Some of the basic ideas from Darko Suvin’s book Splendour, Misery, and Possibilities: An X-Ray of Socialist Yugoslavia are analyzed in the essay. Suvin’s hypothesis that Yugoslav self-management represents a unique historical experience of the possibility to set the foundations for liberation from class domination and build a human community based on social equality and individual freedom is tested against historiographic and sociological research data. Suvin’s own idea about the radical break between the first phase of the development of self-management (1950–70) as a possible revolutionary liberating platform and the second phase (1970–90) in which new class relationships were developed in the country is also discussed. At a more general theoretical level, the problem of the actual possibility for a historical break with the still developing capitalist mode of production and the possible actor of the radical social change Suvin is dealing with in his book are addressed.
In Search of the Lost Alternative
Mladen Lazić is professor of sociology at the Belgrade University and member of the Academia Europaea. He is coauthor of Making and Unmaking State-Centered Capitalism in Serbia (2012) and editor of Political Elite in Serbia in the Period of Consolidation of Capitalism (2016). He has published papers in numerous edited books and journals, including European Sociological Review, Europe-Asia Studies, and International Journal of Sociology. His topics include stratification, political and economic elites, social change, and value orientations.
Mladen Lazić; In Search of the Lost Alternative. the minnesota review 1 November 2018; 2018 (91): 136–148. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00265667-7137319
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