Speech on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Socialist Workers Party (communist) of Yugoslavia in Belgrade in 1919.
Given that the National Liberation Struggle (NOB) and Revolution of 1941-1945. was the epic of sacrifice for the liberation from fascist slavery, but also the deep social transformation of the country, an epic in which suffering, material destruction and human lives were the main pledge, it was under the leadership of the party, then the postwar socialist construction was just a new epic, a creative war, theoretical and practical insight in which there is no sacrifice and even difficult moments, but the sacrifice is now rewarded with the fulfillment and feelings of human happiness because of the evident and continuous success in the social and civilization transformation of the country, with constant raising of the living standard of all working people and citizens and the general humanization of society equally glorious and heroic.
This postwar period of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ), though with the same end, was realized in two historically different stages - the stage of state socialism or the administrative-centralist system and the stage of self-managing socialism, that is, workers' and social self-management, whereby this latter is by far the "Yugoslavian" and brings extra feelings of pride.
KPJ in the period of administrative-centralist system 1945-1950.
After 26 years of revolutionary struggle in which it grew into the strongest politically organized social power of the country, it undertook and victoriously ended the Liberation War and the Socialist Revolution of 1941-1945. The KPJ held power firmly in it’s hands. Like in all the other countries where the socialist revolution was defeated, Yugoslavia has established a system of "state socialism" although in a more specific form. The essence of this state-centralist system was to be the tool of the working masses - the people of Yugoslavia, in the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is why we can qualify it as a revolutionary, but not bureaucratic, statism. As it was established, the Communists knew that it was only a stage in the construction of a new socialist society, and the conditions in which it was created (both external and internal) became very difficult and therefore dictated.
Immediately after the official end of World War II, Yugoslavia, as a new revolutionary country in foreign policy, was struck by the influence of conservative forces and their goals and combinations of post-war arrangement of the world. The war allies, the United States and the United Kingdom, even threatened military intervention at the borders with Italy and Austria. It is natural that in the defense of it’s sovereignty it relied on the USSR and newly established socialist countries, considering in the nature of things that these were countries of peace in the world (the Information Bureau these parties was proposed by the KPJ). But in the collision with the West, the USSR sometimes, understood the sovereignty of Yugoslavia through the prism of its problems and interests, so that the new Yugoslavia, in a sense, felt abandoned in that sense.
The young revolution was also struck by the defeated forces in the country and other forces of the bourgeois counterrevolution which were not defeated and carried on the illusion that if anything else they could survive at least as an opposition in a multiparty system, so there were various attempts and maneuvers to enter the National Front and the new government, boycott the first elections for the Constitutional Assembly and the introduction of terrorist groups into the country and intimidation of the people. Part of the Catholic clergy, led by the Zagreb bishop Stepinac, wrote a letter to believers not to accept the new government.
The KPJ strongly opposed the forces of the former society because they carried the threat of disunity in the country, primarily by way of a chauvinistic ideology that could never have been allowed. Numerous political criminal proceedings had to be initiated against the associates of occupiers and war criminals (Ustasha, Chetnik, Belogardier and others), which contributed to the eradication of the policies of the old regime.
In the struggle against the restoration of bourgeois parties and the multiparty system, which posed a great danger of division among the peoples of Yugoslavia and a new civil war, the KPJ worked to eradicate these forces, strengthen the United front and strengthen the power and the authority of the new government.
On August 5-8, 1945 the First Congress of the (Yugoslav Peoples Liberation Front JNOF) was held, in which the National Front of the federal units was unified into a united political organization of the Peoples Front of Yugoslavia (NFJ). In addition to the KPJ, some moderate bourgeois parties, who recognized the leadership role of the KPJ and the NFJ, entered also the United League of Antifascist Youth of Yugoslavia (USAOJ) and the Antifascist Womens Front (AFŽ).
In the elections to the Constitutional Assembly on November 11, 1945 NFJ achieved an absolute victory. The new Electoral Assembly on 29 November 1945 proclaimed the republic. The Declaration of the new constitution states that the Fedral Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia (FNRJ) is a federal republican state, a community of equal peoples who have freely expressed their will to remain united in Yugoslavia. After the proclamation of the republic, groups of bourgeois politicians and their organizations dissolved. The Constitutional Assembly on January 30, 1946 adopted the first Constitution of Yugoslavia.
On the eve of World War II, Yugoslavia was one of the most backward countries of Europe with a predominantly peasant population. The industry was a small part of the national product, and there were no important industrial branches. Labor productivity was very low. Thus in Yugoslavia in 1938. one ton of cement consumed 16 working hours while in France 3 hours and 43 minutes. The national income per capita was 60 $, while in Germany it was of 337 $.
In the war, 36.5% of the industry was destroyed, and industrial production could only be organized at 30% capacity. There were 3.5 million people left without a roof over their heads. There were also numerous displaced persons, detainees and war orphans.
To make life normal, it was necessary to renew roads, bridges, railways, transport facilities, manufacturing facilities, public buildings, residential buildings and housing. Many refugees, war victims and war orphans had to be sheltered, to prevent the threatening hunger, the black market, and to organize guaranteed delivery of peoples with the most basic necessities (nutrition, clothing, footwear). For all this, a strong government was needed behind the majority of the people.
The theoretical scientific base of the KPJ on the building of socialist social relations in the period immediately after the liberation was very scarce. There was a simplified concept of the path and the difficulties that will arise in the process of creating a new social system.
As any Marxist-Leninist party, the KPJ has assumed that the expropriation of the capitalist class is the first and the beginning of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The nationalization of the means of production and the creation of state property was therefore the main program objective of the KPJ.
The crucial conceptual-political influence on the concept of social relations was carried out by Soviet theory and practice, which is the view that state ownership of production resources, central government planning and production management, distribution and consumption, and complete liquidation of any form of private property is a fundamental law of socialist development. In the first years of the construction of socialism in Yugoslavia, the leadership of the revolution did not have any special experience, and neither the circumstances after the NOB were much better than in Russia after the October Revolution, so in similar historical circumstances they started from the Soviet model, although it should be said that it was not a copy, instead it was implemented with substantial modifications to the local conditions which later caused disagreements.
The idea of workers self-management at that time could not even appear. On the contrary, the theory was that the apparatus of the socialist state should have a leading position in organizing and controlling social processes, especially material production and distribution, which was the cornerstone of the statist view of social development.
The general economic structure of the country favored centralism. The rapid industrialization of the country was almost a fateful question that depended not only on the successful development but also on the survival of the revolutionary movement under which the country was liberated. It was considered that government intervention and centralism in social affairs was an effective way and method to avoid economic disruption in the early postwar years caused by the enormous destruction of war and the general shortage of the necessary products for life. Likewise, it emerged from the belief that without government ownership and centralized management it was impossible to accumulate large resources (material and human resources) for economic construction, which was the first condition of rapid economic development.
All the historical circumstances we have previously mentioned - the struggle to defend the independence of the new FNRJ, the struggle against counterrevolution, the very difficult economic situation on the one hand and the program concept of the KPJ on the construction of a socialist society not based on the state-property monopoly, the ambitious plans of industrialization on the other side, are that in a war and revolution the management system is developed into an extremely centralist global social system. In fact, the headquarters for the management of the war and the revolution should continue to manage the society, not diminishing its powers.
The country's social system with its subsystems - the political system and the economic system - was inseparable and organized on the principle of a strictly revolutionary hierarchy in which the lower level of authority fully obeys the directives and the decisions of a higher authority. At the helm of the country's political system was the Politburo of the Central Committee CK KPJ.
In the spirit of an avangarde conception, the expropriation of capitalist property was carried out. Expropriation of property of the occupier's lackeys by means of the Law on Agrarian Reform of 1945 and the Nationalization Law, almost all the means of production and general goods, other than the peasantry's property and the craftsman's property, were transferred to the state.
The political system from which it emerged was organized at the federal, republic and local level in the form of representative assemblies and national committees whose members were elected by the people directly in general elections with respective executive bodies and administrative bodies. The first feature of this system is the concentration of authority at the federal level, and the second dominant role of executive organs, whereby the representative bodies only give legitimacy to the executive.
As far as the economic system is concerned, it was organized as one great monopoly of the entire economy, led by the Council of Ministers with the leading role of planning. Each economic minister is practically the general director of his or her monopoly of his economic branch. Each ministry of economy in its branch is formed by several general directives for direct administrative and operational management of a group of industrial companies (AORs) headed by the Director General of the Directorate. The work of the company was directly managed by the director elected by the AOR. The amount of goods to be produced by the company is obtained from the AOR. So was with exchange and distribution. For a quantity of manufactured goods, a company received certain monetary funds. The workforce is distributed by a similar system as the means of production. Although it had its own legal personality and business account, the company was only the drive of a large business system whose revenues and expenditures were part of the general government budget.
According to the model of organization of federal ministries and their directives, the analogue organs in the republic were formed and similar organs at the local peoples committees because the companies were also divided into federal, republican and local. However, federal bodies dominated the overall economic management mechanism and directly managed the enterprises of federal significance.
The distribution of social goods to the required work and excess work, the right to retain and dispose of excess work belonged only to the central state authorities. The federal authorities and government had precisely quantified the distribution of national income to all forms of consumption - personal, general and investment - through the mechanism of the central budget system. This concept of the economic system replaced the commodity production by a system of central planning of production and system of planned distribution of goods, money and labor.
The efficiency of the so-called revolutionary statism in these circumstances was exceptional and largely justified the assumptions for which it was applied.
Having the widest support of the masses, the state government and the KPJ had achieved such mobilization of labor and assets as Yugoslavia never did, even before or after that period. KPJ has managed to include almost every citizen in mass organizations such as NF, USAOJ, AFŽ and others. National committees and local authorities were also one of the forms of mass organization of peoples in solving their life problems.
A very significant stimulus to the national masses in the construction of the country came from the belief that the industrialization plans of the country bring richer and better lives. The desire for progress has become the material force of society. In a relatively short period of time after the war, over 350,000 refugees and camps were repatriated, the orphans of war were handed over to new families and over 60,000 poorest peasant families moved to the fertile areas of Vojvodina and Slavonia. With the agrarian reform 315,000 peasant families were given about 800,000 ha of land. Guaranteed provision of basic life requisites for all employees at lower prices, strict price control against the black market were ensured.
The Nationalization and Agrarian Reform Law reduced social differences among people. Workers have been deprived of capitalist exploitation, the peasants have been freed from pre-war debts and craftsmen have come to a more favorable position. In a word, all strata of society came to a more favorable position, except for a small layer of expropriated, nor was the nationalization carried out free of charge and everybody were taken care of. Within 3 years, an absolute record, all the economic and infrastructure capacities destroyed in the war were restored. The first five-year country development plan (1947-1951) was adopted, the primary purpose of which was the development of a heavy industry as foundation for industrialization, electrification and the increase of the standard of living of the people, began to be successfully realized.
The industrialization and electrification of the country has been raised to the level of a decisive national task. The revolutionary ethics of the workers' movement had created it’s working ethics in those days, the cult of production work, the cult of work discipline of the individual and the working collectivity.
Gross investments were in 1947, 1948 and 1949. 34% of national income, every third dinar (while in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia it was 5%, and in the USA 13%). At the end of 1945 there were 461,000 workers and officials employed, and in 1949. already 1,990,000. Physical scope of industrial production compared to 1939 was already in 1948 150%, and the value of the means of production increased to 352%.
National income grew from 264.2 billion in 1939. to 441.1 billion in 1948. and never again grew so much even in the sixties when Yugoslavia had the greatest growth in the world.
Although centralism was dominant in the management system, it did not initially suffocate the initiative of the workers. This system was very effective because all parts, all the cells of the society, consistently carried out the ideas of the center with the highest level of self-initiative. The management of the society (hundreds of thousands of people) derived from the ranks of workers and peasants "had no time" to move away from the people. It did not yet built it’s particular lifestyle, the system of material privileges, the management has not yet become a profession, but a revolutionary service. In fact, it was burdened more than any other profession.
However, the immediate future and experience of other revolutionary movements will show that the revolutionary enthusiasm gradually disappeared, and new contradictions and conflicts were beginning to develop in social relations. That is why we can say that revolutionary statism has enormous initial power, the power to drive the enormous energy of millions, naturally in the context of the overall revolutionary situation, but long-term statism is unable to provide optimum development of production power. Already at the very beginning, statism has shown that it is unable to permanently ensure efficiency and rationality in production and distribution of goods. After all, the ultimate goal of the socialist revolution is not the perpetuation of a powerful state, army and police, but the liberation of man from all alienation.
In the period from 1945 to 1949, on the tasks of reconstruction of the country and the adoption and realization of the first five-year plan of 1947-1951. the administrative-centralist system was more or less built, but then the new revolutionary process of its long-term gradual transformation into the self-management system began.
The struggle for the construction of the socialist self-management society 1950-1980
In the midst of the day-to-day work on the rebuilding of the country and the execution of the five-year plan, the Information Bureau of the Communist Parties attacked the KPJ. Without going into the details and the dramatics of these events, this assault on both the Party and the people was a shocking fact as the KPJ was a loyal partner to the first country of socialism and caught up with criticism from the USSR, considering it to be detrimental to its own political struggle in the country and the international labor movement in general. The more hegemonic character of the attack manifested itself, the leadership of the KPJ has increasingly become aware of the roots and causes of the deformed (bureaucratized) social relations in the USSR. That is why the leadership of the KPJ started to be more critical and more versatile, in the spirit of the classics of Marxism, to reconsider not only the Soviet, but also its own society, and this means that our "revolutionary statism" which was bureaucratic, was in the process of being destroyed. And when it comes to the classics (Marks, Engels and Lenin) whose teachings can be the only criterion to be verified in Soviet and Yugoslav practice, Marx in the "Communist Manifesto" in the subtitle "Proletarians and Communists" writes: "When the development is over class differences and when the whole production is concentrated in the hands of individuals (free producers), public power will lose it’s political character". This clearly shows in what direction the socialist construction must turn, in whose hands the production must come and the destiny of the state as a classical creation. After the fifth congress of the KPJ in 1948.g. dismissed the attacks as unsubstantiated, for slightly more than a year the KPJ leadership has assessed the tendencies of social development, there has been a decision to change the general line of the party. In short, it was decided to turn to struggle for self-managing socialism. This necessarily meant that the state's decommissioning process must begin immediately, that state ownership must be transformed into social, that the Party must distance itself from power and strengthen itself as a party of its class. By the end of 1949 Boris Kidrič and Đuro Salaj as representatives of government and trade unions, have signed the Guidelines on the Founding and Work of Workers' Councils in state-owned enterprises in 215 experimentally selected companies.
This was essentially a transition from a state-administrative management system to self-management. This meant opening up the process of transferring most of the functions and tasks performed by state bodies to the workers and citizens on their own. This required the construction of a completely new self-managing organizational structure and self-managing instrumentation. This also means changing the methods of political action, as strengthening the role of the base of society weakens the role of the sphere of politics. It sounds almost utopian because there is no practical experience except for the episodic experience of the Paris Commune. And this is precisely what the Party has set before its members and people, because it is also the essence of socialist construction.
The first decade of 1950-1960. was a breakthrough for the transition to self-management, and was marked by several important legislative projects and political gatherings.
The Federal Assembly in 1950 adopted the Basic Law on the Transfer of State Economic Corporations and Greater Economic Associations to the Management of Work Collectives. From a regular production plant, the state-of-the-art production-driven state machine, the company becomes an independent commodity maker with its means of production, production plan and total revenue income. The company, with its directors, is managed by workers through the Workers' Council. In the spirit of self-management, the loose impact of economic laws, the wider market and the stronger role of trade with the gradual disappearance of rationalized distribution. For some items there is also a free price formation. Thus, the direct management of enterprises by the state and the division of enterprises into the local, republican and federal state, and thus the necessary state apparatus, were thus abolished.
However, the state quantified the proportions of social production and distribution of national income, and for this purpose, the profit entered the state budget, apart from the founds that remained for personal income and for investments. At the end of the decade, part of the investment income (accumulation) was invested in state investment funds, but also under state incentive. Under the slogan of decentralization and democratization there were great changes in the political system. 100,000 workers leaved the federal administration, part of the lower level, and most of the production. The new law on the Peoples Committees (NO) stopped the intent of turning NO into the transmission of central organs, retaining their autonomy and expanded their jurisdiction, thus laying the foundations of the future commune or local self-government.
The importance of legality in the work, the independence of the courts, the importance of the personal freedoms of citizens and the initiation of actions against privileges and social differences were emphasized.
The sixth Congress of the KPJ in 1952 brings a new concept to the Party (a leading institution and not a government) and changes the Party's name into the Communist League of Yugoslavia (SKJ), in order to formally distance itself from the classical political organization, especially of the Stalinist type, as well as identifying it with the Marxian Communist League. At the same time, the SKJ develops the autonomy of other political organizations, NF taked a special role, which becomes a form of public debate within which articulate different opinions, of course within the framework of socialist building, which changes its name to Socialist League of the Working People (SSRN) on its sixth Congress. The unions, along with the classical function of protecting the economic conditions of workers, gain an educational and political function in order to train workers for self-management and improvement of the self-management system.
Partly as a result of all the changes in the political system from 1949 to 1953 which was supposed to be sanctioned by the constitution, and in part and to the incentive for further changes on the line of development of self-management, the Peoples Assembly of the FNRJ in 1953 adopted the Constitutional Law on the Fundamentals of Social and Political Settlement. As a basis for social planning, the Constitutional Act declared the social property and self-management of producers. In the federal and republican assemblies, the Council of Workers was introduced, thus directing self-management of workers by direct production to social affairs (political system). The function of the head of state as the President of the Republic is introduced and the first president was elected Josip Broz Tito. As the executive political organ of the National Assembly, the Executive Council was introduced instead of the earlier Government to emphasize the working character and the principle of parliamentary rule. All changes in the political system were aimed at overcoming the categories and institutions of state power and preventing the tendencies of bureaucratic (stalinist) despotism but also of liberal bourgeois democracy.
The working class, which exceeded two million workers, also came to political power. The Congress of Workers' Councils, where the direct participants of self-management, analyzed the experiences of self-management in working collectives, and asked for a precise determination of the collective bargaining obligations towards the social community, leaving the rest of the income for collective management, internal relations in working collectives and given to the workers.
The 7th Congress of SKJ was held and a new Party Program was held in which the first serious theoretical elaboration of self-management was given. Socialism is defined as social organization based on socially-owned means of production in which social production is managed by the union of direct producers. Starting from the views of the Congress of Workers' Councils, the Federal Assembly passed a set of laws with which certain changes in the economic system (taxes and contributions, labor relations) were made. In the Employment Act it is written that "... workers directly and through self-management bodies decide on their direct relations arising from joint work." In the same law it reads: "... working groups independently decide on the establishment and termination of employment and other issues of personal status of the worker. "It also writes in the same law:" ... as they assume their obligations to the community, they decide independently on the use of their earned income and determine the personal incomes of their members on the basis of the success of each of them and the entire working group. This group of laws, for the first time, is defined as income-based book-keeping.
In addition to the increasing affirmation of the Workers' Councils in Enterprise Management, within large enterprises, the direct management of workers within smaller technological units, called economic units, begins.
Self-management was not built in the first decade, but the immediate foundations of it were proved and feasible. In addition to the decline in production, due to economic and political blockade in 1948, the economy entered in an expansion phase, at a rate of 11% in 1953 up to 17% in 1957, and an adequate growth of employment from 1,846,000 in 1953. to 2.39.000 employees in 1957. GDP was growing at a rate of 13.3%. Of course, all this was attributed to self-management, which greatly encouraged self-management.
The Second Decade of Self-Management Development 1960-1970. marked the passing of the Second Constitution in 1963, holding the 8th Congress of the SKJ in 1964 and the 9th Congress SKJ in 1969.
By 1963 in the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ) self-management rights of workers in the area of redistribution of profits are extended, the principle that labor organizations must be autonomous in their disposition of profits is adopted. The new law on income has finally devised a system of income and established new distribution relations.
The 8th Congress SKJ of 1964 for the first time concludes that social accumulation is transferred to the direct producers so that workers are the carriers of expanded reproduction, the abolition of state investment funds, the economic reform of 1965, all in order to strengthen the material basis of self-management, further decentralization by transferring part of federal functions from the areas of social activities in the republic by introducing the communal system and equalizing the rights of social workers to self-management in their communities with the same right as workers in the immediate production, thus terminating their status as civil servants.
In 1965 the economic and social reform aimed at strengthening the independence of labor organizations, strengthening the role of the market, working economy in enterprises, modernizing production and outsourcing to external markets. By eliminating the State Investment Founds, their funds were transferred to banks, a banking and credit system was built, and more importantly, the withdrawal of profits in funds from working collectives was stopped as the material basis of self-management needed to be strengthened. However, that did not happen that way, so the results were not optimal. The economy stabilized, became more efficient, modernized, increased product quality and opened to the world, but the stability was also the result of stagnation of employment, which caused social and political problems. However, the strengthening of the material fundamentals of self-management did not happen and self-management became stagnant. Instead of the state that has so far managed the accumulation, new banks, wholesalers and foreign-export companies and other service industries emerged in a freer market, which, due to their monopolistic position, spills accumulation from manufacturing organizations and become centers of economic and gradually political power. Under such conditions, a technical bureaucratic class that has a different logic of self-management has come into being and is linked to governmental bodies serving the economy and even within party structures. The society was confronted with a kind of danger of joining a power-monopoly in the economy and the apparatus of the state power, since unlike the postwar period, the global role was taken over by the techno-bureaucratic-monopolistic enterprises in the economy.
In such conditions there were also group-based tendencies that changed the character of social property and the essence of socialist self-management. All this has led to a slowdown in the development of self-managing socialist relations, so the SKJ had to deal with and tackle these phenomena. This happened with the adoption of the new Constitution in the third decade.
The third decade of 1970-1980 is the transition to the collective work and integral self-management. It marks the adoption of constitutional amendments related to federal reform and the so-called Workers' Amendments (XI and XII 1971, the 2nd Congress of Self-Management in Sarajevo, also adopted in 1971 was the concept of the amendment and elaborating the final platform for the adoption of a new constitution, its adoption in 1974 by the 10th Congress of the SKJ of the same year and the adoption of the Law on Associated Labor in 1976).
Relationship to joint work meant that from "pooling" the concentration and centralization of social resources that have been separated from the working class in the same way and maintained the life of statism and technocracy, through the pooling of labor and the means of joining the labor union. This meant the construction of a completely new self-governing organization (structure) of social and self-governing instrumentation that would minimize the possibility of any social power or structure to get involved between the work of the workers and the results of their work and thus reproduce their power on the account of self-management, from this structure to the end does not fall out of the state but remains in a specific form and to a limited extent.
Old hierarchical forms of capital relations, enterprise and representative democracy go into history. They are replaced by the basic organization of the affiliated work and the delegate assembly.
The basic organization of affiliated work is a working community in which social workers combine their work and directly manage the conditions and results of their work (income that is inalienable to them). They are a community because they do not engage in any business or relationship, but only in the relationship between which every rental relationship is lost. It is essential because it is about increasing total social income, depending also on the personal income of affiliated workers and feeding all social needs. Associations in Wider Associations of Associated Labor - OUR, SOUR. The business community combined part of the income into joint projects, transport organizations, insurance companies, banks and the like. It exchanged it’s work with social activities. It is the beginning and end of the accumulation of income.
The new instrument of editing all relations in the joint work are the Self Governance Agreements and Social Agreements, self-management planning and the delegate system.
Self-management workers in their joint work had their Council of Associated Labor in the assemblies of socio-political communities (municipalities and republics) which are made by delegates of affiliated branches, thus self-organized workers in production widen their influence with other citizens and on social affairs. Since the assembly of socio-political communities is made up of delegates of affiliated branches and territorially organized citizens, it loses the characteristics of state power and becomes the widest form of social self-management of workers and citizens.
The Federation is made up of the Republic as self-managing Unions of Associated Labor and Municipalities. The federation is engaged in the work of securing a unified social organization, defense affairs and external affairs. The federal institutions were equal and decisions were made by consensus. This also ensured national equality. At the federal level and other socio-political communities, there was no cumulation of resources and investments, except the Kosovo Fund for Undeveloped Assistance. The total income and accumulation was under the control of the associated labor.
This was the response of the Party and of the working class contained in the new Constitution to the strengthening of the technocracy and statism and the stagnation of self-management in the third stage with the firm conviction that it is the way for the working class to finally master the whole of the income and the whole of the social reproduction process.
The most difficult thing that could have happened happened at this moment. Josip Broz Tito and Edvard Kardelj who were the biggest protagonists of self-managing socialism died.
Fourth decade 1980-1990.
For this decade, we can not yet come to conclusions.
Self-management entered a recessionary phase, an economic crisis as an official qualification after which in 1983 a long-term economic stabilization program was developed. In fact, it was more stagnation without the usual high rates of growth with a viable growth rate of employment. Since consumption was the main cause of the crisis, there was a state intervention on the self-managing rights of workers to have a free disposition of income, without anyone talking to them, and they paid it with reducing personal income and common spending.
The handiwork of the technocracy is clearly visible. But these measures did not, of course, calm the situation. It culminated in inflation that devastatingly affected the total socio-political-psychological state, not just the mass, but also the organized socialist forces. Instead of consistently removing barriers, integral self-management and prevailing duality of the system on one side of the state, with the other self-management, which led to the crisis, led to neoliberal dogmas because it strengthened the power of the technocracy. On the contrary, by abolishing the Law on Associated Labor (ZUR), by adopting the new Enterprise Law, and also by intervening in the Constitution, self-management was hit as the main obstacle to emerging from the crisis, and thus marked as the main culprit of the crisis.
Party leaders ignored the historical moment and importance of the role of the SKJ at the 14th Congress, shattering the Party. The dominant force in solving the crisis became technocratic bureaucracy. By introducing bourgeois pluralism and multi-party elections, it finally opened the door to counterrevolution. The rest is history.
The SKJ has shown an amazing belief and firmness in its concept of self-management and has resisted all the challenges of the objective contradictions of the level of economic development to the political flows that emerged from it and showed it quite openly. It was first needed in 1956. to oppose liberalism in the person of Milovan Đilas, the Brioni plenum of the forces of statism in 1966, and the forces of technocracy and nationalism in 1971. But all these forces, including the power of capital relations, were permanently acting, intertwined, and worst. The battle that the SKJ lost precisely because of those forces that at the end of the eighties seemed to be the twist of counterrevolution, just as it warned in the seventies that it might happen if if happens to destroy self-management.
Why all this has happened is still a question to answer. Maybe the SKJ rested too much over its successes. For Yugoslavia, under the leadership of the Party, the worst prevailed from its centuries-old backwardness for developed capitalist countries, and the agrarian peasant country has become a middle income industrial society with the fourth highest growth rate (4.5%) in the world and with the highest growth rate of global productivity (4.8%, but also the highest coefficient of participation of personal consumption of citizens in national income). Even so, it anticipated the future of human society - self-management. An existence that was lived happily and relaxed.
Ivan Plješa(An abriged version at: http://www.srp.hr/obiljezavanje-100-obljetnice-osnutka-komunisticke-partije-jugoslavije/ )
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