in which we can thematize the presence of capitalism in socialist Yugoslavia. There were two fundamentals of the system: self-management and social property. In both cases, the system saw itself as a pioneer, The emergence of capitalism in Yugoslavia can only be understood as an expression of the collapse of the synthesis between self-management and social property.
In a nutshell, self-management meant that the “working man” in various associations was the main subject of the economic domain and the axis of all life in general, At the same time, self-management as the microfoundation was the basis for macro-construction, that is, for the “self-government society.” There was, therefore, an intention to expand self-management to the entire society, to transfer the norms of labor socialization to other (say, communal) levels, too.
- Self-management was the negative fundamental of the system: Yugoslav socialism was considered to be significantly different from both the Soviet type of state socialism and the organization of labor under capitalism.
- Self-government was supposed to realize analogous goals as well as capitalism and state socialism (economic rationality, productivism), but in a significantly superior way.
Self-management goals can accordingly be classified in the following modes:
- improving efficiency while creating the necessary conditions for calibrating economic motivations—self-managing enterprise overcomes various deficits of capitalist enterprise in terms of efficiency (according to some data, the total productivity of production factors in the period 1953–1965 in capitalism was 3.3, in state socialism it was 3.0, and in self-management it was 4.7, p.170). Thus, modern economic discourse recognizes in capitalism the acute problem of “incomplete contract” in terms of organization of production and control by capitalists, but in self-management this problem disappears as there is no need for constant supervision of workers who are “their own capitalists”; they are capitalists with the right motivation but without capitalism;
- the achievement of just distribution and egalitarianism, starting from the micro to the macro level (the Gini coefficient in the mentioned period was 0.40 in capitalist countries, 0.26 in “statist countries,” and 0.25 in self-management), p.171; self-governing socialism wanted the same thing as transformed capitalisms after World War II, the prosperity, but in a different way;
- some theorists and strategists even had the idea of abolishing the division of labor;
- in the philosophical sense, the realization of “humanism,” i.e. disalienation, or overcoming various forms of alienation in capitalism.
The conception of self-management was, in certain aspects, on the ground of capitalism, but for the purpose of transcending to the capitalism, and this can be proved with the thinking of Horvat who has already been mentioned here (he once managed federal Yugoslav planning institutions to become an “internal opposition” to the system).
It is characteristic that, unlike liberal economists who believed in the late 1980s that entrepreneurship was possible only with the existence of consistently derived private property (according to the Austrian concept), Horvat insisted on self-management until the end of socialism as an adequate framework for collective entrepreneurship,
Still, this concept of ” collective as entrepreneur ” does not exclude personal initiative: on the contrary, this way self-management surpasses capitalism, which enables far-reaching inclusion of personal initiatives in the collectivity. Self-government in the context of “commodified production” aimed to establish efficient and fair use of capital—but always without capitalism.
- Social property was more difficult to interpret because it had far fewer predecessors than self-management.
- We can understand social-property as a critique of private and group property in the sense that social-property is inclusive in relation to the exclusivity of the mentioned forms of property.
- Strictly speaking, “society” was the bearer of property and this clearly had an anti-capitalist trait, but it was not easy to operationalize in the context of the increasingly intensifying market in Yugoslavia.
A solution was found in the separation of economic and legal aspects of property, which is again (at least partially) analogous to a joint-stock company in capitalism where shareholders are the legal holders of property, but only management can establish “economic control.” It can be said that the combination of self-management and social-property had double function: (a) finding a unique Yugoslav position toward capitalism and state socialism and (b) overcoming the antagonism between capital and labor as well as divergence between socialized economy and private appropriation,
Self-management was gradually introduced after the conflict with Stalin in 1948 and, as often described in the literature, with a great burden of the past it meant: (a) the legacy of pre-war Yugoslavia which was a peripheral capitalist country, (b) great destruction in World War II, brutal destruction of the existing capital which caused a lack of capital in the context of accelerated industrialization, (c) high disparities, that is, divergences in the development between different parts of a country with a federal structure.
The Yugoslav communists knew that the weak working class, which was necessarily recruited from the peasantry in the agrarian country, lacked cognitive resources as well as habitualization for the realization of self-management. However, they assumed that the self-management processes could involve learning-by-doing principle due to the absence of time for education.
- Alternatively, we can say that the practiced self-management is not only a combination of goal-rational actions but also the creation of “endogenous preferences,” that is, the creation of subjectivities for individual economic initiatives.
- Worker subjectivity is a dynamic category and it can change depending on institutional conditions; dynamic self-management will just develop harmony between social justice and effectiveness.
For the genealogical approach, it is purposeful to adopt the well-established scheme that shows briefly the dynamics of self-management with the macroelements relevant for our analysis:
- 1945–1948: industrial take off; pure imitation of state socialism including state-property (in 1948 the industry was 100% state-owned); the plan directly and as legal imperative directed the economy, orders the proportions;
- 1948–1965 : introduction and affirmation of self-management; double decentralization both in terms of territorial organization and in terms of basic economic entities; existence of significant economic growth; plan/market axis in the sense that the plan sets the “basic proportions” of economics, however, self-management was never implemented consistently and, in addition, it always carried an inherent sign of the politics “from above”; at the beginning of the 60s, the first signs of exhaustion of the great industrial take off from the 50s appeared, that is, the cycle that brought primarily (unrepeatable) high growth was exhausted; the necessity of choosing a new direction in terms of economics, which would create a reform in 1965 (reforms were “endemic” in socialism anyway, as Adam Przeworski says);
- 1965–1974: the inflammation of hard crisis (industrial production grew at a rate of 12.7 in the period 1952–1964, and at a rate of 7.1 in the period 1964–1978 ); strong turn toward the world market especially in search for foreign aid; the modes of introducing market categories gave enormous power to the banks; a break in the “plan-market axis” in terms of the gradual disappearance of comprehensive planning; stabilization of high unemployment level; survival of regional disparities; high rate of inflation and significant social polarization; strong presence of elements of capitalism but without the appropriate capitalist rationality that would “domesticate” the results of deregulated markets; loss of socialism contours;
- 1974–1980: constitutional completing of national states of the existing federalism with the modes and effects of confederalization; strengthening of economic sovereignty of federation constituents; “nationalization” of different economies with mimetic reheating of political conflicts between national oligarchies (politology employs here the term of “polyarchy”); exposition to advancing international economic crisis.
- 1980–: “perpetuation of Yugoslav crisis”; condensation of aggressive economic nationalism among the entities of federation leading to final disintegration; futile efforts to reconstitute Yugoslavia; openness to capitalism completed.
Capital circulation in the world market represents a significant source of capitalist elements in socialist countries. However, we should demystify a myth that persists in a permanent autarchy of socialism in which strong ideology has control over the economic communication with capitalism system: this bears no reality in the context of “red globalization”,
- Yugoslavia appears here as an exception, but with regard to it, we can only discuss about gradual differences in overall socialist world.
- In any case, it is true that, as early as in 1950, Yugoslavia rapidly integrated into the world capitalist system, which was under the domination of the victorious USA.
There were different forms of accession: integration into economic institutions of “liberal internationalism” (Coal Committee of the Economic Committee for Europe, loans from the World Bank, the IMF and the US Export–Import Bank, as well as British banks ), bilateral treaties; it was indicative that there was a very favorable balance of payment in 1948 (the period which, according to many authors, is believed to be the period of autarchism).
The following year, there were “efforts to find new markets in the European Economic Community and the United States for minerals and timber; agreed to the dinar-dollar exchange rateso as to obtain IMF credits”, These moments are only examples, but they are representative enough to demonstrate that self-governing Yugoslavia was part of the capitalist world system and that it acted in compliance with capitalist norms,
However, there are phases that shed light on capitalist aspects: by 1965, although external financing was important, there was a certain balance between internal and external sources of financing and the debt was 1.2 billion of dollars until that period,
It can be said that there had been “shallow integration” by that time despite gradual integration into the world market determined by capital, and that it was not until 1965 that “deep integration” took place. Changes in integration in capitalist world market were depended on the processes in the early 1960s.
Namely, the economic growth as well as the growth rate was slowed down, and it was obvious that the development direction should be reconstructed. One group of theorists and politicians, who emerged from liberal milieu, focused their attention to the world market as an ultimate criterion of economic rationality.
They drew attention to the fact that the products of self-governing companies should be tested, in other words, the results of self-managers should be proven in the market with dominant capitalist rationality and absence of communist ideas. In addition, the highest-level political officials also warned about the necessity for reorientation in a domain such as tourism in order to attract foreign investments,
Other theorists and politicians (in scientific literature referred to as “developmentalists”) have emphasized the importance of a phenomenon commonly referred to as “import substitution industrialization,” which would imply a distance between Yugoslav economy to the capitalist dimensions of world market and focus on national resources.
- The 1965 reform brought the triumph of economic liberalization.
- It can be said that this also meant a certain victory for economists and politicians of liberal provenance who emphasized the inevitability of the competitiveness of the Yugoslav economy in the world market (exports in 1970 amounted to about 15.1% of GDP ).
A number of typical deregulatory measures were adopted with the aim of improving efficiency of the foreign trade system, devaluation of dinar was realized, and as the official documents emphasized “free disposal of foreign exchange,” “foreign exchange self-financing,” and “interbanking foreign exchange market” should be achieved,
- Import was also increased and in the period between 1961 and 1965 it was covered with export in the range of 74% and then the same coverage was gradually reduced, p.104.
- An institution, which was completely unknown in socialist countries, appeared as an expression of new orientation, namely, joint business venture (in accordance with the legislation, there was a certain restriction that “the foreign partner could not have more than 49% of the total value of joint investments”).
Simultaneously, joint ventures were unknown source of financing as well as the form of cooperation with foreign capitalist companies for profit purposes. In the period between 1967 and 1980 “joint ventures were signed to the value of 49,255 million dinars, of which the foreign participation amounted to 10,264 million dinars or 20.74% of the total”,
Actually, the level of investment made by different foreign multinational companies (their structure reflected the structure of foreign trade of Yugoslavia with a significant presence of Western Germany and USA) varied but it represented a significant source of financing. Therefore, it can be said that with certain restriction, self-governing socialism found the source of financing based on the profit criteria; therefore, it can be said that Yugoslavia, following market-economic rationality, used loans for investment and not for consumption.
However, despite the results (for example, state property definitely disappeared with the reform and became social property), major problems arose. The system of the federal state was decentralized in such a way that the possibility of joint-federal planning was increasingly lost, that is, there was a fatal fragmentation between the members of the Yugoslav federation who were divided by nationalist interest.
- Decentralization is a principle that can be justified, but at that time it acquired a pronounced disintegration-nationalist meaning: the focus was on the work that merged the nationalist affirmation of justice with market criteria.
- Favoring of the market often had a national character, the perspective of those who benefited from inclusion in the world capitalist system.
Moreover, it should be noted that the IMF, which of course implemented the norms of capitalist rationality in terms of debt, acted as a “promoter” of capitalism but internal decentralization of Yugoslavia as well, In the meantime, Yugoslav economy became de regulated in significant elements losing chains between market and plan; the federation apparatus was losing its competencies and it could eventually manage only the monetary flows.
It entered volatile world market with strong competitive pressures, but with subsequently drastically increased American interest rate, which resulted in the countries in debt being in undesirable situation, or with oil price shocks, Yugoslav economy was literally unprotected from contingent shocks of the world system.
Some Yugoslav economists metaphorically called Yugoslav economy a laissez-faire system indicating to the absence of planning dimension, Rusinow even used the term ” laissez-faire socialism” ironically. During the 1980s, which were important because the world economy was also restructured and profound transformations were commonly associated with the offensive of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher (who demolished post-war Keynesian compromise), Yugoslav economy was strongly affected.
Yugoslav economy with aspects of deregulation competed in the world market, its actors had to adopt the roles of capitalist subjects, and at the same time, Yugoslavia as a whole was left with and without capitalist resilience regarding the relationship between market and plan—we must not forget that the plan exists in capitalism as well (corporate planning), although it develops in a different way compared to socialism.
Yugoslav communists wanted “endogenous planning” (as opposed to imposed exogenous planning), and in the 1970s and 1980s they even legally forced basic economic units to implement planning, but planning in Yugoslavia became less and less possible. Socialism projects planning as a control of economic flows; planning is a guarantee to reduce waste, and self-management promised virtuous cycles between plan and market—however, these projections increasingly failed.
- As we have already seen, there were various forms of financing economic activities in the 1960s and they were related to the profit motive, that is, to capitalist incentives, with the constant intensification of dependence on the world market.
- However, banks in Yugoslavia played a special role in the entire constellation in the 1960s.
The background to the problem was the argument about adequate sources of financing because some Yugoslav actors, at the same time, proposed institutionalization of the capital market as in capitalism, which would imply a consistent market distribution of funds for investment purposes.
The capital market was often a subject of various discussions regarding the market socialism. Namely, the advocates of market socialism believe that it is possible to develop market but without transition into capitalism, that is, it is possible to affirm market without capitalism (unlike those critics who believe that market socialists are inherently “capitalist roaders” ).
The capital market can be rationalized in the system in which there is a synthesis of worker-control and decentralized market. The capital market was not introduced in Yugoslav self-managing socialism. The argument for this was that, in that case, a self-manager would just be a pure “shareholder” of “social capital.” At the same time, liberal economists discussed about that as being a symptom of a significant problem because the expansion of real income could not be converted into investments as it was converted into personal consumption and status of goods.
This constellation encouraged some researchers to claim that Yugoslav self-management belonged to the sphere of “market socialism”, p.169, due to the lack of capital market. The consumer market articulated personal consumption based on the logic of prices; there was a significant liberalization of the price mechanism in foreign trade as well, but the market mechanisms and allocative efficiency of the market were not applied in production factors.
It is interesting that there is a belief even by the critical left that it was a mistake to give up on the introduction of the capital market, p.291, because with appropriate infrastructure the engaged self-managers could rationalize the distribution of funding sources and control the use of resources exposed to irrational spending, that is, waste of resources.
- The result of this logic is that the capital market would enable rational use of social capital, which would finalize the idea regarding the targeted use of capital, but without transformation into capitalism.
- Conceptually, this argument emphasizes that it is completely wrong to think within the framework of a rigid dichotomy between plan and market, that is, the fact that there was no plan in Yugoslavia as coercive encompassing of economy does not mean that it represented market socialism.
However, coexistence between market and socialism has never been present without certain tensions. Actually, it was this context that the banks appeared in the 1960s as exclusive financiers and as financial entities in the absence of capital market. Banks, as financial institutions, did not have earlier a constitutive role in financing investments in Yugoslavia, they were simply a part of “bureaucratic planning”: they did not prevent “irrational” allocation of resources, nor they could sanction “insolvencies.” However, intensive liberalization in 1965 resulted in banks being analyzed from a new perspective.
- Actually, they were supposed to become an organic part of the “integrated self-management system” and achieve harmony between market and self-management.
- Commercial banks began to operate in accordance with capitalist norms, that is, they could borrow from the banks abroad and take deposits in foreign currency, thus being able to finance domestic companies and mediate between savings and investments, p.399.
The reform of the banks was intended to: (a) consequently complete the decentralization process that took place in Yugoslavia at various levels, (b) ensure price stability, and (c) prevent the supremacy of any institution that finances the Yugoslav self-managing economy.
- In other words, the territorial and functional organization of the banks was supposed to ensure the final triumph of self-management, that is, the victory of the working man who mastered the entire social reproduction.
- The self-managers actually gave a part of the “social capital” to the banks in order to rationalize the allocation of resources—that was the official argument.
However, if we try to understand the intention of financing investments and transfer of savings into investments as a “financial root” of self-management, then it can definitely be said that the reform failed. Banks in fact became superior to self-managing entities by becoming dominant managers over significant segments of “social capital” allowing them to establish control over self-governing entities, even to “blackmail” self-governing actors.
- Banking oligopoly” (known in the literature) became a relevant social phenomenon that soon became a political problem.
- This is proven by data: banks’ funds in financing investments were about 7.0% in the period 1952–1958, but in the period 1964–1971, the same percentage was 30 to 41%, p.99.
- Therefore, it should be added that “joint work” increasingly depended on financing based on foreign funds: in the period 1971–1975, foreign sources of investment increased to 28%,
Banks were criticized many times and most of those criticisms were political and were addressed to monetary technocracy in banks. However, the mentioned technocracy (which has been criticized many times for being “alienated” from joint work) just implemented rationality norms in the newly developed situation.
In fact, it seems as if, at this stage, the discourse of differentiation between capitalism and socialism is reversed. Namely, if we were to analyze the language of the debates of that time, then we would have the impression that the discussions were conducted in a discursive perspective or of the Finance capital of Rudolf Hilferding (1910), or in the perspective of later and present elements of “financialization.” In fact, there were aspects of both retrospective and anticipatory forms of financial capital in Yugoslavia.
In Yugoslav socialism when self-criticism always had strong forms, certain influential actors (such as Kardelj who is already mentioned here) analyzed the penetration of the banking capital as a prelude to capitalism. So, it should not come as a surprise that the measures adopted in the 1960s were homologous to the economic-political measures realized during the transition in post-socialist countries in the 1990s (control of public finances for the purpose of curbing inflation, etc.) and other implemented measures of economic policy that anticipated later transition into capitalism (relying on IMF loans, encouraging of exporting-based economy, “restrictive monetarism,” cutting of import and budget, or lessening of welfare provisions, etc.).
In fact, the same measures can be compared with the orientation schemes of late transition to capitalism. Capitalism was structurally present as anticipation. In 1965, a dissemination of certain market criteria (in the sphere of housing construction in the domain of service activities, etc.) was welcomed.
Consequently, certain forms of social differentiation were intensified resulting in the destruction of egalitarianism as a socialist principle. The system made efforts to regulate income differences within the firm, i.e. the range of income, which provided certain forms of intra-firm egalitarianism, but the deregulated market created different forms of “rents” (which also implies different forms of inequality and exploitation).
Self-management socialism raised its flag which wrote “reward according to work” (this form was later changed and became “reward according to the results of work”, p.345, which implies different perspective), but the “system of rents” created such situations in which income did not depend on work but on the branch of economy in which a “self-managing worker” performed his activities (locational rent).
There were forms of intra-firm interest, but the workers in certain firms defended their own interests without respecting the interests of the working class as a whole. Relevant research indicated a tendency of agents of individual firms to behave as subjects of capitalist firms, namely, as agents of atomized firms with conflicting interests (this allows us to discuss about “fragmented” and “atomized” self-management).
- Although some research showed that “competitive pressures” in self-governing company was “relatively weak”, p.314;, p.243, in comparison to the capitalist firms, this did not imply expansion of solidarity in the form of socialist egalitarianism.
- Solidarity did not overwrite atomized interests.
- In capitalism, “choice in the small does not provide choice in the large”, which means that there was a structural possibility for individual rationality to be converted into “collective irrationality” (Przeworski), or into collective myopia, and Yugoslav self-governing socialism underwent that change.
A special attention here should be paid to unemployment. It is certain that it was connected with the mentioned reform as it can be seen from data: the number of unemployed people in 1965 was 265.000 and in 1968 it was 315.000, p.105. Simultaneously, the unemployment rate increased dramatically in the underdeveloped countries.
In Macedonia, which was part of Yugoslavia, the unemployment rate in 1952 was 6.3%, in 1965 it was 13.5% (with a tendency to increase), and in 1974 it was 19.7%, and in Slovenia, the unemployment rate in the same year was only 1.4%, p.394. However, it must be said that the problem of unemployment (which is not interesting for us due to its phenomenology but in the light of the presence of capitalism) has attracted constant attention since the beginning of the second Yugoslavia, that is, since 1965.
The Communist Party was faced with the mentioned problem earlier so it came to the conclusion that it was impossible to avoid unemployment, that is, it concluded that there was an “inevitable”/functional unemployment rate in self-governing socialism as well.
Even in the period before 1965, when the growth rate in the social sector (4%) was high, job could not be provided to a great number of people who came from rural to urban areas. After the mentioned reform in the social sector, the employment rate in the period increased at a rate of 0.8%, which was less than the growth rate of the labor force; moreover, if we compare the employment rate with the growth rate of the entire population, then we could see negative rate of −0.1%,
The fact causing the concern was that around 50% of unemployed people were young. If we start from the fact that the “inevitable” unemployment rate in capitalism at that time was 4–5%, then the relevant fact is that the same rate in Yugoslavia was around 7%, p.294, or that in 1968, around 47% more people were looking for employment in comparison to the percentage before reform, which indicates to the collapse of employment policy.
- Statistics showed permanent, long-term unemployment, but research, at the same time, indicated to excessive unemployment in companies (contrary to Benjamin Ward’s theory of self-governing firms, which suggested that the said type of firm was a labor-saving one).
- The problem of unemployment affected the basic ideological matrices of self-governing socialism.
We should not forget that its ideology was based on socialization which is based on work, that is, on the fact that it can be integrated in social community only through the sphere of work. None can enjoy the benefits of socialism without work and a person may become a -social without work-biased subjectivity.
The fact that aspects of labor market, which determine economic flows, also undermine socialist principle is very important here, The Yugoslav communists clearly projected the necessity of overcoming wage labor. Finally, as the important Polish economist Michal Kalecki reminded us, unemployment is per se a political problem, that is, the employment rate always shows political configuration of power.
Consequently, higher employment rate is homologous to the power and capacity of the working class. Political economy of Yugoslav unemployment was, in that sense, an adequate expression of general contradictions in terms of “real” self-governing socialism.
Not only is unemployment an economic phenomenon but also condensation of the existing social relationships. At the same time, it shows the loss of “associational power”, that is, disempowering of the working class which is always associated with the tendencies in the labor market. In addition, recurrent unemployment, loss of self-governing power, as published by the Yugoslav scientific literature, replicates capitalism in such a way that a “degraded worker” who loses the sense of commitment turns to infinite consumption and becomes a slave of “capitalist consumption mentality”,
When Yugoslav researchers tried to operationalize “alienation” (as a sense of “meaninglessness,” “anomie,” “social isolation”) then they came to the conclusion that self-governing workers felt like wage earners; therefore, despite the desired projections, the wage labor was present,
If we understand self-management as a framework for “zero-sum game” between socialism and capitalism, then perpetuated unemployment can be viewed as a loss of socialist horizon. Due to unemployment, the Yugoslav management allowed workers to go abroad after some hesitation. In 1972, there were about million workers and their dependents in what was then West Germany; it represented 10% of the active population and “about 20 percent of those employed outside agriculture”, p.199.
Two-thirds of workers went abroad just after the 1965 reform, which shows the effects of the reform. This only completed the extroverted mode of existence of self-management socialism, that is, the structure of dependence from world-capitalism. The mentioned dependence was obvious in the situation when there was a stagnation in capitalism in the 70s and the Western European market was less and less absorbing labor from Yugoslavia.
- We also have to add that with perpetual unemployment the black market flourished which, together with aspects of dependence on the world labor market, inevitably indicated to the fact that there were constitutive dimensions of capitalism in self-governing Yugoslavia.
- Yugoslav self-management promised idiosyncratic coordination between politico-economic actors.
Self-government was determined based on the relations between the ruling communist party, capital, and labor. The goal of the self-management was to realize the dominance of labor over capital, but workers did not become “their own capitalists.” Many economists have emphasized that self-management in Yugoslavia was introduced (“imposed”) for noneconomic or ideological reasons.
- Simultaneously, there was hope that self-forcing mechanisms of self-management would create such a motivational structure of economic entities that would lead to adjustment of ideological and economic patterns.
- Strategists in the former Yugoslav order as well as many economists believed that the market, in the context of self-management and social property, was a set of neutral mechanisms that can combine ideological teleology and economic rationality.
Pro-market arguments presented by Yugoslav liberal economists did not differ from the same arguments made by theorists in capitalism (e.g. Hayek regarding the information superiority of the market.) There is even a certain analogy with state socialism which aim was to govern the market; some economists thought that there was a “socialist commodity production.” Liberal economists wished self-management to be embedded in the mechanism of the market as a guarantee of different types of freedom.
Communists, however, expected the market to be embedded in self-management. However, if we take a look at the collapse of self-management in Yugoslavia, as well as the “collective irrationality” of Yugoslav socialism, then it can be said that the forms of markets that existed only prepared the way for capitalism, that is, that self-managements in Yugoslavia were “capitalist roaders.” This will not after all provide general answer to the question already mentioned here as to whether market socialism is possible at all; it will only shed light on the fact that the empirical forms of the market in Yugoslavia did not prevent later capitalism.
Self-management was constituted as a front against state socialism in Soviet Union and capitalism, as well (it was the so-called “third road”); consequently, the failures of self-management marked triumph of capitalism. Yugoslav strategists did not think that capitalism was infeasible; on the contrary, they often mentioned “capital-relationship” as an existing horizon that should be overcome, but which returned to the self-governing scene as an internal danger.
Capital was, in negative context, often mentioned in various forms, such as “state capital” (that is not “socially owned”), “trade and bank capital,” and sometimes even the phrase “state capitalism” was mentioned. We have to interpret this as forms of the presence of capitalism in self-management; it cannot be otherwise.
Self-governing Yugoslavia was always a strong candidate for the “bearer” of the phenomenon of capitalism due to its market orientation, which had strong deregulatory aspects. We could say that capitalism existed in self-governing socialism as a futur antérieur.
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Submitted: June 13th, 2020 Reviewed: August 21st, 2020 Published: September 24th, 2020 © 2020 The Author(s). Licensee IntechOpen. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. : Self-Government in Yugoslavia: The Path to Capitalism?
Why was Yugoslavia communist?
Just like most of world politics in the 20th century, this period was everything but boring. – Yugoslavia, or, translated to English, “land of the South Slavs”, was a country formed in 1918. The term Yugoslavia is intended to indicate the lands occupied by the Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks, Montenegrins, Slovenes and Macedonians.
It was initially a monarchy named Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and, after several political changes, the name eventually became Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Communist parties existed in almost all Yugoslav countries since the very beginning of the 20th century, but only in 1919 they all unified to become one political party.
It was relatively unknown around the world at the time, but it grew to become very influential and significant. The party, just like the country itself, went through many turbulent changes, until it finally dissolved in 1990. The October Revolution in 1917, among other things, was the thing that stimulated the revolutionist mindset in Yugoslavia.
The Yugoslav communists were encouraged by Russia’s example. Another encouragement was the existence of the Comintern – a centralized institution that advocated world communism and therefore provided a sense of belonging to the Communists of the world. Consequently, a couple years after the revolution, it was clear that the socialist movement had to come together in order for it to be more powerful.
In 1919, at the Congress of Unification held in the Yugoslav capital Belgrade, most of the social democratic Yugoslav parties united and formed an opposition party – the Socialist Labor Party of Yugoslavia (of Communists). That same year, the socialist women united at the first Conference of Socialist (Communist) Women, the Central Workers’ Trade-Union Council was founded, and, in Zagreb, the Alliance of the Communist Youth of Yugoslavia was formed.
They all accepted and followed the party program, which was described as “the synthesis of the Social Democratic ideological heritage with the experiences of the October Revolution”. It was predominantly oriented towards a forthcoming revolution, whereas the Practical Program of Action was oriented to a long-term political fight within the system.
The following year, on the second Party Congress held in Vukovar, the party changed its name to Communist Party of Yugoslavia. The newly formed party organized several rallies of support for Soviet Russia and the Hungarian Soviet Republic, as well as a few protests against the political situation in their own country.
The growing popularity of the Communist party started posing a threat to the king and the government. During the local elections of March and August of 1920, the Communists won majority in several cities, including some big cities such as Belgrade, Zagreb, Podgorica, Skoplje, Niš. In the Constitutional assembly elections in November of that same year, they received 58 out of 419 seats and ended up being the third largest party in the assembly.
Around that time, there were several miners’ strikes near Tuzla, Bosnia, one even resulting in the deaths of four miners and a policeman. The government decided to take advantage of that situation and accused the Communists of preparing a putsch. Then, they issued the Obznana (“announcement”) decree in December of 1920.
- Obznana prohibited all Communist activities until the adoption of the new constitution.
- The measures included shutting down the Communist newspaper (or any type of propaganda that would validate or promote dictatorship or revolution) and seizing the party’s property.
- Some of the party leaders were arrested and therefore the party formed an Alternative Central Party Leadership.
Soon after that, the Assembly passed the Law of protection of public security and state order which banned the party and all Communist activity indefinitely. The decree as well as the law got mixed reactions from the public. Some supported them and accused the Communists of being part of a foreign party and receiving orders from abroad.
- Certain newspaper wrote that the measures should have been even more severe.
- On the other hand, many criticised it for being unconstitutional, since the Constitution guaranteed freedom of speech and thinking.
- It was also noted that the government didn’t treat communism as a political movement, but instead as anarchy and terrorism.
Still, the last assembly session which included communist representatives was held on August 2nd 1921. Two days later, all communist representatives’ terms were annulled. From that moment on, the party started functioning as an illegal revolutionary organization.
- Around the same time, a group of party leaders formed the Executive Committee of the Communist Party in Emigration, therefore establishing a double leadership, along with the Alternative Central Party Leadership.
- This caused destabilization, since one faction wanted quick revolutionary change and the other wanted to postpone the revolution.
The members tried to overcome the conflict on the Third Party Congress in Vienna, but even after that, it wasn’t truly resolved. It started spreading into the lower party organizations, which resulted in anti-factional campaigns among the cadres. Đuro Đaković, one of the leaders of the party, ended up appealing to the Comintern in 1928, denouncing both factions as blocking party work.
In November that year, the Fourth Party Congress was held in Dresden. The Congress reaffirmed centralist principles. The political crisis in 1928/29 caused King Alexander to suspend the constitution and introduce a royal dictatorship. The period of dictatorship lasted around three years. The Communist Party called upon workers and peasants to start an armed revolt, which then gave the government a motive to destroy the party.
The leaders of the Young Communist League, including Đuro Đaković, were killed and the party’s organization was almost completely ruined. This resulted in the Central Committee moving to Vienna and losing all contact with the remaining organizations in Yugoslavia.
The following years were difficult for the party, since they had to rebuild the structure but at the same time couldn’t communicate with the Committee or inform them about the exact situation in the country. The Communist party ban was not lifted until 1941. In 1935, the Central Committee decided to create a “National Bureau” so they could lead the party from within the country.
This, as well as some other activities of the party, provoked the authorities to arrest around 2000 of their members. This caused the Comintern to criticize and disapprove of the Yugoslav leadership. The Comintern decided to transfer the Central Committee’s seat back into the country and to make Milan Gorkić general secretary and Josip Broz Tito organizational secretary.
After Gorkić’s death, in cooperation with the Comintern, Tito reformed the Central Committee, strengthened the party financially and removed the centers of factionalism. Finally, he became general secretary in March 1939. Tito’s battle for political and organizational unity of the Party brought him to the top and many historians mark the beginning of his leadership as a turning point for Yugoslavia in general.1941 and the entire World War period was crucial for the state of the entire world and the Balkan region as well.
The spring of 1941 was a time of a couple significant events, both for Yugoslavia and the Communist Party. In March, Prince Regent Paul was overthrown by a group of Serbian military officers. On April 6th, Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia and defeated its army.
This lead the Communist Party to decide to organize some form of resistance. They set up a war committee in Zagreb on April 10th so they could prepare for the war in which they would win “national and social liberation”. On April 15th, on a Communist Party’s Politburo session, a MIlitary committee was formed with the purpose of organizing resistance against the enemies, as well as being in contact with anti-fascist officers in the Royal Yugoslav Army.
Tito was the leader of this committee. The party’s plan was to create many small similar committees so they could be prepared in case of need. In June of 1941, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. Tito convened an urgent session of the Politburo. On this session, the Communists decided to form the headquarters of the Yugoslav Partisans.
The party issued a proclamation calling all the nations of Yugoslavia to resist the enemies’ attack and encouraging the people to volunteer and help the army. With the help of the Soviet Union and later the British Special Operations Executive, as well as the American Office of Strategic Services, the Partisans took control over territories using guerrilla tactics and popularized their aims using propaganda.
The time of war was crucial for the Party’s influence and power. At the end of the Yugoslav People’s Liberation War, the Communist Party assumed control over Yugoslavia. After the communists rose to power, Yugoslavia went under a big change. Communism shaped new beliefs, values, formed a sense of brotherhood and eradicated religion.
How did communism take over Yugoslavia?
World War II – On 6 April 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers led by Nazi Germany ; by 17 April 1941, the country was fully occupied and was soon carved up by the Axis, Yugoslav resistance was soon established in two forms, the Royal Yugoslav Army in the Homeland and the Communist Yugoslav Partisans,
The Partisan supreme commander was Josip Broz Tito, and under his command, the movement soon began establishing “liberated territories” which attracted the attention of occupying forces. Unlike the various nationalist militias operating in occupied Yugoslavia, the Partisans were a pan-Yugoslav movement promoting the ” brotherhood and unity ” of Yugoslav nations and representing the republican, left-wing, and socialist elements of the Yugoslav political spectrum.
The coalition of political parties, factions, and prominent individuals behind the movement was the People’s Liberation Front ( Jedinstveni narodnooslobodilački front, JNOF), led by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ). The Front formed a representative political body, the Anti-Fascist Council for the People’s Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ, Antifašističko Veće Narodnog Oslobođenja Jugoslavije ).
- The AVNOJ, which met for the first time in Partisan-liberated Bihać on 26 November 1942 ( First Session of the AVNOJ ), claimed the status of Yugoslavia’s deliberative assembly (parliament).
- During 1943, the Yugoslav Partisans began attracting serious attention from the Germans.
- In two major operations, Fall Weiss (January to April 1943) and Fall Schwartz (15 May to 16 June 1943), the Axis attempted to stamp out the Yugoslav resistance once and for all.
In the Battle of the Neretva and the Battle of the Sutjeska, the 20,000-strong Partisan Main Operational Group engaged a force of around 150,000 combined Axis troops. In both battles, despite heavy casualties, the Group succeeded in evading the trap and retreating to safety.
- The Partisans emerged stronger than before and now occupied a more significant portion of Yugoslavia.
- The events greatly increased the standing of the Partisans and granted them a favourable reputation among the Yugoslav populace, leading to increased recruitment.
- On 8 September 1943, Fascist Italy capitulated to the Allies, leaving their occupation zone in Yugoslavia open to the Partisans.
Tito took advantage of the events by briefly liberating the Dalmatian shore and its cities. This secured Italian weaponry and supplies for the Partisans, volunteers from the cities previously annexed by Italy, and Italian recruits crossing over to the Allies (the Garibaldi Division ).
After this favourable chain of events, the AVNOJ decided to meet for the second time – now in Partisan-liberated Jajce, The Second Session of the AVNOJ lasted from 21 to 29 November 1943 (right before and during the Tehran Conference ), and came to a number of significant conclusions. The most significant of these was the establishment of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, a state that would be a federation of six equal South Slavic republics (as opposed to the allegedly Serb predominance in pre-war Yugoslavia).
The council decided on a “neutral” name and deliberately left the question of “monarchy vs. republic” open, ruling that Peter II would only be allowed to return from exile in London upon a favourable result of a pan-Yugoslav referendum on the question.
- Among other decisions, the AVNOJ decided on forming a provisional executive body, the National Committee for the Liberation of Yugoslavia (NKOJ, Nacionalni komitet oslobođenja Jugoslavije ), appointing Tito as the Prime Minister.
- Having achieved success in the 1943 engagements, Tito was also granted the rank of Marshal of Yugoslavia,
Favourable news also came from the Tehran Conference when the Allies concluded that the Partisans would be recognized as the Allied Yugoslav resistance movement and granted supplies and wartime support against the Axis occupation. As the war turned decisively against the Axis in 1944, the Partisans continued to hold significant chunks of Yugoslav territory.
With the Allies in Italy, the Yugoslav islands of the Adriatic Sea were a haven for the resistance. On 17 June 1944, the Partisan base on the island of Vis housed a conference between Tito, Prime Minister of the NKOJ (representing the AVNOJ), and Ivan Šubašić, Prime Minister of the royalist Yugoslav government-in-exile in London.
The conclusions, known as the Tito-Šubašić Agreement, granted the King’s recognition to the AVNOJ and the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (DFY) and provided for the establishment of a joint Yugoslav coalition government headed by Tito with Šubašić as the foreign minister, with the AVNOJ confirmed as the provisional Yugoslav parliament.
- Peter II’s government-in-exile in London, partly due to pressure from the United Kingdom, recognized the state in the agreement, signed on 17 June 1944 between Šubašić and Tito.
- The DFY’s legislature, after November 1944, was the Provisional Assembly.
- The Tito-Šubašić agreement of 1944 declared that the state was a pluralist democracy that guaranteed: democratic liberties; personal freedom; freedom of speech, assembly, and religion ; and a free press,
However, by January 1945, Tito had shifted the emphasis of his government away from an emphasis on pluralist democracy, claiming that though he accepted democracy, he claimed there was no need for multiple parties, as he claimed that multiple parties were unnecessarily divisive in the midst of Yugoslavia’s war effort and that the People’s Front represented all the Yugoslav people.
The People’s Front coalition, headed by the KPJ and its general secretary Tito, was a major movement within the government. Other political movements that joined the government included the “Napred” movement represented by Milivoje Marković. Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia, was liberated with the help of the Soviet Red Army in October 1944, and the formation of a new Yugoslav government was postponed until 2 November 1944, when the Belgrade Agreement was signed, and the provisional government formed.
The agreements also provided for the eventual post-war elections that would determine the state’s future system of government and economy. By 1945, the Partisans were clearing out Axis forces and liberating the remaining parts of occupied territory. On 20 March 1945, the Partisans launched their General Offensive in a drive to completely oust the Germans and the remaining collaborating forces.
- By the end of April 1945, the remaining northern parts of Yugoslavia were liberated, and chunks of southern German (Austrian) territory and Italian territory around Trieste were occupied by Yugoslav troops.
- Yugoslavia was now once more a fully intact state, with its borders closely resembling their pre-1941 form and was envisioned by the Partisans as a “Democratic Federation”, including six federated states : the Federated State of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FS Bosnia and Herzegovina), Federated State of Croatia (FS Croatia), Federated State of Macedonia (FS Macedonia), Federated State of Montenegro (FS Montenegro), Federated State of Serbia (FS Serbia), and Federated State of Slovenia (FS Slovenia).
The nature of its government, however, remained unclear, and Tito was highly reluctant to include the exiled King Peter II in post-war Yugoslavia as demanded by Winston Churchill. In February 1945, Tito acknowledged the existence of a Regency Council representing the King: the first and only act of the council as established on 7 March, however, was to proclaim a new government under Tito’s premiership.
The nature of the state was still unclear immediately after the war, and on 26 June 1945, the government signed the United Nations Charter using only Yugoslavia as an official name, with no reference to either a Kingdom or a Republic. Acting as head of state on 7 March, the King appointed to his Regency Council constitutional lawyers Srđan Budisavljević, Ante Mandić and Dušan Sernec.
In doing so, the King empowered his Council to form a common temporary government with NKOJ and accept Tito’s nomination as Prime Minister of the first normal government. As authorized by the King, the Regency Council thus accepted Tito’s nomination on 29 November 1945 when FPRY was declared.
How did the fall of communism affect Yugoslavia during the 1990s?
The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe led to the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, resulting in the Yugoslav Wars and brutal ethnic cleansing. After World War II, the nation of Yugoslavia was an Eastern European socialist state that was proudly independent of fealty to the Soviet Union. However, when the Soviet Union crumbled, Yugoslavia quickly followed. During the 1990s, the former Yugoslavia was a hotbed of ethnic tensions, failed economies, and even civil war, a period now known as the Yugoslav Wars.
What was unique about Yugoslavia in the time of Yugoslavian communism?
Background: Tito’s Yugoslavia This module provides a brief historical analysis of Yugoslavia, the key role it played as a buffer zone between the West and East during the Cold War and the consequences of this for domestic politics in Yugoslavia. Under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito, who ruled from 1945 until his death in 1980, Yugoslavia’s unique geopolitical situation allowed the socialist country to maintain internal cohesion while suppressing nationalistic movements within its constituting six republics (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Serbia) and two autonomous provinces (Kosovo and Vojvodina).
The end of the Cold War changed the international system and its balance of powers rather drastically. Although the Cold War brought about many crises within the Western and the Communist bloc and in the third-world, it created a very stable division of power in Europe. Both the USSR and the U.S. had formed competing blocs, NATO and the Warsaw Pact, to balance each other and exert control over their half of Europe.
Crises erupted sporadically within the Warsaw Pact. NATO, however, did not interfere in the internal affairs of the Soviet satellites, since the U.S. was committed to containing the USSR rather than confronting it In this well-balanced geopolitical environment, Yugoslavia played an essential role. Yugoslavia’s contribution to the Cold War stability is well known. The role that the geopolitical environment played for the cohesion of this multiethnic country however is less well understood. This can be partly explained by Tito’s ability to convince outsiders that he had effectively resolved the interethnic tensions in his country (Stojanovic, 1997).
The rhetoric of this highly respected leader about the creation of a supranational Yugoslav identity through “Brotherhood and Unity” was all too readily accepted by the eager western scholars who saw socialist Yugoslavia as a prosperous state and as an antidote to the “evil” Soviet empire. It is precisely because of this tendency that so many Westerners were caught off guard by the violent breakdown of this country.
To understand the symbiotic relationship between the Cold War stability and the internal stability of Yugoslavia, this module analyzes the opportunities that this regional stability provided for Yugoslavia. Specifically, it discusses how Yugoslavia’s position in the Cold War establishment provided it the indispensable balance to maintain its internal cohesion and suppress nationalistic, and, at times, separatist attempts by the constituting nationalities.
It also discusses how the prestige Tito’s Yugoslavia enjoyed enabled its leader to borrow extensively from the West and keep the economic problems of the country under check for decades. Yet, it was precisely this privilege that doomed the country once Yugoslavia lost its geopolitical significance, and the West stopped financing its deficits.
The discussion then shifts to the rapidly changing international environment of late 80s and the early 90s when Yugoslavia lost its geostrategic importance. The deep economic crisis, greatly exacerbated by the insurmountable foreign debt, accelerated the long-silenced centrifugal forces in the country, and put an end to the Yugoslav state.