Titoism is described as the post-World War II policies and practices associated with Josip Broz Tito during the Cold War, characterized by an opposition to the Soviet Union.[1]

It usually represents Tito's Yugoslav doctrine in Cold War international politics. It emerged with the Yugoslav Partisans' liberation of Yugoslavia independently of, or without much help from, the Red Army, resulting in Yugoslavia being the only Eastern European country to remain "socialist, but independent" after World War II as well as resisting Soviet Union pressure to become a member of the Warsaw Pact.

Today, Titoism is also used to refer to Yugo-nostalgia, a longing for reestablishment or revival of Yugoslavism or Yugoslavia by the citizens of Yugoslavia's successor states.

Breakup with Stalin

When the rest of Eastern Europe became satellite states of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia refused to accept the 1948 Resolution of the Cominform and the period from 1948 to 1955, known as the Informbiro, was marked by severe repression of opponents and many others accused of pro-Stalin attitudes to the penal camp on Goli Otok.


Elements of Titoism are characterized by policies and practices based on the principle that in each country the means of attaining ultimate communist goals must be dictated by the conditions of that particular country, rather than by a pattern set in another country. It is distinct from Joseph Stalin's socialism in one country theory as Tito advocated cooperation between nations through the Non-Aligned Movement while at the same time pursuing socialism in whatever ways best suited particular nations. On the other hand, socialism in one country focused on fast industrialisation and modernisation in order to compete with what Stalin perceived as the more advanced nations of the West. During Tito's era, his ideas specifically meant that the communist goal should be pursued independently of (and often in opposition to) what he referred to as the Stalinist and imperialist policies of the Soviet Union.

Throughout his time in office, Tito prided himself on Yugoslavia's independence from the Soviet Union, with Yugoslavia never accepting full membership in Comecon and Tito's open rejection of many aspects of Stalinism as the most obvious manifestations of this. The Soviets and their satellite states often accused Yugoslavia of Trotskyism and social democracy, charges loosely based on Tito's samoupravljanje (self-management) and the theory of associated labor (profit sharing policies and worker-owned industries initiated by him, Milovan Đilas and Edvard Kardelj in 1950). It was in these things that the Soviet leadership accused of harboring the seeds of council communism or even corporatism.

The propaganda attacks centered on the caricature of "Tito the Butcher" of the working class, aimed to pinpoint him as a covert agent of Western imperialism. Tito was in fact welcomed by Western powers as an ally, but he never lost his communist credentials.


Initially a personal favourite of Stalin, Tito led the left-wing national liberation war to the Nazi occupation during the war, then met with the Soviet leadership several times immediately after the war to negotiate the future of Yugoslavia. Over time, these negotiations became less cordial because Tito had the intention neither of handing over executive power nor of accepting foreign intervention or influence (a position Tito later continued within the Non-Aligned Movement).

Tito angered Stalin by agreeing with the projects of Bulgarian leader Georgi Dimitrov, which meant to merge the two Balkan countries into a Balkan Federative Republic according to the projects of Balkan Communist Federation. This led to the 1947 cooperation agreement signed in Bled (Dimitrov also pressured Romania to join such a federation, expressing his beliefs during a visit to Bucharest in early 1948). The Bled agreement, also referred to as the "Tito-Dimitrov treaty", was signed 1 August 1947 in Bled, Slovenia. It foresaw also unification between Vardar Macedonia and Pirin Macedonia and return of Western Outlands to Bulgaria. The policies resulting from the agreement were reversed after the Tito-Stalin split in June 1948, when Bulgaria was being subordinated to the interests of the Soviet Union and took a stance against Yugoslavia.

The policy of regional blocs had been the norm in Comintern policies, displaying Soviet resentment of the nation-state in Eastern Europe and of the consequences of Paris Peace Conference. With the 1943 dissolution of Comintern and the subsequent advent of the Cominform came Stalin's dismissal of the previous ideology, and adaptation to the conditions created for Soviet hegemony during the Cold War.

Outcome and influence

The League of Communists of Yugoslavia retained solid power; as in all Communist regimes, the legislature did little more than rubber stamp decisions already made by the LCY's Politburo. The secret police, the State Security Administration (UDBA), while operating with considerably more restraint than its counterparts in the rest of Eastern Europe, was nonetheless a feared tool of government control. UDBA was particularly notorious for assassinating suspected "enemies of the state" who lived in exile overseas.[2] The media remained under restrictions that were onerous by Western standards, but still had more latitude than their counterparts in other Communist countries. Nationalist groups were a particular target of the authorities, with numerous arrests and prison sentences handed down over the years for separatist activities. Although the Soviets revised their attitudes under Nikita Khrushchev during the process of de-Stalinization and sought to normalize relations with the Yugoslavs while obtaining influence in the Non-Aligned Movement, the answer they got was never enthusiastic and the Soviet Union never gained a proper outlet to the Mediterranean Sea. At the same time, the Non-Aligned states failed to form a third Bloc, especially after the split at the outcome of the 1973 oil crisis.

Leonid Brezhnev's conservative attitudes yet again chilled relations between the two countries (although they never degenerated to the level of the conflict with Stalin). Yugoslavia backed Czechoslovakia's leader Alexander Dubček during the 1968 Prague Spring and then cultivated a special (albeit incidental) relation with the maverick Romanian President Nicolae Ceaușescu. Titoism was similar to Dubček's socialism with a human face while Ceaușescu attracted sympathies for his refusal to condone (and take part in) the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, which briefly seemed to constitute a casus belli between Romania and the Soviets. However, Ceaușescu was an unlikely member of the alliance since he profited from the events in order to push his authoritarian agenda inside Romania.

After Brezhnev brought Czechoslovakia to heel in 1968, Romania and Yugoslavia maintained privileged connections up to the mid-1980s. Ceaușescu adapted the part of Titoism that made reference to the "conditions of a particular country", but merged them with Romanian nationalism and contrasting North Korean Juche beliefs while embarking on a particular form of Cultural Revolution. The synthesis can be roughly compared with the parallel developments of Hoxhaism and found Ceaușescu strong, perhaps unsought, supporters in National Bolshevism theorists such as the Belgian Jean-François Thiriart.

Tito's own ideology became less clear with the pressures of various nationalisms within Yugoslavia and the problems posed by the 1970s Croatian Spring. In terms of economics, Yugoslavia became somewhat closer to a free-market, neatly separated from other Socialist regimes in Eastern Europe (and marked by a permissive attitude towards seasonal labor of Yugoslav citizens in Western Europe). At the same time, the leadership did put a stop to overt capitalist attempts (such as Stjepan Mesić's experiment with privatization in Orahovica) and crushed the dissidence of liberal thinkers such as former leader Milovan Đilas while it also clamped down on centrifugal attempts, promoting a Yugoslav patriotism.

Although still claimed as official policies, virtually all aspects of Titoism went into rapid decline after Tito's death in 1980, being replaced by the rival policies of constituent republics. During the late 1980s, with nationalism on the rise, revised Titoism was arguably kept as a point of reference by political movements caught disadvantaged by the main trends, such as civic forums in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Macedonia.

See also


  1. ^ "Titoism". Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  2. ^ Schindler, John (4 February 2010), Doctor of Espionage: The Victims of UDBA, Sarajevo: Slobodna Bosna, pp. 35–38

External links

Anti-Stalinist left

The anti-Stalinist left comprises various kinds of left-wing politics critical of Joseph Stalin, of Stalinism as a political philosophy, and of the actual system of governance Stalin implemented as dictator of the Soviet Union.

It may also refer to left-wing opposition to dictatorships, cults of personality, totalitarianism and police states, features commonly attributed to Stalinist regimes, such as Kim Il-sung, Enver Hoxha, Pol Pot, and others, including in the former Eastern Bloc.


For the Ffestiniog Railway's use of the word "deviationist", see Ffestiniog Railway#The Llyn Ystradau Deviation.In political ideology, a deviationist is a person who expresses a deviation: an abnormality or departure. In Stalinist ideology and practice, deviationism is an expressed belief which does not accord with official party doctrine for the time and area. Accusations of deviationism often led to purges. Forms of deviationism included revisionism, dogmatism, bourgeois nationalism, and rootless cosmopolitanism.

Mao Zedong in a 1953 speech referred to both "left" and "right" deviationists. Years later, in 1976, the so-called Gang of Four would strike out against "rightist deviationism" in China.

Dialectics of Nature

Dialectics of Nature (German: Dialektik der Natur) is an unfinished 1883 work by Friedrich Engels that applies Marxist ideas – particularly those of dialectical materialism – to science.


Guevarism is a theory of communist revolution and a military strategy of guerilla warfare associated with Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, a leading figure of the Cuban Revolution who believed in the idea of Marxism–Leninism and embraced its principles.


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Informbiro period

Informbiro (also the Informbiro period or the time of the Informbiro) was a period in the history of Yugoslavia which spanned from 1948 to 1955, characterised by conflict and schism with the Soviet Union. The word Informbiro is the Yugoslav name for the Cominform, an abbreviation for "Information Bureau," from "Communist Information Bureau".

The term refers to the Cominform Resolution of June 28, 1948 (resulting from the Tito–Stalin Split) that accused the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ), among other things, of "depart[ing] from Marxism-Leninism", exhibiting an "anti-Soviet attitude," "meeting criticism with hostility" and "reject[ing] to discuss the situation at an Informbureau meeting." Following these allegations, the resolution expelled the KPJ from Cominform. As a result, Yugoslavia fell outside of the Soviet sphere of influence, and the country's brand of communism, with its independence from the Soviet line, was called Titoism by Moscow and considered treasonous. Party purges against suspected "Titoites" were conducted throughout Eastern Europe.

League of Communists of Yugoslavia

The League of Communists of Yugoslavia, before 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, was the country's largest communist party, and the ruling party of SFR Yugoslavia. It was founded as an opposition party in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1919.

After initial successes in the elections, it was proscribed, or made illegal by the royal government and remained an illegal underground group until World War II; at times, it was harshly and violently suppressed. After the Fall of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia during the Invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, the communist-led Yugoslav Partisans became embroiled in the Yugoslav People's Liberation War and defeated the Axis forces and their local auxiliaries in a bloody civil war. After the liberation from foreign occupation in 1945, the party consolidated its power and established a single party state in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which existed until the 1990 breakup of Yugoslavia.

The party, which was led by Josip Broz Tito from 1937 to 1980, was the first communist party in power in the history of the Eastern Bloc that openly opposed the Soviet Union and thus was expelled from the Cominform in 1948 after the Tito-Stalin split. After internal purges of pro-Soviet members, the party renamed itself the League of Communists and adopted the politics of workers' self-management and independent communism, known as Titoism.

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communist in the sense of maintaining the ideal of common ownership and control of at least the means of production (and possibly of other property) regardless whether the word "communism" is used by the adherents of the ideology or not; and,

notable enough to be either mentioned in a non-trivial way in more than one scholarly work about history of communism, or to be an official ideology of a party at least represented in a parliament of a country with more than 1,000,000 citizens.Besides the principal communist ideologies (like Marxism or anarcho-communism), the list may contain also branches limited in their theoretical scope (e.g., Lysenkoism) or in their regional extent (e.g., Kádárism), provided they fulfill the above conditions.

List of communist parties

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Some communist parties have names such as Workers' Party, Socialist Party, Progressive Party, etc. Most, but not all, of the parties on this list are those that were aligned with either Moscow, Beijing or Tirana during the Cold War and their offshoots. Groups currently and exclusively participating in the Trotskyist or the Left communist tradition are not included in the listing, see List of Trotskyist organisations by country and List of Left communist organisations by country.

Groups currently participating in non-Marxist movements related to communism, such as Anarcho-communism and Juche, are included in the listing as a variant of communism as they are communist in origin and participate in world communist conventions. All consider themselves to be the vanguard governing party of their respective land.

Marxist film theory

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Marxist geography

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New Communist Party of Yugoslavia

The New Communist Party of Yugoslavia (Serbian: Нова комунистичка партија Југославије/Nova Komunistička Partija Jugoslavije (NKPJ)) is a communist party in Serbia

The NKPJ was formed in 1990. Its General Secretary is Branko Kitanović, a writer and a translator. The party has a youth section, the League of Yugoslav Communist Youth (SKOJ) formed in 1992. The NKPJ follows the theories of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin and considers Cuba and North Korea to be socialist states while considering Laos, China, and Vietnam to have socialist leanings. The NKPJ is strongly against Titoism but is of the opinion that Tito's Yugoslavia was a socialist state until 1990. The NKPJ's goal is the reunification of Yugoslavia as a communist state.The party boycotted the 2007 parliamentary election, because of its position that the electoral law violated fundamental democratic principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 2010 the party was removed from the list of registered parties after failing to re-register under the new electoral law.

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Tito–Stalin split

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Union of Tito's Left Forces

The Union of Tito's Left Forces (Macedonian: Сојуз на Титови леви сили, Sojuz na Titovi levi sili) is a communist party in the Republic of Macedonia. The party follows the ideology of Titoism and its leader is Slobodan Ugrinovski.

Veljko Vlahović

Veljko Vlahović (2 September 1914 in Trmanje, Podgorica – 7 March 1975 in Geneva) was a Montenegrin member of the Yugoslav Communist Party from 1935. He studied in Belgrade, Prague, and the Sorbonne (in Paris), and finished his postgraduate studies in Moscow. He fought in the Spanish Civil War and was active in organizing the Communist Youth League of Yugoslavia (SKOJ). During World War II he directed the Free Yugoslavia radio. In 1944 he became editor of the Serbian communist daily, Borba. He also served as deputy Foreign Minister.

Vlahović was essential in organizing the documents for the Programme of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (Program Saveza komunista Jugoslavije, also known as the Ljubljana Programme, which laid the principles of Titoism) and the 10th Congress of the Party, both in 1958. As such, he kept a great authority alongside Josip Broz Tito as an ideological mastermind.


Đilasism refers to the Yugoslav communist politics of the influence of Yugoslav Communist Milovan Đilas.Đilasism arose as a break from Titoism pursued by the Yugoslav government of Josip Broz Tito. The word was often used as pejorative, including by Tito, while Đilas himself personally denied that such an ideology existed.

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Foreign policy
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