This article was first published in the Soviet Union in December 1948 in the name of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b). The identity of the author became known only after the dissolution of the USSR and the opening up of the CPSU archives. The examination of the documents and materials relating to the publication of the ‘Works’ of Stalin revealed that the article was planned to be published as part of volume 15. The article had been preceded by the correspondence of Molotov and Stalin to Tito and Kardelj between March and May 1948 detailing the political and economic errors of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and which culminated in the resolution of the Cominform of June, 1948.1 The immediate background to this article were the reports presented at the 5th Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia which indicated that Tito and his associates planned to continue to pursue their anti-socialist and anti-Soviet course.2 These negative developments were confirmed in the following months and were recorded in the resolutions and reports of the Cominform meeting which was held in Hungary in November, 1949.3 Today when the full consequences of the path of Tito are clear the struggle of Molotov, Stalin, the CPSU(b) and Cominform stands as a monument to their commitment to preserve Bolshevik principles in the face of the onslaught of modern revisionism.
1. The Correspondence between the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), London, 1948.
2. Josip Broz Tito, ‘Political Report of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.’ Report Delivered at the V Congress of the CPY, Belgrade, 1948; Edvard Kardelj, ‘The Communist Party of Yugoslavia in the Struggle for New Yugoslavia for People’s Authority and for Socialism. Report Delivered at the V Congress of the CPY, Belgrade, 1948; Boris Kidric, ‘On the Construction of Socialist Economy in the FPRY’, Speech Delivered at the V Congress of the CPY, Belgrade, 1948.
3. ‘The Struggle for Peace, National Independence, Working Class Unity’, CPI, Bombay, 1950. Particularly important is the resolution, ‘Communist Party of Yugoslavia in the Power of Murderers and Spies,’ pp. 54-58. See also: ed. G. Procacci, ‘The Cominform, Minutes of the Three Conferences 1947/1948/1949’, Feltrinelli Editore, Milan, 1994.
In the well-known resolution of the Information Bureau of the Communist Parties adopted in June 1948 ‘On the Situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia’ it is pointed out that in recent months the nationalist elements that covertly existed even earlier have come to dominate the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, that the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia has broken away from the internationalist traditions of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and has taken up the course of nationalism.
All the Communist Parties, the entire camp of Peoples’ Democracy and Socialism unanimously accepts the Resolution of the Information Bureau ‘On the Situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia’. All the Communist Parties of the world recognize that the present Yugoslavian leadership i.e. Tito’s group, by pursuing a nationalist policy, is playing into the hands of the imperialists, isolating Yugoslavia and weakening it.
Has Tito’s group learnt any appropriate lessons from these facts?
Has Tito’s group understood that a nationalist policy means losing Yugoslavia’s most loyal allies represented by the Communist Parties of the world and that it has already led to the isolation of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, and weakening of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia both within and outside the country?
Has Tito’s group understood that the only way out of the difficult situation into which it has lead the party and the country is to recognize its mistake, break with the policy of nationalism and return to the fraternity of the Communist Parties?
No, Tito’s group has not learnt any lessons and it does not appear that it understands these simple and unmistakable facts.
On the contrary, to all justified and comradely criticism of Tito’s group by the fraternal communist parties and the entire camp of Peoples’ Democracy and Socialism, Tito’s group is responding in the pages of Belgrade’s press with the foul language of the street, by igniting nationalist hatred towards the people of neighbouring democratic countries, widespread repressions, arrests and murders of communists and non-communists who dare to express doubts regarding the policy of nationalism pursued by Tito’s group. Very recently, Colonel-General Arso Iovanovich, a hero of the liberation struggle of Yugoslavia was murdered by the agents of Tito’s assistant, the infamous Rankovic. He was killed because he expressed doubts about the policy of nationalism and terrorism of Tito’s group. In this connection it is openly said in Yugoslavia that ‘Tito’s group has degenerated into a clan of political murderers.’
Evidently, Tito’s group has no intentions of recognizing and rectifying its mistakes. It is afraid and does not have the courage to recognize the mistakes because to recognize and rectify ones mistakes would need courage. Even worse, out of ‘fear’ it is arresting and subjecting to repression anyone who dares to remind it of its mistakes.
Lenin says: ‘How a party relates to its mistakes is the most important and convincing criteria of a party’s significance and its capacity to fulfill in deed its obligations towards its class and the working masses. Ability to recognize one’s mistakes openly, reveal its causes, analyse the conditions leading to it and conscientiously discuss the means of rectifying it is the sign of a determined party, of fulfilling one’s obligation and educating and teaching the class and, following it, the masses.’
Evidently Tito’s group just cannot be put in the rank of such courageous, honest and devoted party leaders that Lenin speaks of.
The most important point in the evolution of nationalism of Tito’s group occurred in the spring of 1948 just before the summoning of the Information Bureau. The unconcealed policy of nationalism of Tito’s group began with its refusal to participate in the Meeting of the Information Bureau of the Communist Parties and discuss the situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia with the fraternal Communist Parties. Notwithstanding numerous requests to send a delegation of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia to and explain its position in the Meeting, following the example set by other Communist Parties in earlier meetings, Tito’s group blatantly refused to participate in the working of the Meeting. It became evident that Tito’s group attaches no importance to the friendship with other communist parties, including the Communist Party of the USSR. This constituted an open split with the international united front of the Communist Parties. It was breaking away from the position of internationalism and a shift to the rails of nationalism.
The newspaper ‘Borba’ printed from Belgrade asserts that Tito and his accomplices support the united anti-imperialist front. This, certainly, is a sham, designed to deceive ‘simple people’. In reality, which anti-imperialist positions can we talk about when this group cannot stay together in a family even with the Communist Parties of the countries close to Yugoslavia.
The second major fact indicating the falling of Tito’s group into the sin of nationalism is the improper, hypocritical and anti-Leninist conduct at the V Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Some naďve people expected the Congress would work under the banner of friendship with the Communist Parties, under the flag of strengthening of the anti–imperialist front of the countries of People’s Democracy and the USSR. In reality, however, everything happened to the contrary. In reality, Tito’s group converted the Congress into an arena of tussle against the Communist Parties of the neighbouring countries, into an arena of a tussle against the united anti-imperialist front of the countries of Peoples’ Democracy. This Congress was a campaign against the countries of People’s Democracy and their Communist Parties, against the USSR and its Communist Party.
Of course in Yugoslavia it is not totally safe to speak openly about the campaign against the USSR and the countries of People’s Democracy as the people of Yugoslavia fully support unity with the countries of People’s Democracy and the USSR. Therefore, Tito’s group has taken to deceit and has decided to disguise this reactionary campaign behind pompous words of praise for the USSR, friendship with the USSR, the enormous role of the USSR in the national liberation movement etc. Things reached a stage that Tito’s accomplices advised Stalin to join up in this deceitful campaign and to take on himself to defend Tito’s nationalist group from criticism by the Communist Parties of the USSR and other democratic countries. The Belgrade press let loose all possible tricks and intrigues, tried out the most unexpected and ludicrous twists and turns in order to prove to the peoples of Yugoslavia that black is white and white is black, that the campaign of Tito’s group against Socialism and Democracy is of secondary importance and that ‘alliance’ with the USSR and a ‘united front’ with it is the main concern of Tito’s group. In reality it turns out that Tito’s group in this period has placed itself in a common camp with the imperialists by rubbishing the Communist Parties of countries of Peoples’ Democracy and the USSR to the satisfaction of the imperialists of the whole world. Instead of a united front with the Communist Parties we have a united front with the imperialists. The V Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia has approved and strengthened the nationalist policy of Tito’s group.
The political acrobats from the newspaper ‘Borba’ demand that the Communist Parties stop exposing the mistakes of the group and that they extend support and confidence to this group as, otherwise, such a campaign can seriously harm Yugoslavia.
No gentlemen, the Communist Parties cannot trust or extend support to the nationalist policy of Tito’s group. It is possible that such a situation can hurt Yugoslavia. It is not the Communist Parties that need to be held responsible for it, but Tito’s nationalist group which has broken away from the Communist Parties and that has declared war on them.
The political acrobats from the newspaper ‘Borba’ must be clear in their minds that Marxism and nationalism are incompatible, that nationalism as a bourgeois ideology is antagonistic to Marxism. It must be clear to them that Marxism cannot reconcile with nationalism or nationalist leanings in the Communist Parties and that they must eliminate nationalism in whatever form it covers itself in the name and interests of the workers, in the name of peoples’ freedom and friendship and in the name of the triumphant construction of socialism.
Lenin says: ‘Bourgeois nationalism and proletarian internationalism are two ceaselessly incompatible slogans that correspond to the camps of the two large classes of the whole capitalist world and reflect two policies (even more so, two world perceptions)’.
In circumstances when the power of the bourgeoisie has already been put an end to, the exploiter class and its agents are trying to use the poisoned weapon of nationalism in order to reestablish the old formation.
Regarding this Stalin says: ‘Nationalist leanings are an adjustment of the internationalism of the working class to the nationalism of the bourgeoisie... nationalist leanings are a reflection of the attempts by ‘our’ nationalist bourgeoisie to restore capitalism’.
Nationalism in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia is a blow not only for the common anti-imperialist front, but above all, for Yugoslavia herself, the peoples of Yugoslavia and the interests of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia both in the field of foreign and internal affairs.
The nationalism of Tito’s group in foreign affairs leads to a break with the united front of the world revolutionary movement of the working people, to a loss of Yugoslavia’s most trusted allies and to self-isolation of Yugoslavia. Nationalism of Tito’s group works against Yugoslavia in the face of her external enemies.
The nationalism propagated by Tito’s group in the sphere of internal politics leads to a policy of compromise between the exploited and the exploiter, to ‘uniting’ the exploited and the exploiter into a single ‘national’ front, to a policy of retreat from the class struggle, to propagating the falsehood of a possibility of constructing socialism without a class struggle, of a possibility of peaceful transformation of the exploiter under socialism i.e. to wrecking the combativeness and morale of the working people of Yugoslavia. The nationalism of Tito’s group is incapacitating the working people of Yugoslavia before their internal enemies.
A year ago, when Tito’s group did not yet expound nationalist leanings and cooperated with the fraternal communist parties, Yugoslavia was forcefully and fearlessly marching ahead supported by its closest allies represented by the Communist Parties of other countries. This was the situation in the recent past. However, after the change of course by Tito’s group towards nationalism, the situation is altered radically. As Tito’s group broke away from the united front of the Communist Parties and became scornful towards the countries of Peoples’ Democracy it began to lose its most loyal allies and found itself isolated in the face of its external and internal enemies.
Such is the distressing outcome of the policy of nationalism pursued by Tito’s group.
Tito’s group has not understood that which is absolutely clear and obvious for any Communist. It has not understood the simple truth that in the present conditions of the international situation, the solidarity of the fraternal Communist Parties, mutual cooperation and friendship of countries of Peoples’ Democracy and cooperation and friendship with the USSR is the crucial prerequisite of growth and prosperity of the countries of Peoples’ Democracy in the construction of socialism and the main guarantee of their national freedom and independence in the face of imperialist coercion.
The political tricksters from the newspaper ‘Borba’ further assert that the criticism of the mistakes of Tito’s group has now ballooned into a campaign against the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and against its people.
This, certainly, is a falsehood. There never was and there is no campaign against the peoples of Yugoslavia. It would be criminal to conduct any campaign against the peoples of Yugoslavia whose heroism is known to everyone. It is also known that the peoples of Yugoslavia strongly support a united front with the countries of Peoples’ Democracy and the USSR. They are not at all responsible for the policy of nationalism pursued by Tito’s group. We look upon the peoples of Yugoslavia as our true allies.
There never was and there is no campaign against the Communist Party of Yugoslavia as a whole. We know very well that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia stands determinedly for friendship with the Communist Parties of other countries, for friendship with the USSR and its Communist Party. The persistence of anti-imperialist traditions among the majority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia is not doubted at all. We also know that the majority of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia does not approve of the policy of nationalism of Tito’s group. We know that for this particular reason it is being subjected to brutal repression by Tito’s group and his agents.
A ‘campaign’ is being conducted not against the peoples of Yugoslavia and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia as a whole, but against Tito’s nationalist group in order to help the Communist Party of Yugoslavia to figure out the mistakes of Tito’s group and reverse the nationalist policy of the Yugoslavian leadership.
The political tricksters from the newspaper ‘Borba’ assert that, after all, Tito’s group is inseparable from the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and that it represents the majority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.
This is also incorrect. A year ago Tito’s group, perhaps, represented the majority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. But that was one year ago. At present, after it has broken with the Communist Parties, after having fought the neighbouring republics and after defecting to the camp of nationalism, Tito’s group does not any more represent the majority in the party. Now Tito’s group represents Tito’s faction enjoying the trust of only a minority in the party, that uses the State apparatus for the purpose of suppressing the internationalist majority in the party, that has thrown the party under the domination of the hangman Rankovic and that has established a regime of terror with its repressions, mass arrests and murders. Indeed, now Tito’s faction is in a state of war with its own party. Only the blind cannot see this. If Tito’s faction has been incapable of maintaining discipline in the party through usual democratic methods and has been forced to make use of mass repressions, then it means that it has already lost the trust of the majority of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.
Tito’s faction represents only a minority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and does not enjoy the trust of the party but only of the administrative-police apparatus of Yugoslavia.
‘Pravda’, 8th December, 1948.
With acknowledgements to Svetlana Alekseyevna Bondareva and
Translated from the Russian by Tahir Asghar.
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