CLASS AND NATIONALISM *
of rule which has developed in contemporary Communist countries has brought
about sharp social differentiation and class stratification.
In addition, in the Communist-ruled countries which are composed of two or more
different nationalities, the hegemony of one nationality over the others has
generally known that in the Soviet Union, the members of the Great Russian
nationality, which compose less than 50 per cent of the entire population, form
an overwhelming majority in the top Party bodies (Presidium, Secretariat,
Central Committee). They dominate also the top governmental, military, managerial
and intellectual hierarchies of the country. Moreover, as a result of such a
hegemonistic position on the part of the Great Russians, the non-Russian
members of the Party must be sufficiently Russified to be allowed by the
Russian leaders to achieve positions of power and trust.
practice also applies to the positions of power on the local levels of Soviet
society. In the Ukraine; for instance, in 1927, out of 29 million Ukrainians,
there were 2,677,000 Great Russians, or 9 per cent of the population. But the
Ukrainian Communist Party, according to the official statistics of 1927, was
composed at that time of 51.96 per cent Ukrainians and 46.15 per cent Russians.
And it was the Russian members of the Party together with the Russified
Ukrainians that dominated the Party and dictated its policies.
situation has existed in Communist Czechoslovakia. There the ruling class has
tended to be composed predominantly of the members of Czech nationality. The
ranks of this New Class have been opened to the Slovaks only inasmuch as they
had sufficiently Czechized themselves.
equally the case of Communist Yugoslavia where members of Serb nationality and
Orthodox religious background have succeeded in establishing their hegemony
over the other nationalities of that country, as will be shown in the following
Central Committee of the Communist League of Yugoslavia, as elected at the
Sixth Party Congress (1952), contained about 58.5 per cent members of the
Orthodox background. Members of Croatian-Catholic and of Slovene-Catholic
background formed about 35 per cent of this top body, while the Moslem
contribution was only 5 per cent.
The new Central Committee, elected at the Seventh Party,Congress, in April
1958, shows similar composition. Of 135 members 44 (or 32.6%) are Serbs, 16 (or
11.9%) Montenegrins, 13 (or 9.6%) Macedonians, i.e. there are 73 members, or
54.1 per cent of the Orthodox background. Five members (or 3.7 %) declared
themselves as Yugoslavs and should be added to the Orthodox group. Of these
five, three are Moslems, one Croat, and one Serb. The Orthodox group together
with the Yugoslavs amounts to 78 members or 57.8 per cent. The rest is composed
of 30 (or 22.2%) Croatians, 23 (or 17.1%) Slovenes and 4 (or 2.9%) of national
minorities (2 Albanians, 1 Bulgarian and 1 Magyar).
Yet, according to pre-World-War-II statistics, the Orthodox represented 46 per
cent of the total population, while the percentage of the Catholics was at that
time 39, and that of Moslems 11. These proportions have not basically changed
since the war.
nationality and religious composition of the Central Committee of the Communist
Party of Yugoslavia does not give the whole picture of the dominance of one
nationality over the others. The Central Committee of the Party is supposed to
be a representative body. It is composed of Party representatives from all six
constitutional republics (Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro,
Serbia, Slovenia) and therefore it tends to give a semblance of representation
of various nationalities and religions, at least on the surface.
military, government and other hierarchies, this. surface representation is not
considered necessary. Thus, for instance, statistics on the top military
leadership of Yugoslavia indicates that this important body is almost entirely
in the hands of officers of Serb-Orthodox background. In a recent random sample
of 146 top-ranking generals, 110 (or 76%) were found to be of Serb-Orthodox
background. Only 36 (or 24%) were of Roman Catholic background and there were
no top generals of Moslem religious background in this sample.
According to the statistics of January 1, 1958, there were 218 generals in
active service in Yugoslavia at that time. Of these 162 (or 74.31%) were of
Serb-Orthodox background, 29 (or 13.31%) were Croatians, 22 (or 10.09%)
Slovenes, 4 (or 1.84%) Macedonians, and 1 (or 0.46%) Jew. There was no general
of Moslem background.
histories of these generals reveal that a significant number of those of
Serb-Orthodox background had been recruited into the Partisan guerrilla
movement in the course of the second World War on the grounds of their
nationalistic opposition to the Croatian authorities on the territory of the
Independent State of Croatia and on the basis of their nationalist opposition
to the German forces of occupation. Those generals of Catholic background, on
the other hand, have been recruited into the Communist Party and promoted to
the rank of general, not only for their abilities, but also for their
de-nationalization and internationalist Communist orientation.
same manner the Serb-Orthodox dominance of governmental affairs is, for
instance, manifested in the composition of Yugoslavia's diplomatic
representations in foreign countries. According to the International
Yearbook for 1953, of 33 chiefs of diplomatic missions of Yugoslavia, 23
(or 70%) were Serb. According to more recent statistics (January 1, 1958), out
of 46 chiefs of diplomatic missions of Yugoslavia, 29 (or 63%) are
Serb-Orthodox. Of the rest, 7 are Croatians, 7 Slovenes, 2 Moslems and 1
Macedonian. Of 24 General Consulates which Yugoslavia maintains at present in
foreign countries, 17 General Consuls (or 70%) are of Serb national background.
Of the rest, 2 are Croatians, 3 are Slovenes and 2 are Macedonians.
dominance of Yugoslavia is even more clearly shown in the official statistics
of the Party, governmental and military institutions in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
This constituent Republic is also a good test case for the Party's nationality
policy, since the territory of Bosnia-Hercegovina is ethnically more mixed than
any other region of Yugoslavia, and no one national or religious group here has
an absolute numerical majority.
to the official statistics (1948), there are in Bosnia-Hercegovina about
2,700,000 people. Of these 1,150,000 are Serb-Orthodox (42%), 900,000 are
Moslems (33%), and 700,000 are Catholics (25%), by religious affiliation. As to
their national orientation, 1,260,000 (or 47%) declared themselves as Serb,
650,000 (or 24%) as Croatian, and 800,000 (or 30%) as "Moslems nationally
Central Committee of the Communist Party for Bosnia-Hercegovina has 48 members
(1935). Yet this top ruling body of the Republic is composed of 35
Serb-Orthodox (73%), 10 Moslems (21%), 2 Catholics (4%) and 1 Jewish. And as to
their national orientation, 30 members of this Committee declared themselves as
Serbs, 17 as "Yugoslavs" and only one as Croatian.
however, no "Yugoslav" nationality. The main nationalities of
Yugoslavia are Croatian, Macedonians, Serb, and Slovene. Montenegrins, however,
identify themselves with the Serb nationality. There are also national
minorities in Yugoslavia, such as Albanians, Hungarians, Rumanians. Those who
declared themselves as "Yugoslav" are, therefore, people who have
been denationalized or who are internationally rather than nationally oriented,
but are willing to support the policies of the dominant Serb group in the Party
and in the government of the country. Thus in the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of Bosnia-Hercegovina, all 10 Moslems, 3 out of 35
Serb-Orthodox, 1 out of 2 Catholics and the Jewish member declared themselves
This is another confirmation of the above-stated policy principle of the New
Class, according to which people who want to rise in the Party and state
hierarchy either have to belong to the dominant nationality or be assimilated
recruitment of the rank-and-file members of the Party is guided by the same
policy. Thus, for instance, in 1950, the Communist Party in Bosnia-Hercegovina
had 54,150 members. Of these, 37,320 (70%) were Serb-Orthodox by religious
background, 8,714 were Moslems, 7,519 were Catholic and 607 were Jewish. However,
41,005 (81%) declared themselves as Serbs, 5,117 as Croatians, 4,920 as
"Yugoslavs," 3,012 as "Moslems nationally non-affiliated,"
and 5 others.
note that a relatively large number of Moslems, who otherwise declare
themselves overwhelmingly as "nationally non-affiliated," stated
their nationality as "Serb" or as "Yugoslav" when entering
the Party ranks. The same happened with a number of Catholics of
Bosnia-Hercegovina, who otherwise identify themselves almost exclusively as
of favoring Serb or Yugoslav national orientation at the expense of Croatian
national orientation is clearly shown also in other institutions of
Bosnia-Hercegovina. Thus, for instance, the regular police (militia) of
Bosnia-Hercegovina numbers 11,700 policemen. Of these 7,832 (70%) are
Serb-Orthodox, 2,100 Moslems, and 1,718 Catholics. But as to their national
orientation 8,340 (79%) declared themselves as Serbs, 2,510 as
"Yugoslavs" and only 380 as Croatians and 420 as "Moslems nationally
officers of the militia on the territory of Bosnia-Hercegovina we see even more
clearly the same trend. Out of 620 militia officers, 411 are Orthodox, 130 are
Moslems, and 79 Catholic. But as to their national orientation, 502 (or 81%) declared
themselves as Serb, 102 as "Yugoslav", and only 14 as Croatian and 2
as "Moslem nationally-non-affiliated."
might well expect, the same situation prevails in other state institutions of
Bosnia-Hercegovina. For instance, out of 196 deputies to the Council of the
Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina, which is the top legislative and administrative
body of the republic, 144 (73.48%) declared themselves as Serbs and only 38
(19.35%) as Croatians, 9 (4.59%) as Yugoslavs and 4 (2.05%) as "Moslems
dominance of Serb and Serb-Orthodox elements in the Communist Party of
Yugoslavia is not a new phenomenon. It is rather traditional in the Yugoslav
Communist movement which has had from its very inception Serb-Orthodoxy as its
national and cultural base. The Communist Party of Yugoslavia was born in
April, 1919, when on the initiative of the Social-Democratic Party of Serbia, a
meeting of all Socialist parties of Yugoslavia took place in Belgrade. The
purpose of the meeting was to create a united Communist Party and to join the
Communist International that had just been formed in Moscow under Lenin's
leadership. By the end of 1920, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia numbered
about 69,000 members, overwhelmingly Serb-Orthodox.
elections for the Constitutional Assembly held that year also show that the
Communist vote was overwhelmingly cast in the Orthodox areas, such as
Montenegro, Macedonia, and Serbia. Also the parliamentary representation and
the leadership of the Party at that time were overwhelmingly Orthodox by
religious background. Of the whole Communist parliamentary representation, 82
per cent were of Orthodox background, even though the Orthodox represented at
the time only 46 per cent of the total population. There were only 9 Catholics
and 1 Moslem as compared to 48 Orthodox among Communist deputies. As to their
national affiliation, there were only 6 Slovenes, 3 Croatians, 1 or 2
Macedonians. Forty-eight were Serb (including 4 Montenegrins). Like the top
Party leadership, the lower Party cadres were overwhelmingly Orthodox and Serb.
This was indicated by the national and religious composition of a group of 502
candidates for Parliamentary elections, of whom 342 (or almost 69%) were of
Orthodox and Serb background while 140 (or 28%) were Catholics and only 2.3 per
cent were Moslems. The percentage of Catholics in the whole population of
Yugoslavia was at that time 39 and of Moslem 11.
Serb leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia at that time tended to
impose its national ideology on the Party, it came into direct conflict with
the policies of the Communist International, led by Stalin. Stalin at that time
demanded that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia take advantage of internal
national antagonisms between the Serbs and the Croats and between the Serbs and
the Macedonians, as well as between the Serbs and the Montenegrins. He wanted
the Party to sponsor ideas of national separation, in order to bring about
disintegration of that country and thus create conditions for the seizure of
power by the Communists. Such a policy, however, was completely contrary to the
ideas and feelings of the Serb leaders of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.
These people had identified themselves with the Serb national ideals and wanted
to preserve the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia under Serb leadership.
It was as
a result of this conflict between Serb leadership of the Communist Party of
Yugoslavia and Stalin that by 1938, Josip Broz Tito, a Croatian by birth, rose
to the top Party position as its General Secretary. However, in his
organizational work and in preparing the Party for the coming revolution, Tito
tended to rely increasingly on the Serb element within the Party, particularly
since the Party proceeded to attract the Serb elements in proportionally
greater numbers than other nationalities of Yugoslavia. In his "policy of
cadres" Tito had paid special attention to high school and university
youth groups. And in this connection a number of university preparatory high
schools (gymnasiums) in Montenegro, Bosnia, and Western Serbia, as well as the
University of Belgrade, became of paramount importance from the point of view
of the Party's future. It was at these institutions, and particularly among the
students of Serb-Orthodox background, that Tito found his most enthusiastic and
most able followers.
As a result, it was from among these young people that Tito was recruiting and
training the future Party, military, and governmental leaders. He himself
admitted this when he reviewed the history of the Party's organizational and
propaganda work. Said Tito: "Much of the credit for this work must go to
the Party organization in the University of Belgrade. The University had long
been known for its freedom of thought, especially between the two wars. To
begin with, most of the students were the sons of peasants and workers, usually
from Montenegro, Bosnia and parts of Serbia. Most of these students lived at
home and came to Belgrade only to sit for their examination; they were in
constant touch with the people."
was these same people that had formed the Yugoslav contingents in the Spanish
civil war. The same brigades later became the nucleus of the Partisan guerrilla
fighting during World War II. In the course of these guerrilla activities, by
the end of November, 1942, the Communist-led Partisans felt sufficiently bold
to undertake the organization of a shadow legislature, their first bid for the
seizure of power in Yugoslavia. Of 68 deputies present at the formation of this
body, at its first session, 53 (or 78%) were Serb-Orthodox, 10 were
Croatian-Catholic, 4 were Moslems and 1 was Serb-Jewish.
The main Partisan fighting, the organization of the first Partisan government
and later the organization of the Partisan revolutionary government (November
1943) took place in western Bosnia, in an area inhabited mainly by the
reasons why the Serb-Orthodox were attracted to the Communist Party of
Yugoslavia in comparatively much larger numbers than the other nationalities
and religions, even under the leadership of a man of Croatian and Catholic
background — are manifold.
Serb-Orthodox people have for centuries felt a close affinity to the
Russian-Orthodox people on the ground of common religion (Eastern Orthodox) and
similarity of language and culture. Slavophilism, which claimed superior
qualities for the Slays and their culture, and Pan-Slavism, which propagated
cultural and political unity of all Slays under Russian leadership, had a
strong popular following in Russia and Bulgaria, as well as in Serbia and in
Montenegro. Both among the leaders and among the common folk in small
Slav-Orthodox countries, Orthodox Russia was looked up to as "Great Mother
Russia." Russia had helped them in the past to achieve and consolidate
their national independence. They also expected that Russia would protect them
in the future and help them to strengthen and expand their national power.
One has to
keep in mind that among the Eastern-Orthodox peoples, religion and nationality
have been identified. For historical reasons in Eastern Christianity, unlike
Western Christianity, the Church has been identified with the State. As a
result of such a situation the Orthodox Church considered it a duty to promote
the political interests of the State with which it was associated. Thus the
Orthodox Church had acquired political and national objectives in addition to
its religious functions. Consequently, various Orthodox churches promoted
Christian belief together with nationalism among their adherents. These
national churches were named according to their national identifications
(Russian- Serb-Orthodox, etc.) Hence nationalism among these people, because of
its blend with religion, was especially deeply felt.
And since Slavophil and Pan-Slav ideology implied also Orthodox supremacy, it
was to be expected that these movements would find followers particularly among
the Orthodox Slavs.
same time, however, rivalries, conflicts, and wars were taking place between
various Slav nations. Some of them expanded at the expense of others and
established their hegemony, using the ideology of all-Slav unity as a
justification. The Great Russians, for instance, ruled over the Ukrainians and
Bielorussians, Czechs dominated the Slovaks. In the same way Serbia was able to
establish, at the end of World War I, its political hegemony over large areas
inhabited by Croatian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, and Slovene peoples. Serbia
took advantage of its position as an ally of the victorious powers in that war
and justified its dominance over other South Slav nations in the name of
"Yugoslav [South Slav] unity." In World War II the Serbs were able to
re-establish their former supremacy, but now their hegemony took on the form of
were attracted in increasingly large numbers to the Communist movement in the
course of World War II, but not so much because of internationalist Communist
ideology. They strongly resented becoming a national minority in the newly-established
Croatian and Catholic state. In addition they were attracted to the Slavoplail
and Pan-Slav content of Russian Communism. For many of these people, Bolshevism
was good enough as long as it was Russian and Slav and as long as it offered
the prospects of a restored Yugoslavia under Serb-Orthodox leadership.
important reason for Communist appeal to the Serb-Orthodox people lay in the
psychology of Communism. The Communist movement, as conceived by Lenin, is a
militant organization whose, objective is to seize power by any and all means.
Both in its ideology and in its practice, this movement emphasizes conspiracy,
violence, and ruthlessness in relation to the seizure of power and in dealing
with adversaries, all of whom are treated as "enemies." In its
internal organization the Communist Party of the Leninist type follows the
principles of authoritarianism, iron military discipline, complete dedication
to the Party and self-sacrifice for the cause of the revolution. Such a Party,
therefore, tends to attract people of a particular psychological and
ideological bent. But such a Party must also be consciously selective in the
recruitment and training of its members and "cadres" (the Party
functionaries). For this reason, one of the fundamental organizational aspects
of the Communist Party is its "policy of cadres," that is, methodical
and minutely planned selection of members, their training and indoctrination,
their promotion on the basis of rigid aptitude, performance and loyalty tests,
and their deployment to positions and functions on the basis of special skills,
abilities, and trust.
One of the most decisive criteria in the promotion of cadres is the degree of
"partyism," that is, the sense of dedication and self-sacrifice for
the cause, and of subordination to the top leadership.
speaking, the Party, in its pre-revolution and revolution phases, due to its
psychological aspects, appeals to and recruits into its membership militant,
dynamic, aggressive, dedicated, fanatic, and conspiratorial types of people.
However, because of its ideological aspects, its ideas of a classless society,
of all-human brotherhood, and of cultural and personal freedom, the Party, in
this phase of its development, appeals also to a number of universally oriented
and utopia-seeking idealists of various kinds. In addition, on the grounds of
its purported struggle, against all kinds of exploitation and oppression, the
Party strongly appeals, in this phase of its development, to many members of
subjected nationalities, exploited classes, and ostracized minorities.
therefore to be expected that in its revolutionary phases, and due to its
psychological and Pan-Slav aspects, the Communist Party in Yugoslavia would
have had a strong appeal among the Serb-Orthodox people of the Dinaric Alps.
These mountain men in the area of Montenegro, western Bosnia, western Serbia
and central Croatia (Lika) have been renowned for their traditional militancy
and rebelliousness, for their military qualities and endurance of hardships,
for power-seeking and ruthlessness, as well as for a sense of heroism,
dedication, and self-sacrifice in the interest of Serb-Orthodox ideals.
Such qualities were particularly heightened in the course of World War II when
the Serb-Orthodox people of this area found themselves subjected to Croatian
Catholic authorities. The Party, therefore, had paid special attention to these
people both before and during this war. And as a result of all these
circumstances, the majority of the members of the Party's Central Committee,
and most of the top military commanders of contemporary Yugoslavia originated
from the Dinaric area (Map I).24a The
ideological orientation of these people was shaped under the "influence of
Belgrade, the seat of Serb-Orthodoxy and of Serb nationalism (Map II).
to the Leninist teachings, when the Communists seize power in a country they
must establish the "dictatorship of the proletariat," consolidate it
and develop it as a base for the expansion of Communism to other countries,
pursuing their objective of world revolution. This is known as the third stage
of the proletarian revolution.
Thus after the seizure of power in a country the Party continues to appeal to
and recruit militant, dedicated, fanatic, ruthless, and power-oriented
personalities. This becomes imperative for the promotion of revolutionary
ideology; but even more so for self-perpetuation in power of a small group of
professional and dedicated conspirators who had established a totalitarian rule
in opposition to the broad strata of the population.
circumstances, however, lead to the formation of a ruling caste — the New Class
— which takes over the control of the whole apparatus of the government, and
monopolizes the whole social, economic, and educational life of the country.
Being in such a position, the Party has to recruit also highly-skilled and
learned people who are specialists in all spheres of political, economic, and
military activities. To govern efficiently, the Party depends upon the know-how
of these experts. And in order to command their loyalty, the Party rewards them
in terms of relatively high income and special appurtenances and privileges.
The Party depends also upon the knowledge and skill of scholars and educators,
novelists and artists, publicists and journalists. As a result, all these
intelligentsia—administrative, technological and humanistic — develop vested
interests in their status and possessions, and therefore tend to identify
themselves with the New Class.
therefore seem logical that the Communist Party in a multi-national state would
direct its policy of cadres in such a way as not to antagonize various national
and ethnical groups in the country. It seems that it would be in the best
interest of consolidation of the Party's power if there existed a harmonious
and friendly, rather than a hostile relationship between various national and
ethnic groups in the country. To achieve such an objective, one would expect
that the Party should endeavor very systematically to introduce a more or less
proportional representation of various national and ethnic groups in its top
Party hierarchy and in the top administrative and legislative, judicial and
military, economic and educational institutions of the country. This, however,
does not take place. All contemporary Communist regimes, in multi-national
countries, have tended increasingly, up to date, toward a monopolistic
concentration of political, economic, and social power in the hands of a
relatively small group of persons that belong to the dominant group or are
thoroughly assimilated by that group.
is well aware that such a trend is one of the basic weaknesses of its rule.
This is shown by the fact that the Party sponsors laws and decrees, statutes
and regulations which make all national discrimination and national antagonism
punishable by law. There are frequent statements by the top Party leaders and
cadres to the same effect. But this is only the ideology. In practice, however,
we find that such rules and statements apply only to subjected nationalities,
not to the dominant one. Thus one often hears of indictments and trials against
"bourgeois nationalists" in Ukraina, and in the Asian and Baltic
republics of the Soviet Union. Similar trials have often taken place against
Slovaks and against Croatians, as well as against Jewish intellectuals, but
seldom if ever against the Russians, the Czechs, or the Serbs.
reasons for this seemingly illogical policy stem by necessity and by expediency
from the monolithic structure of the Party and of the state in
Communist-controlled society. When in the beginning of the twentieth century,
Lenin conceived the organization of the Communist Party, his main objective was
to develop an instrument that would be most effective in the struggle against
the Russian Czarist police; an instrument that could systematically undermine
the Czarist regime and eventually enable the Party to seize power. Lenin
thought that in order to achieve such aims the Communist Party should be limited
to a relatively small number of professional conspirators who were to be
well-trained, well-disciplined and totally dedicated to the cause of the
revolution. Such a group had to be well-integrated around its top leadership,
which was to be composed of "a dozen talented people working in perfect
conceived the Communist Party as a militant and fighting organization engaged
permanently in an underground or open war with its enemies until these were
defeated and destroyed. But, in order to achieve a maximum of striking
efficiency, the Party, as conceived by Lenin, had to maintain "absolute
unity of will and action," and a strict military discipline and
subordination of the lower ranks and of the rank-and-file to the top leadership.
Such a high degree of monolithism could be accomplished only if the Party
leaders and the Party cadres thought and acted alike, that is, if they had
similar or identical training, experience, and personality, and could work
smoothly in unison. Those who could not achieve such a degree of uniformity had
to be systematically purged.
Party organization proved very efficient in action and almost impenetrable and
immune to infiltration on the part of its enemies, particularly enemy
intelligence. And it was such a Party organization that had enabled Lenin and
his Bolsheviks to seize power in Russia in 1917. Lenin therefore came to the
conclusion that such a Party should be organized on an international scale and
thus become the General Staff of the world proletariat in its revolution
against the world bourgeoisie.
through the institution of the Communist International, the Russian Party model
was imposed on Communist Parties throughout the world.
In a number of cases this system of Party organization served its purpose as
well and as efficiently as in Russia, in the question of seizure of power and
of establishment of Party dictatorship. This was particularly true in the case
of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and of the Communist Party of China.
seizure of power, and in order to perpetuate themselves as a ruling caste, the
Bolsheviks stated that the internal "enemy" had not been defeated.
Indeed, they claimed that the enemy was now even more active and threatening
than before they had seized power.
And in order to eliminate any and all opposition to their rule, Lenin and his
aides found it imperative, for purposes of total control of society, to, apply
the conspiratorial system of rule also in the administration of the state. In
this way, too, Russia became a model of state organization that has been
applied to the formation of all other Communist-controlled countries.
order to maintain "absolute unity of will and action", both in the
Party and in the state, the workings of the Party forums and of the legislative
bodies in a Communist-ruled society cannot be anything like the workings of
political parties and of representative institutions in the Western type of
government. In the Western political systems a more or less full play of
various social forces takes place both within the political parties and in the
representative institutions. Intra-party factions as well as party coalitions,
alliances, blocs, and other multi-partisan groupings tend to be freely formed
and dissolved depending upon the pressure of circumstances and upon varying,
and often conflicting, political and social objectives of groups which are
represented. But in the Leninist system of political monolithism, factionalism
and other groupings formed to achieve different political objectives, or the
same objectives by using different means, are tabooed as a sacrilege and
punished by purge (expulsion or execution).
Instead of free play of social forces and decisions arrived at by majority
vote, in the Communist Party-State system, the group that happens to dominate
the Central Committee imposes from above unanimity in voting within the Party
and within the legislative bodies. Through Party directives "unity of will
and action" is achieved also in all governmental, economic, educational,
and military institutions.
high degree of regimentation and conformity within the Party and within the
state is arrived at by a system of "conspiratorial manipulation." In
this organizational set-up every Party forum and every leadership level of each
public institution is split up into several small groups, varying according to
the kind and degree of authority. The smallest but the most significant of such
groups on local, republic, or national levels of organization consists of a
well-integrated hard core of decision-makers. This "sanctum" of a
Party or government body puts its decision into practice through a small group
of able and loyal advisers and executives (the "inner circle"). They
also secure the help of a group of "front men" who are selected for
the prestige they enjoy among the Party rank-and-file (the "Party
mass"), for their ability to influence large strata of the population, as
well as for their willingness to follow, without questioning, the directives of
the Party's inner leadership. In such a set-up, any and every decision of the
top Party leadership is immediately communicated to the Party core on each
level of the Party and from there to the leader-ship core on each corresponding
level of state organization ("transmission belt").
Party body and on each level of Party organization the hard core of
decision-makers is, as a rule, organized in the form of a
"Secretariat." And the monolithic unity of will and action in the
whole Party is achieved through an "Axis of Secretariats" that runs
uninterruptedly from the top to the bottom of the Party pyramid (see the
Chart). The unity of policy (the "Party line") in the Secretarial
Axis is maintained by the principle of "reverse representation." This
device consists in having in each Party body and on each level of Party
organization one or more key individuals who, are members of a superordinate
Party body and thus represent that body and its policies in the lower Party
unit, and not vice versa. Thus an unbreakable link is established from the
topmost Party body, the Secretariat of the Central Committee, or the Politburo
(Presidium, Executive Committee of the Central Committee), to the lowest Party
unit, that is the basic Party organization or cell.
system of control from above is reinforced by the principle of "democratic
centralism," according to which the decisions arrived at in a higher Party
body must be executed by the lower Party bodies "unquestioningly,
promptly, and correctly." In theory "democratic centralism"
implies also free discussion on the basis of a majority vote within the ranks.
In practice, however, the lower Party bodies are limited to the discussion of
how to implement the directives of a superior body. This system of control from
above is also reinforced by other devices, such as the principle of
"vertical communication," according to which the Party bodies on the
same level of organization cannot communicate directly, but only through their
common super-ordinate body. This helps to prevent formation of organized
opposition in the rank-and-file against the directives from above. In the same
manner the principle of direct control from the top enables the top Party
leadership to interfere directly in the affairs of Party forums on any level of
Party organization through a system of "instructors". These are
advisors and inspectors who serve as envoys and watchdogs of the top Party
leadership at the lower levels of Party organization. They check on the prompt
and correct execution of Party directives. To make this whole organizational
system work smoothly, promotion of each person into the core of decision-makers
and into the inner circle, on each level of Party organization, is directed
from the main Secretariat of the Party pyramid. Such promotions are made on the
basis of ability and skill, as well as on the basis of personal loyalty to the
top Party leader.
elections to the Party Congress, which is the supreme legislative body of the
Party, are not direct but indirect. This enables the Party leadership to
manipulate elections to the Party Congress in such a manner as to secure the
election of loyal yes-men. Thus this whole system of monolithic and
conspiratorial organization enables the top Party leadership and its
Secretarial Axis to perpetuate them-selves in power and to establish their
permanent control over the Party and its policies. Only when through
"palace revolutions" the top Party leader is removed, there usually
follow more radical personal changes both in the top Party bodies and in the
whole Secretarial Axis.
Party's core, or the ruling caste, maintains its total control of society by
monopolizing and concentrating into its hands all property and all sources of
production and income. In addition, the ruling caste reinforces the sense of
total dependency of every subject upon the Party and the state 'for his life
and livelihood through a systematic control of thought and feelings. This form
of psychological manipulation is achieved by means of monopolization and
concentration in the hands of the Party of all media of mass communication.
However, as long as a Communist-ruled economy is an economy of scarcity, the
only way to secure the loyalty of the needed experts in government
administration and economic management, in research and technology, in teaching
and propaganda, is to reward them at the expense of the peasantry, of
industrial labor, and of the lower ranks of bureaucracy (office workers,
clerks, and technicians.)
fundamental problem for the Party is therefore to hold and perpetuate in its
own hands the administration of such a complex and delicate system of total
control. One way to solve this problem might consist in an "open
door" policy. That is, by recruiting into the Party all people of know-how,
regardless of their national, social, and religious background. Such a policy,
however, would tend to weaken the Party in its ideological aspects, as well as
in the matter of discipline. It might easily lead toward the disintegration of
the system of Party monolithism and bring about a shift of power and of state
control from the Party into the hands of the bureaucracy. Hence in order to
avoid such a fate the Party had to devise other means to concentrate total
control into its own hands.
fields of legislation, administration, and judiciary, the Party has achieved
such a high degree of control by means of a system of "interlocking
directorates. That is, in each government body, in each state institution, and
on each level of state organization (municipal, county, republic, national) the
controlling core is composed of the same people who form the Party's hard core
at the same organizational level. In addition, mindful of the danger of
shifting loyalties, the Party must enforce rigorously the principle of "primacy
of Party loyalty." Any Party functionary who tends to develop attachment
to a non-Party function in such a way as to jeopardize his primary loyalty to
the Party, must be ruthlessly purged regardless of his professional ability or
his past Party merits. Such a system of control takes on a particular
importance in the armed forces, including the police forces, because these are
the only organized institutions which are in possession of arms, and which
might therefore challenge the supremacy of the Party and overthrow its rule by
means of an armed revolt.
principle of "interlocking directorates" as a system of Party-state
organization, however, has its serious drawbacks. Need for identity in ideology
and similarity in personality formation of the Party leadership and of the
Party cadres, leads almost inevitably to the recruitment of the Party's leading
apparatus and of the state's leading functionaries from among people of the
same ethnic back-ground. Due to identity of culture and similarity in experience,
people stemming from the same social and cultural background tend to have
similar mentalities, are likely to understand each other better, and tend to
have similar or identical orientations, aspirations, and objectives. They tend
to trust one another more than they would people of different linguistic,
social and religious backgrounds.
people of similar or identical backgrounds are likely to draw each other into
the Party, to support each other in their rise in the Party and state hierarchies,
and to develop a common vested interest in consolidating, strengthening and
perpetuating their positions both within the Party and within the state. They
form them-selves as a closed ruling Communist caste — the New Class.
multi-national state such circumstances almost inevitably lead toward the
recruitment of Party cadres, particularly the Party's hard core, and therefore
of the New Class, overwhelmingly from one national group. And it is this New
Class, when established in power and when concerned over its vested interests,
that presses the Party's policies in the direction of "national
objectives of "national Communism" are to protect the New Class
against encroachments on the part of the ruling classes in other Communist
states, particularly of the New Class in the Soviet Union. Internally, the New
Class, both in the Soviet Union and in some other Communist-ruled countries,
such as China, Yugoslavia, and Poland, has been using nationalistic feelings
efficiently as a morale builder and a psychological energizer. This became
necessary in order to combat lack of enthusiasm, indifference, and apathy in
the broad strata of the population that consider themselves mistreated and
exploited by the new rulers. In multinational Communist-ruled countries, the
new rulers have failed to develop a "Soviet", a "Yugoslav,"
or "Czechoslovak" patriotism and nationalism. And as a result the
only nationalism and patriotism that they could resort to as an energizer and morale
builder was the nationalism of the dominant nationality. They realized that
many members of the dominant nationality even though opposed to Communism would
be willing to support the Party as long as the Party furthers the national
interest of their national group. Such a trend of events in its own turn has
reinforced the tendency of the recruitment of the New Class overwhelmingly from
among the members of the dominant nationality.
trend of development, however, provokes sharp reactions among subjected
nationalities and other ethnic groups, depending upon the degree of their
national or ethnic consciousness. These nationalities and other ethnic groups
come to feel that they are 'not only enslaved by the dictatorship of the Party,
but also by the hegemony of an alien nationality, and that they are being used
to further the interests of the dominant nationality. In such circumstances the
dominant nationality is likely to be blamed by the subjected groups for all the
ills caused by the dictatorship of the Party and by the Party policies. The
result is sporadic open protest and opposition, which is ruthlessly suppressed
by the Party.
legal means of opposition, oppressed nationalities tend to resort to a
spontaneous, non-organized mass resistance that takes the form of political
passivity and lack of interest in the matters of state. Such a demoralization
tends to reinforce the existing apathy and slowdown in production among the
most exploited strata of the population, particularly industrial labor, the
peasantry, and the lower ranks of bureaucracy, regardless of their national
affiliation.. This might lead to further demoralization that often manifests
itself in the form of alcoholism, hooliganism, sex promiscuity, and crime.
counter-measures in the form of limitation of individual and group freedoms
that the regime undertakes to keep under control these seething national
resentments do not check but rather promote further development of group
consciousness. They only intensify group hostility among the peoples that consider
themselves nationally or socially exploited. Thus, instead of solving the
nationality problem which has been one of the major boasts of Communism, they
have actually accentuated this source of internal conflict.
addition, the New Class in the Soviet Union, because of its position of
military and economic supremacy, has tended to take economic and political
advantage of other Communist-ruled states. This policy has provoked tensions
and open clashes between the Soviet Union and other Communist-controlled
countries, and has forced the Soviet Union to revise its methods in dealing
with other Communist-ruled states while still insisting on its leadership role
as an imperative condition to preserve unity and enhance striking efficiency of
the Communist world.
contemporary Communist state, founded on Leninist principles of Party-state
organization, has developed a ruling caste which in defense of its vested
interests has become nationalistic, not only in relation to subjected
nationalities but also in relation to other Communist and non-Communist
countries. At the same time, however, all these ruling classes of various
Communist states have found it necessary to maintain among themselves mutual
unity and solidarity. Such a policy of unity is imperative as a means of
consolidation and perpetuation of their power in relation to the internal
opposition and in relation to the non-Communist world.
Communist-ruled multi-national state and the whole "Communist camp,"
therefore, face three basic "contradictions": the clash of interests
between the New Class and the oppressed broad strata of the population; the
clash of interests between the dominant nationality and subjected nationalities
or ethnic minorities; and finally the clash of vested interests between the
ruling classes of various Communist states while they are forced at the same
time to maintain among themselves an international solidarity.
of the national imperialism of his days, Lenin pointed out three of its most
important "contradictions": the conflict between labor and the owners
of the means of production, particularly the monopolistic trusts; the conflict
between various imperialistic nations over territorial possessions, markets,
and raw materials; the conflict between national imperialism and its colonial
and dependent peoples. Lenin stated that because of such internal
contradictions, the days of national imperialism were numbered, that
imperialism was in its last stage of development. He conceived a Party of
professional revolutionaries and conspirators whose objective was to overthrow
this system of "moribund" imperialism and to build on its ashes a new
and better order, a Communist order.
appears, however, that the New Class — which evolved from the foundations of Leninist
political monolithism, and which calls itself Communist — has developed its own
system of economic exploitation and of national imperialism. The question now
is — whether or not the New Class will be able to solve its own contradictions
before it disintegrates as a result of internal and external pressures.
* Financial support by Indiana University and Social Science Research Council is grate-fully acknowledged.
 Milovan Djilas, The New Class (New York, 1957); see also D. Tomasic, The Impact of Russian Culture on Soviet Communism (Glencoe, Illinois. 1953).
 Basil Dmytryskyn,, "National and Social Composition of the Membership of the Communist Party (bolshevik) of the Ukraine," Journal of Central European Affairs (Boulder, Colo.), October, 1957, pp. 254, 258.
 Biographies. Manuscript, Indiana University. 1956. Hereafter. Biographies.
 National orientation of the members of CC is taken from: S. Janković and M. Mihailović, eds., Ko je ko — biografski podaci o jugoslavenskim savremenicima (Belgrade, 1957).
 Anon. [Adil Zulfikarpašićl, "Generali Titove Komunističke Armije," Hrvatski Dom` (Fribourg, Swiss), vol. XI, No. 98, Jan: Feb. 1958, p. 11. — Mr. Zulfikarpašić is a former member of CPY. During the war he was a lieutenant colonel in Tito's partisan army. He left the ranks of Tito's Communists in 1947 and has lived in exile since then.
 Anon. [Adil Zulfikarpašićl, "Diplomacija komunističke Jugoslavije," Hrvatski Dom, op. cit., p. 13-14.
 Adil Zulfikarpašić, "Bosna i Hercegovina u Svijetlu Statističkih Podataka," Bosmcski Pogledi (Vienna), vol I (1955), p. 38.
 Ibid, p. 39.
 Ibid., p. 37.
 Ibid.. p. 38.
 Ibid.. p. 35.
 lstorijski Arhiv Komunističke Partije Jugoslavije (Belgrade, 1949-1952) vol. II. p. 27. Hereafter Istoriiski Arhiv.
 Definitivni Rezultati. Popisa Pučanstva Kraljevine Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca, 1921 (Belgrade, 1931).
 Istorijski Arhiv, vol. II, pp. 70, 67-77, 73. See also Sima Marković, Nacionalno Pitanje u Svetlosti Marksi.zma (Belgrade, 1923), pp. 118, 123-24.
 D. A. Tomasic, National Communism and Soviet Strategy (Washington, D. C., 1957), p. 39. Hereafter Tomasic, National Communism.
 Vladimir Dedijer, Tito (New York, 1953), p. 48.
 Compare Borba (Belgrade), Dec. 6, 1952 in Istorijski Arhiv, vol. I, Part 2, pip. 250-59.
 Tomasic, National Communism, Chs. IV and V.
 D. A. Tomasic, "Slavs," Encyclopedia Americana (New York, 1957).
 Tomasic, National Communism, Ch. IV.
 Ibid., Ch. III and IV.
 For a detailed analysis of Dinaric culture see Jovan Cvijić, "Studies in Yugoslav Psychology," Slavonic Review (London), December, 1930. See also Edith M. Durham, Some Tribal Origins, Laws, and Customs of the Balkans (London, 1928). Also D. Tomasic, Personality and Culture in Eastern European Politics (New York, 1948). The latter work analyzes also the differences and the similarities between the Orthodox and the Catholics in the Dinaric regions. An important contribution to our knowledge of the Dinaric culture and its psychology is found also in the biography of Milovan Djilas, Land Without Justice (New York, 1958).
24a This map as well as Map II have been elaborated by Joseph Strmecki, University of Pittsburgh.
 Joseph Stalin, Foundations of Leninism (New York, 1939), p. 97.
 M. Djilas, The New Class, op. cit.
 Lenin, Collected Works (New York, 1929), vol. IV, pp. 196, 180-201
 Lenin, Selected Works, vol. X, pp. 60, 204. See also Stalin, op. cit., pp. 119-20.
 Stalin, op. cit., p. 110.
 See Theses and Statutes of Communist International and Program of Communist International, particularly "Conditions of Admission."
 Lenin, Selected Works, vol. VII, pp. 140-41; vol. X, pp. 60, 80. See also Stalin, op. cit., pp. 4.8-50.
 Stalin, op. cit., pp. 122-124.
 Tomasic, National Communism, pp. 37-38, 41-43, 97, 103-103.
 M. Djilas, The New Clas . op. cit.
 Tomasic, National Communism, pp. 103. 96-101.
 Ibid., pp. 141-44
 Stalin, op. cit. pp. 13-14