Post-Communist passages

My forthcoming paper on Indian Communism examines the divergent roads that Communists took after the revolutions of 1989 in their struggle to maintain political relevance. One option was ‘national socialism’ a strongly nationalist and statist position that often involved alliance with far-right nationalist forces that were once bitter anti-Communists. The Serbian Socialist Party of Slobodan Milosevic exemplified this strategy. Although this strategy could yield short term political dividends it was ultimately self-defeating as newer political forces, less encumbered by the Communist past, proved better able to seize the nationalist ground, such as the Serb Radicals. The Serbian Socialists plunged to 5.6% at the 2007 legislative elections perilously close to the 5% threshold for parliamentary representation, whilst the Radicals polled 28.6%. In 1990 the Socialists had polled 28.8%. The Socialists responded to their decline by a shift away from their nationalist past and an attempt to present themselves as a mainstream centre-left party. At the May 2008 elections their vote increased to 7.9%. Now they have agreedto join the pro-European parties in a coalition government opposed to their old nationalist allies. There is no future for post-Communists outside of a capitalist and democratic Europe. A bit sad for the true believers in Slobodan Milosevic as the defender of socialism and in the Socialists as defenders of Orthodox Christian nationalism. Perhaps the Socialists will split as traditionalists such as Mihajlo Markovic depart.

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