twenty years after the berlin wall fell

November marks twenty years since the fall of the Berlin wall. This event represented one of the high points of a great mass struggle against the tyrannical order in the Eastern Bloc, and led to the downfall of the Soviet Union. But with the defeats of movements opposed to both these statist régimes and the free market, the popular movements of 1989 are now used to prove there is no alternative to capitalism.

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Here we present sections of a series of interviews with communists from the former Eastern Bloc focussing on the struggles of the time, what system really existed in the “communist” countries and what has happened to the working class over the last twenty years. Continue reading “twenty years after the berlin wall fell”

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goran markovic: twenty years after the wall fell

The second in a series of interviews with communists from the former Eastern Bloc on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Can you briefly introduce yourself and your organisation?

My name is Goran Markovic and I come from Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am one of the co-editors of the socialist/Marxist regional magazine ‘The New Flame’ (Novi Plamen) which is published in the Croatian capital Zagreb. I am also the president of the Workers’ Communist Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Novi Plamen is a magazine which deals very much with the development of workers’ and leftist movements in former Yugoslav republics and worldwide and carries analyzes, mainly from a Marxist viewpoint, of current economic and political events in former Yugoslavia and worldwide. The Workers’ Communist Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a party established in the tradition of workers’ self-management and self-managing socialism. Continue reading “goran markovic: twenty years after the wall fell”

the positions of the workers’ communist party of bosnia and herzegovina

Introduction by Chris Kane

The revolutionary communist movement in the former Yugoslavia has produced some of the most pioneering Marxists: Anton Cilliga, the critic of Stalinist state-capitalism, and the dissident Marxist humanists of the Praxis group in the League of Communists of Yugoslavia who produced figures such as Gajo Petrovic and Mihailo Markovic.  They developed an emancipatory school of communism closely identified with workers self-management, de-alienation and the importance of Marx’s early humanist writings.   Many of these ideas have been lost to West European communism and the insular British left: and with the wars in Yugoslavia the tradition appeared defeated.  But in Bosnia communists are reviving: the internationalist Workers’ Communist Party was founded in 2000.  These comrades have drawn a number of lessons from the experience of state-socialism, which is of particular relevance to our own situation in the UK today.  The Bosnian communists are clear that:

Nationalization of the means of production cannot bring freedom for the working class. State-owned enterprises are under the control of the state, in other words, under control of the ruling party. Exploitation remains. Only socialization of the means of production can produce real changes in the position of the working class. Social ownership is connected with socialist self-management (government).”  They take a clear stand against Parliamentarianism, stating that:  “The political system of socialism will be based on self-government at all levels of social organization. We do not accept a system of parliamentary democracy because it is based on partocracy – rule of the powerful parties and their leaders.” We republish below the basic goals of the Workers’ Communist Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Continue reading “the positions of the workers’ communist party of bosnia and herzegovina”