M.I.A.: Subject Section: Yugoslavia: The Praxis Group
Praxis: A Marxist-humanist journal which stressed the significance of the early humanist writings of Marx and pleaded for a creative adaptation of Marxism in the context of Yugoslav self-management. They clashed with the orthodox Marxist-Leninist interpretation of the Communist Party. Praxis and its contributors were subjected to continuous criticism by the party ideologues, which included serious attacks by the Zagreb party organization and the Croatian Parliament in May and June 1966.
The program of Praxis was defined (in French) in the first issue of the international edition of Praxis: A quoi bon Praxis (Why Praxis). The problem of practice was further elaborated in the same issue by Branko Bošnjak, Gajo Petrović, Predrag Vranicki, Danko Grlić and Rudi Supek.
From 1964 to 1974 the Praxis Group organized the Korčula Summer School, attended by a lot of well-known Western Marxist theoreticians.
Due to the growing political pressure, the printing of the international edition of Praxis ceased in 1973 and in the spring of 1975, the printing of the Yugoslav edition of the journal was made impossible. In January 1975, eight Marxists-Humanist professors were expelled from the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade (Mihailo Marković, Ljubomir Tadić, Zagorka Golubović, Svetozar Stojanović, Miladin Životić, Dragoljub Micunović, Nebojša Popov and Trivo Inđić).
In 1981, in attempt to revive the Praxis journal, Praxis members from Belgrade began to publish abroad a journal named Praxis International. However, most Praxis members from Zagreb didn't supported this move.
As inter-ethnic tensions in Yugoslavia rose, some of the Belgrade Praxisists (Marković, Stojanović, Tadić) turned towards nationalism. The rest of Praxisists, both in Croatia and Serbia, after dissolution of Yugoslavia continued to work against nationalism, being denigrated by the new "democratic" governments as they were during Socialist Yugoslavia.
The main writers who were part of the Praxis Group include:
- Danko Grlić
- Milan Kangrga
- Gajo Petrović – see Petrović Archive
- Rudi Supek – see Supek Archive
- Predrag Vranicki
- Mihailo Marković – see Marković Archive
Praxis (international edition)
Praxis International was launched in 1981 by Praxis members from Belgrade, with support from Jürgen Habermas, Richard J. Bernstein and Albrecht Wellmer. It was published abroad, mostly in the United States. The journal was more eclectic than the original Praxis. Its first co-editors were Richard J. Bernstein and Mihailo Marković, and from 1986 the co-editors were Seyla Benhabib and Svetozar Stojanović. Praxis International was published until January 1994 when it continued to be published under the name Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory.
Issue No. 4, 1981
Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights by Mihailo Marković
Issue No. 2/3, 1983
The Idea of Critique in Social Theory by Mihailo Marković
Complete Issues (1981-1993) [off-site link]
Thanks to Robert Stallaerts for this collection and to Stevan Gostojić for further assistance in verifying and expanding information.
Contact Zdravko Saveski for further information.