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Yugoslavia or the Balkan Federation? Dilemmas of Yugoslav Communists during the October Revolution

Stefan Gužvica orcid id ; Sveučilište u Regensburgu

Puni tekst: srpski pdf 143 Kb

str. 102-133

preuzimanja: 262


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 143 Kb

str. 132-133

preuzimanja: 243



By the spring of 1917, tens of thousands of South Slavic prisoners of war had found themselves on the territory of the (former) Russian Empire, and many of them took an active part in the revolutionary events which had begun with the collapse of the monarchy in February. After the October Revolution, thousands of Bulgarians, Croats, Slovenes, and Serbs fought on the side of the Bolsheviks. Beginning from 1918, they had their own South Slavic Communist Group of the Bolshevik Party, as well as a newspaper called Svetska revolucija (The World Revolution). However, the Group soon became divided over the question of building a future postwar order. Some communists supported the creation of Yugoslavia as a country of South Slavs,
while others thought that the future socialist state must be a Balkan Federation, an old project of Balkan social democracy. The pro-Yugoslav current was composed primarily of people who were radicalized by the world war and the revolution and who fought together in the South Slavic units of the Russian Imperial Army before 1917. The supporters of a Balkan federation were those who were active in the labor movement before 1914. The Bulgarian communists, influenced by the theoretical tradition of “narrow socialism” developed by Dimitar Blagoev, were the standard bearers of the idea of Balkan federalism, while most Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes eventually opted for Yugoslavia, also as a federal state. This disagreement eventually led to the separation of Bulgarians from the South Slavic Communist Group. Even though the question of the future workers' federation
in the Balkans was not ultimately resolved even after the creation of the Communist International, this forgotten early debate between the leading South Slavic communists foreshadowed the later Marxist discussions on the national question in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. The analysis of these projects raises new questions regarding the reception of Bolshevik ideas among the South Slavs, the continuities and discontinuities of Marxist thought before and after 1917, as well as the development of the concept of the Leninist right to self-determination in the context of the political situation in the Balkans in the post-WWI period.

Ključne riječi

communism, the Russian Revolution, Yugoslavism, the Balkan Federation, federalism, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, the national question, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Marxism, self-determination

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: srpski

Posjeta: 1.337 *