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Tags: communism, marx, the commune, zizek
Categories : 2008 financial crisis, marx, the left, yugoslavia
David Broder reviews First as tragedy, then as farce by Slavoj Zizek
All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profane (Marx, Communist Manifesto)
As we reach the end of the ‘noughties’ this month, there is much scope for reflection on the events of the last decade. There remains a crisis of alternatives to capitalism, yet together with the current dark spectres of recession and ecological crisis, two events bookmarking the decade disrupted the ideology of ‘the End of History’. The September 11th terrorist atrocities in New York shattered the illusion of the invulnerable American military hegemon, while last October’s financial meltdown has fatally undermined the gospel of free-market economics. George W. Bush’s speeches on each occasion were the same, of course: ‘action’ was needed to defend ‘our way of life’. As Slavoj Zizek acerbically comments, this brings to mind Marx’s quip that “History always repeats itself: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce” Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: bosnia, communism, croatia, nationalisation, revolution, serbia, yugoslavia
Categories : bosnia, state capitalism, workers' management, yugoslavia
Introduction by Chris Kane
The revolutionary communist movement in the former Yugoslavia has produced some of the most pioneering Marxists: Anton Cilliga, the critic of Stalinist state-capitalism, and the dissident Marxist humanists of the Praxis group in the League of Communists of Yugoslavia who produced figures such as Gajo Petrovic and Mihailo Markovic. They developed an emancipatory school of communism closely identified with workers self-management, de-alienation and the importance of Marx’s early humanist writings. Many of these ideas have been lost to West European communism and the insular British left: and with the wars in Yugoslavia the tradition appeared defeated. But in Bosnia communists are reviving: the internationalist Workers’ Communist Party was founded in 2000. These comrades have drawn a number of lessons from the experience of state-socialism, which is of particular relevance to our own situation in the UK today. The Bosnian communists are clear that:
“Nationalization of the means of production cannot bring freedom for the working class. State-owned enterprises are under the control of the state, in other words, under control of the ruling party. Exploitation remains. Only socialization of the means of production can produce real changes in the position of the working class. Social ownership is connected with socialist self-management (government).” They take a clear stand against Parliamentarianism, stating that: “The political system of socialism will be based on self-government at all levels of social organization. We do not accept a system of parliamentary democracy because it is based on partocracy – rule of the powerful parties and their leaders.” We republish below the basic goals of the Workers’ Communist Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: communism, the commune, tito, workers' management, yugoslavia
Categories : former eastern bloc, workers' management, yugoslavia
by Dan Jakopovich
The Yugoslav experiment is a gold mine of experiences. As it is useful to learn about the positive aspects of this experience, it is also good to learn from Yugoslav mistakes and limitations.
Professor Stipe Šuvar humorously depicted the Yugoslav experience, in accordance with its underdeveloped material and cultural reality, as a form of “shephards’ self-government”. About 75% of the Yugoslav population were peasants prior to the Second World War. A leading communist and perhaps the single most important architect of the Yugoslav system of “self-government”, Edvard Kardelj, noted that Yugoslav pre-war electricity production was 59 times below the European average. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: eszmelet, novi plamen, self-management, the commune, tito, workers' control, yugoslavia
Categories : communism, stalinism, state capitalism, workers' management, yugoslavia
intro by Chris Kane
The Commune is pleased to publish below an article by comrade Goran Marković, one of the editors of the magazine Novi Plamen (The New Flame) with whom we have fraternal relations. This is a democratic socialist publication aimed at audiences across the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Novi Plamen has been pro-active in developing discussion on the questions of workers’ self-management which has a long tradition in the labour movement in the Balkans. This article was also published by comrades in Hungary in the journal Eszmelet (Consciousness) in a special issue dedicated to self-government and direct democracy. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: communism, praxis, the commune, workers' management
Categories : praxis, yugoslavia
we have added two more articles to the ‘ideas‘ section of the commune.
both are by the croatian marxist gajo petrović, one on marx’s theory of alienation and another on philosophy and socialism, which not only combat the philistine attitudes of so-called marxists towards large areas of marx’s thinking but also outline his attempts to understand human thought in its totality.
petrović was an ardent advocate of workers’ self-management, and was expelled from the league of communists of yugoslavia on account of his support for the 1968 workers’ and students’ protests against the regime. he then became a leading figure in the praxis school.