Tag Archives: Kasama Project

Another Look at the Question of Yugoslav Socialism

The following is a comment by May9 from the debate about Slavoj Žižek. As always, posting this here doesn’t imply complete agreement on the part of the editor:

This whole conversation is ironic, considering [Mike] Ely’s earlier protests against the Comintern “universalizing” the Soviet model on everyone, but whatever.

The question of Yugoslav socialism is not as straight forward as the sectarian critique “Is Yugoslavia a Socialist Country?” would have you believe. Indeed, the Maoists themselves never had a clear position on this issue, as they vacillated between recognition of Yugoslavia as a socialist country and sectarian opposition, change which was dependent on Chinese relations with the Soviet Union, not ideology. For example, while Yugoslavia was one of the first countries to recognize the PRC in 1949, Mao didn’t reciprocate due to the split with the USSR. However in late 1954 the CCP reestablished party to party relations with the “renegade” Tito, which effectively meant recognition of Yugoslavia as a socialist country. In 1958, after the League of Communists of Yugoslavia published its draft before its party Congress in April, Yugoslavia came under fire from first and foremost the “revisionist” (or in Ely’s view, “capitalist”) Soviet Union. Following the USSR’s lead, China began polemical attacks against Yugoslavia and broke off party to party relations. In the early 1960s, the Sino-Soviet split began to be open and Yugoslav-Soviet relations improved. Chinese anti-Yugoslavism stemmed from the view that Yugoslavia was too close to Moscow. As a result, relations remained frosty until the late 1960s, at the height of the Cultural Revolution. The main reason for this is due to Yugoslav support for Czechoslovakia against the USSR. Relations from 1970-1977 were quite friendly, or at least not hostile. No longer would we hear any complaints about Tito from Mao. In 1977 Hua Guofeng, who most anti-revisionists uphold as a staunch Marxist-Leninist, reopened party to party relations with Yugoslavia – which again meant recognition of Yugoslavia as a socialist country. Not coincidentally at this time, Sino-Soviet relations were cold.

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On Marxist study: What are our basic principles?

Due to a recent discussion about “dogmatism” and revisionism regarding a polemic from Mike Ely of the Kasama Project against the Marxist-Leninist Study Guide here on this site, it seems valuable to look closely at what principles we should consider fundamental to Marxism-Leninism. To that end, here is a set of quotes from the 1991 document “Reaffirm our Basic Principles and Carry the Revolution Forward” by the Communist Party of the Philippines concerning methods of study. This document guided the “Second Great Rectification Movement” launched by the CPP in 1992. This document is here followed by an excerpt from the 1999 Declaration of the International Communist Seminar defining basic Marxist-Leninist principles.

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In Response to Mike Ely: The Elephant in the Room

The following article is a response, by Professor Toad, to an article polemicizing against the Marxist-Leninist study guide on this site, called “Marxism is Not a Layer Cake” by Mike Ely of the Kasama Project.

First, I would like to clarify one point to avoid confusion. When the article Marxism is Not a Layer Cake was first posted, it was stated that it was a comment on the official Freedom Road Socialist Organization reading list. It has since been clarified that the reading list under discussion is not an official Freedom Road Socialist Organization list, but merely a study guide produced by a person who is a member of FRSO. Similarly, I am not writing this article on behalf of Freedom Road Socialist Organization. The editor of the Marxist-Leninist blog has, of course, had an opportunity to discuss it with me, and I have listened to his input, because he is a respected comrade. I have had some input from certain other comrades as well, in the US and abroad. But this article is solely my own responsibility.

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