Friday, January 06, 2012

Call out to people with knowledge of Yugoslavia: why objections to self-management in the '80s?

I'm reading Alexei Monroe's Interrogation Machine, about the NSK art group,that included the industrial band Laibach, and I'm a little confused about their description of late '70s, early '80s Yugoslavia as being both decentralized, self-managed, and totalitarian. The decentralized nature of Yugoslav society is emphasized over and over again by Monroe, and although it may not have been perfect, Self-Management was the official doctrine. For a perspective on this I'd like see what folks who lived in Yugoslavia at the time have to say about it, honestly and from all perspectives. Surely it didn't resemble Romania. Here's an excerpt from the Wiki article about the economy of Communist Yugoslavia, emphasizing the impact of Edvard Kardelj:

"In 1970s, the economy was reorganised according to Edvard Kardelj's theory of associated labour, in which the right to decision making and a share in profits of socially owned companies is based on the investment of labour. All companies were transformed into organisations of associated labour. The smallest, basic organisations of associated labour, was roughly corresponded to a small company or a department in a large company. These were organised into enterprises, also known as labour organisations, which in turn associated into composite organisations of associated labour, which could be large companies or even whole industry branches in a certain area. Basic organisations of associated labour sometimes were composed of even smaller labour units, but they had no financial freedom. Also, composite organisations of associated labour were sometimes members of business communities, representing whole industry branches. Most executive decision making was based in enterprises, so that these continued to compete to an extent even when they were part of a same composite organisation. The appointment of managers and strategic policy of composite organisations were, depending on their size and importance, in practice often subject to political and personal influence-peddling."

That sounds really good to me, far from the one person dictatorship and planned to the individual bolt economy usually associated with Stalinism.


Anonymous said...

It is big story...shortly tryed but never worked.I know many people in west Chomsky,occupiers go in this fantasy land.
Communist made real analysis in '85
"Kritička analiza funkcionisanje političkog sistema socijalističkog samoupravljanja",but you can't find eazy.Leftist dont publish these nasty truths ,things which say "crap",.
Basicaly conflicts are in: Planing and price fixing vs Free market and suply of goods,
individual vs social interests,Greed vs preservation,managment vs workers,loans and interest vs inflation.Real truth come up in
goal of communists and their directors.They all the time realy wanted to be ritch capitalists.System realy become absurd when owner-workers start strike against themselfs which actualy show hypocritical nature of the system.Looking back all workers has been dumb idiots including me.Check all these former communist how they change overnight,how they sell nationalism and privatisation..On the end workers ovners get stick in the botton after many sticks on the back,and all "their" factories was realy never theirs even if all trumped that to be without question.

Anonymous said...

And if you want deep information for workers self managment and system first hand from 1962 to 1996 send me yahoo mesage on slodok

John Madziarczyk said...

I thank you for your feedback, so self management failed because there were still divisions between workers and directors, with the directors wanting to get rich?

It seems like the idea of the "New Class" by Milovan Djilas, of course also from Yugoslavia

Anonymous said...

No...that become the result... directors vs workers where power went to directors.State and revolution by Lenin say ..if we all become bureaucrats by same rate no one will be bureaucrat.Rubbish...people are different and there is no evolution in human etics and will never be socialistic
altruism inplanted in biology.You cant make with social policy genetic changes
Personal individual interest is the only real one.
Libertarians get this right 100%.Their problem is ancenstral property rights which expand interest beyond life of individual.

Aleksandar Krzavac said...

Unfortunately, workers selfmanagemement system in former communist Yugoslavia, that had many positive elements is not given proper place in theory and practice. There is nobody, on the face of the Earth, including countries derived from former Yugoslavia, who, today, pay any attention to workers selfmanagement in 70s and 80s last century, except as an negative example of negative experiment of Edvard Kardelj and Josip Broz Tito.
It is good mocking topic for today youngsters,from whom most will never rich economic standard of living of their fathers and grandfathers who participated in selfmanagement. Today, here in Serbia, we have some sort of neoliberal "Cowboy Economy", that was dominant in US in 19th century. All decions are on CEOs, company owners and, of course, politicians who are their servants. Ordinary workers,even skilled employees, who have university degree, are not asked anything. Their duty is just to blindly follow and execute CEO orders. I think that ALL employees have some contribution to company gains, not only CEOs and managers, so they should be asked in making company decisions. That's logic, isn't it. Media here in Serbia, Region and worldwide contributed very much people foget this issue. Although, that is politically acceptable,I am not sure that is good.