Каталог :: Политология


                          THE UNIVERSITY OF HULL                          
                             DEPARTMENT OF POLITICS                             
                         The Politics of Eastern Europe                         
                      WHAT WAS TITO’S SEPARATE WAY?                      
Jonas Daniliauskas
Terence P McNeill
16 May 1995
The aim of this essay is to show how Josip Broz Tito created and maintained
the socialist system in Yugoslavia, which was some kind of way between the
Soviet socialism and Western capitalism. The main attention will be focused
on the reasons of the Tito’s break with Stalin, on the origins of the
separate way, and the developments of this way.
     The Situation in 1945-1948
Early in November 1944, Tito, who was supreme commander of the National
Liberation Army and Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia
(CPY) and Subasic, who was a representative of the Royal Yugoslav Government
concluded a draft political agreement that elections should be held to a
Constituent Assembly which would decide on the future form of the government in
Yugoslavia.[1]A new Yugoslav Provisional
Government was created on 7 March 1945. Tito became the last Royal Yugoslav
Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.[2] 
The new government was immediately recognised by the British, American and
Soviet governments.
In August 1945 the People’s Front was formed. It was an ‘umbrella organisation’
in which those non-communist parties that still existed would collaborate with
the CPY.[3] It organised a single list of
candidates for the elections held on 11 November 1945 for a Constituent
Assembly. About 90% of the electorate voted for the official candidates.
The first act of the Constituent Assembly was to abolish the monarchy and
declare Yugoslavia a Federal People’s Republic.
Even before that the centre of political power already was the Politburo of the
CPY. From April 1945 currency reform, confiscation of the property of former
collaborators, the nationalisation of most existing industry, and the strict
control of rents were put into force.[5]
The new Constitution of 31 January 1946 was based largely on the 1936
constitution of the SU. It had nationalised all industrial, commercial and
financial enterprises, limited individual landholdings to 60 acres and
organised the surplus agricultural land into collective farms.
[6] About 1.6 million hectares of land were expropriated.
So, in the first years of Tito’s government Yugoslavia was a highly centralised
one-party state. The centre of political power was the Politburo of the CPY.
The first Five Year Plan for 1947-1952 was published and put into effect early
in 1947. With the reorganisation of federal, republican and local government to
cope with the first Five Year Plan, the Yugoslav political-economic system came
even closer to its Soviet model and became a single, giant, countrywide and
monopolistic trust.[7]
     The Origins of the Separate Way
A few important factors and differences could be named as the origins of the
Tito’s break with Stalin and of the evolution of Tito’s separate way.
The biggest difference between Yugoslavia and the other East European countries
was that in Yugoslavia - and only in Yugoslavia - had the Communists
established themselves in power without important assistance from the SU.
[8]Secondly, Stalin did not want to help Yugoslavia to build up a balanced
economy. It suited for him better to conclude long-term agreements under which
Yugoslavia bound itself to sell raw materials at low prices, and ceased to
process them.[9] Thirdly, Stalin failed to
give Yugoslavia full support in its demands for the cession of Trieste from
Italy.[10]Finally, Stalin’s aim was to
create a monolithic socialist bloc under firmer Soviet control.
[11]Stalin wished to secure in Yugoslavia a regime as obedient as any other
in East Europe.[12]
The basic issue was very simple: whether Tito or Stalin would be dictator of
Yugoslavia. What stood in Stalin’s way was Tito’s and hence the Yugoslav
regime’s autonomous strength.[13]
The first sign the Yugoslavs had that their relations with the SU were moving
towards a serious crisis came in February 1948, when Stalin abruptly summoned
high-level Yugoslav and Bulgarian delegations to Moscow. Tito sent Kardelj and
Bakaric to join Djilas, who was already there for talks about Albania and
Soviet military aid to Yugoslavia. But the only treaty signed was a Soviet text
binding the Yugoslav government to consult with the Soviet government on all
foreign policy issues.[14]Soon after
that Stalin postponed negotiations for a renewal of the Soviet-Yugoslav trade
agreement which was the keystone of Yugoslav economical policy. It became clear
to the Yugoslav leaders that there was no prospect of healing their rift with
the SU except by accepting total subordination.
[15] At this point Tito took the conflict before the Central Committee of
the CPY, on 1 March 1948. There the Politburo received a vote of confidence for
their rejection of Soviet demands.[16]
The Soviet responded after a few weeks. On 18 March they informed that Soviet
military advisers and instructors in Yugoslavia were ‘surrounded by hostility’
and would therefore all be withdrawn immediately. On the next day, a similar
announcement was made in respect of Soviet civilian advisers.
In April Yugoslavia refused to attend the Cominform meeting. The Cominform met
without the Yugoslav delegation on 28 June 1948. The CPY was condemned and it
was declared that by refusing to attend the meeting the Yugoslav Communists had
placed themselves ‘outside the family of fraternal Communist Parties, outside
the united Communist front, and outside the ranks of the Cominform.’
Stalin took further economical and political steps to place Yugoslavia outside
the Soviet Bloc. By summer 1949 deliveries to Yugoslavia had been slowed down
or stopped, and by the end of the year, all trade between Yugoslavia and the
Soviet Bloc has ceased.[19] From August
1949 all countries of the Soviet Bloc denounced their treaties of friendship
and mutual aid with Yugoslavia. The CPY as well as Tito had been finally
excommunicated and outlawed.[20]
     The Separate Way
After the break with the Soviet Bloc there was a need to find an ideological
basis for the unique Yugoslav position as a Communist nation outside the Soviet
community.[21]The Yugoslavs contended
that the SU had deviated from ‘true Marxism-Leninism’ as a result of an
independent Communist bureaucracy created by Stalin which transformed the
dictatorship of the proletariat into a dictatorship over the proletariat.
The essence of the new doctrine was that the state must ‘wither away’. The key
to this development was decentralisation of the government, of the economy,
and, later, of the CPY.[23]
The essence of the decentralisation in the economy was the introduction of
self-management system. First real step towards self-management was the Basic
Law on the Management of State Economic Enterprises and Higher Economic
Associations by the Work Collectives which came into force in June 1950. In
fact, this law remained purely declaratory, until the initial operational
provisions were passed in 1952-1953. Then followed an endless zigzag of
constitutional, legislative, and other changes and reversals.
[24] In April 1951 the Federal Planning Commission was abolished. At the end
of 1951 a new Law on the Planned Management of the National economy took force.
The Soviet system of planning was abandoned. In its place the Yugoslavs
introduced annual (and later medium-term) ‘Social Plans’, which at the
enterprise level were no longer directive and compulsory, but indicative.
In 1951-1952 there were several efforts to free prices, and several devaluations
of dinar.[26]
The economical reforms were followed by the crucial turn in agricultural policy
in early 1953, when the movement toward collectivisation was reversed and the
peasants were permitted to leave the collective farms. Ever since that turn the
Yugoslav agriculture has been predominantly based on individual farming.
The law of May 1949 on People’s Committees had given greater political and
economical powers to the district, as opposed to republican or federal, levels
of government. An administrative reorganisation of local government units was
designed to strengthen them through enlargement. The existing 7,104 local
people’s committees were replaced by 3,834 communes grouped in 327 counties,
plus 24 cities without county affiliations.
Administrative decentralisation was carried further. Many of the Federal
Ministries responsible for the direct management of the economy were abolished.
In general, the number of ministries was reduced to 19 from 34.
The role of the CPY was also reformed. The 6th Congress of the CPY met in
November 1952. The redefinition of the CPY was symbolised by a change of name.
The CPY became the LCY, the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. The Resolution
and the Statute adopted by the Congress redefined the role of the Party. The
‘basic duty and role of Communists’ was ‘political and ideological work in
educating the masses.’ The LCY ‘is not and cannot be the direct operative
manager and commander in economic, State, or social life.’
The conclusions of the Law on People’s Committees and the 6th Congress of the
LCY were formally embodied in the new Constitutional Law in January 1953.
Article 3 pronounced the People’s Committees of municipalities and districts to
be ‘the basic organs of state authority’ and limited the powers of federal and
republican governments to the rights (admittedly still considerable) specified
by the Federal and Republican Constitutions.
[31]So, the devolution of economic power to the enterprises was matched by a
devolution of political power to the communes.
But as the reforms begun, the economic situation was becoming more and more
complicated. After the beginning of the economic blockade, Yugoslavia found
itself in dangerous economic situation. Tito felt bound to turn to the West
for economic aid. In late summer 1949 Yugoslavia had applied to the World
Bank and the US Export-Import Bank for credits of $250 million. The first
formal request by the Yugoslav government for American foodstuffs was made in
October 1950.
On 18 November 1950 President Truman recommended the Congress a large-scale
scheme of aid to Yugoslavia, and on 29 November, an American-Yugoslav Aid
Agreement was concluded. By the end of January 1951, the sum of American aid
had reached $17 million, with a further $35 million promised, and a further
£2 million from the British.[33]In
summer 1952 the US administration made a further $30 million credit available,
and by the end of the year Yugoslav foreign trade had again reached its total
level of 1948, with the main Western powers taking the place of the Soviet
The other result of American aid was the beginning of a pro-Western Yugoslav
foreign policy.[35] On 14 November 1950,
the US-Yugoslav agreement on the re-equipment of the Yugoslav Army was signed.
The American aid led to the boom of the Yugoslav economy which had been achieved
in party by means of a high rate of investment expenditure.
[37]But by the end of 1961 the boom had turned into recession. The growth
rate for industrial production, which had been 15% in 1960, declined to only 7%
in 1961 and an annual rate of 4% in the first half of 1962.
In January 1961 a number of economical reforms were introduced. Banks were made
more independent, dinar was devalued. But this mini-reform was unsuccessful.
[39]Yugoslav economy needed greater reforms. Yugoslavia already was living
beyond its means. In 1964 and the first half of 1965 the country was incurring
a balance-of-payments deficit at a rate of more than $200 million annually.
All these problems led to the introduction of the Economic Reform in 1965, which
had two principle aims: to make Yugoslav goods competitive in international
markets, and to modernise the economy by eliminating uneconomic investment and
production and by compelling enterprises to respond to the forces of supply and
demand.[41]The Reform had five major
1. Lower taxes;
2. the role of the state in investment allocations was henceforward to be
3. very large adjustments in product prices designed to bring relative
domestic prices designed to bring relative domestic prices closer to world
4. the dinar was devalued from 750 to 1,250 to the dollar; customs duties,
export subsidies and the range of quantative restrictions were reduced; and
Yugoslavia become a full member of GATT;
5. private peasants were given the right to buy farm machinery, and the
opportunity to obtain bank credits for this purpose.
But the immediate economic results of the Reform were minor. In the first years
of the Reform Yugoslavia was facing rapid inflation, a serious recession and
growing unemployment.[43]The major
effects of the Reform were in the sphere of banking and trade. The foreign
trade was expanded.[44]
The economic problems led to a rise of nationalism in Croatia and Slovenia. The
most productive enterprises were located in Croatia and Slovenia, and it was in
the interests of Croats and Slovenes to have a less centralised country. In
Croatia agitation for more autonomy went to the length of demands for sovereign
independence (but in Yugoslav confederation) and a separate seat in the UN.
[45]Tito’s response to the ‘national excesses’ was to force the resignation
and replacement of the highest-level Croatian leaders in December 1971. During
1972, the LCY leadership structure throughout the country underwent a major
In general, the 1970s were marked by the two major developments - the
reconciliation with the SU, and the introduction of the ‘delegate’ system by
the Constitution of 1974.
Brezhnev’s visit to Belgrade in August 1971 symbolised the end of the period of
acute suspicion. Tito returned Brezhnev’s visit in June 1972, and negotiations
were duly begun in September for the huge new Soviet credit ($1,300 million)
for the construction of new industries.[47] 
In October 1973, during a visit to Yugoslavia, Soviet Prime Minister Aleksei
Kosygin and Yugoslav Prime Minister Djemal Bijedic agree to non-interference in
internal affairs, industrial co-operation, and better understanding.
The major development in the domestic politics was the promulgation of the
new Constitution in 21 February 1974. There were three principal aims of this
1. to break down larger enterprises into smaller components;
2. to eliminate direct elections;
3. to introduce a new system of ‘voluntary social planning’.[49]
Since 1974 Yugoslavia was ruled by ‘delegates’, who were given mandates by
‘delegations’, who in turn were mandated by the voters.
Tito has proved to be a remarkable statesman, whose deliberate policies,
pragmatic leadership have enabled his country to survive great dangers and to
build a system which had no analogue.[51]
When Tito died in 1980 Yugoslavia was unique. It was the only communist neutral
in the world.[52]
The Yugoslav system differed from both the capitalist system and the Soviet-type
socialist system. On the one side there was very little private ownership of
productive assets except in agriculture; on the other there was no complete
system of central planning. Yugoslavia shared with capitalism a market economy;
and it shared with the SU a monopoly Marxist Party.
1. G.K.Bertch, ‘The Revival of Nationalisms’, in Problems of Communism,
1973, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 1-15
2. P.Calvocoressi, World Politics Since 1945 (6th ed., London and New
York: Longman, 1991)
3. K.Dawisha, Eastern Europe, Gorbachev, and Reform: The Great Challenge 
(2nd ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990)
4. R.Lowenthall, ‘Development vs.Utopia in Communist Policy’, in Ch.Johnson
(ed.), Change in Communist Systems (Stanford: Stanford University
Press, 1970), pp. 33-116
5. H.Lydall, Yugoslav Socialism: Theory and Practice (Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1984)
6. Fr.W.Neal, Titoism in Action: The Reforms in Yugoslavia after 1948 
(Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1958)
7. Fr.W.Neal and W.M.Fisk, ‘Yugoslavia: Towards a Markat Socialism’, in 
Problems of Communism, 1966, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 28-37
8. A.Z.Rubinstein, ‘Reforms, Nonalignment and Pluralism’, in Problems of
Communism, 1968, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 31-41
9. D.Rusinow, The Yugoslav Experiment 1948-1974 (London: C.Hurst & Company, 1977)
10. C.A.Zebot, ‘Yugoslavia’s “Self-Management” on Trial’, in Problems of
Communism, 1982, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 42-49
11. D.Wilson, Tito’s Yugoslavia (Cambridge, London, New York,
Melbourne:Cambridge University Press, 1979)
[1]D.Wilson, Tito’s Yugoslavia (Cambridge, London, New York, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1979), p. 33 [2]D.Rusinow, The Yugoslav Experiment 1948-1974 (London: C.Hurst & Company, 1977), p. 12 [3]D.Wilson, op. cit., p. 38 [4]D.Rusinow, op. cit., p.12 [5]D.Wilson, op. cit., p.38 [6]P.Calvocoressi, World Politics Since 1945 (6th ed., London and New York: Longman, 1991), p.266 [7]D.Rusinow, op. cit., p.22 [8]F.W.Neal, Titoism in Action: The Reforms in Yugoslavia after 1948 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1958), p. 2 [9]D.Wilson, op. cit., p. 47 [10]H.Lydall, Yugoslav Socialism: Theory and Practice (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), p. 60 [11]D.Rusinow, op. cit., p. 23 [12]P.Calvocoressi, op. cit., p. 237 [13]D.Rusinow, op. cit., p. 25 [14]Ibid., pp. 26-27 [15]H.Lydall, op. cit., pp. 61-63 [16]D.Rusinow, op. cit., p. 27 [17]D.Wilson, op. cit., p.54 [18]D.Rusinow, op. cit., p. 29 [19]H.Lydall, op. cit., p. 63 [20]D.Wilson, op. cit., pp. 63-64 [21]F.W.Neal, op. cit., p. 7 [22]Ibid. [23]Ibid., p. 8 [24]C.A.Zebot, ‘Yugoslavia’s “Self-Management” on Trial’, in Problems of Communism, 1082, vol. 3, no.2, p. 43 [25]D.Rusinow, op. cit., p. 63 [26]H.Lydall, op. cit., p. 71 [27]R.Lowenthall, ‘Development vs. Utopia in Communist Policy’, in Ch.Johnson (ed.), Change in Communist Systems (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1970), pp. 102-103 [28]D.Rusinow, op. cit., p.69 [29]K.Dawisha, Eastern Europe, Gorbachev, and Reform: The Great Challenge (2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), p. 256 [30]D.Rusinow, op. cit., pp. 74-75 [31]D.Wilson, op. cit., p.81 [32]H.Lydall, op. cit., p. 73 [33]D.Wilson, op. cit., pp. 74-75 [34]Ibid., p. 84 [35]F.W.Neal, op. cit., p.7 [36]D.Wilson, op. cit., p. 75 [37]D.Rusinow, op. cit., p. 108 [38]Ibid., p. 111 [39]H.Lydall, op. cit., p. 79 [40]A.Z.Rubinstein, ‘Reforms, Nonalignment and Pluralism’, in Problems of Communism, 1968, vol. 17, no. 2, p. 32 [41]Fr.W.Neal and W.M.Fisk, ‘Yugoslavia: Towards a Market Socialism’, in Problems of Communism, 1966, vol. 15, no. 6, p. 29 [42]H.Lydall, op. cit., pp. 81-82 [43]Ibid., p. 89 [44]Ibid., p. 90 [45]P.Calvocoressi, op. cit., p. 267 [46]G.K.Bertsch, ‘The Revival of Nationalisms’, in Problems of Communism, 1973, vol. 22, no. 6, p. 4 [47]D.Wilson, op. cit., p. 209 [48]K.Dawisha, op. cit., p. 271 [49]H.Lydall, op. cit., p. 91 [50]Ibid., p. 103 [51]D.Wilson, op. cit., p. 262 [52]P.Calvocoressi, op. cit., p. 269 [53]H.Lydall, op. cit., p. 150