In Tito’s Yugoslavia the government’s main challenge was containing the difference between the rhetoric of the state’s raison d’être and the Yugoslav ideal, and the reality of the people’s lived experience. In this sense, the second Yugoslavia strongly resembled the first. This chapter brings together a number of the strands of our story. We will observe some continuities in perceptions of the first and second Yugoslavia and the general outside acceptance of the mechanics of government. There was also continuity in the role of Yugoslavia in international politics, as alliances largely remained intact through from one world war to another. The parallels between King Aleksandar and Tito, notably their standing resulting from their involvement in wartime struggles and victories, are also significant. Transgressions such as abandoning or withholding democratic rights did not diminish their reputations. Outsiders continued to rationalize that Yugoslav democracy was dispensable. The context of the Cold War made the partition of Europe seem permanent and was not conducive to deep reflection on the future of its unfree citizens. It was not entirely satisfactory that the ‘necessary’ Yugoslav state was also a communist dictatorship, but justifying it came easily enough in the wake of total war.
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