Yugoslavia: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Yugoslavia, biography of Tito aka Josip Broz, the economy and class conflict.

YUGOSLAVIA

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Josip Broz, who became secretary-general of the Yugoslav Communist party in 1937, rose, during W. W. II, from relative obscurity to international fame as "Marshal Tito," leader of the aggressive resistance group, the Partisans. The group, ill-clad and undernourished, fought against tremendous odds; Tito himself was wounded and narrowly escaped capture. At the war's end he was both a military hero and leader of the antifascist political alliance, AVNOJ.

With a large enough personal following to withstand the machinations of Stalin, who tried to have him ousted, Tito emerged as unquestioned leader of his country. At first, Tito-worship followed the pattern of Stalin-worship in the U.S.S.R., but this was toned down a bit due to the break with Stalin and criticism of the "cult of the individual" as it applied to Stalinism. Still, wherever he went in public, Tito was greeted with cheers and the chant, "Tito is ours, we are Tito's." His trivial acts have been chronicled in the newspapers and made to seem significant. Yet, in the course of the spectacle of his rule Tito has played many roles: benevolent father of his peoples; stern, scolding uncle; critic of bureaucracy; simple man of the soil; world traveler; comrade-in-arms of W.W. II days; dignified head of state in his Rolls-Royce; and finally resplendent military leader on his white charger.

The supposed absence of class conflict in Yugoslavia has been contradicted by over 2,000 strikes since 1958, the number of strikers increasing each year. Now the ideologists are beside themselves trying to explain why the workers are "striking against themselves." Since all these strikes have been illegal, i.e. "wildcats," and therefore difficult to control, there have been recent proposals to have the Communist party-run unions organize and lead them.

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