Not quite short enough to be reused easily, and not quite long enough to be a novel. Any overly-long greentext can go here too, I guess.On Technodefeatismhttps://tanketterambles.wordpress.com/2021/09/29/on-technodefeatism/
>I’ve noticed in the past few years that there’s a trend among both libertarian socialist types and even supposed ‘anarchists’ which I’ve come to call “technodefeatism”. Broadly, the tenants of technodefeatism are as follows 1. Revolution is not coming, 2. Technological advances in fields like automation will soon bring about a post-scarcity society 3. Therefore, our goal should be to make things livable until that post-scarcity society comes about through things like environmental protection and social welfare. Technodefeatism is a cancerous trend that must be catalogued and extirpated as it tempts discouraged activists away from revolutionary activity and towards lethargy. I’ll attempt here to outline the tendency and give some thoughts on how best to combat it.
>This pessimism on its own is familiar to most people on the left. It’s what’s known as ‘doomerism’; a sort of intense, all-encompassing pessimism regarding the future. Technodefeatism goes further than mere doomerism, though, because it purports to offer a solution. This solution is to do… nothing! That’s the beauty of technodefeatism: it doesn’t require any major change from the status quo. It doesn’t ask anything of us; it doesn’t require us to risk anything. It presents itself as an inevitability; as a ‘safe bet’ (as opposed to the very unsafe bet of armed struggle).
>This confidence comes from its adherence to a principle which is, at its core, liberal in origin. Namely, that capitalism spurs innovation which leads us inexorably towards greater progress. The main focus of technodefeatism is automation and robotics technology, although AI plays a role in some technodefeatist thinking. The idea is that as capitalist society moves towards greater and greater automation, the need for wage labor will slowly dissolve given the availability of cheaper robotic labor. Because nobody needs to work anymore, and because capitalists no longer need to extract surplus value from humans to profit, we will be able to live in a world of consumption without (human) labor. Sometimes this is even put in Marxist terms, that the rate of profit will fall to near-zero given advances in automation technology. Subsequently, the thinking goes, capitalism will ‘wither away’ as it no longer fits this new automated mode of production.
>Given that we’re on track for a post-scarcity utopia in the minds of technodefeatists, what ought we to do now? Invariably, they concede that environmental degradation is a big concern and could put a damper on their dreams of indefinite progress. For this reason, they will support legislation (yes, though the bourgeois state) to create environmental safeguards and limit the harm of capitalism as best they can before the new mode of production is upon us. In keeping with this ‘minimizing harm’ mentality, they usually advocate for things like universal healthcare and welfare expansion. To make things easier until the new age dawns, you understand.
>Reader, you have probably already noticed that this is a very familiar set of political goals. This is straight out of the social liberal playbook. Welfare expansion, environmental protections, and investment into private-sector technological research? You’d struggle to find a disagreement between a technodefeatist and a typical liberal. The difference lies solely in the framing of the issue. Whereas the core of liberal reformism is patrician noblesse oblige, the core of technodefeatism is a desperation to escape their soul-crushing pessimism. A technodefeatist would likely say “yes I would support a revolution if it happened, but it never will”. A liberal of course would oppose revolution on principle.
>Here we can finally see the true nature and purpose of technodefeatism: to draw disillusioned and pessimistic leftists towards serving liberal ends without requiring them to fundamentally change their worldview. The technodefeatist doesn’t have to renounce Marx, or renounce revolution. They don’t have to denounce their anarchism or hatred of capitalism. All they have to do is accept a couple of premises that bourgeois propaganda already primes us to accept.
>The technodefeatist is a travesty of a revolutionary. They profess their Marxist ideals while making the case–using the vocabulary of a revolutionary–for campaigning on behalf of bourgeois politicians to pass reforms that they know are doomed to fail.
>As we’ve seen, technodefeatism stems from ‘doomerism’, that crushing pessimism felt by many a leftist. In order to combat technodefeatism, then, it stands to reason that we ought to focus on morale and revolutionary optimism. There are many ways to do this, of course, and perhaps I’ll go into them in further detail later. Just by way of example I’ll say that publicizing actions and talking openly about real wins that we’ve made (however small they might seem) do wonders to combat this pessimism. It’s harder to sit in a corner and sulk when comrades in your community are out fighting the good fight.
>Another way to combat technodefeatism is by questioning its assumptions, in particular the assumption that automation under capitalism will lead to a better society (let alone a post-scarcity one). The capitalist class, for all its moral failings, is not stupid. They will seek to maintain their wealth, power and influence no matter the cost. The utopia of technodefeatist imaginations may not be as idyllic as they make it out to be. In particular, the most vulnerable part of their analysis is the idea that capitalism could ever ‘wither away’ due to advancements in production. This tenant is just sort of taken for granted by technodefeatists; they imagine a smooth transition from the hellish world we have now into the post-scarcity utopia. This is more unrealistic than any prospect of revolution. Automation will increase the contradictions capitalism as it develops further, and there is no reason to think that this will be a painless process. Nor is there reason to think that automation will necessarily develop into a post-scarcity society rather than one of intensified exploitation and widespread misery. Undermining the supposed inevitability of the technodefeatist argument should be a key focus.
>Technodefeatism is a rising trend in the left. It threatens to turn disillusioned activists into the willing servants of the status quo while making them think they’re furthering the cause of the working class. We must consciously combat this trend; we ignore it at our own peril.
That is a very good portmanteau of the issue, cool
Why was Yugoslavian communism more effective and stable than other socialist regimes?
First of, the Communist party of Yugoslavia was not a massive party until 1940-41 (party due that it was partly banned after 1921 election when it reached 3rd place and scared the ruling class). Starting with king Alexander's dictatorship, the local party organisations were almost completely destroyed, the leaders went into exile abroad and restoration started only in 1934. Yugoslavia was under the dictatorship of King Alexander since 1929 and until his death (he was assassinated in Marseilles in 1934). Before and after that the Yugoslav "democratic" system was weak. For example the elections after 1934 looked like this: the voter came to the polling station where he had to say his name out loud and who he was voting for and then the members of the voting commission registered his vote.
The post 1934 governments started shifting away from the post WW1 alliances (the main role-model being France, and UK to a lesser degree) and started aligning themselves more and more with Italy and Germany and a proto-fascist movement, sponsored by the Stojadinović government. The communists saw that and started changing their methods, especially after Anschluss - they started talking about national defense and the dangers of nazism and fascism. When Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite pact with the Axis, huge riots broke out in the country, partly triggered by the communists. This also led to a coup and a British backed general took power and invalidated Yugoslavia's joining the Axis, prompting Italy, Germany and Hungary to invade.
The communists were the only ones that wanted to start a resistance army. They went to all the other parties in the "national council", but they dismissed them for being an illegal party. So they, together with some progressive bourgeois factions of the bourgeois parties and the catholic socialists, formed the Liberation front which was a part of a Yugoslavia-wide National liberation movement. All of the bourgeois actors either did nothing or started collaborating with Germans and Italians, despite the Yugoslav king in London and other members of the government telling them not to. By 1943 the Yugoslav partisans, led by the communist party (but they did not have the most people in the liberation army) were reckognized by the Allies as the only resitance movement in Yug. And by the end of the war there was no one else but the National liberation movement as all the others were collaborators and thus they came to power.
At first they wanted to strictly follow the Soviet system, but soon faced rebellion from the people (especially peasants) and then they started thinking about laying their own path to socialism, which angered Stalin and the USSR and a conflict broke out - the Comintern called for Yugoslavs to dispose of their leadership and in the panic and paranoia the Communist led government sent many people to Goli otok camp. The West also saw that and started helping Tito, seeing a split in the Communist world as a great development.
One of the first tasks of the CPY was the reconstruction of Yugoslavia, most of which was annahilated in the war. The number of victims of the Second World War was huge. The demographic loss was 1,706,000 people; 3.5 million people lost their homes and production was only at 30 percent of its pre-war capacity. 36.5 percent of industry and 52 percent of railway tracks were destroyed in the War. And after the fallout with Stalin, they did the rebuild in their own way.
One of the first indications of the new ideological-political conceptions was Edvard Kardelj’s report On peoples democracy in Yugoslavia submitted on May 28th 1949 to the National Assembly of Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia during the envision of Peoples committee act. In this report, Kardelj was wrangling with the “Stalinist” understanding of power in socialist countries and he was advocating further democratisation and a greater role of the masses:
“There’s no perfect bureaucratic apparatus, no matter what kind of genius leadership stood at the helm, which can build socialism. Socialism can only grow from the initiative of masses of millions with the right leadership role of a proletarian party. Thus, the development of socialism cannot go any other way than the way of constant deepening of socialist democracy in the sense of greater self-governing of the masses of people, in the sense of their greater attraction towards the work of the state machinery—from lowest organs to highest, in the sense of greater participation in direct managing in every single enterprise, institution etc.
On June 27th 1950, workers’ self-management was introduced by law with the Basic law on managing of state enterprises and higher economic associations by workers’ collectives , popularly called Law on giving factories to workers to manage them or workers’ self-management act. The first section of this law gave us a vision of Yugoslav self-management: “Factories, mines, traffic, transport, trade, agricultural, forest, communal and other state enterprises, along with other people’s property, in the name of community are managed by workers’ collectives in the framework of state plan, according to rights and duties identified by laws and other juridical regulations”. According to the law, worker collectives exercised their right to self-management through workers’ councils and steering committees of enterprises or so-called “higher economic associations,” which consisted of several associated enterprises. The council was elected on a one year mandate, while council members were able to be recalled before the expiry of their mandate. The workers’ council consisted of between 15 and 120 members, except in the case of enterprises which employed fewer than 30 workers, where the whole collective was the council. It had an elected and revolving steering committee, whose job was to run the enterprise and to answer to the workers’ council and competent state organs.
It also must be stated that this model was extremelly successfull even in pure capitalist terms - from 1945 to 1990 the average economic growth was 5,5 %, going over 10 % in the 60s, and being negative in the late 80s. However, the development was very uneqal, while there was less than 5 % unemployment in Slovenia, it was over 20 % in Kosovo etc. And self management did nothing to adress this inequality.
The Yugoslav experience shows that it is impossible to practice self-management only partially, only in enterprises, public services etc. Self-management in particular collectives will work only if the interaction among these collectives is also organised in a self-managed way. Self-management tends to degenerate in the context of market relations. As the abolishment of the market in all the spheres of social life is not to be expected in the near future, we should reflect how to limit the detrimental effects of the market upon self-managed democracy. Yugoslav social self-management in territorial units brought a partial solution to the question how democratically to organise practices and processes in the larger society. It can be an inspiration at seeking the alternatives to bourgeois parliamentarism. In the spheres where market relations can be abolished (like in public services), Yugoslav experience offers a good example of how to avoid the alternative “state administration vs. privatisation”.
When the United States went off the gold standard, the dollar basically replaced gold as the main asset in which foreign governments could hold their assets.
Dollar inflows from export sales are being converted into your currency, increasing its exchange rate. But by buying U.S. bonds or stocks, bid the price of dollars back up against your own currency.
So, when the United States runs a balance-of-payments deficit under conditions where other countries keep their foreign reserves in dollars, the effect is for other countries to keep their currencies’ exchange rates stable – mainly by lending to the U.S. government. That gives the United States a free ride. It can encircle the world with military bases, and the dollars that this costs are returned to the United States.
The U.S. position is, in effect, that we are not going to repay any foreign country the dollar debt we owe them. As Treasury Secretary John Connolly said, “It’s our dollars, but your problem.” Other countries have to pay us or else we’ll bomb them. The military dimension to this arrangement is the U.S. position that it would be an act of war if other countries don’t keep spending their export earnings on loans or U.S. stocks and bonds.
That’s what makes the United States the “exceptional country.” The value of our currency is based on other countries’ savings. The money they save has to be held in the form of dollars or securities that we’re never going to repay, even if we could.
This is a huge free ride. You’d think that Donald Trump would want to keep it going. But he claims that China is manipulating its currency by recycling its dollars into loans to the U.S. Treasury. What does he mean by that? China is earning a lot of dollars by exports its goods to the United States. What does it do with these dollars? It tried to do what America did with Europe and South America: It tried to buy American companies. But the United States blocked it from doing this, on specious national security grounds. The government claims that our national security would be threatened if China would buy a chain of filling stations, as it wanted to do in California. The United States thus has a double standard, claiming that it is threatened if China buys any company, but insisting on its right to buy out the commanding heights of foreign economies with its electronic dollar credit.
That leaves China with only one option: It can buy U.S. Treasury bonds, lending its export earnings to the U.S. Treasury.
China now realizes that the U.S. Treasury isn’t going to repay. Even if it wanted to recycle its export earnings into Treasury bonds or U.S. stocks and bonds or real estate, Donald Trump now is saying that he doesn’t want China to support the dollar’s exchange rate (and keep its own exchange rate down) by buying U.S. assets. We’re telling China not to do what we’ve told other countries to do for the past forty years: to buy U.S. securities. Trump accuses countries of artificial currency manipulation if they keep their foreign reserves in dollars. So he’s telling them, and specifically China, to get rid of their dollar holdings, not to buy dollars with their export earnings anymore.
So China is buying gold. Russia also is buying gold and much of the world is now in the process of reverting to the gold-exchange standard (meaning that gold is used to settle international payments imbalances, but is not connected to domestic money creation). Countries realize that there’s a great advantage of the gold-exchange standard: There’s only a limited amount of gold in the world’s central banks. This means that any country that wages war is going to run such a large balance-of-payments deficit that it’s going to lose its gold reserves. So reviving the role of gold may prevent any country, including the United States, from going to war and suffering a military deficit.
The irony is that Trump is breaking up America’s financial free ride – its policy of monetary imperialism – by telling counties to stop recycling their dollar inflows. They’ve got to de-dollarize their economies.
The effect is to make these economies independent of the United States. Trump already has announced that we won’t hire Chinese in our IT sectors or let Chinese study subjects at university that might enable them to rival us. So our economies are going to separate.
In effect, Trump has said that if we can’t win in a trade deal, if we can’t make other countries lose and become more dependent on U.S. suppliers and monopoly pricing, then we’re not going to sign an agreement. This stance is driving not only China but Russia and even Europe and other countries all out of the U.S. orbit. The end result is going to be that the United States is going to be isolated, without being able to manufacture like it used to do. It’s dismantled its manufacturing. So how will it get by?
Some population figures were released a week ago showing the middle of America is emptying out. The population is moving from the Midwestern and mountain states to the East and the West coasts and the Gulf Coast. So Trump’s policies are accelerating the de-industrialization of the United States without doing anything to put new productive powers in place, and not even wanting other countries to invest here. The German car companies see Trump putting tariffs on the imported steel they need to build cars in the United States. It built them here to get around America’s tariff barriers against German and other automobiles. But now Trump is not even letting them import the parts that they need to assemble these cars in the non-unionized plants they’ve built in the South.
What can they do? Perhaps they’ll propose a trade with General Motors and Chrysler. The Europeans will get the factories that American companies own in Europe, and give them their American factories in exchange.
This kind of split is occurring without any attempt to make American labor more competitive by lowering its cost of housing, or the price of its health insurance and medical care, or its transportation costs or the infrastructure costs. So America is being left high and dry as a high-priced economy in a nationalistic world, while running a huge balance-of-payments deficit to support its military spending all over the globe.
How many times from 1850 to 1990 did America engage in coup d’états of foreign states?
Overthrow of Hawaiian government in 1893.
Organized regime change in Puerto Rico and Cuba in 1898.
Organized regime change in The Philipines 1899.
They were a part of the coalition that crushed the Chinese boxer rebellion (1898-1901).
They helped to "cut" Panama from Colombia.
From 1900 to 1925 - invaded middle America states numerous times, especially Honduras and Nicaragua.
Installed a new government in Haiti in 1917.
It orchestrated the Dominican Republic government(s) from 1916-1924.
USA send around 15.000 soldiers to fight against the revolution in Rusisa.
Orchestrated another coup in Panama in 1941.
They wrote post-war Japan constitution.
They overthrew the national government of Korea, formed in 1945 (because it included commies), by sending in loads of troops in fall 1945.
They established the post war government of Philipines and destroyed a peasant uprising against the government.
They carried out a coup in Egypt in 1952.
They carried out a coup in Iran in 1953.
The orchestrated the expulsion of all leftist ministers of the Italian government in 1947. They also had the plan for the 1948 election - if the communists won, they would make Sicily and Sardinia to declare independence from Italy and they would sponsor a guerilla war against the elected government.
In 1949 in Syria the CIA sponsored Husni al-Za'im overthrew the government and became the new leader.
In 1954 they carried out a coup in Guatemala.
They supported the anti-communist Laotian government. The U.S. government took over funding of the military budget of the Royal Lao Government in its civil war against the Pathet Lao communist movement, which had taken control of a part of the country. The US paid for 100% of the government's military budget and by 1957 was paying the salaries of the Royal Lao Army.
In 1956 under the name Operation Straggle they tried to carry out another coup in Syria, but it failed.
They tried again in 1957 with Operation Wappen, which failed also.
In 1957 CIA organized a failed coup in Indonesia, because Indonesia wanted to join the non-aligned movement.
They intervened in the 1958 Lebanon crisis.
In 1959 they tried to assassinate the Iraqi prime minister.
In January of 1961, D.R. Congo’s first democratically elected Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba was killed by the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko in a coup orchestrated by United States CIA activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the Eisenhower administration, as a result of fears surrounding the Prime Minister’s budding relationships with Soviet and Chinese governments.
In 1960 another intervention in Laos.
In May 1961, the ruler of the Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo was murdered with weapons supplied by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
1961 they sent soldiers to the Bay of Pigs (Cuba), which was a failed operation.
1961 the US opposed that the democratically elected vice-president of Brazil would seize power after the president resigned. The United States government implemented a plan with the code name Operation Brother Sam for the destabilization of Brazil, by cutting off aid to the Brazilian government, providing aid to state governors of Brazil who opposed the new president, and encouraging senior Brazilian military officers to seize power and to back army chief of staff General Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco as coup leader. General Branco led the April 1964 overthrow of the constitutional government of President João Goulart and was installed as first president of the military regime, immediately declaring a state of siege and arresting more than 50,000 political opponents within the first month of seizing power, while the US government expressed approval and re-instituted aid and investment in the country.
1950s and 1960s and 1970s Vietnam - USA dropped more bombs on Vietnam than it did on Italy, Germany in Japan during the whole of World war 2. They destroyed farmers' crops with agents orange and blue and to this day babies with birth defects are being born thanks to the chemicals dropped.
In the Dominican Civil War, a junta led by President Joseph Donald Reid Cabral was battling "constitutionalist" or "rebel" forces who advocated restoring to power the Dominican Republic's first ever democratically elected president, President Juan Emilio Bosch Gaviño, whose term had been cut short by a coup. The U.S. launched "Operation Power Pack to prevent this.
CIA supported the Indonesian coups against Sucarno in 1965.
The U.S. government supported the 1971 coup led by General Hugo Banzer that toppled President Juan José Torres of Bolivia.
1973 - orchestrating a coup against the elected president Allende of Chile. In what was known as "Operation Cyclone," the U.S. government secretly provided weapons and funding for a collection of warlords and several factions of Jihadi guerillas known as the Mujahideen of Afghanistan fighting to overthrow the Afghan government. This eventually led to USSR's involvement. USA made the Taliban happen.
1976 CIA financed forces overthrew Isabel Peron in Argentina.
1980s - financing anti-communist death squads in Salvador.
1980s - making cocaine trade from Nicaragua to USA possible, using the money to finance Nicaraguan and Salvador death squads.
1983 they invaded Grenada.
1989 they invaded Panama.
I can write about Yugoslav resistance movement. But I will give a broad picture so everything can be understood better.
Yugoslavia was under the dictatorship of King Alexander since 1929 and until his death (he was assassinated in Marseilles in 1934). Before and after that the Yugoslav "democratic" system was weak. For example the elections after 1934 looked like this: the voter came to the polling station where he had to say his name out loud and who he was voting for and then the members of the voting commission registered his vote.
There was also the great depression which affected Yugoslavia deeply, also the peasant population (more than 70 % of the population back then), there was civil unrest and many strikes in 1935-1936, there were also national tensions, primarily between Serbs and Croats. Also, communists existed (that will be very important later on) and had a great illegal network of operations because they were banned as a party and many of its members were assassinated by the government and many others were brutally tortured in what were basically concentration camps.
The state relied heavily on France and Britain (WW1 allies of Serbs), but in the 30's it also started leaning towards Nazi Germany, however each government tried its best to stay neutral in the European conflicts - but by 1941 the government gave up under the pressure and signed the tripartite pact with Italy, Germany and Japan. Massive protests of the population sprung up because of this and a coup was carried out by a Serbian general, backed by the Brits. This pissed of Hitler and Germany decided to invade Yugoslavia. The fighting was over in like 14 days, the army saw many sabotages (Croatians were killing their Serbian officers, Croatians officers gave up weapons immediately or instructed their soldiers to just go home). Yugoslavia was divided among Hungary, Italy and Germany and it basically ceased to exist de facto. The Germans and Italians also supported the Croat Ustaši and they supported their state NDH (Independend Croatian State), which was pretty much a puppet state. Similarly, all Slovenian "legal" parties decided they don't wanna fight against nazi and fascist occupation, but that they want to work together with them - but they didn't even get a puppet state, Slovenian lands were de jure and de facto incorporated into Italy, Hungary and Germany.
The communists were the only force that called out to the people to start an armed rebellion. At first they carried out small sabotages (burning army vehicles etc), but when Germany invaded USSR they started an armed guerilla rebellion in the woodlands of Yugoslavia and a few thousand people joined in summer 1941. This number grew drastically in 1942 and especially in 1943, after the defeat of Italy. They coined the term National liberation movement which had many points: get rid of the occupiers, change the social-economic system after the war etc., and many people joined them. Also parts of other parties or societies, that weren't communist, joined them and it was a broader front, but by 1943 everyone had to recognize the communist leadership of the national liberation movement.
In Bosnia there were many armed battles with the Germans, they also invaded German held cities and managed to capture a few, they also established a "free" territory in Bosnia. But shit was bloody, many people died, because they were under-trained, under-equipped etc. Also the Germans revenged their dead soldiers by killing Yugoslav civilians in retaliation. This drove even more people to join the National liberation movement. Some of the battles are most famously (romantically) captured in the films Sutjeska and Neretva.
By 1943, at the Tehran conference, the allies proclaimed Tito's partisans as the only force actively fighting the axis in Yugoslavia and then they started getting help from allies. Because the "old" (pre 1941) politicians and the young king were in London, the allies made the old political forces sign an agreement with the new movement called Tito-Šubašić agreement.
This was important because the National liberation movement called its own parliaments in 1943 and 19444 called AVNOJ - anti fascist council for the national liberation of Yugoslavia. Members of the National liberation movement voted representatives to go to AVNOJ and AVNOJ declared itself as the main governing body of Yugoslavia. They (with proclamation) de-throned the king and the old ministers and all that jazz. They beheaded the king without physically beheading him. And they did this on their own, without the support of the allies or any other outside forces. So by 1945, when Germany fell, they already had a working and tested system of government. By 1945 the National liberation movement was also the only force in Yugoslavia left that wasn't compromised by collaboration with axis forces. And they worked fast - they extra-judicially executed many collaborators (especially the Croatian Ustaši and Slovenian domobranci) and they also used this time to execute their political opponents - which were few, because the majority already fled with the Germans. They adopted new legislation, where women were regarded as full bodied and fully abled people, equal to men and women got their right to vote.
In the end of 1945 there were a new election, which was another peculiar matter as there was no real political opponents of the National liberation movement to run - all groups were either a) already part of the National liberation movement b) have been tainted with collaboration. So they came up with this system (which was supported by even the Brits) where only the Liberation front ticket was running and voters could vote for or against it. They of course got a big majority and then they soon started with their marxist-leninist program (nationalizing big industries, completely changing the social, educational, health, labor and other policies).
The instability in the Balkans goes back to the falling might of the Ottoman empire since the 19th century. Balkan nations and then the states they established fought over the questions of borders - 1st Balkan war, 2nd Balkan war. Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia were part of Austria-Hungary and they fought for the central powers in WW1, while Serbia fought on the side of the entente (it is true that many south slavic volunteers from Austria-Hungary joined the Serbian army).
After the war the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was established, which was renamed into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929 when king Alexander established a dictatorship. The Serbian elite saw this post war state as a means to achieve a "Great Serbia" and this always clashed with the autonomy tendencies of Croats and Slovenes. Serbs wanted a strongly centralized state while Croats and Slovenes wanted a federal state. The tensions were particularly high between Croats and Serbs which culminated in the assassination/murder of the Croatian political leader Radić by a Serb mp, who was tied strongly with the court. Dictatorship was established after this incident and many thousand political prisoners were murdered and brutally tortured by the regime.
By this time also the Croat ultra nationalist ultra catholic movement called The Ustasi gained prominence and together with other groups they orchestrated the assassination of King Alexander in Marseilles in 1934. The Ustaše wanted an independent Croatian state. Their leader was Ante Pavelić, living in fascist Italy in exile and was influenced by Italian fascism. By 1939 the Serbs and Croats came to an agreement to grant huge autonomy to Croatia.
When Yugoslavia tried to sign the tripartite pact mass demonstrations broke out and a coup was carried out by a Serb army general with the support of the British. When Germany invaded Yugoslavia, which had a relatively massive army, the Croats sabotaged the military as they saw this invasion as a means to destroy Yugoslavia and establish an independent state. And an independent Croatian puppet state was indeed established (NDH), ruled by Pavelić's Ustaše and the catholic church. The Ustaše regime carried out horrible crimes and violence against Serbs, also Romas, jews and others - the Ustaše commited the worst war crimes of the war, at least in Europe, but probably even worse than what the Japan unit did in China. They slaughtered people, the Ustaše catholic priests carried guns and "serbocuts" (srbosek) - blades with which they slaughtered Serbian people. They had special gloves made so their knives wouldn't slip because of the huge amounts of blood. They cut people's heads of, at one point they brought to Pavelić a few kilograms of human eyeballs etc (later it will be clear why I am describing Ustaše regime in more detail).
Because the old Yugoslav elite collapsed or started supporting the invading Germans, Italians and Hungarians, the communist armed liberation movement became the only true rebellion against the invaders and most progressive people joined it, not just communists - alsi peasants, liberals, doctors, teachers, artists. When the end of the war approached thousands of collaborators and Ustaše soldiers tried to run across the boarder to Austria where they would give themselves up to the British - they didn't wanna get caught by Tito's partisans or the Red Army. The Ustaše and Domobranci (Slovenian collaborators) leaders managed to escape the prison camps and most of them ended up in Argentina (With the help of Vatican) or Australia. But the Brits decided, because these people were not part of any regular army, just as a German auxiliary force, to return them to Yugoslavia. This return was a death blow to the Ustaše and Domobranci as a horrible revenge was carried out - most of them were killed right on the trains that returned them to Yugoslavia. Others were shot in the woods of Kočevje, Slovenia and others in other parts of Yugoslavia.
These people were never tried for their crimes, just executed. And this is the main fundamental on which the Serbo-Croatian hatred rests on.
After the war, the communist regime had to re-unify a country where two of their main peoples were slaughtering each other during the war. They did their best to promote "brotherhood and unity" and for a while it worked. But with the economic crisis in the 80s and Tito's death nationalist tendencies started to re-emerge again. Milošević in Serbia started calling on Serbs to unite and to reform Yugoslavia (which after the war became a federal state with 6 republics) back to a centralist, unitary state. The Slovenes and Croats were having none of it and internal conflicts arose. Kosovo was a big deal, as it was an independent land (not a full republic), but Serbia just took it and made it a part of Serbia. Albanians in Kosovo protested. When the state really started crumbling and when Slovenia declared independence, it was not yet a big deal, as neither Croats or Serbs had any cravings for territories of Slovenia.
However, things are much more complicated in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, as a lot of Serbs was living in the territory of the Croat republic, and in Bosnia Muslims (Bosniaks), Croats and Serbs lived together, mostly intermixed and not a separate group in separate territories.
So when Croatia declared independence, the Serbs living there and the Serbs in Serbia were scared that a similar scenario that occurred under the Ustaše regime 1941-1945 would repeat again. The Serbian army thus invaded Croatia to grab not just the territories populated by a majority Serbian population, but they wanted to grab as much as possible. A lengthy war thus broke out, with many war crimes because one side or the other wanted to "cleanse" territories of Serbs or Croats. In 1995 Croatia (which got US weapons even though a total weapons embargo was in effect) manage to liberate its lands and it emerged as the state it is today. They "cleansed" Vukovar or Knin of any Serbs and basically stole their property. There are still many empty houses in these cities that belong to exiled (or run away) Serbs. Those that didn't run were killed. And of course before this Croatians were forced to flee from the Serbians.
Bosnia was even more complicated as Croatia and Serbia wanted to capture as much of its territory as possible. But also muslims lived in Bosnia which in the beginning were trapped in the middle - this is also the reason why radical islamists gained a foothold in Bosnia - they came to help their muslim brothers fight in the war. Croats wanted to make ethnically mixed territories into pure Croatian territories, the same as Serbs and muslims to a lesser degree. Many war crimes were committed. After a while the Croats and muslims formed an alliance against the Serbs. Finally the Dayton agreement was signed which preserved Bosnia and Herzegovina as it was and the people that were killing each other once again had to start to live together. The state consists The federation of BIH and the Republika Srbska (Serbian republic) and it is further divided into cantons (similar to Switzerland). It has 3 presidents (divided on ethical lines) i think. It is still a country in a bad state of affairs and a giant portion of the population had to find work abroad. The ones that remain always say that the only thing they wait for is another war and they don't have much optimism for the future.
summary: nationalist demagogues used the economic crisis of the 80s to sow hate among the Yugoslav citizens, exploiting also the events that happened during WW2. This lead to the breaking up of Yugoslavia and to a war where Croats and Serbs tried to "purify" disputed mixed-population areas with ethnic cleansing. Slovenia managed to stay out of this affair as neither side wanted a piece of Slovenian land. The moment of escalation was when Croatia declared independence.
it was as question posed by a liberlul
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