English abstract of Enver Hoxha’s “The Theory and Practice of Revolution”

A lengthy editorial was published on July 7, 1977, in “Zëri i Popullit” (The Voice of the People), the official organ of the ruling Albanian Party of Labour. Entitled The Theory and Practice of Revolution, it was written by Enver Hoxha in third person but not signed.

Significant passages in the article read as follows:

Defining the fundamental content of the new historic epoch as the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolutions, [Lenin] remained consistently loyal to the teachings of Marx about the historic mission of the proletariat as the new social force which will carry out the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist society of oppression and exploitation and build the new society, the classless communist society. […] The fact that the teachings of Marxism-Leninism and the revolution were betrayed in the Soviet Union and a number of former socialist countries does not alter the Leninist thesis on the character of the present epoch in the least. […] The Albanian Party of Labour has always consistently upheld these Marxist-Leninist conclusions. […]

The revisionist betrayal, the return of the Soviet Union and a number of former socialist countries to capitalism, the spreading of modern revisionism widely in the international communist and workers’ movement and the splitting of this movement were a heavy blow to the cause of revolution and socialism. But this by no means implies that socialism was liquidated as a system and that the criterion of the division of the world into two opposing systems must be changed, that the contradiction between capitalism and socialism no longer exists today. […]

By ignoring socialism as a social system, the so-called theory of three worlds ignores the greatest historic victory of the international proletariat, ignores the fundamental contradiction of the time – that between socialism and capitalism. It is clear that such a theory, which ignores socialism, is anti-Leninist. It leads to the weakening of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the countries where socialism is being built, while calling on the world proletariat not to fight, not to rise in socialist revolution. […]

The supporters of the theory of the three worlds claim that it gives great possibilities for exploitation of inter-imperialist contradictions. […] [But] it is anti-Marxist to preach unity with the allegedly weaker imperialism to oppose the stronger, to side with the bourgeoisie of one country to oppose that of another country, under the pretext of exploiting contradictions. Lenin stressed that the tactic of the exploitation of contradictions in the ranks of the enemies should be used to raise and not to reduce the general level of proletarian consciousness, the revolutionary spirit, the capacity of the masses to fight and win. […]

A truly socialist country cannot include itself in such groupings as the so-called Third World of non-aligned countries in which any kind of class boundaries have been erased and which serve only to divert the peoples from the road of the struggle against imperialism and for the revolution. […] To preach the division into three worlds, to ignore the fundamental contradictions of our times, to call for an alliance of the proletariat with the monopoly bourgeoisie and of the oppressed peoples with the imperialist powers of the so-called second world is not to the advantage of the international proletariat, the peoples, or the socialist countries. […]

In trying to divert the attention of the proletariat from the revolution, the authors of the theory of the three worlds preach that, at the present time, the question of the preservation of national independence from the danger of aggression by the super-powers, especially by Soviet social-imperialism, which they consider to be the main enemy, is the primary issue. […] Bearing in mind the course of events, the class analysis of the present situation, our party stresses that US imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, these two super-powers, are “the main and biggest enemies of the peoples” today, and as such “they constitute the same danger” [in the words of Enver Hoxha]. […] Distorting the truth and deceiving the peoples they [i.e. the advocates of the three worlds theory] claim that US imperialism is allegedly no longer war-mongering. […] Matters have reached the point where even the US military presence in various countries such as Germany, Belgium or Italy, in Japan and other countries is being justified and described as a factor for defence. Such views are extremely dangerous to the freedom of the peoples and the fate of the revolution. […]

It happens and may happen that this or that country is oppressed or directly threatened by one of the super-powers, but this in no way and in no case means that the other super-power has become a friend of that country. The principle “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” cannot be applied when it is a matter of the two imperialist super-powers […] [which] are fighting to extend their domination and exploitation of various peoples and countries. […]

The carrying out of the proletarian revolution is a universal law and the main trend of our epoch. All countries without exception, even including Indonesia and Chile, Brazil and Zaïre, and so on, must and will go through it regardless of what stages will have to be traversed to get there. If you lose sight of this objective, if you preach the preservation of the status quo and theorize about “avoiding missing out stages”, if you forget to fight against Suharto and Pinochet [and] Geisel and [President] Mobutu, this means that you are for neither the national liberation struggle nor tlie national democratic revolution. […]

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