Mihailo Markovi?

Mihailo Markovi? (1923–2010), a widely published Serbian philosopher and scholar, worked for many years in the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy. He became a leading proponent of the Marxist humanist Praxis School, which emphasised the dialectics and humanism of Marx’s earlier writings and produced the international Praxis journal. Writers associated with Praxis drew on Marx’s early humanist writings and advocated a creative use of Marxism within the Yugoslav model of self-management.

In 'Self-management and efficiency', in Life Without Money, he writes about the greater efficiencies of a form of socialism infused with the principles of self-management:

'it might be argued that the concept of efficiency is devoid of any humanist meaning. It is apparently value-free and ideologically neutral. On closer scrutiny, however, it turns out to be ideologically loaded, and encouraging certain harmful and dangerous attitudes towards nature and existing society. Maximum efficiency in conquering and controlling natural surroundings means a dangerously growing rate of waste of scarce material resources and available forms of energy. Maximum efficiency in running present-day social organisations and institutions means full-scale endorsement of their inhuman, degrading practices. For unjust systems efficiency really is their best chance of survival.'

'A developed self-management has the historical opportunity to overcome both wasteful and irrational models of contemporary efficiency: one imposed by capital and the market, the other dictated by the authoritarian political machine.'

Mihailo Markovi?, 'Self-managment and efficiency', in Life Without Money, pp. 166, 170

Mihailo constructively criticised developments in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1963–1992). Two relevant works include:

Markovi? M and Cohen RS (1975) Yugoslavia: The Rise and Fall of Socialist Humanism. A History of the Praxis Group, Nottingham, Spokesman Books.

Markovi? M (1974) The Contemporary Marx: Essays on Humanist Communism, Nottingham, Spokesman Books.

You can read more about Mihailo Markovi? at the Marxist Internet Archives: Mihailo Markovi?


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