Communist Dogma and Jugoslav Practice

Courtesy Reuters

AN attempt to analyze a dynamic political and economic experiment before it has run its full course is always dangerous. One risks being overtaken by events and developments, even the beginnings of which may not be perceptible at the chosen moment. Any attempt to deal with the changing political and economic policies of the Jugoslav Communist Party is an obvious case in point. Yet even at the risk of being denied by future events, we cannot postpone at least a tentative approach to a problem which not only occupies an increasingly important place in the European policy of the United States Government but, on its own merits, deserves serious consideration as one of the most interesting contemporary political phenomena.

It would appear that the United States Government's policy toward Jugoslavia has been guided to a major extent by strategic considerations. This may have been justified from a short-range point of view. But in basing its Jugoslav policy so largely on military considerations, our Government has tended to neglect political aspects of the problem; and in so doing it has shown little understanding of the motivations of the Jugoslav Communist leaders, who are primarily guided by long-term considerations. If the American attitude toward Jugoslavia is not to remain predicated on short-term considerations of national security only, and if our Government intends eventually to help find a permanent place for Jugoslavia in the Western European concert of nations, then it should follow with much more close attention the internal policies of the Jugoslav Government, the motivations behind them and the practical effect of these policies on the social texture of the Jugoslav state.


In order to understand the long-range policies of the Jugoslav Communist leaders, and to mark in what degree they have or have not deviated from the fundamental concepts of Soviet Communism, we must reëxamine their line of progression since June 8, 1948, when the publication of the Cominform's Resolution formalized the rupture between Belgrade and Moscow.

It is frequently forgotten

Loading, please wait...

This article is a part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, please subscribe.

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.