From the CIAO Atlas Map of Europe 

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Erich Fromm's Concept of Aggression and the 'Missing Element' of Ethnonational Mobilisation in the Second Yugoslavia

Zlatko Isakovic *

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute
March 1997


This paper was created with intentions to present (Part I) and to examine Fromm's concept of aggression applying it to conflicts in the Second Yugoslavia (Part II). Main results of the examination are formulated within the concluding part of the paper.


Part I - Fromm's Concept of Aggression

Erich Fromm 1 (1900 - 1980), philosopher, sociologist and psychologist, was one (maybe a bit forgotten) of many scholars who tried to explain man's 2 lust for cruelty and destruction. Some of his colleagues consider that his book The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness was the most original and far-reaching work in his career dealing with this question. He used to be among Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis theory supporters, but later he also stressed significance of social, cultural and political factors. (For example, see Fromm, 1970). Fromm did not agree with (neo)behaviourists' presumption that there are no innate human traits since everything is the result of societal conditioning. (See Skinner, 1953, 1971).

Behaviorists claim that their method is 'scientific' because they deal with what is visible, i.e. with overt behavior. But they do not recognize that 'behavior' itself, separated from the behaving person, cannot be adequately described. A man fires a gun and kills another person; the behavioral act in itself - firing the shot that kills the person - if isolated from the 'aggressor,' means little, psychologically. In fact, a behavioristic statement would be adequate only about the gun; with regard to it the motivation of the man who pulls the trigger is irrelevant. But his behavior can be fully understand only if we know the conscious and unconscious motivation moving him to pull the trigger. We do not find a single cause for his behavior, but we can discover the psychical structure inside this man - his character - and the many conscious and unconscious factors which at a certain point led to his firing the gun. We find that we can explain the impulse to fire the gun as being determined by many factors in his character system, but that his act of firing the gun is the most contingent among all factors, and the least predictable one. It depends on many accidental elements in the situation, such as easy access to a gun, absence of other people, the degree of stress, and the conditions of his whole psychophysiological system at the moment.

It was concluded that 'the behaviorist maxim that observable behavior is a scientifically reliable datum is simply not true. The fact is that that the behavior itself is different depending on the motivation impulse, even though for superficial inspection this difference may not visible.' (Fromm, 1973: 43). Desire to satisfy hunger and sex is only a minor part of human motivation. 'The major motivations of man are his rational and irrational passions: the strivings for love, tenderness, solidarity, freedom, and truth, as well as the drive to control, to submit, to destroy; narcissism, greed, envy, ambition.' 3 (Fromm, 1973: 266).

1) Benign aggression

The author also disagreed with instictivists (see Lorenz, 1963 and 1965; Lorenz and Leyhausen, 1968) who argued that human destructiveness is completely inherited from man's animal ascendants or 'built in' in the animal and human brain and serves a function of defence against threats to vital interests (so-called hydraulic model of aggression, in analogy to the pressure exercised by dammed-up water or steam in a closed container 4 ). He considered that man shares one kind of his aggression with animals serving to insure survival: benign or defensive aggression 5 which is inherited and it disappears as soon as its causes (threats to vital interests) disappear. (Fromm, 1973: 185). The man's neurophysiological basis for defensive aggression is not identical with that of animal, but 'it is similar enough to permit the statement that this same neurophysiological equipment leads to an incidence of defensive aggression many times greater in men than in animal.' The reasons for this phenomenon are in main distinct conditions of human existence. First, while the animal perceives as a threat only 'clear and present danger' (its instinctive equipment and its individually acquired and genetically inherited memories induce the awareness of dangers and threats often more accurately than they are perceived by man), man (being endowed with a capacity for foresight and imagination) - in addition - reacts to the dangers and threats he can imagine as real or possibly happening in the future.

He may conclude, for instance, that because his tribe is richer that a neighboring tribe that is well trained in warfare, the other will attack his own sometime from now. ... In the political field the calculations of future threats is one of the central preoccupations of politicians and generals. If an individual or a group feels threatened, the mechanism of defensive aggression is mobilized even through the threat is not immediate; hence man's capacity to foresee threats enhances the frequency of his aggressive reactions. (Fromm, 1973: 196).

Second, man is also capable of being persuaded and brainwashed by his leaders in purpose to see in reality non-existing dangers; a government can make the population believe that it is being threatened, and on that way the normal biological reaction against threat is being mobilised. 6 Fromm put it on following way:

Most modern wars, for instance, have been prepared by systematic propaganda of this type; the population was persuaded by its leaders that it was in danger of being attacked and destroyed, and thus reactions of hate against the threatening nations have been provoked. Often no threat existed. Especially since the French revolution, with the appearance of large citizens' armies, rather than relatively small armies consisting of professional soldiers, it is not easy for a nation's leader to tell the people to kill and be killed because industry wants cheaper raw materials, cheaper labor, or new markets. Only a minority would be willing to participate in the war if it were justified by declaring such aims. ... In addition, these predictions of threat from the outside are often self-fulfilling: the aggressor state, by preparing for war, forces the state that is about to be attacked to prepare also, thereby providing the 'proof' of the alleged threat. (Fromm, 1973: 196).

Third, 'the range of man's vital interests is much wider than that of the animal.' He must survive physically as well as psychically, and for that purpose he is trying to keep, preserve his frame of orientation and objects of devotion.

He needs to maintain a certain psychic equilibrium lest he lose the capacity to function; for man everything necessary for the maintenance of his psychic equilibrium is of the same vital interest as that serves his physical equilibrium. First of all, man has a vital interest in retaining his frame of orientation. His capacity to act depends on it, and in the last analysis, his sense of identity. If others threaten him with ideas that question his own frame of orientation, he will react to these ideas as to a vital threat. He may rationalize this reaction in many ways. He will say that the new ideas are inherently 'immoral,' uncivilized,' 'crazy,' or whatever else he can think of to express his repugnance, but this antagonism is in fact aroused because 'he' feels threatened.

Man needs not only a frame of orientation but also object of devotion, which become a vital necessity for his emotional equilibrium. Whatever they are - values, ideals, ancestors, father, mother, the soil, country, class, religion, and hundreds of other phenomena - they are perceived as sacred. Even customs can become sacred because they symbolize the existing values. 7 The individual - or the group - reacts to an attack against the 'sacred' with the same rage and aggressiveness as to an attack against life. (Fromm, 1973: 197-198).

Analogously to reactions to threats to vital interests, fright tends to mobilise either aggression or flighting tendency.

The latter is often the case when a person still has a way out that saves a modicum of 'face,' but if he is driven into a corner and no possibility of evasion is left, the aggressive reaction is more likely to occur. One factor, however, must not be overlooked: the flight reaction depends on the interaction of two factors: the first is the magnitude of the realistic threat, the second is the degree of physical and psychical strength and self-confidence of the threatened person. On the one end of the continuum will be events which will frighten virtually everybody; on the other, there will be such a sense of helplessness and impotence that almost everything will frighten the anxious person. Hence fright is as much conditioned by real threats as it is by an inner environment that generates it even with little outside stimulation.

Fright, like pain, is a most uncomfortable feeling, and man will do almost anything to get rid of it. There are many ways to get rid of fright and anxiety, such as the use of drugs, sexual arousal, sleep, and the company of others. One of the most effective ways of getting rid of anxiety is to become aggressive. When a person can get out of the passive state of fright and begin to attack, the painful nature of fright disappears. (Fromm, 1973: 198).

Main Sources

a) Narcissism

According to Fromm's findings, 'the wounding of narcissism.' Is one of the most important sources of defensive aggression. The concept of narcissism was formulated by Freud in terms of his libido theory (see Freud, 1914), and Fromm freed it from that restricting frame:

Narcissism can ... be described as a state of experience in which only the person himself, his body, his needs, his feelings, his thoughts, his property, everything and everybody pertaining to him are experienced as fully real, while everybody that does not form part of the person or is not an object of his needs is not interesting, is not fully real, is perceived only by intellectual recognition, while affectively without weight and color. A person, to the extent to which he is narcissistic, has a double standard of perception. Only he himself and what pertains to him has significance, while the rest of the world is more or less weightless or colorless, and because of this double standard the narcissistic person shows severe defects in judgment and lacks the capacity of objectivity. (Fromm, 1973: 201).

Making this definition Fromm deals only with narcissism that manifests in the sense of grandiosity, just mentioning that there is an another kind of narcissism - in which a person is constantly and anxiously concerned with his health to the point of hypochondria - which, although it seems to be opposite, is 'only another manifestation of the same thing,' and can also be blended with the previous manifestation - like in Himmler's hypochondrical preoccupation with his health.

The narcissistic person often achieves a sense of security in his own entirely subjective conviction of his perfection, superiority over others, extraordinary qualities, sense of worth and (narcissistic) self-image. If the person has achieved something that finds recognition, he can give full rein to his narcissism because it has been socially sanctioned and confirmed and appears to be not only realistic and rational, but also fed by the admiration of others. Fromm emphasizes that, on the other hand, in Western society exists a bizarre relationship between the narcissism of the glory and the needs of the public. Emptiness and barrenness of the average man's life make him to want to be in touch with famous people. 'The mass media live from selling fame, and thus everybody is satisfied: the narcissistic performer, the public, and the fame merchants.'

A degree of narcissism among political leaders is frequently so high that it could be considered as an occupational illness, particularly among those whose power is based on mass audiences. Such a leader uses his narcissistic charisma as a means for political success, which he needs for own mental stability. 'Popular success is ... their self-therapy against madness. In fighting for their aims, they are really fighting for their sanity.' (More detailed: Fromm, 1973: 202-203).

In case of group narcissism the object is the group to which man belongs; he may be fully aware of that narcissism and to practice it without restrictions.

The assertion that 'my country' (or nation, or religion) is the most wonderful, the most cultured, the most powerful, the most peace-loving, etc., does not sound crazy at all; on the contrary, it sounds like the expression of patriotism, faith, and loyalty. It also appears to be a realistic and rational value judgment because it is shared by many members of the same group. This consensus succeeds in transforming the fantasy into reality, since for the most people reality is constituted by general consensus and not based on reason or critical examination. (Fromm, 1973: 203).

Fromm considers that group narcissism plays important roles in social and psychical life as well as in political life. First, this kind of narcissism furthers the group solidarity and cohesion, and makes manipulation easier by appealing to narcissistic prejudices. Secondly, group narcissism can be observed as an remarkably significant element providing satisfaction to the members of the group (particularly to those members who have little other reasons to feel proud and worthwhile). As Fromm puts it:

Even if one is the most miserable, the poorest, the least respected member of a group, there is compensation for one's miserable condition in feeling 'I am a part of the most wonderful group in the world. I, who in reality am a worm, become a giant through belonging to the group.' Consequently, the degree of group narcissism is commensurate with the lack of real satisfaction in life. Those social classes which enjoy life more are less fanatical (fanaticism is a characteristic quality of group narcissism) than those which, like the lower middle classes, suffer from scarcity in all material and cultural areas and lead a life of unmitigated boredom. (Fromm, 1973: 204).

For a social budget fostering group narcissism is very cheap in comparison with the social expense required to raise the population living standard. Society is supposed to fund ideologist (social functionaries like school teachers, journalists, ministers, professors, etc.) who formulate the slogans that generate social narcissism. Many of them participate even without any financial compensation: their reward is their sense of pride and satisfaction for serving 'such a worthy cause - and through enhanced prestige and promotion.'

Those whose narcissism refers to their group rather than to themselves as individuals are as sensitive as the individual narcissist, and they react with rage to any wound, real or imaginary, inflicted upon their group. If anything, they react more intensely and certainly more consciously. An individual, unless he is mentally very sick, may have at least some doubts about his personal narcissistic image. The member of the group has none, since his narcissism is shared by the majority. In case of conflict between groups that challenge each other's collective narcissism, this challenge arouses intense hostility in each of them. The narcissistic image of one group is raised to its highest point, while the devaluation of the opposing group sinks to the lowest. One's own group becomes a defender of human dignity, decency, morality, and right. Devilish qualities are ascribed to the other group: it is treacherous, ruthless, cruel, and basically inhuman. The violation of one of the symbols of group narcissism - such as flag, or the person of the emperor, the president, or an ambassador - is reacted to with such intense fury and aggression by the people that they are willing to support their leaders in a policy of war. (Fromm, 1973: 204).

Fromm stressed that in case of war all governments try to stimulate among their populations 'the feeling that the enemy is not human,' not calling him by his proper name, but by a different one (in the First World War Germans were called 'Huns' by the British or 'Boches' by the French, in the Vietnam war many American soldiers called Vietnamese opponents 'gooks') and this practice also occurs in intra state conflicts (Hitler called his political enemies 'Untermanchen' - 'subhumans,' etc.). Another way is cutting all affective bonds with enemy.

This occurs as a permanent state of mind in certain severe pathological cases, but it can also occur transitorily in one who is not sick. It does not make any difference whether the object of one's aggression is a stranger or a close relative or a friend: what happens is that aggressor cuts the other person off emotionally and 'freezes' him. The other ceases to be experienced as human and becomes a 'thing-over there.' Under these circumstances there are no inhibitions against even the most severe forms of destructiveness. There is good clinical evidence for the assumption that destructive aggression occurs, at least to a large degree, in conjunction with momentary or chronic emotional withdrawal. (Fromm, 1973: 122-123).

b) Lack of Freedom

Fromm considers that the desire for freedom is not a product of culture (particularly of learning-conditioning), but a 'biological reaction of the human organism,' and stresses that 'among all the threats to man's vital interests, the threat to his freedom is of extraordinary importance, individually and socially.' Throughout history this view is supported by phenomenon that 'nations and classes have fought their oppressors if there was any possibility of victory, and often even if there was none.'

The history of mankind is, indeed, a history of the fight for freedom, a history of revolutions, from the war of liberation of the Hebrews against the Egyptians, the national uprisings against the Roman Empire, the German peasant rebellions in the sixteenth century, to the American, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Algerian, and Vietnamese revolutions. 8 Leaders have all too frequently used the slogan that they are leading their people in a battle for freedom, when in reality their aim has been to enslave them. That no promise appeals more powerfully to the heart of man is evidenced by the phenomenon that even those leaders who want to suppress freedom find it necessary to promise it. (Fromm, 1973: 198-199).

The author found an another reason for assuming that there is an inherent impulse in man to fight for freedom in the fact that freedom is the condition for the full growth, mental health well-being of a person. As a condition for the unstunted development of the human organism, freedom is a vital biological interest of man, and threats to his freedom provoke defensive aggression as do all other threats to vital interests. Since any growth occurs only within a structure, and any structure requires constraint (Foerster, 1970), freedom does not imply lack of constraint. 'What matters is whether the constraint functions primarily for the sake of another person or institution, or whether it is autonomous - i.e., that it results from the necessities of growth inherent in the structure of the person.'

The fact that genuine revolutionary aggression, like all aggression generated by the impulse to defend one's life, freedom or dignity, is biologically rational and part of normal human functioning must not deceive one into forgetting that destruction of life always remains destruction, even when it is biologically justified; it is a matter of one's religious, moral, or political principles whether one believes that it is humanly justified or not. But whatever one's principles in this respect are, it is important to be aware how easily purely defensive aggression is blended with (nondefensive) destructiveness and with the sadistic wish to reverse the situation by controlling others instead of being controlled. If and when this happens, revolutionary aggression is vitiated and tends to renew the conditions it was seeking to abolish. (Fromm, 1973: 200).

Although 'no dictator calls himself a dictator, and every system claims that it expresses the will of the people, 9 the historical record and the study of individuals show that the favorable conditions for the growth of man are presence of freedom (activating stimuli), and of 'man-centered' modes of production (including the absence of exploitative control). Furthermore, 'it is not the presence of one or two conditions that have an impact, but a whole system of factors. This means that the general conditions conductive to the fullest growth of man (and each stage of individual development has its own specific conditions) 'can only be found in a social system in which various favorable conditions are combined to secure the right soil.' (Fromm, 1973: 260).

c) Resistance

Practicing his psychoanalytic therapy, Freud has detected that an important source of defensive aggression may be man's resistance to any attempt to bring repressed strivings and phantasies into awareness. The strivings may be repressed because a person is afraid of being punished, of not being loved, or of being humiliated if his repressed impulses were known to others or even himself (if self-respect and self-love are concerned). In that case the patient can turn away from the sensitive topic, can feel sleepy and tired, find a reason to avoid the interview or even to quit the analysis. Moreover Fromm discovered numerous examples of the same type of reactions in daily life as well as in history.

Those who told the truth about a particular regime have been exiled, jailed, or killed by those in power whose fury had been aroused. To be sure, the obvious explanation is that they were dangerous to their respective establishments, and that killing them seemed the best way to protect the status quo. This is true enough, but it does not explain the fact that the truth-sayers are so deeply hated even when they do not constitute a real threat to the established order. The reason lies, I believe in that by speaking the truth they mobilize the resistance of those who repress it. To the latter, the truth is dangerous not only because it can threaten their power but because it shakes their whole conscious system of orientation, deprives them of their rationalizations, and might even force them to act differently. Only those who have experienced the process of becoming aware of important impulses that were repressed know the earthquakelike sense of bewilderment and confusion that occurs as a result. Not all people are willing to risk this adventure, least of all those who profit, at least for the moment, from being blind. (Fromm, 1973: 206-207).

Psychological Factors that Make War Possible

Fromm presented just a brief analysis of causes of war. Stressing the role of motivation by economic interests and ambitions of political, military, and industrial leaders, he limited himself to giving just few relatively short but maybe inspiring remarks on psychological factors that make war possible even though they do not cause it (mostly using experiences from the two World Wars). First of all, once war had started, soldiers went on fighting because they felt that losing the war would mean disaster for their nations.

Second, individual soldiers were motivated by the feeling that they were fighting for their lives, and that it was a matter of killing or being killed.

Third, soldiers also knew that they would be shot if they ran away (although even these motivations did not prevent large-scale mutinies from occurring in all armies; in Russia and Germany they eventually led to intra state conflicts - revolutions in 1917 and 1918 - and in French army 'there was almost no army corps in 1917 in which the soldiers did not mutiny').

Fourth, there was the deeply ingrained feeling of respect for and awe of authority and the soldier had traditionally been made to feel that to obey his leaders was 'a moral and religious obligation for the fulfillment of which he should be ready to pay with his life.'

It took about three to four years of the horror of life in the trenches and growing insight into the fact that they were being used by their leaders for aims of war that had nothing to do with defense, to break down this attitude of obedience, at least in considerable part of the army and the population at home.' (Fromm, 1973: 213-214).

To Fromm's opinion, this is an appropriate example of (benign) conformist aggression which 'comprises various acts of aggression that are performed not because the aggressor is driven by the desire to destroy, but because he is told to do so and considers it his duty to obey orders.' 10 Conformist aggression is so sufficiently widespread that it deserves serious attention. 'From the behavior of boys in a juvenile gang to that of soldiers in an army, many destructive acts are committed in order not to appear 'yellow,' and out of obedience to orders. It is these motivations, and not human destructiveness, that are at the root of this type of aggressive behavior, which is often wrongly interpreted as indicating the power of innate aggressive impulses.' Fromm considers that, on the other hand, conformist aggression might also have been qualified as pseudoaggression, but obedience in many cases mobilises 'aggressive impulses that otherwise might not have become manifest.' The impulse not to obey 'constitutes for many a real threat, against which they defend themselves by performing the required aggressive act.' (More detailed: Fromm, 1973: 207).

Fifth, war is exciting, even if it brings risks for one's life and much physical suffering. As the life on the average person is usually boring, routinised and without adventure, and that person has a desire to throw oneself into an adventure, 'the only adventure, in fact, the average person may expect to have in his life.' (Fromm, 1973: 213-214).

In his attempt to transcend the triviality of his life man is driven to seek adventure, to look beyond and even to cross the limiting frontier of human existence. This is what makes great virtues and great vices, creation as well as destruction, so exciting and attractive. The hero is the one who has the courage to go to the frontier without succumbing to fear and doubt. The average man is a hero even in his unsuccessful attempt to be a hero; he is motivated by the desire to make some sense of his life and by the passion to walk as far as he can to its frontiers. (Fromm, 1973: 267).

As some examples demonstrate that the factor of adventurousness cannot cause a population to want war if the country is not attacked and if there is no reason for the governments to start war, there is also a warning that this factor must not be overestimated. (Fromm, 1973, 214fn).

Sixth, 'war to some extent, reverses all values,' encourages expression of deep-rooted human impulses (altruism and solidarity, for instance) often suppressed by the principles of egoism and competition that peacetime engenders in modern man. As the first, class (and some other) differences, if not absent, disappear to a considerable extent.'

In war, man is man again, and has a chance to distinguish himself, regardless of privileges that his social status confers upon him as a citizen. To put it in a very accentuated form: war is an indirect rebellion against the injustice, inequality and boredom governing social life in peacetime, and the fact must not be underestimated that while a soldier fights the enemy for his life, he does not have to fight the other members of his own group for food, medical care, shelter clothing; these are all provided in a kind of perversely cosialized system. The fact that war has these positive features is a sad comment on our civilization. If civilian life provided the elements of adventurousness, solidarity, equality, and idealism that can be found in war, it may be very difficult, we may conclude, to get people to fight a war. The problem for governments in war is to make use of this rebellion by harnessing it for the purpose of war; simultaneosly it must be prevented from becoming a threat to the government by enforcing strict discipline and the spirit of obedience to the leaders who are depicted as the unselfish, wise, courageous men protecting their people from destruction. (Fromm, 1973: 214-215).

Fromm's conclusion that wars in modern times as well as most of antique wars 'were not caused by dammed-up aggression, but by instrumental aggression of the military and political elites' 11 is based on the data about the difference in the frequency or incidence of war from the most primitive to the higher developed cultures. Furthermore 'the number and intensity of wars has risen with the development of technical civilization; it is highest among the powerful states with a strong government and lowest among primitive man without permanent chieftainship.' (Fromm, 1973: 215). Fromm presents the Wright's table which shows that the numbers of battles engaged in by the principal European powers from 1480 to 1940 express the same trend, and agrees with the conclusion 'the more primitive a civilization, the less wars do we find' (Wright, 1965) stating that 'the most primitive men are the least warlike and that warlikeness grows in proportion to civilization.' 'If destructiveness were innate in man, the trend would have to be opposite.' (Fromm, 1973: 150). The conclusion is also based on other authors' findings (Glover and Ginsberg, 1934; Benedict, 1959), and particularly on the Hoebel's general conclusion that 'man's propensity to war is obviously not an instinct, because it is an elaborate cultural complex.' (Hoebel, 1958). Finally, Fromm concluded that 'if human aggression were more or less at the same level as that of other mammals ... human society would be rather peaceful and nonviolent.' The view that war is caused by man's innate destructive impulses or aggression is not only unrealistic but also harmful (since it detracts attention from the real causes and thus weakens the opposition to them).

What those authors who explain that war is caused by man's innate aggression have done is to consider modern war as normal, assuming that it must be caused by man's 'destructive' nature. They have tried to find the confirmation fro this assumption in the data on animals and on our prehistoric ancestors, which have had to be distorted in order to serve this purpose. This position resulted from the unshakable conviction of the superiority of present-day civilization over pretechnical cultures. The logic was: if civilized man is plagued by so many wars and so much destructiveness, how much worse must primitive man have been, who is far behind in the development toward 'progress.' Since destructiveness must not be blamed on our civilization, it must be explained as the result of our instincts. But the facts speak otherwise. (Fromm, 1973: 215-216).


To Fromm's opinion, the main condition for the reduction of defensive aggression is that neither individuals nor groups are threatened by others. This condition depends 'on the existence of material bases that can provide a dignified life for all men and make the domination of one group by another neither possible nor attractive.' For this purpose are needed changes within the existing system of production, ownership and consumption.

Man will have to cease to live under 'zoo' conditions - i.e. his full freedom will have to be restored and all forms of exploitative control will have to disappear. That man is incapable of dispensing with controlling leaders is a myth disproved by all those societies that function well without hierarchies. Such a change would, of course, involve radical political and social changes that would alter all human relations, including the family structure, the structure of education, of religion, and relations between individuals in work and leisure.

As far as defensive aggression is a reaction not to real threats but to alleged threats produced by mass suggestion and brainwashing, the same fundamental social changes would abolish the basis for the use of that kind of psychic force. Since suggestibility is based on the powerlessness of the individual and on his awe of leaders, the social and political changes just mentioned would lead to its disappearance and, correspondingly, to the development of independent critical thinking.

Finally, in order to reduce group narcissism, the misery, monopoly, dullness, and powerlessness that exist in large sectors of the population would have to be eliminated. This cannot be accomplished simply by bettering material conditions. It can only be the result of drastic changes in the social organization to convert it from a control-property-power orientation to a life orientation; from having and hoarding to being and sharing. (Fromm, 1973: 216-217).

Fromm developed his property-sharing idea in his later well known book under the title To Have or to Be?, and one may assume that development of the concept of consociational democracy (its essence could be expressed as political cooperation of segmental elites 12 ) was based (at least indirectly and partly) on mentioned Fromm's idea on sharing power (or vice versa). In any case, these two concepts seem to be created by the same kind of inspirations.

2) Malignant Aggression

To Fromm's opinion, another kind of aggression (called malignant aggression or destructiveness), in which human beings kill without a significant biological or social purpose ('man is the only animal that can be a killer and destroyer of his own species without any rational gain, either biological or economic') is almost exclusively human, not instinctive and not received from a predecessor, but a learned element of human character - one of the man's passions. This kind of aggression is seen in terms of the dreams and associations of many patients as well as of numerous historical figures such as Joseph Stalin ('an extreme example of sadism'), Adolf Hitler ('a clinical case of necrofilia'), Heinrich Himmler ('an example of the bureaucratic-sadistic character'), etc.

The 'megamachines' (Mumford, 1967) of antiquity, modern imperialism, even Fascism and Stalinism would have to be considered rational to the degree to which they were the only historically possible next step under the circumstances. This, of course, is what their defenders claim. But they would have to prove that there were no other and historically more adequate options available, as I believe there were. (Fromm, 1973: 264).

In the pathologic cases (with the sadistic or necrophilous characters as well as with a malignant Oedipus complex) destructiveness is bound in the character structure, but there are 'destructive explosions' that 'are not spontaneous in the sense that they break out without any reason.' Both kinds of such reasons detected by Fromm seem to be prima facie noteworthy within intra state (and other) conflicts studies. 'In the first place, there are always external conditions that stimulate them, such as wars, religious or political conflicts, poverty, extreme boredom and insignificance of the individual. Second, there are subjective reasons: extreme group narcissism in national or religious terms' (as in India during the partition when the world witnessed frenzied mutual killing of hundreds of thousands of Hindus and Muslims), 'a certain proneness to a state of trance' (as in parts of Indonesia in anti-communist purge in 1965 when from four hundred thousand to a million real or alleged communists, together with many Chinese, were slaughtered). The author has concluded that it is not human nature that makes a sudden appearance these destructive explosions, 'but the destructive potential that is fostered by certain permanent conditions and mobilized by sudden traumatic events. Without these provoking factors, the destructive energies in these populations seem to be dormant, and not as with the destructive character, a constantly flowing source of energy.' (Fromm, 1973: 271).

Among the main Fromm's theses one could include postulate that the malignant aggression is 'one of the possible answers to psychic needs that are rooted in the existence of man, and that its generation results ... from the interaction of various social conditions with man's existential needs.' (Fromm, 1973: 218). He concludes that primitive societies (as the hunters and food-gatherers) were the least aggressive, and that war results from the development of civilisation and the advent of patriarchal society.

Man is the only animal who does not feel at home in nature, who can feel evicted from paradise, the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem that he has to solve and from which he cannot escape. He cannot go back to the prehuman state of harmony with nature, and he does not know where he will arrive if he goes forward. Man's existential contradiction results in a state of constant disequilibrium. This disequilibrium distinguishes him from an animal, which lives, as it were, in harmony with nature. This does not mean, of course, that the animal necessarily lives a peaceful and happy life, but it has its specific ecological niche to which its physical and mental qualities have been adapted by the process of evolution. Man's existential, and hence unavoidable disequilibrium can be relatively stable when he has found, with the support of his culture, a more or less adequate way of coping with his existential problems. But his relative stability does not imply that the dichotomy has disappeared; it is merely dormant and becomes manifest as soon as the conditions for this relative stability change. (Fromm, 1973: 225).


Part II - Conflicts in the Second Yugoslavia and the Fromm's Concept

This part of the paper was made with an intention to briefly present conflicts in the Second Yugoslavia 13 and process of its disintegration, and to verify the Fromm's concept applying it to underlying conflicts in that country.

Conflicts and Disintegration Genesis of the Second Yugoslavia

One year before the Fromm's book was published an author had concluded that while communists called for unification of those who were oppressed (proletarians) all over the world, nationalists called for unification of oppressors and oppressed of the same (own) nation. (Duverger, 1972: 164). In 1996 Prof. Alex P. Schmid formulated his remark related to causes of conflicts in the Second Yugoslavia on following way:

Obviously national ethnicity has been used as a mobilising device by some of the same people who were formerly internationalists and ideologically married to a class concept of society. It is important to establish which societal needs are catered for by political entrepreneurs and used to come to power or stay in power after old rallying devices were delegitimized.

One can notice that some experts see the collapse of the Second Yugoslavia as an event caused (at least predominantly) by the local elites, while international community was merely 'caught by surprise,' behaving as a 'powerless spectator' or a 'confused participant.' On the other hand, there is also an explanation that focuses the 'hostile external world powers' as the sole culprits, and at the same time downplays responsibility of the local actors. However it seems that both thesis need more detailed examinations.

The multiethnic society of the First and Second Yugoslavia represented a hybrid, where used to exist combined integrative forces (ties of more or less similar ethnic origin, language and culture, a relatively high number of interethnic marriages, existing on a continuous geographical and economic space) as well as disintegrative forces (different cultures and religions, a cursed history, constituent nations belonged to great rival empires and churches that 'eternally' divided and regrouped them, differences related to economy, 14 etc.). The country was called 'a Balkan colossus with one iron and one clay foot.'

Initially, the South Slav or Yugoslav nations (Croatians, Slovenes and Serbs) passionately attempted to unite into one state. Especially during the 19th century, in Croatia, Serbia, and some other former Yugoslav regions can be found many implicit and explicit expressions of desires to establish a common South Slavs' country. 'By the early twentieth century, the word Yugoslavia became a rallying cry.' (Doder, 1993: 5). In the 1914 Archduke Ferdinand, successor to the Hapsburg throne, was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip and his friends from Bosnian Serbs' organization 'Young Bosnia.' They were armed and trained by a (quasi)secret organisation from Serbia (called 'Black Hand') whose credo was Unification or Death. As some present-time authors stress, such an aim 'could not be realized until the various Yugoslavs united against their oppressors - the Austrians, Hungarians, and Ottoman Turks.' (Doder, 1993: 7). 15 The outcomes of that politically-motivated violence are known: outbreak of the First World War (following the Austria-Hungary's ultimatum to Serbia), 16 later defeat and disintegration of Austria-Hungary, and after the War creating the First Yugoslavia 17 (as well as some other Central European states).

The core problem arose even before the unification. The South Slav nations at the same time had second aims: First Yugoslavia was created in 1918 on the basis of a major misunderstanding: the Council of Croats and Slovenes wanted a confederal Yugoslavia (a partnership of equals), 18 but for Serbs Yugoslavia was a unitary country (in which they can fulfill an old dream: all Serbs united in one state); the Croats and Slovenes wanted a 'Swiss' state, and the Serbs a 'French.' The tensions between these two visions were sharpened by Serbian centralizing tendencies and Croat tactics of political obstructionism to expand their autonomy in face of what many Croatians felt as Serbian colonisation. (More detailed Remington, 1994: 73).

The more Serbian political elite (which cherished the self-image of being the Yugoslav Piedmont) saw itself as a political ruler in the centralist state, the more Yugoslavia represented for radicals in Croatian and Slovenian political elites just a 'transit station' to independence (and vice versa). The dual forces moved the institutional organisation from one extreme to the other. One kind of extreme was the rigidly centralised order (which culminated in the King's coup d'etat in 1929 19 ) and later dictatorship and Tito's authoritarian supranational rule (especially during the first two decades after the Second World War). Opposite kind of extreme led to the creation of Banovina Croatia (an 'embryo of confederation,' established in 1939 (which 'came too late to prevent the catastrophe during World War II') and to the 1974 constitution. 20 In the Second World War the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was shattered to pieces (into satellite states under fascist tutelage) and drown to civil war (partly similar to the one during the first half of 1990s), and at the end of the Second World War the Yugoslav idea seemed to be gone. 21 The integrity of communist Yugoslavia (though its communism was called 'liberal' or 'communism with human face' 22 ) was maintained by Tito's arbitrary power, but this 'glue' that held the federation together was gone with his death in 1980. It seems that the 'iron hands' (of both King and Tito) over the society produced a general sense of national deprivation, that by a curious twist was not imputed to the authoritarian style of rule but was directed to other nations generating the rebirth of nationalist movements.

When the economic crisis 23 'occurred' and Albanians from Kosovo demonstrated demanding an own republic in 1981 and were repressed for the second time (in 1968 was the first time), 24 the two blocs with irreconcilable goals were established: federal (centralist) bloc (Serbia and Montenegro) versus confederal (secessionist) bloc (Croatia, Slovenia, and later Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina). The Serbian elite was insisting upon the legitimate right to defend integrity (inviolability of borders) and sovereignty of Yugoslavia, while the opposite bloc was firmly requesting also the legitimate right to self-determination. In addition, the distinct social profile of the elites in Yugoslavia after Tito's death, their authoritarian spirit and inability to compromise deeply contradicted the multiethnic composition of the society. 25

The end of the Cold War and bipolarity in Europe reduced the importance of basic geopolitical assumptions underlying both the First and Second Yugoslavia. 26 Disintegration of the USSR, disappearance of Eastern Europe marked the definite end of Truman's (or rather Kennan's) containment doctrine, while rapid changes in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Albania and Russia as well as deepening crisis in the Second Yugoslavia made it lose the significance of the 'symbol of difference in the communist world' which for decades granted it privileged position within the US policy of 'differentiation.' When the 'iron curtain' disappeared, geostrategic importance of some border and buffer zones - like territories of Czechoslovakia, Baltic Republics, and Second Yugoslavia - became much minor important than before. Since changes in the USSR have finally marked the end of the 'Soviet threat' and bipolarity in Europe, efforts for establishment of a new international order on the continent, based on development of democracy and right of nations to self-determination start to occupy the central place in the policy of Western countries. 27 As the European Community (EC) faced the threat of 'renationalization' of its members' security policy, interests and national policies of certain members became apparent. Within the EC started to prevail the standpoint of Germany, which supported the right of Yugoslav republics to self-determination, while within the CSCE similar position was advocated by Austria and some other Central European countries. (More detailed Simic, 1993: 211-223). The main mistake of the EC and other international (external) actors seems to be the fact that the recognitions of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were given before the minority rights of ethnic Serbs were assured (at the beginning of conflict Serbs demanded just some kind of cultural autonomy within Croatia and cantonization of Bosnia and Herzegovina). It seems that, at the same time, political resistance of the Serbs to accept dismantling of Yugoslavia and thus agree to live divided in several states was not adequately articulated nor understood in the international community.

Since the Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina became independent states, positions were exchanged: then ethnic Serbs started to insist upon the right to (own) self-determination and governments in Zagreb and Sarajevo - upon the right to protect the integrity and sovereignty of their newly established/recognised countries. However when territories are shared by mutually contesting ethnic groups, self-determination as well as defense of the territorial integrity of one can be achieved only to the detriment of the other. The recognition of both rights to smaller and smaller units leads to total dissolution of a society, while an attempt to prevent this danger - once the process has been ignited and precedents made - leads to conflicts (like those existing in Mostar and some other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, FRY) on every level of secession.

Now a few points seem to be clear. First, the exogenous conditions matter. Croats used to wait for favorable international conditions for establishing a Croatian state from the First to the Second World War, and then, again, from the end of the Second World War to the end of the Cold War. Serbs did not wait at all, but used to announce own independence even in advance (if Croatia/Bosnia and Herzegovina declare/achieve independence). In addition it seems that the main strategies (except the one applied in Dayton) of the Belgrade, Knin, Pale and other Serbs' governments used to be based on the presumption that nobody was going to intervene in the 'Balkan powder keg.' Second, problems in ethnic relations cannot be solved by utilisation of any kind of violence: it, on the contrary, usually becomes a part (even major part) of the problem, not the solution. (More detailed see Øberg, 1994: 140). Third, now one can conclude that as much as the Second Yugoslavia had been dependent for its international position and internal cohesion on the Cold War World Order, some of the Yugoslav successor states seem to be dependent on a Post-Cold War or 'New World Order' (whatever power and role distribution its content assigns). Or, if the same idea could be expressed by other words, the Second Yugoslavia had been lasting along with the Cold War World Order, and the situation established by the Dayton Peace Accords (the 'Post Cold War World Order's first concrete result within the Balkan area) will be probably lasting along with the latter 'Order'. As Prof. Håkan Wiberg once put it, there were two kind of madnesses in Yugoslav crisis: one was within the Second Yugoslavia, and another one was in doing outside of it all the things that were predicted by serious analysts to have exactly the opposite effects of those intended.

Conflicts in the Second Yugoslavia Observed through Fromm's 'Lens'

Applying elements of presented Fromm's concept one could notice that passions have obviously and largely been present during South Slavs' history of the 20th century. Passions can be identified before the establishing of the common state as well as during its both existences, but particularly both times when it was disintegrated (1941 and 1991-92), what was followed by intra state wars. Serbian King's 'attempts to make sense of his life (at the first place of his rule) 'and to experience the optimum of intensity and strength he can (or believes he can) achieve under the given circumstances' led him to establish the centralised state of Yugoslavia whose double disintegration - at least partly - was caused by the conflicts between centralising and decentralising political/ethnic forces established on the basis of the results of his attempts. When Croats and Slovenes initially demanded a confederation, and the King attempted to establish the centralised state, it seems that a sort of compromise - at least theoretically - was possible to be found somewhere within the field of various federal solutions. It seems that rulers of Yugoslavia have not yet learned that destructiveness and cruelty are 'destructive not only of the victim, but of the destroyer himself.'

On the other hand, passionate politicians of secessionist South Slav nations (Croats, Slovenes, Muslims, Macedonians) by ignoring possibilities for a compromise destroyed the state once passionately desired by their own nations (or, more precisely, by their ancestors). Maybe a not so distant future will show whether they will be able to adapt themselves 'to a new way of making sense of life' (by mobilising their life-furthering passions and thus experiencing a superior sense of vitality and integration' in comparison with the one they had have before). Using the Fromm's way of expressing, unless this happens they can be domesticated but cannot be cured. An approximately analogous logic could be (partly) applied to politicians of the great and other powers that had been supporting the existence of the Second Yugoslavia, and then executed the final acts of Yugoslavia's disintegration.

For some people a way to make sense of their life can be found in terrorist way of behaving. The statement that a behavioral act ('a man fires a gun and kills another person') means psychologically little if it is isolated from the behaving person (and especially from his motivation) could be applied to mentioned very important cases from the South Slavs' history of the 20th century. Terrorism as well as state terror can be fully understand only if one knows the motivation moving executor to pull the trigger. If one cannot (fully) reach the conscious and unconscious factors that at deciding point led to the gun firing, could be considered several 'accidental elements' in the situation, such as 'easy access to the gun' (in Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary, Italy, France and/or elsewhere), absence or presence of other people (like during the public mass manifestations or Parliament sessions), etc. In addition, in political terror(ism) the choosing of victim (the Archduke and the successor to the throne, the Party leader, the King) conveys often a message of an important symbolic meaning and purpose (to deter those who will replace the victim and eventually continue to pursue the same striving, idea and practice). Some authors have even concluded that 'random' or random physical casualties are less important for terrorists than the general outcome - intimidation or frightening of selected social groups. (For example, see Schmid, 1984: 69). However, according to Fromm's opinion, 'fright, like pain, is a most uncomfortable feeling, and man will do almost anything to get rid of it,' and one of the most effective ways of getting rid of anxiety is to become aggressive.' Thus, while both sides in Yugoslavia were aiming to strengthen own positions by weakening opposite side's position (using terror(ist) manner), what they got in fact were almost regular aggressive replays.

In the years before the disintegration, the Second Yugoslavia had been in a serious economic and political crisis. Larger or smaller groups of Yugoslav citizens belonging to various nations (workers, teachers, physicians, etc.) used to protest from time to time in streets of numerous cities demanding more or less energetically higher salaries, etc. As it was concluded, 'it would have been surprising if political radicalism had not emerged; the issue was what kind of radicalism would be predominant: left-wing, right-wing, populism, nationalism or combination?' (Wiberg, 1993: 95). These events used to be a kind of shock for Yugoslav communist leadership faced with necessity to calm down the situation, but not having feasible solutions. Fromm said that leaders of a nation could realise 'that their economic situation will be seriously endangered in the long run unless they can conquer territory having the raw materials they need, or unless they defeat a competing nation.' Consequently, the leaderships of Croatia and Slovenia maybe wanted to improve own economic situations getting rid of the rest of Yugoslavia and getting closer to the EC (Croats taking away the territory populated by Serbs), and the leaderships of Serbia and Montenegro maybe tried to gain centralising Yugoslav state (using the total numbers of their populations in such a 'modern federation' as a political advantage) or, if it does not succeed, to support the Serbs from Croatia (and later those from Bosnia and Herzegovina) seeking to remain in same state with Serbia, etc. 28 It seems that Fromm himself, however, maybe recognised a gross complexity of the generally discussed matter adding that 'although frequently such reasons are merely an ideological cover for the desire for increasing power or the personal ambition of the leaders, there are wars which do respond to a historical necessity, at least in a broad, relative sense.' As it was concluded, given all conditions, influences and causes, 'it would have called for a miracle for Yugoslavia not to break up - and not to do so very violently.' (Wiberg, 1995a: 98).

Within the presented Fromm's comments on differences between the animal and human perceptions of threats or dangers there are several points that seem to be - at least to some degree - related to the mentioned phenomenon of spiraling nationalisms in the Second Yugoslavia. A more or less common interpretation of increasing nationalism say that in 1981 (and later) Albanian nationalism waked up Serbian nationalism, which then waked up Croatian and other nationalisms in the country, etc. All of them were at least partly based on the man's capacity for foresight and imagination and probably enhanced the frequencies of aggressive reactions. But one - looking everyday life - can conclude that those capacities are not perfect and unbounded; moreover relatively often they are manifested as (more or less) false, and this fact can provide a space for applying the security dilemma concept originating from traditional international security theory. Namely, if one side (Albanians, Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Muslims, etc.) somehow failed to correctly interpret the intentions of other(s) (that is, one side had benign intent, but the other side saw it as malign intent), such a dilemma could be seen as a fundamental cause of conflicts.

Politicians and their associates are mostly those people whose preoccupations include making calculations of nature and intensity of immediate and future threats. In the same time, they are the ones who are blamed for the persuasion and brainwashing 29 of the population in purpose to 'see' (i.e. to believe) even in reality non-existing (and self-fulfilling) dangers in international as well as in intra state conflicts.

Different nationalisms spiraled each other, political leaders in several parts eager to use and manipulate the breeding ground that had been provided by the factors above, blaming it all on crooks on the other side; in particular, the propaganda barrage in 1990-1991 between Serbian and Croatian mass media contributed heavily to the actual explosion. (Malesic, 1993 and Thompson, 1994). The blame game then quickly spread to the surrounding world, fairly closely related to religious boundaries: whom people see as the main crooks and victims depends heavily on whether they live in Catholic, Orthodox or Islamic country. (For critical analyses of the biases in Western media, see Brock, 1993-94 and Melino, 1883). From Christian or Islamic (but no, e.g., Buddhist) perspectives, it is also important to pinpoint guilt at individual or collective actors in order to pass moral or legal judgment. There is a plethora of conspiracy theories about various actors, and it is likely that some of them are true; but it will take many years' patient work by historians to tell with some certainty which of them. (Wiberg, 1995a: 98).

An author considers that the inability of the federal leadership to find out a longer-term political solution to the Kosovo problem as well as discontent with the overall situation in the country were the reasons of growing disappointment of Serbs with 1974 constitutional provisions, which by mid-eighties became increasingly visible among Serbian intellectuals and media. Step by step, an impression of impossibility of living in the same state was created, and a great majority of population on all sides - under pressure of the indoctrination - was ready to fight, support war or at least to justify its aims and operations. From the beginning of war the only federal TV channel (JUTEL) was disturbed and later forbidden in Belgrade as well as in Zagreb; its existence was finally ended in Sarajevo after the beginning of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On that way media were used for war preparation purposes. Having in mind the given circumstances, author of an article concluded that Yugoslav public opinion was exposed to the misuse of freedom of expression called hate speech by state-controlled media in Serbia and Croatia, and Prof. John Galtung as well as a UN human right expert suggested establishing a Yugoslav TV station under a foreign supervision. (See Milinkovic, 1992). Could be concluded that the governments of Serbia and Croatia made their populations believe that it was seriously threatened in purpose to mobilise their reactions (defensive and destructive in the same time). As it is known, the predictions of threats were fulfilled (at least during war operations), but today one could hardly say to what degree they were self-fulfilling.

According to Fromm's opinion, the wide range of man's interests include his sense of identity as well as objects of devotion or sacred objects (like values, ideals, ancestors, the soil, country, class, religion, customs, etc.). At this point Fromm probably took the sense of identity as an element of man's interior sensitivity, and the objects of devotion as parts of outside world, not linking - or at least not explicitly - these two (kinds of) phenomena. 30 He also did not make a difference between individual and collective sacred objects, just stressing that the individual as well as the group reacts 'with the same rage and aggressiveness as to attack against life.'

Two authors concluded that nationalism was a likely option for all East Central Europe. 'Probably a key factor will be the degree of hurt pride very existential matter - the incredible force of nationalism is impossible to understand if one does not see how it has a central role in each individual, gives an answer to the meaning of each individual human being', and it was stressed that 'one should therefore be particularly sensitive to the mechanisms in society in East Central Europe which create personal needs on which nationalism naturally feeds.' (Wæver & Kelstup, 1993: 75). According to their opinion, Jirina Siklová has created an interesting explanation of nationalism in East and Central Europe, particularly stressing problem that 'the loss of the value of the secondary or acquired status' is bounded up with the system, the past, and with guilt. In the general lack of orientation, the game of finding 'those who are guilty', became a 'central exercise.'

The citizens of East and Central Europe got the opportunity to change, to declare their allegiance to their convictions, to say who they really are. Enthusiastically, they step forward in front of the microphone, write, want to say who they really are and to declare their belief. What can they, however, say about themselves without shame? Normally, they would declare their job, their education, the qualifications, the size of their savings, their possessions - i.e. their acquired or secondary status. And at the moment when they want to pronounce this, their voices get stuck and they turn mute. They realise that all signs of their secondary, acquired social status were and are related to the fallen regime. (Siklová, 1991: 10, quoted after Wæver and Kelstup, 1993: 75).

Nation and its 'shadow' nationalism were determined as elements of group consciousness that do not threaten themselves: 'it is indifferent as to class and interests, unites the population and does not remind of the recent past.' Without shame people can only turn to their primary or born social status, i.e. to gender, age, race and nationality 'because there one does not at all meet the question 'And how and from where did you achieve this?'

It was concluded that the economic factor has been very important for the achievement of a new secondary social status (and decisive in avoiding escalating nationalism), but its operations have had to be filtered through a psychological filter: pride and shame were central concepts. Nationalism often outcompetes other political programmes at the first place thanks to its ability to offer immediate pride (and shield against shame).

Though economic improvements are crucial, the traditional liberal argument about overcoming nationalism through modernisation has to be modified in at least three ways. First, it is not the economic factor directly that creates nationalism, but the psychological factors that have to be understood. Secondly, despite the arguments about the irrational nature of nationalism it is still possible that the mechanisms will get started again at some level of economic development. This is so not least because of the unsettling effects of modernization and the relative nature of status, and thereby the constant possibility of humiliation. Thirdly, there is a difference between trying to prevent the eruption of nationalist logic by economic pre-emption and handling a conflict that is already started and run according nationalist logic. In the latter case, as we can see in Yugoslavia, the most blatant economic irrationality does not prevent continued fighting and increasing stereotyping. Nationalism is both collective and very personal, existential. (Wæver & Kelstup, 1993: 75-76).

Communist political systems in Eastern Europe, like that in the former Soviet Union itself, operated according to a de facto social contract: political acquiescence for economic security. (See Remington, 1994: 68-69). Some indicators showed that the price which was paid to Yugoslav citizens as the 'contracting party' was (much) higher than in other European communist countries. It seems that for the same reasons symptoms of post-communist euphoria and frustration were more intensive. On one side, there are attitudes that maybe relatively authentic origin as well as (some of) 'liberal' characteristic of the Yugoslav communist regime and system for a part of Yugoslav population made more difficult saying farewell to communism than for the rest of nations in East Central Europe.

On the other hand, there are opinions that the Second Yugoslavia's case manifested that not even Tito's communism, however 'reformed,' could escape from the 'iron law' of its being a dead end system. Like the Soviet variety, Yugoslav communism produced a society of diminishing returns, increasing uneasiness, and popular rejection, and maybe it is no accident that it collapsed in the common demise of the Soviet bloc. The growing deterioration in the last decades of Tito's rule weakened the system; and with his death, Yugoslav society lost his adored charisma as well as his feared dictatorship. (More detailed, see Job, 1993: 58).

One could notice that most of the mentioned objects of devotion or sacred objects, values and/or attributes (most of which are objects of collective worship) could be found within several definitions of nation and nationalism (for example, see Wæver, 1993: 11-40). As it was stressed, modern nationalism is deeply connected with romantic way of thinking.

European nationalism as a state of mind' includes: (1) the conviction that men belong to a particular human group, and that the way of life of the group differs from that of others; (2) that the pattern of life of a society is similar to that of a biological organism - and its needs are therefore supreme; (3) 'that one of the most compelling reasons, perhaps the most compelling, for holding a particular belief, pursuing a particular policy, serving a particular end, living a particular life, is that these ends, beliefs, policies, lifes, are ours'; (4) faced by rival contenders for authority or loyalty one believes in the supremacy of its claims to the point of employing force if necessary. (Berlin, 1982: 341-345, quoted after Wæver, 1993: 34).

This part of the story is decisive. Without this existential dimension one is hard placed to explain how people in Croatia today can shoot the neighbour they lived relatively happily with until 1991. Suddenly the collective stands above the individual, or rather, one assumes that one's own worth, destiny and meaning of the life depends on the fate of the collective; the whole to which one belongs. The whole is more than the sum of the parts, and meaning ultimately rests with the collective, the culture which stretches through time, back to forefathers that died in other wars, and forward into the future. (Wæver, 1993: 34).

To explain more detailed how people in Croatia in 1991 and later (most of all in 1995) were shooting the neighbour they lived relatively happily with until 1991, in addition it seems important to elaborate mentioned historical traumas defined by the historical memories of a nation. 31

Residing in long-standing popular sentiments, they contributed to constitutional compromises; they were occasionally exacerbated by political manipulation. Expressions of them were local (Kosovo) or quickly suppressed (Croatia, 1971); after the mid-1980s, they spiraled between political leaderships, eventually trapping the politicians.

Three traumas are particularly important. ...

The trauma between Serbs and Croats is recent. When Serbs and Croats from the Ottoman and Habsburg empires fought, it was as soldiers, not as peoples. A widespread Croatian view is as follows. The basic cause lies in the Serbs dominating Yugoslavia after 1918. The royal family, Karadjordjevic, was theirs; the Orthodox Church was favored; Serbs completely dominated the military and police. Croatian protests were repressed, even by political assassinations, especially the Serbian royal dictatorship after 1929. In 1941, the Croats finally recovered their own state after centuries of foreign overlords, but German and Italian tutelage brought to power Ante Pavelic, who massacred Jews, gypsies, Croatian democrats and Serbs. Croats constituted the bulk of Tito's partisans, suffering vast causalities fighting the Ustasa regime. Civilian Croats were massacred by Serbian ultrantionalists, Cetnici; Tito's Bolsheviks exterminated Croatian troops and civilians returned by the Allies. The post-war communist regime was anti-Croatian and Croatian national sentiment was oppressed by censorship, imprisonment and party purges.

To many Serbs, Croatian sabotage of the post-1918 constitution made it collapse in 1929. Croatian terrorists, Ustase, engaged in political assassinations, such as King Alexander in 1934. After Hitler's attack, Pavelic got his Greater Croatia (including Bosnia-Herzegovina). His 'final solution' for two million Serbs there was 'kill one third, convert one third, expel one third'; Ustasa slaughtered several hundred thousand Serbs in concentration camps and local massacres. During and after the war, the Serbian Cetnici were persecuted and massacred by communists under the Croat Tito. The communist regime was anti-Serbian and Serbian national sentiment was oppressed by censorship and imprisonment; constitutional changes gave Vojvodina and Kosovo influence in Serbia, but Serbia none in them.

The second trauma is between Serbs and Moslems, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sandzak Novipazar. Through many Serbian eyes, Moslems were willingly used against them by Turks, Austrians and Ustase. Moslem eyes see racist Serbian behavior, including expulsions to Turkey, culminating in genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina by Cetnici.

The third trauma is between Serbs and Albanians. Albanians see a ruthless Serbian occupation since 1878 of increasing Albanian areas, then a Serbian colonization of Kosovo and racist attempts at Serbianisation and expulsion of Albanians to Turkey. Serbian massacres of Albanians occurred during the Second World War, repeatedly recurring latter. A widespread Serbian version remembers Turks expelling Serbs from their historical heartland, implanting Moslemised Albanians there. During the Second World War, Albanian fascist, Balli Kombetar, collaborated with the occupiers against the Serbs, expelling many from Kosovo. Tito rewarded Albanian riots by installing in 1974 a corrupt Albanian government which discriminated against Serbs; many were killed or threatened, fleeing north for safety.

Most of these perceptions, originating in family traditions or political propaganda, have some historical background, sometimes much; they disagree on how many were killed, to what extent different peoples took part, and whether events were typical or exceptional.' All groups see themselves as historical victims of brutal oppression, even genocide. After 1945, these feelings were suppressed in the name of national reconciliation (Brotherhood and Unity); but did not disappear and were passed on, for example, by oral family traditions. What one group sees as a genuine historical grievance is often dismissed by others as mythical or monstrously exaggerated; this exacerbates the traumatic relations, adding the extra trauma of not being heard. (Wiberg, 1993: 96-99).

It was also noticed that the Serbs were 'profoundly convinced that they are more sinned against than sinning' (Doder, 1993: 15), and more or less the same situation was everywhere; all sides took the pose of victims rather than offenders (proclaiming that the accusations against them were exaggerated and unjust). These kind of emotions seems to be compatible with Fromm's description of narcissism (assigned to a person who has 'a double standard of perception,' 32 and for a group he reserved the role of 'transforming the fantasy in reality'). If somebody is unjustly accused (especially for such a crime like brutal oppression or genocide), it constitutes an appropriate reason for fright, and if one tries to examine the role of mentioned 'inner environment,' could be detected few phenomena whose roles seem to be among very significant ones.

It was noticed that most of Croat intellectuals refused to face up to the genocide committed by Pavelic's Croatia against Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies during the Second World War. 33 While Serbs were called in 'scientific' published tracts 'the world's most ancient people,' in Croatia were seriously entertained solemn dissertations on 'nine-hundred years of Croatian parliamentary life'; while Serbs were saying they always fought only for freedom and Kosovo was and always will be sacred Serbian land, Croats claimed that Knin (the capital of the 'Republic Serbian Krajina' from 1991 to 1995) must be wrested from Croatian Serbs because it was one of the several 'cradles' of Croatian statehood. As Fromm expressed it, in conflict between groups that mutually challenge theirs collective narcissisms, 'the narcissistic image of one group is raised to its highest point, while devaluation of the opposing group sinks to the lowest. One's own group becomes a defender of human dignity, decency, morality, and right,' and, as an author expressed, the 'brethren became blood thirsty enemy' (Milinkovic, 1992) who have devilish qualities only. Consequently, such 'inhuman creatures' do not deserve any affection and should not be called by their proper names.

That culture cannot tolerate any admission that its own people, or any part of it, committed crimes. It is an 'intellectual' life where ethnic identity takes precedence over scholarly integrity. ... That is not to say that exceptions to the rule never existed. Dimitrije Tucovic, the leader of the Serbian Social Democratic Party before the First World War, severely criticized Serbia's attitude toward Albanians. In books and essays after the First World War, the noted Croatian writer Miroslav Krleza honestly described the sufferings caused by marauding Croatian soldiery, scathingly attacked the vainglory of Croatian nationalism, debunked the provincialism of much of Croatian literature, and lauded Serbia's uprising against the Ottoman Turks as supremely heroic and inspiring acts. Between the wars, some Croatian Marxists wrote critically of Jelacic's reactionary role. During and after the Second World War, several Croatian writers honestly wrestled with the Ustashi crimes. Dobrica Cosic, a popular Yugoslav novelist and, until recently, nationalist president of 'Yugoslavia,' in his early work confronted the issue of murderous Serbian guerrillas, called Chetniks, and their cult of the slaughtering knife. But those largely solitary attitudes faded with the passage of time, often to be abandoned by the authors themselves, as in Cosic's case.

All nations have their self-serving myths, which play havoc with historical truth. But the public life in many countries permits the challenge of these myths, though not always with impunity or effect. Stabler and more tolerant cultures leave room for the puncturing of their own egos, but in Yugoslavia, the pervasive culture of ethnocentric myths unchallenged even by intellectuals weighs down the lives of the people. Yugoslav peoples have indeed been betrayed by their intelligentsias. (Job, 1993: 63-65).

If one compares that 'chauvinistic culture' with mentioned historical traumas, could be noticed that they go together like two sides of the same coin: scholarship, education, literature, and journalism were supporting and advancing nationalist myths creating the foundations for traumas. The same author has detected several simultaneous reasons for described situation. First, the calamitous history of the Balkans which was all the time ruptured by violent disruption (not letting enough time for recovery), for middle and professional classes to establish themselves, and 'for educational institutions and intellectual life to acquire a pride in rational, objective inquiry. In the void, chauvinistic manipulation, nationalist chicanery, paranoid fears, and the demonization of others have prevailed.' Second, orally communicated vengeful myths (playing a role similar to the role of Russian 'samizdat') as well as fervent folk poetry (epic and romantic, native to Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins, Bosnian Muslims, and others), 34 folk ditties (sometimes in a form especially favored by peasant, semi-urban, lumpen classes, particularly in times of high nationalist emotion, often stimulated by established poets or versifiers of a viciously nationalist bent). Third, it was stressed that 'the endurance of the nationalist myths cannot be adequately understood without recognizing the baleful role regressive provincialism played in Yugoslavia.' Fourth, Job made following statement:

The particular tragedy of the two periods of Yugoslav history - the monarchy ... and communism ... - was that industrialization, modernization, and urbanization could not transcend the vindictive mores of the palanka (small town - Rem. ZI). The opposite happened. With the great migration from the countryside, life in the cities, including the capitals of the republics and the federation, became increasingly dominated by a palanka mentality. Instead of the provinces becoming citified, the cities became countrified, in effect turning into bigger palankas in their cultural and political life. The computer, satellite TV, CNN, and ever freer two-way traffic with the outside world were roundly defeated by Yugoslavia's atavistic oral tradition and its lumpen-intelligentsia. (Job, 1993: 66-67).

This Job's point differs to the Fromm's conclusion that 'the most primitive men are the least warlike and that warlikeness grows in proportion to civilization.' 35 The disagreement seems to be deep as far as the industrialisation, modernisation, and urbanisation represent the main or at least some of main characteristics of the phenomenon called modern civilisation. One could probably rather say that in the Second Yugoslavia there was 'the tyranny of local cultural establishments, and the idolatry of the national self' as well as the authoritarianism of small towns as fertile soil for bigotry (as Radomir Konstantinovic expressed it in his book The Philosophy of a Provincial Town, published in 1969). (More detailed see Job, 1993: 66). In addition, populations of provincial towns and villages in the Second Yugoslavia used to be (much) more patriarchal than residents of big(ger) cities.

According to one explanation for conflicts in the Second Yugoslavia, early promises of a democratic community of equal Yugoslav peoples were once betrayed by Serbian monarchy and second time by communist regime. 36 'The result was that the Yugoslav peoples - misled by unscrupulous leaders - not only hated the regimes oppressing them; but they turned against each other, blaming each other for the hardships they all endured.' It was concluded that this explanation belongs to a type of too general, too abstract explanations, in the end failing to explain what pushed Yugoslavia over the precipice. Mentioned explanation stressed in fact the lack of freedom as a source of aggression, raised by Fromm almost a couple of decades before crisis in the Second Yugoslavia occurred. According to Fromm's opinion, to the heart of man freedom has the greatest tempting power (does not matter is it national, class or some other kind of freedom), and at the same time it is his vital biological need. However, destruction of life always remains destruction, even when it is biologically and/or humanly justified, and purely defensive aggression is easily blended with destructiveness as well as with the sadistic desire to control others instead of being controlled.

It seems that during wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina soldiers were motivated by all factors that - according to Fromm's opinion - make war possible: individual feelings that losing the war would mean disaster for their nations, that it was matter of killing or being killed, convictions that they would be shot if they ran away, seekings for adventures, strivings for the war 'justice' and 'equality', and feelings of obligation and respect for authority.

According to Fromm, the common problem for governments during war is how to use the indirect rebellion against the injustice, inequality and boredom in peacetime for the purpose of the war; simultaneosly preventing it 'from becoming a threat to the government by enforcing strict discipline and the spirit of obedience to the leaders who are depicted as the unselfish, wise, courageous men protecting their people from destruction.' During war in Bosnia and Herzegovina were also seen cases of disobedience, and even mutinies like the one in September 1993 in Banja Luka and particularly that one in Bihac. There, when Izetbegovic disregarded the Owen-Stoltenberg peace plan in September 1993,

the Moslem leader of the Bihac area, Fikret Abdic ... proclaimed the autonomous province of Western Bosnia and made provisional peace agreements with the Bosnian Serbs and Croats (later also the Krajina Serbs). The Sarajevo government then immediately, and with partial success, tried to take military possession of the Bihac area in October 1993. This Moslem-Moslem war was escalated in June 1994 and ended in September 1994 with Izetbegovic troops getting control over the entire area. One effect of this was tens of thousands of Moslem refugees from a Moslem army into Serb controlled territory in Krajina. They dare not return; they cannot stay in Krajina, which is already overloaded by Serb refugees from Croatia; and Croatia, while theoretically to get confederated with the Croat and Moslem parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, won't let them in. (Wiberg, 1994: 246-247; see also Wiberg, 1996: 219).

Fromm concluded that 'it took about three to four years of the horror of life in the trenches and growing insight into the fact that they were being used by their leaders...', assuming that the First World War could have been ended long before it had been done; and a more or less same thing could have been done with war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Namely, the Owen-Stoltenberg plan in September 1993 offered to the Serbs 52 percent of entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the Croats - 18 percent, and to the Muslims - 30 percent. Serbs and Croats replied 'yes, but no less', while the Muslims demanded 34 percent of the territory and asked for land exits to the Adriatic Sea and the Sava river. The Serbs and Croats then together offered to the Muslims 33.3 percent and transit rights to these waters, but their government decided to continue fighting, encouraged by the United States refusing to support the plan. (Wiberg, 1994: 246; Wiberg, 1996, 218-219; also see Remington, 1995: 20). This means that the Dayton Peace Accords gave to the Serbs just some 3 percent less (or to the Muslim-Croat Federation more) of territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina than it was offered by the Owen-Stoltenberg plan, but to make the Accords it took more than two years of bloodshed (and conformist aggression in Fromm's meaning).

It seems that the governments in Sarajevo, Pale and Mostar as well as those in Belgrade and Zagreb has been sensitive not only regarding political opponents and opposition parties, but also regarding media (as Fromm put it, they are not only dangerous to their respective establishments, but also 'by speaking the truth they mobilize the resistance of those who repress it'). However the conflicts and wars have left the security of almost all ex-parts of the Second Yugoslavia (except maybe Slovenia) more or less alike in patches making in the same time the governments weak and rather unstable.

Most of Dayton military provisions were implemented in time and without greater difficulties. The IFOR had been limited to its military role (see Calic, 1996: 130-131), and SFOR has had some kind of deterring role, and - as the time has been passing by - there have been appearing needs for a kind of rather quasi-police engagement. The phenomena that 'revolutionary aggression is vitiated and tends to renew the conditions it was seeking to abolish' seems to be visible in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well in some other war affected areas of the Second Yugoslavia where people, almost one and a half year after the end of war, live under control of the 'nationalist Mafia chieftains' and 'feared warlords,' who control people belonging to own and other nations without having any democratic basis; where policemen do not prevent bombing churches and torching houses, but take part in street 'maltreatment' of fleeing pilgrims... Second, it seems that some provisions of the Dayton Peace Accords (especially those on rights of all refugees and displaced persons freely to return to their homes of origin - the Dayton Peace Accords, Annex 7) were made under a (rather unrealistic) presumption that local police and some other public servants will treat people regardless to their nationality, and act - if it is necessary - even against some vital interests of own nations' members. 37 However practice seems to be different: it was noticed that the local police are often the principal offenders when it comes to discrimination against minorities and abuse of human rights, 38 and 'in several cases police stations are run by indicted war criminals.' (See more detailed: Sharp and Clarke, 1996: 8). As the return of refugees would influence the ethnic composition of local administration, in many areas houses are being destroyed in purpose to prevent the return. 39 'No side is willing to share power among the peoples.' (Calic, 1996: 134).

According to the Dayton Peace Accords 40 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is consisting of two entities - the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. It is 'a union of two self-governing political "entities"', but one author describes it as 'the fiction of a single state' (Calic, 1996: 131-132) whose 'sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence' (Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Preamble, paragraph 6) can also be considered as fictional. In addition, there is a fiction of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 41 made in Washington 1994 under the international pressure and despite irreconcilable differences between the two sides.

The main conditions for reduction of benign aggression were seen by Fromm in radical political and social changes (within the family structure, the structure of education and religion as well as relations in work and leisure); in elimination of powerlessness of the individual and on his awe of leaders and in consequent development of independent critical thinking. Finally, reduction of group narcissism could be achieved not only by bettering material condition, but by converting the social organisation. However it seems that the concept of power-sharing (or the concept of consociational democracy in mentioned meaning) is not much applicable in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the military conflicts and Dayton Accords.

Warfare (as a 'male job') do not just results, inter alia, from the advent of patriarchal society (as Fromm concluded); in return, this kind of society often - at least during war and post-war periods - is (re)created inter alia, by war and post-war situation. How can man feel secure if he had to leave or if he has lost his family, friends, job; if he, his family and other people around him continuously since 1990 have been faced with media fanning the flames of ethnic hatred? How can a man and a group members feel secure if they are exposed to terrorist attacks and robberies (regardless to - political or other - motives, nationalities and/or origins of those who commit the crimes), or if authorities have denied their right to access to their property? How one can feel 'at home in nature' if roads, streets, woods and fields are planted by unremoved mines? Or how can man feel secure if he had to flee from his national landscape (not only from the physical appearance of a territory, but also its climate, ecology and resource-base), from 'the past, and not least to a unique people with its specific customs, dances and stories, its songs and traditions'? (See Wæver, 1993: 29; Buzan, 1993b: 55). For these reasons family and some other important social relations seem to be disturbed, again most drastically in war affected areas. It seems that there is a great question how long in such conditions will the destructive energies in these populations be 'dormant'?

Finally, having in mind Fromm's remark that reduction of group narcissism could be achieved not only by bettering material conditions, it cannot be concluded that material conditions are not important at all: that kind of conditions seems to be very significant albeit not only ones. Current economic situation in Slovenia (once the most developed Yugoslav republic) could be compared with that in the late 1980s (when the average Yugoslav already lost about half his real income from the early 1980s). However economies of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia (especially in war affected areas), FRY and even that of Macedonia have suffered to different but significant degrees.


Conclusions: The 'Missing Element' of Ethnonational Mobilisation in the Second Yugoslavia

On presented way, conflicts in the Second Yugoslavia were analysed using few more or less different kinds of 'analytical lenses,' that are able to give (presumably) different insights into familiar problems. (See Buzan, 1993a: 185). Comparing results reached by using these 'lens', one can conclude that although Fromm's starting point could be mainly located within the field of individual identity, he also (seems inevitably) enters to the field of collective identity. The first step was made through mentioned elaboration of significance of the objects of devotion or sacred objects. His next step in the same direction was made in reach of the field of sources of aggression (at the first place analysing narcissism). After giving a relatively short description of individual narcissism, he 'discovers' the 'group narcissism,' stressing the facts that man belongs to the group, that he shares countryman's, national, religious, cultural and/or some other values and/or attributes. Also very important seems to be Fromm's point that the expressions of patriotism, faith, and loyalty appear to be realistic and rational value judgments because they are shared (or commonly consented) by many members of the same group. This consensus transforms the fantasy into reality, 'since for the most people reality is constituted by general consensus and not based on reason or critical examination.'

However the book was obviously written before the end of the Cold War and the (re)appearance of ethnonational movements. Although nation is not completely ignored, Fromm's concept - in comparison with some modern concepts - seems to be 'not ethnic enough' as well as 'not collective enough'. Fromm defined universal motivations, emotions and psychological factors that are (possible) sources of aggression as well as conditions that make war possible regardless to nation, ethnic group or race that observed man belongs to; he mostly sees men of his time as soldiers, politicians, psychoanalysts, etc., and not as Greeks, Hungarians, Germans, Serbs, Croats, etc. For this reason, Fromm's concept seems to be - at least at first sight - most compatible with view that nationalism could be observed and understood on various ways (as a specific state of mind, as the expression of national consciousness, as a political doctrine, as representing the interests of a national group, as a phenomenon that arises ultimately from some sort of national identity or what is a search for such identity), but it is primarily regarded as a form of politics. (See: Breuilly, 1985: 1-2).

Sometimes it seems that Fromm - in spite of that, or even because of that - penetrates to the structure and dynamic of power deeper than many of those authors who are concerned with the national issue to a greater degree. Namely, within the field of Fromm's research, the universal phenomenon of narcissism (individual as well as group) seems to be particularly important and applicable in analysing ethnonational mobilisation in the Yugoslav conflicts. Shortly mentioned historical traumas could be considered as a source of aggression particularly (or even only) if are simultaneously combined with the 'wounding' narcissism. To become aggressive it is not enough to have a more or less passive traumatic feeling; in addition, man needs perception of the group to which belongs as 'the most wonderful,' 'the most cultured,' 'the most powerful,' 'the most peace-loving', etc. Both the trauma and narcissism coincidentally make man to feel the major bitterness and to react with rage and aggressiveness to any (actual or future) danger, wound and injustice (or to that what he can perceive on that way). In that case a short description of his feelings is following: 'they' were doing such nasty things to 'us', who are so good, and now 'they' are threatening 'us' again. The resulting reply is dry, sharp and clear: 'Enough is enough!'

When such a predisposition is once established, people(s) could become an 'easy catch' for environment that generates aggressiveness even with 'little outside stimulation.' As the case of the Second Yugoslavia's disintegration showed, presence of all mentioned three elements (the traumas, narcissism and stimulation) makes the ethnonational mobilisation 'successful' (in spite of the disastrous political, economic, cultural and other partially mentioned results).

For mentioned reasons, it seems that the Fromm's concept or 'lens' really makes clearer the picture of ethnonational mobilisation on the territory of the Second Yugoslavia. Although results of his work seem to be 'not ethnic enough' as well as 'not collective enough', he has discovered the 'missing element' of ethnonational mobilisation. One should also stress that presented conclusion (or hypothesis) have to be subjected to future rigorous verifying, not only in the cases of conflicts in the Second Yugoslavia, but also in other ethnonational intra state and maybe (some) diverse conflicts.

Another important Fromm's contribution to analyses of conflicts in the Second Yugoslavia is maybe located within the field of main conditions for reduction of benign aggression. He stressed that the main such a condition is that neither individuals nor groups are threatened by others, but a lot of threats from various sides and sources used to be and still are widely present there. First, economic crisis was threatening all Yugoslav nations, but maybe most of all Albanians in underdeveloped Kosovo who (really or allegedly, does not matter) threatened Serbia's (and eventually Yugoslavia's) territorial integrity; and Serbs in return threatened Albanians' security and political position as well as (really or allegedly, does not matter again) position of Croatia and Slovenia and the rest of the country. Croats and Slovenians started to threaten territorial integrity of the Second Yugoslavia, and Serbs from Krajina started to threaten integrity of Croatia. When Croatia and Slovenia succeeded to leave the Second Yugoslavia (using international support), Serbs from Krajina were threatened by expulsion from own country (what happened in 1995) or by remaining there under rule of the Zagreb government. Muslims and Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina - who were threatened by remaining in Yugoslavia without Croatia and Slovenia - threatened territorial integrity of that remained Yugoslavia (using again the international support) as well as Macedonians - who were threatened by possibility of taking part in expected war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Then Serbs and Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina (as well as local Croats and Abdic's Muslims from Bihac area) started to threaten territorial integrity of the newly recognised state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and UN/NATO started to threaten Serbs as well as the Third Yugoslavia by UN sanctions and military intervention. Now Serbs and Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are threatened by Muslims' intentions to establish the fictional state of Bosnia and Hercegovina/Muslim-Croat fictional federation as single state/real federation; Muslims are, in return, threatened by Serbs'/Croats' intention to join (as much as it is possible) neighbouring FRY/Croatia, etc. As threats usually generate threats (as well as violence generates violence), there is the known old question: who is going to break the circle?

Copenhagen, March 1997


Literature and References


*: Guest Research Fellow, COPRI, Fredericiagade 18, DK-1310 Copenhagen K, DENMARK, Tel.: +45 3332 6432, fax: +45 3332 6554, E-mail: CFFKJM@INET.UNI-C.DK. Back.

Note 1: Fromm was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In 1918 he attended the University in Frankfurt, latter transferring to the University in Heidelberg where he received his doctorate in 1922. He later studied psychoanalysis at the University of Munich and the Psycho-Analytic Institute of Berlin. With the rise of the Nazi party, Fromm migrated to the United States where he taught at the Columbia University (1934-1941), Bennington College (1941), Michigan State University (1957-1961), and New York University (1962). The National Autonomous University of Mexico appointed Fromm to a teaching position in 1951 which he later held simultaneously with his position at Michigan State University. In his first book (1941) Escape from Freedom (New York: Holt, Reinhart & Winston) Fromm examined the growth of humans from the Middle Ages forward. Developing his philosophy, he came to define human nature as being dynamic and logical. He stressed that man had five basic needs: to have relationships, to rise above the fact that humanity is accidental, to be secure, to have identification and to have orientation. Fromm also argued that personality is a by-product of biology and of one's culture. (More detailed: Erich Fromm Collection, Homepage: tm). Back.

Note 2: Author of this book uses 'man' and 'he' as words to denote both male and female persons or whole mankind or humankind. 'The usage of the word "man" for both man and woman is not surprising in a language that has developed in patriarchal society, but I believe it would be somewhat pedantic to avoid the word in order to make the point that the author does not use it in the spirit of patriarchalism. In effect, the contents of the book should make that clear beyond any doubt.' (Fromm, 1973: xvi). Back.

Note 3: Fromm's understanding of human passions was expressed on following way: 'Man's passions are not banal psychological complexes that can be adequately explained as caused by childhood traumata. They can be understood only if one goes beyond the realm of reductionist psychology and recognizes them for what they are: man's attempt to make sense out of life and to experience the optimum of intensity and strength he can (or believes he can) achieve under the given circumstances. They are his religion, his cult, his ritual, which he has to hide (even from himself) in so far as they are disapproved of by his group. To be sure, by bribery and blackmail, i.e., by skillful conditioning, he can be persuaded to relinquish his "religion" and to be converted to the general cult of the no-self, the automation. But this psychic cure deprives him of the best he has, of being a man and not a thing.

The truth is that all human passions, both the "good" and the "evil," can be understood only as a person's attempt to make sense of his life. Change is possible only if he is able to "convert himself" to a new way of making sense of life by mobilizing his life-furthering passions and thus experiencing a superior sense of vitality and integration to the one he had before. Unless this happens he can be domesticated, but he cannot be cured. But even though the life-furthering passions are conducive to a greater sense of strength, joy, integration, and vitality then destructiveness and cruelty, the latter as much as an answer to the problem of human existence as the former. Even the most sadistic and destructive man is human, as human as the saint. He can be called a warped and sick man who has failed to achieve a better answer to the challenge of having been born human, and this is true; he can also be called a man who took the wrong way in search of his salvation.' He stressed that quoted considerations 'by no means imply that destructiveness and cruelty are not vicious; they only imply that vice is human.' They are destructive not only of the victim, but of the destroyer himself, constituting a paradox: 'they express life turning against itself in the striving to make sense of it. They are the only true perversion.' However 'understanding them does not mean condoning them. But unless we understand them, we have no way to recognize how they may be reduced, and what factors tend to increase them.' (Fromm, 1973: 9). Back.

Note 4: Lorenz held that energy specific for an instinctive act accumulates continuously in the neural centres related to that behaviour pattern, and if enough energy has been accumulated an explosion is likely to occur even without the presence of a stimulus . Back.

Note 5: The author uses the term 'aggression' for defensive aggression except in cases when he gives an explicit different qualification. The terms 'destructiveness,' 'cruelty' or 'malignant aggression' are reserved for 'specifically human propensity to destroy and to crave for absolute control.' (Fromm, 1973: xvi). Back.

Note 6: 'The arousal of defensive aggression by means of brainwashing can occur only in humans. In order to persuade people that they are threatened, one needs, above all, the medium of language; without this, most suggestion would be impossible. In addition, one needs a social structure that provides a social basis for brainwashing. ... By and large the power of suggestion exercised by a ruling group is in proportion to the group's power over the ruled and/or capacity of the rulers to use an elaborate ideological system to reduce the faculty of critical and independent thinking.' (Fromm, 1973: 197). Back.

Note 7: It is characteristic for this phenomenon that the Greek word ethos - meaning, literally, behavior - has assumed the meaning of the 'ethical,' just as 'norm' (originally the word for a carpenter's tool) was used in the double sense of what is 'normal' and what is 'normative.' Back.

Note 8: The revolutions that have occurred in history must not obscure the fact that infants and children also make revolutions, but since they are powerless, they have to use their own methods, those of guerrilla warfare, as it were. They fight against suppression of their freedom by various individual methods, such as stubborn negativism, refusal to eat, refusal to be toilet trained, bed-wetting, up and on to the more drastic methods of autistic withdrawal and pseudomental debility. The adults behave like any elite whose power is challenged. They use physical force, often blend with bribery, to protect their position. As a result, most children surrender and prefer submission to constant torment. No mercy is shown is this war until victory is achieved, and our hospitals are filled with its casualties, Nevertheless, it is a remarkable fact that all human beings - the children of the powerful as well as those of the powerless - share the common experience of once having been powerless and of having fought for their freedom. That is why one may assume that every human being - aside from his biological equipment - has acquired in his childhood a revolutionary potential that, though dormant for a long time, might be mobilized under special circumstances. Back.

Note 9: 'The fact is that no leader or government explicitly states his intention of bending the will of the people any more; they are apt to use new words which sound like the opposite of the old ones. ... In the countries of the 'free world,' on the other hand, 'autonomous authority' and manipulation have replaced over authority in education, work and politics.' (Fromm, 1973: 38). Back.

Note 10: In hierarchically structured societies obedience is perhaps the most deeply ingrained trait, equated with virtue, and disobedience - with sin. 'To be disobedient is the arch crime from which all other crimes follow. Abraham was willing to kill his son out of obedience. Antigone is killed by Creon for her disobedience to the laws of the state.' Since armies' very essence is built on an absolute reflexlike acceptance of command that precludes questioning, they cultivate obedience especially. (Fromm, 1973: 207). Back.

Note 11: This type of aggression is considered as a biologically adaptive one 'which has the aim of obtaining that which is necessary or desirable. The aim is not destruction as such; this serves only as an instrument for attaining the real aim.' He has noticed its similarity to defensive aggression as well as its important different aspects (first of all, hominids lack a phylogenetically programmed neuronal basis such as that which programs defensive aggression). Among difficulties with this kind of aggression is stressed the ambiguity of the terms 'necessary' and 'desirable.'

'If a man steals or robs because he and his family do not have even the minimal amount of food they need, the aggression is clearly an act motivated by physiological necessity. The same would hold true for a primitive tribe on the verge of starvation which attacks another tribe that is better off. But these clear-cut examples of necessity are relatively rare today. Other, more complicated cases are much more frequent. The leaders of a nation realize that their economic situation will be seriously endangered in the long run unless they can conquer territory having the raw materials they need, or unless they defeat a competing nation. Although frequently such reasons are merely an ideological cover for the desire for increasing power or the personal ambition of the leaders, there are wars which do respond to a historical necessity, at least in a broad, relative sense.

But what is desirable? In a narrow sense of the word one could answer: The desirable is what is necessary. In this instance 'desirable' is based on the objective situation. More frequently, however, desirable is defined as that which is desired. ... The truth is that people desire not only what is necessary in order to survive, not only that which provides the material basis for a good life; most people in our culture - and in similar periods of history - are greedy: greedy for more food, drink, sex, possessions, power, and fame. Their greed may refer more to one than to another of these objects; what all people have in common is that they are insatiable and hence never satisfied. Greed is one of the strongest noninstinctive passions in man, and it is clearly a symptom of psychical dysfunctioning, of inner emptiness and a lack of a center within oneself. It is a pathological manifestation of the failure to develop fully, as well as one of the fundamental sins in Buddhist, Jewish, and Christian ethics.' (Fromm, 1973: 208, more detailed: 207-208). Back.

Note 12: Namely, constitution-makers who would intended to establish a consociational regime, should have in mind importance of including elements of non-majoritarian, consociational democracy instead of elements treated as elements of majoritarian democracy: (1) coalition governments of two or more parties instead of one party/bare majority cabinets; (2) balanced executive-legislative relations instead of executive that dominates legislature; (3) effective bicameralism instead of unicameralism or bicameralism with a very weak second chamber; (4) multi-party system instead of one or two-party systems; (5) multidimensional party system (meaning that differences between parties are not based on one element only, like national origin of members or national program aims) instead of one-dimensional party system (i.e. party system in which the parties' programs differ from each other mainly along the one issue dimension); (6) proportional representation instead of plurality system of elections (with the worst case when party divisions go along ethnic lines); (7) federalism/decentralisation instead of unitary and centralised government without clearly designated geographical and functional areas from which the parliamentary majority and cabinet are barred; (8) written constitution instead of unwritten constitution; (9) minority veto power (for the most important decisions crucial for the identity and existence of minority groups) and elements of direct democracy (for example, referendum) instead of exclusively representative democracy and parliamentary sovereignty without restrictions of majority's power to legislate either by any requirement of qualified majorities or judicial review (in some cases where conflicts already took place, it may require that judicial bodies and agencies involved in implementing justice for a longer period of time should be composed of persons with an international reputation and expertise). To resolve conflicts involving subcultures should be used devices like mutual veto, autonomy on a territorial or non-territorial basis, and proportional representation. (More detailed see Lijphart, 1985, 1995; also Stanovcic, 1995). Back.

Note 13: The First Yugoslavia was established in 1918 (called Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, renamed Yugoslavia in 1929) and lasted to the beginning of the Second World War, the state renewed by communists in 1945 is called the Second Yugoslavia, and the Third Yugoslavia was established in 1992, when Serbia and Montenegro (remaining republics of the Second Yugoslavia) decided to declare the establishment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) on their territories. Back.

Note 14: 'Very few of the other states have regional differences in economic development and GNP per capita that could be compared with those in Yugoslavia, where the gap in GNP per capita between extremes, Slovenia and Kosovo, had grown from three times in the late forties to eight times by the late eighties. In addition, there was a strong thought far from perfect, relation between regions and ethnonational composition. ... There was the opposite of economic integration, the republics trading relatively less with each other while becoming more dependent on northern Italy and southern Germany.' (Wiberg, 1995a: 98). Back.

Note 15: It should be also mentioned that even inside the two core groups (Serbs and Croats) were existing great political (and other) differences and divisions. In Croatia, for example, on one side, Ante Starcevic, recommended creation of a 'Greater Croatia' (from Alps to Bulgaria, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro), and the Yugoslav idea, meanwhile, was supported by a Roman Catholic bishop (Josip Juraj Strossmayer) who was imbued with tremendous ecumenical spirit. 'With Starcevic's death, his Party of Right declined and a new generation of Croat intellectuals embraced Strossmayer's concept. Forming a Croatian-Serbian coalition in 1905, they easily triumphed in the first elections for the local legislature. The Croats warmed to the idea of union with other South Slavs - meaning primarily the Kingdom of Serbia - for several reasons, but chiefly because alone they were powerless to wrest independence from Austria-Hungary.' (More detailed: Doder, 1993: 7-8). Back.

Note 16: If a short digression is allowed, one could mention that in 1993 an author asked himself whether acute manifestations of crisis, if they intensify, could trigger even international warfare. 'The answer so far as various small states is concerned is probably "yes". In short, a new era of Balkan Wars may be at hand. At present, however, there appears to be little likelihood that major powers, let alone states possessed of nuclear weapons, would easily allow themselves to be drawn into such warfare, particularly on opposing sides. On the other hand, nobody actually foresaw that the First World War would result from a "terrorist" throwing a bomb in the remote Balkan town of Sarajevo.' (Carlton, 1993: 182). Back.

Note 17: With the end of the First World War, as the international community assumed that the South Slavs were tribes of a single people and, if united, would forge a common national existence, the Treaty of Versailles tore the South Slav lands away from the Ottoman empire (where Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia used to be) as well as from the Hapsburg empire (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia). Back.

Note 18: Should be mentioned that on the Croatian and Slovenian side there were also some pragmatic reasons for establishing a common South Slavs' country. Namely, association with Serbia, which victoriously came out of the First World War on the side of Entente forces, seemed for them a way to preserve their national interests and territories. (See Simic, 1993: 202). Back.

Note 19: In 1928 three Croat deputies (including the leader Stjepan Radic) were assassinated by a Serbian King's agent-deputy in central Parliament (see Wiberg, 1993: 97), but King's offer of independence (so called idea of amputation) was not accepted by both Croats and Slovenes. In 1933 the King himself was assassinated during his official visit to France by Croat and Macedonian nationalists (supported by the governments of Hungary and Italy). Initially it seemed that almost simultaneous death of the King's host - Louis Barthou, French Foreign Affairs Minister - was an accidental event, but, according to some later assumptions, he was also intentionally killed because of his anti-German foreign policy. (See Dimitrijevic and Stojanovic, 1988: 367). Back.

Note 20: 'Yugoslavia's history of disagreements over the Constitution since (actually even before) its creation in 1918 is hardly rivaled by any other state ... and these conflicts had repeatedly brought to state to, or even over, the brink of collapse. (See Djilas, 1991; Wiberg, 1992: 3-5; 1995a: 98). Back.

Note 21: An author points out that, in fact, President Franklin Roosevelt entertained the idea of dismembering Yugoslavia, but Winston Churchill and Joseph V. Stalin did not accept it. (Doder, 1993: 10). Back.

Note 22: Now it could be concluded that Tito's system had chosen a most baleful combination: capital was imported mostly from the West, and 'rules of the (economic and political) game' - mostly from the East or at least mixed. Back.

Note 23: It was concluded that 'no other state had been through as long and deep an economic crisis by 1990; the average Yugoslav lost about half his real income in the eighties.' (Wiberg, 1995a: 97). Back.

Note 24: Albanians are rapidly growing majority in the Province Kosovo, and minority in the population of Serbia (whose part is Kosovo). (See more detailed: Janjic, 1995: 21 and 64). Regarding to this conflict, Serbs stress that during some six years before 1981 Albanians in Kosovo - owing to the parity principle in employment - had been dominated in the economy, government administration, education, science, culture, etc. Albanian language had been prevailing in the schooling system, in addition to local professors, their colleagues from neighbouring Albania had lectured at the Pristina University, the Kosovo Academy of Sciences has been de facto the Albanian academy, etc. In the same time, although the Kosovo was within the Republic of Serbia, republican organs had no direct competencies in this territory, while representatives of the Province were proportionally represented in republican and federal organs. During the eighties, one ethnic Albanian was the President of the Yugoslav Presidency, etc. As one Scandinavian author noticed, 'the nation-state may be accused of injustice both if it promotes equality and if it promotes difference. If the state stresses equal rights and duties, minority members may feel that their cultural distinctiveness is not being respected. ... If, on the other hand, the state stresses cultural differences, minority members may feel discriminated against. (Eriksen, 1991: 222). Could be concluded that there is no a universal 'recipe' or 'formula' for resolving problems in majority-minority relations. It seems that governments as well as minorities in the region are faced and taking part in the same time with a kind of circulus vitiosus: looking from one side, the more a minority is far from being loyal to state in which it has been living, presumably the more is used repression by the same state; but looking from the other side, the more the repression is used the less the same minority is likely to be(come) loyal, and to perceive the legal power (authority) as legitimate, but perceives it as 'plain domination.' (See Duverger, 1972: 18). Back.

Note 25: After the secessions it was concluded that 'the simplest hypothesis on the relationship between heterogeneity and the balance of different cleavages is the following: "The more ethnonationally heterogeneous a state is, the higher is the likelihood that ethnonational cleavages, possibly also identified as regional cleavages, will predominate over class and class-related ideological cleavages."' According to the ethnonational composition data of post-communist states in CSCE Europe and their successor states, the Second Yugoslavia 'would be expected to run the highest risk of ethnonational cleavages dominating over others, side by side with Bosnia-Herzegovina; problems should also be anticipated in Macedonia, FRY and Croatia; Slovenia stands alone in having a low-risk figure. And ethnonational mobilisation has indeed left little room for class mobilisation in most of these states; only in Slovenia we have seen more class related changes in government composition and the relative failure of ethnonational mobilisation that have been characteristic for several other post-communist countries in Europe.' (Wiberg, 1995a: 96-97). Back.

Note 26: It was noticed that 'very few other states had been as dependent for internal cohesion on the Cold War or where, for this reason, as negatively affected by its end.' (Wiberg, 1995a: 98). Back.

Note 27: As it was stressed, in the time when the Yugoslav conflicts occurred some important motives has little to do with Yugoslavia as such, but resulted from the configuration of international relations that were in maximal flux (much due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union). 'A "New World Order" had been coined as a phrase, but with little clear content: it might mean American hegemonic leadership or an American position as primus inter pares, but in either cases it remained unclear when and how the United States was desired and inclined to act in "European affairs." (Russia was initially treated as largely negligible, but later become more assertive about its own national interests in Europe).' (Wiberg, 1994: 237). Back.

Note 28: In fact, so-called 'modern federation' project was defined first by the federal Presidency and later (by the end of February 1991) by Serbia and Montenegro. 'In these documents Yugoslavia was seen as a "sovereign republic" and "democratic federation". The intention of the proposers conflicted, however, with principles which were unable to express structural specifics of the Yugoslav community. When a community is so heterogeneous as Yugoslavia in the ethnic, religious and historic sense, its democratic order must be based on consistent principles. In other words, in Yugoslavia it was impossible to mechanically apply the principles of federalism, which produced good results in different communities. Underlying the complex legal argumentation of this proposal was in fact the desire of the Serbian people to continue living in one instead of several states.' (Simic, 1993: 205-206). Back.

Note 29: On brainwashing as a specific propaganda technique see more detailed Zvonarevic, 1976: 720-724; Isakovic, 1991: 222-227. Back.

Note 30: On the other hand, basic identity and security problems in inter ethnic relation, for example, in Bosnia and Herzegovina were represented in 1993 on following way: 'Moslem problems include both security and identity to an extreme degree. Armed forces of Bosnian Serbs (and Croats) define the security problem: occupation, expulsion and massacres, with minority status in chauvinist Serb and Croat states as a worse case. Identity is also highly problematic. It cannot be anchored in language, there being little relation between religion and dialect; Moslems are a minority in Bosnia-Herzegovina, albeit the largest; there were no Moslems in the medieval Bosnian kingdom; Bosnia-Herzegovina Moslems have long been secularized rather than zealots. One solution, in former Yugoslavia, was having 'Moslem' recognised as a national identity, on a par with Serb or Croat; but Yugoslavia is no more. Another solution is to be a state-carrying nation in independent Bosnia-Herzegovina together with Serbs and Croats - who will only have that on terms Moslems see as threatening their security. Two other solutions now seem to emerge: revitalization of religion as centre of identity and identification as Bosnians. They are likely to create problems with Serbs and Croats: both will fear the creation of an Islamic state once suggested by Izetbegovic, neither will let the Moslems monopolise being Bosnians - or relinquish their Serb and Croat identities in favour of a Bosnian one.' (Wiberg, 1993: 106-107). Back.

Note 31: 'It was difficult to find any other European state, except perhaps the USSR, with equally deep historical traumas among ethnonational groups, further nourished during World War II (Croatian genocide against Serbs and many other atrocities between groups) and even after it (Serbian repression of Albanians).' (Wiberg, 1995a: 97-98). Back.

Note 32: By the way some elements of that description could be relatively easily (in)directly applied to some political leaders of the Yugoslav successor states, the new 'fathers of their nations', as well as to some leaders of opposition parties in the same states. Back.

Note 33: 'One need not begrudge historians who legitimately examine official figures the right to correct or confirm them. But when their transparently self-serving motive is to manipulate those figures to diminish the culpability of Pavelic's Ustashi regime - so that contemporary heirs can say. "Well, everyone was doing it, so it's not such a big deal" then they are, like anti-Semitic revisionists who contend that Auschwitz did not exist, reprehensible. In Croatia much is done to perpetuate the myth of Croats as congenitally more just, civilized, cultured, and democratic than almost any other people, especially Serbs.' (Job, 1993: 62-63). Back.

Note 34: In this regard the greatest problem seems to be that 'practically all the literature is treated and often taught literally, as history, without much effort to separate poetic license from true events', and 'the negative stereotypes of Turks and other foreigners, the cult of revenge, the self-pity and self-praise - all are left unchallenged. Occasionally, glimpses of folk wit deflate boastful posturing, concede courage to the enemy, and allow that domestic oppressors can be worse than foreign ones. But educators in Yugoslav schools rarely if ever use such glimpses.' (Job, 1993: 65). Back.

Note 35: Statement that 'war has always existed, at least since people started to form societies with the technological and organisational prerequisites for engaging in it' (Wiberg, 1995b: 1 ff.) seems to be in at least rough accordance with the mentioned Fromm's remark. Back.

Note 36: 'The anti-nationalist Tito regime first counteracted national cleavages by encouraging people to identify themselves as 'Yugoslavs', rather than Serbs, Croats, etc. Those attempts towards a Yugoslav identity changed character after 1964, now limited to making it superordinate to ethnonational ones, not a substitute for them.' The self-declared Yugoslavs, most of whom were from ethnically mixed families rather than 'ideological' Yugoslavs (a nationality map of Yugoslavia shows clearly that Yugoslavs were relatively many in mixed areas, e.g. Vojvodina and parts of Bosnia-Hercegovina, but quite rare in more homogeneous ones) decreased from over 10% to 6% in the 1981 census and 3% in the 1991 census. 'Many more combined identifying themselves ethnonationally with a political identification as Yugoslav citizens, even taking some pride in self-management and non-alignment as particular Yugoslav features. This combination, however, was very vulnerable to possible perceptions of contradiction between the elements.' (Wiberg, 1995: 94-95). As it was also concluded, the existence of Yugoslav identification, however, seemed to be indispensable for the preservation of the Second Yugoslavia as a federation through which fundamental psychological agreement of its citizens exists with the democratic procedure and institutions of the federal system. (More detailed: Obradovic, 1991). Back.

Note 37: The Parties are obliged by the Annex 11 of the Dayton Peace Accords to provide 'a safe and secure environment for all persons in their respective jurisdictions... in accordance with internationally recognised standards and with respect for internationally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms.' Back.

Note 38: The Agreement on Human Rights (Annex 6 of the Dayton Peace Accords) includes the right to life, to freedom from torture or other degrading or inhuman treatment, to a fair hearing in civil and criminal courts, to freedom of expression and a free press, to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and to freedom of movement. Back.

Note 39: 'During 1996, IFOR refused to undertake any policing tasks and the local police were responsive only to local political parties not to the rule of law. This led to embarrassing scenes of IFOR troops as passive witnesses to blatant harassment of minorities,' while 'International Police Task Force personnel were not armed and did not venture out after dark.' (Sharp and Clarke, 1996: 7-8). Back.

Note 40: Annex 4 - Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Back.

Note 41: Beside economic reasons ('owing the wide prosperity gap between the Muslim- and Croat-populated regions struggles for redistribution are to be expected, since the Muslim side wants to share the Croatian economic power'), there are differing ideas on the inner structure of the Federation, nationalism, and among crucial disputed questions is dilemma should institutions be built on the basis of the 1991 census or according to the current ethnic composition. (More detailed see Calic, 1996: 133). Back.