In 2014, our current Minister of Labour, Luka Mesec, claimed that Yugoslavia was one of the most powerful countries during its time, and one of the most successful economies in the world. Which went bankrupt and miserably collapsed due to an inefficient economy, and at its end, Slovenia had only achieved 30 percent of the development of its neighbouring Austria.
“For three decades, Yugoslavia was one of the most successful economies in the world. In the 1960s, Japan and Yugoslavia were written about as the flagships of the world economy.” These are the words and beliefs of our current Minister of Labour, Luka Mesec, which he said on a 2014 episode of the show Studio City. He is still swimming in the delusion that socialist self-management is good, even though it had finally destroyed the Yugoslav economy here. Interestingly, the presenter, Marcel Štefančič, did not dispute this and tolerated the distortions and misleading of the public.
After the end of the Second World War, Yugoslavia was in ruins, with very few literate and educated people, and the next five years were devoted to rebuilding the whole country and its infrastructure. It is true that its situation improved in the first few years after the end of the Second World War. Hospitals were built, schools were built, road infrastructure was built, and the media were given an important role. Economic growth reached 26 percent, but it is easier to achieve economic growth when you start from zero than later, when economic growth has already been achieved. Yugoslavia’s economy was really successful in the early years, but it was the Western countries that financed it. And this is something that Minister Luka Mesec seems to have missed during his “learning about the Yugoslav economy”.
Why did people emigrate en masse to better places?
For Mesec, Yugoslavia was a world superpower, however; he forgot to mention that its economy faced a crisis about 15 years after the Second World War, and its dose of stability was shattered by its foreign policy, which prevented it from receiving funding from the West. Yugoslavia was dependent on the West, and that says everything about its ‘strong economy’, which then stagnated. People were not even aware of what was really going on, thanks to the regime-controlled media, which were being controlled by the Communist Party (which we are still witnessing today), but they still emigrated en masse to countries with a free economy and a much higher standard of living.
The Yugoslav experiment, as it is still called by many and still dreamt of by the Left party (Levica) and the Minister of Labour, tried to combine the central role of the party, i.e. the state, in the governance of the country and in getting people interested in (self-)governance, not for the needs of the state, but for their own needs. This is how socialism came about, the ideological guidelines of which were given by Tito and worked out theoretically and practically by Edvard Kardelj.
The party bigwigs of the Left are still trying to convince us that this is about workers’ participation in the management of the firm, but in real life, it is nothing other than the establishment of totalitarian power in a sphere where the state has no place, at least as long as the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia stands, where free enterprise is guaranteed. In other words, it is about politics wanting to decide what is done in certain companies. According to Mesec, companies where employees co-manage or manage, or are owners or co-owners of the company, behave entirely differently towards their local communities, compared to the companies that are owned, for example, by financial funds.
Of course, this idea is not problematic if we are talking about small companies where the owners themselves decide to run the company with a small collective. But it will be different if Mesec and his revolutionary brethren want to implement the same thing at a higher level – that is, to force large business systems into self-management. Mesec’s aspirations for the return of Yugoslav workers’ self-management are real, which is difficult to understand in light of the facts, which are clear – that self-management is a step towards collapse.