Ljubomir Tadić was born in Montenegro in 1925. He spent the Second World War as a partisan, and entered the Law Faculty of the University of Belgrade after the war, completing his studies in 1952. In 1959, he defended his doctoral dissertation in Ljubljana. Tadić started his university career in 1954 as an assistant at the Faculty of Law in Sarajevo, and soon became an associate professor. In 1962 he became a senior advisor at the Institute of Social Sciences in Belgrade. From 1963 until his dismissal in 1975, he worked as a full professor at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Belgrade.
In 1968, Ljubomir Tadić was one of the leaders of the student protests in Belgrade, beginning his conflicts with the government. After that time, he was often targeted by critics and impeded by the government. Tadić was also one of the Belgrade “Praxis” members. Praxis was a group of philosophers of the so-called “creative”, non-dogmatic Marxism that formed in the early 1960s in Yugoslavia. This resulted in his removal from the Faculty of Philosophy in early 1975, together with seven other professors and assistants, who were labeled "morally and politically unsuitable". This attack on the professors of the Belgrade University marked the end of the Korčula school, Praxis, and the journal Philosophy published by the Philosophical Society of Serbia.
From 1976, Ljubomir Tadić participated in the work of the newly founded Open University (known as Otvoreni [Open] or Slobodni [Free] in the literature). The aim of the Open University was the informal gathering (in private houses) and discussion on various social, political, and artistic topics. Many critically minded intellectuals gathered there, including Dragomir Olujić, Dobrica Cosić, and Lazar Stojanović.
Tadić became publicly active again in the early 1980s, together with Dobrica Cosić, Svetozar Stojanović, Zoran Djindjić, Nebojša Popov, Vojislav Stojanović, and others, when he tried to launch the journal Javnost [Publicity] in 1980. This paper sought to bring together critical intellectuals, and a call for cooperation was sent to over 400 individuals. The timing of the initiative’s launch, a few months after Tito's death, proved not to be the best. Political sensitivity at that particular moment resulted in its ban even before the journal was published.
One year later, Tadić was re-employed as a scientific adviser at the Center for Philosophy and Social Theory, founded in 1981, within the existing Institute of Social Sciences in Belgrade. This center would become where the intellectual democratic opposition to the Yugoslav regime gathered in the 1980s, and later similarly against the Milosević regime.
Together with Dobrica Costić, Ljubomir Tadić was one of the co-founders of the Odbor za zaštitu slobode misli i izražavanja [Committee for the Protection of Freedom of Thought and Expression] which was established in 1984. In the following years the work of the committee, which gathered mainly intellectuals from Belgrade, attracted public attention thanks to the publication of two texts - Predloga za ukidanje neopravdanih ograničenja sloboda i prava [Proposal for the Abolition of Unjustified Restrictions on Freedoms and Rights] (1985) and Predloga za uspostavljanje vladavine prava [Proposal for the Establishment of the Rule of Law] (1986). The Committee put pressure on the government and the public by organizing petitions in which hundreds of Yugoslav intellectuals participated. Initially, the Committee defended all critics of the government regardless of their nationality, but this changed when the political crises began at the end of the 1980s and it began engaging in other issues, particularly with the national Serbian cause in Yugoslavia.
In 1985, Tadić became a corresponding member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences, elected as a regular member in 1994.
At the time Yugoslavia was dissolving, Ljubomir Tadić was engaged in the democratic opposition and was one of the 13 founders of the Democratic Party in December 1989. His son, Boris Tadić, was the president of the Democratic Party and President of Serbia from 2004 to 2012.
Against the frequent accusations that he changed from a leftist into a nationalist, Ljubomir Tadić maintained in the weekly NIN (2004) that "In my books you cannot find that I have advocated some kind of nationalistic attitudes. But, in terms of justice and injustice, I have always made myself clear. Further on I consider that the Western policy is a great political injustice towards the Serbs. […] It turns out that the only aggressors are Serbs, while all the other are illustrated as the poor innocents. I cannot accept such an injustice, it is my determination. So, it is not a nationalist-chauvinistic view, but an attitude against the obvious lasting injustice."
Ljubomir Tadić passed away in Belgrade on December 31 2013.
- Radović, Sanja