THE NATIONAL INTEGRATION OF THE SERBS AND CROATS:
A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
Institute for Balkan StudiesTHE SERBIAN INTEGRATION
THE CROATIAN INTEGRATION
THE RETURN OF YUGOSLAVISM
UNIFICATION, DISAPPOINTMENTS, MISUNDERSTANDINGS
CIVIL WAR AND GENOCIDE
COMMUNISM: NEITHER UNITY NOR BROTHERHOOD
Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences
National integration in Southeastern Europe developed under the strong influence of several factors, which, depending on local conditions, varied from historicism to religion, shaping particular types of national movements. In the regions which the Turks ruled for centuries, in the beginning of the era of nationalism, ethnic particularity, expressed in the tradition of the millet, where the unity of ethnos and he Christian Church was legally ingrained in the administrative structure of the Ottoman Empire, the struggle for national rights was resolved by a consecutive series of uprisings and wars that decisively influenced the profiles of future national movements.
The religious factor was, in such cases, shaped by the millet tradition -Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians. It was one of the main levers of the national renaissances, the guardian of medieval traditions and the driving force of national ideologies. However, in further development of the new mostly secularized national states (Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria), it was no obstacle to their liberal and democratic transformation. For the Orhodox nations in the Balkans the model of the millet proved itself to be a solid base for transition to the standard European type of national integration - the nation-state model, based on the experience of the French Revolution.
Contrary to the authentically European model of integration, in the neighbourhood of the former Ottoman provinces turned into newly established national states, within the frontiers of another multinational empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, a Central-European model of national integration arose gradually - a clerical nationalism, mixed with feudal traditions. That model of nationalism was especially apparent in regions where the Roman-Catholic and Orthodox Church coexisted, like Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia, and was coloured by an excessive religious intolerance. That model was developed also in Herzegovina and Bosnia, Ottoman provinces occupied by Austria-Hungary i 1878, where Christians, both Orthodox and Roman Catholic lived together, having been formely, under Ottoman rule, which had been exercised by the islamized Slavs - the Bosnian Muslims.
The clerical nationalism which emerged in Croatia offered a contemporary variant of the Civitas Dei - "God's state" - where religious affiliation, together with an anachronous interpretation of feudal "historical rights", became the firm basis of national identity, challenging all modern solutions, from romantic nationalism to liberal ideology.
The third, supra-national, essentially cultural model, founded on the ideas of the Enlightenment mixed afterwards with the experiences of a romantic era - ideas shared by the influential ideologists of modern nationalism from Fichte to Herder and Kollár to Stur - used as the basic criterion for national identity a common language. The Yugoslav idea as a viable political solution for the South Slav national question grew from this linguistic model of modern nationalism. Adopted primarily by the liberal intelligentsia among the Serbs and Croats, the Yugoslav idea could not be implemented in the undeveloped, predominantly agrarian society, impregnated by various feudal traditions, religious intolerance and often a xenophobic mentality. It was the example of "imagined communities", a kind of "protonationalism" professed mainly by the Croats, whose national revival was to begin. The Serbs and the Croats used linguistic nationalism in the form of a Yugoslav idea as and when needed, as an auxiliary device in respect of their own national integrations. Within the framework of their different political and socio-economic backgrounds, the Serbs and the Croats used it with fundamentally different interpretation of its real content.
The course of the national integration of the Serbs, shaped by the experience of the national revolution against the Ottoman Empire (1804-1815), gradually moved in the direction of the creation of an all Serbian nation-state. The establishment of a semi-independent Principality of Serbia under Ottoman suzerainty in 1830, marked only the first step towards the further gathering together of Serbian national territories. However, in contrast to the other Balkan nations (Greeks, Rumanians, Bulgarians) which followed the same model but were building their identity only on opposition to Ottoman rule, the ethnic mixture of the Serbs with the Croats in the lands within the frontiers of the Habsburg Empire, directed the Serbs, to accept, as an auxiliary model in projects for the union of all Serbian lands in a common state, as a complementary solution, the idea of a Yugoslav union.
The Serbian national programme - Nacertanije - put together in 1844 by Ilija Garasanin, a statesman of Bismarckian ambitions, was derived from various plans presented to him by liberal Polish emigrants who were led by Prince Adam Czartoryski and his diplomatic bureau in the Hôtel Lambert in Paris. The Polish advisers to the Serbian government projected an Illyrian state using the ancient name of Illyrians, as used earlier by the Emperor Joseph II and Napoleon for the Balkan peoples. This same name was proposed by the Croat revivalist as a common for all South Slavs. This Illyrian state as proposed by the Poles was to, under the guidance of Serbia, in time, cause the blending into a single nation of all the South Slav nations, which as well as the Serbs and the Croats, was to include the Slovenes and Bulgarians.
Garasanin modified that project in accordance with the Serbian experience and existing geo-political realities. Planning the unification of the Serbian lands under Ottoman rule (Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, Northwestern Macedonia), Garasanin did not exclude the possibility of the creation of a common state of South Slavs with the Croats and the Bulgarians. Bosnia and Herzegovina were considered as Serbian lands inhabited by Serbs of the Orthodox and Islamic faith, with a small Catholic minority, who much later emerged as Croats.
The national aspirations expressed in the Nacertanije, were based on the concept of the sovereignty of the people, and they were used for the formulation of the state programme of the Principality of Serbia. This programme accorded with the model of l'Etat-nation, thus there was no difference between the state and the nation.(Garasanin's project was immediately accepted by Prince-Bishop Petar II Petrovic-Njegos, the greatest Serbian poet, ruler of Montenegro, another semi-independent Serbian state.) In the mid-nineteenth century, when Garasanin projected his Nacertanije, his ideas were politically legitimate according to accepted international standards of liberal nationalism. Furthermore, unlike the Serbian, national movements those of other South Slav peoples were only in a state of conception.
The basic idea of Serbian union in the Nacertanije, based as it was on the l'Etat-nation model, was imbued to a certain degree with historicism (the renewal of the medieval Serbian Empire of Stefan Dusan). However it conformed to the ideology of the legitimistic reaction in Metternich's Europe. The Nacertanije was essentially national in a liberal sense, favouring cultural initiatives and democratic organisation as preconditions of further national emancipation: "Supported by Turkish sovereignty and enjoying complete internal independence Serbia will show herself worthy of retaining it, just as she knew how to achieve it. We dare to state that Serbia has the right to have the sympathy of the constitutional Europe and that she deserves its trust."
The plan for Yugoslav union, then no more than a political fantasy, without any real possibilities of being realized, Garasanin left for the next phase, aware as he was of the strength of the Habsburg Empire. However, he was also convinced of the inevitability of its decay, without which the Serbian union, even in the distant future, would be impossible. Two decades later, at the height of planning a coalition of Balkan states and peoples against Turkey, (the First Balkan Alliance headed by Prince Michael of Serbia), Garasanin, then the powerful Minister of Foreign Affairs (1861-1867), when the first opportunity appeared for the dissolution of Austria(1866), stressed in a letter to Napoleon III that the Habsburg Empire was a strange agglomeration of peoples that should be recomposed according to the nationality principle.
In negotiations and correspondence with the leader of the Croatian national movement, Roman Catholic bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, Garasanin was, in principle prepared to accept a plan for a federal Serbo-Croat state, after the anticipated union of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbia. In considering the nature of the future Yugoslav state, Garasanin, however, started from the linguistic model, combined with notions of the nation-state: one Yugoslav nation was to have one language, because religion would not be allowed to act as a watershed that would divide them.
Garasanin's standpoints on the Serbian question and Yugoslav union, according to the liberal and democratic standards of the period, contained a certain duality, a characteristic of Serbian understanding of the future Yugoslav union. Serbian union was a major, but not the ultimate goal: after the creation of a united Serbian state as the first phase, Yugoslav union would follow, where the united peoples would eventually merge into a new - Yugoslav nation. The model of a nation-state, as applied to the Serbian union, implied the same formula for a future Yugoslavia: one people - one state. It was the only experience that the Serbs, like all the other Balkan nations shaped in a constant struggle for national rights and political independence against Turks - had experienced and were able to accept.
While the Serbian national integration developed from the narrower, national, towards the wider, Yugoslav unity, the Croat revivalist movement took the reverse direction. From the supra-national, linguistic (Illyrian and Yugoslav), through which a framework had been made for Croatian national integration, based on opposition to the Imperial Austrian and the feudal-national Hungarian ideology, it moved towards the narrower, exclusively national model. As one Croat historian stressed, "Yugoslavism played an integrating role only for the Croat nation. It did not influence the constitution of the Slovenian and Serbian nation. For them Yugoslavism obtained its significance only when the process of their national integration was already over."
In contrast to the Slovenians, who endangered by Germanisation, insisted on `natural rights` expressed in their linguistic and cultural identity, the Croats transformed their initial zeal for the broader Illyrian idea. They opted for linguistic unity by introducing the stokavian (stokavski) dialect, which they, borrowed from the Serbs, accepting the reform proposed by Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic. The authentic Croatian dialects, kajkavian (kajkavski) and cakavian (cakavski), were gradually edged out from public use. A stokavian mode of expression, transliterated from the Serbian Cyrillic to the Latin script, was adopted as the Croat literary standard. Due to the stokavian dialect, the Croats gained their first important goal: the linguistic and cultural unity of their nation.
The Croats, after the first phase marked by Illyrian ideology, emulating the legitimistic organisation of the Habsburg Monarchy, found in the 'historical rights': the theory about the legal continuity of their medieval state, later known as the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia the model for their Volkgeist. From the Hungarians, Croatian political thought borrowed the theory of one political nation in the whole historic space of the Triune Kingdom, regardless of ethnic origin.
That theory directly threatened the national identity of the Serbs, who in Croatia and Slavonia constituted about one third of the population, concentrated mostly in the Military Frontier (Vojna Krajina or simply Krajina), which was directly ruled by Vienna (up until 1881). In contrast to the situation of the Croats of what was then known as Civil Croatia and Civil Slavonia, as a standing army of the Habsburg Empire, the Serbian population in Krajina had been freed from feudal taxes.
Brief periods of Serbo-Croat co-operation (1848,1867-1868) occurred when the Croats needed the Serbs as allies in their political struggles with the Hungarians. They were characterized by the close relations of Serb leaders with the circle of liberal Catholics gathered around the neo-Illyrian People's party of Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer. His clerical option for the Croatian national question was compatible with the supra-national, linguistic model. A Catholic first of all and a Croat second, Strossmayer tried to adapt the Yugoslav idea and the linguistic unity proposed by the Illyrians to the principles of Catholic liberalism. In the cultural and political unity of South Slav nations he saw only one of the means to reconcile and unite the two disputing Christian Churches, the Roman-Catholic and the Serbian-Orthodox, but in a such a way that both in Krajina, Bosnia and Serbia, a Roman Catholic union would be imposed upon the Serbs, as a transitory measure on the road to the final acceptance of Catholicism.
The ultimate political goal of Strossmayer's party was the creation of the South Slav entity within the frontiers of the Austria-Hungary, which would encompass Serbia and Montenegro as well. Strossmayer's closest political associate Franjo Racki, explained their common doctrine and described the territories which would be encompassed by the Croatian "political nation": "The Croat people (had) a legal and permanent right to ownership of the whole space (west of the line extending) from the Bojana River (the southern border between Montenegro and Albania to the Drina River (which separates Serbia from Bosnia) to the Danube River (including Serbia)."
The other more profound clerical current, the one that proved most immune to all political changes, gathered around Ante Starcevic, the "father of a modern Croat nationalism". From an enthusiastic Illyrian in his youth, Starcevic became the ideologist of religious and racial intolerance directed against the Serbs. His theory of Croatian State-Rights became a foundation of future national integration, largely accepted by the domestic Catholic hierarchy loyal to Austria-Hungary, "the most Catholic monarchy in the world". In such a Croatian state, founded under the sceptre of Habsburg dynasty, there would be no room for non-Croat nations, especially not for the Serbs, who Starcevic considered to be "race of slaves, the most loathsome of all the beasts", and neither would there be room for the Jews, in respect of whom he wrote with unconcealed anti-Semitiism. The Slovenes were, as Starcevic called them, the "Alpine Croats".
Starcevic's model initially was not strikingly clerical (nevertheless he designated the Serbs in Serbia as the "Orthodox Croats"), however his concept harmoniously blended with clerical notions that were common both to the Croatian peasantry and the local Catholic clergy. The combination of racial and religious intolerance yielded a model of xenophobic, clerical nationalism, which, after Starcevic`s death, was built up upon by his successor Josip Frank, while the formally milder variant, based on the negation of national rights for the non-Croat peoples, remained in Croatian political tradition as a influential heritage stemming from Starcevic's doctrine.
After the First Catholic Congress in Zagreb 1900, which identified Roman-Catholicism with Croaticism, the clerical circles took control over the majority of the peasantry and a large part of the national elite, opposing the narrow layer of liberal intelligentsia especially that of the province of Dalmatia, which had its own Diet, under the jurisdiction of Austria, and which was separated from Croatia-Slavonia, which was incorporated in the Hungarian part of the Dual Monarchy.
Liberal intellectuals from Dalmatia (where many Catholics considered themselves as Serbs, including even some Catholic priests), drawing support from the model of Italian risorgimento saw the best defence of Croatian national goals in co-operation with the Serbs with whom they were ethnically and linguistically related, within the framework of the Yugoslav movement and with Serbia - constitutional monarchy with democratic regime after 1903 - as the South Slav Piedmont. In Croatia, a thin layer of liberal youth, both Croats and Serbs, formed under the strong influence of the liberal theories of nationalism of the Czech philosopher Thomas G. Masaryk, entered into political life at the turn of the century, with fresh ideas founded on a fervent pro-Yugoslav sentiment.
After a long pause between 1868 and 1903, the question of Serbian union once again acquired an more pronounced Yugoslav course. The Garasanin nation-state model, adapted to a linguistic, supra-national type of nation based upon language model, now acquired the characteristics of cultural action in the already profiled national movements. Milovan Milovanovic, one of the main ideologists of the National Radical Party in Serbia wrote in 1895 that Serbs and Croats are "one and the same nation"
The Yugoslav idea, as a democratic response to Habsburg legitimism and imperialism, after 1903 gradually became political raison d'être in Serbia, mostly because of the actions of prominent Serbian scholars and political leaders (Jovan Cvijic, Jovan Skerlic, Ljubomir Stojanovic, Stojan Novakovic). They gave the theoretical pattern for a projected Yugoslav state. Together with liberal Croats (Milan Marjanovic), and Bosnian Muslims (Sukrija Kurtovic) they wrote about Yugoslavs (divided into different tribes - Serbs, Croats and Slovenes) as a nation coming into being, with its centre in the patriarchal belt in the mid-Balkans, distinguished from others by the same language, related customs and a common past.
On the question on Bosnia and Herzegovina, the liberal concept of Yugoslav union came up against the insurmountable obstacle of religious intolerance propagated by the clerical circles of Croatia. They were supported by the ruling nobility in Vienna, and obtained the tacit approval of the Vatican. The Jesuit order dominated by Croats and which was successfully spreading religious intolerance, was introduced for purely political reasons in Bosnia-Herzegovina in late 19th century, by the ruling nobility of Austria-Hungary.
Anachronous, conservative and religiously intolerant, by its political traditions and beaurocratic structure the prototype of all kinds of retrograde ideologies, from anti-semitism and clericalism to the later Nazism, the Dual Monarchy fettered the development of various national movements in the Balkans. Relying on the conservative Catholic clergy Austria-Hungary was at the same time politically supporting Islam as a barrier to the social and national challenge coming from her main enemy in the Balkans - Serbia.
The clash of the national principle (the Balkans for the Balkans peoples) which Serbia aspired to, looking forward to the national unification of the Serbs, and the legitimistic ideology of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, resulted in Vienna trying to permanently crush the independence of Serbia, which - by its very existence - threatened the survival of the multi-ethnic Monarchy. The assassination of archduke Franz-Ferdinand in Sarajevo 1914, was a long awaited opportunity for Vienna to settle accounts with Serbia.
Taking the programme of Yugoslavian union as her war aim in World War I, Serbia together with Montenegro, had in addition to the cultural and ethnical reasons, strong geo-political, strategic, and tactical reasons for the creation of a Yugoslav state. The Serbian Prime Minister, Nikola Pasic formulated, already in the summer of 1914, a global vision of the future union: the creation of a common South Slav state of twelve millions Serbs, Croats and Slovens as "one national state, geographically sufficiently large, ethnographically compact, politically strong, economically independent so that it could live and develop independently and in harmony with European culture and progress"
By creating a united Yugoslavia, Serbia would break away from the iron hug of Austria-Hungary and free herself from the further threat of the German "Drang nach Osten". The main obstacle for further expansion of the German Reich towards the Near East and Austria-Hungary towards the Gulf of Salonika was the independence of the two Serbian kingdoms, Serbia and Montenegro, linked with the Entente powers.
The Yugoslav programme of Serbia and Montenegro was well received in Vojvodina, Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Krajina where the Serbs were the majority of population; it was widely accepted also in Dalmatia, a province with Croat majority, where because of the open menace of Italy and in accordance with the risorgimento ideology, Serbia was seen as the Piedmont of a future South Slav state.
The unification of Serbia (union with which had previously been proclaimed by Montenegro and Vojvodina, Srem and most of Bosnia-Herzegovina) with the Yugoslav provinces of former Austria-Hungary on December 1, 1918 itself, was carried out pursuant to the agreement between the Serbian government and the representatives of the Croato-Sloveno-Serb politicians from the Dual Monarchy. The First Agreement on the creation of a common South Slav State was signed with the exiled politicians of the Yugoslav Committee (the Corfu Agreement 1917) and in December 1918 with the National Council of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs in Zagreb. The unification (creation) of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes under the Serbian dynasty of Karadjordjevic, was put into effect without consulting the electorate: the aspirations of neighbouring countries, especially allied Italy, were threatening Slovenia and Dalmatia, and social revolution was devastating Croatia.
The unresolved question of the future internal organisation of the newly established Yugoslav state became the source of new inter-ethnic clashes. In accordance with the Garasanin's model of a nation-state, Serbs accepted the Yugoslavia as the final stage for resolving their national question. They were in favour of the French-type of centralized state, which would, along with firm democratic institutions, move in time, from the condition of one state into that of one nation ('our three-named people' or 'three tribes of a single people'). All Serbian political parties, save the Radicals who insisted on maintaining the Serbian name, were ready to accept the gradual creation of the new nation. The resolution of the national question was the reason that the national integration of Serbs almost stopped. It became difficult for the Serbs to separate their national interest from its Yugoslav framework: the only state that they would and could be identified with was Yugoslavia.
For the Croats, who considered themselves, without many strong arguments, as culturally and politically superior to the Serbs, the rivalry with the new political centre, Belgrade, was only a repetition of similar clashes with the authorities of Vienna and Budapest: this was a classical case of periphery reaction, which only in struggle against the centre renews its strength and its identity. As the Serbian national integration was checked, the Croats and the Slovenes received new impulses, because their nations in Yugoslavia, in contrast to Austria-Hungary, both had equal rights and were proportionally represented.
The King, Alexander Karadjordjevic (1921-1934), tried to resolve the ten years of continuous national clashes, misunderstandings and mutual disappointments, marked by the assassination of the prominent Croat peasant leader Stjepan Radic in the Parliament in Belgrade in 1928, by a coup d'Etat in 1929. Trying to save the unity of his Kingdom he sacrificed democracy and established a dictatorship. A unified Kingdom of Yugoslavia with a united Yugoslav nation was proclaimed and all parties with national affiliations were forbidden.
The collapse of this unitary concept of Yugoslavism, which only the Serbs were willing to accept, was heralded by the King's assassination by the Ustasas, the Croatian pro-fascist nationalist in Marseille 1934. The new Croat leader Vladko Macek in the late thirties openly proclaimed the will of his nation: "If the Serbs turn to the left, we will have to turn to the right. If they go right we will go left. If a war breaks out, we will be left no other choice but to join the opposite side to the one Belgrade chooses to support." The internal reorganisation of the country (Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian unities) which started after the creation of the Banovina Hrvatska as corpus separatum in 1939, was prevented by World War II.
The civil, ethnic and religious war during the Axis occupation (1941-1945), took about ten times more casualties than the actions of the occupying forces. The pro-nazi Ustasha rule in the Independent State of Croatia - which from 1941 to 1945 encompassed the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the south-western part of Vojvodina - was based on Starcevic's ideology. It was marked primarily by the attempt to found an ethnically "clean" national state. The Ustasha's Poglavnik (führer in the Croatian dialect) Ante Pavelic professed racial hatred: "How can Croatia, full of western culture, Latin Culture an German culture, Italian Humanist culture and German romanticism - exist together with the Orthodox, ruthless, savage Serbs?". A very considerable part of the Croatian political élite, supported by the Catholic hierarchy and Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac himself - supported this national and religious intolerance, and strongly supported policies of clericalism and racism, marked by mass killings, forced conversions and the deportation of the Serbian Orthodox population as well the slaughter of the Jews and Gypsies.
Herman Neubacher, Minister of the Third Reich stressed that in Croatia "we are dealing with the most horrific mass killings in the history of the world... The Ustasha leader and Poglavnik Ante Pavelic's recipe for the Orthodox reminds on of the religious wars during the bloodiest of times. One third must be converted to Catholicism, one third must be driven out of the country, one third must die. The purpose of this programme has already been fulfilled... When Ustasha leaders claims that a million Orthodox Serbs have been slaughtered, including babies, children, women and old people, then it is, in my opinion, boastful exaggeration. According to the reports I have received, the number of slaughtered amounts to three quarters of a million."
The reports on the massacres in the Independent State of Croatia were so horrible that American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt on March 14th, 1943, wrote to Anthony Eden that Serbia itself should be established as independent, and Croatia put under a trusteeship.
The victory of the Communists in 1945, gained with the decisive support of the Red Army, resulted in an ideological innovation of King's Alexander's concept of integral Yugoslavism, as well as on the syntagm of 'brotherhood and unity' of all the Yugoslav peoples, both ideas being molded in conformity with the new social and totalitarian vision of Marxism-Leninism. The Second Yugoslavia was accepted primarily by the Serbs from Bosnia, Herzegovina and Krajina, the regions which were not steeped in the royalist traditions of Serbia and which saw their only protection within the frontiers of a renewed Yugoslavia. The Serbs in inner Serbia massively supported general Mihailovic's Home Army, which, abandoned by the Allies in 1943, two years later was, together with majority of the national élite destroyed by Tito's forces.
Tito's ideology was built upon the negation of the political and national integralism of the inter-war period. For the communists the Serbs were a nation firmly attached to royalism, the dynasty and "Great-Serbian hegemony" which "oppressed" all the other nations and minorities within Yugoslavia's frontiers. Simply said, if the pre-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia was based on the principle of - ' a strong Serbia - a strong Yugoslavia', the communist federation was organized on the opposite principle: 'a weak Serbia - a strong Yugoslavia'.
By combining Croatian federalist desires from the time of Austria-Hungary, and communist projects shaped by the Comintern in the same federalist, strongly anti-Serbian vein, Tito's Yugoslavia, after a consolidating period shaped by party centralism (1945-1966), glided gradually into national-communism. Consolidating his absolute power by balancing and nurturing national rivalries, Tito started to create a chain of autonomous national states, with self-sufficient economies and national nomenclatures. Their raison d'être - sine qua non - except inner Serbia, was the restraining of the potential danger of being dominated by the Serbs, which, by sheer numbers, were the biggest and territorially the most extended nation in the Yugoslavia.
The Titoist model of internal organization resurrected the old formulae of Austria-Hungary, albeit reshaped by the communists ideological intolerance, at expense of a country, which after the disappearance of Tito's authority, had, in consequence to fall apart. Ideologically relying on old Comintern concepts, which had shaped his thinking and attached by tradition to the Habsburg points of view on the national question, Tito, a Croat by nationality, was in a position to do to the Serbs what the last Habsburgs could not - to divide up their spacial extend, bringing it down to the borders that the Dual Monarchy was ready to recognize in favour of Serbia. All of that was done in the name of the Yugoslav idea with which the Serbs identified themselves without restraint.
At the expense of the Serbs, all the other nations in the Yugoslav communist federation completed their own national integrations (including Bosnia-Herzegovina where Muslim population recognized as a nationality aspired to create an ethnically Muslim communist republic), and this with the blessing of the Titoist-type national-communism. (The Constitution of 1974 defined Yugoslavia as a loose federation, actually, it appeared to be a confederation united only by Tito's iron authority.)
In the doctrinal absolutism of communist ideology, the clerical variant of national integration, with its aims and its characteristics - xenophobia and intolerance similar to the one from the age of Austria-Hungary - found a good framework for challenging all liberal and democratic, authentically European principles, in the name of which Yugoslavia was originally created.
The article was published in:
Dialogue, N° 7/8, septembre-décembre 1994, Paris 1994, pp. 5-13.
Dusan T. Batakovic
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