Thursday, February 18, 2016

From Dr. Richter's reading list. Milovan Djilas.

I have been trying to understand where we are going as a country and what the worst case scenario for a civil war without limits will look like. In doing so, the case of the former Yugoslavia leaps out and demands careful study. An artificial construct of a nation of vastly different competing ethnic regions, religious faiths and competing economic tensions, Yugoslavia was the template for a civil war waiting to happen when the rule of kings, strong men and dictators finally failed. In other words, the kind of nation that the United states is becoming thanks to the political correctness of collectivisms over the past century. We were once one nation, now we are, at best three, divided by fundamentally incompatible ideologies.
I discovered rather quickly that it is impossible to understand the tragedy of Yugoslavia without reference to its most famous historian and dissident, Milovan Djilas. This sparked a memory cell or two and I recalled that Dr, Richter recommended reading "Anything by Milovan Djilas." Born in 1911 Djilas outlived most of his former friends and enemies, dying on 20 April 1995). He not only was a Communist Party of Yugoslavia politician, theorist and author, but he was a key figure in the Partisan movement during World War II, as well as in the post-war government. In addition, this remarkable man became one of the best-known and most prominent dissidents in Yugoslavia and the whole of the Eastern Bloc.
Currently I am reading Djilas' history of the Partisan campaigns, Wartime.
Wartime didn't come out until 1980, almost four years after Dr. Richter suggested "Anything by Milovan Djilas." Somehow, I never read it after its release. What I am certain was on the list was his 1957 work The New Class: An Analysis of the Communist System,
and Conversations With Stalin.
I'll be revisiting those as well as the fundamental guide to Yugoslavia and her dissimilar peoples at the beginning of world War II, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West. If, that is, God gives me the time.


Anonymous said...


These books look interesting, they are on my list now. Do you have a link to the Dr. Richter list of books? I seem to recall something to that effect.


Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you for continuing to add to my own reading list. "Our Battle" followed Locke's 2 treatises, and I'm currently working my way through "The Road to Serfdom," with "I Chose Freedom" waiting in the wings.

If I may beg a favor of you, can you please provide us all with as comprehensive of a recollection as you can of Dr. Richter's List? Any other works you might personally recommend would be helpful as well.

Thing is, there's a wealth of knowledge to be had in those old books. While I've been expanding my own library post-by-post, it might be helpful to newer readers or posterity if the complete (or as complete as you can remember) list were compiled together, in one place. They're currently scattered all through the blog's history.

You've spoken in the past about the good Doctor's role in bringing your "Benedict Arnold" period to a close. Well, I'm part of a whole damned Benedict Arnold generation. That wisdom needs to be passed down, before it's too late.

Thank you again, for helping me wrap my head around things I always knew to be true, but could never articulate into words.

-An Atypical Millennial

PNW_DPer said...

Yugoslavia had an opportunity to become like Switzerland as a land of greatly differing languages, cultures, and religions that could have co-existed as do the very greatly different cultures of Switzerland, except that the western Banking Oligarchs determined to destroy Yugoslavia by destroying its economy so they could get control of its resources for themselves. Kosovo, for example, has rich gold and mineral resources that the British bankers wanted to control.

Of course, when you enforce poverty, people of different cultures who formerly worked with and respected each other in mutual cooperation will often then turn on each other. The US is similar in that as the Bankers on Wall street continue to loot Main street, our American unity and cooperation gives way to infighting along our cultural biases.

juhyt said...

Do you have Dr. Richter's complete reading list?

Anonymous said...

I read the WIKI bio you highlighted in the post. It seems Mr. Djilas found the communist gov't in Yugoslavia had turned totalitarian and created an oligarchy. Well I barely made it through high school, yet I could have told him that's what happens in a collectivist nation. As "Atypical Millenial" recognized, it's the generation that's currently "feeling the Bern" that needs to learn these universal truths before they have to learn them the hard way.