Splendour, Misery, and Possibilities

An X-Ray of Socialist Yugoslavia

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Suvin’s ‘X-Ray’ of Socialist Yugoslavia offers an indispensable overview of a unique and often overlooked twentieth-century socialism. It shows that the plebeian surge of revolutionary self-determination was halted in SFR Yugoslavia by 1965; that between 1965– 72 there was a confused and hidden but still open-ended clash; and that by 1972 the oligarchy in power was closed and static, leading to failure. The underlying reasons of this failure are analysed in a melding of semiotics and political history, which points beyond Yugoslavia – including its achievements and degeneration – to show how political and economic democracy fail when pursued in isolation. The emphasis on socialist Yugoslavia is at various points embedded into a wider historical and theoretical frame, including Left debates about the party, sociological debates about classes, and Marx’s great foray against a religious State doctrine in The Jewish Question.
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Biographical Note

Darko Suvin, Ph.D. (1970) Zagreb University, is Professor Emeritus of McGill University. He has published 21 books on Literature, Dramaturgy, Culture, and Political Epistemology; also poetry. Major publications: Metamorphoses of Science Fiction; To Brecht and Beyond; Defined by a Hollow.

Table of contents

List of Tables and Figures
Acknowledgements
Preface: Pro Doma Sua

PART 1: FUNDAMENTS: FREEDOM AND ACCUMULATION

1: Radical Emancipation and Yugoslavia: On the Founding Singularities of SFRY
2: Accumulation and Its Discontents

PART 2: CLASS INTERESTS AND POLITICS AS SFRY DOMINANTS

3: On Class Relationships in Yugoslavia
4: On a Hidden Ruling Class and Central Conflict
5: What Has Been and What Could Have Been
6: 15 Theses about Communism and Yugoslavia, Or the Two-Headed Janus of Emancipation through the State (Metamorphoses and Anamorphoses of ‘On The Jewish Question’ by Marx)
7: The Communist Party of Yugoslavia

PART 3: SELF-GOVERNMENT VS. ALIENATION: A TRACTATE ON YUGOSLAV ECONOMICS AND POLITICS

Part 3.1: On Self-management In S.F.R. Yugoslavia: A Critical Stock-Taking (1945-72)
8: Anatomy: Macro-Political Economics, Or the View from Above
9: Anatomy: Micro-Political Economics, Or the View from the Workers
10: Physiology: The Interests and Stakes behind the Macro-Events

Part 3.2: On the Horizon of Disalienation in S.F.R. Yugoslavia: Self-Government and Plebeian Democracy
11: On the Politics of Disalienation, Inside and Outside Economic Production
12: In Production: Rise and Fall of Self-management
13: In Civic Life: Dis/Alienation and Oligarchy Monolithism
14: Conclusion: On Failures and Potentialities

APPENDICES
Appendix 1: Bureaucracy: A Term and Concept in the Socialist Discourse about State Power (Upstream of Yugoslavia)
Appendix 2: The Discourse about Bureaucracy and State Power in Post-Revolutionary Yugoslavia 1945–72

References

Readership

All those interested in SFR Yugoslavia, its economics and politics, planning and ideology, rise and fall, also in self-management, Marxism, as well as socialist potentialities, achievements, and failures.

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