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2022, vol. 56, iss. 1, pp. 120-140
Marx's and Engels' attitude towards the national question
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Sociology

emailstefan.mandic@f.bg.ac.rs
Abstract
The main aim of this paper is to determine how Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels treated the national question. Proclaiming the class as the main historical player, Marx and Engels used to pass easily over the importance of a nation's player potential. However, practical-political reasons forced them to deal with topics related to the nation. First of all, they were aware of the explosive power of nationalism and because it could significantly influence the initiation of social revolution, but also its inhibition. Due to this fact, it was important for them to make the most of their political activities, but also to control the strength of the national feeling of different peoples. One could say that Marx's and Engels's attitude towards the nation was instrumental, i.e. it was seen as a potential tool in the revolutionary struggle. Marx and Engels described the peoples they perceived as the bearers of social revolution as a positive and progressive social force. On the other hand, Marx and Engels treated peoples who had a "reactionary historical role" with contempt and denied their right to exist.

An overview of Marx’s and Engels’ thought

In their attempt to scientifically discover patterns of historical evolution of mankind, Marx and Engels based their dialectical method on a high level of abstraction, to which they added concrete historical analyses. This allowed them to gain insights into major tendencies in the development of capitalism of the future, regardless of the fact that they lived in times in which industrial capitalism was just in its initial stages and when feudalistic relations were still characteristic of a large portion of Europe.

The main feature of their thought was materialism, which developed as a reaction to Georg Wilhelm Hegel’s idealistic teachings, according to which ideas were all major drives of historical changes. They took Hegel’s dialectics, turned it upside down and concluded that historical evolution of mankind was conditional upon materialist reality (activities carried out by people for the purpose of satisfying their basic needs in life, rather than ideas). What results from such a view is their economic determinism, according to which the production sphere (material basis) has a crucial impact on all other social spheres, such as legal relations, system of government, culture (spiritual development)1. Closely related to economic determinism is technological determinism, according to which the character of a means of production (technology) also determines the character of production relations (social relationships entered into by people for the purpose of satisfying their existential needs)2. From a joint impact of the means of production and production relations, which form economic basis, the type of spiritual development derives. With the development of production means, all production relations become too narrow, so there is a historical need to establish new ones which change the spiritual development over time and following which they establish a new socio-historical system3.

A different name for those groups is “classes”4 and according to Marx and Engels, they are the key players on the historical stage of mankind. The classes may be defined as groups whose positions are different based on production means (Haralambos & Holborn, 2002, p. 33), which conditions their place in production relations and shapes their material interests. To Marx, “the history of every society today is a history of the class struggle (Marx & Engels, 2009, p. 30) between those who possess production means, and therefore exploit, and those who do not possess production means, and are therefore exploited. The class struggle is permanent, it is sometimes more sometimes less covert, but it becomes general and complete only when previous production relations become far too narrow for newly developed production means and when the previous ruling classes are replaced by the new classes that are the heralds of new production relations. This gives rise to revolutions and creates new socio-historical systems. Until now, in Marx’s and Engels’ view, there have been three main types of socio-economic forms – slavery, feudalism (in which the higher classes expropriated excesses of products made by the exploited) (Marx & Engels, 1974, pp. 20–21) and capitalism (in which the higher classes expropriate excess values created by the working classes’ labour (Marx, 1974, pp. 178–179).

Just like bourgeoisie, which was born and nurtured by feudal society and its ruling class of aristocracy and once the development of production means is no longer able to tolerate too narrow capitalist relationships, the working classes will become the “gravedigger” of capitalism in the same manner (Marx & Engels, 2009, pp. 48-49). Nevertheless, the role of the working class, according to Marx and Engels, is not only to oust capitalism but also, through its own battles, to deteriorate the very relationship within a class society, annihilate both itself as well as the capitalist class, and then create communism, a society of truly free, equal, and no longer alienated people (Marx & Engels, 1974, p. 34). In Marx’s and Engels’ view, irrespective of the working class becoming the “gravedigger” of the capitalist class and capitalism, one could say that the capitalist class, due to its continuous need to develop production means (which is not the case with the previous ruling classes that aspired to maintain production means at the same developmental level for as long as possible) digs its own grave into which it will inevitably be thrown (Marx & Engels, 2009, pp. 48-49).

Marx’s and Engels’ approach to the nation

Besides their theoretical work, Marx and Engels were also involved in practical-political activities of the 19th century socialist movement5. As young activists, they were extremely displeased with the state of affairs in Europe in the 1840s. Even though it was almost fifty years after the French Revolution, earlier aristocratic forces were still deeply rooted in the political-economic systems of the continent. Although they were fiercely opposed to capitalism, they thought that liberal bourgeoisie should be supported in every part of Europe in which it fought for the elimination of what remained of the old feudal order. This position stemmed from the fact that, according to them, a socialist revolution might be established only in societies with capitalist relations which are as developed as possible, rather than in societies where the combinations of old feudal and new capitalist relationships existed (Marx & Engels, 2009, 80).

Marx and Engels believe that the strongholds of the obsolete feudal order of the time were in the Habsburg Monarchy and the Imperial Russia. Therefore, despite having declared the class as the main historical player, they were highly interested in national-liberation movements of those peoples whose independence would significantly weaken the two empires.

Dissatisfaction with the surviving feudal relations was not only a feature of Marx and Engels but was also characteristic of a substantial portion of population throughout the European continent. On the one hand, bourgeoisie, led by the idea of liberalism, aspired to create a modern civil society and state, which would allow it to accomplish its social interests without any impediments. On the other hand, the ever-increasing working classes, led by democratic radicalism and socialism, demanded a general right to vote and better working conditions. These common strivings in the year of 1848 for a short while brought together the proletariat and bourgeoisie in an alliance whose objective was to deal with the remnants of the previous feudal order and its main representative, the aristocracy (Hobsbawm, 2000, pp. 297-307).

Marx and Engels were thrilled by the revolution that had broken out in France and soon spread throughout the continent, because they believed that the revolution, with its aspirations to destroy feudal society and to create a purely capitalist society, was only a step forward towards stages that would inevitably ensue, and which were to bring mankind closer to socialism. This is why they pointed out that the working class always had to fight together with “the bourgeoisie [whenever it] made revolutionary moves against an absolute monarchy, feudal land ownership and petty bourgeoisie” (Marx & Engels, 2009, p. 80).

An important feature of the 1848 Revolution was strengthening and intensive activities of various national liberation movements. In the context of those times, nationalism was a progressive idea because for the purpose of creating a modern national state, it was necessary to confront old feudal relations. This aspect was identified by Marx and Engels, hence their strong support for the national movements. However, their support was not endless. They supported only those peoples and national movements which they believed to be “historically progressive”. In their view, such national movements were the Hungarian, Polish, German, Italian and Irish ones. Hungarian and Italian revolutionaries were “progressive” because with their activities aimed at national liberation they undermined the Habsburg Monarchy, Russia and at that time still feudal Prussia. The Irish revolutionaries fought against Great Britain, which also stood strongly in favour of maintaining old relations in Europe, while the German national movement was thought progressive because instead of 39 small German states, they demanded that a modern, united Germany be created (Connor, 1984, p. 15; Marx & Engels, 8/2010a, pp. 227–235; Marx & Engels, 8/2010b, pp. 367; 373–378; Marx & Engels, 43/1988, pp. 390–391).

In their writings between 1847 and 1849, Marx and especially Engels highly praised the said national movements. For example, in his article The Magyar Struggle, which was published in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (the New Rhenish Newspaper) Engels pointed out that “of all nations and Austrian subnations, there were only three standard-bearers of progress who took an active role in history and who were still capable to live – Germans, Poles and Hungarians” (Marx & Engels, 8/2010a, p. 230) and that therefore these nations were truly revolutionary. Since historically progressive peoples were on the right course of direction of mankind, according to Engels, they must brutally do away with all those reactionary, savage and retrograde peoples who stand in the way of progress. Accordingly, during the war which resulted from the 1848 Revolution, Engels anticipated that the “next world war will not cause only the reactionary classes to be obliterated from the face of the earth, but whole reactionary nations as well (Marx& Engels, 8/2010a, p. 238).

The question now is what nations are reactionary. Primarily, small Slavic peoples who at the time fought for their own independence, and they pointed out Imperial Russia as paramount European reaction because it acted protective of such small Slavic peoples and fostered their dreams of independence by insisting on Pan-Slavism, which to Engels was the most retrograde ideology of the time. In his article Democratic Pan-Slavism, Engels notes that “hatred of the Russians was and still is the primary revolutionary passion among the Germans” and that it is a “suitable response to sentimental phrases of brotherhood which are offered by the most counter-revolutionary peoples of Europe” (Marx & Engels, 8/2010b, p. 378). What hides behind a radical-democratic cloak of Pan-Slavism, according to Engels, are the most reactionary imperial strivings of Imperial Russia, hence this ideology had to be done away with. He insisted that at the Prague Slav Conference of 1848, the platitudes of justice, equality and brotherhood actually were hidden behind the darkest striving of Russian tsarism and Habsburg despotism. The few truly radical Slavic democrats, he believed, were naïve because they failed to see that the idea of the freedom of small Slavic nations was not tenable (Marx & Engels, 8/2010b, pp. 364–365; 374).

In Democratic Pan-Slavism Engels claimed that Slav peoples’ freedom was impossible primarily because it was in contradiction of the “straight line” in which mankind moved historically. Relying on Hegel’s idea6, he concluded that it was impossible for peoples without a slightly significant history of statehood to be truly politically free. This is why some individuals belonging to small, dependent Slavic peoples could form part of world history only if they blended into the large statehood thinking peoples, who are at a higher civilisation level. He also wrote that “Poles, Russians and, to a degree, the Slavs under Turkish rule excluded, no Slavic people had future due to a simple reason that the Slavs lack primary historical, geographical, political and industrial conditions for independence as well as ability to live”. Mainly because “peoples who did not have a history of their own, who from the times when they reached the basic, elementary levels of civilisation, were already under a foreign influence or they were forced into reaching the basic levels of civilisation only through a foreign yoke, and are therefore untenable and will never succeed in accomplishing any form of independence (Marx & Engels, 8/2010b, p. 367).

Of all the Slavs, Austrian Slavs were at the lowest level and they, as Engels noted in the Democratic Pan-Slavism, had hardly any chance of gaining independence. Engels found the Croats and Czechs particularly revolting and believed them to be utterly unimportant and non-historic peoples. He described the Croats as complete savages, who faithfully served the Austrian imperial crown throughout Europe and who were notorious for atrocities they committed. He thought the Czechs would have been better off if completely germanised and whatever civilisation legacy they had, it was thanks to the fact that they were under German rule. As for the Serbs and Bulgarians, he also called them savages who did not have much chance of any significant contribution to world history because the former were so engrossed in their fight against the Turks whereas the latter were engrossed in serving the Turks (Marx & Engels, 8/2010b, pp. 367–371). According to Engels, the Balkan Slavs stood slim chance to join the group of historic peoples but nevertheless their chances were higher than those of the Austrian Slavs. This is why he on principle supported the idea of creating an independent Slavic and Christian empire in the Balkans, provided that in geopolitical terms it was anti-Russian, i.e., that it declared itself as “enemies of Russia [the tsar] […] without allowing Russia to ever capture Constantinople (Šutović, 2019, p. 474).

Besides the above-mentioned nations, among non-historic nations he included to a greater or lesser extent the Slovaks, Moravians, Slovenians, Romanians and Ruthenians7 (Marx & Engels, 8/2010b, pp. 367-371). His works from that period had an abundance of views on how to deal with these non-historic peoples. Accordingly, in The Magyar Struggle, he wrote that a “bloody revenge should be exacted on Slav barbarians” and these “these small pig-headed peoples should be destroyed until they are fully obliterated” (Marx & Engels, 8/2010b, p. 238). Also, at the end of his article Democratic Pan-Slavism he concludes that “there will be a fight, relentless fight of life and death with those Slavs who betray revolution; destructive fights and merciless terror, not only in the interests of Germany but also in the interests of revolution9 “ (Marx & Engels, 8/2010b, p. 378)8.

What was, according to Engels, the essence of reactionary small East Slavic peoples? Specifically, because by striving for political independence for which the majority of them did not “meet” elementary historic prerequisites, they were prepared to collaborate with the Habsburg Monarchy and the Russian Empire. In this manner, they suppressed national movements of the “progressive peoples”, which movements surged as a result of the 1848 Revolution, and consequently they extended the obsolete feudalism in Europe (Connor, 1984, pp. 13-17). Engels believed that for such betrayal of the revolution they had to be brutally punished and eradicated from the historical stage. Engels connected the strongest anti-revolutionary and reactionary activities with the Austrian Slavs, who, by opposing aggressive Hungarian nationalism, actually stood in defence of the Viennese imperial court.

What is important to establish here is what had influenced Engels to form such a view. As it has already been noted, Engels, despite the fact that he and Marx had turned Hegel’s philosophy upside down, he still accepted Hegel’s distinction between historic and non-historic peoples (Hegel, 1989, p. 462), of which the former were entitled to liberty and the latter were not. He also used this distinction to explain, in the view of the author of this paper not very objectively, the events that ensued once the 1848 Revolution broke out. In addition to this, what influenced the shaping of his view was his wish for feudal society to collapse as soon as possible in order for conditions for forming a capitalist system to be created, consequently communist society at some point down the road. Engels mentioned certain nations as potential movers of capitalist development, while he thought others were an impediment to it. One could easily say that he was never entirely freed of German nationalism since he believed that the development of German capitalism and industry would be the real driving force that would lead Europe and the world to a new, modern age.

In addition to all this, it is worth pointing out that Engels was an offspring of his times and that he shared similar views, misconceptions and hopes with other thinkers whose intellectual foundation arose from ideas of the French Revolution. What was mainly typical of him was his understanding that evolution of history was unilinear9, i.e., that entire mankind had to go through the same developmental stages, although some parts of it did it more quickly and some more slowly. The rate at which one part of mankind evolves should not be hampered by slower parts of mankind. In fact, a more progressive part of the world has a duty and responsibility to drive those who lag behind even if it had to be done by fire and sword.

Interestingly enough, although Engels was a radical thinker, he failed to abandon the frameworks of thinking which prevailed in his time, those same frameworks which served to justify colonialism, imperialism, aggressive expansionism and exploitation ways of the most powerful players in the world of the time. Attention to this paragraph is also drawn by Immanuel Wallerstein in his book After Liberalism. Namely, he also notes that Marxism, despite essentially being an anti-system movement, still failed to completely abandon the framework of system-based thinking (Wallerstein, 1995, 48-52). In our view, one of the foundations of this way of thinking was the view that peoples who did not meet a certain group of “historic prerequisites” did not deserve political independence to begin with. This fact is mentioned by Eric Hobsbawm in his book Nations and Nationalism since 1780 where he noted that the generally prevailing view throughout most of the 19th century was that “self-determination of a nation applied only to those who were able to live: in cultural and most certainly economic terms (whatever this ability to live means)” (Hobsbawm, 1996, p. 41). It is necessary to point out that in his views Engels expressed a great deal of ethnocentrism and absence of understanding for the other, and sometimes even open chauvinism which he justified with the inevitabilities of historic development. An appalling fact is that he expressed these views in a very brutal and insensitive manner, whereby he dehumanised entire groups of people. What we should mention in this relation is that a prevailing negative sentiment of Marx and Engels towards the South Slavs was frequently kept under wraps by Yugoslav socialist authors10. For example, the Yugoslav politician and philosopher Stipe Šuvar in his book Socialism and the Nation at the very end of the chapter which deals with Marx’s and Engels’ approach to the national question only mildly mentions their negative sentiment towards the South Slavs and attempts to justify their chauvinism with its historic inevitability.

“From today’s point of view, it would be ridiculous to be angry with Marx and Engels for not having a flattering view of small nations in the Southeast and East of Europe and for failing to see, under the then specific historical circumstances of the development of capitalism and, under its wing, development of the proletariat as its gravedigger in Europe and the world, and for simply failing to see the place of these small nations in history (Šuvar, 1988, pp. 42-43).

Regardless of the fact that due to certain practical-political needs and ethnocentric misconceptions Marx and Engels supported and glorified certain nations, whereas they treated others with utmost contempt, it is still important to note that generally speaking they did express an internationalist view, according to which as the world continues to evolve, a sense of national belonging will become decreasingly important, and it will be replaced by the unity of entire mankind. They believed that the development of capitalism would be a force which would increasingly close the gap between nations, and accordingly they pointed out in their Communist Manifesto that “national separations and opposites among nations will be vanishing by the day but also with the development of the bourgeoisie, free trade, world market, uniformity of industrial production and suited relationships in life” (Marx & Engels, 2009, p. 58).

Nevertheless, this position was often in contradiction with the reality surrounding them. It was even during their time that nationalism became a growingly significant and prevalent ideology, despite the development and strengthening of capitalism. This led to their position of relationships between nations becoming slightly more complicated, which is very apparent in Marx’s consideration of the Irish-British conflict during the 19th century. Namely, while analysing this example, he in part noticed that the working classes in the world were not entirely united and that they were frequently torn due to national aspects. Since a strong national movement in Ireland already existed and it fought to achieve the objective of this state leaving the union with Britain, there was a strong hostility to the Irish among British population. Additionally, this hostility was rooted in the English working class whose members treated badly Irish workers, because they identified themselves with the imperial power and prestige of Great Britain, often demonstrating a sense of superiority over Irish people. Concerned by this fact, Marx warned that the “English working class will never be able to do anything ground-breaking here in England before it definitely separates its view from the view of the ruling classes, and not only declaratively proclaim its joint goal with the Irish but in fact take initiative in destroying the Union which was formed in 1801”. He also notes that “this must not be done out of sympathy for the Irish but as a requirement which is in line with interests of the English proletariat.” Should this fail to happen, “the English proletariat will permanently remain tied with the chains of the ruling classes because it will be forced to join their common front against Ireland” (Marx & Engels, 43/1988, pp. 390-391).

This example of the relationship between the Irish and English working class shows how disunited the working classes may be, as a result of them being instrumentalised through nationalism. Still, an important question to ask here is whether certain objective conditions already disunite various parts of the working class, due to which nationalism shows this disunity only at an ideological level. Namely, although the English working class was in a poor material condition during the 19th century and even though it was exploited, it still held higher positions compared to the poor Irish who did the lowest of jobs in Britain and got paid less. Perhaps hatred by the English working class arose specifically from the fact that various stages of Irish colonisation had an influence on the overall reduction in average labour pay and consequently deterioration of the English working class’s position.

In this regard, it is also important to mention here Wallerstein’s view according to which there is not a single world working class. Instead, with the division of labour in the world, various portions of the world workforce, often based on their ethnicity and other features, they hold different positions in the world hierarchy. Hatred by the working class in the centres of the working classes in the periphery or semi-periphery in fact has the role of justifying its privileged position (Wallerstein, 2005, str. 52–60). One can only assume that this hatred got especially stronger with different waves of migration from the semi-periphery and periphery states to the central ones, when a somewhat better position of the central states’ working class is threatened. When seeing things from this point of view, we can critically consider the position of classical Marxism, according to which there is a single, unified working class in the world, which due to increasing similarities in living conditions becomes even more united, irrespective of national obstacles (Marx & Engels, 1974, p. 34; Marx & Engels, 2009, p. 58). Increasing differences11, rather than similarities, between various parts of the working class in the world has a beneficial effect on the reproduction of world capitalist system. Due to this fact, the author of this paper is of the opinion that one of the basic postulates of classical Marxism, which is relative to the inevitability of united action of the world working class, is unfounded and that nationalism of the oppressed societies is the best manner of fighting against the domination of central exploiter states.

Conclusion

Although Engels justified his sense of hatred towards the Slavs with them, allegedly, representing a reactionary historic force, we believe that the causes of his hatred are much deeper. In addition to epoch awareness of the Europeans of the time, to which Engels belonged, being characterises by a unilinear view of social evolution, its additional feature was pronounced Russophobia and, connected to it, Slavophobia, which as a coherent thought-emotional concept was created in Great Britain in the early 19th century, as a result of initial stages of the geopolitical conflict between Great Britain and the Russian Empire (Gleason, 1950, pp. 1-50).

Although Marx did not deal with the national question in as much detail as Engels did, it is evident from their correspondence that Marx supported Engels’ positions. In situations when they did not approach the national question with an extremely negative sentiment, as was the case with Slavic nations, Marx and Engels analysed the question of nation in a rather cold and instrumental manner. In cases when nationalism, as assessed by themselves, lead to the development of capitalism, and consequently communism, they supported nationalism, whereas in other cases, when they believed that nationalism hindered social development, they were against it. Their Machiavellian approach to the national question is reflected in their absence of readiness to support national liberation of non-European nations of the colonial yoke because, according to them, colonisation, despite being utterly brutal, was necessary because with it in tow were capitalism, progress, and “civilisation”.

Such an instrumental approach to nation later became typical of a wider Marxist movement. The Bolsheviks used instrumentalization of the question of national self-determination to come to power in Russia. Yugoslav communists behaved in exactly the same manner. Although such an instrumentalist approach to nation allowed communist movements to accomplish their pragmatic political objective, essential neglecting of the player potential of the nation compared to the player potential of the class was many a time cause of splitting headaches to the communists, especially when they ruled multinational states. Hence, the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia cannot be entirely comprehended unless we take into account inadequate manner of understating the national question and its historic potential, which dominates the Marxist doctrine.

Endnotes

1“In social production of their life, people enter certain necessary relationships, which are involuntary and independent of production, and which are compatible with a certain developmental level of their material production forces. The entirety of those production-based relationships forms the economic structure of society, a real basis on which legal and political aspects are built, and with which certain forms social awareness are compatible. The manner of producing material life conditions the process of social, political, and spiritual life in general.” (Marx, 1969)
2“The hand-mill gives you a society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill a society with the industrial capitalist.”(Marx, 1977, p. 61)
3“At a certain level of this development, material production forces of society are in contradiction with the existing production relations or, which is merely a legal term for this, with the ownership relations within which they evolved until that point[...] With a change of the economic basis, there will be a slower of swifter overthrow of the entire huge structure.” (Marx, 1969)
4“While producing, people have an impact not only on nature but on one another as well. They produce only by working together in a certain manner and exchanging their work among themselves. In order to produce, they enter certain mutual relationships and relations but they will impact nature, products only within the bounds of such social relations and relationships.” (Marx, 1947, p. 12)
5Marx and Engels were actively involved in engagement journalism by writing propaganda pieces for wider masses, of which the most popular is The Communist Manifesto, organising the international workingmen’s association and by participating in forming of the First International, etc.
6According to Hegel, in each historical epoch there is one nation whose responsibility is to elevate the spirit of the world. Hegel, therefore, denotes such nation as the “ruling one” and “compared to its absolute right to be the bearer … of developmental level of the spirit of the world, the spirits of other peoples are without this right”, those people’s that in “world history… do not mean anything any longer” (Hegel, 1989, p. 462).
7Foreign term for Eastern Slavs (ed. note).
8Karl Marx also had an extremely negative sentiment towards the Slavs. Accordingly, he claimed that “there is just one alternative in Europe: to subject ourselves to the barbarian shackles of the Slavs or to definitively destroy the centre of this hostile force – Russia”, while he called the South Slavs a “counter-revolutionary sort and the sore of Europe”. (Marx, according to Milošević, 2019, pp. 220–221)
9Although in the majority of his books he expressed a unilinear view of the development of the world, in his piece Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations, Marx presented a somewhat different view, according to which various pre-capitalist social formations developed as a result of different stratification processes of classical antiquity, Germanic and Asian tribal communities. In short, slavery was created with the stratification of the classical antiquity tribal community, feudalism was as a result of stratification of Germanic tribal community, whereas the survival of the non-stratified Asian tribal community conditioned specific Asian economic formations (Marx, 1977).
10Regardless of Marx’s and Engels’ negative sentiment towards the Serbs and Bulgarians, we could say that they held them in higher regard than the Croats, by whom they were openly repulsed. This was probably an unpalatable fact to Yugoslav communists, whose national policies were based mainly on anti-Serbian and pro-Croatian views. When Sima Marković was banished from the Communist Party in 1929, the fraction of communists who advocated the survival of Yugoslavia (Marković, 1923) was defeated. A year before this, a thesis was already established at the Dresden Congress according to which the alleged great-Serbian chauvinism could be beaten only with a breakup of Yugoslavia and by creating four independent republics (Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro), while Kosovo would be annexed by Albania and substantial parts of Vojvodina by Hungary (Pleterski et al., 1985). At the Dresden Congress, the concept of a Montenegrin nation as being separate and separated from the Serbian nation was promoted for the first time. In order to achieve the breakup of Yugoslavia, Yugoslav communists in the early 1930s were even prepared to work together with the Ustasha and VMRO. Since 1932, the policy of breaking up Yugoslavia was gradually being replaced by the policy of the People’s Front and the idea of creating a loose Yugoslav federation or confederation (Banac, 1988, pp. 63-65), whose gist could be best described with the slogan “weak Serbia, strong Yugoslavia”. This idea was fully materialised in 1972 with the amendments to the Constitution and the 1974 Constitution.
11According to the economist Branko Milanović, in the last two centuries capitalism was characterised by an increase in states’ inequalities, rather than their decrease (Milanović, 2016, pp. 119-120).

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About

article language: Serbian, English
document type: Review Paper
DOI: 10.5937/socpreg56-35345
received: 10/12/2021
revised: 23/02/2022
accepted: 23/03/2022
published in SCIndeks: 29/04/2022
peer review method: double-blind
Creative Commons License 4.0

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