Aspects of the Balkans. Continuity and change

H. Birnbaum and S. Vryonis (eds.)






In the years immediately following World War II, the Yugoslav leaders regarded the national problem, which had made interwar Yugoslavia almost ungovernable, as definitively solved. As Marshal Tito once said during these years, "the reason that I don't say anything about the national question is not because with us it is posed in this or that form. No, the national question with us has been solved and to be precise, solved very well, to the general satisfaction of all our nationalities. It has been solved in the way Lenin and Stalin taught us." [1]





The basis of this optimism was first of all the situation within the Yugoslav Communist Party (CPY), whose membership contained a significant representation from each of the Yugoslav nations, and which combined democratic centralism with the employment of ethnic cadres according to region and locality. In the underground factional struggles of the



1. Cited in Fritz Hondius, The Yugoslav Community of Nations (The Hague: Mouton, 1968), p. 182, n. 34. In the preparation of this essay I have been particularly indebted to Hondius and to Paul Shoup, Communism and the Yugoslav National Question (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968). In addition, I have had the advantage of lengthy conversations on the national question with Dejan Janča of the Institute of International Politics and Economics, Belgrade; Bostjan Markić, member of the Federal Constitutional Commission; Najdan Pasić, editor-in-chief of Socijalizam; Sergije Pegan, director of the Yugoslav public opinion poll on the national problem; Latinka Perović, secretary of the Serbian Communist Party; Eugen Pusić, Professor of Political Science of the University of Zagreb; and Stanko Žuljić of the Croatian Institute of Economics. Madame Perović and Professor Pusić were contacted in this country, the others in Yugoslavia. The visit to Yugoslavia was made possible by a joint grant of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council.





interwar period, the party had rid itself of the Serbian hegemony which had characterized the first years of its existence, had established organizationally separate sub-parties for Slovenia, Croatia, and Macedonia, [2] and had confronted the disaster of Axis occupation and territorial partition as the one organization in the country which possessed both a clandestine capability and a state-wide structure. In the civil war which served as counterpoint to the armed struggle against the foreign occupier, the CPY consequently came to serve as the paladin of a new Yugoslav nationalism. On the one hand, the Communists defeated in battle the Chetnik forces under Draža Mihailović, whose purpose was to restore royal Yugoslavia, with its Serbian dynasty, its Serbian officers' corps, its Serbian police, and its Serbian bureaucracy. On the other hand, the CPY held at bay the Croatian nationalist forces of Ante Pavelić, who aimed to establish an independent Croatia under the sponsorship of a victorious Axis. Thus the CPY could regard itself as a revolutionary power which embodied within itself the national aspirations of all the Yugoslav nations, now synthesized in the dialectically higher form of a Yugoslav national consciousness. [3]


The post-war optimism of the Yugoslav leadership with respect to the national problem was also rooted in the belief that the exacerbation of national differences had been the result of exploitation by the bourgeosie, and that therefore the development of a Socialist society would put an end to national prejudice even among the masses of the population, whatever their current attitude toward the Communist Party. More specifically, the leadership held to the view that national differences were a reflection of regional differences, of the division of the country into advanced and retarded areas, the retarded having been the victim of exploitation by the advanced. Rapid industrialization, which was to be accomplished through the mechanism of Stalinist central planning, would assuredly bring about an equalization of these differences, which divided the land into a progressive northwest and a backward southeast. Indeed, the first five-year plan, 1947-1951, was teleological in character, that is, characterized by a pervasive belief in economic miracles. The parallels of Soviet industrialization during the first five-year plan (1928-1933) and of the Chinese Great Leap Forward (1958-1960) come to mind. For Yugoslavia overall, an industrial growth rate of 38 % per annum was



2. Republican parties were created for Serbia in 1945 and for Bosnia and Montenegro in 1948-1949.


3. R. V. Burks, The Dynamics of Communism in Eastern Europe (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1961), pp. 107-130.





envisaged; in the case of backward regions, an annual rate of 90% was believed possible. To assure the less developed republics of equality in educational and social services, their budgets were heavily subsidized by the federal government (half the Montenegrin budget was so provided).


Meantime the CPY introduced a federal constitution on Stalinist lines. This was to serve as a lightning rod for national discontent until the more fundamental economic measures could take effect. The country was divided into six republics, of which one, Bosnia-Herzegovina, was established as a compromise designed to end the competition between Serbia and Croatia for control of a province which was inhabited by Serbs, by Croats, and by Serbo-Croatian-speaking Moslems. The region of Kosovo-Metohija, inhabited preponderantly by Shiptars, [4] was given the status of an autonomous oblast within the Serbian Republic, whereas the Vojvodina, an ethnically very mixed area with a bare majority of Serbs, was organized as a Serbian autonomous province. Roughly two-thirds of all minorities were inhabitants of these two districts. Constitutional forms to the contrary notwithstanding, however, the situation of the non-Slavic minorities was not a very happy one in the early post-war years. The German minority in Slovenia, Croatia, and the Vojvodina vanished completely, either as a consequence of withdrawal under the protection of the retreating Axis forces, or as a result of emigration under pressure after the Communists came to power. A Shiptar rebellion erupted in December, 1944, and aimed at the union of Kosovo with Albania; it required some six months of counter-insurgent activity. At the apex of the entire constitutional structure stood a federal parliament composed of an upper house based on national representation, and a lower house based on population. There was the usual set of all-union, union-republic, and republic ministries.


Not only did the Yugoslav leaders believe they had solved once and for all the national problem within the frontiers which they had inherited from the Karageorgević kings, but they also proposed to expand the new Federation to include the only South Slavic population not comprehended within these frontiers, namely, the Bulgarian, and in addition, if possible, certain non-Slavic populations as well. The idea of Balkan federation



4. With the elevation of Kosovo to the status of a Socialist Autonomous Province in 1968, the official term for its majority population was changed from Shiptar to Albanian. For the sake of convenience only, the word Shiptar will be used in this presentation to designate the Albanian population of Yugoslavia, and the word Albanian, the population under the jurisdiction of Tirana. Simiraly, the word magyar will be used to denote the minority in the Vojvodina, the Hungarian population of the sovereign state.





was, of course, by no means new to Balkan Marxists. The notion had been dear to the Socialists long before the outbreak, of World War I, while in the interwar period a special section of the Comintern, dominated by the powerful Bulgarian party, had sought its realization at the expense of such states as Greece, Yugoslavia, and Romania. Now that the Yugoslav party was in charge of the operation, the Bulgarians had second thoughts. One of the key issues involved in the Bulgarian-Yugoslav negotiations concerning federation was the disposition of Macedonia, much of which was already organized as a Yugoslav republic, but on territory to which the Bulgarians had long-standing claims. The solution agreed upon was the union of Bulgarian and some part of Greek Macedonia with Yugoslav Macedonia in a unified Macedonian Republic, which would become a constituent element of the larger federation. The outstanding weakness of this proposal was that the Greek party, unlike its northern confreres, was not in power. Thus the Yugoslavs, aided and abetted by the Bulgarians, gave extensive encouragement and support to a new period of Greek Communist insurgency, from 1946 to 1949, with the object of replacing the royal with a Communist government and paving the way for the enlargement of the Federation. The Albanian Communists were also involved. The Yugoslav party had played a key role both in the organization of the Albanian party and in the supply and support of Communist Albanian resistance to Axis occupation. Albania was also being prepared for membership in the expanded Federation. The ambitious schemes of the Yugoslav leadership came to naught, as is well known, partly because of United States intervention in the Greek affair and partly because of the excommunication of the CPY by the Cominform and the subsequent economic blockade of Yugoslavia and the build-up of propaganda and military pressure against her.


The excommunication of 28 June 1948, was a turning point in the history of the national problem in Yugoslavia. It meant the postponement ad infinitum of Balkan federation, thus limiting this Communist experiment to the traditional Yugoslav populations and thereby increasing its chances of success. Furthermore, excommunication inevitably meant a whole new way of governing for the CPY, and a new kind of relationship between regime and population, since the Communists now had to make their own way in the world, without any support from the Bloc, and indeed in the face of its avowed enmity. In his campaign against Yugoslavia, Stalin did attempt to exploit the national question, particularly with respect to the Macedonian issue. But the Cominform appeal





had little impact among the Yugoslav nations, with the possible exception of Montenegrin party members, among whom the percentage of pro-Cominform defections was the highest. Generally speaking, the Yugoslav nations, whether we speak of their Communist or their anti-Communist elements, appeared strongly to approve and endorse the independent stand of Marshal Tito with respect to Soviet Russia. The Shiptar and Magyar minorities were suspect because of the inimical activities of Tirana and Budapest, and these minorities were subjected to various repressive measures. But the security police made widespread arrests only among the White Russian emigrant colony, and the unity displayed by all the populations of Yugoslavia in the face of heavy Cominform pressure amounted to a major political victory for the CPY.





The decade 1951-1960 witnessed an attempt to create a Yugoslav national consciousness among the masses of the population. As a consequence of experience with the first five-year-plan it became evident to the Communist elite that the regional differences which they believed to underly national hostility were not so easily overcome as at first supposed. Much of the industrial growth achieved during the era of teleological planning was artificial. Indeed, industries were created which required permanent subsidization. Despite the allocation of huge sums to the backward south, the most rapid and meaningful progress was made in the north. The gap between the two areas was hardly narrowed, except that the persistence of budgetary subsidies gave life throughout the Federation the appearance of a drab uniformity. If national differences would not soon disappear as the consequence of economic advance, it seemed necessary to promote a Yugoslav nationalism by more direct means.


The purpose of replicating within the masses the integral national consciousness which prevailed within the Party was made more relevant by the economic reform of 1951. The motives of the reform were to be found outside the national field. They were in part ideological, i.e., to demonstrate that it was the Soviets who were heretical, not the Yugoslavs, for among the latter the state had already begun to wither away, whereas among the former it was more bureaucratic and relied more heavily on the police power than ever before. The economic reform was also intended to broaden widely the base of support which the regime enjoyed





among the population, it being too risky in the circumstance of excommunication to continue the very leftist policies of the early post-war years. The key characteristic of the economic reform was decentralization. Substantial authority for the implementation of the perspective plan of 1952-1961 was transferred from the center at Belgrade to the party cadres at the level of the republic, the commune, and the enterprise. Agriculture was decollectivized, the only instance of its kind in the history of world Communism. The security police were much less in evidence and the use of administrative measures fell off sharply. In these circumstances it was necessary for all the regions and all the peoples to move forward together. The motivation for compliance with regime dictates was in part to be supplied by the new Yugoslav national consciousness. [5]


Paradoxically, the policy of promoting Yugoslavism was reinforced by the death of Stalin and the end of Cominform pressure. These events terminated what had been a severe external threat, and thus reduced the need for cooperation among the peoples of the Federation. To be sure, pressure did not disappear. In the south relations with both Bulgaria and Albania continued to be strained. In 1955-1956 the Yugoslav security police believed it necessary to undertake a collection of privately-held weapons in the Kosovo, and this turned out to be a bloody affair. In the Macedonian republic, on the other hand, the situation appeared to improve. The new literary language, based on a dialect spoken in the extreme southwest of the Republic, and thus as far removed from both Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian as possible, became the general mode of written expression by the middle 'fifties. The foundations of a separate Macedonian Orthodox Church were laid with the establishment in 1958 of an autonomous archbishopric at Ohrid, also in the extreme southwest. The representation of Macedonia in the central organs of government was likewise enhanced, as was the flow of investment subsidy. But, generally speaking, relations with the East were much improved after Stalin's disappearance from the political stage, and it is noteworthy that in the very year of his death there occurred the first instances of ethnic conflict in the post-war history of the country. The economic reform, moreover, paved the way for much particularism and provincialism. Authority had been moved from the center to the periphery, most of it into the hands of local party cadres. Every locality appeared determined to have its factory, regardless of economic feasi-



5. Charles P. McVicker, Titoism: Pattern for International Communism (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1957), pp. 23-36.





bility, and each republic seemed inclined to have its own steel mill, electronics industry and port facility. For all these additional reasons, then, Yugoslav nationalism appeared to the leadership to be the order of the day.


The first major expression of the new national policy was the Constitutional Act of 1953 which, although in form an amendment of the Constitution of 1946, was in fact a new organic law. The Act of 1953 was intended to de-emphasize the federal system. The set of all-union and union-republic ministries was abolished and replaced with a unitary federal bureaucracy. The sweeping promises of the 1946 Constitution with respect to the rights of the republics were eliminated. The Chamber of Nationalities, which had served as the upper house in the first constitution, was merged with the lower house, or National Assembly. Henceforth each republican parliament would elect ten delegates, and each provincial assembly five, who would sit in the National Assembly alongside the popularly elected deputies. If an issue arose which concerned the rights of the republics, the delegates could assemble separately, and their consent would be necessary for the legislation at hand. But as a matter of fact, the Chamber of Nationalities never did convene as long as the Act of 1953 was in force. A new second house was provided in the form of a Council of Producers ; this was syndical in character.


Throughout the period 1951-1960 the leadership waged a campaign against what it chose to call "cultural isolation". Since there were no central cultural or academic organizations, no Yugoslav academy of sciences, no Yugoslav ballet, a federal unit was formed to 'coordinate' the activity of the various republican cultural institutes. A program of cultural exchange between the republics was worked out, pressure put on republican ministries of education to produce and utilize common textbooks, and newspapers encouraged to devote more space to the happenings in other parts of the country. In minority areas cultural organizations were integrated with those of the dominant Slavic population. Thus, for all of Vojvodina there was one set of cultural institutions, with sub-sections for Hungarian speakers, Romanian speakers, Slovak speakers, and the like. In mixed areas such integration was also true for the schools of the minorities. They were merged with those of the dominant population, and although some subjects continued to be taught in the minority language, the minority children also had classes in common with Serbo-Croatian speakers. [6] This policy was comple-



6. This policy did not apply to the Italians, who were protected by international treaty.





mented by the granting of permission to the surviving Jews, and, after Yugoslavia and Turkey became allies in the Balkan Pact of 1963, to the Turks, to emigrate. The vast majority of the Jews took advantage of this permission, and the exodus of Turks was large enough to embarrass the Macedonian authorities. Some 50,000 Shiptars also emigrated to Turkey. Approximately 25,000 Italians returned to the Italian motherland.


The culmination of the campaign against cultural isolation was reached in 1954, when representatives of the Serbs, Croats and Montenegrins met in Novi Sad, capital of Vojvodina and traditional seat of Serb learning, to announce that the three peoples employed an identical language (a substantially factual statement) and that a commission would set to work on a common dictionary. [7] From time to time the regime raised the possibility of the ultimate merger of all the Yugoslav cultures into an integral whole, although always entering a disclaimer to the effect that such integration naturally presupposed the flowering of the individual cultures.


The principal ideologue of the new national policy was the Slovene E. Kardelj. In 1958 he undertook to revise the traditional Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist position on the national question by arguing in various publications that the nation played a positive role regardless of the form assumed by the state. In other words, the nation was a vital feature of both the capitalist and the Socialist stages of development, and the erosive impact of revolutionary upheaval on national consciousness was much less than had been believed. The continuity of national development was relatively unaffected by revolutionary changes in the nature of class relations. But the nation Kardelj had in mind was not the Slovene but the Yugoslav. The republics did not perform any progressive economic function, he asserted, and the fact that they had cultures of their own did not make them national entities. Regionalism and particularism were reactionary forces. Among Communists it was generally believed that Bosnia, with its mosaic of Serbo-Croatian speakers of Catholic, Orthodox and Moslem faith, would serve as a melting pot and provide, on a mass basis, the first example of the new Yugoslav national consciousness. Said the Party program adopted at the seventh congress in 1958: the future of national relations lies in the development of



7. An exemplary discussion of the language issue in Yugoslavia is to be found in Michael B. Petrovich, "Nationalism and Communism in Yugoslavia", an unpublished typescript of 92 pages. A short version of the common dictionary was published in 1960, together with the first volume of the longer work.





Socialist relations and as a Socialist community of peoples develops there will emerge a Yugoslav national consciousness.





The current period is characterized by abandonment of the policy of Yugoslav nationalism and the emergence of a genuine federalism.


As has already been suggested, the decentralization brought about by the economic reform of 1951 gave rise to autarkic forces. With the passage of time these gathered strength. By 1965 there were five steel mills with a combined production of 2.2 million tons, although the break-even point for a single mill was two million tons. There were a half-dozen automotive manufacturing or assembly plants, total production being on the order of 50,000 units. [8] Railway administration had been republicanized so that there were different sets of tariffs and even different signal systems. Markets were sometimes fenced off by administrative measures; firms based in other republics were not permitted to open local outlets or establish manufacturing subsidiaries. Perhaps most significant of all was the port situation. Interwar Yugoslavia had developed Rijeka, on the Adriatic coast, as its principal harbor. Rijeka, however, was located on the territory of the Croatian Republic, as was indeed 90% of the Adriatic coast. The Slovenes began building a port at Koper, on their ten miles of Adriatic shore. Landlocked Bosnia supported the construction of a port at Ploče, near the mouth of the Neretva river close to the tongue of its territory which touched the sea. Serbia and Montenegro together proposed to develop Bar, on the territory of Montenegro, although the rail line from Belgrade to Bar had to be built through 200 miles of some of the most difficult mountains in Europe. Such duplication of expensive port facilities was uneconomical for a country short of capital resources.


But that was not all. At least the Adriatic ports provided Yugoslavia with cheap transportation to the world market. And most of Yugoslavia's bauxite and water power were located in the mountain ranges which towered over the Adriatic coast. This same region was also the center of the



8. Jack Baranson, "Automotive Industries in Developing Countries", International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Report No. EC 162, pp. 45-49; Prvoslav Ranković, "The Establishment and Development of the Automotive Equipment Industry in Yugoslavia", United Nations Industrial Development Organization Report (15 August 1968), 59 pp.





increasingly important tourist trade, so that the infra-structure developed here would serve many purposes. Yet development of the Adriatic coast would benefit Croatia more than any other republic and, at the same time, would tend to give the Federation a markedly Western orientation. Consequently, Serbia pushed the development of a set of ports along the Danube river, at Novi Sad, Zemun, Belgrade, Smederova, all of them Serbian towns looking down the Danube to the Black Sea and the East. One of the purposes of the joint Romanian-Yugoslav Iron Gates project was to raise the maximum tonnage of barges passing through the locks from 1500 to 2000. The commercial future of the Danube is not bright. Thus competition in port facilities was also an expression of the traditional rivalry between Croatia and Serbia, and had foreign policy overtones. Overall, the rivalry for investment funds, aside from being wasteful, exacerbated national antagonisms and raised the potential for conflict.


One feature of the new economic nationalism was the increasing unwillingness of the northern, more advanced, republics, to continue subsidizing the economic growth of their southern fellows. The northerners argued that to do so was to waste scarce resources. Most of the factories built in the south could be kept in operation only with further subsidies. Even the advantage of a cheap, unskilled labor force was negated by the existence of workers' councils, which insisted on forcing wages up to the northern level. Dinar for dinar, most investment gave a much better return in the north, which possessed most of the skilled labor, the high density transportation net, proximity to important foreign markets, and so on. [9] The northerners began to advocate a second economic reform, one which would take investment out of the hands of the party apparatus and the state bureaucracy, at whatever level, and leave it to be ruled by the free play of market forces.


The south made the traditional appeal to social justice. The investment monies coming from the north were only its proper due ; they represented the surplus value which northern industry had got by its exploitation of southern agriculture and southern raw materials. Proof of this charge was to be found in the discrepancy between the prices of manufactures, which tended constantly to creep up, and the prices of agricultural commodities and other raw materials, which tended to decline. Any infant industry needed protection in one form or another. If the subsidies from



9. For a good illustration of the weakness of such southern industry see Jack C. Fisher, Yugoslavia: a Multinational State, Regional Difference and Administrative Response (San Francisco: Chandler Publishing Company, 1966), p. 11.





the north were discontinued, the southerners would be condemned to remain forever hewers of wood and drawers of water. The south therefore advocated retention of the economic and political status quo. [10]


The opposition to a new economic reform was led by Aleksandar Ranković, Tito's official heir apparent. Aside from being party secretary in charge of cadres, Ranković was de facto boss of both the Serbian party and the federal security police; through the latter he exercised considerable control over the diplomatic service. Indeed, the security service was the one federal agency still dominated by the Serbs. It would, of course, be inaccurate to suggest that all Serbs were supporters of Ranković. On key issues the conservative leader could control neither the Serbian central committee nor the Serbian parliament, for both these bodies included strong representation of managerial and professional groups. But the most important element in the Ranković following was ethnically Serb, and the Serbs in the apparatus and the police who followed him were mainly former Partisans who had come originally from such backward areas as Bosnia or the Lika region in Croatia. Often semi-literate mountaineers, they felt threatened by the emergence of new elite elements who had been born too late to serve in the war but who had acquired professional education they themselves lacked. Until very late in the game Ranković also had the support of the southern republics.


In 1965 the revisionist forces proved strong enough to put through legislation which called for the marketization of the economy. Ranković used the party apparatus and, above all, the security police to sabotage the implementation of the new legislation. A year of heavy factional in-fighting ended in July 1966 with the removal of Ranković and his principal lieutenants from public life, the downgrading of the security police, which was not only deserbianized but split into two separate organizations, and the pensioning of large numbers of Partisan veterans.


The decision in favor of marketization was ultimately Marshal Tito's. No doubt his choice was influenced by a variety of factors, but two stand out.


The economic reform of 1951 had given rise to an economic nationalism which threatened not only the efficiency of the economy but also the unity of the state. By shifting economic decision-making from a decentralized political system to the economy itself, the republics and the localities would lose much of their ability to interfere with the allocation



10. For an account of current national attitudes toward the economic reform see Paul Lendvai, Eagles in Cobwebs: Nationalism and Communism in the Balkans (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Company, 1969), pp. 140-148.





of investment. The leadership was thus brought to a third version of its basic belief, i.e., that economic improvement would solve the national problem. In the period of the first five-year plan they had believed that rapid industrialization would reduce the disparity between regional living standards and thus erode national antagonism. In the 'fifties they had held the view that, in the long run, industrialization, reinforced by the development of Socialist relations would reduce divergencies of language and culture to secondary importance; meantime they sought to hasten this millennium by promoting an official Yugoslav nationalism. Now, in 1966, after two failures, they would try what came to be called the Socialist market.


But in addition to considerations of state unity, factors of state sovereignty were also involved in the decision to remove Ranković. In the early days of forced industrialization the Yugoslavs had imported the fuels and the raw materials they did not possess at home from the Soviet Union and had paid for these imports with shipments of their newly manufactured wares. Prior to the Cominform excommunication about 75 % of Yugoslavia's total foreign trade was exchanged with the Socialist countries. Excommunication was, however, followed by blockade, and the Yugoslavs quickly discovered that most of the items they now manufactured could not be sold in Western markets at competitive prices. Belgrade thereupon hit on the idea of a grouping of non-aligned, developing nations, a grouping which would not only serve the political purpose of bolstering Yugoslav neutrality in the cold war, but in addition could be made to serve as a source of raw materials and a market for (second-class) manufactured wares. To cultivate these markets Belgrade extended generous long-term credits to various African and Asian governments, as well as sending them numbers of technicians and planners. Unfortunately, by the 1960's it had become evident that the developing countries were interested in exchanging their raw materials for Yugoslav manufactures only as long as the exchange was subsidized by Yugoslav credits granted on favorable terms. Since relations with the European Socialist countries had meanwhile improved substantially, one solution to the Yugoslav problem would have been to apply for full membership in Comecon, the trading organization of the Socialist states. This would re-establish the basic relationship of 1945-1948, i.e., the barter of Yugoslav manufactures for Soviet raw materials. Such a return to the Socialist fold would make it possible, even necessary, to retain the system of central planning (which was one reason the Ranković forces were pro-Soviet). But the Comecon solution carried with it also the probability of economic





dependence on the USSR and therefore the risk of some degree of political dependence as well. To preserve the country's independence the Yugoslav leadership had accepted in 1948 the not inconsiderable dangers of excommunication.


Unfortunately, it was not possible to trade equally with both East and West. Trade with Comecon countries was barter trade, carried on primarily for political reasons. The Socialist markets were so hungry for manufactured wares of any kind that they would swallow almost anything the Yugoslavs produced, without much regard to quality of servicing. Barter trade with Comecon to any great extent, therefore, would perpetuate the inefficiency of Yugoslav industry relative to that in the West, and end by limiting trade with the West to the sale of enough Yugoslav manufactures at below-production cost to procure requisite quantities of hard currency. If Yugoslavia wished to preserve her hard-won independence â la longue, she would have to carry on the bulk of her foreign trade with the capitalist West, and to do this she would have to increase the efficiency of her manufacturing establishment to such a point that her wares were competitive in the West. Hence political as well as economic considerations motivated Marshal Tito's decision to proceed with the second economic reform, even at the cost of downgrading the Serbs and appearing to abandon the southern republics. [11]


As far as the national problem is concerned, Marshal Tito's decision only hastened a process which by 1966 was already far advanced: the decline of Yugoslav national consciousness within the CPY itself and the gradual replacement of a single, nationally integral party with a set of six organically related but nationally distinct parties which carried on the business of the country by negotiating with each other. The beginning of this process may be traced to the year 1959, when the central committee of the CPY ceased reaching its decisions by unanimous vote. [12] This was the first public sign that a process of national differentiation had begun within the Party itself. In March 1962, a plenum of the central committee was for the first time rent by national antagonism. The Ranković forces, though in the minority on the question of reform, refused to make any concessions whatever to the majority. The Politburo, in a subsequent



11. For a discussion of the relationship of economic reform and sovereignty see Alvin Z. Rubenstein, "Yugoslavia: Reforms, Non-Alignment and Pluralism", Problems of Communism, (March-April 1968), pp. 31-41.


12. Shoup, p. 209, n. 65.





circular letter to Party organizations, in effect admitted it could no longer be certain that its directives would be executed. The Eighth Party Congress, in 1964, formally rejected the notion of a Yugoslav nationalism as harmful and adopted a new party statute which stipulated that, in the future, republican would PRECEDE rather than follow federal party congresses. The new procedure was actually carried out in the convening of the ninth congress in March, 1969. That congress adopted the principle of equality, i.e., that all republics were to be equally represented in all federal institutions, whether those of the state or those of the party, and both provinces equally but with smaller delegations than those of the republics. Thus the new executive bureau, created at the ninth congress, in addition to President Tito, was composed of two Slovenes, two Croats, two Montenegrins, two Macedonians, four Serbs (two representing Serbia and one each Bosnia and the Vojvodina), one Moslem, representing Bosnia, and a Shiptar from Kosovo. Neither Moslems nor Shiptars had appeared at this level before. [13] Thus the higher organs of the Party became deliberative bodies in which delegations of the various republics and provinces met each other on equal footing. Nothing quite like this arrangement has been seen in any other Communist party.


The changing character of the Party was, to be sure, reflected in the evolution of Yugoslav constitutional law. A new constitution, adopted in 1963, was in part an attempt by the reformers to democratize the system so as to weaken the Ranković forces. But the 1963 constitution also marked the formal proclamation of a new concept of federation. Yugoslavia was described as a community of nations. Member nations could withdraw. Non-member peoples could apply for admission. "In pledging itself to comprehensive political, economic and cultural cooperation with other peoples and states, Yugoslavia, as a Socialist community of nations, holds that this cooperation should contribute to the creation of new democratic forms of associations between states, nations, and peoples, which will correspond to the interest of the nations and social progress, and in this respect it is an open community." [14] Just as the constitution of 1946 had been an imitation of the Soviet model, so the constitution of 1963 borrowed heavily from the organic law of the United States. The 1963 document did not pretend to regulate the internal



13. "The New Executive Bureau", Yugoslav Life (Belgrade), XIV (April, 1969), p. 5, cols. 3-6; Slobodan Stanković, "Yugoslav Party Congress Round Up. Part One: Presidium and Executive Bureau", RFE Research Communist Area (17 March 1969), 8 pp.; idem., "Yugoslav Party Congress Round Up. Part Three: Party Statutes Liberalized", loc. cit. (26 March 1969), 5 pp.


14. Hondius, p. 252.





affairs of the constituent republics. Instead, each of the republics adopted its own constitution, independently of the Federation. Each of the republics, as well as the Federation, created a constitutional court, as distinct from already existing supreme courts, which would rule on the constitutionality of legislation and protect the rights of individuals.


The Constitution of 1963 created a pentecameral parliament, with four chambers representing various professional groupings and elected indirectly, and one, the federal chamber, chosen directly on the basis of single-member constituencies. The membership of the federal chamber was reinforced by delegations elected by the republic and provincial chambers; these delegations, which were supposed to meet as a separate house whenever matters affecting the equality of the republics came up, were a continuation of the chamber of nationalities. In fact, however, the delegations rarely met as a separate house. After the removal of Ranković, however, a series of constitutional amendments, in May, 1967, and December, 1968, greatly enlarged the role of the chamber of nationalities. The federal chamber was abolished and replaced with a new social political chamber, elected federation-wide on the same basis of single-member constituencies. In order not to make the legislature hexicameral, the political organizational chamber was dropped altogether, leaving three syndical bodies, the chambers of health, culture and economics. Meantime, the chamber of nationalities was given a wholly separate existence and its membership enlarged from 70 to 140 delegates. Virtually the entire jurisdiction of the former federal chamber was now vested in the social political and nationalities' chambers jointly: the basic rights of citizens, foreign policy and national defense, state security, domestic policy, the federal budget, and the appointment and dismissal of the government. On all these matters the two chambers sit jointly. Aside from having exclusive responsibility for the rights of the nations, nationalities, republics and provinces, the chamber of nationalities also has the final say on the budget, in the sense that if none of the other chambers can agree on the budget, then the version of it adopted by the chamber of nationalities becomes law. Constitutional amendments can be adopted by the chamber of nationalities and two of the remaining houses, but the change is officially proclaimed by the chamber of nationalities. [15] In 1967 simultaneous translation was installed in the assembly



15. For the text of the 1968 amendments see JPRS, Translations on Eastern Europe: PoliticalSociological, and Military Affairs, No. 47,697, (21 March 1969), pp. 175-185. In the matter of amendments one of the two additional chambers must be that normally vested with jurisdiction in the question at hand. See Hondius, pp. 329-332 for the amendments.





rooms of the Yugoslav parliament, and thereafter each delegate spoke in his own language rather than in Serbo-Croatian. The only other parliamentary body in Europe to pursue a similar practice is the Swiss.


The reorganization of the central government was accompanied by an expansion of the rights and responsibilities of the republics. They were responsible for the execution of federal law within their territories. They had their own prosecutors and they shared with Belgrade control of a much-reduced security police. They also shared responsibility with the federal government for civil defense, and after the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia each was authorized to recruit and train a militia which, in time of war, would come under the command of the federal military. [16] The republics even came to have an institutionalized influence in foreign policy. Each organized a committee for international relations as well as a commission for foreign cultural relations. These committees and commissions brought the republic's point of view to bear on the foreign office in Belgrade and saw to it that their fellow-nationals were properly represented in the federal foreign service. It is not uncommon for republican officials to participate in negotiations between Yugoslavia and a foreign power when the interests of the republic are directly concerned, and the federal government mediates between the republic and such international institutions as the Bank for International Reconstruction and Development. Republican authorities are encouraged to entertain relations with their counterparts across the Yugoslav frontier, and the republics are responsible for the social security status of those who go abroad in search of employment. [17]


The shift from official Yugoslav nationalism to the conception of the Federation as a community of nations placed the Moslem population of Bosnia, some one million strong, in a new light. This population spoke Serbo-Croatian, but its literature was partly in Arabic, and under the Ottoman imperium it had regarded itself as Turkish, partly because of the Ottoman practice of identifying religion, law and nationality, and partly because the Bosnian Moslems were a land-owning class lording it over a semi-serf population of Serbian and Croatian peasants. In the interwar period, when Bosnia was joined with a variety of other provinces



16. Twenty per cent of all army recuits are to carry out their military duty in their own republics, in contrast to the policy of the 'fifties, when a deliberate effort was made to have each recruit serve in another republic than his own.


17. Slobodan Stanković, "Yugoslav Foreign Policy To Be Decentralized", RFE Research: Communist Area (31 January 1968), 5 pp.; Zdenko Antic, "Slovenians Oppose Government Decision on Road Building", RFE Research: Communist Area (1 August 1969), 5 pp.





to form the Yugoslav state, some of the Moslems had chosen to emigrate to Turkey. During World War II they had at first heeded the exhortations of the supreme mufti of Jerusalem and given their support to independent Croatia and to the Axis forces generally. A Moslem SS division was organized. As prospects for Axis victory grew dim, some of the Bosnian Moslems entered the ranks of the Partisans, but the bulk of them remained hostile to Communism, as the first post-war elections within the Moslem religious community demonstrated. Under Communism their sheriat courts were abolished (1946) and their women unveiled (1950-1951). In the 1948 census they were given the choice of registering as Serbs, Croats or Yugoslavs, the official view being that they constituted a religious and not an ethnic minority. In the 'fifties, of course, they were treated as Yugoslavs and it was assumed that the new Yugoslav nationalism would find its earliest expression in Bosnia with the merger of the three Serbo-Croatian-speaking populations. In the census of 1961, however, the Moslems were recognized for the first time as an ethnic group, a status accorded them more formally by the Bosnian constitution of 1963. The Fourth Bosnian Party congress, meeting in 1964, declared that the Moslems possessed the right of self-determination. Still another South Slav nation was coming into being. (Incidentally, in 1967, the Macedonian Archbishopric declared itself autocephalous, i.e., independent of the Serbian patriarchate. In the Orthodox world, the formation of a separate church has long been the hallmark of national independence. The Serbian and Greek churches promptly declared the new body schismatic, while the Patriarchate of Constantinope refused to recognize it. The Macedonian church remains an outcast in the Orthodox communion.) [18]


The abandonment of Yugoslav nationalism and the conversion of the republic into a genuine federation were accompanied by an improvement in the standing of the minorities. As early as 1959 the term "minority" was officially abandoned as prejudicial, and replaced with the word "nationality". In areas where integrated schools existed, students of national origin, e.g., Serbs, were required to study the language of the local nationality, e.g., Magyar. [19] A dual language administration was introduced in the Hungarian-speaking area, and efforts were made to



18. "Serbian Church Rift Deplored by Greeks", The New York Times (14 September 1967), p. 45, col. 1.


19. With respect to education, most complaints concerned members of the nations rather than representatives of the nationalities. It was the policy of each republic not to provide for instruction in the languages of the other nations, no doubt on the ground that the educational interests of each nation was looked after by its republic. Thus there was little provision for instruction in Macedonian in Serbian schools, or on the other hand, were looked after by the appropriate republics, principally Serbia, but overall general compliance with the dominant republican language and way of life became the rule.





improve bilingualism in Kosovo. More important still, the nationalities, instead of being regarded as potential sources of dissidence and conflict, were now to be thought of as bridges of communication with Yugoslavia's neighbors. The half-million Magyars of the Vojvodina, for example, were to serve as a conduit to Hungary. To this end the local frontier was opened, each side establishing retail outlets on the territory of the other. With the removal of Ranković the security forces in Kosovo were handed over to Shiptar cadres, much to the apprehension of the Serbian minority in that province. The Shiptars were permitted to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Skanderbeg and to fly the Albanian national flag. The propaganda war between Radio Prizren and Radio Tirana became less bitter. The frontier with Albania, for years closed to all traffic except that of espionage agents, was opened to a limited tourist trade, permitting Kosovars at long last to visit relatives and friends in Albania. [20] There was some improvement in the situation along the Bulgarian frontier also, but cultural exchange between Skopje and Sofia was fitful, frequently running afoul of the Bulgarian contention that no such language as Macedonian existed, that Macedonian national heroes were in fact Bulgarian, and the like. [21] Belgrade also managed to open the frontier to the Slavophone population of Greek Macedonia, but it was twice closed by Athens. [22]


Improvement in the status of minorities inevitably led to an upgrading of provincial government, a change precipitated by a series of student demonstrations which began at the bilingual Pristina campus of the University of Belgrade in October 1968. The demonstrations, which spread to various other localities in the province, were repeated in November, in December spread to the Shiptar minority in the Macedonian Republic, and in most cases degenerated into riots. The principal demand of the demonstrators was that republican status be granted to



20. L[uigi] Z[angaJ, "Kosovo-Metohija: a Nationality Case Study", RFE Research: Communist Area (30 October 1967), 8 pp. Only 13% of security officials in Kosovo were Shiptars prior to the removal of Ranković. By 1968 the percentage was over 40. Petrovich, p. 60 and p. 61, n. 58.


21. " 'Le Monde' Interviews President of Communist League of Macedonia", Yugoslav News Bulletin (New York), No. 437 (25 November 1968), pp. 3-4.


22. Richard Eder, "Greece Ends Yugoslav Accord That Eased Border Crossings", The New York Times (16 May 1967), p. 12, cols. 3-4.





Kosovo, and that the boundaries of the new federated republic be extended to include the Shiptar minority in Macedonia, which comprises a compact mass of 200,000 persons adjacent to the Albanian frontier. [23] Whether one speaks of autonomy, or educational facilities, or publications, the Shiptars of Macedonia were by no means as well off as their brothers in Kosovo. The demand for a Kosovar Republic put the Yugoslav leaders in a very difficult position. On the one hand they did not wish to risk their good relations with the Macedonians, nor provide an excuse for the revival of Bulgarian territorial claims. On the other, republican status could not be granted to Kosovo and withheld from the Vojvodina, but to make both concessions would surely appear to the Serbs as the partition of Serbia.


The outcome was a compromise arrangement, in which the boundaries of Kosovo remained unchanged, the title of republic withheld, but the substance of republican standing accorded. These changes were also embodied in the constitutional amendments of December 1968. The adjective "Socialist" was added to the provincial title. The competencies and functions of the provincial governments were no longer derived from the Serbian republic but were original and were set forth in separate provincial constitutions, which replaced earlier statutes. The execution of federal law within the province was now the responsibility of Priština and Novi Sad, whose parliaments had the same legislative authority as those of the republics, except in matters affecting Serbia as a whole. The provinces henceforth had their own supreme courts and public prosecutors and, if ever the constitution of the Serbian Republic should be amended to permit it, these supreme courts could assume constitutional functions. Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re! [24]





The material presented in the foregoing pages lends itself to the formulation of contradictory hypotheses. One may point to the failure of the Yugoslav peoples to develop a Yugoslav national consciousness, despite the systematic efforts of the Communist Party, and to the continuing devolution of authority to lower instances, and particularly to the repub-



23. Peter R. Prifti, "Kosovo in Ferment", Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (June 1969), 37 pp.


24. "First Provincial Legislation", Yugoslav Life, XIV (April, 1969), p. 3, cols. 1-2; Kǒca Joncić, "Autonomous Provinces in the Yugoslav Constitutional System", ibid., XIV (February, 1969), p. 2, cols. 1-6, p. 3, cols. 1-6. Cf. also note 14.





lics, as greatly increasing the possibility that the Federation will break up in the course of some future crisis and will in the meantime suffer from intensification of domestic quarrels. [25] Or one can argue, on the contrary, that Yugoslavia is developing a truly multi-national state which will make it possible for the nations and the nationalities of the country to work out their differences peacefully, and which in the long run will be mutually advantageous enough to cause these diverse peoples to stand united in time of crisis. Let us attempt briefly to summarize some of the arguments which support each of these hypotheses, beginning with the pessimistic one.


As a consequence of ending Serbian hegemony within its own ranks and then of fighting for the Yugoslav idea in a bloody civil war, the CPY came to be the paladin of a Yugoslav national consciousness. But the efforts of the Party to propagate this consciousness among the population at large were a miserable failure, and even the Party itself broke up into its component national and republican units. Thus, after some 20 years of Communist rule, the national problem re-emerged. The failure of the Party was due not only to the stubbornness of traditional national sentiment but, more particularly, to the identification of national with economic differences, so that the interests of, for example, the Slovenes ran contrary to the interests of, say, the Macedonians, on so fundamental an issue as investment priorities. In a very real sense, therefore, the communist rulers now find themselves face to face with the very problem which wrecked royal Yugoslavia.


The fact that the national situation has not got out of hand so far is due in very considerable part to the political virtuosity, not to mention the charisma, of Josip Broz Tito. He alone had enough prestige and skill to persuade the Serbs, representing 43 % of the population, to accept the disgrace and dissolution of the Ranković faction, and the pensioning off of thousands of Partisan heroes. There is at present no apparent successor to the Marshal: both within and without Yugoslavia there is virtual unanimity that Kardelj could only serve as a transition figure. The Marshal's departure from the political scene may well lead to either a breakdown of law and order or a breakup of the Federation. There are elements in the country which are already pushing the current evolution in the direction of confederation. At any rate, the unilateral repudiation of the Novi Sad agreement in 1967 by the principal cultural institutions



25. More or less typical of this first view is Victor Zorza, "The Yugoslav Situation : Unstable, Confused", The Sunday Star (Washington, D.C.), (7 September 1969), p. E4.





of Croatia set off a heated dispute between Serbs and Croats, the last of which has not been heard. [26]


Of all the sub-problems which, together, make up the Yugoslav national problem, perhaps the thorniest is that of the Shiptars. Numbering all told over a million souls, the Shiptars not only constitute the single largest non-Slavic minority in the Federation, but they are numerically far more important than the Montenegrins and roughly of equal strength with both the Macedonians and the Moslems. The Shiptars have the lowest living standard of any Yugoslav population (just over $200 per capita per annum as compared with a Federal average above $500). They have the densest population (104 inhabitants per square mile as against a federal average of 73), the highest rate of population increase (28.5 per thousand per annum as against a federal average of 10.3), and the highest illiteracy rate (41% as compared with 20). Until recently they have been the most poorly treated of all the populations inhabiting Yugoslavia, and their claim to unification, in a Kosovar Republic, not to mention their unspoken urge for union with Albania, threatens the vital interests of the Yugoslav state while conforming to the very principles upon which it is based. [27]


Despite the success of the regime in industrialization and in raising living standards, the Yugoslav economy remains fragile. If the nearly 400,000 migrant workers now employed in Western Europe are counted, [28] this country of 20 million people has nearly a million unemployed. Despite the not inconsiderable gains in efficiency brought by marketization, Yugoslav manufactures are still far from competitive in the free markets of the West and, as long as this is so, the economy will remain critically dependent upon Western subsidies. Such success as has been achieved would probably have been impossible without the de facto hard currency subsidy provided over many years by the United States. In any event, the size of the Yugoslav market is such that, in the long run, and perhaps in the short, only associate membership in the EEC, so as to draw Yugoslavia within the tariff walls of the Common Market, would make it possible permanently to stabilize the achievements of this friable system. Such membership, however, appears out of the question in any



26. Petrovich, pp. 42-50.


27. Prifti; L[uigiJ Z[anga], "Migration of Experts a Serious Burden for Kosovo", RFE Research, Communist Area (26 March 1969), 4 pp.


28. Of these 327,000 are employed in the Common Market and, in turn, the overwhelming majority of these are at work in the Federal Republic of Germany.





foreseeable future. Meantime, a major downturn in world trade could do irreparable damage to the Federation.


The arguments in support of the positive hypothesis must assuredly commence with the proposition that, whatever the explanation — the multi-national character of the interwar party, exclusion from the Cominform, the leadership of Marshal Tito, U.S. subsidies — the Yugoslav experiment in ethnic federalism has some remarkable achievements to its credit. The most important of these is the ending of Serbian hegemony, originally accomplished in the underground party during the interwar period and then transposed to the state as a whole as a consequence of the party's accession to power. [29] Serbian hegemony made interwar Yugoslavia ungovernable. The opposition to Serb domination led to the breakdown of parliamentary government, which produced the dictatorship of King Alexander and led in turn to the assassination of the king. The Serbian hegemony explains in some considerable part the indifferent behavior of the Croatian elements in the royal army in 1941. But within the interwar state, as distinct from the Party, Serbian hegemony was never broken.


Despite a century of struggle, the hegemonic organization of the Habsburg monarchy (to which, in some ways, Yugoslavia is a successor) was never overturned. The Magyars wrung equality from the dominant Germans only as a consequence of the defeat of the Habsburg military in the Seven Weeks' War of 1866. The constitutional expression of the new relationship was the dual monarchy. But after 1867 the Germans and Magyars together resisted every demand of the Slavic populations for a trial monarchy or some other form of equal status ; as a consequence the two ruling peoples must bear major responsibility for World War I. Indeed, 1914 began as a preventive war aimed at destroying Serbia as a political entity, since the dissatisfaction of the South Slavs in the dual monarchy with their status as second-class citizens made of the Serbian kingdom a threat to the very existence of the monarchy. The Serbian Black Hand chose Archduke Franz Ferdinand as a priority target, precisely because the heir to the Habsburg throne was an advocate of trialism. The leaders of the Black Hand feared that should Franz Ferdinand succeed to the throne and initiate a trialistic experiment, the South Slavs of the monarchy would lose interest in unification with Serbia. The hegemony of the Austrians and Hungarians was ended only



29. The Serbs are still strongly overrepresented in the Bosnian, Vojvodinian and Kossovar parties and in the Yugoslav officers' corps. For party membership, see the 1958 figures given in Shoup, pp. 270-272.





with the physical destruction of the Habsburg state, [30] just as the Serbian hegemony in interwar Yugoslavia came to an end only with occupation and partition by the Axis. Communist Yugoslavia, on the other hand, has succeeded in working out a system of substantial equality among its nations, as illustrated by the ethnic quota system now applied to federal institutions, or by official recognition of three new Slavic peoples. [31] Communist Yugoslavia is thus free of the flaw which proved fatal to both the Habsburg and the Karageorgević monarchy.


A second achievement of Communist Yugoslavia is greatly improved treatment of non-Slavic minorities. The neglect and even discrimination of the earlier years has been replaced with a policy of encouraging non-Slavic cultures as a means of improving relations with neighboring countries. This conception of minorities as a bridge is new in the annals of Eastern Europe. Ethnic Hungarians, whether inside or outside the homeland, readily admit that they could wish for their minorities in Slovakia and Romania the same treatment as that accorded the Magyars of the Vojvodina. [32] The improvement of the situation of the Shiptar minority in the last three years has been notable. Shiptar control of the police, the restoration of Albanian national symbols, and the upgrading of the constitutional position of the province have all contributed. The riots of the fall of 1968 were followed, not by repression and increased control, but by concessions and ameliorative measures. The situation along the Albanian frontier is now better than at any time since 1948. In Yugoslavia, even the Gypsies have now formed an association for the promotion of their interests, perhaps the first of its kind in the history of the Romany in Eastern Europe. [33] The change in minority policy is at least in part a reflection of the leadership's thinking on the national problem. As long as they believed that the Slavic peoples would merge into a single Yugoslav nation, whether as the result of rapid economic development or of the maturation of Socialist relations, then the minorities were of secondary importance. But once the leadership had been forced to abandon the Yugoslav national idea, and accept a multiplicity



30. Cf. Wayne S. Vucinich, "The Serbs in Austria-Hungary", Austrian History Yearbook (Houston, Texas), Vol. Ill, Pt. 2, (1967), pp. 3-47, particularly the concluding paragraphs.


31. The Montenegrins, the Macedonians and, most recently, the Serbo-Croatian- speaking Moslems.


32. Cf. David Binder, "Hungarian Minority Tensions in Slovakia Worry Budapest", The New York Times (23 June 1968), p. 17, cols. 3-4.


33. "Yugoslav Gypsies Form Association To Press for Equal Rights", The New York Times (27 April 1969), p. 12, cols. 1-5. The Kutzo-Vlachs appear to be the only non-Slavic minority not to have an organization of its own.





of South Slav nations, there was virtue in extending the practice of equal treatment to all populations, whether Slavic-speaking or not.


A Yugoslav poll on the national question, perhaps the first public opinion poll dealing with a vital issue to be undertaken by a Communist state, tends to confirm the observations offered in the preceding paragraphs. Some 2500 respondents, chosen at random from all quarters of Yugoslavia, were asked in 1964 whether they considered relations between the peoples of the Federation as good, satisfactory, or bad. If we lump together the 'good' and the 'satisfactory' responses of each national grouping, and place them in rank order, we get the following table. [34]


Nation or Nationality % of those asserting that relations among the peoples of Yugoslavia were either good or satisfactory



















The reader will note first of all that the overwhelming majority of Yugoslav citizens regard inter-ethnic relations as either good or satisfactory; the median percentage is 80.5. He will further note that the two largest non-Slavic minorities and the two newest of the three new nations find themselves in the upper half of the listing, with the Magyars in the van and the Shiptars, still under the rule of the Serbian security police, at the time of the poll, at the median. Above all he will note that the Serbs, the former master people, find themselves at the very bottom of the listing, a function of resentment over loss of privilege.


It seems reasonable to believe that ethnic multiplicity in itself played a decisive role in what has turned out to be the rather extensive pluraliza-



34. Sergije Pegan, "Opinions on Relations Between the Nations in Yugoslavia", in Firdus Dzinić (ed.), Yugoslav Public Opinion Concerning Current Political and Social Questions (Belgrade, Institute of Social Sciences, 1964; as translated from the Serbo-Croatian by Joint Publications Research Service, Washington, D.C.), pp. 77-104. Except for the Slovenes, the overwhelming majority of each group classified interethnic relations as 'good'. In the Slovene case the percentages were 58.7 'good' and 20.2 'satisfactory'. The 1964 Yugoslav poll appears to have been executed with a methodological sophistication above the U.S. average. The fact that a genuine poll could be undertaken is in itself evidence of the pluralization of Yugoslav society.





tion of Yugoslav society. In the long run the Slovenes and Croats refused to continue the subsidization of the developing nations of the south. The arguments between north and south on the issue of investment are reminiscent of those between Soviet Russia and Communist China over the extent of Soviet industrial assistance, or those between the USSR and Romania over the industrial complex at Galaţi. The difference in outcome is to be explained by the numerical (and other) weaknesses of the Yugoslav disputants, as well as their inclusion within the framework of a single state, making it possible, for example, for unemployed Macedonians to find work in Slovenian factories. To get rid of central investment, the instrumentality by means of which the north was brought to subsidize the south, it was necessary to dismantle the central planning system and to marketize the economy, that is, to let investment be determined by economic criteria. Synchronous with this development, curiously enough, was the failure of the Party's effort to indoctrinate the diverse Slavic populations with a Yugoslav national consciousness, and the subsequent reversal of the process through which the Party had acquired a Yugoslav outlook. Furthermore, in order to defeat the Ranković faction, which became the defender of central planning and investment, it was necessary to downgrade and de-Serbianize the security police, set up constitutional courts, convert parliament into a national forum, and so on. Thus it came to pass that Yugoslav federalism became genuine, that instead of a monolithic political and economic power centered in Belgrade there were various centers of power, six republics, two autonomous provinces, the federal government, major enterprises, and so on. Successful ethnic federalism may also help account for the generally imaginative character of Yugoslav policy, with its workers' self-management, joint enterprises, free ports, positive coexistence, non-aligned blocs, and the like. In the Yugoslav case, in other words, ethnic multiplicity may now have developed a positive feedback. Certainly, the outbursts of ethnic anger which we hear, whether the Croatian denunciation of the language agreement of Novi Sad (1967) or the Shiptar demonstrations in Kosovo and Macedonia (1968), are probably best regarded as incidents in a set of on-the-whole successful dialogues. Even the duplication of ports and industries, while costly, is proof of the genuine character of Yugoslav federalism and, as long as duplication does not lead to monopolistic practices, may be considered a necessary price for the psychic security of the nations involved.


Finally, in respect of the positive hypothesis, there is the fact that ethnic equality gives each nation and nationality a stake in the preserva-





tion of what has turned out to be a very successful political system. There can be no doubt that Yugoslavia is one of the more successful Communist states, whether we measure success by reference to the maintenance of national independence, the impact on European and extra-European affairs, the deepening of Socialist legality, or the advance of living standards. Moreover, the nations and nationalities have also to keep in mind the alternatives to the present Federation. If the Yugoslav market is demonstrably too small for the current level of technology, and Yugoslavia must seek integration in the world market, would a Slovenian market prove notably superior in this respect? What kind of a Bosnian settlement might be envisioned should Croatia and Serbia re-assume the status of sovereign and independent states? Would the Magyar minority really prefer incorporation into Hungary in the present circumstances?


The proof of the pudding is in the eating. During the three-month period of the Czechoslovak crisis, that is, during July, August, and September 1968, some 69,261 new members joined the CPY, or three times more than had joined during the first six months of 1968. In the Republic of Serbia, 32,141 or 84% of those joining were under 25 years of age. This is to be compared to the 23,234 youngsters who joined the Party in all the republics throughout the whole of 1967, or with the drop between 1961 and 1966 in the total number of Party members under 25 from 244,077 or 21.6% of the membership to 120,234 or 11.5%. In other words, the Party underwent a rejuvenation as a consequence of the new threat to the Federation. (In the critical year of 1948 there were 197,791 admissions, or six times as many as in 1947.) [35] In this connection, it is remarkable that the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia caused Tirana momentarily to cease its attacks on Belgrade and to declare that, in the event of a Soviet invasion of Yugoslavia, the Albanian army would fight alongside the Yugoslav.



To the present writer the arguments which support the positive hypothesis seem clearly to outweigh those buttressing its negative counterpart. Barring such a catastrophe as a major economic depression in the West, the Yugoslav Federation appears to have achieved a workable solution of the national question. To grasp the full significance of any such assertion it might be useful to think of the SFRJ as an East European analogue of the EEC, that is, as a new, multinational state structure still



35. Zdenko Antic, "Yugoslav Party Membership Has Considerably Increased This Year", RFE Research: Communist Area (18 December 1968), 4 pp.





in process of evolution — in the case of the EEC from the bottom up, I in the case of the SFRJ from the top down. In neither case are the individual nations treated as archaisms to be replaced in stages by a new and more inclusive supranationalism. Rather, the existing nations with their distinctive cultures are taken as given and are being integrated into a federal or even confederal community (as a consequence, it is true, of pressing economic and, in the last analysis, military need). Certainly, a new and additional loyalty is emerging, but it is not national in character. Rather, it is loyalty to an abstract principle, in the one instance to a European conception, in the other to a Socialist dream. [36] To formulate the same proposition in more immediate terms, there is, on the basis of I this reading of the evidence, no reason to expect that Tito's departure will create an unmanageable or even a disorganizing succession crisis. As an historic personage, the Marshal is irreplaceable, but as the symbol I and the arbiter of ethnic equality his going will rather mean that some institutional substitute will have to be worked out. Perhaps in forming the new, ethnic-parity executive committee, the Marshal had, among others, the succession problem in mind.



36. See the argumentation of Tito on this point as presented by Hondius, p. 243.


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