League of Communists of Yugoslavia


League of Communists of Yugoslavia
   Until 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (Savez Komunista Jugoslavije—SKJ) ruled in the People’s Republic of Yugoslavia (PRY) from its inception in 1945 to its implosion in 1989–90. The SKJ’s history was dominated by Josip Tito, who became leader of the then outlawed party in 1937, 18 years after its inception. The communists played a key role in driving out the occupying German Nazis during World War II, emerging from the conflict as the outright leaders of the newly unified Yugoslavia. Until 1948, the party embraced Stalinism, but its independence tested Moscow’s resolve to the extent that the PRY was expelled from the Cominform in that year. For the next four decades, the SKJ led the PRY according to its own brand of communism, or “Titoism.” This included deviations from orthodox MarxismLeninism such as decentralization of power, and worker self-management of an economy that contained market elements, as espoused by party reformists such as Milovan Djilas. Despite this, it remained nominally committed to democratic centralism. When Tito died in 1980, the collective leadership that replaced him was unable to halt the breakup of both the PRY and the SKJ, and at its 14th party congress in 1991, the party was effectively disbanded. The SKJ units in the federal states that had comprised the PRY each became individual social democratic parties contesting multi-party elections with varying degrees of success.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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