Candidate of Sciences
The Titoite Revisionists' Anti-Marxist Views on the Nation – An Expression of Their Idealist Reactionary World Outlook
As always, the Titoite revisionists continue to claim that they have allegedly taken up and solved the national question in their country in a Marxist-Leninist way. Of course, the opposite is the truth. The materialist scientific analyses the PLA and Comrade Enver Hoxha have made of this dangerous revisionist trend have fully proved that the Titoites' theories and practices on the nation and the national question, like all their views and stands on the theory and practice of scientific socialism contain nothing proletarian and nothing socialist, they are a flagrant departure from Marxism-Leninism. The theories of the Titoite revisionists on the notion of nation, which express their idealist reactionary world-outlook, directly serve the interests of the Yugoslav chauvinist bourgeoisie. They are attempts at providing a “theoretical basis” for the bourgeois nationalist and chauvinist policy which is implemented in Yugoslavia and which characterizes its whole system of capitalist “self-administration”.
The Marxist-Leninist theory has long ago provided and formulated a complete materialist scientific concept on the nation. Proceeding from the main principles laid down by Marx, Engels and Lenin on this question, on the basis of a thorough and all-round dialectical analysis of the historical processes and material conditions which have led to the creation and strengthening of social communities and the replacement of lower communities, such as kinships and tribes, with other, higher communities, nationalities and nations, J. V. Stalin made the scientific definition of the nation. “The nation is an historically formed permanent community of people which has emerged on the basis of the community of language, territory, economic life and psychological formation, which manifests itself in the community of culture”*. This definition expresses the more general features and the main components of the nation. Negation of each of them and attempts at adding other elements to them are nothing other than open departure from the Marxist-Leninist theory on the nation, abortive efforts to cover up and justify the pursuit of a non-proletarian policy on the national question.
* J. V. Stalin Works, vol. 2, p. 295, Alb. ed.
With their views and practical stands, the Yugoslav revisionists have placed themselves in open opposition to the scientific materialist conception and definition of the nation in all its components.
After rising against J. V. Stalin's Marxist-Leninist concept of the nation and hit scientific definition, one of the Titoite leaders and main theoreticians, Eduard Kardelj, undertook to make a “new” definition. “The nation, as we conceive it today,” he writes, “is an historical, socio-economic and cultural-political phenomenon which has emerged in definite conditions of the social division of labour.”*
* Development of the Slovene national question, pp. 58-59, Prishtina, 1977.
As is seen, in this definition of his E. Kardelj excludes, not unintentionally, from the content of the nation everything which characterizes the essence of a national community. He openly distorts the historical process of the emergence and consolidation of nations, denies their more general feature which characterizes them as permanent communities of people, and ignores such determining elements as the community of language, territory and economic links.
Of course, Kardelj's definition of the nation is not without ulterior aims. It is the conclusion of a voluminous book which, as the author himself says, was written to clarify and work out the theoretical bases of the national program of the LCY.*. We find the anti-Marxist and anti-scientific spirit which pervades this conception of the notion of nation lying at the foundation of the Titoite revisionists' theories and practices on the nation and national question.
* Development of the Slovene national question, p. 23.
Among the main distortions the Titoite revisionists make of the Marxist-Leninist theory of the nation is their falsification of the process of its formation. Claiming that “the nation... has emerged in certain conditions of the social division of labour”, E. Kardelj fails to mention the main and true cause which led to the formation and consolidation of national communities which, as is known, is the creation of the capitalist mode of production. He goes as far as to preach openly that the social division of labour is the basic cause, not only of the formation of national communities, but also of the emergence of the capitalist order.
Of course, this is a concept and stand which runs flagrantly counter to the historical process of social development, the material conditions and the objective laws which led to the emergence of the capitalist mode of production. Analysis of these conditions and knowledge of these laws, an analysis which has been made in detail by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, shows that it is not the social division of labour which brings about such transformations in society as the emergence of nations and the capitalist mode of production, but it is precisely the capitalist mode of production which determines both the emergence of nations and the need for the deepening of the social division of labour.
In Capital, his monumental work, K. Marx brings scientific arguments to show the process of the overthrow of feudalism and the emergence of capitalism. At the foundation of this process lies, not the social division of labour, as E. Kardelj tries to make out, but the accumulation of capital, the concentration of great wealth in money in the hands of the big landowners, merchants and usurers. The owners of this capital, in their constant efforts to increase it, concentrate the means of production and workers in workshops. In this manner the first capitalist enterprises emerged which used hired workers who did manual work on the basis of the division of labour. Creation of the two new basic classes of society – the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, creation of a unified national market and the deepening of the social division of labour are an expression and a result of this degree of development of social production and the relative material relations.
The social division of labour has existed in pre-capitalist social formations, but it has not led and could not lead to the emergence of nations, nor can it lead to the overthrow of one social order and the triumph of another, higher social order, because, as an historical category, the social division of labour assumes its definite forms, and differs and deepens depending on the nature of socio-economic formations. Precisely on this question K. Marx pointed out that “...the manifactural division of labour is a very specific result of the capitalist mode of production.”* Criticising Proudhon, who conceived the division of labour as a permanent category, as the determining cause which led to the emergence of all capitalist relations of production, K. Marx stressed: “The division of labour within the workshop developed after the accumulation and concentration of the means of production and workers,”** that “the development of the division of labour presupposes the union of workers in a workshop..., actually this workshop being a condition for the existence of the division of labour.”*** Hence it emerges that it is not the division of labour that determines the transition from feudalism to capitalism. And since nations are the inevitable product of the bourgeois epoch of social development, the process of their emergence can by no means be linked with the social division of labour.
* K. Marx, Capital, vol. 1, book 2, d. 70, Alb. edn.
** K. Marx The Misery of Philosophy, Tirana 1971, p. 176, Alb. edn. *** Ibidem, p. 177.
V. I. Lenin and J. V. Stalin proved that nations were formed in the process of the emergence and development of capitalism, in the process of the unification of local markets into one national market. During this process economic links are created which envelop the whole population speaking a common language and living on the same territory. From these positions and in this spirit, V. I. Lenin analyses the process of tae formation of the Russian nation. “Only the new period of Russian history (about the 17th century),” says he, “is characterized by the actual merger of all these regions, lands and principalities into one whole. This merger... was brought about by the extension of exchanges among regions, the gradual growth of the goods turnover, and the concentration of the small local markets into one all-Russian market.”*
* V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 1, p. 164, Alb. edn.
The thesis of the Titoite revisionists, who link the process of the formation of nations with the social division of labour in capitalism, conceals in itself counter-revolutionary aims. According to this pseudo-theory, just as the social division of labour in capitalism allegedly led to the formation of nations, so, in the conditions of present-day imperialism, the development of science, technique and the technical-scientific revolution, when the social division of labour has been deepened and extended to international dimensions, automatically leads to the closeness and union of nations and the dying away of national differences. “The social division of labour which is required by this development of the productive forces and the volume of exchange of material values in the world,” E. Kardelj writes, “goes necessarily beyond narrow national borders, brings nations closer together and includes man directly in the mechanism of the world economy. Along with this, man's awareness of his material and cultural interest must be changed and, in fact is being changed. Right now international organizations for economic co-operation are being formed, which show that the awareness of the common economic interests is transcending national borders and extending to ever larger regions... This is the process of unification of nations which is necessarily brought by the social division of labour in the epoch in which mankind is entering socialism.”* One cannot be more explicit.
* Development of the Slovene national question, pp. 59-60.
The metaphysical and counter-revolutionary character of the claims of the Titoites lies in the fact that these consider the elimination of national oppression, and the question of the establishment of equality among nations and their closeness and union as phenomena that can be settled in the framework of the capitalist order and only intensifying the international division of labour. Proceeding from these positions, the Titoite revisionists negate the struggle of the people's masses in oppressed nations for freedom and independence against the bourgeoisie of oppressing nations, and with this they actually justify and encourage the deepening of inequality among nations the most savage national oppression.
The objective tendency of imperialism to intensify economic, political and cultural links, and to transcend and break down national boundaries on the basis of the international socialization of capitalist production, as Lenin has pointed out with scientific precision, does not and can never lead to the voluntary coming together and union of nations, as the Titoite revisionists make out. On the contrary, the only correct road followed by the proletariat according to this tendency is that of struggle against any national inequality, of resolute support for the liberation movements of oppressed nations, and of the internationalist union of the proletariat and the working people within one country and on an international scale to shake off the yoke of capital, and to fight the bourgeoisie and imperialism.
It is quite clear that the “bringing closer together” and “union” of nations in the conditions of imperialism, about which the Titoites talk is nothing other than a reflection of the present-day capitalist reality which is characterized by strained national and international relations; it is the right which the bourgeoisie of the oppressor nations, the American and Soviet bourgeoisie, in the first place, arrogates to itself to subdue other nations by violence and to trample underfoot their sovereignty. The Titoite interpretation of the imperialist tendency to intensify economic, political and cultural links between nations and to break down and transcend national boundaries, which is allegedly brought about by the further deepening of the social division of labour overlooks the deep-going and irreconcilable contradictions between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, between oppressor nations and oppressed nations; it is tantamount to open preaching of the idea that the oppressed nations should submit and sacrifice their cause to the interests of the superpowers and other imperialist powers.
Upholding the view that the formation, existence, union and merger of nations are determined only by the social division of labour, the Titoite revisionists slide into utterly metaphysical positions.
First, they arbitrarily dissociate the national community from the socio-economic order that begets it, from the capitalist relations of production, and, in this manner, disregard the radical changes that take place in the development of nations as a result of the change of the social order, the overthrow of capitalism and the triumph of socialism. Precisely for this reason, E. Kardelj violently opposes the Marxist thesis which makes a distinction of principle between the socialist nations and the bourgeois nations and even considers this distinction absurd.*
* Development of the Slovene national question, p. 78.
Second, the metaphysical position of the Titoite revisionists becomes even more obvious from their stand towards the future of nations. Advocating the union of nations and the elimination of national distinctions in the conditions of the existence of private property and capitalist relations of production, the Titoites actually oppose the free and independent development of nations, their language and culture, a development which can reach its highest degree only in the conditions of the socialist and communist relations of production, only when conditions for the political rule of the proletariat in society exist.
Negation of the thesis that nations are permanent social communities of people is another distortion of the materialist theory of the nation by the Yugoslav revisionists.
Marxism-Leninism has long since proved that the common language, the common territory and the community of economic links and culture created under the direct influence of the historical process and handed down from one generation to the other, make for a strong and lasting community of a nation. The national consciousness, which is a reflection of the very strong and close links of the members of one nation, is formed and strikes deep roots on this basis. In these objective links the members of different nations see their vital interests, hence national awareness becomes a source of struggle for national self-affirmation and is transformed into such exceptional strength as enables even smaller nations or parts of them to stand up for centuries to efforts by larger oppressor nations to assimilate them by violence. This conclusion has been borne out long ago by the protracted and heroic struggle which many nations have waged and continue to wage to win their freedom.
Permanence of nations, their resistance and inner strength, which has stood up and continues to stand up to the assimilating and exterminating aims of chauvinists, has forced the ruling classes of oppressor nations to use, along with unrestrained violence, different means of spiritual enslavement in order to achieve their goals — the enslavement and assimilation of the annexed nations or parts of them. For this purpose they have been concocting all sorts of ”theories” and views through which they cunningly try to sow indifference about the national belonging of the masses of people in the oppressed nations, to deaden peoples' profound feelings about their language, culture, history and ancestral customs or to suppress them altogether so as to undermine or wreck their struggle for national affirmation.
One of these pseudo-theories is that which identifies the national community with the state community. According to this theory, in a multinational state the national belonging of every citizen is not determined on the basis of the language and other components of the nation, but on the basis of citizenship.
The Yugoslav revisionists have long ago adopted the bourgeois theory which indentifies the national community with the state community. E. Kardelj proceeds from these idealist metaphysical positions when, in flagrant opposition to the Marxist-Leninist materialist theory, he excludes from the notion of nation one of it essential features – its character as a permanent community of people, and this is not the only accidental stand of his.
There is a long history of attempts at identifying the national community with the state community in Yugoslavia. They emerged immediately after the creation of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, as a tendency of the Serb bourgeoisie to the Serbization of other, smaller nations included in the Yugoslav state. The Worker Socialist (Communist) Party of Yugoslavia slid completely into these positions of the Serb bourgeoisie when, at its 1st Congress held in April 1919, it adopted the slogan “one nation and one national state”, and at its 2nd Congress which was held in June 1920, it remained in the same troubled waters, by issuing the slogan of “national unity.”* This blatantly nationalist and chauvinist stand heavily compromised the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in the eyes of the oppressed nations.
* The slogan of “one nation and one national state,” or the slogan of “national unity,” was launched by the Serb bourgeoisie immediately after the creation of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. This slogan expressed a whole bourgeois nationalist and chauvinist policy. According to this slogan, it was supposed that, from the national stand-point, the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes had common characteristics and formed a national unity. The policy of “national unity” pursued by the Serb bourgeoisie was aimed at the Serbization of non- Serb nations included in the Yugoslav Kingdom. See An Outline of the History of the LCY, pp. 47-48, 68-69, Prishtina 1963.
However, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was very slow and hesitating, to move away from this opportunist, bourgeois nationalist stand. Under the strong pressure of the masses and the criticism of the Comintern it needed a full three years to formally renounce the Great-Serb slogan of “national unity”. Later still the Communist Party of Yugoslavia did not free itself from the bourgeois mentality and illusions in its conception of and stand on the nation and the national question. This is clearly seen in the fact that, at the 2nd Conference of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, the nations included in the Yugoslav state community were treated only as tribes and, on this basis, the idea of the “Yugoslav nation” was launched which was allegedly “in the process of formation”, that is, which would result from the union and merger of these so-called tribes.*
* An outline of the history of the LCY, p. 113, Prishtina 1963.
This conception of the nation and the national question on the part of the CPY carried in essence the idea of “national unity”; hence it coincided fully with the aims of the Great-Serb bourgeoisie for the denationalization and assimilation of the other nations included in the Yugoslav Kingdom. Precisely this unhealthy situation in the ranks of the CPY, especially in its leadership, forced the Comintern to dwell repeatedly on the Yugoslav national question.
At the enlarged Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International which carried out its proceedings in Moscow, from 21 March to 6 April 1925, there was a special discussion of the national policy of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and attention was drawn on the great harm caused to the movement for national liberation in Yugoslavia by the spread of the idea that allegedly the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes were one nation. “The legend of the national unity of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes,” says the resolution of this Plenum, “should be exposed as a disguise of the oppressive nationalist policy of the Serb chauvinist bourgeoisie. No communist can support the spread of this legend through... the fable of the natural merger which is supposed to assist the process of economic development.”*
* The enlarged Plenum of the EC of the CI, p. 594, Moscow 1925.
The stand of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia on the problem of Yugoslavism as a national identity did not change in principle at the time when the Titoites came to the leadership of this party, either. Tito, Kardelj and other Titoites “opposed” the views of their predecessors on “the one Yugoslav nation” and called it “old Yugoslavism”, but they did this not because they proceeded from positions of principle, or from the principles of Marxism-Leninism in coping with the national question, but only in order to defend the interests of the Croatian-Slovene bourgeoisie from the assimilating policy of the Serb bourgeoisie, to establish some kind of equilibrium between these two bourgeois groupings. Hence the tactic of the Titoites who, on the one hand, criticized, as they still do, “old Yugoslavism” while on the other hand, loudly propagate and support their “new socialist” Yugoslavism covered up with obscure phrases and hollow slogans on “equality” and “unity” “fraternity”.
The essence of Yugoslavism as a bourgeois ideology and bourgeois national policy emerges almost openly in the way Kardelj defines this phenomenon: “The essence of present-day Yugoslavism,” he writes, “can be only... the community of social, material and political interests of the working people of all the peoples of Yugoslavia, ... what unites the peoples of Yugoslavia is their general human component rather than their narrow national components.”*
* Development of the Slovene national question, pp. 66-67.
It is clear that in a country like Yugoslavia in which private property exists and develops, in which contradictions between antagonistic classes are ceaselessly exacerbated and deepened, and in which national oppression exists in most savage forms, “the general human component” the Titoites speak about and with which they try to cover up the true meaning of Yugoslavism, is nothing other than the right of the old and new bourgeoisie of Yugoslavia, especially the Serb and Croat-Slovene bourgeoisie, to ruthlessly oppress and exploit the other nations and nationalities in the system of capitalist self-administration.
The support the LCY gave the concept of Yugoslavism as a national identity and the propaganda carried out on this question went beyond the bounds of theory. In the general census of the population of Yugoslavia taken in 1961, more than 317,000 people declared themselves of Yugoslav nationality, while in the 1981 census this number rose to 1,216,463, or more than four times the figure of the preceding census.
In Serbia the citizens who have declared themselves Yugoslavs constitute about 12 per cent of the population, in Croatia 8.4 per cent, in Bosnia-Herzegovina 7.9 per cent (here those registered as Yugoslavs are mainly Serbs and Croats); while in Macedonia the citizens who have declared themselves Yugoslavs make up only 0.7 per cent of the population, in Kosova 0.2 per cent, etc.
The fact that most of the citizens who have declared themselves Yugoslavs are Serbs and Croats is stressed also by the Titoite press. “The main place among the "Yugoslavs”, writes the expert of demographic sciences Dr. M. Lalovic, “is taken up by Serbs and Croats... who expressed themselves in greater numbers for the Yugoslav nationality.”*
* NIN, August 22, 1982.
It is evident that Yugoslavism directly serves the interests of the oppressing nations, and is aimed at the denationalization and assimilation of smaller nations.
This large and rapid growth in the number of citizens who have declared themselves Yugoslavs has aroused a fierce polemic at different republican and federative levels in Yugoslavia. However, the Titoites, like all the other revisionists, go by a logic of their own. Their conscious anti-Marxist position, which has always characterized them, their ingrained hostility to freedom and true equality of nations and nationalities, and their stubborn defence of the interests of the new and old Yugoslav bourgeoisie, of which they are part, impel the Yugoslav revisionists to further foster the bourgeois idea and practice of the creation of the Yugoslav nationality.
Apart from the Great-Serbs, who express themselves openly and arrogantly for unitarianism, typical are also the declarations of some leading personalities of the LCY who claim to be also theoreticians of the national question. “From the national standpoint, everybody has the right to identify himself by the milieu in which he has been born, or declare himself otherwise, that is, also as a Yugoslav,”* said the member of the leadership of the CC of the LCY, D. Dragosavac in an interview with the journal Mezhdunarodnaya politika. Dealing with the same question at a rally at Kozara, another member of the leadership of the CC of the LCY, H. Pozderac, stressed: “...What is wrong if someone declares himself a Yugoslav? This is an undeniable right of every individual and everybody can freely declare himself as he likes.”**
* Rilindja, May 19, 1983.
** TANJUG bulletin, July 4, 1982.
Even after these open declarations in support of the “Yugoslav nationality” these revisionists have the boldness to claim that renouncing one's nationality and declaring oneself a “Yugoslav” allegedly does not lead to identification of the national community with the state community, that this phenomenon allegedly has nothing to do with opposition to the efforts for national affirmation. These claims are so absurd that even many Titoite personalities denounce them openly. “I think that the emergence of Yugoslavism in the meaning of nationality, especially the rapid increase in the number of those who adopt it,” writes Prof. Dr. Dušan Dilandji‰, member of the CC of the CL of Croatia and professor at the Zagreb Faculty of Political Sciences “shows that something is not in order in our society, because this is not a normal social phenomenon... It must be said that, in essence, the question is about a distortion of the notion of the nation.”*
* Rilindja, May 12, 1982.
Enlivenment and strengthening of the unitarian Serb tendencies has made the question of “Yugoslavism” even more acute. It was among the main themes of discussion at the scientific convention on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the 1st Meeting of AVNOJ. At the section of historical sciences a fierce polemic flared up over the issue. The Serb side openly defended the thesis of the centralized regulation of Yugoslavia, the same as in the pre-war Kingdom in which the Great-Serb bourgeoisie made the law in the whole of Yugoslavia. The Great-Serbs went to such lengths as to express their regret at the disappearance of the old centralized Yugoslavia and voiced their indignation that the same road is not being followed today.
These statements aroused strong reaction. “In this campaign,” said the Slovene sociologist Òtipe Òuvar, “we read and hear that one of the causes of the destruction of old Yugoslavia... was the hostility to the Yugoslav idea. However, they (the Great-Serbs – note by the author) emphasize the ... centralist regulation of old Yugoslavia as the only real alternative and recommend that the European road be followed in our time, too, a road which expressed itself in Bismarck's* way of uniting the Germans around Prussia, in Piedmont's role in the Italian Risorgimento,** a role which is necessarily attributed to the Serb people."***
* Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), German chancellor (1871-1890), rabid enemy of democracy and socialism. By force and violence he brought all the German lands under Prussia.
** Risorgimento is the broad progressive liberation movement of the Italian people for national unity, which took place in the 9th century. Piedmont, a state in northern Italy, the support base for every political, diplomatic or military action for the unification of Italy, and the rallying centre for all the different principalities and states in northern and southern Italy. The Italian Piedmont struggled for uniting homogenous nationalities into one nation, hence, it played a positive role in history, whereas the Serb variant of the “Piedmont” has a totally different content; it expresses the idea of the creation of Great Serbia through sacrificing the interests of the other nations of Yugoslavia. *** Rilindja, Nov. 19, 1983.
The line and policy of the Titoite revisionists which identify the national community with the state community stems from their idealist and metaphysical world-outlook, and from the interests of the old and new Yugoslav bourgeoisie which they defend and represent. Against the logic of the objective process and the historical conditions which led to the formation of national communities and the development of national features, they think they can ignore the strength and permanency of nations and parts of nations, that they can easily assimilate some of them.
To tell the nations that make up a state community to renounce their national identity, to struggle for their merger and liquidation before the construction of the communist society and, more so, in the conditions of capitalism, as in the case of Yugoslavia today, is a metaphysical stand which from the standpoint of the theory of historical materialism, stems only from a chauvinist policy.
As is known, conditions for the merger and dying away of nations are created only after the triumph of communism on a world scale. Only the historical period of transition from the overthrow of capitalism to communism, the fundamental characteristic of which is the existence o the dictatorship of the proletariat, creates the conditions for the formerly oppressed and exploited nations to develop and prosper, and to display their true merits. Only when private property and the exploiting classes are liquidated, and when the communist society is built, will those factors which arise and justify the use of violence on the part of some nations on other nations, disappear from society, will true national equality and mutual trust among nations be established. Any other stand, any negation or tendency to negation of the efforts for all-round national self-affirmation and development, as the Titoite revisionists have always done, runs counter to the dialectical process of the development of history and, as such, necessarily presupposes the use of savage violence.
“To try to bring about the merger of nations by decrees from above, by coercion,” says J. V. Stalin, “means to play the game of the imperialists, to undermine the question of the liberation of nations, to destroy the organization work for the collaboration and fraternization of nations. Such a policy would be identical to the policy of assimilation.”*
* J.V. Stalin, Works, vol. 11, p. 342, Alb. ed.
The departure of the Yugoslav revisionists from the Marxist-Leninist theory of the nation and their open opposition to it is apparent in the stand they take on another essential aspect of the nation, its content as a historical community of people.
Formally the Yugoslav revisionists accept that the nation is an historical social community, but along with this, in the documents and materials of their party, in the speeches of the Titoite leaders and in the publications of their daily press there is talk also about the Moslems, the Roms, or Gipsies, etc. considered as national communities, nationalities. This is an open distortion of the Marxist-Leninist theory of the nation. Proceeding from erroneous positions, they identify the historical social community with the religious or racial community.
The national community, which is formed and consolidated through a long historical process, mainly by inner objective material factors, cannot be confused or identified with the religious communities which are formed under the influence of subjective factors or racial communities which are formed mainly under the influence of external biological factors. “... the nation is not a racial community,” says J. V. Stalin, “nor is it a tribal community, but it is a historically formed community of people.”*
* J.V. Stalin, Works, vol. 2, p. 292, Alb. ed.
Another flagrant distortion of the Marxist-Leninist theory of the nation by the Titoite revisionists is that they exclude such an indispensible component as language from the notion of nation.The Marxist-Leninist theory has long since proved that the community of language is one of the more basic characteristics of the national. All the members of a nation speak a common mother tongue “There is no nation which can speak different languages at the same time...,”* J. V. Stalin pointed out.
* Ibidem, p. 293.
he process of formation of nations has been associated everywhere with the formation of their common language. During the centuries which constitute the period of the pre-capitalist classless society, the common language and common territory created the conditions for the gradual implanting, among the members of a nationality, of common customs and traditions, a common way of life and a common culture, as well as many-sided common links.
With the overthrow of feudalism and the triumph of the capitalist mode of production, nationalities are transformed into nations, which are social communities much more consolidated and much more lasting than nationalities. Along with economic material factors which, of course, lie at the foundation of this progressive change, the common language makes this process easier, is an indivisible element of it, because it enables the inhabitants of different regions, who in the conditions of feudalism lived isolated from each other within the possessions of a feudal lord, to communicate freely with one another in the process of capitalist production and exchange on the national market created by this order. So language not only becomes an essential feature of the nation, but also a condition for its free and all-round development.
From this scientific materialist conception of the content of the nation and its components stems the Marxist-Leninist thesis that there can be no development, affirmation or prosperity of nations and of their national values, without supporting the development and enrichment of their national language, literature and culture by all manner of means. From the same conception stems the well-known proletarian principle that in a multinational state real juridical equality of national languages and cultures is a primary demand of democracy and socialism.
However, proceeding from their open anti-Marxist positions, the Yugoslav revisionists come out with the claim that, in the present-day conditions of capitalist development language is no longer one of the main distinctive features of the nation, and that allegedly it is possible for the members of one nation to speak different languages, etc. Typical in this aspect are the theories of E. Kardelj who, speaking about the “union” and “merger” of nations, says that “... the diversity of languages of this community will by no means be an impediment, the more so as, with the rising level of the general culture, people in general will speak several languages. That the languages of greater nations will at the same time become international languages, this is obvious.”*
* Development of the Slovene national question, p. 76.
The idealistic metaphysical substance and the reactionary aims of the Titoites' theses is obvious if we consider that E. Kardelj does not link the union and merger of nations with the proletarian revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat and the triumph of communism on a world scale – a process which belongs to the future – but sees it as a process that takes place today, before our very eyes, in the conditions of capitalism, due to the development of productive forces, scientific breakthroughs in physics, mathematics, electronics etc., and the development of the technical-scientific revolution. These productive forces “which are developing constantly”, says E. Kardelj, “will gradually transform the consciousness of man and thereby will overcome national barriers – they have already begun to be brought down – and man will become a direct citizen of the world.”*
* Ibidem, p 77.
This is pure cosmopolitism advocating the negation of all national distinctions, the merger and assimilation of the smaller oppressed nations by the bigger oppressor nations. In this case, too, the Titoite revisionists emerge to be faithful apologists of American imperialism and its ideology and policy of exploitation.
With their theories and practices in the spirit of the ideology of cosmopolitism, the Titoite revisionists serve both international imperialism, a tool of which they are, and the new and old Yugoslav bourgeoisie, as their abject spokesmen. The national policy of the LCY expresses and protects precisely these interests of the bourgeoisie also in matters of national language and culture. Both in the time of its most savage expression in the Rankovi… period and in the time when some concessions were made under great pressure of the oppressed nations and nationalities, the policy of the LCY has always been characterized by hatred for non-Serbo-Croat languages and cultures, and complete lack of equality between them. An example to the point is the stand maintained towards the Albanian language and literature, to Albanian music and culture, in general, in Yugoslavia.
Without mentioning the period 1945-1966, which is known as the period of the most savage Rankovi… terror, when the Albanians living on their own territories in Yugoslavia were denied even their most elementary national rights, as has been admitted by the Titoites themselves, we will dwell here on the development of these two last decades which are advertised as the ”ideal” of equality among nations and nationalities, and among national languages and cultures.
It is true that after 1966, the Albanian language, literature, music, education and culture in Kosova affirmed themselves and developed as never before. However, that was not the merit or the desire of the Titoite revisionists, or their line and policy. On the contrary, the credit for everything goes to the Albanian population of Kosova, which has achieved and defended everything with blood and innumerable sacrifices.
Despite these achievements, the Albanian language and culture on the Albanian territories in Yugoslavia have always been treated by the Serb and Yugoslav chauvinists as unequal and inferior compared to the Serbo-Croat language and culture. Hence, the uninterrupted continuation of efforts (which have been stepped up after the events of 1981) for the assimilation of the Albanian language and culture in Kosova by the Serbo-Croat language and culture. “It must be admitted, writes the newspaper Rilindja, “that despite all results... in the equality of languages and writings, especially compared with the period before 1966... practice shows that there remains much to be done, particularly in the case of the Albanian language which is still often treated as a second-rate language, both in administration and political life.”*
* Rilindja. November 12, 1983.
The press in Kosova brings innumerable examples from everyday life to show that the Kosova people are denied the right of using their mother tongue, and that the use of the Serbo-Croat is imposed on them instead. It stresses with concern that “at every meeting of whatever level, communal or regional, the debate is conducted mainly in Serbo-Croat. This practice is followed not only after 1981, but also before it.”* Significative is the case of a meeting of the Economic Chamber of the Region of Kosova at which, the Serbo-Croat was the only language used, although only 3 out of 25 participants were Serbs.
*Ibidem, Rilindja. November 12, 1983.
The Marxist-Leninist theory of the nation makes it clear that a multinational state which truly desires and works for developing inter-national relations in a democratic spirit should guarantee the freedom and equality of nations and national languages, writings and cultures, and provide stern and concrete sanctions for those who violate them. Presenting the demands of the democratic program on the national question, V. I. Lenin emphasized: “...no privilege absolutely for any nation or any language; the question of the political self-determination of nations, that is, their state separation, should be resolved in a totally free and democratic manner; a law for the whole state should be issued by which any measure... which envisages privileges for one of the nationalities in whatever field or which encroaches on the equality of nations or the rights of a national minority should be declared illegal and null and void... while every citizen should be recognised the right to demand the annulment of this measure as anti-constitutional and penal sanctions against those who apply it.”*
* V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 20, p. 7, Alb. edn.
The Titoite revisionists who claim to have resolved the national question in the “Leninist” way, but who are actually far from its democratic solution, have never had or have such a law. As social-chauvinists, the Titoites included formally in their 1974 Constitution an article about the equality of languages and writings of nations and nationalities* and promised that they would issue the relative law on the basis of this article. However, more than ten years have gone by since then and “neither” the Federation nor the Republic of Serbia have promulgated any law on the equality of national languages and writings.**
* The Official Gazette of the FSR of Yugoslavia, no. 9, 1974, p. 242.
** Rilindja, November 20, 1983.
The attempts of Serb and other chauvinists to deny the Albanians living in Yugoslavia their literature and culture and to impose on them through violence the so-called great cultures which supposedly are the only ones capable of contributing to the development of other cultures without borrowing anything from the cultural wealth of other peoples and nations, can never achieve their aims. Although by “great cultures” they mean, in the first place, the present-day Serb culture which largely reflects the chauvinist interests of the Great-Serbs, such an attack on the culture of the Albanian people in Kosova is bound to come up against the resolute opposition of the Albanians there. “To insist on contribution only, as the logic of great cultures implies,” said a Kosovar speaker at the meeting of the Commission of Culture and International Relations at the CC of the LC of Serbia, “and not on borrowing from smaller cultures, and here unfortunately the cultures of nationalities are treated as minor cultures, is a blatantly hegemonist logic.”* At the same meeting another Kosovar speaker emphasized, “We constantly stage plays from the repertoire of Serbia and Vojvodina, but there is not a single case of Serbia or Vojvodina staging plays from the repertoire of Kosova.”**
* Rilindja, November 24, 1983.
Attempts to impose the Serbo-Croat language to the detriment of Albanian are apparent especially in cinematography. Not only are all Yugoslav films (with the exclusion of those produced by Prishtina) shown in Serbo-Croat, but also all foreign films shown in Kosova are dubbed in Serbo-Croat only. This happens only in Kosova, since in the other republics which are outside the language area of Kosova, such as the SR of Slovenia and the SR of Macedonia, foreign films are translated into their respective languages.
Of course, in self-administrative Titoite Yugoslavia, the cultures of other nations, such as the Montenegrins, Macedonians, Slovenes and others are also threatened with assimilation. This is apparent to them, too, hence everywhere there are frictions, reactions and counter-measures. Precisely because of this situation, a section for the Slovene language was set up recently, with the mission of preserving the purity of this language. The threat of the imposition of the Serbo-Croat in Slovenia was the object of a discussion also at a meeting of the Presidency of the CC of the LC of Slovenia. Discussing the present-day development of the Slovene language at this meeting, the secretary of the Presidency of the CC of the LC of Slovenia, Franc Shtetinc, said: “Conditions are being created for attempts at stirring up a harmful unitarian hatred and a chauvinist stand on language outside actual language culture.”*
* TANJUG bulletin, November 1, 1982.
The Titoite revisionists continued distortion of the Marxist-Leninist concept of the nation is indivisible from the line of political and economic inequality and oppression they have always pursued in inter-national relations. The consequences of this chauvinist policy can be seen everywhere in Yugoslavia. But they are more blatant in Kosova and in the other Albanian-inhabited regions where economic backwardness is more pronounced.
The conclusion that Kosova lags far behind not only compared with the more developed republics and the average of the Federation, but also compared with the less developed republics, is substantiated by the analysis and comparison of the basic indices of the development of the region, such as the social product and the national income per capita, employment, number of doctors, pupils and students per 1,000 inhabitants, etc.
Unemployment is one of the greatest ulcers. From the reports of the Yugoslav press it emerges that one in every 2-3 citizens is employed in Slovenia, one in every 4 in Croatia, one in every 5 in Serbia, one in every 6 in Bosnia-Hercegovina, while the figure for Kosova is one in 11. The problem becomes more complicated in Kosova, as employment differs much for different nationalities. In this region one in every 4 Montenegrins, one in every 5-6 Serbs and one in every 18 Albanians has an occupation in the social sphere. Unemployment among the Albanians of Kosova is even higher when we take into account that about 100,000 of them have in recent years emigrated to other regions of Yugoslavia or abroad.
The problem of unemployment in Kosova is estimated to become more acute and worrying in the future. Thus while in Slovenia there is only one candidate for every newly created job, the figure for Serbia is 2.3 for Vojvodina 4.8, for Croatia 5.3, for Montenegro 12.8, for Bosnia-Hercegovina 13.4, for Macedonia 18.6 and for Kosova 41.8.
Even if we judge from the more fundamental index – the social product and the national income per capita – Kosova is 6 times more backward than Slovenia, 5 times more backward than Croatia, 4 times more backward than Vojvodina, 3 times more backward than the average of the Federation and the Republic of Serbia and 2 times more backward than the other less developed republics. While to the requests of the Kosovars to narrow the gap of economic inequality, the Titoite revisionists reply with promises and lies, with anger and rage, they resort to the army, tanks and aviation to suppress the legitimate demands of the Albanian population in the political field, especially to its just request for a republic of its own, like the others nations in the Yugoslav Federation.
The founders of the materialist scientific doctrine on the development of society, Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, considered the right of nations and nationalities to self-determination as the right to equality, first of all, in the political field. “The right of nations to self-determination,” V. I. Lenin forcefully stressed, “means their absolute right to independence in the political meaning...”* Hence the conclusion that achievement of equality in the political field, in international relations, even within the framework of a bourgeois-democratic solution, is also a condition for the development of less advanced nations in the economic field so as to be protected, to a certain extent, against national oppression, too.
* V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 22, p. 174, Alb. edn.
This truth, when the question is about the Slovenes, is admitted by Kardelj, too. “After long periods of dependence,” he writes, describing the situation of the Slovene nation in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and then under Serb hegemony, “the Slovenes gained their own state, the Socialist People's Republic of Slovenia, in the framework of the Yugoslav Federation. With this the centuries-old historical aspirations of the more progressive forces of the Slovene people were realized.”* Hence, apparently E. Kardelj links the solution of the problem of the national equality of the Slovenes in the Yugoslav Federation with the creation of the Slovene Republic. If this is so then why the demand of the Albanians for the proclamation of Kosova as a republic of the Yugoslav Federation is “irredentist”, “nationalist” and “counter-revolutionary”, when it is known that on their own territories in Yugoslavia they constitute an ethnic group which, from the numerical standpoint, is larger than not only the Montenegrins and Macedonians, but also the Slovenes?
* Development of the Slovene national question, p. 46.
On every occasion the PLA and Comrade Enver Hoxha have forcefully exposed the “theories” of the nation and the practices of the Titoite revisionists on the national question and have revealed their dangerous character. They have shown the oppressed peoples and nations the true road to liberation, which is that of uncompromising struggle against the superpowers, the bourgeoisie and its servants – the modern revisionists of all hues.