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TITLE:             Yugoslav Communists Criticized for "New Class" Practices
BY:                S. S.
DATE:              1963-10-25
COUNTRY:           Yugoslavia

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Radio Free Europe/Munich
Non-Target Communist Area Analysis Department
Background Information Yugoslavia

25 October 1963


A Djilas-type criticism of "individual Communists" in
Yugoslavia was recently brought up by the Party weekly Komunist. An
article in the October 10 issue, entitled "The Morals and Practices
of Communists," revealed that "the deformation of the moral
personality of Communists has today become neither insignificant nor an
infrequent phenomenon."

Even though the author of the article, Zhika Berisavljevic, 
is a rather unknown Party theoretician, the fact that his article
was published on the ideological page of Komunist indicates that it
was inspired from above. This, in turn, places limits on
Berisavljevic's criticism, completely excluding -- contrary to
Djilas' attacks -- the top echelons of the Party. Still, beyond the
anonymity of "certain Comrades," and in spite of the generalization
of the sins which, of course, are to be solved by the Party, the
spirit of Djilas can clearly be felt. After Djilas' book appeared
in 1957, the Yugoslav leaders sharply denied all his charges,
terming them "sheer inventions." In the past six years, however,
Tito and his colleagues have had to intervene several times in order
to prevent excesses among Party members. Of course, the Party's
examination of Communist morality in Yugoslavia has never been as
deep as Djilas', but the spirit of the imprisoned former number two
man in Belgrade has always been present.

It seems that Yugoslavia's "creative furthering" of
Marxism-Leninism continues to produce "bourgeois habits." What has actually
happened we can now see from Berisavljevic's article in Komunist:
"It is precisely in the course of the last few
years -- as a negative by-product of the development of
socialist democracy -- that the tendency toward an
ever-increasing deformation of the morals of Communists has
become visible. This has gone so far that in certain
quarters and in the course of certain phases of our social
development, that this deformation has started to be the
source of serious disturbances which have had very harmful
consequences for the strengthening of socialist construction
and for the moral-political reputation of the League of
Communists of Yugoslavia. In essence, this moral deformation
of individual members of the League of Communists actually
means their falling down to the positions of past morality,
most frequently the morality of the bureaucratic and
bourgeois type."

[page 2]

Berisavljevic's article becomes even more significant if one
realizes that only recently the Yugoslavs ridiculed a Chinese 
accusation published in the People's Daily and Red Flag[1] which
condemned the egoistic appetites of a small clique in Yugoslavia.
From Berisavljevic's article we now see that this clique is not
necessarily that small, although it does not include people whom
the Chinese would like to see branded. According to Djilas, even
the existence of people who have special privileges and economic
preferences "because of the administrative monopoly they hold" makes
the Party grow weaker." In Djilas' opinion, "this is the inescapable
fate of every Communist Party in power."[2]
Communists Leading "High Life"

Let us now see what Berisavljevic has to object to in the
behavior of "certain Communists." He says:

"In the first place, one should point out
the efforts being made by certain members of the League 
of Communists of Yugoslavia to enrich themselves; to
emphasize their mad race for earning money, to their
endeavor to lead a light, extravagant life and to lead --
if one takes into consideration our conditions -- a'high

These Communists, according to Berisavljevic, "have adopted
bourgeois ideals and manners," and, using their positions in society,
"rapaciously take extremely high salaries, build private houses, and
enjoy undeserved privileges." Then the Yugoslav theoretician said:

"In certain, although rare quarters, all
this has assumed such proportions that the Communists have
started to evaluate each other according to the sum of
money they earn, according to the living standard they
enjoy, etc..."

Berisavljevic does not hide the fact that corruption is
blooming and that people "enter the Party exclusively with aim of
getting the Party ticket...which enables them to achieve their own
career and realize ambitions which are not supported by
corresponding personal abilities."

What medicine does Berisavljevic propose? First of all, he
thinks that "in practice, one should explain more precisely what
should be understood by the term 'the right of Communists to their
own private life'..." Usually the Communists defend each other with
the expression: "This is the comrade's private business." This is
not correct, the Yugoslav theoretician says, because it has deprived
the Communists of their revolutionary essence. Therefore, one must
allow full criticism of everything that individual Communists are
doing, so that new and progressive socialist morals may be created.


1 The article, entitled "Is Yugoslavia a Socialist Country?"
appeared in the People's Daily and Red Flag on 26 Setpember 1963. See
also NTA Newsbackgrounder of September 27 -- "Chinese View On Tito's
Road To Socialism."

2 Milovan Djilas: The New Class, Praeger 1957, New York, pp..39-40.

[page 3]

Although Berisavljevic did not say it, the problem of socialist
morality in Yugoslavia today is of great, importance. The fact that
other East European countries have slowly but steadily started
opening their borders and letting their people visit both Western
countries and Yugoslavia, makes it necessary for the Yugoslav leaders
to remove the most serious excesses in Yugoslav everyday life, so
that Tito's Yugoslavia will be seen as an unblemished example of
progressive communism.


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