The state is not "abolished." It dies out. This gives the measure of the value of the phrase "a free people's state," both as to its justifiable use at times by agitators, and as to its ultimate scientific insufficiency; and also of the demands of the so-called anarchists for the abolition of the state out of hand (Engels 1877).
Yugoslavism would ebb and tide without specific intervals and in 1918 because of necessity Yugoslavism settled into one state with three related Slavic tribes, the Serbs, the Croats, and the Slovenes. It is why the first Yugoslavian state was named after those tribes. Montenegrins and Macedonian Slavs were Slavs within the Serbian tribe regardless of their historically different paths. The appellation of the region between the city of Niš and the borders with Greece reflected the view, South Serbia.
King Alexander II of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes dreamed of unifying the three Slavic tribes into one South Slavic unitary state, on the principles of the united Yugoslavian spirit, but his assassination in Marseilles killed the dream as well.
Bulgarian fanatics of the right wing of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) and followers of Vančo Mihajlov (Vancho Mihailov) detested the idea, conspired with Mussolini’s Italian and Hungarian fascist governments abolished the concept of a unitary Yugoslavian state. That was the end of first Yugoslavia.
King Alexander’s successor was his son Peter who was only 11 years old. Thus, Alexander’s cousin Paul became the regent starting the era of the Second Yugoslavia. Prince Paul’s regency was somewhat democratic and more Yugoslavian in spirit compared to King Alexander who was more of a Serb and autocrat.
Although when the WWII broke up, Yugoslavia declared neutrality in 1939. Italy and Hungary allowed Croatia's nationalists the use of their territories for their terrorist activities. Prince Paul’s democratic values and in the name of Yugoslavian unity gave in to pressure by the Croats accepting the Maček - Cvetković agreement which materialized (August 23, 1939), which in essence destroyed the pre-war Yugoslavia.
However, in 1941 just before Germany attacked Greece through Bulgaria, the Yugoslavian government of Prince Paul signed the Axis Tripartite Pact but with reservations regarding Yugoslavia’s sovereignty during the war, no request for military assistance or use of Yugoslavian territory for military purposes (J. B. Hoptner, 1962).
The Special Glossary of the Comintern
Because of its Marxist foundations, the SFRJ developed its legal glossary, which sometimes conflicted with international law and norms.
Statism (etatizam) is the principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty. In SFRJ, statism was something negative opposing to self-management. Yugoslavia was a socialist state, but not in the sense of traditional socialism. The Constitution of 1974 not only added 42 amendments to the 1963 Constitution but also defined in its Preamble the constitutional system of the country as a “unique socialist self-management basis”. According to Chomsky, socialism should create alternative institutions that would be the basis of a community of workers who would then supervise their fates and their bodies, and their free associations to develop different types of general communities. Such was the self-governing socialism of Yugoslavia (Svijelto, January 1, 2014). Yugoslav self-management was ideologically opposite to Soviet state-socialism, which primarily was statism, as well as the interwar kingdom’s unitary state.
The Leaders of the SFRJ called the governing party the “League of Communists of Yugoslavia” (Savez komunista Jugoslavije, (SKJ)) in 1952, to indicate the difference of the Yugoslavian state Marxist origins from those of the USSR.
Nation (nacija) signified the constitutive nations (konstitutivne nacije) of Yugoslavia (Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Muslims, Montenegrins, and “Macedonians”) by the Marxist line, which denoted a legal entity identical to modern “nation-state”. A nation as a community of descent is a tribe, consistent with the theory of Frederick Engels. The Marxist glossary determines that a nation is a community of common interests and needs with common vision for the future; it consists of groups of unrelated ethnicities with a specific territory and a common language needed to achieve a consistent communication. At this stage, a government is nonexistent, though, the moment the nation launches a government, it transforms into a nation-state. (Rosdolsky, Summer 1965, II; Nimni, Fall 1989, 305).
Even Georgi Dimitrov had a problem with such a differentiation, but he would not dare to bring the issue up before Stalin mumbling “a nation and the people are not identical” (Hadjinikolov et al., 1949; Savova, 1982).[i]
Furthermore, Dimitrov conceded that Macedonians were a separate “people”, only pointing out in private that Marxist theory differentiated between “people” and “nation”. Such subtlety was unnoticed, as publicly and continually confirmed that all Macedonians should be united in the eponymous Yugoslav republic. This was the principle adopted by the Tenth Plenum of the CC on 9-10 August 1946. When the BRP(K) [Bulgarian Workers' Party (Communist)], leaders are resolved to support the policy, already in progress, of “macedonizing” the inhabitants of Macedonia. In addition to setting up Macedonian-language libraries and schools, a census was carried in December 1946 in which the Communist authorities forcibly registered the population as Macedonian rather than Bulgarian” (Baev. n.d.; Issussov, 1991 in Stankova, 2010).
People (narod) is a group of working ordinary people (folk, Volk, λαός, κόσμος) who lived within a nation, regardless of their ethnicity, since the latter was against the Marxist theory. In the case of Macedonia, Macedonian people meant all people of Macedonia regardless of ethnicity (Hristo Andonov-Poljanski. 1981, v. 2)
Nationality (narodnost) in SFRJ indicated ethnicity, a term used to describe the unique status of non-constitutive nations. The status of those nationalities did not fulfill the complete characteristics to form a nation. These were the same national minorities (nacionalne manjine), like Albanians, Hungarians as were previously named.
The same was true in the USSR. "Nationality" in the Soviet Union did not mean "citizenship", as is usual in many other countries. In all Soviet “questionnaires for work or applications for education, and in all passports (until the passport reform of 1976), there were two entries: "Citizenship" (which could be "Soviet," "Hungarian," or "British") and "Nationality" (which could be "Russian," "Ukrainian," "Jew," "Uzbek," "Tadzhik," "Tatar," "Armenian," "Bashkir," and more than a hundred others) (Medvedev 1979, 57n).
Conversely, International Law defies nationality as a loose term of citizenship. It is the reason why countries manifest as the nationality of the bearers the country of which they hold citizenship.
However, to avoid confusion, passports of the SFRJ had no reference to nationality whatsoever as for the term conflicted with the internal political definition of nationality.
Those above also applies to the United States and the UN. Before an act of the U.S. Congress made them citizens, American Indians were sometimes referred to as “noncitizen nationals.” The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states [in article 15 (1)] that “everyone has the right to a nationality” and [in article 15(2)] that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.” Nationality is of cardinal importance because it is mainly through nationality that the individual comes within the scope of international law and has access to the political and economic rights and privileges conferred by modern states on their nationals. At no time, nationality is synonymous or interchangeable with ethnicity. U.S. passport holders can see that in the place of nationality is The United States of America.
Comintern and Macedonia
Since the establishment of the Third Communist International or Comintern on May 6, 1919, the newly established political tool put as its primary task to solve the National Questions of the world. The aim of the Comintern was not the creation of a Macedonian nation in the form of ethnicity; Comintern’s objective was the creation of a nation-state populated by the Macedonian people, which included ALL inhabitants who lived in the geographical region of Macedonia as Bulgaria had “defined” in 1900 with the map of Kunchov. Bulgaria’s definition of Macedonia included all lands of the area of the Pirin Mountain, the region of South Serbia (contemporary FYROM) and the entire Greek region of Macedonia. Some Bulgarian ultra-nationalists even included the Serbian Šumadija.
The failed Vienna Manifesto of 1924, gave rise to the resolution of the Fifth World Congress of the Comintern (June 17 - July 8, 1924). The latter issued its first declaration on the “Resolution on National Question in Central Europe and Balkans”. One of the concerns of the Congress was “The Balkans Macedonian and Thracian Questions”.
The Fifth Congress of the Comintern believed that the problems of Macedonian and Thracian National Questions could be solved “only by the Balkan Federation of Communist Parties, by directing it into the channel of the proletarian revolution in the Balkans”. The Congress noted “with satisfaction that the Sixth Conference of the Balkan Communist Federation decided on the toned solution of this important question. The Congress considers the slogans formulated at the Sixth Conference of the Balkan Communist Federation - "For a United and Independent Macedonia," and "For a United and Independent Thrace," as entirely correct, and truly revolutionary”.
Almost identical was the Resolution of January 11, 1934, which established and recognized the Macedonian nation-state, not a community of descent as it is the popular belief. The state of Macedonia was inhabited by the Macedonian people regardless of ethnicity, under the IMRO government, i.e., the Balkan Federation. One of the characteristics of the above resolution is that it alludes to the fact that Slavs of Macedonia were part of the Serbian tribe stating,
The chauvinists of Greater Serbia, referring to the presence of Serbian impurities in the language of the local Macedonian population, declare this population as one of the tribes of the unitary Yugoslav nation-state and forcibly dominates it (Comintern, 1934).
The statement above referred to the Serbs who kept adding into the language of the local Slavic dialects of South Serbia words, grammatical and phonetic forms foreign to the speakers. As for the impurities, it refers to those transitional dialects as Novaković had perceived. Three of those dialects belong to present-day, FYROM.
The Third Yugoslavia was the Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia that established in the mountains of Bosnia (Bihać and Jajce) with Tito’s concept of Brotherhood and Unity (Bratstvo i Jedinstvo). Josip Broz Tito and Edvard Kardelj, his No 2 man believed that Marxist theory of “the state” could materialize at a time that it was already dead in the USSR and was dying in the West a slow death.
At the founding Congress of the Communist Party of Serbia on 11 May 1945, Tito said:
With the Bulgarians, we are trying, and they are trying as well, to make our relationship of brotherhood and unity firm. We have deeper ambitions with the Bulgarians, and we have wanted to realize them, but the English and the Americans have not allowed It. Fine; we shall not (do it) now. However, no one can stop us in this. We are Slavs, and they are also Slavs, and they have always been in the hands of reaction. It is up to us, the Yugoslav Communists, to develop the consciousness that we need to live with the Bulgarians in the closest relationship so that between us and the Bulgarians there should be no greater contradictions than between Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. We shall act so that the Bulgarian people will be happy, as we shall be too when we unite in a country of the South Slavs (Tito, 1945).
In February 1945 in Yalta, Stalin had given his word to both Roosevelt and Churchill that Greece would fall under the influence of the Anglo-American political sphere. Because of that, no Macedonian federation could or would include Greek territories, although he did not have any objection if Yugoslavia “swallowed” Albania (Djilas 1962, 143, 182). The last thing Stalin wanted was to be seen as untrustworthy. Although it was imperative to Stalin that he was perceived as a man of his word, he had no choice. In 1948, the reality was that the USSR’s mortars were not by anyone’s wildest imagination a match for the United States’ nuclear bomb. With no help from Moscow, the efforts of Yugoslavia proved fruitless (Templar 2014).
The friction between Tito and Stalin created a new reality. Moscow not only would not look unreliable to the West but also it cared about warm water ports without restrictions, something that was impossible to do due to the Straits regime and the fact that both Greece and Turkey were members of NATO. Thus, the only available warm water ports were Croatia’s ports. Yugoslavia was not a member of the two political worlds; one would argue that it was the leader of the Third World.
Kardelj introduced the idea of self-management, which he took from the Paris Commune (1871). The difference was that in the case of the Paris Commune everything the workers had done was voluntary. In the case of Yugoslavia’s self-management was imposed on the people by the government. Furthermore, Kardelj introduced the easing of anything had left from the already weak central government. He along with the whole leadership of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia directed the country toward the final stage of communism. He imposed two competing, but mutually exclusive paths, the loss of social domination of the state over individual citizens while simultaneously he pushed for the socialization of the government, which, however, was linked to the strategic developmental culture of the country. Those two paths opposing each other collided resulting in the slow disappearance of the nation-state.
Since the conception of Communism, its more significant challenge was the National Question. In the Balkans, the staunch Bulgarians in Macedonia organized the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), and through it, they repeatedly attempted to solve the Macedonian Question by their political interests. While they were striving to establish a “Peoples Republic of Macedonia” they did it in two ways parallel to each through either: a) an armed insurrection, and b) diplomacy using the assets of the Principality pretending they were fighting for “mother Bulgaria” and the Exarchate. Between their founding moment and the establishment of the USSR, the IMRO fought to institute a Macedonian nation-state, i.e., a Macedonian nation in the Marxist connotation governed by their organization.
While Bulgaria gave up the idea of the realization of the Balkan Federation, Marxist Yugoslavia pursued the fulfillment of the Comintern’s resolutions. Later in 1944, with the Yugoslavian Communist Party in power, the Macedonists did precisely what they had wanted to do in 1939. The People’s Republic of “Macedonia” within the Yugoslav federation was a fact.
The active assistance of the Greek Communist party was indispensable. “On March 1, 1949, Radio Free Greece broadcast the resolution of the Second Plenum of the NOF central council on February 2, 1949. According to the NOF resolution, NOF will mobilize all its available resources, social and human… (and) It will declare the Union of Macedonia into a complete, independent, and equal Macedonian nation within the Popular Democratic Federation of the Balkan peoples” (Kousoulas 2016 ). The AVNOJ [ii] Yugoslavia did anything possible to accommodate its expansionistic foreign policy under the spirit of Marxist ideology’s self-determination covering national goals designed by Stojan Novaković toward the end of the 19th century, an exit to the Aegean Sea.
The Serbs envisaged at expanding south and the Bulgarians west. Such conditions produced a rivalry, while the Bulgarians for historical and linguistic reasons tried to establish that the Slavs of South Serbia were Bulgarians, the Serbs tried to prove not what these people were, but what they were not. It is noteworthy that Novaković attempted to win the propaganda battle by scheming, stating,
The Bulgarian literary language develops to a more Western Bulgarian speech. They [the speakers] say it is because their voice is more apparent and [their speech is] closer to their Slavic roots. We can say [in response] that these dialects are either equal to, or they are, en masse, the residue of the Serbian dialects, so that many of them strictly taken, fall into that great and full transitional zone between the Serbian and Bulgarian (Novaković, 1906).
When he realized that scheming did not work, he returned to the good old diplomacy. For both the Serbs and the Bulgarians, the issue of was not the toponym of the area, but the ethnic origin of the Slavic population of the federal republic of “Macedonia”. For instance, Slavs, not ethnic Montenegrins inhabit the region of Black Mountain or Montenegro speaking a Serbian dialect, not Montenegrin.
As Misirkov put it,
So, the central Macedonian dialect is equally far from both the Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian literary language and can be observed as something different and distinct from either of them. That means that we found a neutral dialect in the south-Slavic chain of dialects. Now we need to decide if that neutral dialect stands alone with a distinct color from the other dialects, or if there are other dialects with the same color, or a color closer either to the central Macedonian dialect, or to the eastern Bulgarian dialect, or to the Serbian language of Vuk Karadžić. It is easy to see that all dialects that surround the central Macedonian dialect are much closer to it than to any of the central dialects of the other South Slavs (Misirkov, 1974).
In the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the present day area of the FYROM was considered part of South Serbia and its Slav inhabitants Serbs. Their Slavic dialect was not a problem since Serbian includes some dialects, by some accounts a transitional to Bulgarian group of about ten dialects known as Torlak.
Misirkov has already determined the national identity and Slavic origin of the “Macedonians” of the FYROM. In his book On Macedonian Matters, he mentioned the “Macedonian Slavs” 18 times, referring to himself and his compatriots as Slavs 88 times, and stated 14 times the adjective Slavic while describing a noun or pronoun associated with their Slavic origin and identity. Misirkov always used the designation “Macedonian” as a demonym or local identifier. He stated that they belong to the “Slav national family” (Misirkov 1974, 84). Misirkov should know; he was born in Pella, the Capital of the Macedonian Kingdom. He further stated, “This means that there is Slav population in Macedonia but not a Serbian or Bulgarian population (Misirkov 1974, 165).
However, there is the matter of the word “nation” in Misirkov. The only time he used the word “nation” was this: “Is it possible now for the national unification of the Macedonians, when in Macedonia there are many, not just one ethnicity, and when there is no separate Macedonian Slavic nation?” Even here, Misirkov used the word “Nation” as a nation-state, a country. Translations of Misirkov’s book refer to the word “nation” instead of “people” despite the fact that the author used “Narod”. It seems that the translators either were ignorant of the dual meaning of the word, or they did it on purpose.
Not once Misirkov had mentioned any ties of the Macedonian Slavs to the ancient Macedonians. The authorities of the kingdom of Yugoslavia, the League of Communists and President Gligorov did the same.
Ethnic Groups in Marxist Yugoslavia
Montenegrins under the original Yugoslavism were included in the Serbian ethnicity. Their Serbian dialect is Eastern Herzegovinian (along with Zeta), which is identical to the Serbian of Bosnia. Because of the geographical differences and their proximity from the “metropolitan” Serbia, Montenegrins developed their historical reality, which however gave the impression of an ethnic duality in their national identity. The Greens (Zelenaši) who adhered to nativism and the Whites (Bijelaši) who claimed Serbian heritage. Milovan Djilas (Đilas), a Montenegrin himself, felt that Montenegrins were ethnically Serbs, but by nationality Montenegrins (Pijade 1948). They did not need explicit recognition since they were part of the three south Slavic “tribes”.
The Council of Berlin passed Bosnia and Hercegovina to the Austro-Hungarian Empire initially for administrative purposes; it created an antagonism between Serbia and Bulgaria vying to gain control of the region of present-day FYROM. The Sandžak area had remained under Ottoman control isolating Serbia from the natural ports of Montenegro.
The recognition of the Muslims as a distinct ethnicity was explicit. The Constitution of Yugoslavia was amended to list "Muslims" as a separate ethnicity and a constitutive nation. Before this recognition, Aleksandar Ranković, the third most powerful man in Yugoslavia after Josip Broz Tito and Edvard Kardelj, had criticized the use of “Muslim” as an ethnic denomination because “Muslim” is a religious denotation, not an ethnic.
Marxism was the basis for the establishment of Socialist Yugoslavia as interpreted by Aleksandar Rankovic and later by Edvard Kardelj. Although many people blame Tito as the creator of the new philosophy, Tito himself clarified, “Titoism as a separate ideological line does not exist ... To put it as an ideology would be stupid .... it is simply that we have added nothing to Marxist-Leninist doctrine. We have only applied that doctrine in consonance with our situation. Since there is nothing new, there is no new ideology. Should Titoism become an ideological line, we would become revisionists; we would have renounced Marxism. We are Marxists; I am a Marxist, and therefore I cannot be a Titoist (Dedijer, 1953).
Excluding Greece, the outcome of WWII gave the communist parties of the Balkans the opportunity to set the foundations of the Balkan federation, oscillating between the socialist and communist understanding of such a union. The difference is that in the socialist view the territories of each country would remain the same forming a gradual rapprochement of existing communist regimes. In the communist view, Macedonia would establish a new state while the rest of the “socialist” countries would form the Balkan Soviet Socialist Federation. The last one would include Greece with its borders in Thessaly.
The issue of the national identity of the Slavs of Skopje was entirely different. Between 1941 and 1944, because of the occupation, the distance, but also the somewhat hostile feelings because of the Serbian rule during the interwar era communication with organized communist units of resistance was nearly impossible. The defection of the entire organization of the Macedonian Communist Party and especially its leader Metodi Satarov to Bulgaria in 1941 created problems to the cause of a cohesive communist Yugoslavia. One of the issues was the possibility that the area of Macedonia would pass to Bulgaria once the war was over regardless of the legal jurisdiction over South Serbia of the pre-war Yugoslavia.
The national identity of the Slav people of Skopje was always a problem in the past. SFRJ faced the same as Novaković, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia had done beforehand. The Slavic people who arrived in the region around AD sixth and seventh centuries and ended up migrating to the Asia Minor had neither endonym nor exonym except for the Slavic names of the so-called Seven Slavic tribes all of them belonged to. They never used a collective name and since they were mostly mixed with Bulgarians and Serbs in the past their name remained insignificant (Toynbee, 1973; Ninić, 1989; Kostelski, 1952; Treadgold, 1998; Ćirković, 2008; Živković, 2008; Lemerle, 1965).
During the WWII, the issue of Macedonia directed toward the cooperation of the Bulgarian, Yugoslavian, and Greek Communist parties regarding the Macedonia National Question, a favorite child of Marxism. The upgrade of the Macedonian people to the Macedonian ethnicity was gradual and well planned.
The original Marxist ideology never created an ethnic group outright. Milovan Djilas explained, “[N]either Marxist literature nor anywhere else could I ever find an explanation of the difference between “people” and “nation”. For Stalin, the “nation” was the product of capitalism with given characteristics, but “people” are “the workingmen of a given nation, that is, workingmen of the same language, culture, and customs”. Stalin also admitted that Lenin introduced the definitions of both words in the book on “Marxism and National Question’ and although Lenin knew Marxism, Stalin did not (Djilas 1962, 156-7). The Comintern followed Marxism to the letter because Frederick Engels was explicit in his views on the natter (Engels 1884).
The creation of ethnic groups was gradual and based on ordinary people’s understanding, which had nothing to do with Marxist ideology. Briefly put, local and national figures of the communist parties slowly but surely developed implicitly misinterpreted twisted ideology promoting their nationalistic agendas at the expense of the original ideology.
The Anti-fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia supported the idea of a united Macedonia, a plan that went back to the Fifth World Congress of the Comintern; however, they also pushed the existence of a Macedonian nationality something that not part of the Marxism. They willfully misinterpreted Engels’ theory and followed Misirkov’s suggestion, although partially, as well. Also, ASNOM declared “Macedonian” to be the official language of the region, although at that time it did not differ at from the Western Bulgarian, which was spoken west of the line Nikopol (Nikopolis) - Goche Delchev (Nevrokopi). Also, the League of Communists of Yugoslavia encouraged the creation of Macedonian Institutions, Macedonian Literature and Art and in the 1960s standardized the language, which had little to do with the language Misirkov had mentioned. The development of a Macedonian national identity enacted a significant part along with Slovenia in the public policy toward Yugoslavia’s national relations. They both acted as a balance to the Serbian and Croatian political colossuses.
Macedonianism is rooted deeply in the soul of the Slavs reaching points that no other group has reached before and without any evidence or proof that they have direct lineage from the ancient Macedonians. Misirkov mentioned of a “Macedonian job” (Misirkov 1974, 119). Misirkov alluded to the Bulgarian Army Colonel and Supremist Anastas Yankov who in 1902 went with a reinforced Bulgarian Army Company to Kastoria to urge Bulgarians into an uprising; he issued a proclamation in which he called all Macedonians regardless of ethnicity and creed to rise against the Ottomans. In a concoction of historical personalities and events, he promoted “the glorious” Alexander the Great, “the brave” King Samuil and “the beautiful Pan-Slav” Prince Marko Kraljević, as having “Macedonian blood [running] in their veins”. One must have in mind that Alexander the Great was Greek, King Samuil was Bulgarian, and Marko Kraljević was Serb.
It is ironic that during the Macedonian Struggle the Bulgarian komitadjis did not recognize the Greek character of Macedonia even though it was inhabited by the descendants of Alexander’s the Great Macedonians. At the instructions of Imperial Russia and its Pan-Slavists, the Bulgarians refused to recognize the birthright of the Macedonian Greeks to their land (Ballas, 1962).
The followers of Vancho Mihailov’s ethnic philosophy who lived and still live mostly in the United States, Canada, Australia and consist of the most ultra-nationalist elements of Macedonianist philosophy. They still give an oath by placing their hand on a knife and pistol both placed on the Bible, although of the opinion of some “experts” the Bible is not required their клетви (kletvi) or oath. Basing their views of Yankov’s preaching, but also sheer logic faithful to the doctrine of “we cannot be without deriving our ancestry from the ancient Macedonians” started drawing membership and influence over their population abroad founding the foundations for ancestry and birthright over the land of Macedonia. Bulgaria had a lot to do with it.
Evangelos Kofos brings an excellent example depicting the extent of irrational and scientifically baseless assumptions, wishful hypotheses, and misrepresentations of facts by the FYROM Slavs, and although the official version does not adopt these ruminations, it does accept them by keeping silent (Templar 2008).
From Melbourne, Vic, Australia
“… [O]nce we become Slavs we automatically lose any significance as descendants of the ancient Macedonians.... By calling ourselves Slavs we legalize this robbery by the Greeks [of the ancient Macedonians].... If we remain silent, we will remain Slavs, and as Slavs we have no legal right to anything Macedonian…" (Kofos 1993, 336).
Andrija Radović’s suggestions to the communists of the linguistic sacrifices of the Croats in the name of a South Slavic unity were also ineffective. In Radović’s opinion, what the Macedonists wanted was ethnocentric and wrong. As Vulić built his arguments on ancient history, Radović, a staunch unionist of Serbia and Montenegro, based his assertion on the compromise that the Croatian “Illyrian Movement” successfully advocated for the name of a united South Slavic state (Yugoslavia). The Croats had accepted the Štokavian/-ije dialect as their own language instead of the Zagreb Kajkavian, choosing a unifying factor over a divisive one, while the Macedonists favored the opposite (Katardzhiev 1986, 381-382 in S. Sfetas 2009, 281-297). The fact was that the Croats had adopted the Slavonian Ijekavian, a sub-dialect of the Što dialect of the Serbo-Croatian language as their literary language giving up the “Kaj proper” dialect, which is spoken in the areas between Zagreb and Hungary. Croats living in South Slovenia and western Croatia speak the south Slovenian Kaj whereas the Dalmatian Ikavian is spoken in Dalmatia, northwestern Herzegovina, and central Bosnia. The Ča dialects (Ča – jekav, Ča – ikav, Ča - ikavo-ekavian, Ča – ekav, Što - Čakavian – Ikavian) are spoken in Istria and the islands of the Adriatic Sea.
The National Question according to Kardelj
The USSR, the People’s Republic of China, and the SFRJ were the only countries that established communist rule without external assistance. The emergence of Kardelj as the innovator and proponent of Marxist theory blended with the issues that emerged during the Paris Commune shaped the fourth Yugoslavia. Kardelj and his cohorts started experimenting the “constitutive concept,” which regulated six constitutive nations (interpreted in the Marxist sense) inhabited by five constitutive narodi or peoples and as of 1968, by six narodi. In the constitutive concept, one considers reality, as is, a de facto situation, whereas in the regulatory concept one takes the reality as a guide for research the matter further.
The Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia (FNRJ) (later the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ)) aka AVNOJ Yugoslavia was neither a federal nor a confederal state. It was a federative state with federal “units” forming a federative association. The word “federative,” in the parlance of AVNOJ Yugoslavia, meant a political status, which was looser than a confederation, but simultaneously united as a unitary nation-state. It means that in the same concept, each of the “units” or republics were considered independent nation-states voluntarily joined for the benefit of the people of the South Slavic commonwealth. It was something like the suggestion found in the first two verses of the Soviet national anthem but with a switch. [iii]
The difference was that the Soviet Union was created around Russia, whereas Yugoslavia had nothing genuinely centralized. The borders of each federal “unit” were never demarcated, which created problems and the war in 1991, the year that the state had died out.
The boundaries of the federal units in federative Yugoslavia are not the boundaries of separation but the boundaries of a merger.” However, what was a “federal unit”? According to Tito, “a federal unit is not a braid of small states; the federation is more of an administrative character, a character of free cultural and economic development (Filipovic, 1977).
Indeed the federal “units”, i.e., republics were quite independent of each other and quite autonomous the greatest autonomy enjoyed by the federal republic of “Macedonia”, with their ministries save the defense to a point, monetary system, and foreign affairs, which belonged to the federative government. The framers had conceived Yugoslavia as a union of free, independent, and autonomous states having as their common goal the happiness of the Yugoslav people as they cooperated for the common good.
Under the Constitution of 1974, the Yugoslav federative state was a
state union of voluntarily united peoples and their socialist republics as well as the socialist autonomous provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo which are within the Socialist Republic of Serbia, based on the authority and self-management of the working class and all working people and the socialist self-management democratic union of working people and citizens and equal peoples and ethnic groups.
As a soldier serving in the Greek Army at Polykastron, Kilkis, I often listened to radio stations in Yugoslavia. They were all public stations. Each radio station played the anthem of its choice to close the program of the day. Radio Belgrade played the national anthem “Hej Slaveni, Radio Skopje used “Denes nad Makedonija” and Radio Sarajevo preferred “L’ Internationale.”
The matter went downhill with a barrage of amendments that to the Constitution of 1963 unconsciously aiming at the disintegration of the federative republic. All these amendments were included in the Constitution of 1974.
The Constitution of February 21, 1974, among other things, included all the amendments which were accumulated during the period after the Constitution of April 7, 1963, while it introduced the consent of all republics and provinces in policymaking, including the decision to amend the Constitution. The latter defined the self-management interest of the communities comprehensively, but with a slight twist although closer to the communism as the Paris Commune had implemented. The Constitution emphasized and articulated the protection of self-management rights and government property as if it belonged to the Society. The new version of the Constitution introduced the position of the social defender of self-management and social property.
On April 22, 1977, a legal provision was added making the National Anthem “Hej Sloveni" ("Hey, Slavs") the official anthem of the Republic as well as the Coat-of-Arms, Flag. The Yugoslav state got its anthem only towards the end of its existence.
As if the above changes were not enough, the reform of the Yugoslav state continued with Amendments I-VIII which were adopted on July 3, 1981, contain the principles on collective labor and some administrative issues. These amendments were followed by Amendments IX-XLVIII, which were adopted on November 25, 1988, expanding the basis for the single Yugoslav market changing some rights of the loose Confederation.
Added to that, the modifications in the 1974 Constitution treated the two autonomous territories of Vojvodina and Kosovo as equal to the six units. Thus the loose confederation found itself with eight “units” and nine Presidents of equal value since an additional post in the collective presidency was created to accommodate the “Yugoslavs,” an “ethnicity” for anyone who for whatever reason did not want to belong to a specific national group. That was the arranged solution to the eternal national question of the Marxist state. The government in Belgrade did not have real powers, and that was obvious during the meeting of the nine heads of the “units” whom to be elected the position of the head of state had to receive the minimal support of the majority, i.e., five votes. That regardless whose turn for the post it was. That brought the end of Yugoslavia in May 1991.
The passports of AVNOJ Yugoslavia did not include any statement of nationality since the word nationality within Yugoslavia had a different connotation from the one used in international law. Internationally “nationality” is a loose term of citizenship. In AVNOJ, Yugoslavia meant, a group of people belonging to a constitutive federal unit.
Kardelj established the institution of “Public Defense and Social Self-defense” (Opštenarodna odbrana i društvena samozaštita) as Yugoslavia evolved. It empowered the federal republics to have an Army of their own. Thus, each republic had a government with standing reserve troops ready to defend their own territory. However, if one adds to the aforementioned the right of the federal republics to self-determination including the right to secede as restrictive the implementation of the right as it was, it created the basis for the disintegration of the federative state even if that meant war between the federal republics.
Without getting into ideological details of AVNOJ Yugoslavia, the founders proved to be excellent idealists, but politically naïve and inexperienced. They created the impasse that pushed AVNOJ Yugoslavia to its extinction. The AVNOJ leadership experimented the validity of the Marxist theory as they understood it, and while they unraveled the theory, they kept modifying concepts without considering clashes produced by such modifications with already existing public policies.
It would be naïve for one to believe that the ideological naiveté that led to the political implosion of Yugoslavia was the only factor leading to the dismemberment of the country. Other internal and external factors also contributed to the withering away of the state. However, the loss of the political cohesion was the fundamental issue. All this time the USSR was sawing the Yugoslav state by supporting various extremist groups of the Yugoslav “units” abroad. An adage states, “Be careful when you are digging a grave for someone else. You just might be digging it for yourself”. The USSR found out about it.
AVNOJ Yugoslavia collapsed because of the manner the state was put together, the theory of Engels and let evolve accordingly.
Thereafter, the disintegration of SFRJ was not a matter of supposition, but a matter of time. Yugoslavia does not exist anymore because the “union” was imposed from above. On the other hand those states the people of which were mostly homogenous populations or they are truly formed out of the will of the people last.
“The state is not ‘abolished’. It dies out”.
[i] Marx and Engels generally used the word "nation" in its English and French meaning to designate the permanent population of a nation-state. The term "nationality," however, was used in its Central and Eastern European denotation, to designate an ethno-cultural community that had not achieved full national status because it lacked a state of its own (Rosdolsky, 1965, 337).
In Marx' and Engels' works, "nationalities" will either become "nations" by acquiring a state of their own (Poland, Ireland), or alternatively they are said to be "historyless peoples" (Geschichtslosen Völker), national communities that lack "historical vitality" because of their inability to consolidate a national state. For Marx and Engels, these "non-historical nationalities" are intrinsically reactionary because of their inability to adapt to the capitalist mode of production. This is because their survival is only guaranteed in the old order; so, by necessity, they have to be regressive to avoid extinction.
Consequently, modern nations are for Marx and Engels what we today call "nation states": ethno-cultural and linguistic communities with their own state. Nationalities are ethno-cultural and linguistic groups not developed into full nations because they lack their own state. This model of national formation is greatly inspired by the historical development of the French and, to a lesser extent, the British case, which by nature of being "the most advanced nations" must serve as a model for "less developed" national communities (Nimni, fall 1989).
[ii] AVNOJ is the Serbo-Croatian acronym for Antifašističko veće narodnog oslobođenja Jugoslavije or Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia. It was the political umbrella organization of resistance against the Axis, established in Bihać on November 26, 1942.
[iii] Due to historical reasons, Russia aka Русь (Rouss) acquired several names always keeping the name Русь or Rus’. The final “s” being soft. Such names are: Beликая Русь, Малая Русь, Белая Русь, Красная Русь / Червоная Русь, Чёрная Русь, Новая Русь. Grammatically speaking the adjective preceding Русь is feminine nominative singular. That makes the noun Русь feminine, as well. http://www.aif.ru/dontknows/eternal/1156456