***Still in progress***
On his deathbed, Tito felt the chill of the shadow to come and made the decision that would forever alter the future of Yugoslavia. As he lay dying, he named his successor: Aleksandar Broz, known affectionately to his people as "Mišo." Tito was no fool -- he knew he was the sole glue holding together the jagged ethnic jigsaw that was the Balkans. He was not so naïve as to think that his subjects, his citizens could stand side by side without one man at the helm. Admittedly, Mišo had not shown that much promise over the preceding decades, but what other choice did he have? Tito took a gamble. The fate of his beloved country depended on the strength of his personal legacy.
And he won. It could not be argued otherwise. Mišo would come into his own in the early 90s as regimes crumbled all around, and the country, against all odds, would remain as one. The answer to Yugoslavia's turbulent political prospects was to remove the politics and replace them with a man. Though there were the troublesome separatists in Kosovo -- really terrorists rather than a true army -- Mišo cleverly used their occasional attacks to garner support both domestically and abroad, further shoring up the regime against the gales of democratic change sweeping through the rest of the world but dying to a gentle breeze over the last socialist stronghold of Yugoslavia. Though going into the new millennium Yugoslavia was not a rich country, it was not a poor one either, and its people lived well.
If anything, under Mišo's leadership, the 90s saw a strengthening of the bonds between the myriad ethnic groups of the Balkans. Mišo's shrewdest decision was the pumping of the equivalent of billions of dollars in dinars over the decade into the new Bureau of Culture. The Yugoslav government created a new culture out of many, a hybrid but also a new creation in its own right. For the first time in a century that had brought the nation success and disaster, triumph and despair, the people of the country not only were but also felt as if they were one. Mišo promoted Yugoslav music, Yugoslav literature, Yugoslav conventions on all things. Most notably, he standardized the Serbo-Croation (now Yugoslav) tongue as the national language so that, even in spite of ethnic differences, there could at least exist some level of linguistic fraternity.
Mišo's economic sense proved sound, too. Throughout his reign, he slowly relaxed regulations and planted the seeds of capitalism -- though controlled -- in his country. Today, Yugoslavia is the fastest growing economy in Europe. With all the trappings and familiarity of a more western nation and prices closer to those found in China and South Asia, Yugoslavia is a favorite of American and western European countries for both outsourcing manufacturing but also for conducting business in general. Yugoslavia was named The Economist "country of the year" in 2014. In spite of its closed political system, it is hailed as an example of dictatorship "done right." Though hit early and hard by the global economic crisis, it, like Iceland, made a quick recovery. Within twenty or perhaps even ten years, the country is projected to be just as modern as as its neighbors to the north and west. The young, red star of Yugoslavia shines the brightest in Europe.