An X-Ray of the Yugoslav Experiment in Self-Management

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For the latest episode of our series on Actually Existing Socialism, Christian, Rudy, Donald and Connor join forces for a discussion on the Yugoslav self-management in its different iterations. We use Darko Suvin's Splendor, Misery and Possibilities: An X-Ray of Socialist Yugoslavia as a background to outline an exploration of the successive reforms where self-management was first brought in as a response to the failures of the command economy to take advantage of plebian creativity, and how slowly the market and decentralizations became a magic bullet for solving all problems, a fetish which caused the arising of significant inefficiencies, consumerist culture and inequalities both between republics and between workers and managers in the factories. We analyze why successive waves of marketization were supported, and how this led to the formations of new classes that would eventually disintegrate Yugoslavia.

Other Sources:

Yugoslav Marxists

B. Horvat, "Towards a Theory of a Planned Economy"

B. Kidric, "Some Theoretical Questions of the New Economic System"

E. Kardelj, "Directions of the Development of the Political System of Socialist Self-Administration"

Other Marxists

E. Mandel, "Self-Management: Dangers and Possibilities"

E. Hoxha, "Yugoslav "Self-Administration" - Capitalist Theory and Practice"

Academic

D. Granick, "Enterprise Guidance in Eastern Europe: A Comparison of Four Socialist Economies"

P. H. Patterson, "Bought & Sold: Living and Losing the Good Life in Socialist Yugoslavia"

90 episodes