“New Albania: A Small Nation, A Great Contribution!” Part II: Socialist Construction in Albania

The People’s State Power

The Establishment of Workers and Peasants Rule

After the liberation of Albania from Nazi occupation in November 1944, a new revolutionary government was established based on the National Liberation Councils, which had been democratically elected during the War. The provisional democratic government represented the power of the working class in Albania, in alliance with the poor peasantry. It was led by the Communist Party of Albania (today the Party of Labor of Albania), the vanguard party of the working class. The representatives of the capitalists and Landlords, organized in the Balli Kombetar and Legaliteti organizations, were excluded from the government. The property of the large landowners and capitalists was expropriated.

The old state apparatus was completely done away with and a new revolutionary apparatus was built in its place. People’s councils were elected in May 1945 and these councils became the new organs of state power. A Constitutional Assembly was elected on the basis of universal suffrage and by secret and direct ballot. On January 11, 1946, the Constitutional Assembly proclaimed the formation of the People’s Republic of Albania. The People’s State Power

The Albanian government today is headed by the People’s Assembly at the national level and the People’s Councils at the local level. The deputies to these organs are elected democratically by the people. The selection of candidates takes place in the Democratic Front. The Democratic Front is the successor of the National Liberation Front built during the revolutionary war and it embraces all sectors of the population. The candidates of the Democratic Front are then submitted to the entire people to be voted up or down. After the elections, the people have the right to recall their deputies at any time if they are dissatisfied with their actions.

The People’s Assembly appoints the ministers of the administrative organs of the government and exercises direct control over their activities. It also appoints the Supreme Court and has the final say in the interpretation of the laws. Local and district judges are directly elected by the people.

In the United States and other capitalist countries virtually all congressional or parliamentary representatives are wealthy business executives, bankers or lawyers. In Albania nearly two-thirds of the deputies in the People’s Assembly are workers or peasants who work in the factories and fields. The other third of the deputies come from the intelligentsia. Almost one-third of the deputies are women. As the Albanian Constitution states, “The People’s Socialist Republic of Albania is a state of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which expresses and defends the interests of all working people.” (The name of the country was changed to the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania with the adoption of a new socialist constitution in 1976). In capitalist countries like the U.S., the government is controlled from top to bottom by a wealthy minority who exercise a dictatorship over the working people. In Albania, it is the working class which rules in alliance with the cooperativist peasantry.

Headquarters of Zëri i Popullit in the 1980s

The Albanian Constitution guarantees that all citizens “enjoy the freedom of speech, the press, organization, association, assembly and public manifestation. The state guarantees the realization of these freedoms, it creates the conditions for them, and makes available the necessary material means.” These material means include the country’s best meeting halls and buildings, and the country’s press, television and radio. In Albania these things do not belong to a handful of wealthy exploiters but rather to the people as a whole. These public resources are opened up to mass meetings and debates where everyone is encouraged to put forward their constructive opinions and criticisms.

On the other hand, it is illegal to organize fascist or reactionary organizations. The people’s government is quick to suppress any attempt at counterrevolution. This vigilant attitude is essential in order to prevent the restoration of the rule of the exploiting classes. The People’s Army and the People’s Militia

The socialist state is defended by the armed people, with the People’s Army as the main force. The People’s Army is the offspring of the National Liberation Army.Led by the Party of Labor of Albania, the People’s Army is based an the principles of democracy and conscious discipline and is closely linked with the people. There are no ranks and the officers enjoy no privileges, nor are they permitted to domineer over the rank-and-file soldiers.

In addition to the active army, Albania is defended by its entire people, who are prepared to wage a people’s war, as they did to liberate their country, in case of foreign attack. A powerful example of the popular and democratic nature of Albanian society is the fact that every citizen is armed, is trained in the use of weapons and participates in the people’s militias. In contrast, in the United States and other capitalist countries, the ruling class is trying to limit the possession of arms to the police and military for fear of popular insurrection. The Party of Labor of Albania

In order for the working class to govern society it must have its own political party to organize and lead the masses of workers. This party must be composed of the most advanced and dedicated fighters, who place the interest and well-being of the people above themselves. The party of the working class in Albania is the Party of Labor of Albania (PLA). The PLA, headed by Enver Hoxha, led the armed uprising of the Albanian people against fascist occupation. Today it is leading the ongoing revolutionary transformation of socialist society. Unlike the parties of the U.S.S.R., the Soviet bloc countries, Yugoslavia and China, which have betrayed the working class and restored capitalist exploitation, the PLA has remained a true revolutionary fighter for the interests of the working class.

The ideology of the PLA is Marxism-Leninism, the scientific summation of the historical experience of the proletariat. The party is organized an the principle of democratic centralism, which combines centralized leadership with the broadest possible initiative of party members. The central leadership bodies, elected by the party membership, define the party’s program of action, which is discussed, worked out and endorsed by all of the communists. The party’s basic organizations apply the party’s leading role in practice, and are centers of revolutionary thinking and action in every community and work place.

Tirana, Albania

The activity of the party develops in the atmosphere of principled criticism and self-criticism. The PLA admits its mistakes and channels the creative activity of its members to eliminate those mistakes. The life of the party is characterized by debate and confrontation in order to correctly solve problems based an the revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism.

The program of the PLA defines the content of the whole social and state life. The state organs decide all the major questions and always take account of the directives issued by the leading organs of the Party.

The PLA plays a leading role in all aspects of Albanian society. It is able to play this role because it has always maintained a correct revolutionary line and it enjoys the trust, respect and support of the Albanian people. The PLA was born out of the struggles of the working people and it has always been their champion. It has always been close to the masses of people, both learning from and educating them. Socialist Democracy

Because the rich exploiting classes have been overthrown in Albania, democracy means more than empty words. The working people have full democratic rights and the ability to govern society. Socialist democracy is characterized by the active participation of the masses of working people in the governing of society. The entire population participates in discussions and debates about the problems facing the country. Mass discussions are organized in every locality to take up such problems as the emancipation of women, educational reform, economic plans and policies, family relations, and the promotion of science and atheism. The reforming of the laws and the discarding of those which are out of date are the subjects of a country-wide debates. Mass organizations, including the Democratic Front, the trade unions, the Women’s Union and the Labor Youth Union take up these discussions. Special meetings are held in each locality, work place and school. When the new Albanian Constitution was drafted in 1976 over 1,500,000 people, nearly 3/4 of the population, took part in the debate. This Constitution serves as the basic law of the country to which all government organs and all citizens are bound.

An Albanian cooperativist farmer summed up the new attitude toward the laws in socialist society in the following words: “To the poor, the word ‘law’ once had a terrible sound. lt meant a threat of starvation, a threat of imprisonment, a threat of death. Today, the people make the law themselves, and they adopt it for their own good.”The masses of working people in Albania are organized to follow all of the political, economic, social, military and cultural affairs of their country and to exercise their control over them. They are encouraged to criticize any mistakes or any bureaucratic tendencies among government officials. Mass workers’ and peasants’ control commissions (which are discussed more fully later) are organized in every work place to carry out the work of criticism and control, and they wield great authority.

When we speak about the working class governing Albania, this is no abstract concept! The leadership of the working class is exercised from both above and below. This leadership is exercised from above through the workers’ political party, and through its state apparatus. Without this centralized leadership the working class could not govern society. But the working class also exercises its control over society directly, from below, through the control of the working masses themselves. This active participation of the working masses in governing society is made possible because this activity is organized and led by the workers’ vanguard party, the Party of Labor of Albania.

The Socialist Economy

The Establishment of Socialist Property

Among the first actions taken by the people’s government was the confiscation without conpensation of all the industrial and commercial property of the Albanian and foreign capitalists. This included all of the major mines, oil fields, factories, means of transportation and the banks. This property, which had been used by the capitalists to exploit the people and increase their own wealth, now became the property of the people’s state, to be used for the collective well-being of the people. Workers’ control committees were formed in the enterprises to help manage production under the leadership of the PLA and the central government apparatus. The property of the small merchants and artisans was not taken and they were encouraged to build handicraft and trade cooperatives.

The rich landlords were also expropriated without compensation. Part of their large landholdings became the property of the state, while most was divided among the poor and landless peasants. The government and the Party encouraged the peasants to combine their tiny parcels of land and their livestock to build cooperative farms. The building of cooperative farms was a gradual process based upon the free will and full cooperation of the peasants. By 1960, 80% of the land had been collectivized and by 1967, all of the peasantry had taken the road of collectivization. Today, state-owned farms comprise 20% of the cultivated land and cooperative farms the remaining 80%.  The expropriation of the means of production of the wealthy landlords and capitalists eliminated the economic domination of these exploiting classes. It laid the economic foundation for the construction of socialist society and the elimination of class exploitation.

There are three types of property ownership in Albania today. The first is state property which includes all of the natural resources of the country, the factories and mines, the state farms, the highways, railroads and communications systems. State property belongs to the entire people. It is the highest form of socialist property and the main foundation for the building of socialism. Cooperative property belongs to collectives of rural working people who have voluntarily united in order to increase production, to improve their common well-being and to build socialism in the countryside. Cooperative property includes the buildings, machinery, equipment, vehicles, tools, etc. of the cooperative farm. It also includes the products of their labor, the harvest, the productive livestock, the orchards, etc. Cooperative property is a form of socialist property because it is not the property of any one individual but of a collective of working people.

Personal property also exists in socialist Albania. The state recognizes and protects it. This property includes income from work, as well as private family homes and other things used to satisfy personal and family material and cultural needs. All the things returned to the cooperativist family (grain and other produce) are also personal property. The source of personal property is the people’s own work. It cannot lead to the accumulation of capital and cannot he used to exploit labor.

There are no rich parasites in Albania. No individual can own a factory, a bank or a large tract of land and exploit the labor of others. In Albania, everyone works for a living.

Tirana, Albania

Socialist Planning

Social ownership of the means of production makes possible the central planning of the economy. The goal of this planning is to continually raise the material and cultural well-being of the working people and to strengthen the independence and defense of the country. Since 1951, regular five year economic plans have been developed to ensure overall socialist economic development. The central plan mobilizes the country’s human, material and financial resources in such a way to to assure the proportional and harmonious growth of all sectors of the economy. What is produced, how much is produced, how much is traded with foreign countries and how much is reserved for internal use, what major new economic projects are undertaken, the prices of all goods and the level of pay of all workers is decided in a unified plan for the whole country. The national income is consciously distributed according to the plan. Two great funds are created — the fund of accumulation and the fund of consumption. The fund of accumulation is dedicated to the building up of the country’s economy. The fund of consumption is dedicated to meeting the social and individual needs of the working people.

This kind of planning is impossible in capitalist society because the means of production are privately owned by capitalists whose only goal is to maximize their profits. This results in anarchy in production, economic crisis, stagnation, unemployment and inflation. Albania has not suffered from these crises which plague the capitalist world. Because of the superiority of the socialist system, the Albanian people can consciously plan the country’s economic development for the collective well-being. Over the last 40 years there has been a steady and rapid rate of economic growth. During the current five year plan social production is projected to grow by 36-38%. In contrast, the actual output of the U.S. economy has declined over the last five years.

Albanian university

Central planning, like all of socialist society, is based an democratic centralism, i.e., central leadership as well as the conscious, general and direct participation of the working masses. A Central Planning Commission works out a draft five year plan. The draft is then thoroughly discussed at mass meetings in every work place. During the popular discussion of the five year plan for 1981-86, 69,000 concrete proposals were made by the masses of working people. Of these, 40,000 were adopted in the plan and 20,000 were held for further discussion.

The trade unions in Albania play an important role in the planning and carrying out of production. In socialist society the workers’ trade unions not only concern themselves with defending the workers’ rights, welfare and working conditions, but also take an active part in the management of production and the political and economic life of the country. In the trade union meetings the workers discuss and criticize the draft economic plan and control the implementation of the plan in their plant.

Tirana, Albania

Self-Reliance

Socialism is being built in Albania by following the principle of self-reliance. The Albanians have always relied mainly on their own forces and have in this way safeguarded their independence and sovereignty and their socialist system. During the national liberation war they freed their country from fascist occupation without the aid of foreign troops. They refused British and U.S. proposals to intervene. At the same time they recognized the role played by external forces, and particularly the Soviet Red Army, in the defeat of Nazi Germany. Today, the policy of self-reliance is particularly important, as the world’s capitalist and revisionist powers seek to crush socialism in Albania and force the Albanians to succumb to their domination. Albania does not owe a penny to foreign banks and governments. It pays cash or barter for its imported goods. It now has trade relations with over 50 countries and has always recognized the benefit of exchanging goods, technology and knowledge with other countries. But Albania depends first and foremost on the creative initiative of its own people. It has never allowed investments by foreign capitalists. Utilizing central planning and self-reliance, Albania has been able to build a balanced and well-rounded agriculture and industry. While other developing countries have followed the capitalist path of credits and investments that leads to bankruptcy and economic collapse, Albania is living proof that the road for all the peoples of the world is the road of revolution, socialism and self-reliance.

Albanian industry

Economic Development

Albania was once the poorest and most backward country in Europe, with little industry and a very primitive agrarian economy. Since liberation, socialism has allowed Albania to make spectacular progress.

Industry: Before liberation, industry comprised only 6.7% of the Albanian national product. Today, it comprises over 64%. Industrial production has grown by over 125 times since liberation.Albania is rich in natural resources, and socialism has allowed the people to develop these to their fullest. The powerful rivers that originate in the Albanian Alps have been harnessed and today produce more than enough electricity to satisfy the country’s needs. Electrical power is now exported to neighboring countries. Albania is one of a relatively small number of countries in the world in which the entire country has been electrified, including the most remote mountain villages.

Albania has plentiful reserves of oil, natural gas and coal. Exploitation of oil began before liberation, but it was controlled by foreign companies who simply extracted it and shipped it out of Albania as crude oil to be refined and distributed in Italy. Today Albania refines its oil and uses it to power its own growing industrial plant. It is able to supply all of its own energy needs and it exports oil and coal.

Albanian hydroelectric plant

Albania also has large reserves of copper, chromium and iron-nickel ore. In 1976 workers in the Elbasan Metallurgical Complex poured Albania’s first steel. This steel is produced from Albania’s iron-nickel ore by a complex process not used anywhere else in the world. In addition, a copper processing industry has been built, and in 1979 a ferro-chrome plant was completed in Burrell which greatly expanded Albania’s chromium processing capacity. Albania now ranks as the fourth largest producer of chromium in the world, and exports highgrade copper products as well.

Before liberation Albania did not have a railroad. Today the country has an established network of railways. Albania builds its own motors, tractors, trucks, and produces 95% of the spare machinery parts needed by all sectors of production. This modern machine and engineering industry was built up from the small repair workshops that existed in Albania before liberation.

The remarkable growth of the oil, metals, machinery and chemical industries in Albania reflects the priority given to the building of heavy industry. This development of heavy industry makes possible the development of modern agriculture and light industry on the basis of self-reliance. Great strides have also been made in light industries such as textiles and food processing, and today about 85% of the consumer goods that Albania needs are produced within the country. Agriculture: Before liberation, Albania was still at the stage of the wooden plow. The farmland was fragmented into tiny plots worked by the most backward means. Albania could not produce enough food to feed its own people.

Albanian agriculture has gone through an all-round transformation in the course of building socialism in the countryside. The state farms are the highest form of the social relations of production in agriculture and, using the most modern techniques and machinery, they are the most productive farms. The socialist state created machine and tractor stations, also state property, to provide collective farms with the service of tractors, harvester threshers and other agricultural machinery. Before liberation there were only 30 tractors in the country. Today tractors and modern machinery have almost completely replaced the use of work animals in the fields. The machine and tractor stations represent a powerful link between the socialist state and the cooperative farmers.

Socialist cooperation has made possible mass work actions to drain the coastal swamps and to terrace the highland terrain thus doubling the area of arable land. Socialization of agricultural production has opened the doors for modern irrigation and fertilization methods, and for scientific experimentation as well. Scientific work is closely connected to all production units, and it flourishes with the active and direct participation of the masses of cooperativists and agricultural workers. Scientific work is organized on many levels, from specialized research institutes to local research stations and a network of agricultural secondary schools that train specialists to carry the spirit as well as the fruits of scientific research into the smallest and most remote production units. As a result of the socialist policies for the advancement of agriculture, production has increased by a phenomenal 500% since liberation. In 1976 Albania accomplished a long-time goal: self-sufficiency in the production of bread grains. Since then, Albania has begun to export grain. These tremendous accomplishments would never have been possible on the basis of the feudal organization of agriculture in pre-liberation Albania. This progress was realized through the building of the cooperative and state farms. In contrast with the results of capitalist agricultural development, the emergence of large-scale agricultural production, mechanization and modern agricultural technique in Albania has not resulted in the massive expropriation and destitution of the peasantry. lt has been carried out in a planned way by the cooperativist peasantry themselves, under the leadership of the PL A. There has been, of course, a steady shift of the workforce from agriculture to industry, due to the expansion of industrial production and the increase in agricultural productivity. But this shift has been carried out according to the general economic plan which has provided for the constant improvement of the well-being of the cooperativists and guaranteed work for all.

Rally in Skanderbeg Square

Work and Wages in Albania

In many areas, Albania has not reached the level of technological development of the advanced capitalist countries like the U.S. But the overall well-being of the Albanian working people is vastly superior to that of working people under capitalist rule. This is so because of the highly advanced social system that places the needs of the working people ‘at the center of social production. For this reason, the ills of capitalist society that torment the lives of workers do not exist in socialist Albania.

 There is no unemployment in Albania. At a time when over 12 million U.S. workers are without a job, the Albanians are adding 40,000 new workers to the labor force each year. The Constitution guarantees everyone a job: “Work is a duty and honor for every able-bodied citizen. Citizens have the right to choose and exercise their profession according to their capacity and personal inclination, and in accordance with the needs of society.” Not only is the right to work guaranteed, but the worker is protected from dismissal by an enterprise. Incapacity for health reasons does not condemn a worker to poverty and destitution as under capitalism — in Albania the enterprise must find a job suitable for the worker in poor health.

Eight hours is the maximum work day, six days per week. Many workers have reduced hours (five to seven hours a day) at full pay, including night shift workers, workers attending night classes, miners who work underground and others who work at particularly strenuous jobs. The conditions for hazardous work are strictly regulated by the government. The workers themselves and their trade unions exercise control over the labor protection laws. In Albania the means of production are organized to use automation and mechanization to make work as light and safe as possible.

Eight hours is the maximum work day, six days per week. Many workers have reduced hours (five to seven hours a day) at full pay, including night shift workers, workers attending night classes, miners who work underground and others who work at particularly strenuous jobs. The conditions for hazardous work are strictly regulated by the government. The workers themselves and their trade unions exercise control over the labor protection laws. In Albania the means of production are organized to use automation and mechanization to make work as light and safe as possible.

There is no inflation in Albania. In fact, the prices of consumer goods are 5.87% lower today than in 1958. In the past three decades fourteen important general reductions in prices have been made in Albania, so that the purchasing power of the people has continually increased. The real income in Albania has increased by 250% since 1950. In contrast the workers’ real income in capitalist countries is being decimated by inflation, wage cuts and taxes. Over the last decade the real income of the U.S. workers has declined by 8%.

Chemical plant in Albania

There are no rich and no poor in Albania. The difference between the highest wage paid in Albania (that received by the directors of state ministries) and the average worker’s wage is only two to one! This is far and away the narrowest wage differential in the world. In contrast, the wealthy in capitalist countries have incomes hundreds and even thousands of times higher than that of workers. The difference between high and low wages has been continually narrowed in Albania, and will be further reduced in the future.

The level of wages and prices in Albania is not based simply an the cost of production and the fluctuation of supply and demand. Instead wages and prices are consciously set to accomplish social aims, to ensure the just distribution of the national income, and to gradually improve the standard of living of the working masses. The prices that the government pays to the cooperative farms for agricultural goods have been steadily increased so that the income of the cooperative farmers will catch up with the income of the urban workers. As a result, income in the countryside has grown three times as rapidly as in the cities, and today the income of the cooperative farmers has risen to equal 80% of the income of the urban workers. Higher prices are paid for the agricultural goods produced in the mountainous areas because of the lower level of productivity in these areas compared to the coastal lowlands. Families who are raising children receive social compensation in prices in order to subsidize the larger families.

Collective farming in Albania

The wealth created by workers’ and peasants’ labor goes into two great funds, one for accumulation and one for consumption. The fund for consumption in Albania is divided into two parts, individual consumption and social consumption. Individual consumption funds include the wages of the workers and the personal income of the cooperativist farmers. These are based an the socialist principle of distribution: from each according to ability, to each according to work. Everyone who is able works for a living in Albania. The fund for social consumption pays for the services provided by the socialist state, which are far more extensive than in capitalist society. These services include free education and health care, free or highly subsidized child care, cafeterias at work places and recreational and cultural facilities. Housing and utility costs are subsidized. In Albania, only 2% or 3% of a family’s monthly income is required to pay a month’s rent. The charges for gas, electricity and water are nominal.

The social consumption fund also includes social insurance and pensions, which are paid by the state, not by premiums or deductions from workers’ wages. Pensions are fixed at 70% of the pay of the workers, and retirement is guaranteed at 60 years of age and 25 years of work for men, and at 55 years of age and 20 years of works for women. Workers in hazardous or difficult occupations may retire sooner. Other benefits include disability aid, family pensions and aid to the families of martyrs of the revolution. Social insurance and pensions are based, of course, an work, but cover all sectors of Albanian society, including the cooperativist farmers. Thus, social insurance constitutes an important factor for raising the material and cultural well-being of the people of town and countryside as well as for the protection of their health.

There are no taxes in Albania. A most remarkable aspect of the Albanian workers’ wages is that they are not subject to levies or taxes of any kind. The tax system was abolished in Albania in November of 1969, after a series of gradual reductions. The development of the socialist economy and the socialist relations of production have freed the Albanian working people from the historical burden of taxes, the system which forces the working people of the capitalist countries to pay the costs of the system of exploitation and shifts the workers’ wages back into the hands of the capitalists.

The Revolutionization of Society

Socialist society is not static — it must constantly change and develop. Eventually it will be transformed into a communist society, in which social classes will not exist. Communist society will be based an the principle: from each according to ability, to each according to need. The transition to communist society involves the constant revolutionization of socialist society, casting out the outdated remnants of capitalist society and developing the new and progressive aspects of socialism.

Social Classes in Albania

Albania is still a class society. There are two social classes today, the working class and the cooperativist peasantry, along with the stratum of the people’s intelligentsia which is drawn mainly from these two classes. There are no landlords or capitalist exploiters.

The working class is still a minority of the population, but it is the essential motor force of the revolution. The working class is composed of the workers employed in the state sector of the economy both in industry and in agriculture. With their hands they produce most of the wealth of the country. The development of industry and the state sector of the economy has led to a tremendous growth in the size of the working class since liberation. Today, workers make up over 36% of the work force. Before the turn of the century it is expected that the working class will become a majority of the population.

The cooperativist peasantry is made up of the members of the cooperative farms. Their social position is different from that of the working class in that they directly own the common property of their cooperative farms, and their income is dependent an the produce of their farms. The cooperativist peasantry today makes up a little less than half the population.

The people’s intelligensia is the stratum of administrators, managers, engineers, scientists, teachers, writers, artists and other intellectual employees in socialist society. It is derived mainly from the working class and the cooperativist peasantry, but is a distinct stratum in that its work is mainly in the sphere of mental, not manual labor. The people’s intelligentsia comprise about 14% of the working population.

Eliminating the Differences Between Workers and Peasants and Between Mental and Manual Work

In order to eliminate class differences and arrive at communist society, a number of profound tasks face the Albanian people. One of these is the elimination of the historical distinction between city and countryside, between industry and agriculture, and between the workers and peasants. In capitalist society the countryside lags far behind the city and the great majority of the population live an impoverished and isolated existence, lacking the facilities for health care, education, and cultural development. In backwards countries, as Albania was before liberation, the peasantry remains bound by feudal relations. Before the revolution, the Albanian peasants, living under the domination of the landowners and rich peasants, and exploited by the town merchants, pinned their hopes an their individual property and work. Today, however, the peasantry sees its future in collective work and property. The advances of socialist construction have wiped out illiteracy and cultural backwardness in the Albanian countryside. As we have said, the government is carrying out a policy of increasing the income of the rural working people especially in the remote mountain areas, so that it catches up with income in the urban areas. lt is also constantly improving all of the social services and cultural institutions in the countryside. Cooperativists are now entitled to the retirement pensions and other social benefits provided by the state.

The scattered, isolated rural existence of the past is being replaced by new planned communities an the state and collective farms, and new industrial plants are being located throughout the countryside. Cooperativist farmers are being encouraged to form higher-level cooperative farms which are more closely linked to the state sector. The members of higher-level cooperative farms enjoy guaranteed annual wages (although these vary from farm to farm as they are in proportion to productivity). These higher-level cooperative farms are a step in the direction of transforming collective property into social property of the whole people, and in narrowing the gap in income between city and countryside, as well as within the countryside. Eventually all distinctions in the level and manner of getting income and in the social outlook between workers and the cooperativist peasantry will disappear.

Another profound task is the elimination of the historical division between mental and manual labor. The division between mental and manual labor arose with the development of class society. In capitalist society higher education is largely restricted to the wealthy exploiting classes and the intelligentsia. Labor is broken down into mental and manual components and mental work is concentrated in the hands of the intelligentsia while the working masses are not expected to think but simply to labor with their hands. Socialist society inherits these social distinctions and this division of mental and manual labor from capitalist society. Gradually this division of labor, which increasingly becomes a hindrance to social progress, must be done away with. A fundamental part of this effort is the ongoing development and revolutionization of socialist education. The aim is to provide an ever higher level of technical and cultural education for all of the working masses, enabling them to more effectively participate in the organization of production and the governing of society.

Mental and manual work are linked together in Albania in many ways. A close relationship exists between the planning of production and production itself, with workers directly contributing to planning and managers directly participating in production. Those involved in mental work live and work together with the masses and learn from them in order to combat any tendency toward contempt for manual labor and the working people and to avoid the growth of intellectualism and bureaucratism.

Putting the General Interest Above Personal Interest

Along with the tasks mentioned above, an all-around campaign to combat the negative influence of capitalist and feudal ways of thinking is carried on. Fundamental to this is the promotion of the outlook of putting the general, collective interest above personal interest. This is, in the first place, an ideological campaign, but it has been connected with a whole number of concrete reforms. Among these have been the elimination of excessive bonuses and material incentives. The money formerly used for bonuses has been used to raise the lower-level wages and for social purposes, such as the improvement of child care centers in the work places. The entire structure of the wage system is also shifting from personal wages to social wages, with a greater and greater part of the state’s fund for the people’s consumption being spent on social services which are provided more or less equally and without charge to the people. Eventually, as the forces of production are developed to the point where there is a sufficient abundance of all goods, individual wages will give way to the principle of “to each according to need”.

In the countryside the effort to put the general above the personal interest has been reflected in campaigns of persuasion to gradually eliminate private agricultural tracts and livestock. These are becoming unnecessary in practical terms as the cooperative farms are better able to provide for the needs of all cooperativist families. A new outlook toward work is growing in Albania. Labor in capitalist society is a burden, simply a means of survival. The worker is nothing but a pair of hands to the capitalist, to be hired as needed and then laid off. The worker has no say in what is produced or how it is produced, and has little concern about the product of his or her labor because it is appropriated by the capitalists for their profit. Under socialism exploitation is ended and labor becomes what it should be: a source of satisfaction and pride, in which everyone contributes their best to the collective effort. The worker is not simply a pair of hands. Every worker has a right to his or her job and participates in deciding what is produced and how it is produced. All of the workers share in the fruits of their labor.

The new outlook toward labor in Albania is reflected in the socialist emulation campaigns in which the workers of different enterprises engage in friendly competition to reach and surpass production targets and quality goals. These campaigns are especially challenging because the workers have control over the methods of production. This new outlook is also reflected in the volunteer brigades of young workers. Each year thousands of young people join volunteer brigades to help build new roads, railroads, bridges, factories and housing. This volunteer labor helps build the spirit of “All for One, One for All” that is the heart of the future society.

Other ongoing campaigns are being waged to promote the scientific outlook and atheism and to combat the centuries-old mystical, feudal, and religious ideas and to promote the emancipation of women and combat the reactionary ideas of male supremacy.

The Struggle Against Bureaucracy and Liberalism

The failure to continually revolutionize socialist society would lead to stagnation, and the degeneration back into capitalism. This danger has been powerfully demonstrated by the restoration of capitalist exploitation in the Soviet Union and other formerly socialist countries. Socialism did exist in the Soviet Union during the time of Lenin and Stalin, but within the Soviet socialist society a group of privileged bureaucratic officials gradually emerged. The Krushchevite revisionists, relying on this stratum, destroyed the Soviet Party and seized power. This paved the way for capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union and defeat of the revolution there.

Recognizing that this same danger existed for Albania, the PLA took decisive action to prevent the growth of an aristocratic elite. Defects which developed in the Soviet Union –such as the separation of officials from production and a sharp division between internal and manual work, the failure to lay sufficient stress on moral incentives and ensure that the pay of officials was close to the average pay of workers, the failure to organize control over officials from below directly by the masses showed that measures had to be taken on these fronts. After the 5th Congress of the PLA in 1965, a historic struggle against bureaucracy and capitalist degeneration was organized. The workers and cooperativist farmers were mobilized to criticize and eliminate any tendencies toward privilege and bureaucracy. Mass workers’ and peasants’ control commissions were organized in every work place. They include only workers and cooperativist farmers directly involved in production and do not include any management or technical officials. These commissions, under the leadership of the Party, review the entire operation of their organizations and have final authority on all matters, including the removal of bureaucratic officials. In the Army, similar commissions include only rank and file soldiers, excluding officers.

All managers and administrators are required to account for all of their actions before mass meetings of the workers and peasants. The mass organizations in Albanian society, such as the Democratic Front, the trade unions, the Women’s Union and the Youth Union actively engage in the struggle against bureaucracy and liberalism and mobilize their members to collectively look at the state of affairs in their communities and throughout the country. Every citizen is encouraged to raise his or her voice to criticize every instance of bureaucracy and privilege. The suppression of criticism is illegal.

Specific measures have been taken to prevent the development of a privileged stratum of bureaucrats. As we have recounted, the wage system has been revised to narrow the gap between wages and to do away with excessive bonuses. Large wage differentials and bonuses were one of the most harmful factors which led to the creation of a privileged stratum in the Soviet Union. To combat intellectualism and elitism, all administrators and intellectual workers leave their offices to work in the factories and fields three months out of the year. Management positions are continually rotated with new workers being drawn into management positions and managers returning to production. Another important means to ensure that the workers can more actively play their role in the running of the entire life of the country is the constant elevation of their technical and cultural level.

All of these measures, along with ongoing ideological education and struggle, are designed to protect administrative workers from the dangers of bureaucracy and intellectualism. They serve to develop administrators es true servants of the working people who remain close to the people and share their world outlook.

The Party has also taken steps to assure that it does not become a caste of bureaucrats and technicians, as the party in the Soviet Union has become. It has stressed the recruitment of workers into the Party and restricted the recruitment of intellectuals. It has also carried into practice the idea that the Party must lead from the shop floor, stressing that all administrators need not be party members and that all party members need not be, and should not become, administrators. The real leaders in the party, says the PLA, should stay on the shop floor to lead the workers’ control from below. And the PLA has waged constant struggle against revisionism and all influences of bourgeois ideology, thus increasing Party unity and ensuring that Albania remains on the socialist path.

Through their efforts to revolutionize socialist society and combat bureaucracy and liberalism, the Albanian people have made unprecedented advances and are trailblazing the path toward communism. They are building the socialist society that revolutionary workers around the world are fighting for.

One response to ““New Albania: A Small Nation, A Great Contribution!” Part II: Socialist Construction in Albania

  1. Pingback: “New Albania: A Small Nation, A Great Contribution!” Introduction | The Espresso Stalinist

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