|Abstract (english)|| |
The history of the labour movement was marked with a range of ideological disputes which resulted in great turmoil and emergence of various factions. In this way, various ideologies were created, such as anarchism, social democracy, communism, etc. Most workers’ ideologies were founded by theoreticians such as Mikhail Bakunin, Karl Marx or Louis Auguste Blanqui. This led to antagonism between certain factions. In the end, the Marxist faction won, which was formed in the social democratic parties of The Second International. However, towards the end of the 19th century, there were new ideological conflicts, primarily regarding the revision of certain Marxist theses which were presented by Eduard Bernstein, a German theoretician. Accordingly, a radical faction was slowly formed in social democratic parties, which did not accept Bernstein’s thesis that Marx might have been wrong in some of his predictions. Within this context, a conflict broke out between the right wing (Eduard Bernstein) and the left wing (Vladimir Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg) in the social democratic parties. The conflict escalated after World War I, triggered by a range of various social and political elements, and the division into the right and left faction became more pronounced. That is the reason why the period between the two world wars was marked with a fierce fight for dominance over the labour movement and false accusations of its betrayal in almost all European countries, especially in Germany. The above mentioned indicates that labour movement has always been closely associated with ideological issues. Moreover, these ideological issues have, to a great extent, marked its entire development, which can also be detected in the example of the labour movement in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which later became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. According to everything that has been said above, this paper presents an analysis of the construction of social democratic and communist paradigm, based on the primary (archive) sources (newspapers, police reports, proclamations) as well as secondary sources. Within the given context, the paper analyses the ideological features of these factions, placing special emphasis on the research on the relationship between ideology and discourse. The introductory part of the paper presents time- and space-related determinants with the aim of contextualizing the micro level of Slavonian region; that is, by placing the events into a wider social and political context in order to explain the circumstances in which ideological confrontation occurred. Apart from that, special emphasis was placed on insufficiently investigated labour movement in the Osijek region within the context of wide representation of this research area in the Yugoslav history.The introductory part of the paper also presents a detailed overview of archive sources and methodology, which form the theoretical background. As far as archive sources are concerned, they have been divided into four groups. Special emphasis is placed on the archive material collected by the Party archive which was active since 1962 within the Historical Archive of Osijek. It is very important to mention its substantial collection of memoirs. Furthermore, the introductory part also contains an overview of the existing historical narrative related to the labour movement, in the context of its excessive production in the Yugoslav framework. Stress is placed on the Marxist primacy in these types of research, which is also a part of the standard discourse. Accordingly, it is stated that, among other things, this fact leads to a need to redefine the existing narrative and to establish new research patterns, not only in terms of re-articulation, but also in terms of research on the influence which the social democratic faction had on workers, regardless of the commonly accepted beliefs about its marginal role. As far as the methodological part of the paper is concerned, it relies on theoretical postulates of a Dutch theoretician, T. A. van Dijk, and Jorge Larrain and Jeniffer Sayer. Still, the greater part of the paper has been put in the framework of relationships between ideology, discourse and politics, with the aim of determining the way in which these elements have shaped ideological disputes among workers in Osijek. The second part of the paper presents an overview of the beginning of ideological stratification within the labour movement towards the end of the 19th century. At that time ideology was approached as a subversive semantic field which had, from its very start, been a bone of contention among politicians and philosophers. After a brief review of the genesis of ideology from “false consciousness” to Bernstein’s redefinition of Marxist relationship to ideology, the paper presents social and political context of labour movement development in extremely repressive regimes, which were predominant at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. These regimes have tried, in various ways, to prevent the homogenisation of the movement. Regardless of that, political organization of workers took place nevertheless, mostly in terms of establishment of social democratic parties which were fighting for their right to legal activities, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press. Due to these struggles, these parties managed to transcend the illegal framework of action, and their representatives were elected to parliaments, which was an incentive to Eduard Bernstein, a German theoretician, to present an overview of the basic Marxist postulates in his book The Preconditions of Socialism. At a discourse level, this created various terms and notions such as revisionism and Bernsteinism, which became a label for a new direction within the labour movement, in comparison with the dominant Marxist faction. The basis of this new idea was evolutionary socialism, which implied a gradual creation of society which will enable the transition into a new social form – communism. The proponents of this idea emphasized parliamentary work and waiting for opportunities which would enable the establishment of the socialist society. Contrary to that, a more radical, left faction emerged, which believed that the policy of waiting could benefit the workers’ bureaucrats eager to obtain better political status. This faction was led by Vladimir Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, etc. Since party leaders more or less accepted this idea, the left wing gradually organized small groups of radical workers, or professional revolutionaries, who supported strikes, rebellions, etc. All this faced the labour movement with a dilemma – which way to go: towards reform or towards revolution? This precisely was a bone of contention and it contributed to the final division of the labour movement after World War I. The third part of the paper, relying on the social and political context of the post-war society, presents an analysis of the basic features of the labour movement in the period between the two world wars, spurred by the success of the October Revolution in Russia. An overview of strikes in Austria, Great Britain and Germany is presented, with special emphasis placed on the Peace Conference and the attitude of the Osijek press towards a new policy created by the peacemakers. This section of the paper is to a great extent based on the local workers’ press, which was intense and very critical immediately after the war. Apart from the above mentioned, its stance towards the newly created state and the situation in the city was very critical, since in the city itself, the attitude to the press had not changed till the Monarchy was established. In that context the workers pointed out that soldiers were beating people in the streets and that looting, censorship and money lending were still flourishing. It can be concluded that the press turned out to be a very valuable source for research on labour movement, primarily in terms of the obvious division among workers after the October Revolution and revolutionary turmoil in Germany and Hungary. On the other hand, it is precisely the press that provides us with an insight into the ideological apparatus of the social democrats and communists. Moreover, it shaped certain forms of discourse, which were among the most suitable means in clashes between the two factions. Also, based on the available press, a discourse of the Osijek social democrats (The Socialist, The Fight, The Workers’ Papers, The Workers’ Press, The Workers’ Newspapers) and communists (The Workers’ Newspapers, The Workers’ Word, The Word of the Workers and Peasants) was analysed, within the framework of the discourse models presented by van Dijk. Each defined model is followed by an example of its application in social and democratic press, and then in the communist press as well. In this way it is possible to significance for particular type of politics. In addition, the basic source of dispute in this period was the attitude to ministerialism. The communists were strictly and openly against participation in the state structures, while social democrats firstly accepted positions in the People’s Council bodies, and after that in the government itself, which helped communists create discourse patterns in which they equalized the governmental structures with the social democrats and in that way attempted to gain authority among workers, presenting themselves as the only political option which protects the interest of workers. Finally, this period witnessed the division of the labour movement, which was a reflection of the events taking place across Europe. In Germany, a number of workers separated from the social democratic party within the Spartacus League, which supported the revolutionary model of taking over the government (a coup), though not as revolutionary as in Russia. This has to a great extent influenced the state of the labour movement, including that in Yugoslavia and in Osijek, which led to two congresses. The first one, the congress of unification, was organized by the left wing in Belgrade (April 20-23, 1919) and during this congress The Socialist Workers’ Party of Yugoslavia was founded. Shortly after that, the right wing founded the united social democratic party known as The Yugoslav Social Democratic Party, in Novi Sad (June 21-22, 1919). It should be mentioned that at this stage, neither of these two parties was clearly defined. Both wings would define their political goals during the congresses which would be organized later on. Regardless of this fact, the left faction, following the Belgrade congress, accepted the revolutionary model of taking over the power. This orientation was mostly influenced by the people who had returned from Russia and by the establishment of the Hungarian Soviet Republic. Moreover, in the light of these events, a bolshevik coup was attempted in Osijek, which the press referred to as “The Affair of April Pamphlets”. This method was strongly opposed by social democrats, who claimed that there were no conditions in the country to organize a social revolution and that the communist faction was introducing purely political dogmatism. This attitude was influenced by Bernstein’s evolutionary socialism and the fact that social democrats took over the power in Germany through elections. Moreover, the local social democrats cited Bernstein, especially Korać in the context of revolution, pointing out it was a form of historical atavism not applicable to the current situation. The real power ratio was shown in the Constituent Assembly elections held in 1920, in which communists won significantly more votes than social democrats. After these elections the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, or the Yugoslav Social Democratic Party, was founded. The fourth part of the paper presents an analysis of ideological disputes in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, placing special emphasis on the Proclamation and its effect on both factions. The Proclamation itself did not forbid the activities performed by social democrats, which enabled communists to create discourse models in which they presented themselves as victims, trying to draw empathy of people for their ideology. In accordance with the imposed air of illegal activities, communists developed various ways of action – from forming illegal cells to resorting to terrorist methods (the assassination of Minister Drašković). Since a great majority of communists did not accept these methods, they attempted to form legal organizations, such as Independent Union and Independent Workers’ Party, which was banned a year later. Due to these circumstances, the ideological conflict was placed in the union framework. That is how a front was created between the Central Workers’ Alliance, which was closely related to Social Democratic Party of Yugoslavia, and Independent Unions, which were actually a union wing of the banned Party. In Osijek, some physical conflicts were recorded, especially in the context of ownership of the Workers’ Hall. On the other hand, the second front was emerging, which was a result of a demand by some social democrats for cooperation with the communist unions. The party leading structure was strongly opposed to this. Conflicts were not rare among communist members, especially in terms of the attitude to the national issues and advancement of certain social democratic models. The aforementioned was particularly evident in the City authority elections (1927), when Independent Workers agreed to cooperate with the civic parties. These were extraordinary circumstances, since the city had been run by a commesariat which had the aim of enabling the National Radical Party to come to power. The political parties in the city used all these circumstances to emphasize the communist pragmatism and ideological concepts. Although they did not manage to cooperate successfully, this episode was quite significant in ideological context, since it showed that ideology was not a hermeneutic discipline and that it was subject to various solutions which are sometimes completely contradictory to its fundamental postulates. Having taken into consideration the aforementioned importance of the press, this part also presents an analysis of the communist Workers and Peasants’ Word, which had, in the period of its illegal activities, served as an ideological basis of the conflict with social democrats. This press, among other things, published a text by Edo Dürr, in which the author called the Osijek social democrats (Ivan Galovac, Stevo Klas and Eduard Fleischer) “a provoking gang of police spies”. This example is used for an analysis of new lexical compounds which were formed by communists, such as police socialists and police fascist, which also pointed to the fact that social democrats cooperated with the repressive state apparatus and were therefore considered the enemies of the working class. This part of paper also presents different ways in which communist ideas entered the world of young people and the attempt of the authorities to suppress them. Also, it presents an analysis of the repeated development of revolutionary discourse in the context of an extremely delicate situation which arose following the assassination of Stjepan Radić in the parliament (1928), and more pronounced totalitarian tendencies of King Alexander. It should be noted that proclaiming a revolution was pursuant to the Communist International’s orders regarding rebellion, since the general belief was that revolutionary tendencies in Europe were on an increase. The fifth section of the paper presents an elaboration of the ways in which revolution was proclaimed within International day, and which also included struggle against social democrats. The above mentioned implies that a new state, The Kingdom of Yugoslavia, was a certain trigger for strengthening the revolutionary aspect of the party. On the other hand, even in the new social order and despite the ban imposed by The Socialist Party of Yugoslavia, social democrats worked within the framework of unions and continued to support the evolutionary socialism policy. They collaborated with the local authorities, primarily attempting to reduce the unemployment rate which was high in Osijek, as a result of the Great depression. In that context, we analyse the activities of the Osijek branch of the General Workers’ Alliance, which was associated with interpellations in the City government, and the impact of the economic crisis on the workers in Osijek. While the social democrats were trying to negotiate the best working conditions possible and improve the position of the working class, most communists were arrested and put in prisons (also called “the apartments”) because of the support they were giving to revolution. After being released from prison they realised they could not continue supporting the old policy. That is how the communist idea penetrated the social democrats’ unions, which caused conflict between the General Workers’ Alliance and United Federation of Workers' Unions of Yugoslavia. The General Workers’ Alliance was strongly opposed to the acceptance of communist members, claiming they were to blame for the political split in the movement and that they could only additionally aggravate the position of workers. Due to these conflicts, the nationalist-oriented Croatian Workers’ Alliance was gaining strength. It was also closely associated with the Croatian Peasant Party. Under these circumstances, the communist ideology started spreading in quite a creative way. They worked within the Esperanto society and held lectures on alcoholism in which they presented their ideological postulates, trying to work outside the framework of illegal activities. Still, the most obvious demonstration of communist activities was the support they were giving to internationalism by organizing volunteers for Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Moreover, they started incorporating theses on the need for common action against fascism into their ideology. Social democrats were once again sceptical about this, believing that communists wanted to gain advantage in terms of creating ideological dominance. The authorities were afraid that communist ideas would spread, so the Department for National Defence, like in other countries, initiated establishment of antiMarxist clubs. The purpose of these clubs was collective and organized opposition to the ideas of communist internationalism. The Anti-Marxist Committee in Osijek was established in 1937, led by Kamilo Firinger. By the order of the city police chief, all anti-communist material was delivered to him. It is interesting to note that the city police leadership considered the work of this Committee confidential, since it could have been related to the regime and political nature. Parallel to this, the Croatian Workers’ Alliance grew in strength, and it slowly started suppressing the classical workers’ ideology. However, in line with their support of unique policy against fascism, the communists redefined their original attitude to the Croatian Workers’ Alliance. Now they were creating a policy which assumed cooperation with this union, instead of confrontation. The Croatian Workers’ Alliance refused this cooperation and continued creating negative policy regarding communists. After the General Workers’ Alliance had been dissolved (1937), and illegal communist activities were continued, the Croatian Workers’ Alliance assumed greater influence which culminated in the creation of the Banate of Croatia (1939). In this way, the social democrats became more passive, while the communists resorted to revolutionary actions through which they managed to gain not only dominance within the labour movement, but also dominance in all social and political issues. In the concluding part of the paper a thesis is proposed that, despite the dominant belief regarding the marginal role of the social democratic faction, Osijek is an example which proves that this faction was not completely marginalized and that, despite a lower number of members it still did play a significant role among workers, especially during the economic crisis in the 1930s. It also states that history of the labour movement creates an opportunity for interdisciplinary research, mostly in terms of associating linguistics (i.e. discourse plan) with ideology and politics. It should be pointed out that language was transformed in the process of creating ideological disputes and became its important element. That can further be supported with newly coined words (social fascist, etc.), which became the dominant ideological instruments in conflicts and in the fight for dominance over the working class. Apart from this, it is also stressed that this field of research creates new possibilities for analysis of social democracy in Croatia in the period between the two wars, not only based on the press, but also on the basis of various documents, such as those of Božidar Adžija (Capitalism and socialism) or Slavko Henč (What is the general, equal, direct, secret and proportional electoral right?). It is in a way contradictory to the dominant thesis of Yugoslav historiography which claims that social democracy did not create opportunities for numerous analyses, due to its limited party activities. In the conclusion, it is also pointed out that the history of labour movement and its ideology should be updated, taking into consideration the current situation in which many theoreticians quote Karl Marx, emphasizing the need for going back to the early days of the labour movement with the aim of finding a way for its further activities.