Again on working class and the war in Yugoslavia

Bryan A. Alexander bnalexan at
Tue Dec 5 10:02:36 MST 1995

A good response...

Bryan Alexander
Department of English
University of Michigan

On Mon, 4 Dec 1995 ROSSERJB at wrote:

>      I am no fan of nationalism, but the constant
> claims that there never was a Bosnian nation is simply
> wrong.  There was a Bosnian kingdom for a period of time
> in the 1300-1400s, ironically the state that most closely
> corresponded territorially to the modern Yugoslavia prior
> to 1918.

>      Also, most of the Muslims were previously members of
> the Bogomils, a dualistic Christian sect viewed as heretical
> by both the Catholic Croats and the Orthodox Serbs.  They 
> were persecuted by both groups and it is no surprise that
> they were eager to convert to Islam after the Ottoman conquest,
> especially as their theology had elements in common with Islam.

	This is somewhat contested now, but the conversion is pretty much 
accepted now as being opportunistic, yes.

>      If one wants to pick on them historically on Marxist grounds,
> it would be that they tended to be landlords and the Orthodox
> in particular tended to be their serfs.
Or make the picture more complex: they were nomadic in many ways during 
the middle ages, which is unusual.  We could also talk about the tension 
between aristo and folk culture (which, thanks to Serb gunnery, we now 
will know very little about)

>      It is not surprising that Tito gave them a republic.  Bosnia
> was the base of his guerrilla movement in WWII and Bosnians 
> viewed themselves as "Yugoslavs" and pro-Tito more than people
> in any other republic.  Given what they have suffered through
> since the breakup, this is somewhat understandable.
> Barkley Rosser

	There's also the political strategem of balance, dear to Tito.
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