PCI Resolution

On the Yugoslavia Crisis

The following resolution, submitted by Jacques Privas (Jacques Grimblatt) and Marcel Marin (Marcel Gibelin), was adopted by the Fifth Congress of the French Parti Communiste Internationaliste, held in July 1948. The French text appeared in the PCI’s internal bulletin, La vie du parti No. 1, August 1948. The translation is by the Prometheus Research Library.

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2) Prospects for the Crisis

One thing is certain: if it is impossible in general for the countries of the buffer zone to remain for a long period in a chronic transitional situation, it is even more impossible in an isolated country.

The importance of the situation that has been created in Yugoslavia is that it objectively poses to the Yugoslav masses—not in general terms, but one could say immediately—the need to choose between social­ism and capitalism.

The choice, even if it is still muddled, will nec­es­sarily lead to discussion and struggles between cur­rents and classes in Yugoslavia.

The Yugoslav CP can only capitulate to the Kremlin, to the U.S., or embark on the path of rev­o­lution—although of course it is not possible to predict today which path will be taken or what the pace of development will be.

In any case, it is almost certain that without an intervention by the proletariat of the buffer zone and of the world, the path taken by the Yugoslav pro­le­tariat will not be that of revolution. Ca­pi­tu­lation to the Kremlin or to the U.S. would be inevitable.

3) The Thrust of Our Intervention

The first major crack in the Stalinist apparatus is nec­es­sar­ily leading immense masses of Stalinist workers to fundamentally reconsider Stalinist pol­i­tics. Obviously, we cannot remain indifferent to an event of this importance; rather we must intervene ag­gres­sively to help the proletariat as a whole to understand the Stalinist betrayal, and the Yugoslav pro­le­tarians to find the path of revolution.

In the Western countries, we must give an overall explanation of the causes of the Yugoslav crisis, demonstrating in particular the Stalinist con­cep­tion of the defense of the USSR, the coun­ter­rev­o­lu­tionary nature of the ties imposed by Moscow and of the theory and practice of “people’s democ­racy.”

To the Yugoslav proletarians we will dem­on­strate that the rupture with Moscow is the indispensable step for the struggle for social­ism, and we will indicate the concrete and programmatic paths that make it possible (soviets, proletarian democ­racy, appeal to proletarians of other countries).

We do not at all reproach the I.S. for appealing to the Yugoslav CP and its CC. This step is appropriate given the relations between the masses and the CP. But we do object to these letters for idealizing Tito and the Yugoslav CP (rev­olu­tion­ary workers party—“continue your struggle for social­ism”).*

On the other hand, the issue of La Vérité dedicated to Yugoslavia, which defends the point of view of the I.S., provides no useful explanation when it gives the apparatus’ own laws as the cause of the crisis of the apparatus.

If this resolution is adopted, it does not mean that the PCI exempts itself from the discipline of the international leadership.

*This objection does not in any way signify a dis­agree­ment with the I.S. on the nature of the USSR, the buffer zone, and Stalinism.

The crisis which has broken out in the Comin­form between Tito and the Kremlin should be con­sid­ered from the standpoint:

  1. 1)  of the underlying causes of this crisis;
  2. 2)  of the prospects for development of this crisis;
  3. 3)  of our intervention into these events.

A precise analysis is necessary exactly because of the importance of the repercussions this event is having and will have among the ranks of the Stalinist workers.

1) The Causes of the Crisis

The Stalinist policy has as its underlying line the exploitation of the workers movement for the needs and the defense of the interests exclusively of the privileged bureaucrats of the USSR.

In the coun­tries of the buffer zone this policy takes the concrete form of exploiting these coun­tries: economically, diplomatically and stra­te­gi­cally (pref­er­ential treaties, privileged treat­ment of the ruble, exploitation of the economy to benefit the Red Army or the Soviet state).

This policy which preserves capitalist relations in the economy out of fear of the masses, which blocks the development of the buffer zone countries, nec­es­sar­ily creates a profound crisis in these coun­tries. This crisis is expressed in the pressure of the bourgeois elements to re-establish ties with im­pe­rialism, and even in halfhearted notions of finding a solution on the part of indigenous Stalinist leaders (Dimitrov proposing a Balkan federation). Against these pressures and notions, in order to contain the crisis while main­taining its exploitation, the Kremlin is obliged increasingly to utilize methods of terror:

  1. a)  against the bourgeois politicians;
  2. b)  against the rev­olu­tion­ary elements;
  3. c)  and even to replace the indigenous Stalinists with direct emissaries of the Kremlin (five “Russian” members on the seven-member Bulgarian PB).
  4. This general situation, the necessary result of the application of the Stalinists’ policy, is governed by military and police measures, but this does not resolve the crisis. If in Yugoslavia the Stalinist CP has been led to resist this Russification, it is because, having assumed full responsibility for the state, it must respond to the needs of Yugoslav society and of each of its components: to assure a minimum of economic stability and to satisfy to a certain degree the needs of the different social classes. Complete con­trol by the Kremlin absolutely prevents the fulfill­ment of this task.

    If this situation—which is fundamentally that of all the coun­tries of the buffer zone—has provoked active resistance first in Yugoslavia, this is due to its particular situation originating in the struggle of the Yugoslav masses during the occupation, which gave the Yugoslav CP a mass base and much more inde­pen­dence.

    Stalin could not permit such inde­pen­dence in a party—especially of the buffer zone—without risking the breakup, not only of the system of exploitation of the buffer zone, but also of the whole hierarchical police state system of world Stalinism.