By Patrick Hyder Patterson
Yugoslavia used to be precise one of the communist nations of the chilly battle period in its openness to blending cultural parts from either socialism and capitalism. not like their opposite numbers within the international locations of the Soviet Bloc, traditional Yugoslavs loved entry to a variety of client items and providers, from outfits and home equipment to commute enterprises and discotheques. From the mid-1950s onward the political weather in Yugoslavia authorised, and later from time to time inspired, a consumerist way of life of purchasing, spending, buying, and having fun with that engaged the general public on a day by day foundation via sleek ads and revenues strategies. In Bought and Sold, Patrick Hyder Patterson unearths the level to which socialist Yugoslavia embraced a shopper tradition often linked to capitalism and explores the position of consumerism within the federation's cave in into civil struggle in 1991.
Based on notable learn and that includes notable examples of Yugoslav print advertisements and mass tradition, this ebook reconstructs in frequently dramatic aspect the increase of a tradition within which consumers' wishes trumped real human wishes. Yugoslavia, Patterson argues, grew to become a land the place the symbolic, cultural price of buyer items used to be a major consider person and staff identification. He indicates how a brand new, competitive company institution promoted consumerist trends that standard voters eagerly followed, whereas the Communist management alternately inspired and limited the shopper orientation.
Abundance translated into civic contentment and appeared to end up that the regime may supply items and providers equivalent to these of the capitalist West, yet many Yugoslavs, either in and out the circles of authentic energy, frightened in regards to the contradiction among the population's embody of intake and the dictates of Marxist ideology. the outcome used to be a heated public debate over creeping consumerist values, with the hot lifestyle discovering fierce critics and, unusually for a communist state, many passionate and vocal defenders. Patterson argues that consumerism was once one of many severe components that held the multiethnic society jointly through the years of the Yugoslav "Good lifestyles" of the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies. With the commercial downturn of the Nineteen Eighties, besides the fact that, the reliance on increasing consumerism eventually resulted in sour disillusionment, stripping the original Yugoslav version of its legitimacy and priming the population for mutual resentment, ethnic clash, and war.
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Extra info for Bought and Sold: Living and Losing the Good Life in Socialist Yugoslavia
D on ia an d Jo h n V. A . , B o s n ia a n d H erc eg o v in a : A T rad itio n B e tra ye d (N ew Y o rk , 19 9 4 ), 1 5 8 . T h e au th ors c au tion , ho w ever, th at altho ugh T ito ’s respect for the S oviet m odel w as deep and gen uine, his am bition w as fo r Y u goslavs, under his lead ership , to rebuild their c ou n try fo llo w in g the ex am p les o f Lenin and Stalin. T ito certain ly w as o f 110 mind to sim ply im plem ent decisio ns m ade by a Soviet ov erlo rd . Ib id. 3 . Lam p e, Y u g oslavia as H istory, i ?
Having achieved substantial po p u lar legitimacy through their struggles as resistance leaders, the c oun try ’s new rulers enjoyed m ore of a m andate to im plement radical change th an their co u n terp arts elsewhere. The strategy of stealth and subterfuge seen in o th er East European states was not nearly so evident here because it w as no t nearly so necessary: in Yugoslavia during the last half of the 1940s, C om m unists had the freedom to act m ore com m unist. Accordingly, they em barked alm ost im m ediately on a zealous tran sfo rm a tion of the country’s econom y and social structure.
Because the ideal of consum er abundance was so eagerly bought and so successfully sold, and because th at ideal becam e the basis of a v ib ran t p o p u lar culture when it was given life in the everyday desires, th o u g h ts, and values th at were shared by ordinary people, Yugoslavia first flourished w hen tim es were good, then faltered w hen it becam e clear th at ever increasing abundance could not prove sustainable. Because the culture of plenty and pleasure had been so m uch of w hat m ade the co u n try a success and held it together, the undoing of th at culture in the 1980s was felt all the m ore acutely when Yu goslavia at last fragm ented and fell to pieces.
Bought and Sold: Living and Losing the Good Life in Socialist Yugoslavia by Patrick Hyder Patterson