An Antidote for Tito Nostalgia

The Marxists Internet Archive has made available a 1961 column by Raya Dunayavskaya (“Tito’s Turnabout“) on the U.S.S.R.’s Khruschev-era reconcilliation with Yugoslavia. This piece serves as a bracing antidote to the Marshal Tito nostalgia which one encounters from time to time, particularly with regards to what was called the system of “workers’ self-management.”

One point of interest in this piece is Dunayavskaya’s passing mention of Tito’s activities in Spain during the revolution. Tito was a seasoned Comintern functionary long before he lead the partisan war against the Germans and it is an accepted part of his biography that in the 1930s he funneled volunteers from the Balkans to Spain to serve in the International Brigades. Proof that Tito was actually in Spain during the revolution is scant, but the novelist and recipient of the Stalin Peace Prize, Howard Fast, author of Spartacus (which was made into the film starring Kirk Douglas), wrote a 1944 homage with the immortal title The Incredible Tito which places him in the country. If this is accurate, it is entirely possible that Tito participated in the Stalinist repression of the POUM and the Trotskyists (or the Bolshevik-Leninists, as they called themselves).

Fast claims in his memoir Being Red, that at the time in 1946 when he was called to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his work with the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee he learned that the Josip Broz in Spain he had heard about as an employee of the Office of War Information during WWII was not the one we know as Tito, but rather another person by that name (Fast was questioned about aid that may have helped Broz escape occupied France). Criticism &c. is inclined to belive the story as Fast recorded it in 1944. Regardless, Dunayevskaya may well have been informed from sources closer to the topic than Fast was privy to.

The irony in all of this is that in their frantic search for post-WW II perspectives, the Trotskyists went strongly pro-Tito for a time after Yugoslavia’s expulsion from the Cominform.

See Also: Dunayevskaya’s 1957 critique of Milovan Djilas (“Djilas’ New Class“)

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One thought on “An Antidote for Tito Nostalgia

  1. Pingback: An antidote to Tito nostalgia « Poumista

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