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http://www.marxistworker.org/yu/index.html 21/04/2001

Dobro dosli na sajt Crveni Kriticar, jugoslovensku sekciju Medjunarodnog Radnickog Komiteta. Mi se baziramo na tradiciji, i metodu boljsvevizma, rane Komunistieke Internacionale i ranog medjunarodnog pokreta boljsevik-lenjinista, grupisanih oko Leona Trockog.

Kako sve vise i vise radnika, mladih i potlacenih dobija pristup internetu, potreba za marksistickim glasom postaje sve veca. Mi radimo na tome da postanemo taj glas. Intervenisemo u klasnoj borbi, boreci se zajedno sa radnickom klasom protiv kapitalizma, imperijalizma i ugnjetavanja.

Sa borbene linije CK se trudi da pridobije radnicku klasu za marksisticki program, radi uspostavljanja radnicke vlasti.

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Saopštenje Međunarodnog Radničkog Komiteta:
Pobuna srušila
Miloševićev režim

  • Dole sa Miloševićem! Dole sa Koštunicom! Vlast radnicima!
  • Ne privatizaciji! Ne masovnoj nezaposlenosti! Za radničku kontrolu!
  • Stop NATO sponzorisanom razbijanju Jugoslavije! Za Balkansku socijalističku federaciju!

Pobuna u Beogradu koja je zbacila režim jugoslovenskog predsednika Slobodana Miloševića je bila kraj procesa koji je počeo pre više od decenije.

Više od 400.000 demonstranata se sručilo na jugoslovenski parlament 5. oktobra, i uspelo je nešto što ni NATO bombe ni imperijalistička “diplomatija” nisu mogli – da sklone Miloševića sa vrha zemlje. I za to su trebali zajednički napori “demokratske” opozicije i sindikata.

Prisustvo radničke klase na beogradskim demonstracijama je bilo prilično očigledno. Kontigenti sindikalista iz cele Jugoslavije su pristizali, noseći njihove zastave i zahtevajući poboljšanje uslova života radnika. U isto vreme rudari Kolubare su zauzeli kopove, zahtevajući da Miloševićev režim siđe sa vlasti.

Takođe, beogradski radnici su učestvovali u demonstracijama i akcijama na svoj način. Posebno su se isticali radnici u medijima. Novinari i zaposleni u državnim medijima kao što je Politika preuzeli su proizvodnju i štampali publikacije sa sopstvenim saopštenjima. Novinari u Tanjugu, glavnom informacionom centru u Jugoslaviji, dali su kratko saopštenje (koje je takođe objavljeno na njihovom sajtu) u kome kažu da više neće biti glasnogovornici Miloševićevog režima i da će početi da izveštavaju “u interesu naroda”.

Ali, bilo bi pogrešno nazvati događaje u Jugoslaviji u proteklih 10 dana “radničkom pobunom” ili “radničkim ustankom”. Takav opis previđa činjenicu da iako su mnogi radnici učestvovali u rušenju Miloševićevog režima, vođstvo “demokratske revolucije” je organizovano i vođeno od strane elemenata srpske buržoazije, u savezu sa glavnim ljudima u vojsci, policiji i službi bezbednosti.

“Narodna revolucija” i politička kriza

Bilo bi ispravno nazvati pobunu u Jugoslaviji “narodnom revolucijom”. To jest, to je bila pobuna koja je uvukla sve klase u akciju. Kako bilo, takva narodna revolucija ima inherentan buržoaski karakter jer radnička klasa nije ta koja vodi proteste.

Glavna politička snaga iza pobune je Demokratska Opozicija Srbije (DOS), u liku njenog predsedničkog kandidata, Vojislava Koštunice. DOS je koalicija 18 opozicionih partija koja okuplja kako desničare, nacioniste i fašiste tako i pro-SAD/NATO “demokrate”. Njen cilj je da sruši Miloševićev režim u cilju uspostavljanja “poželjnije” vlasti od strane evropskih i američkih imperijalista.

U ovome su, svakako uspeli. Nekoliko dana posle izbora, priznat kao izabrani predsednik, Koštunica je dao nekoliko najava o budućem statusu Jugoslavije, Kosova i Balkana u celini. Sve njegove izjave otvaraju vrata SAD/EU imperijalizmu i sprovođenju njihovog plana na Balkanu — cepanje regiona u mala ali stabilna tržišta koja se lako mogu eksploatisati u korist Berlina, Londona i Vašingtona.

Ali iako DOS tvrdi da je “novi dan” svanuo za Jugoslaviju, u stvarnosti to je crveno-bela vatra političke krize koja se probija kroz oblake. Iako je DOS osvojio predseničko mesto, on još nema kontrolu nad parlamentom ili sudovima. Socijalistička Partija Srbije (Miloševićeva partija) je vodeća, zajedno sa manjim koalicionim partnerima. Iako je Koštunica pokušao da pridobije neke od koalicionih partnera — uključujući i potpredsednika crnogorske SNP — to ne garantuje da će moći ostvariti kontrolu nad parlamentom.

Ali, čak i ako Koštunica uspe u velikom političkom manevru i dobije krhku parlamentarnu većinu, još uvek se nalazi pred najvećim testom dela pokreta koji ga je doneo na vlast. Radnička klasa Jugoslavije je već počela da postavlja zaheteve Koštunici i DOS-u. Rudari Kolubare su ostali u štrajku i pošto je Koštunica došao na vlast, a radnici u Beogradu sazivaju štrajkačke komitete da bi preuzeli kontrolu nad medijima i industrijom.

Takođe, “kišobranska” struktura DOS-a je takođe naljutila radnike. Tokom masovnih demonstracija u Beogradu, radnici su zasuli desničara, nacionalistu Vojislava Šešelja ciglama. Nema sumnje da što DOS više pokušava da ugura elemenata u svoju “koaliciju”, više će radnici imati razloga da sa njim raskinu.

Imperijalističke intrige na vrhuncu

Zbacivanje Miloševića je možda izvršeno na ulicama Beograda, ali je planirano, finansirano i ohrabrivano iz imperijalističkih centara u Evropi i Severnoj Americi. Ovo se može jasno videti u dva konkretna primera.

Prvo, iako je Koštunica javno lice DOS-a (zbog njegove uloge kao predsedničkog kandidata), stvarna moć leži u rukama njegovih “savetnika” i “konsultanata”. Zoran Đinđić i Milan Panić, oba bivša opoziciona kandidata za predsednika, ključni su Koštunicini i DOS-ovi savetnici. Đinđić, vođa Demokratske Stranke, odavno je saradnik imperijalista SAD i Evrope.

U izjavama posle inauguracije Koštunice, Đinđić je izjavio da mora biti uspostavljeno “strateško partnerstvo” sa imperijalističkim SAD “zbog srpskih nacionalnih interesa.” Drugim rečima, Đinđić je izjavio da je “srpski nacionalni interes” uspostavljanje ekonomske kolonije američkog imperijalizma.

Drugi primer dolazi iz SAD. Nedeljama i mesecima koji su prethodili izborima od 24. septembra, Klintonov režim u SAD je odobrio davanje DOS-u stotina miliona dolara za njihovu izbornu kampanju. Pored novca, DOS je dobio i kompjutere, faks aparate, mobilne telefone, materijal za štampu, i druge “potrepštine”. Ovakav način uticanja na izbore u korist DOS-a su vršili i imperijalisti Britanije, Nemačke i Francuske (i to ilegalno ako se radi sa partijama iznutra.)

Međunarodni Radnički Komitet je insistirao na tome da su SAD i evropski imperijalizam učestvovali u razbijanju SFRJ 1990-te. Secesija Hrvatske, Slovenije i Bosne iz Jugoslavije je finansirana beskamatnim i niskokamatnim kreditima koje su davali imperijalisti kroz “religiozne” i “građanske” posredničke institucije. Milijarde dolara u zajmovima, civilnoj i vojnoj opremi, i slanje vojnih stručnjaka i plaćenika su obezbedili imperijalisti SAD, Britanije i Nemačke za potrebe cepanja i podele Jugoslavije na manje (i utoliko lakše za kontrolisanje) izvore jeftinog rada i sirovina.

Mnogo ovoga je bilo i iza imperijalističkog rata na Kosovu 1999. Taj region ima industriju i prirodne resurse koje žele imperijalisti. I, pošto Jugoslavija nije želela da se otvori brutalnoj eksploataciji regiona, SAD i NATO su odlučili da nastave svoju političku “diplomatiju” drugim sredstvima.

Ironično je da je u konačnom činu imperijalističkog razbijanja Jugoslavije ona novi “partner” Vašingtona, Londona i Berlina. Mađarska, koja je jedno vreme držala kontrolu nad regionom (kao deo Austro-ugarske monarhije), sada se koristi kao imperijalistički posrednik na Balkanu. Mađarski kapitalizam želi da sebi pripoji jedan deo Jugoslavije (severni region — Vojvodinu) dok posreduje za američke i evropske gazde.

Još jedan “pad komunizma”?

Kao deo imperijalističokg ideološkog rata (koji je sprovodio i DOS), zbacivanje Miloševićevog režima je nazvano “padom jugoslovenskog komunizma”. Predsednik SAD, Bil Klinton je izjavio da je ono što se dogodilo u Beogradu 5. oktobra “bio kraj” procesa koji je “započeo sa padom Berlinskog zida”.

Još jednom, imperijalisti pokušavaju da ožive “dobili smo Hladni rat” trijumfalizam. Nažalost, realnost je mnogo drugačija.

Uprkos svim tvrdnjama da je Jugoslavija “komunistička država”, činjenica je da se Miloševićev režim jedno vreme smatrao za saveznika zapada. Milošević je viđen kao čovek sa kojim imperijalisti mogu da sarađuju. Ali, kada je odlučio da stavi “nacionalne interese” ispred ciljeva američkih i evropskih imperijalista, opet je postao “komunistički diktator”.

Sve ovo povlači za sobom pitanje: da li je Jugoslavija “komunistička država”? Po našem mišljenju — ne.

1944, kada su nacisti isterani sa Balkana, Tito i partizani, sa pasivnom podrškom jugoslovenske radničke klase, uspostavili su Socijalističku Federativnu Republiku Jugoslaviju. Dražava i privreda su bile obnavljane po političkim, socijalnim i ekonomskim modelima SSSR-a. Stoga, Jugoslavija je bila obnovljena kao deformisana radnička država. To jest, prešla je iz kapitalizma u oblik diktature proletarijata. Ali, diktatura je bila žestoko deformisana birokratijom koju su izgradili Tito i Savez Komunista Jugoslavije.

Sukob sa Staljinom i uvođenje “radničkog samoupravljanja” nisu bili sredstva borbe protiv birokratizma ili stupanja na internacionalistički kurs. Naprotiv, oni su bili nastavak staljinističke (to jest, ne-marksističke i anti-lenjinističke) politike “socijalizma u jednoj zemlji” i “mirne koegzistencije” sa imperijalizmom. Bez obzira na to, Jugoslavija je ostala deformisana radnička država, koja se mora bezuslovno braniti od strane marksista i klasno svesnih radnika od imperijalizma i unutrašnje kontra-revolucije.

Ali ova situacija se promenila 1989, sa dolaskom Miloševića na vlast. Milošević je predstavljao krilo birokratije koje je želelo da prebaci socijalnu i ekonomsku bazu sa kolektivizovanog vlasništva jugoslovenske radnike države na privatno vlasništvo i zapadni kapitalizam. Kako bilo, za razliku od onoga što se desilo SSSR-u godinu dana kasnije sa Borisom Jeljcinom, Milošević je želeo ovu transformaciju (u stvarnosti kontra-revoluciju) uz očuvanje jugoslovenske federacije. Ovo nije bilo prihvatljivo imperijalistima.  Kao i u slučaju SSSR-a, želeli su da podele zemlju u manje, blaže integrisane delove.

Ovo je dovelo Miloševića u konflikt sa imperijalistima tokom cele poslenje decenije. Ali, uprokos ovom konfliktu, činjenica je da je režim koji je Milošević izgradio raskinuo sa svojim socijalnim i ekonomskim poreklom u birokratiji i kolektivizovanoj ekonomiji. Milošević je uspostavio buržoasku državu, izraslu iz sada rasturene socijalističke federativne republike.

Kao boljševik-lenjinisti, kao marksisti, mi razumemo da država iznikla iz uspešne kapitalističke kontra-revolucije može da se zasniva na nacionalizovanom i kolektivizovanom vlasništvu određeno vreme. To je bio slučaj sa Jugoslavijom. Zbog Miloševićevog konflikta sa imperijalistima, bio je prinuđen da zadrži neke od elemenata kolektivizovanog vlasništva da bi zemlja ekonomski preživela.

Sve ovo se sada menja. Sa zbacivanjem Miloševića, i otvaranja Jugoslavije zapadnom imperijalizmu, masivni talas privatizacija (i stoga, masovna otpuštanja i nezaposlenost) preplaviće region, dalje erodirajući uslove života i rada jugoslovenske radničke klase.

Zajedno sa otvaranjem Jugoslavije imperijalistima došlo je do svestrane kontrarevolucionarne vladavine terora. Podstaknute ideološkim napadom DOS-a i imperijalizma koji su Miloševićev režim nazivali “komunističkim”, mafije “demokrata” su rasturile kancelarije SPS-a i JUL-a. Literatura, publikacije i imovina ovih organizacoja su bacani na ulice i paljeni. Članovima ovih organizacija se preti i fizički se napadaju.

Radnička, marksistička alternativa

Mi ne prolivamo suze za Miloševićevim režimom. On je bio odgovoran za mnogo patnje, nasilja i smrti u Jugoslaviji (iako ne na način na koji to imperijalisti prikazuju). Ali, mi ne delimo mišljenje mnogih da će njegovo zbacivanje dovesti do procvata “demokratije” u Jugoslaviji. Naprotiv, mi mislimo da će politička pobeda DOS-a značiti početak novog perioda pojačanih napada na radničku klasu Jugoslavije.

Mi ne podržavamo ni Miloševića ni Koštunicu. Mi pozivamo radničku klasu Jugoslavije da se organizuje sa ciljem stvarnog “završavanja posla”, odbacivanjem Koštunice i DOS-a, i izgradnje radničke vlasti. Ali dve konkretne stvari su potrebne da bi se to izvelo — akcioni program i marksistička partija koja će pripremiti taj program i osvojiti političko vođstvo.

Akcioni program za jugoslovenske radnike se mora bazirati na četri ključna zahteva:

  • Ne privatizaciji! Za radničku kontrolu industrije! — Jedan od zahteva imperijalizma će biti otvaranje jugoslovenske ekonomije eksploataciji. Mi se borimo da se sva industrija (manufaktura, rudarstvo, prerada, etc.) nacionalizuje i da je kontrolišu radnički komiteti. I, umesto koncepta “radničkog samoupravljanja” koje može značiti okretanje fabrika jedne protiv druge, mi tražimo centralizovanu kontrolu, baziranu na izabranim predstavnicima fabričkih komiteta, da planiraju i koordiniraju proizvodnju na ovim radnim mestima.
  • Ne ukidanju socijalne zaštite! Za radničku kontrolu! Ne IMF-u, ne Svetskoj Banci! — Zajedno sa masovnom privatizacijom privrede doći će do dubokih rezova u socijalnoj zaštiti radnika. I IMF i SB će zahetvati implementaciju “stabilizacionog plana” za Jugoslaviju ako Koštunica bude od njih zahtevao kredite i pomoć. Mi se borimo za obnavljanje i zaštitu svih dostignuća koja su proizašla iz revolucije 1944 i njihovo proširivanje kroz radničku kontrolu i administraciju.
  • Napolje birokrate! Za kontrolu sindikata od strane članova i drugih radničkih organizacija! — Predugo su sindikatima, bilo da su “zvanični” ili “slobodni” dominirala birokratska rukovodstva. Često se ovi lideri ni ne biraju, već ih postavlja sam režim. Baš kao što se borimo za radničku kontrolu nad industrijom, borimo se i za kontrolu naših klasnih organziacija od strane članstva — sindikata, radničkih političkih i socijalnih organizacija, radničkih sportskih organizacija…
  • Za radničku demokratiju, ne za imperijalističku “demokratiju”! — Demokratija DOS-a i Koštunice podržava “slobodu” imperijalista da eksploatišu i ekonomski kolonizuju region. Stvarna demokratija se tiče radnika — pravo na posao, na medicinsku zaštitu, stanovanje i obrazovanje, pravo na organizovanje u sindikate i političke partije, pravo radnika da demonstriraju i bore se za svoje interese, itd. — njih neće priznati Koštunica i Đinđić. Mi se borimo za istinsku radničku demokratiju, branjenu oružanom radničkom samo-odbranom i koordinisanom fabričkim komitetima, i lokalnim akcionim komitetima.

Ovi zahetvi su esencijalni za radnike Jugoslavije i Balkana uopšte. Ali, treba više od spontanih protesta da bi se oni ostvarili. Biće potrebno da radnici preuzmu kontrolu i oslobode se da budu sposobni da u potpunosti sprovedu čak i ova četri osnovna zahteva. I taj veoma značajan zadatak zahteva izgradnju istinske marksističke partije proletarijata.

Danas postoji nekoliko organizacija u Jugoslaviji koje sebe nazivaju “marksističkim”, “socijalisičkim” i “komunističkim”. Kako bilo, većina njih je manje ili više vezana za birokratiju iz doba Titovog SKJ i/ili Miloševićevog SPS-a. Mnoge od ovih partija mogu govoriti o “radničkoj kontroli” i “radničkoj demokratiji”, ali njihove veze sa birokratijom znače da je njihovo shvatanje radničke vlasti u stvari “vlast” drugog krila birokratije.

Mi boljševik-lenjinisti se konzistentno borimo u radničkoj klasi i protiv birokratske degeneracije i kapitalističke kontra-revolucije. Naša borba je počela pre skoro 80 godina, kada je L.D. Trocki organizovao Levu Opoziciju da se bori protiv narastajućeg birokratizma u SSSR-u. Ponosni smo na istoriju beskompromisne odbrane dostignuća “socijalističkog kampa” dok u isto vreme kažemo da je najbolja odbrana protiv kontra-revolucije da radnici zbrišu birokrate i izgrade revolucionarnu, internacionalističku radničku državu, baziranu na radničkim savetima i da se bore za međunarodnu socijalističku revoluciju.

Radnici u Jugoslaviji se sada suočavaju sa onim što su njihova braća i sestre u bivšem SSSR-u i istočnoj Evropi doživljavali pre deset godina. Ali, još nije prekasno. Još ima vremena d ase radnici Jugoslavije organizuju i bore pre nego što im imperijalizam zarije zube u domovinu.

Naši drugovi u Crvenom Kritičaru, jugoslovenskom delu MRK-a, bore se da organizuju i izgrade istinsku marksističku partiju koja može osvojiti političko vođstvo i povesti radničku klasu u borbu za oslobođenje.

Braćo i sestre! Radnici Jugoslavije! Milošević je možda zbačen, ali njegova “zamena” donosi imperijalističku eksploataciju i patnju. Imperijalizam ne sme uspeti kao što je uspeo u istočnoj Evropi i bivšem Sovjetskom Savezu. Vreme je da uzmete ono što pripada vama! Takođe, važnije je nego ikada da izgradite veze i ujedinite se sa vašom braćom i sestrama u regionima bivše SFRJ, da otpočnete borbu protiv imperijalističke dominacije na Balkanu, borbu za radničku vlast.

10. oktobar 2000.


Crveni Kriticar, Belgrade, YUGOSLAVIA
E-Mail:
CrveniKriticar@marxistworker.org

Poslednji Update: 16.10.2000

Statement of the International Workers’ Committee:
Uprising ousts Milosevic regime

  • Down with Milosevic! Down with Kostunica! Workers to power!
  • No privatizations! No mass unemployment! For workers’ control!
  • Stop the NATO-sponsored breakup of Yugoslavia! For a Balkan socialist federation!

THE UPRISING in Belgrade that overthrew the regime of Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic was the end of a process that began over a decade ago.

The more than 400,000 demonstrators that descended on the Yugoslav parliament on October 5 managed to do something that neither NATO bombs nor imperialist “diplomacy” could do — remove Milosevic from the top office in the country. And it took the combined efforts of the “democratic” opposition and the trade unions to do so.

The working-class presence at the Belgrade demonstration was quite obvious. Contingents of trade unionists from all parts of Yugoslavia arrived, carrying their union banners and demanding an improvement of the workers’ standard of living. At the same time, miners in Kolubara occupied their worksite, demanding that the Milosevic regime step down.

Also, workers in Belgrade took part in the demonstrations and actions in their own way. Workers for the media in particular took an active role in the events. Pressmen and journalists at the government-run newspapers like Politika took over production and put out the publication with their own statements. Journalists at Tanjug, the main news and information outlet for Yugoslavia, issued a short statement (also posted on their Website) stating that they would cease being the mouthpiece of the Milosevic regime and begin reporting “in the interests of the people.”

But it would be false and misleading to call the events in Yugoslavia over the last 10 days a “workers’ uprising” or “workers’ revolt.” Such a description ignores the fact that, while many workers participated in the ousting of the Milosevic regime, the leadership of the “democratic revolution” was organized and led by elements of the Serbian bourgeoisie, in alliance with top leaders in the military, police and security services.

A “people’s revolution” and political crisis

It would be accurate to call the uprising in Yugoslavia a “people’s revolution.” That is, it was a revolt that drew all classes into action. However, such a people’s revolution has an inherent bourgeois character because it is not the working class that leads such revolts.

The main political force behind the uprising was the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS), in the figure of its presidential candidate, Vojislav Kostunica. The DOS is a coalition of 18 opposition parties ranging from far-right nationalists and fascists to pro-U.S./NATO “democrats.” Its goal was to wrest the presidency from the brittle Milosevic regime in favor of establishing a government more “favorable” to the European and American imperialists.

In this, they certainly succeeded. Within the first few days after being acknowledged as the president-elect, Kostunica made several announcements regarding the future status of Yugoslavia, Kosovo and the Balkans as a whole. All of his statements open the door for U.S./EU imperialism to implement its agenda for the Balkans — the breakup of the region into small but stable markets that can be easily exploited for the benefit of Berlin, London and Washington.

But even though the DOS is claiming that a “new day” has dawned for Yugoslavia, it is in fact the white-hot fire of political crisis that is peaking through the clouds. Even though the DOS has won the presidency, it does not have control of the parliament or the courts. The Socialist Party of Serbia (Milosevic’s party) is the leading party, along with smaller coalition partners. Even though Kostunica has tried to court some of the coalition partners — including the vice-presidency to the leader of the Montenegrin SNP — this does not guarantee that he can gain control of the parliament.

But, even if Kostunica can pull off a grand political maneuver and build a slim parliamentary majority, he still has the greatest test facing him from a section of the very movement that brought him to power. The working class of Yugoslavia has already begun to place demands on Kostunica and the DOS. The Kolubara miners remained on strike after Kostunica was installed, and workers in Belgrade have maintained the strike committees they set up as part of taking control of the media and industry.

As well, the “umbrella” structure of the DOS has also angered workers. During the mass demonstrations in Belgrade, workers showered far-right nationalist Vojislav Seselj with bricks. There is little question that as the DOS moves to accommodate all of the elements in its “coalition” that the workers will find more reason to break from it.

Imperialist intrigue comes to a climax

The ouster of Milosevic may have been carried out on the streets of Belgrade, but it planned, financed and encouraged from the imperialist centers in Europe and North America. This can be seen in two concrete examples.

First, even though Kostunica is the public face of the DOS (because of his role as presidential candidate), the real power lies in the hands of his “advisers” and “consultants.” Zoran Djindjic and Milan Panic, both former opposition candidates for president, are key advisers to Kostunica and the DOS. Djindjic, head of the Democratic Party of Serbia, is a long-time collaborator with U.S. and European imperialism.

In statements made after the installation of Kostunica, Djindjic declared that a “strategic partnership” with U.S. imperialism must be created “for the Serbian national interests.” In other words, Djindjic has declared that “Serbian national interests” lie in becoming an economic colony of American imperialism.

The second example comes from the U.S. In the weeks and months preceding the September 24 election, the Clinton regime in the U.S. approved giving the DOS hundreds of millions of dollars for their election campaign. Besides hard currency, the DOS also received computers, fax machines, cellular phones, printing presses and material, and other “necessities” for their effort. This kind of imperialist funding to sway the Yugoslav elections in favor of the DOS was also done by British, German and French imperialism (and illegal if it is done with parties inside these countries).

The International Workers’ Committee has insisted that U.S. and European imperialism orchestrated the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1990. The secession of Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia from Yugoslavia was funded through low- and no-interest loans provided by the imperialists through “religious” and “civic” intermediaries. Billions of dollars in loans, millions of dollars worth of civil and military equipment, and the sending of military specialists and mercenaries were provided by U.S., British and German imperialism for the purpose of dismantling and carving up Yugoslavia into smaller (and, thus, easily exploitable) sources of cheap labor and raw materials.

This was much of what was behind the imperialists’ war against Kosovo in 1999. That region has industry and natural resources that imperialism wants. And, since Yugoslavia was unwilling to open itself to rampant exploitation in the region, the U.S. and NATO decided to continue its political “diplomacy” by other means.

What is most ironic in this final act of the imperialist-sponsored dismantling of Yugoslavia is the new “partner” whom Washington, London and Berlin are going to use to facilitate this work. Hungary, which at one time maintained (as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) control over the region, is being used now as the imperialists’ middleman in the Balkans. Hungarian capitalism is looking to carve itself out a small region of Yugoslavia (most likely the northern region of Vojvodina) to call its own while doing the bidding for its American and European paymasters.

Another “fall of communism”?

As part of the imperialists’ ideological war (also carried out by the DOS), the ousting of the Milosevic regime is being called the “fall of Yugoslav communism.” U.S. president Bill Clinton stated that what happened in Belgrade on October 5 “was the end” of a process that began “with the fall of the Berlin wall.”

Once again, the imperialists are attempting to revive the “we won the Cold War” triumphalism of a decade ago. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is much different.

In spite of all the claims that Yugoslavia was a “Communist state,” the fact was that the Milosevic regime was considered an ally of imperialism for some time. Milosevic had been seen as a man that the imperialists could work with. But, when Milosevic decided to put “national interests” ahead of those of the American and European imperialists, he once again became a “Communist dictator.”

All of this begs the question: Is Yugoslavia a “Communist state?” In our opinion, no.

In 1944, as the Nazi fascists were being driven out of the Balkans, Tito and the Partizans, with the passive support of the Yugoslav working class, established the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The state and economy were rebuilt along the political, social and economic model of the USSR. Thus, Yugoslavia was rebuilt as a deformed workers’ state. That is, it had progressed beyond capitalism into a form of proletarian dictatorship. But, that dictatorship had been severely deformed by the bureaucracy built by Tito and the Union of Communists of Yugoslavia.

The split with Stalin and the implementation of “workers’ self-management” were not a means of combating that bureaucratism or embarking on an internationalist course. On the contrary, they were a continuation of the Stalinist (i.e., un-Marxist and anti-Leninist) policies of “socialism in a single country” and “peaceful coexistence” with imperialism. Regardless of this, Yugoslavia remained a deformed workers’ state, to be unconditionally militarily defended by Marxists and class-conscious workers against imperialism and internal counterrevolution.

But this situation changed in 1989, with the rise of Milosevic to power. Milosevic represented a wing of the bureaucracy that wanted to transfer the social and economic base of their power from the collectivized property of the Yugoslav workers’ state to private property and Western capitalism. However, unlike what was to happen in the USSR a year later with Boris Yeltsin, Milosevic wanted to make this transformation (in reality, a counterrevolution) while maintaining the Yugoslav federation. For imperialism, this was not acceptable. As in the case of the USSR, the imperialists wanted to break up the country into smaller, more easily integrated, parts.

This brought Milosevic into conflict with imperialism for the whole of the last decade. But, in spite of this conflict, the fact remained that the new regime Milosevic built had fundamentally broken from its social and economic origins in the bureaucracy and collectivized economy. Milosevic established a bourgeois state, rising from the ashes of the now-smashed socialist federal republic.

As Bolshevik-Leninists, as Marxists, we understand that a state rising from a successful capitalist counterrevolution may have to rest on nationalized and collectivized property for some time. Such was the case in Yugoslavia. Because of Milosevic’s conflict with imperialism, he was forced to maintain some elements of the collectivized property in order for the country to survive economically.

All of this is now in the process of changing. With the ouster of Milosevic, and the opening of Yugoslavia to western imperialism, a massive wave of privatization (and, thus, mass layoffs and unemployment) will wash over the region, further eroding the working and living standards of the Yugoslav working class.

Along with the opening of Yugoslavia to the imperialists has come an all-sided counterrevolutionary reign of terror. Fueled by the ideological assault of the DOS and imperialism calling the Milosevic regime “Communist,” mobs of “democrats” have sacked offices of the Socialist Party of Serbia, the Yugoslav United Left (run by Milosevic’s wife, Mirjana Markovic) and the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Literature, publications and property of these organizations have been thrown into the streets and burned. Members of these organizations and others have been threatened and physically assaulted.

A working class, Marxist alternative

We shed no tears for the end of the Milosevic regime. He was responsible for much misery, violence and death in Yugoslavia (although not in the way that imperialism portrays). But we do not share the opinion of many that think that his ouster will mean the flourishing of “democracy” in Yugoslavia. On the contrary, we believe that the political victory of the DOS will mean the opening of a new period of increased attacks on the working class in Yugoslavia.

We give no support to either Milosevic or Kostunica. We call for the working class of Yugoslavia to organize itself with the goal of genuinely “finishing the job,” by sweeping away Kostunica and the DOS, and building a workers’ government. But two concrete things are needed to carry this out — an action program and a Marxist party to put forward that program and win political leadership.

An action program for Yugoslav workers must now center on four key demands:

  • No privatizations! For workers’ control of industry! — One of the demands of imperialism will be the opening up of the Yugoslav economy to superexploitation. We fight for all industry (manufacturing, mining, refining, etc.) to be nationalized and controlled by committees of workers. And, as opposed the concept of “workers’ self-management,” which can mean pitting one factory against another, we call for a centralized control, based on elected representatives from factory committees, to plan out and coordinate production at these workplaces.
  • No cutting of social welfare and services! For workers’ control! No IMF, World Bank! — Walking hand-in-hand with mass privatization of the economy will be deep cutting of social welfare and services for workers. Both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank will demand the implementation of an “austerity plan” for Yugoslavia if Kostunica appeals to them for loans and assistance. We fight for a restoration and defense of all social gains that resulted from the 1944 Revolution and their extension through workers’ control and administration of these programs.
  • Bureaucrats out! For membership control of trade unions and other workers’ organizations! — For far too long, the trade unions, whether they are “official” or “free,” have been dominated by a bureaucratic leadership. Often times, these leaders are unelected, appointed either by the regime or by themselves. Just as we fight for workers’ control of industry, we also fight for membership control (workers’ control) of our class organizations — trade unions, workers’ political and social organizations, workers’ sports organizations, etc.
  • For workers’ democracy, not the imperialists’ “democracy!” — The “democracy” that the DOS and Kostunica support is the “freedom” of imperialism to superexploit and economically colonize the region. The real democracy that matters to workers — the right to a job, the right to medical care, housing and education, the right to organize into trade unions and political parties, the right for workers to demonstrate and fight for their interests, etc. — will not be genuinely realized under Kostunica and Djindjic. We fight for genuine workers’ democracy, defended through armed workers’ self-defense and coordinated through factory and workplace committees, and neighborhood committees of action.

These demands are essential now for workers in Yugoslavia and the Balkans as a whole. But it will take more than spontaneous protests to win these demands. It will take workers seizing control and liberating themselves to be able to fully implement even these four basic demands. And that very important task requires the building of a genuine Marxist party of the proletariat.

There are several organizations in Yugoslavia today that call themselves “Marxist,” “Socialist” and “Communist.” However, most those parties were tied, to one degree or another, to the bureaucracy created by Tito’s UCY and/or Milosevic’s SPS. Many of these parties may mouth the words of “workers’ control” or “workers’ democracy,” but their ties to the bureaucracy mean that their understanding of workers’ power is the “power” of another wing of the bureaucracy.

We Bolshevik-Leninists have been consistent fighters among the working class against both bureaucratic degeneration and capitalist counterrevolution. Our struggle began almost 80 years ago, when L.D. Trotsky organized the Left Opposition to fight the growing bureaucratism in the USSR. We have a proud history of unconditionally defending the gains of the “socialist camp,” while at the same time saying that the best defense against counterrevolution is for the workers to sweep out the bureaucrats and build a revolutionary, internationalist workers’ state, based on workers’ councils and fighting for international socialist revolution.

Workers in Yugoslavia now face what their brothers and sisters in the former USSR and Eastern Europe have been facing for a decade. But it is not too late. There is still time for workers in Yugoslavia to organize and fight before imperialism sinks its teeth into the country.

Our comrades in Crveni Kriticar, Yugoslav section of the IWC, have been fighting to organize and build a genuine Marxist party that can win political leadership of the working class in the struggle for liberation and power.

Brothers and sisters! Workers of Yugoslavia! Milosevic may be out, but his “replacement” brings imperialist exploitation and misery. Imperialism must not succeed like it has in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It is time to the use your power to take what is rightfully yours! As well, it is more vital than ever to build links and unite with your brothers and sisters in the former regions of the SFRY to build a Balkan-wide struggle against imperialist domination and for workers’ power.

October 10, 2000


International Workers’ Committee
P.O. Box 19221, Detroit, MI 48219-0221, USA
Phone/Fax: 1-877-657-4869
E-Mail:
IWC@marxistworker.org • ICQ: 44316978 • AOL IM: IWC1917

Last Updated: 16 October 2000
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