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Tito’s persona still, however, evidently holds a certain attraction. It is of more than historical interest to understand why. The answer seems to be that Tito, though an orthodox Communist — his quarrel with Stalin was caused by ambition, not doctrine — was also something else, and this “something else” turns out to be that he was a heroic “antifascist”.

Tito, in fact, behaved as Communists do, promoting revolution by the mass liquidation of potential opponents, by subverting every independent institution, and by bringing all power within the Party’s control. He authorised the killing of tens of thousands of people, many without trial, others with staged trials — soldiers, conscripted Home Guard members, unpolitical civilians, Catholic priests, monks and nuns, doctors, nurses, teachers, journalists, businessmen, women and children. The mass graves, where people were thrown in alive to be slowly suffocated by the weight of those who followed, are still gradually being excavated. For fear of annoying influential Communist cadres, who had joined anti-Communists to create the fledgling Croatian state in 1991, these horrible crimes were for many years left unmentioned. Until recently, most Party and secret police archives were similarly inaccessible. There was no lustration of Party members. Not a single trial within Croatia has been held of a Communist official: only in Munich, after Germany managed to secure their extradition, were two high-ranking Yugoslav secret police officials given life sentences for a politically authorised murder on German soil in 1983.

The new Croatia’s first president, Franjo Tudjman, apparently admired Tito; but Tudjman never dreamed of imitating Tito’s personality cult, whose effects must still be remembered when assessing the Marshal’s reputation. Leafing through the snapshots portraying Tito’s gaudy, greedy, self-indulgent, spendthrift, pointless political life, it requires an exercise of imagination to take the performance seriously. Yugoslavia solved nothing internally. It achieved nothing externally. But heroic myths, imposed by expert media control over 35 years, so brainwashed its population that they became a heaving, wailing, neurotic, human wreck when the dictator’s death was finally announced. Only a system in which all hold on reality had been lost could have solemnly announced as its watchword for the country’s future that lapidary slogan: “After Tito — Tito!”

Tito’s achievements, such as they were, have largely been forgotten, along with most of his crimes; only his antifascist credentials are still burnished. Yet antifascism, like the smile on the Cheshire Cat, reminds us, in a disembodied form, of what Communism was, what the Communists did, and what their successors would like to do, if they had the chance. It should go the way of Tito’s plaque.
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Giordano Bruno
November 7th, 2017
8:11 PM
Fascism is like globalism - neo-imperial corporatism or ecclesiastical despotism, essence-based evil based on greed and power, and as such any method for their removal is justified. Tito is quite successful in removing that weed. After all, he succeeded in establishing a rather humane and successful multi-ethnic and multi-religious secular society, progressively and intellectually advanced, which set an excellent model of society that should be everywhere, despite the efforts of the West to prevent further creation and maintenance of a similar, out of West covert imperialist dogma. In the end, it was like in the old sentence "all evil comes from the West (also before from Vatican)", as they spoke to us, and it came in the sense of an instrumentalized parliamentary democracy in which hiding the old hydras: the corporation and the church. I hope that it will appeal to some new civil revolutions, which I hope will completely eradicate their sick paradigm of authority and Orwellian vision of "democracy".

Miroslav
November 7th, 2017
11:11 AM
What is this fatuous babble? People didn't protest the renaming of the Marshal Tito square because of the sanctity of Tito's figure, but because the renaming process was blatantly violated. This was publicly acknowledged by the city Mayor Bandić, who stated that the votes cast in his favor at the recent local elections can be taken as a "sign of the times" that makes consultations with the local residents required by law unnecessary. At the time Bandić considered organizing a referendum on the issue, Hasanbegović and his sidekick Bruna Esih wrote that the referendum would "insult the Croatian people and the democratic spirit of its capital." Such are the democratic and legal standards of the people who pose as the guardians of democracy against the imagined communists. That said, there is absolutely no doubt that Bandić would have sided with the center-left or the devil incarnate if the alliance promised him a majority in the City Council. As far as Yugoslavia under Tito is concerned, the existence of Goli Otok certainly wasn't the defining feature of the Yugoslav society in the way that was the case with death camps in Jadovno and Jasenovac or grisly excursions of Ustasha butchers in Eastern Herzegovina during the Independent Croatian State. Furthermore, the uprising against the Ustasha started before June 22, 1941, because the Serbian population in the Independent Croatian State didn't need the Communist Party to tell them that their throats will be cut unless they fight for their lives. For the vast majority of the partisans who fought fascism in Yugoslavia, siding with the communist party was in no way a product of their leftist leanings, and the author should know this. Finally, the center-right "founding" party (Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ) of the modern Croatian state has been the dominant political force in the country ever since its independence. The only time it lost parliamentary elections was when it shot itself in the foot by a weapon from its lurid arsenal of cronyism, one-man party rule, graft and lurid nationalist ideology. If the left is to blame for anything, it's for not being able to make a sufficiently vivid distinction between itself and the conservative hypocrites nested in the HDZ. Seeing snarling neo-communists in Croatia is a frightening ailment that calls for a doctor's appointment. To conclude, connecting the protests against the renaming of the Marshal Tito square with Goli Otok should disqualify you from serious journalism.

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