Category Archives: Enver Hoxha

Enver Hoxha on the Three Worlds Theory

enver_1972

“To divide the world in three means failure to recognize the characteristics of the epoch, to impede the advance of the proletariat and the peoples towards the revolution and national liberation, to impede their struggle against American imperialism, Soviet social-imperialism, capital and reaction in every country and in every corner of the world. The theory of ‘three worlds’ advocates social peace, class conciliation, and tries to create alliances between implacable enemies, between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the oppressed and the oppressors, the peoples and imperialism. It is an attempt to prolong the life of the old world, the capitalist world, to keep it on its feet precisely by seeking to extinguish the class struggle. But the class struggle, the struggle of the proletariat and its allies to take power and the struggle of the bourgeoisie to maintain its power can never be extinguished. This is an irrefutable truth and no amount of empty theorizing about the ‘worlds’, whether the ‘first world’, the ‘non aligned world’, the third world, the nonaligned world, or the umpteenth world, can alter this fact. To accept such a division, means to renounce and abandon the theory of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin on classes and the class struggle.”

– Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and Revolution

Enver Hoxha on J.V. Stalin’s Internationalism

xhufka6

“The Soviet leaders accuse Comrade Stalin of allegedly interfering with other parties,of imposing the views of the Bolshevik Party upon others. We can bear witness to the fact that at no time did Stalin do such a thing towards us, to the Albanian people and the Party of Labor of Albania, he always behaved as a great Marxist, as an outstanding internationalist, as a comrade, brother and sincere friend of the Albanian people. In 1945 when our people were threatened with starvation comrade Stalin ordered the ships loaded with grain destined for the Soviet people who also were in dire need of food at that time, and sent the grain at once to the Albanian people. Whereas the present Soviet leaders permit themselves these ugly deeds.“

 – Enver Hoxha, “Eurocommunism is Anti-communism”

Enver Hoxha on the Titoite Betrayal

enver_hoxha_1974_oil-painting

“Traitors to Marxism-Leninism, agents of imperialism and intriguers like Josif Broz Tito, try in a thousand ways, by hatching up diabolic schemes like the creation of a third force, to mislead these people and the newly-set up states [in Africa and Asia], to detach them from their natural allies, to hitch them up to U.S. imperialism. We should exert all our efforts to defeat the schemes of these lackeys of imperialism.

[….]

U.S. imperialism has given and is giving billions of dollars to its loyal agents, the treacherous Tito gang.

[….]

It has been said that J. V. Stalin was mistaken in assessing the Yugoslav revisionists and in sharpening his attitude towards them. Our Party has never endorsed such a view, because time and experience has proven the contrary. Stalin made a very correct assessment of the danger of the Yugoslav revisionists, he tried to settle this affair at the proper moment and in a Marxist way. The Inform Bureau, as a collective organ, was called together at that time and, after the Titoite group was exposed, a merciless battle was waged against it. Time has proven over and over again that such a thing was necessary and correct.

The Party of Labor of Albania has always held the opinion and is convinced that Tito’s group are traitors to Marxism-Leninism, agents of imperialism, dangerous enemies of the socialist camp and of the entire international communist and workers’ movement, therefore a merciless battle should be waged against them. We, on our part, have waged and continue to wage this battle as internationalist communists and also because we have felt and continue to feel on our own backs the burden of the hostile activity of Tito’s revisionist clique against our Party and our country. But this stand of our Party has not been and is not to the liking of comrade Khrushchev and certain other comrades.

The Titoite group have long been a group of Trotskyites and renegades. For the Party of Labor of Albania, at least, they have been such since 1942, that is, since 18 years ago.

As far back as 1942, when the war of the Albanian people surged forward, the Belgrade Trotskyite group disguising themselves as friends and abusing our trust in them tried their uttermost to hinder the development of our armed struggle, to hamper the creation of powerful Albanian partisan fighting detachments, and, since it was impossible to stop them, to put them under their direct political and military control. They attempted to make everything dependent on Belgrade, and our Party and our partisan army mere appendages of the Yugoslav Communist Party and the Yugoslav National-liberation Army.

Our Party, while preserving its friendship with the Yugoslav partisans, successfully resisted these diabolical intentions. It was at that time that the Titoite group tried to found the Balkan Federation under the direction of the Belgrade Titoites, to hitch the Communist Parties to the chariot of the Yugoslav Communist Party, to place the partisan armies of the Balkan peoples under the Yugoslav Titoite staff. It was to this end that, in agreement with the British, they tried to set up the Balkan Staff and to place it, that is to say, to place our armies under the direction of the Anglo-Americans. Our Party successfully resisted these diabolic schemes. And when the banner of liberation was hoisted in Tirana, the Titoite gang in Belgrade issued orders to their agents in Albania to discredit the success of the Albanian Communist Party and to organize a “putsch” to overthrow the leadership of our Party which guided the National-liberation War and led the Albanian people to victory. The first “putsch” was organized by Tito through his secret agents within our Party. But the Albanian Communist Party frustrated this plot of Tito’s.

The Belgrade plotters did not lay down their arms and, together with their agent in our Party, the traitor Koçi Xoxe, continued the re-organization of their plot against new Albania in other forms, new forms. Their intention was to turn Albania into a seventh Republic of Yugoslavia.

At a time when our country had been devastated and laid waste and needed to be completely rebuilt, when our people were without food and shelter but with high morale, when our people and army, weapons in hand, kept vigilant guard against the plots of reaction organized by the Anglo-U.S. military missions who threatened Albania with a new invasion, when a large part of the Albanian partisan army had crossed the border and had gone to the aid of the Yugoslav brothers, fighting side by side with them and together liberating Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosova and Metohia and Macedonia, the Belgrade plotters hatched up schemes to enslave Albania.

But our Party offered heroic resistance to these secret agents who posed as communists. When the Belgrade Trotskyites realized that they had lost their case, that our Party was smashing their plots, they played their last card, namely, to invade Albania with their army, to crush all resistance, to arrest the leaders of the Party of Labor of Albania and of the Albanian State and to proclaim Albania a seventh Republic of Yugoslavia. Our Party defeated this diabolic scheme of theirs also. Joseph Stalin’s aid and intervention at these moments was decisive for our Party and for the freedom of the Albanian people. Precisely at this time the Information Bureau exposed the Tito clique. Stalin and the Soviet Union saved the Albanian people for the second time.

The Information Bureau brought about the defeat of the conspiracies of the Tito clique, not only in Albania but also in other countries of People’s Democracy. Posing as communists, the renegade and agent of imperialism, Tito, and his gang, tried to alienate the countries of People’s Democracy in the Balkans and Central Europe from the friendship and wartime alliance with the Soviet Union, to destroy the communist and workers’ parties of our countries and to turn our States into reserves of Anglo-American imperialism.

Who was there who did not know about and see in action the hostile schemes of imperialism and its loyal servitor Tito? Everybody knew, everybody learned, and all unanimously approved the correct decisions of the Information Bureau. Everyone without exception approved the Resolutions of the Information Bureau which, in our opinion, were and still are correct.

Those who did not want to see and understand these acts of this criminal gang had a second chance to do so in the Hungarian counter-revolution and in the unceasing plots against Albania. The wolf may change his coat but he remains a wolf. Tito and his gang may resort to trickery, may try to disguise themselves, but they are traitors, criminals and agents of imperialism. They are the murderers of the heroic Yugoslav internationalist communists and thus they will remain and thus they will act until they are wiped out.

The Party of Labor of Albania considers the decisions taken against Tito’s renegade group by the Information Bureau not as decisions taken by comrade Stalin personally but as decisions taken by all the parties that made up the Information Bureau.

[….]

The Party of Labor of Albania remained unshaken in its views that the Titoite group were traitors, renegades, Trotskyites, subversionists and agents of the U.S. imperialists, that the Party of Labor of Albania had not been mistaken about them.

The Party of Labor of Albania remained unshaken in its view that comrade Stalin had not erred in this matter…

[….]

Some comrades hold the erroneous idea that we maintain this attitude towards the Titoites because, they claim, we are allegedly eager to hold the banner of the fight against revisionism or because we view this problem from a narrow angle, from a purely national angle, therefore, they claim, we have embarked, if not altogether on a “chauvinist course”, at least on that of “narrow nationalism”. The Party of Labor of Albania has viewed and views the question of Yugoslav revisionism through the prism of Marxism-Leninism, it has viewed, views, and fights it as the main danger to the international communist movement, as a danger to the unity of the socialist camp.

[….]

The Yugoslavs accuse us of allegedly being chauvinists, of interfering in their internal affairs, and of demanding a rectification of the Albanian -Yugoslav borders. A number of our friends think and imply that we Albanian communists swim in such waters. We tell our friends who think thus that they are grossly mistaken. We are not chauvinists, we have neither demanded nor demand rectification of boundaries. But what we demand and will continually demand from the Titoites, and we will expose them to the end for this, is that they give up perpetrating the crime of genocide against the Albanian minority in Kosova and Metohia, that they give up the white terror against the Albanians of Kosova, that they give up driving the Albanians from their native soil and deporting them ‘en masse’ to Turkey. We demand that the rights of the Albanian minority in Yugoslavia should be recognized according to the Constitution of the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Is this chauvinist or Marxist?

 – Enver Hoxha, “Reject the Revisionist Thesis of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Anti-Marxist Stand of Khrushchev’s Group! Uphold Marxism-Leninism!”

Bill Bland & Norberto Steinmayr: In Defence of Enver Hoxha

Enver Hoxha at Memorial meeting of J.V.Stalin at Skanderberg Square 5 March 1953

Enver Hoxha at Memorial meeting of J.V.Stalin at Skanderberg Square 5 March 1953

Statue of Stalin in Skanderberg Square 5 March 1953

Statue of Stalin in Skanderberg Square 5 March 1953

Meeting cooperative workers at Plases 1972

Meeting cooperative workers at Plases 1972

Meeting peasants at Qershor 1970

Meeting peasants at Qershor 1970

By Bill Bland & Norberto Steinmayr, (Former Secretaries of the Albanian Society)

The Question of Dictatorship

One of the main charges leveled against Enver Hoxha by the current regime in Albania and its supporters is that, during the period in which he was General, and then First, Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania, the Albanian state took the form of a ‘dictatorship’.

In the Marxist-Leninist sense, this statement is undoubtedly true.

The second article of the 1976 Constitution states proudly:

“The People’s Socialist Republic of Albania is a state of the dictatorship of the proletariat which expresses and defends the interests of all the working people”.

(‘Constitution of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania’; Tirana; 1989; p. 7).

Indeed, Marxism-Leninism maintains that all states are dictatorships of one social class or another — that the British state, for example, is one of the dictatorship of Big Business.

“Human Rights”

The current regime in Albania and its supporters claim that the state in Socialist Albania was basically in contradiction with ‘human rights’.

The question of ‘human rights’ has long been used in Britain as a football. The United States, for example, may support in Latin America the most barbarous puppet dictatorships, whose ‘death squads’ carry out the organised murder of thousands of dissidents, without a murmur of protest from the British government or press. For them the sole criterion of whether ‘human rights’ exist in a country or not is whether or not the right of ‘free enterprise’ exists -that is, the right of capitalists, native and foreign, to make profits out of the labour of the working people.

In Socialist Albania, the Constitution laid down that

“the exploitation of man by man has been liquidated and is forbidden”.

(‘Constitution of the PSR of Albania’; op. cit.; p. 13).

The ‘right to exploitation’ does not figure on any internationally recognised list of human rights. But the ‘right to work’ does! Article 6 of the ‘International Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights’ (approved by the United Nations in December 1966) declares:

“The States Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right”.

(‘International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’, in: Edmund J. Osmanc’zyk: ‘Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Relations’; New York; 1990; p. 400).

In the Socialist Republic this ‘right to work’ was written into the Constitution:

“In the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania citizens have the right to work, which is guaranteed by the state”.

(‘Constitution of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania’; op. cit.; p.23).

This guarantee was put into practice:

“In the past . . . everyone had a job”.

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Profile: Albania: 1992 93; p. 35).

Restriction of Political Activity

Allied to the charge of ‘dictatorship’ levelled by the current regime and its supporters against Enver Hoxha is the charge that, during the period in which he headed the Party of Labour, anti-socialist political activity was prohibited.

This, again, is correct. Article 55 of the Socialist Constitution states:

“The creation of any type of organisation of an . . . anti-socialist character is prohibited. . . . Anti-socialist activities and propaganda . . . are prohibited”.

(‘Constitution of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania’; op. cit.; p. 26).

But Article,5 of the ‘International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ states explicitly:

“Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any rights or freedoms recognised therein”.

(‘International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’, in: Edmund J. Osmanczyk: op. cit.; p. 400).

But, as tens of millions of people all over the world know by bitter experience, full employment is impossible in an economic system based on the profit motive, for here a worker is employed only if some capitalist believes he can make a profit out of his labour.

Only a socialist social system, in which production is planned for the maximum welfare of the working people, can make the right to work effective.

It follows that to prohibit anti-socialist political activity and propaganda was not in violation of human rights, but served to defend a vital human right — the ‘right to work’.

“Economic Stagnation” Under Socialism?

Another charge laid against Enver Hoxha by the current regime in Albania and its supporters is that, during the period in which he led the Party of Labour, the Albanian economy suffered stagnation, which was responsible for Albania being ‘a poor country’.

The facts give an entirely different picture.

Official statistics (the objectivity of which has been attested to by eminent British economists) show that between 1951 and 1985

Agricultural production increased by 4.5 times;
Retail sales per head of population: 5.5 times;
Industrial production increased by 16.2 times;
Chrome production increased by 30.9 times;
Electric power prduction increased by 217.1 times;
Chemical production increased by 585.8 times;

(‘Statistical Yearbook of the PSR of Albania 1988’; Tirana; 1988; p.: 81, 87, 122).

These high rates of economic development were the product of the planned socialist economic system which then existed in Albania. Article 25 of the Socialist Constitution laid down:

“The state organises,manages and develops all the economic and social life by a unified general plan in order to fulfil the ever increasing material and cultural needs of society”.

(Constitution of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania’; op. cit.; p.16).

Perhaps, however, these high rates of economic development were unfairly distributed?

On the contrary, Socialist Albania was extremely egalitarian. There was no unearned income and income was strictly proportional to the quantity and quality of work performed:

“In the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania the socialist principle ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his work’ is implemented”.

(Constitution of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania’, op. cit.; p.18).

and

“limitation of income differentials to a maximum of 2:1”.

(William B. Bland: ‘Albania’ (World Bibliographical Series, Volume 94; Oxford; 1988; p. 162).

was laid down by law.

That Albania was relatively poor was not because of ‘economic stagnation’ under socialism, but mainly because of the appalling economic backwardness which it inherited from the past.

In spite of the absence of luxury goods, foreign visitors commented that people appeared well-fed, well-clothed and well-shod, and one saw no signs of such phenomena as malnutrition and homelessness which are to be found in much more economically developed countries.

Indeed, Socialist Albania had some of the finest social services in the world. For example, retirement pensions were 70% of an individual’s pay at the time of retirement. The state built some 15,000 new dwellings a year and 80% of the population lived in dwellings built since the Second World War, paying a monthly rent equal to about three days’ pay.

This progress in living standards was reflected in the statistics of expectation of life, which rose from 38.43 years in 1938 to 71.6 years in 1986-87. (‘Statistical Yearbook of the PSR of Albania: 1988’; op. cit.; p. 29).

It is true that for the last few years of his life Enver Hoxha was gravely ill and some of the concealed anti-socialists in high positions took advantage of this — as visiting experts have testified — to adopt unscientific methods (particularly in agriculture) which caused some damage to the economy.

The picture of Albania at the present time is complicated by the fact that the regime at present in power strives to misrepresent the undoubted achievements of the Socialist society. Readers who have seen newsreels made recently in Albania — showing for example, neglected children in an unheated orphanage in Shkodra — should be aware that the authors of this pamphlet visited the same building some years ago and found the children clean and well-fed, with many toys. What kind of regime is that deliberately makes helpless children suffer in order to fake a propaganda film designed to elicit sympathy and aid!

“Freedom?”

The present regime in Albania and its supporters tell us that after forty years of ‘tyranny’, the Albanian people are now ‘free’.

Let us look at their situation now that they are ‘free’.

The ‘ slow, steady improvement in living standards under the Socialist regime has given way to economic catastrophe. In July 1992:

“. . . the Minister of the Economy and Finance, Genc Ruli, described the Albanian economy as being ‘in a state of collapse”‘.

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Report: . . . Albania’, No. 3, 1992; p. 43).

In mid-1992,

” . . . unemployment was believed to be about 70% nationwide”.

(‘Facts on File’, Volume 52, No. 2,679 (26 March 19.92); p. 213).

While in the Socialist Republic, there was no inflation and prices consistently fell as production increased, by 1992 it was reported that

“. . . inflation is expected to remain out of control at above 300% per annum”.

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Report: . . . Albania:. No. 4, 1992; p. 36).

“Prices have risen by up to 400% since they were freed on a wide range of products at the beginning of November (1991 — Ed.), but wages have remained fixed”.

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Report: . . . Albania’, No. 3,1992; p. 40).

“Output in in 1991 fell to 50% of the 1990 figure. . . . Only half of the 300 largest industrial enterprises were operating. . . . During the past two years oil and gas production has declined by more than 45%, chrome by about 60%, copper by about 70%, coal by about 50% and light industry by about 60V.

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Report: . . . Albania’, No. 2, 1992; p. 44).

“In August . . . the government sanctioned further massive increases for a wide range of goods and services. Urban transport fares were raised fivefold; long-distance bus fares 5.5- fold, train fares were trebled. Rents were doubled; charges for domestic gas and central heating were trebled, and the prices of medicines were increased on average by 2.5 times”.

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Report:. . . Albania’, No. 3, 1992; p. 41).

“Wages have not kept up with the explosion in prices”.

(Economist Intelligence Unit: 93; : . . . Albania’, 1992; p. 40).

“The volume of savings bank deposits rose 155 times between 1950 and 1978 . . . Until recently Albania claimed to have the world’s highest savings ratio. Hyperinflation since 1991 has wiped out most of these savings”.

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Profile: . . . Albania’, 1992-93; p. 40).

The new Albanian regime and its supporters claim that the present chaos in Albania is a temporary aberration resulting from the transition to a privatised economy.

But small-scale peasant farming prevents the use of many types of agricultural machinery, and the dividing up of the successful large cooperative farms into smallholdings is an economic step backward. Furthermore, the increasing dependence upon foreign capital will not help forward Albania’s industrial development, but lead towards a a colonial status concentrating on the production of raw materials and export crops.

Increasing Atmospheric Pollution

In the Socialist Republic, the government followed environmental procedures which have been endorsed by experts in the West but not applied. It adopted a policy of cheap and efficient public transport and the virtual prohibition of private cars.

In the name of ‘freedom’, the new regime has reversed this policy:

“By August this year Tirana alone had 6,000 private vehicles, most of them second-hand bought in poor condition. . . . The number of traffic accidents has multiplied and there were 208 fatalities in the first seven months of 1992. . . . The increase in the number of cars, most with badly maintained engines, has also begun to have an effect on pollution levels in the larger towns”.

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Report: . . . Albania, No. 4, 1992; p. 43).

Democracy?

The present regime in Albania and its supporters claim that Albania is now a ‘democracy’ in the fullest sense of the term.

But in July 1992 Parliament passed a law banning any political party of a ‘Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist or Enverist’ character. Thereupon,

“. . . the Justice Ministry banned the Albanian Communist Party”.

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Report: Albania’, No. 3, 1992; p. 39).

The current regime in Albania is clearly not democratic, but neo-Nazi.

Treachery

Under the Socialist Constitution foreign concessions, foreign credits and joint ventures were prohibited on the grounds that to accept them could only prejudice the national independence of a small state like Albania:

“The granting of concessions to, and the creation of, foreign economic and financial companies and other institutions or ones formed jointly with . . . capitalist monopolies or states, as well as obtaining credits from them, are prohibited”. 

(Constitution of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania’; op. cit.; p.17).

In consequence, Socialist Albania was unique in having no foreign debt.

The neo-Nazis who run the new regime have, of course, no interest in maintaining Albania’s independence and are quite willing to sell the country to the highest bidder and to convert the proud Albanian people into semicolonial slaves of one or other foreign power.

“Albania’s foreign debt soared from $500 million at the beginning of 1992 to around $800 million by October”. 

(Economist Intelligence Unit: “Country Report: . . . Albania’, No. 4, 1992; p. 44).

In the generations before Liberation, emigration was a painful sore. But in May 1992 President Sali Berisha appealed to the European Parliament in Strasbourg to encourage

” . . . organised emigration from Albania”. “. 

(‘Keesing’s Record of World Events’, Volume 38; p. 38,920).

Those who were found guilty under the Socialist regime of political crimes, such as treason, are to be rewarded by the new neo-Nazi regime. Under legislation of the-autumn of 1992,

“former political prisoners and their families would be able to acquire their homes free of charge. . . . Parliament voted at the beginning of September to establish a special fund for their employment, housing and educational needs”. 

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Report: Albania’, No. 4, 1992; p. 42).

Crime

Under the Socialist Republic, crime was extremely rare. One felt completely safe in Albanian streets, day or night. Those who visited the Socialist Republic will recall the spectacle of hotel chambermaids running after Albturist buses to return to tourists discarded tubes of tooth-paste!

“Under the Communists there had been little violent crime in Albania”.

(‘Facts on File’, Volume 52, No. 2,679 (26 March 1992); p. 213).

And today?

“Violent crime had become commonplace throughout Albania, according to the ‘Washington Post’ March 21 and the ‘Sunday Times’ of London March 22.”

(Facts on File’, ibid.; p 213).

“The December bread riots are symptomatic of a more generalised breakdown in law and order. Armed robbery, racketeering, murder, looting, burglary and drugs related crimes have become commonplace. No one is safe”.

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Report:. . . Albania’, No. 1, 1992; p. 38-39).

“Justice”

The present regime in Albania and its supporters claim that ‘justice’ now reigns in Albania.

But in 1991, it was announced

“Enver Hoxha’s widow, Nexhmije Hoxha, who was arrested in December, is to be tried by a military court on charges of corruption”. 

(Economist Intelligence Unit: ‘Country Report: Albania: No. 1, 1992; p. 39).

Nexhmije Hoxha, although 72 years old, was not allowed bail, but was kept in prison in solitary confinement for more than a year before her case finally came to court in January 1993.

It then emerged that the state funds alleged to have been ‘misappropriated’ totalled only 885,930 leks (equivalent to E5,900) over 5 years — i.e., E1,180 a year and related to expenditure approved by the Party of Labour for official duties as head of the Democratic Front until December 1990 and as Enver Hoxha’s widow — expenditure which could not possibly have been met from her small official salary of the equivalent of less than E150 a year. No claim was ever made at the trial that she had benefitted personally from these expenditures.

The ‘Observer’ commented:

“The case is flimsy. . . . Witness after witness has come forward, wide-eyed, to sing her praises”. 

(‘Observer’, 22 January 1993; p. 10).

“Prosecution witnesses all spoke in Mrs. Hoxha’s defence, describing her as ‘honest’ and ‘modest”‘. 

(‘Guardian’, 22 January 1993; p. 10).

Any objective observer must agree with what Nexhmije Hoxha said in her closing address to the court:

“It is crystal clear that the real aim of the trial is to persecute politically the Hoxha family and discredit it in front of public opinion”. 

(Closing Argument of Nexhmije Hoxha; Tirana; 26 January 1993).

Yet Nexhmije Hoxha was sentenced by the neo-Nazi military court to 9 years’ imprisonment.

This political persecution is carried out in contemporary Albania against thousands of those who contributed to the establishment of a free, independent and socialist Albania.

A Defender of National Independence

Enver Hoxha led the War of National Liberation of the Albanian people to free the country from Nazi occupation.

In the years that followed Liberation, he led the resistance to -successive pressure from Yugoslavia, the post-Stalin Soviet Union and China to preserve for the Albanian people the right to determine their own destiny.

In the 15th century, the national struggle of the Albanian people against foreign occupation was led by Skanderbeg. Bishop Fan Noli tells us that, when the Turks finally occupied Lezha, they desecrated Skanderbeg’s grave. (Stilian Fan Noli: ‘George Castriot Scanderbeg (1403-1468)’; New York; 1947; p.-70).

After the neo-Nazi traitors of the new ‘democratic’ government of Albania had finally taken power in Tirana, in May 1992

“. . . the remains . . . of Enver Hoxha and 12 other former leaders of the Party of Labour . . . were . . . transferred from the Martyrs’ Cemetery”.

(‘Keesing’s Record of World Events’, Volume 38; p. 38,920).

At least the desecration of Skanderbeg’s grave was carried out by foreign unconcealed enemies of Albania. The desecration of Enver Hoxha’s grave has been carried out by Albanians posing as ‘patriots’. But only national traitors could carry out such an act!

Conclusion

We are completely satisfied that when objective history comes to be separated from propaganda, it will be accepted that Enver Hoxha was a statesman of world stature, a dedicated national patriot, and a firm defender of socialism and democracy — in the original meaning of the term as ‘the rule of the common people’.

February 1993, Published from: a private address, Ilford, Essex

Source

Bill Bland: Enver Hoxha As World Statesman

November 1945, preparing to take Tirana; from p.100

November 1945, preparing to take Tirana; from p.100

Hoxha at the Permet Congress 1944; p.64

Hoxha at the Permet Congress 1944; p.64

On Red Square podium, Novmber 1947, with J.V.Stalin & V.Molotov; p.104

On Red Square podium, Novmber 1947, with J.V.Stalin & V.Molotov; p.104

ALL IMAGES FROM “ENVER HOXHA”; Tirana

(Talk by Bill Bland to an Albanian Society meeting in 1985)

Transcribed by Comrade NS

I feel that the title of my address – “Enver Hoxha as World Statesmen” – must have caused some raised eyebrows. Whether they like their policies or not, most people would accept Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachov as world statesmen. But Enver Hoxha was the leader of a small country, the size of Wales with a population of less than three millions. Can the leader of a small country ever really be a statesman, or stateswoman, of world stature?

But it is only a few years ago that tens of thousands of people were marching through the streets of cities all over the world shouting with approval the name of Ho Chi Minh. Ho’s politics were not the same as those of Enver Hoxha, but he was the leader of a small country which inflicted on the powerful United States of America the first military defeat in its history.

Albania too has successfully resisted attempts at absorption, invasion, dismemberment and destabilisation from Greece, from Yugoslavia, from the Soviet Union after the death of Stalin, from China, from Britain and from the United States. It has constructed a planned socialist economy which is, at present, unique in the world.

How has it come about that Albania has followed, in the last forty years, such a different course of development from that of other countries of south-eastern Europe?

The cause cannot be found in any geographical or historical peculiarities of Albania. It lies in the specific character of the leadership of the political party which has been the leading force in Albanian society during these forty years. And pre-eminent in that leadership over these four decades was Enver Hoxha, who died in April at the age of 76.

Some people have expressed surprised that Hoxha’s death should have been reported with such virulent hostility by almost all our press, radio and television. But they should not be surprised.

The successful construction of a planned socialist society in Albania – a society without profit, without millionaires, without unemployment, without inflation, without taxes and with constantly rising living standards – is a threat to everything which “The Sunday Times” and the BBC hold up as “Western civilisation”.

Enver Hoxha would not have been surprised at his obituaries in the British media. When the British press praises someone who call himself a “socialist”, it is time to question the genuineness of his “socialism”. And, of course, this hostile propaganda does not have entirely the results it aims at. In the week in which these obituaries were published, the Albanian society received more applications for membership than in any month in the past twenty-five years. One miner from South Wales wrote to me:

    “Having read the newspaper reports on the death of Enver Hoxha, my experience of the press over the twelve months of the miners’ strike leads me to want to know more about Albania”.

On the other hand, some people were naturally misled by this propaganda. I received several letters which said, in effect:

    “I do not understand why, in your letter of protest to the BBC, you denied that Enver Hoxha was a ‘dictator’. Surely, the Albanian Constitution defines the Albanian state as a ‘dictatorship’”.

Indeed, it does.

But it defines the Albanian state as “the dictatorship of the working class”, not that of an individual. This simply means that the political power in Albania is in the hands of the working class, that the working class rules. Albanians do not present “the dictatorship of the working class” as the opposite of democracy. On the contrary, using the term “democracy” with its classical Greek meaning of “the rule of the common people”, they maintain that working class power is the only genuine democracy.

The Party of Labour of Albania regards Britain as a dictatorship – as a state in which political power is in reality in the hands of Big Business. But they do not imply by that term that Margaret Thatcher is a personal dictator. Nevertheless, the leader of the ruling party in Britain has somewhat more constitutional power than the leader of the ruling party in Albania: he or she is automatically Prime Minister and has the right to appoint and dismiss Ministers.

The leadership of the Party of Labour of Albania, which forms the core of the Albanian society, has always been a collective one, although Enver Hoxha was pre-eminent in that leadership. But this position of pre-eminence was the result of Hoxha’s outstanding abilities and devoted service to the working people, and the respect and love which flowed from these qualities.

Let us look more closely at the causes of Albania’s unique course of social development.

Today, the social system in Greece is very different from that in neighboring Albania. Yet in 1944 the situation in the two countries was closely similar. Both were under German occupation; both had national liberation movements led by their respective communist parties; both had right-wing spurious “nationalist” movements, supported by British gold and weapons, which fought the national liberation movements in collaboration with the Nazi forces; in both countries British troops landed, ostensibly to “help” in liberation.

It was the different reaction of the two communist parties which gave rise to the different outcome in the two countries.

The leaders of the so-called “Communist Party of Greece” signed a truce with the right-wing collaborators, placed their forces under the command of the right-wing government-in-exile and of the British Commander-in-Chief, welcomed the British troops.

The leaders of the Communist Party of Albania – today the Party of Labour – destroyed the collaborationist forces; they thanked the British troops for their “offer of help’ but insisted that they withdraw from Albanian soil. They did so.

Let us look at another facet of Albania’s unique course of development.

In 1945 the countries of Eastern Europe (except for Greece) were following the model of the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin in constructing planned socialist societies based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism.

Today only Albania continues to adhere to those principles.

Admittedly, this is not the impression one gets from the pages of “Pravda”. But like our “popular” press, this is now a newspaper which aims not at the truth, but at misleading the masses.

If one studies the specialised Soviet economic journals a very different picture emerges. The so-called “economic reforms” instituted after the death of Stalin have abandoned central economic planning; the profitability of each enterprise has become once more the motive and regulator of production.

True, these profits – as in orthodox “profit-sharing” schemes in the “West” – are shared among the whole staff of the enterprise. But they are distributed according to what is termed “responsibility in profit-making”, which means that the lion’s share goes to management. The latest statistics show that 51% of the profits go to workers (who form 96% of the personnel), while 49% go to management (who form 4% of the personnel).

The restoration of the profit motive in the Soviet Union has meant reliance on market forces, on the laws of “supply and demand”. This means, as elsewhere, that it is often more profitable to produce luxury items for the wealthy than necessities of life for the working people.

Enver Hoxha described contemporary Soviet society as essentially a capitalist society, in which the working people were exploited by a new ruling class, a new capitalist class – the enterprise directors. He noted that all the negative phenomena which are associated with capitalism have began to reappear – crises of “over-production”, inflation, redundancy, etc.

True, the Soviet economic journals do not speak of “unemployment”, only of “surplus labour”. To solve this problem a “youth employment scheme” has been established, and an official campaign that “a woman’s place is in the home”! Letters are published calling – not, of course, for “unemployment benefit”, but for “stipends” for workers who are “between jobs”.

Such development has proceeded – sometimes faster, sometimes slower – in all the formerly socialist countries of eastern Europe, except for Albania.

Whereas the Albanian constitution prohibits foreign aid and credits, the other countries are obliged not only to the Soviet Union, but to Western financial institutions. The hard currency indebtedness of Bulgaria stands at $9 billion, of Hungary at $10 billion, of Yugoslavia at $19 billion and of Poland at $26 billion (on which it cannot pay even the interest due).

Official figures show that in Poland the real wages of the workers fell between 1981 and 1984 by more than 30%.

Inflation in Poland is running at 38% a year, in Yugoslavia at 57%.

Unemployment in Yugoslavia stands at 13% of the work force (30% in the Albanian province of Kosova).

There were, of course, prominent Albanians who sought to lead Albania along this same road of, in Hoxha’s words, “capitalist degeneration”.

It was, above all, Hoxha who led the ideological struggle against the views of these individuals. These struggles are usually portrayed in our press as “personal power struggles”. There were nothing of the sort. There were in each case struggles around principle – with Hoxha standing successfully for the maintenance of independence and socialism for his country.

Whether one is a socialist or not, the question of socialism – how to attain it and how to maintain it – is a question of international importance.

Marxism-Leninism has always held that the state in capitalist countries is always – no matter what its parliamentary trappings – in reality the dictatorship of Big Business. It has always held, therefore, that this state apparatus of force will be used against any attempt to establish a socialist society, so that the working people must be prepared for revolutionary struggle. It has always held that the belief that a fundamental change in society can be attained through the ballot box alone is a dangerous illusion. This does not necessarily mean a bloody and protracted civil war – the number of people who died in the October Revolution in Russia was far less than the number killed on the roads of Manchester on a typical summer Sunday. Hoxha’s famous dictum was:

    “The more the working people are prepared for revolutionary struggle, the greater the possibility of a peaceful transition to socialism”.

Most of the old communist parties, however, have rejected these fundamental tenets of Marxism-Leninism in favor of the concept of “parliamentary transition to socialism”. In Hoxha’s words, they have become “revisionists”, they have “revised” Marxism-Leninism by repudiating its fundamental core.

The leading role in the struggle against this “modern revisionism” was undoubtedly played by Enver Hoxha, who adhered all his adult life firmly to Marxist-Leninist principles. And, as I said, whether one is a socialist or not, these are questions of world importance. Hoxha’s leading role in these questions makes him, in this respect too, a world figure.

Furthermore, he was the author of a whole series of books, not only upon Albania, but on Yugoslavia, on the Soviet Union, on China, on the Middle East, and so on, which are essential reading for any serious student of world affairs.

But it is as the principal architect of Socialist Albania that Enver Hoxha’s qualities of leadership shine most clearly and obviously.

In forty years Albania has been transformed from the most backward country in Europe to an advanced industrialised state.

Where else in the world can one find no unemployment, with the right to work enshrined in the Constitution?

Where else can one find dwelling rents at 3% of income?

Where else can one find no rates, taxes or social service contributions combined with a free health service?

Where else can one find non-contributory pensions at 70% of pay, payable as young as 55 in certain occupations?

A visitor goes from Britain – with its barren industrial waste lands, with its four million unemployed, with its declining social services – to Albania to find a country which is one huge construction site, to a country whose people have well-founded confidence that each year their living standards will improve as production rises.

Some visiting newspaper reporters claim to find Albania “dull’.

They find no Soho “strip-tease” shows, no Mayfair gambling casinos, no pornographic magazines, no heroin pushers, no “pop” music. Enver Hoxha once said:

    “Our young people have no need of drugs to escape from reality”.

Perhaps these reporters find Albanian sporting events dull because one can go to a football match there and cheer for the away team without the risk of getting a knife in one’s back!

Where but in Albania one could go to the cinema for the equivalent of 15 pence?

What other country in the world with a population of less than three millions has 7 symphony orchestras and produces some 15 feature films a year?

Perhaps those who find Albania “dull” have had their cultural values corrupted!

One has only to look at pictures of Albania prior to 1939 – pictures which show its utter backwardness, its poor and illiterate working people, to understand the respect and affection which the overwhelming majority of the Albanian people held for the principal architect of their social progress – Enver Hoxha, to understand the genuine and spontaneous grief which was exhibited at his funeral.

Several monuments to Enver Hoxha are to be erected in Albania.

But the ordinary Albanian may well say – in the words of the inscription to our own Christopher Wren in St. Paul’s Cathedral –

    “If you seek a monument, look around!”

I want to conclude by reading to you the translation of a poem, written the day after Enver Hoxha’s death . . . It expresses eloquently, I feel, the feelings of most Albanians.

Note From Alliance – Regrettably the text of this poem, or its name or identity of its author, is not known to us. 

Source

Enver Hoxha on the Rise of China as an Imperialist Superpower

Enver Hoxha Raised Fist

“With the policy China is pursuing, it is becoming even more obvious that it is trying to strengthen the positions of capitalism at home and to establish its hegemony in the world, to become a great imperialist power, so that it, too, occupies, so to say, the ‘place it deserves.’

[….]

We are now witnessing the efforts of another big state, today’s China, to become a super power because it, too, is proceeding rapidly on the road of capitalism. But China lacks colonies, lacks large-scale developed industry, lacks a strong economy in general, and a great thermo-nuclear potential on the same scale as the other two imperialist superpowers.

To become a superpower it is absolutely essential to have a developed economy, an army equipped with atomic bombs, to ensure markets and spheres of influence, investment of capital in foreign countries, etc. China is bent on ensuring these conditions as quickly as possible. This was expressed in Chou En-lai’s speech in the People’s Assembly in 1975 and was repeated at the 11th Congress of the Communist Party of China, where it was proclaimed that, before the end of this century, China will become a powerful modern country, with the objective of catching up with the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Now this whole plan has been extended and set out in precise detail in what is called the policy of the “four modernizations”. But what road has China chosen so that it, too, will become a superpower?

At present, the colonies and markets in the world are occupied by others. The creation of an economic and military potential equal to that of the Americans and Soviets, within 20 years, and with their own forces, as the Chinese leaders claim they will do, is impossible.

In these conditions, in order to become a superpower, China will have to go through two main phases: first, it must seek credits and investments from US imperialism and the other developed capitalist countries, purchase new technology in order to exploit its local wealth, a great part of which will go as dividends for the creditors. Second, it will invest the surplus value extracted at the expense of the Chinese people in states of various continents, just as the US imperialists and Soviet social-imperialists are doing today.

China’s efforts to become a superpower are based, in the first place, on its choice of allies and the creation of alliances. Two superpowers exist in the world today, US imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. The Chinese leaders worked out that they must rely on US imperialism, on which they have pinned great hopes of getting assistance in the fields of the economy, finance, technology and organization, as well as in the military field. In fact, the economic-military potential of the United States of America is greater than that of Soviet social-imperialism. This the Chinese revisionists know well, though they say that America is declining. On the course which they are following, they cannot rely on a weak partner, from which they cannot gain much. Precisely because it is powerful, they have chosen the United States of America to be their ally.

[….]

The group ruling today in China lays great stress on the “third world” in which, not fortuitously and not without a purpose, it includes China, too. The “third world” of the Chinese revisionists has a well-defined political aim. It is part of the strategy which aims at transforming China into a superpower as quickly as possible. China wants to rally round itself all the countries of the “third world” or the non-aligned. countries or the “developing countries”, in order to create a large force, which will not only increase the overall Chinese potential but will also help China to counterpose itself to the other two superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, to carry greater weight in the bargaining over the division of markets and spheres of influence, to gain the true status of an imperialist superpower.

[….]

However, like every country with imperialist aims, China is fighting and will fight harder still for markets in the world. It is striving and will strive harder still to spread its influence and extend its domination. These plans are apparent even now. China is opening its own banks, not only in Hong Kong, where it has had them for a long time, but also in Europe and elsewhere. It will strive especially to open banks in and export capital to the countries of “the third” world.. For the present it is doing very little in this field. China’s “aid” amounts to the building of some cement factory, railway, or hospital, for its possibilities are limited. Only when the American, Japanese and other investments in China begin to yield the fruits it desires, that is, when its economy, trade and military technology are developed, will China be able to embark on a venture of real large-scale economic and military expansion. But to achieve this, time is needed.

[….]

The more China develops economically and militarily, the more it will want to penetrate into and dominate the small and less developed countries by means of its exports of capital, and then it will no longer charge a 1-2 percent interest for its credits, but will act like all the others.

[….]

China cannot carry on positive revolutionary propaganda in the countries of the “third world”, also, because it would come into collision with that superpower from which it is hoping to get investments of capital in China and advanced technology. China cannot conduct such propaganda, also, because the revolution would overthrow precisely those reactionary cliques ruling in a number of countries of the so-called third world, which China is supporting and helping to stay in power.

[….]

China cannot go ahead with its course of transforming itself into a superpower without intensifying the exploitation of the broad working masses at home. The United States of America and the other capitalist states will seek to secure superprofits from the capital they will’ invest there, they will also press for rapid and radical transformations of the base and superstructure of Chinese society in the capitalist direction. The intensification of the exploitation of the multimillion strong masses to maintain the Chinese bourgeoisie and its gigantic bureaucratic apparatus and to meet the repayment of the credits and interest to the foreign capitalists, will undoubtedly give rise to deep contradictions between the Chinese proletariat and peasantry, on the one hand, and the bourgeois-revisionist rulers, on the other. This will bring the latter into confrontation with the working masses of their own country, a thing which cannot fail to lead to sharp conflicts and revolutionary outbursts in China.”

Enver Hoxha, “Imperialism and the Revolution” Excerpts from “China’s Plan to Become a Superpower”

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia on Enver Hoxha

enver-hoxha-portrait

It should be noted that this article was written in the 1970’s under Soviet revisionism and therefore bears the ideological markings of social-imperialism in its evaluation of Comrade Enver. It mentions nothing of the titanic struggle of the Albanian Marxist-Leninists against revisionism and limits itself to mention of positions Hoxha held. It is through this lens we must evaluate this entry.

 – E.S.

Hoxha, Enver

Born Oct. 16, 1908, in Gjirokastër. Albanian state and political figure.

Hoxha graduated from the lycée in Korçë in 1930 and then studied at the University of Montpellier in France. In 1941 he helped found the Communist Party of Albania-(since 1948 the Albanian Workers’ Party, AWP); he was a member of the party’s Central Committee and became the party’s general secretary in 1943. From 1942 to 1945 he was a member of the Presidium and chairman of the National Liberation Front of Albania (since August 1945 the Democratic Front of Albania).

Hoxha commanded the National Liberation Army (since 1945 the Albanian People’s Army) from 1944 to 1954. He was minister of defense from 1944 to 1953. He also served from 1944 to 1946 as head of the Provisional Democratic Government, from 1946 to 1954 as chairman of the Council of Ministers, and from 1946 to 1953 as minister of foreign affairs.

Hoxha was general secretary of the Central Committee of the AWP from 1948 to 1954, when he became the Central Committee’s first secretary. He was made chairman of the General Council of the Democratic Front of Albania in 1945. In 1954 he was elected a member of the Presidium of the People’s Assembly. In 1976, Hoxha was named commander in chief of the armed forces and chairman of the Defense Council.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Enver Hoxha on Africa

HoxhameetsAfricans

Africa is a mosaic of peoples with an ancient culture. Each African people has its own culture, customs, way of life, which, with some variations, are at a very backward stage, for well-known reasons. The awakening of the bulk of these peoples has only recently begun. De jure, the African peoples, in general, have won their freedom and independence. But there can be no talk of genuine freedom and independence, since most of them are still in a colonial or neo-colonial state.

Many of these countries are governed by the chieftains of the old tribes who have seized power and rely on the old colonialists, or the US imperialists and the Soviet social-imperialists. The methods of government in these states at this stage are not and cannot be other than a marked survival of colonialism. The imperialists are ruling most of the African countries again through their concerns, their capital invested in industry, banks, etc. The overwhelming bulk of the wealth of these countries continues to flow to the metropolises.

Some of the African countries have fought for that freedom and independence they enjoy today, while the others have had it granted without fighting. During their colonial rule in Africa, the British, French and other colonizers oppressed the peoples but they also created a local bourgeoisie, more or less educated in the Occidental manner. The leading figures today, have also emerged from this bourgeoisie. Among them there are many anti-imperialist elements, fighters for the independence of their own countries, but the majority either remain loyal to the old colonizers, in order to preserve the close relations with them even after the f ormal abolition of colonialism, or have entered into economic and political dependence on the US imperialists or the Soviet social-imperialists.

The colonizers did not make large investments in the past. This was the case, for instance, with Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, etc. However, the colonizers drained the wealth of all these countries, seized large tracts of land, and developed a proletariat, by no means small in number, in some special branches of the industry, such as in the extraction and processing of raw materials. They also drew large numbers of workers to the metropolises, such as to France, for instance, but also to Britain, as a cheap labour force which worked in the colonizers mines and the factories.

In the other parts of Africa, especially in Black Africa, industrial development remained more backward. All the countries of this region were divided up, especially between France, Britain, Belgium and Portugal. Great underground riches, like diamonds, iron, copper, gold, tin, etc., were discovered there long ago, and industry to mine and process minerals has been set up there.

In many African countries, large, typically colonial cities, were built, where the colonizers lived a fabulous life. Now, on the one hand, the local great bourgeoisie and its wealth is growing and developing there, while on the other hand, the impoverishment of the broad masses of working people is increasing still more. In these countries a certain degree of cultural development has been achieved, but it has more of a European character. The local culture has not developed. It has generally remained at the stage reached by the tribes and is not represented outside them, in the centres with towering sky-scrapers. This has come about because, outside the large centres, were the colonizers lived, stark misery and extreme poverty existed, hunger, disease, ignorance and ruthless exploitation of the people, in the full meaning of the term, reigned supreme.

The African population remained culturally and economically undeveloped and continuously diminished in numbers, declining because of colonial wars, the savage racial persecution, and the traffic in African negroes, who were sent to the metropolises, the United States of America, and other countries to work like animals in the plantations of cotton and other crops, as well as in the heaviest jobs in industry and construction.

For these reasons, the African peoples still have a great struggle ahead of them. This is and will be a very complicated struggle, differing from one country to another, because of the state of their economic, cultural and educational development, the degree of their political awakening, the great influence which the different religions, such as the Christian and Moslem religions, the old pagan beliefs, etc., exert on the masses of these peoples. This struggle becomes still more difficult since many of these countries are actually under the domination of neo-colonialism combined with that of local bourgeois-capitalist cliques. The law there is made by those powerful capitalist and imperialist states which subsidize or control the ruling cliques, which they set up and remove whenever the interests of the neo-colonialists require or when the balance of these interests is upset.

The policy pursued by the big landowners, the reactionary bourgeoisie, the imperialists and the neo-colonialists is intended to keep the African peoples in permanent bondage, in ignorance, to hinder their social, political and ideological development, and to obstruct their struggle to gain these rights. At present we see that those same imperialists who used to lord it over these peoples in the past, as well as other new imperialists, are trying to penetrate into the African continent, by meddling in every way in the internal affairs of the peoples. As a result of this, the contradictions among imperialists, between the peoples and the bourgeois-capitalist leaderships of most of these countries, and between the peoples and the new colonizers, are becoming more and rnore severe every day.

These contradictions must be utilized by the peoples, both to deepen them and to benefit from them. But this can be achieved only through resolute struggle by the proletariat, the poor peasantry, by all the oppressed and the slaves, against imperialism and neo-colonialism, against the local big bourgeoisie, the big landowners and their whole establishment. A special role in this struggle devolves upon progressives and democrats, the revolutionary youth and patriotic intellectuals, who aspire to see their own countries advancing free and independent, on the path of development and progress. Only through continuous and organized struggle by them will life be made difficult for the local and foreign oppressors and exploiters and government impossible. This situation will be prepared in the specific circumstances of each African state.

British and US imperialism have not given to the peoples of Africa any freedom. Everybody can see what is happening in South Africa, for instance. The white racists, the British capitalists, the exploiters, are ruling there, savagely oppressing the coloured peoples of that state, where the law of jungle prevails. Many other countries of Africa are dominated by the concerns and capital of the United States of America, Britain, France, Belgium, and other old colonialists and imperialists, who have become somewhat weaker, but who still hold the keys to the economies of these countries.

In irreconcilable struggle against the revisionists and other opportunists, against all the lackeys of the bourgeoisie and imperialism, against Castroite, Khrushchevite, Trotskyite, <<three worlds>>, and other such views and practices, they have worked out a correct political line and accumulated sufficient experience in the struggle to put this line into practice, becoming the bearers of all the revolutionary tradition of the past, in order to use it and develop it further to the advantage of the workers’ and liberation movement, the preparation and raising of the masses in revolution.

The revolutionary situations existing today make it essential for these parties to maintain the closest possible contacts and consult with one another as frequently as possible, to be able to gain the maximum benefits from one another’s experience and co-ordinate their stands and actions on the common problems of the struggle against the reactionary bourgeoisie and imperialism, against Soviet, Chinese and other brands of modern revisionism, and on all the problems of the revolution.

Now that the peoples have awakened and refuse to live any longer under the imperialist and colonial yoke, now that they are demanding freedom, independence, development and progress, and are seething with anger against foreign and internal oppressors, now that Africa, Latin America and Asia have become a boiling cauldron the old and new colonialists are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to dominate and exploit the peoples of these countries by means of the previous methods and forms. They are quite unable to do without their plunder and exploitation of the wealth, the toil and the blood of these peoples. That is why all these efforts are being made to find new methods and forms of deception, plunder and exploitation, to dispense some alms, which, again, do not benefit the masses, but the bourgeois-land owner ruling classes.

Meanwhile the question has been made even more complicated, because Soviet social-imperialism long ago began to penetrate and entrench itself more and more deeply in the former colonies and semi-colonies, and because social-imperialist China has begun to make feverish efforts to get in there, too.

The revisionist Soviet Union carries out its expansionist interference under the guise of its allegedly Leninist policy of aid for the peoples’ liberation struggle, posing as the natural ally of these countries and peoples. As a means to penetrate into Africa and elsewhere, the Soviet revisionists employ and spread slogans of a socialist colour in order to deceive the peoples who aspire to liberate themselves, to liquidate oppression and exploitation, and who know that the only road to complete national and social liberation is socialism.

The Soviet Union also involves its allies, or better, its satellites in its interference. We are seeing this concretely in Africa, where the Soviet social-imperialist and their Cuban mercenaries are intervening on the pretext that they are assisting the revolution. This is a lie. Their intervention is nothing but a colonialist action aimed at capturing markets and subjugating peoples.

The intervention of the Soviet Union and its Cuban mercenaries in Angola is of this nature. They have never had the slightest intention of assisting the Angolan revolution, but their aim was and is to get their claws into that African country which had won a certain independence after the expulsion of the Portuguese colonialists. The Cuban mercenaries are the colonial army dispatched by the Soviet Union to capture markets and strategic positions in the countries of Black Africa, and to go on from Angola to other states, to enable the Soviet social-imperialists, too, to create a modern colonial empire.

Under the cloak of aid for peoples’ liberation the Soviet Union and its mercenary, Cuba, are intervening in other countries with armies equipped with artillery and machine-guns, allegedly to build socialism, which does not exist in either the Soviet Union or Cuba. These two bourgeois-revisionist states intervened in Angola in order to help a capitalist clique seize power, contrary to the aims of the Angolan people who had fought to win their freedom from the Portuguese colonialists. Agostinho Neto is playing the game of the Soviets. In the struggle against the other faction, in order to seize power for himself, he called in the Soviets to help him. The struggle between the two opposing Angolan clans did not have anything of a people’s revolutionary character.

The fight between them was a struggle of cliques for power. Each of them was supported by different imperialist states. Agostinho Neto emerged the winner from this contest, while socialism did not triumph in Angola. On the contrary, following the intervention from abroad, Soviet neo-colonialism has been established there.

Social-imperialist China, too, is making great efforts to penetrate into the former colonial and semi-colonial countries.

An example of how China intervenes is provided by Zaire, a country ruled by the clique around Mobutu, the wealthiest and most bloodthirsty clique on the African continent. In the fighting which flared up in Zaire recently, the Moroccans of the Sherifian Kingdom of Morocco, the French air force, and China, too, all rushed to the aid of Mobutu, the murderer of Patrice Lumumba. The assistance given by the French is understandable, because with their intervention they were defending their concessions and concerns in Katanga, and at the same time, protecting their men, as well as Mobutu and his clique. But what do the Chinese revisionists want in Katanga? Whom are they assisting there? Are they helping the people of Zaire who are being suppressed by Mobutu and his clique and by the French, Belgian, US and other concession holders? Or are not they, too, assisting the blood-thirsty Mobutu clique? The fact is that the Chinese revisionist leadership is assisting this clique not indirectly, but quite openly. To make this assistance more concrete and more demonstrative, it sent its foreign minister, Huang Hua there, as well as military experts and military and economic aid. Thus, it acted in an anti-Marxist, anti-revolutionary way. China’s interference has exactly the same features as that of King Hassan of Morocco and that of France.

The Chinese social-imperialists are interfering not only in the affairs of that country, but also in other affairs of the peoples and countries of Africa and other continents, especially in those countries into which they are striving to penetrate in every way, in order to establish economic, political and strategic bases there.

Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, Excerpts from “The Peoples’ Liberation Struggle – a Component Part of the World Revolution”

Enver Hoxha on the rise of U.S. Imperialism

SpeechJVS

“The United States of America became the leadership of the capitalist world and took upon itself the role of its ‘saviour.’ Thus the pretentions of American imperialism to world domination were placed on the agenda. ‘The victory in the Second World War,’ declared Harry Truman, who replaced Franklin Roosevelt as president, ‘faced the American people with the permanent and urgent task of becoming the world leader’. In essence this was a call for struggle against the revolution and socialism, to win new dominant economic and military positions throughout the whole world, to restore its partners and to save the colonial system. In order to realize this strategy, UNRRA was used, the ‘Marshall Plan’ was drafted, NATO was created, and other aggressive blocs of American imperialism were set up.”

 – Enver Hoxha, Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism, 1980

American Party of Labor: Insights into Socialist Albania from “Pickaxe and Rifle”

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William Ash’s Pickaxe and Rifle: the Story of the Albanian People is a comprehensive, diversified, in-depth study and explanation of the experiences and the social system of the tiny, formerly Marxist-Leninist Balkan country. Ash was invited to travel to the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania in 1969. He visited again in 1971. He was given the opportunity of visiting the country during the Albanian Party of Labor’s Sixth Party Congress and of checking the draft typescript of his work with historians and state and party leaders, and most important of all, with workers in the factories and on the collective farms.

The 270-page book is divided up into twenty-one chapters, covering just about every aspect of Albanian life, from health, education and the status of women, to the party, state, and mass organizations to the state of the country’s economic development. An entire chapter is also dedicated to expressing the leisure time of the workers and the activities and resorts that are available to them. While examining the situation and lifestyle of socialist Albania’s workers, farmers, and intelligentsia, Ash dedicates the first eight chapters to the history of tiny Albania and the historical struggles for freedom and independence that have been characteristic of the country ever since the days of the Ottoman Empire.

First and foremost, William Ash is a Marxist-Leninist, and as an advocate of scientific socialism and proletarian revolution, Ash never skips a beat in providing a fluid and correct Marxist analysis based. For one example in chapter fifteen, he exposes the Khruschevite coup and the bureaucratic stagnation of the Soviet Union:

“One of the first indications that an entirely different line was being adopted by the Soviet leadership came in May, 1955, when Khrushchev unilaterally rejected the decisions of the Information Bureau and other communist and workers’ parties in respect to Tito’s betrayal of socialism and heading a delegation to Belgrade for the purpose of rehabilitating, without consultation, the Yugoslav leader. Two days before the delegation left Moscow the Albanian Party of Labour was informed of the visit and asked to approve a statement which Khrushchev had drawn up in the name of the Information Bureau without bothering to convene it. This the Albanian Party refused to do on the grounds that there had been no change in the line of the Yugoslav leadership since it has been condemned by the 1948 resolution of communist and workers’ parties represented on the Bureau” (Ash 182).

“The conference of the four great powers, the Soviet Union, the United States, Britain and France, at Geneva in July, 1955, was acclaimed by Khrushchev as ‘a new stage in the relations between nations’ and he described the leaders of the imperialist powers as ‘reasonable people who were trying to ensure peace’ – this on the eve of the Angle-French-Israeli attack on Suez!” (183).

“Instead of challenging the policy of nuclear blackmail which the United States government had used ever since the war to keep the world safe for the operations of monopoly capitalism, Khrushchev was going to use the Soviet Union’s nuclear capacity to get in on the act. This was the case as demonstrated later on when Albania’s opposition to the Khrushchev line prompted the threat from Kozlov, a member of the Central Committee of the Soviet Party, that ‘either the Albanians will accept peaceful co-existence or an atom bomb from the imperialists will turn Albania into a head of ashes and leave no Albanian alive’” (184).

“Class struggle does not cease even after the liquidation of the exploiting classes. It simply takes different forms as the battle between the ideas, customs and habits of the old exploitative society and the ideals and aspirations of the new socialist man is fought out in every sphere of social activity” (101).

These are but a few passages that Ash provides on the topic of the split in the world communist movement. The author pulls no punches in calling out revisionism and injustice, defending the contributions of Joseph Stalin and the resolute fighting spirit of the Albanian Party of Labor. Ash wastes no time getting down to business in the examination of the socialist state structure that existed within Albania. He provides a short history of the first constitution drafted under the surveillance of the people’s democratic government. By providing a comprehensive list of sources from both inside and outside the small Balkan republic, the author describes:

“The whole document of fewer than a hundred articles takes up only 40 pages of a very small book. This conciseness and simplicity stem from the fact that, unlike most constitutions, there are no ruling class interests to be concealed in elaborate verbiage, no complicated divisions of power to the state’s interference in business and finance, no pseudo-democratic formulations designed to give people the illusion of governing themselves” (98).

“All the major democratic organizations which enable the Albanian working masses to exercise state power originated and developed in the heat of national struggle. As they came into being in answer to the national need they were tested in the fires of the liberation war involving the whole people. Out of the National Liberation General Council grew the People’s Assembly; and the National Liberation Committee appointed by the Council became the Government, Prime Minister and Cabinet, elected by the Assembly. The National Liberation Councils at village, district, and city levels developed in the People’s Councils which are the local organs of state power” (99).

“Every citizens having completed eighteen years of age, regardless of sex, economic status, social position, religious belief or any other consideration, enjoys the right to elect and be elected to any elective body in the state. Electors vote directly for their representatives whether as members of a village council, as people’s judges or as deputies of the People’s Assembly itself. Polling is done secretly by sealed ballot in special booths and is under the supervision of electoral committees appointed by the mass organizations of the Democratic Front – trade unions, youth and women’s associations and the working collectives of industrial enterprises, agricultural co-operatives, government ministries, army units and so on. These same mass organizations of workers have the right to present any of their members as candidates” (103).

Throughout the section entitled “Albania’s Socialist Society,” it becomes clear that Ash went to great lengths to study and expound on the social organization of Albania. The author describes the socialist and democratic nature of the whole society, from the mass organizations such as the Democratic Front, the trade unions, the Labor Youth Union, the Albanian Women’s Union and the Union of Artists and Writers to the organization of the Albanian Party of Labor and the structure of the state as a whole. There is vast description of all parts of Albanian life.

In the last section of the book, William Ash describes the quality of life in socialist Albania. Although a relatively poor and tiny country, the sheer amount of progress made since the book was written in 1976 is astounding to say the least. The author provides an objective analysis combined with facts and statistics to show the outside world just how powerful a nation can become once it adopts a Marxist-Leninist political and economic line. In terms of describing the educational system and the consciousness of the youth and women of socialist Albania, Pickaxe and Rifle: the Story of the Albanian People offers insight into how the youth took the reigns of their own future and denounced the feudal practices that were once widespread throughout the country. To offer an example:

“Organizations of youth and women and the trade unions were mobilized in this campaign under the slogan: ‘In order to build we must acquire knowledge and in order to acquire knowledge we must be able to study and learn.’ Tens of thousands of those previously illiterate were enrolled in night schools without giving up production work, graduating first from elementary classes, then from seven grade schools and even completing secondary and higher school courses. By 1955 illiteracy among all those under 40 had been wiped out and not long afterward it was abolished among older people too. The night schools were maintained to consolidate this achievement and to keep people, particularly in the rural areas, from slipping back again” (223).

Compare this type of system, this amount of democracy and freedom of action, this style of liberation to modern-day capitalist Albania or any Western capitalist country. The incredible amount of self-initiative in terms of building relationships and developing the mind is unheard of in any country today, where women are still subjected to the domination of the man and where the youth are constantly being subordinated to the institutionalized curriculum, whether it is productive and popular with those actually doing the learning or not.

“In his great speech to the Fifth Party Congress on November 1, 1966, he stressed the need of linking teaching and education much more closely to life and labour. Speaking not only as a Marxist-Leninist but as one who had been a teacher himself, at the Korca academy before his dismissal on political grounds, he explained the political necessity of an ‘unceasing development of education to meet the demands of socialist society;’ and pointed out that ‘Our schools, for all the improvement in teaching and education, have not yet rid themselves of bourgeois pedagogy and revisionist influences…It is indispensable to revolutionize further the educational system…It is particularly necessary to take radical measures for the improvement of ideological and political education and for educating youth through labour…There is still too much formalism and verbalism, passivity on the part of pupils and stifling the personality of the young on the part of the teachers, too much officialdom in the relations between teachers and pupils resulting in conservative and patriarchal methods of education…There can be no talk of revolutionizing our schools without revolutionizing the great army of teachers who must set the example of a communist attitude toward labour and life’” (225).

The above passage, quoting Enver Hoxha himself, sheds light on what education would look like under a socialist system: the youth and the teachers acting coming together as respectable equals to build and revolutionize a truly democratic and progressive school system. Offering constructive criticism on the subject of socialist education, Comrade Hoxha does not exhibit narrow-mindedness and pessimism on the role of the youth in building and shaping the society that will belong to them. Instead, he encourages them to open their minds and explore their creative will and natural compassion to rebel against reactionary, subordinating teaching methods. How many other heads of state would have said such things in the open?

“In the schools and in the University teachers and professors had to adopt new methods and learn to accept the criticism of students as part of their own socialist rehabilitation. A few found the extension of democratic centralism to the educational system, with students taking an active role in organizing school life, too much of a break with the old academic traditions they had hoped to see re-established. They were released to go into production work, perhaps, to return to teaching when they have learned from workers the socialist ideology of the working class. And students, too, had to learn more thoroughly that socialist education has nothing to do with getting a degree in order to become ‘a man of authority’ or to ‘secure a comfortable post with a fat salary’” (227).

“A student is judged not on the marks he gets in competition with his fellows but on the help he gives others in mastering subjects. So successful has the approach proved that in such places as the Tirana Secondary school of Culture students through mutual aid in lessons have realized a hundred percent promotion rate and earned commendation for the exemplary tidiness and protection of socialist property” (227).

“Courses in Marxism-Leninism were made a living part of the curriculum and not just a routine subject to be got through in a mechanical way. Texts and lectures on dialectical and historical materialism were related to Albania’s own revolutionary history and students and teachers learned to apply the principles of scientific socialism to their own problems and those of their society. And since practice is the essence of Marxism-Leninism, students and teachers began to participate more actively in the political and economic life of the country, leaving their books and laboratories to study the application of theory on the production and social front” (227).

A strong initiative towards learning, acquiring knowledge and conscious discipline on behalf of the students themselves, combined with the life experiences and teaching expertise of the educators must be the bedrock of socialist education.

The social status of women has always been an important topic for those studying Albania’s application of Marxism-Leninism. Before liberation, women were required to be completely subordinate to the demands and wishes of the male. The Code of Lek was the set of rules and guidelines that governed the family in feudal times. Passages such as “the husband is entitled to beat his wife and to tie her up in chains when she defies his word and orders”, and “The father is entitled to beat, tie in chains, imprison or kill his son or daughter…The wife is obliged to kneel in obeisance to her husband” indicate the shear hostility and oppression towards women. Fortunately, these enslaving principles began to be sharply criticized during the liberation war, as men and women stood shoulder-to-shoulder to free themselves of the fascist invaders. As such, Pickaxe and Rifle dedicates a chapter to the role of women in the socialist family by comparing the gains and progress of the national liberation war to the binding feudal culture beforehand.

“In 1938 there were 668 women workers in all Albania, mostly girls of 14 or 16 working a ten hour day for appallingly low wages. By 1967 over 248,000 women, which is 42% of rural and urban workers, were engaged in production work on exactly the same terms as men” (235).

“’Women workers,’ Stalin has said, ‘urban and rural workers are the greatest reserve of the working class. This reserve represents half the population. On whether this reserve of women is with or against the working class depends the destiny of the proletarian movement, the triumph or defeat of the proletarian revolution and the triumph or defeat of proletarian state power’” (235).

In addition to the major gains made towards women’s rights during the years immediately following liberation, the author also carefully documents the continuous progression and enhancement of the status of females in socialist society. Approved in June 1965 and put into action in 1966, a new family code was adopted, which reaffirmed certain rights guaranteed in the Constitution of socialist Albania. This new family code is as follows:

“• Marriage is contracted with the free will of husband and wife and rests on solid feelings of love, equality and mutual respect. Only monogamous marriages are recognized.

• Partners in marriage can choose as their surname that of husband or wife or each may keep his or her original name or add them together.

• A wife can choose her work or profession without her husband’s permission and the handling of the family income is managed by mutual agreement.

• Personal property held by either before marriage remains his or hers and anything acquired afterwards is joint property. All children regardless of sex are entitled to equal shares in the inheritance of joint personal property and the wife is the heir of first rank.

• Divorce is allowed when a marriage has lost all meaning and cohabitation has become intolerable. Causes for divorce are continuous quarrels, maltreatment, breach of conjugal faith, permanent mental illness or punishment for serious crimes. There is no distinction between husband or wife in the right to sue for divorce and the rearing of children is confided to that parent who in the court’s opinion is better qualified to bring them up.

• All parental rights belong to both parents equally and disagreements are settled by tutelage committees or by the courts.

• Single mothers enjoy all due respect and the state guarantees their economic security and protection. Children born outside marriage are equal in every way to those born within.

• Abortions are allowed after consultation with a committee of doctors. Birth control is a matter of personal choice. There is no family planning in the sense of national campaigns to limit births because Albania is an underpopulated country in which all births are welcomed” (238-239).

These progressive family guidelines, set in law, are a happy example of solving family issues the right way in the right social context. It could be claimed that law does not necessarily solve every issue and serve as the final and complete solution, but the fact that such great strides forward have been made in terms of equality of the sexes is definitely a solid indication of the Party and the state’s attitudes towards the role of women in everyday life.

Lastly, Ash focuses a section on what there is to do in Albanian workers’ leisure time. As a generally warm country with multiple beaches and resorts, the author uses the example of the Durres bathing resort to show that workers do in fact have time to relax or take a vacation. Durres stands out in this sense, however, in that it is Albania’s top beach resort and that it is only open to trade union workers, which was comprised of 99% of Albania’s workers. As confirmed not only in Pickaxe and Rifle but in Albania Defiant (1976) by Jan Myrdal and Gun Kessle and translated by Paul Britten, Durres is not open for bureaucrats or tourists. It is exclusive in the sense that the best beach in the entire country belongs to the workers and the workers alone.

Aside from bathing resorts and vacations, there are a number of activities or festivities going on in the streets after the work day is over. Cultural centers, cafes, gymnasiums, and folk centers are open for all Albanians.

“At the end of the day’s work the whole population comes out into the broad boulevards, to stroll about greeting friends, to have coffee or something to eat in one of the many open-air cafes or restaurants in this warm country – whole families to three generations taking the fragrant summer air together or young couples walking hand in hand or, perhaps, happy bands of children weaving in and out of the crowds in some extemporized game” (217-218).

“There is something strange to the visitor from the West in seeing children running about through the streets in such abandon without any surveillance. In his towns they would soon be decimated by traffic. In Albania, after the end of the working day, there are no lorries nor motor cars to be seen and the streets and avenues belong entirely to the people for their communal perambulation which gives each wide thoroughfare the appearance of a fair ground” (218).

“In the sight of so many family groups of grandparents, parents, children and even children’s children walking, talking and taking refreshment together raises the question of why family relationships are so strong and satisfactory, the answer every one gives is that there is no economic restraint whatsoever compelling families to stay together. The only bond is that of mutual love and respect” (219).

“Or the evening crowds may seek various forms of entertainment in the local palace of culture where there are recitals, concerts, pageants or plays. They may go to cinemas where a growing number of the films shown are Albanian. They may enjoy the presentation in some large auditorium of that ever popular form, Estrada, which is the Albanian equivalent of the music hall – with acts by singers, musicians and acrobats, with dramatic sketches and comic turns. And in all these amusements and cultural activities the audiences are not merely passive in their enjoyment. Not only do they participate in the sense that every performance of any kind has developed collectively under the guidance of constructive criticism which everyone feels free to give but also because a large proportion of any gathering will belong themselves to some cultural group which no factory, school, office, co-operative farm or institution of any kind is without” (219).

Constructive criticism is a large part of socialist society, constantly reviewing and keeping what is progressive in the eyes of the people and renewing or doing away with what is not. What makes it especially notable is the fact that this is carried over to cultural and artistic life.

“National holidays celebrating the founding of the People’s Republic, historical anniversaries, victories, in the liberation war or in socialist construction raise to a higher degree the festive feeling to be encountered in the streets of the major towns. The broad tree-lined avenue leading from the statue of Scanderbeg in the centre of Tirana to the University on the outskirts of the city will be filled with representatives of the Democratic Front organizations, of factories and farms, of the armed services and young pioneers, marching past the reviewing stand near the Dajti Hotel under billowing red banners, shouting revolutionary slogans and paying their respects to Party and state leaders and guests from abroad” (219).

“All around the grove are bulletin boards with pictures of the activities of the co-operatives in the area and the achievements of the rural electrification programme. Strung overhead are banners inscribed with such slogans as Rroftë Partie e Punës e Shqipërisë – Long live the Albanian Party of Labor, Shqipëri, ‘land of the eagles’, is the Albanians’ name for their country; and among the dances performed by the men in the course of the merrymaking will be the famous eagle dance. Other banners wish a long life to Enver Hoxha or set out the main themes to be taken up in a brief political meeting by a representative of the Central Committee, perhaps the veteran partisan Birro Kondi whose brother also a great partisan fighter died in an accident after the war – ‘Without unmasking revisionism one cannot defeat imperialism’ and ‘the people of Albania and China’s millions are more than a match for any enemy’” (220).

“Then the vast crowed, more than 20,000, move to the long tables under the trees which are piled high with roast chickens and slabs of lamb, homemade bread, cream cheese, boiled eggs, tomatoes and corn on the cob. Vast quantities of very good cold beer are drunk during and after the feast to the sound of the constantly repeated toast Gezuer! – Good health! There is much moving about and groups at the tables are broken up and reform as old comrades are discovered and greeted affectionately. One of the good survivals of feudal customs, along with the open-handed hospitality one encounters all over Albania, deepened and given a new fraternal significance by socialism, is the close demonstrative friendship between men. Partisans seeing each other after an interval embrace and kiss warmly. Moving about as freely and greeted as affectionately are the Party and State leaders who have come from Tirana to join in the celebrations – the Foreign Minister who is also a deputy from this region, an ambassador, several members of the Political Bureau and Enver Hoxha’s younger sister” (220).

It’s very interesting to take note of the amount of simple pleasures there are to indulge in, and one of the most common joys in Albania involves the simple enjoyment of each other’s company. The workers are disciplined and hardworking, but they are neither puritanical nor austere. The embracing of the dialectical method can have far-reaching progressive consequences when applied to social practice, whether the practice pertains to culture, economics or the political system, or if it is used in simple social interaction.

In conclusion, Pickaxe and Rifle is an excellent, comprehensive account of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania through the eyes of an eyewitness who has visited the country on more than one occasion. William Ash provides in his work a very well-put-together and very sincere study of the socialist system in Albania by covering nearly every aspect of Albanian life and the amount of freedom and organization the working class gains under proper Marxism-Leninism. Ash’s book, from examining the political and economic system of Albania to the social, artistic and cultural life, Pickaxe and Rifle is a breath of fresh air in a society plagued by lies and misinformation about communist theory and practice.

Reference

Ash, William. Pickaxe and Rifle: the Story of the Albanian People. London: H. Baker, 1974.

Source

Enver Hoxha on Earl Browder

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“The first current which preceded the modern revisionism in power was Browderism. This current was born in the United States of America and took its name from the former general secretary of the Communist Party of the USA, Earl Browder.

In 1944, when the victory of the peoples over fascism was clearly on the horizon, Browder came out publicly with a program which was reformist from start to finish. He was the first herald of that line of ideological and political capitulation which American imperialism was to strive to impose on the communist parties and the revolutionary movement. Under the pretext of the alleged change in the historical conditions of the development of capitalism and the international situation, Browder proclaimed Marxism-Leninism “out-dated”, and called it a system of rigid dogmas and schemes. Browder advocated giving up the class struggle and called for class conciliation on a national and international scale. He thought that American capitalism was no longer reactionary, that it could cure the ills of bourgeois society, and could develop in democratic ways for the good of the working people.

He no longer saw socialism as an ideal, as an objective to be achieved. American imperialism with its strategy and policy had disappeared completely from his field of vision. For Browder, the big monopolies, the pillars of this imperialism, constituted a progressive force for the democratic, social and economic development of the country. Browder denied the class character of the capitalist state, and considered American society a unified and harmonious society, without social antagonisms, a society in which understanding and class co-operation prevailed. On the basis of these concepts Browder also denied the need for the existence of the revolutionary party of the working class. He became an initiator of the disbanding of the Communist Party of the United States of America in 1944.

“The Communists,” he wrote, “foresee that the practical political aims they hold will for a long time be in agreement on all essential points with the aims of a much larger body of non-Communists, and that, therefore, our political actions will be merged in such larger movements. The existence of a separate political party of Communists, therefore, no longer serves a practical purpose but can be, on the contrary, an obstacle to the larger unity. The Communists will, therefore, dissolve their separate political party, and find a new and different organizational form and name, corresponding more accurately to the tasks of the day and the political structure through which these tasks must be performed.”(E. Browder)

Browder took the Conference of allied powers which was held in Teheran in 1943 as his starting point and justification for the formulation of his bourgeois liquidatory theory and made a completely distorted and anti-Marxist analysis and interpretation of the results of this conference.

Browder presented the agreement of the anti-fascist allies to carry the war against Hitlerite Germany through to the end as the beginning of a new historical epoch, in which socialism and capitalism had found the way to co-operation within “one and the same world”, as he expressed it. Browder presented it as a duty to ensure that the spirit of co-operation and peaceful coexistence between the allied powers, which emerged from Teheran, should be applied not only between the Soviet socialist state and those capitalist states, but also within the capitalist country in relations between antagonistic classes. “Class differences and political groups now no longer have any importance,” said Browder. He considered the achievement of “national unity”, without incidents and in an atmosphere of class peace, the sole objective which the communists, should set themselves, and he understood this national unity as a bloc uniting the groups of finance capital, the organizations of monopolists, the Republican and Democratic parties, and the communists and trade union movements, all of which, without exception, he considered “democratic and patriotic” forces. For the sake of this unity Browder declared that communists must be ready to sacrifice even their convictions, their ideology and special interests, that the American communists have applied this rule to themselves first of all. “The political aims which we hold with the majority of the Americans,” says he, “we will attempt to advance through the existing party structure of our country, which in the main is that of the peculiarly American ‘two-party’ system”. (E.Browder)

Confused by the relatively peaceful development of American capitalism following the well-known reforms which the American President Roosevelt undertook in order to emerge from the economic crisis at the beginning of the 30’s, as well as by the rapid growth of production and employment during the war period, Browder drew the conclusion that American capitalism had allegedly been rejuvenated, that now it would develop without crises and would ensure the raising of the general well-being, etc.

He considered the American economic system to be a system capable of resolving all the contradictions and problems of society and fulfilling all the demands of the masses. He equated communism with Americanism and declared that “communism is the Americanism of the 20th century”. According to Browder, all the developed capitalist countries could resolve every conflict and go gradually to socialism by using bourgeois democracy, for which American democracy had to be the model. Therefore, Browder considered that the task of American communists was to ensure the normal functioning of the capitalist regime, and declared openly that they were ready to co-operate to ensure the efficient functioning of the capitalist regime in the post-war period, in order to “ensure the greatest possible lightening of obligations which are a burden on the people”. According to him, this lightening of burdens would be done by the “reasonable” American capitalists, to whom the communists must extend the hand of friendship.

In conformity with his ultra-rightist concepts and submitting to the pressure of the bourgeoisie, after the disbanding of the Communist Party. in May 1944, Browder announced the creation, in place of the party, of a cultural and illuminist association called the “Communist Political Association”, justifying this with the argument that the American tradition allegedly demanded the existence of only two parties. This association, organized as a network of clubs, was to engage mainly in “activity of political education on a national, regional and local plane”.

The Constitution of this association says: “The Communist Political Association is a nonparty organization of Americans which, basing itself upon the working class, carries forward the tradition of Washington, Jefferson Paine, Jackson and Lincoln under the changed conditions of modem industrial society,” that this association “…upholds the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and tile achievements of American democracy against all the enemies of popular liberties.” (The Path to Paece, Progress and prosperity, New York 1944 pp.47-48) Browder wiped out all the objectives of the communist movement. In the program of the Association there is, no mention of Marxism-Leninism, the hegemony of the proletariat, the class struggle, the revolution or socialism. National, unity, social peace, defence of the bourgeois Constitution and the increase of the capitalist production became its only objectives.

In this way, Browder went over from open revision of the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary strategy and tactics to the organizational liquidation of the communist movement in the United States of America. Although the party was re-formed at its 13th Congress in June 1945, and the opportunist line of Browder was formally rejected, his influence was never eliminated in the Commumst Party of the USA. Later, especially after 1956, the ideas, of Browder flourished again and John Hayes in an article entitled “The Time for Change Has Come”, (Political Affairs, October 1956) once again demanded in the spirit of Browderism the turning of the Communist Party of the USA into a cultural and propaganda association. And in fact, that is what the Communist Party of the USA is today an organization in which the revisionism of Browder combined with that of Khrushchev prevails.

With his revisionist concepts about the revolution and socialism, Browder gave world capitalism direct aid. According to Browder, socialism arises only from some great cataclysm, from some catastrophe, and not as an inevitable result of historical development. “We do not desire any catastrophe for America, even if such a thing would lead to socialism,”. he said. While presenting the prospect of the triumph of socialism as very remote, he advocated class collaboration in. American society and throughout the world. According to him, the only alternative was that of-‘ development by evolution, through reforms and with the aid of the United States of America.

According to Browder, the United States of America, which possessed colossal economic power and great scientific-technical potential, had to. assist the peoples of the world, including the Soviet Union, for their “development”. This “aid”, said Browder, would help America maintain high rates of production after the war, ensure work for all, and preserve the national unity for many years. To this end, Browder advised the magnates of Washington that they should set up a “series of giant industrial development corporations for the various devastated and undeveloped regions of the world, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America.,”(The Path to Peace, Progress and Prosperity, new York 1944, pp.21) “If we can face realities without flinching, and revive in modern terms the grand tradition of Jefferson, Paine, and Lincoln, then America can face the world united, assuming a leading part… in the salvation of mankind…” (E.Browder, Theheran, Our Path in war and Peace, New York 1944 p.128) In this way, Browder became the spokesman and propagandist of the grand strategy of American imperialism, and its expansionist neo-colonialist theories and plans.

Browderism directly assisted the -Marshall Plan- through which the United States of America aimed to establish its economic hegemony in the different war-devastated countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, etc.

Browder advocated that the ,countries of the world, and especially the countries of people’s democracy and the Soviet Union, ought to soften their Marxist-Leninist policy and accept the -“altruistic” aid of the United States of America, which, according to him, has a colossal economy and huge surpluses which can and should serve all peoples(!).

Browder tried to present his anti-Marxist and counterrevolutionary views as the general line of the international communist movement. Under the pretext of the creative development of Marxism and the struggle against dogmatism, he, like all the earlier revisionists, tried to argue that the new epoch after the Second World War required a communist movement which would reexamine its former ideological convictions and relinquish its old “formulas and prejudices”, which, according to him, “cannot help us at all to find our way in the new world”. This was a call for rejection of the principles of Marxism-Lemnism.

Browder’s views encountered the opposition of the communist parties of several countries, as well as of the revolutionary American communists themselves. Browderism was exposed relatively quickly as undisguised revisionism, as an openly liquidationist current, as a direct ideological agency of American imperialism.

Browderism did great damage to the communist and workers’ movement of the United States of America and some Latin-American countries. Upsets and splits occurred in some of the old communist parties of Latin America, and these had their source in the activity of opportunist elements who, weary of the revolutionary struggle, grasped at any means with which American imperialism provided them to quell the revolts of the peoples and the revolution, and to spread decay in the parties, which were working for the education and preparation of the peoples for revolution.

ln Europe, Browderism did not have the success it had in South America, although this seed of American imperialism was not left unabsorbed by those disguised anti-Marxist and anti-Leninist reformist elements who were awaiting or preparing the suitable moments, to deviate openly from the scientific Marxist-Leninist ideology.

Although in its own time Browderism did. not manage to become a revisionist current with broad international proportions, the other modern revisionists who came later revived its views and made them their own. These views, in various forms, remain the basis of the political and ideological platforms of the Chinese and Yugoslav revisionists, as well as of the Eurocommunist parties of Western Europe.”

Enver Hoxha, “Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism”

Interview with Agim Xheka

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SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE PARTY OF THE UNITED COMMUNISTS OF ALBANIA

(This interview was requested by an independent newspaper but was not published)

Q: At a press conference a few days ago the Party of the United Communists of Albania declared that it would take part in the national elections. Does this mean alone or in alliance with the Communist Party?

A: When we said that we would take part in the elections, we were speaking for our party. We were nor referring to alliances. But we see the Communist Party in the framework of the aim of our congress, that of unity, that of creating a single communist organisation. The achievement of this aim will make us stronger and assist the people to evaluate us correctly.

Q: Do you think that this unity will be realised before the elections?

A. We are doing everything we can in this direction, but I cannot give you a precise reply at present. Inasmuch as our programmes are built on the same foundation, on the ideals of 8 November 1941, on the teachings of Marxism-Leninism and of Enver Hoxha, I can see no reason why unity should not be achieved.

I blame the delay in reaching full agreement on this question mainly on the fact that the communists have been working under conditions of illegality. But I cannot deny that disruptive activity on the part of saboteurs who have penetrated the movement are also a factor. Nevertheless, in today’s conditions, nothing can stop the drive to unity.

Albania is at present leaderless. The great powers are seeking to play with the destinies of the people, whose interests should be paramount. In this they are aided and abetted by today’s pseudo-politicians of the new bourgeoisie. Unless the communists are able to bring about this unity, the people will continue to be exploited by forces inside and outside the frontiers.

Q: Let us imagine for a moment that unity has been realised . . .

A: We communists do not dwell in the world of imagination. But we are convinced that the unity of the communists will be realised, and indeed very soon. Those who work to sabotage this unity know its strength and fear that one day they will be called to account before the people for the harm they have done to Albania and its national wealth.

Q: Are you convinced that, if this unity is achieved, the people will support you in the national elections?

A: Absolutely YES.

Q: You say YES with emphasis. On what do you base this belief?

A: I do not want to go into philosophy, but we bow to the criterion of truth which, as you know, is practice. What has practice shown in the history of mankind? Who overthrew the slave system: the slaveowners or the slaves? Or again, was the October Socialist Revolution made by the oppressors or by the oppressed? Let us come to our own history, to 1944. Who overthrew the feudal-bourgeois rulers and their backers, the occupiers of the country? It was the working people, led by the communists. But who were the communists? Were they representatives of the people or of the oppressors of the people?

The communists have been and are in uninterrupted struggle against the classes who oppress the people. Consequently, they are today in struggle against the bourgeoisie and the parties who support it. Whom should the people believe, the oppressors or the communists?

Q: Are the communists really defenders of the interests of the people?

A; Let me repeat: absolutely YES. This is an undeniable truth. And the people have learned this truth by their own bitter experience of the last ten years. And they have also learned that in the propaganda of the reactionaries, white is portayed as black and black as white.

Q: What is the principal lesson they have learned?

A: They will tell you themselves. They have learned that capitalism has its basis in the exploitation of man by man. They have learned that bourgeois politicians lie and cheat, that they are bandits and criminals.

Q: So the lesson you draw from these last ten years . . . ?

A: We communists did not need ten years to draw the lessons. The year 1991 was enough.

Q: How do you mean?

A: I will attempt to explain in a few words the mistakes that we ourselves made. This is the principal lesson.

Q: So you accept that you made mistakes? ,

A: Oh, certainly. But our mistakes were not of the kind portrayed by bourgeois propaganda. Our mistakes had nothing to do with communist ideals, with Marxist-Leninist ideology, or with the teachings of Enver Hoxha. On the contrary, our mistakes are all concerned with the failure to adhere to these teachings. The principal mistake which we and the people made was loss of vigilance, and it is a mistake for which we have paid very dearly. To concretise this, may I first ask how old you are?

Q: Twenty-five.

A. May you live to be a hundred! Let us look at a little history, because you are in the age-group which for the last ten years has received no proper education. It is necessary to be clear that we communists are not ‘ogres’, as you were taught at school, as we are portrayed by today’s authorities. We are honourable people. We are patriots. We are the first to make sacrifices and the last to make unfounded claims. We communists did not found the Communist Party in order to place it at the service of fascism We did not build power-stations to make profits for foreign companies, but to bring light to the people. We did not build fortifications to defend ourselves against imaginary enemies, but to protect the people against the fate which has befallen our Kosovar brothers. Finally, I ask you, did we communists fulfil the promises we made? Compare our promises with those made today. To repair a bridge today it takes several months to do what the communists would have done in a night. Such are the communist ‘ogres’, and the proofs are countless and indisputable.

Q: You spoke of ‘loss of vigilance’ and ‘mistakes’?

A: Yes, yes. The loss of vigilance occurred at the highest level, in the ranks of the Party of Labour (PLA) The ‘ogres’ entered the Party, or became ‘ogres’ inside it. Thus, after the death of Enver, the leadership of the party fell into the hands of cunning traitors like Ramiz Alia and Sali Berisha, who pretended to be ‘more Catholic than the Pope’. And these mistakes created the conditions which enabled internal and external reaction to realise their long-held aims of restoring capitalism.

Now the Party has cleansed itself of these traitors, and the people has learned where loss of vigilance leads. The people now know, and you will very quickly learn, who are the real communists, to be trusted.

Q: I hope that you succeed in bringing about unity, I wish you success in the elections, and I thank you.

A: Thank you.

Biography of Bill Bland

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Biography

Bland, William “Bill” (1916-2001)

Bill Bland was born in the North of England, into a middle class home. He spent his politically formative years in the army of New Zealand, where he was active in the Communist Party as an educator. He returned to Britain in the post-war years as an ophthalmic optician. In the 1950’s Bland witnessed the Communist Party of Great Britain embracing the “Peaceful Road to Socialism”, and Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin. Bland believed these “revisionist” stances were incorrect and anti-Marxist-Leninist.

Bland therefore became a member of several anti-revisionist formations in Britain. He soon joined forces with Mike Baker in the Marxist-Leninist Organisation of Britain (MLOB). Shortly thereafter, the ‘Cultural Revolution’ occured in China, and prompted by a barrage of questions, Bland undertook a systematic study of Mao. He found that he could not agree with Mao’s theory of the ‘New Democratic State’; and penned within months, the first refutation of Mao from the point of view of a pro-Stalin supporter. At that time, the MLOB rapidly dwindled in size as many members retained affection of Mao. This was to be the first of Bland’s many un-popular analyses in the pro-Stalin wing of the Communist movement.

Bland spent the rest of his life trying to answer the question: “How had revisionism become ascendant?”

Bland came to the conclusion that Stalin had been in a minority position in the Politburo, surrounded by hidden revisionists too clever to openly attack Marxism-Leninism; further, they had straight-jacketed Stalin by means of erecting the “Cult of Personality,” which was then used as a weapon against him. Bland felt that Yezhov had subverted the secret services, who had been replaced at Stalin’s behest by Beria. Bland pointed for example, to the release of many thousands of wrongly imprisoned Bolsheviks. Bland then argued that by the 18th Party Congress Stalin had been excluded from the highest echelons of the party decision making apparatus, and had counter-attacked with his pamphlet “Economic Problems of the USSR.”

Stalin’s essay was a seminal attack on Nikolai Vosnosensky, who was linked to Khrushchev. Cosequently argued Bland, the later economic changes re-establishing capitalism in the USSR had been fought to a standstill by Stalin. Bland therefore argued a special significance for Stalin’s last work. As Bland saw it, once Stalin was dead, the capitalist “reforms” of Vosnosensky were enacted by Khrushchev and his successors. He formulated these views in articles that culminated in the book ‘Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR’, published in 1981.

Following his analysis of Maoism as ‘left revisionism’, Bland began to question his own long-standing support for the then pro-Chinese Party of Labour of Albania, but concluded that the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania remained socialist. Before the 20th party Congress of the CPSU, Bland had founded the Albanian Society of Britain, at the invitation of the PSRA. Despite now being officially ostracized by Albania, Bland continued his work running the Albanian Society, and organizing an enormous education on this isolated solitary socialist country. In those years, he became an acknowledged authority on all things Albanian. He published an English-Albanian dictionary and he fielded any manner of queries upon arcane features of Albanian life, history, music, foods, geography, customs and mores etc.

While China was supported by the Albanian party, some of the Maoist parties had run an explicit party front Albania Society, resisting Bland’s call for one single, united front Albania Society, regardless of ‘narrow’ party affiliation. Following Hoxha’s open attack on Mao, some of these Societies split and some died. Their remaining members were correctly advised by the foreign Liaison committee of the PSRA, to join with Bland’s organisation to form one United Front of support for the PSRA. But they launched attempts to remove Bland’s leadership, charging that an emphasis on all aspects of life – such as music etc – was “anti-Marxist-Leninist,” and “insufficiently political,” and that Bland should be removed. The membership rejected this attempt to remove Bland. The Society continued till the revisionist take-over of the PSRA by Ramiz Alia, at which point Bland resigned from the Albania Society.

It was primarily differences over Bland’s analysis of Albania as Socialist that precipitated the split in the MLOB in 1975, following which, the Communist League came into existence. The Communist League from its inception always supported the Peoples Socialist Republic of Albania as a solitary socialist state. Those that stayed with the MLOB, including Mike Baker and his supporters, rejected that position.

One specific aspect of modern revisionism, to which Bland paid close attention, was the subversion of the second stage of socialist revolution, into a static national democratic deviations. For Bland, this represented a distortion from the Marxist-Leninist theory of the nation. Into these categories, Bland placed the pseudo-‘socialist’ revolutions of China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Tanzania. He argued that all of these had ignored Lenin’s injunction not to build a ‘Chinese Wall’ between the first (national democratic) stage of revolution and the second (socialist) stage. Bland also argued that other, phenomena such as the “Black Nation” in the USA, “Black Racism” and “Scottish, Welsh and Cornish Nationalism”, in Britain, represented national deviations away from socialist revolution.

These views led him to challenge fundamental Stalinist premises: If the Soviet Union had been permeated by a class war involving the highest echelons of the Party, was the Comintern any different?

Bland puzzled over several related matters: Why had the Comintern performed so many about-turns on key questions such as the nature of the United Front? Was Stalin really ‘in control’ of the Comintern? Why had the Peoples Front governments been supported beyond any credible point by European communist parties, especially in France, in assisting a fascist take-over? And why did the ultra-left rejections of a united front of the late 1920’s swing suddenly into ultra-right distortions of a correct United Front policy? Etc.

Bland argued that the first ultra-left deviations in the Comintern, in the period from about 1924 to 1928 had allowed fascism to take power in Germany. In the same period, under the cover of this ultra-leftism, Manuilsky and Kussinen had destroyed the Indian revolution by sabotaging Stalin’s line of the Workers and Peasants parties. Bland thought that the second right deviations, from about 1930 onwards had prevented the masses of Europe taking power under Communist Party direction.

Bland now further argued that Stalin had not been in a leadership position in the Comintern since around 1924; as follows: Initially Zinoviev had exercised the leadership, and thereafter Bukharin. When both were exposed as “revisionists” they were purged from further influencing the Comintern. Both were later shot. Thereafter Dimitrov, Otto Kuusinen, and Dimitri Manuilskii exercised the Comintern leadership. Bland argued they had perverted a correct implementation of Marxism-Leninism. Dimitrov had been sprung from the German Fascist prisons thanks to a rather dubious, and surprising “leniency” of the German fascists. “Why?”, asked Bland, replying that a pact had been struck; as shown when Dimitrov went on to subvert United Front tactics into the right deviation of supporting “Popular Front” governments beyond Marxist-Leninist principles of the correct United Front tactics.

It was for these reasons, argued Bland, that the Comintern was dissolved by Stalin. Stalin then created the Cominform under a completely different leadership, led by his most trusted lieutenants such as Zhdanov. It must be remembered, said Bland, that it was the Cominform that had exposed the Western Communist parties plans for implementing right deviationist policies, and the Titoites for allying with the USA. During this latter historic confrontation Stalin overtly supported Albania and Hoxha against Tito.

Apart from his theoretical works, Bland wrote a number of plays, directed two films, and created a ballet. A life-long intense love of the arts – especially cinema and the theatre – led him to re-affirm the principles of Socialist Realist Art. He wrote widely on theatre and film, and on the history of theatre.

In Britain he led the Communist League to urge the principled unity of all Marxist-Leninist forces, hence Bland’s role in the early stages of the National Committee for A Marxist-Leninist Unity (NCMLU). Bland also formed the Stalin Soicety in the UK. But the pro-China factions within the Stalin Society that ensured Bland’s later expulsion. He was a key figure in the formation of the International Struggle Marxist-Leninist, and is cited as a major influence by Alliance Marxist-Leninist (North America).

Written by Hari Kumar, 2005

Source

Enver Hoxha on the Transition in Spain and the PCE

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After the death of Franco, King Juan Carlos came to power in Spain. He is the representative of the Spanish big bourgeoisie, which, seeing that during its long rule the fascist regime had plunged the country into a grave crisis, came to the conclusion that Spain could no longer be governed as in Franco’s time. Therefore certain changes had to be made in the form of government and Franco’s discredited Falange could no longer be kept in power. After a series of changes of heads of government, the people most trusted by the new king, the continuers of the reformed Francoism, took power.

Demonstrations and strikes broke out in Spain as never before. Through them the people demanded changes, naturally, not this “change” that took place, but deep-going and radical changes. The strikes, demonstrations and clashes there did not cease and are still going on. The masses are demanding freedoms and rights, and the different nationalities autonomy. In this situation, in order to mislead the masses in revolt, the government of Juan Carlos also legalized the revisionist party of Ibarruri-Carrillo. The heads of this party have become obedient flunkies of the Spanish monarchic regime, have turned into scabs to hold back the great revolutionary drive which has built up in the existing situation and, in conjunction with the bourgeoisie, to suppress all the elements with revolutionary ideas from the Spanish War and admirers of the Republic.

— Enver Hoxha, “Imperialism and the Revolution”

Book Review: “Trotskyism or Leninism?” by Harpal Brar

trotskyismorleninism

BOOK REVIEW

“TROTSKYISM OR LENINISM?” by Harpal Brar, London, 1993

INTRODUCTION

“Lenin’s methods lead to this: the party organisation first substitutes itself for the party as a whole; then the Central Committee substitutes itself for the organisation; and finally a single ‘dictator’ substitutes himself for the Central Committee……

“This evil-minded and morally repugnant suspicion of Lenin, this shallow caricature of the tragic intolerance of Jacobinism, … must be liquidated at the present time at all costs, otherwise the party is threatened by complete political, moral and theoretical decay’.

(L.D. Trotsky: ‘Nos Tâches Politiques’; Paris; 1970; p192)

“Trotsky behaves like a despicable careerist and factionalist….He pays lip service to the Party and behaves worse than any other of the factionalists”.

(V. I. Lenin: Letter to Grigory Zinoviev, in: ‘collected Works’, volume 34; Moscow; 1966; p399-400)

Despite these and many similar quotations, a central feature of Trotskyite historiography is that during Lenin’s leadership of the Russian Communist Party, Trotsky’s relations with Lenin were those of ‘mutual confidence’, and that Trotsky’s conflict with the Party only began following Stalin’s accession to the Party leadership.

This issue of Compass is devoted to a review of a new book which clearly shows that the theory and practice of Trotskyism stand, and have always stood, irreconcilably opposed to the precepts of Leninism.

The author opens by correctly stating that for many years (and not without a little help from the imperialist bourgeoisie), Trotskyites have successfully promoted the fallacious view that Trotskyism and Leninism are synonymous, and that only the cunning machinations of the ‘despot’ Stalin prevented Trotsky from assuming his rightful place as a worthy successor to Lenin and the true inheritor of Leninism.

The aim of this book is to expose this re-writing of history and to lay bare the truly reactionary and counter-revolutionary essence of the petty-bourgeois ideology of Trotskyism, notwithstanding its sheep’s clothing of pseudo-Marxist and pseudo-leftist phraseology. The author is to be congratulated on comprehensively and persuasively fulfilling these aims, setting the historical record straight, and providing an invaluable text for those wishing knowledge of the true nature of Trotskyism.

He quotes Stalin’s remark that:

“….systematic reiteration and patient explanation of the so-called ‘generally-known’ truths is one of the best methods of educating…. comrades in Marxism.”

(Stalin, Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR; Foreign Languages Press, Peking 1972; p.9)

Harpal Brar can be assured that he has succeeded in his desire to set out those ‘generally known’ (and many less generally known) truths about Trotskyism. This, however, is too modest an assessment of the worth of this book, which focuses on those essential features of Trotskyism bringing it into sharp contradiction with Leninism. These include the theory of permanent revolution, distrust of Leninism in matters of organisation, and its discrediting and defaming of the leaders of Bolshevism.

Separate sections deal with Lenin’s theory of revolution compared with the theory of ‘permanent revolution’; socialism in one country; the Moscow trials; the Chinese revolution; the Spanish civil war; collectivisation; and class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Helpful referenced quotations are included throughout, as is a useful bibliography.

A great deal of the text is based upon a series of pamphlets first published in the early 1970’s. Although the preface provides a good updating of the material, it is, perhaps, a pity that some of the chapters seem rooted firmly in the past, since as the author points out, many of the persons and organisations originally the target of these polemics are no longer readily identifiable. This is a very minor criticism, not least because in the face of continuous recycling of the old myths by today’s Trotskyites the author’s arguments still hold true.

The terrorist nature of Trotskyism in the Soviet Union, and its subsequent rout culminating in the Moscow Trials, is dealt with in chilling detail. The author highlights the fact that Trotskyism was only able to make something of a comeback due to the need of the Soviet revisionists to discredit the gains of socialist construction in the years before the 20th Party Congress, at the same time discrediting Stalin, the man under whose leadership these gains had been achieved.

By way of contrast, an example is given of a quote from Mao Tse-tung on the occasion of Stalin’s 60th birthday (1939):

“Stalin is the leader of the world revolution. This is of paramount importance. It is a great event that mankind is blessed with Stalin. Since we have him, things can go well. As you all know, Marx is dead and so are Engels and Lenin. Had there been no Stalin, who would there be to give directions? But having him – this is really a blessing. Now there exists in the world a Soviet Union, a Communist Party and also a Stalin. Thus the affairs of the world can go well” (p79)

There is, however, more than a hint of hyperbole in this declaration which, in its effusiveness, is redolent of the ‘praise’ lavished on Stalin by Khrushchev. It should be remembered that the ‘cult of the individual’ was built up around Stalin and against his wishes in order to disguise the fact that the Party and the Communist International were at times dominated by concealed revisionists, and, at a later date was used as a pretext for attacking Stalin under the guise of carrying out a programme of ‘democratisation’.

Is it any wonder that in September 1956, seventeen years later, in his opening address to the 8th Congress of the Communist Party of China we find Mao Tse-tung referring in glowing terms to the infamous 20th Congress of the communist Party of the soviet Union which had been held in February of that year:

‘At its 20th Congress held not long ago, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union formulated many correct policies and criticised shortcomings which were found in the Party. It can be confidently asserted that very great developments will follow this in its work”.

(Mao Tse-tung: Opening Address, in: ‘Eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of China”, Volume 1; Peking; 1956)

Furthermore, on the basis of discussions at enlarged meetings of the Political Bureau of the central Committee of the Communist Party of China, two widely publicised articles were published in “Renmin Ribao” (People’s Daily) which put forward the modern revisionist viewpoint on the 20th Congress:

“The 20th Congress of the Soviet Union.. .took a series of momentous decisions… on the criticisms of shortcomings within the Party…

The Congress very sharply exposed the prevalence of the cult of the individual which, for a long time in Soviet life, had given rise to many errors in work and had led to ill consequences.. The Communist Party of the soviet Union.. made appalling mistakes, and, what is more, it was Stalin himself, that widely renowned and honoured leader, who made them! …

“Stalin took more and more pleasure in the cult of the individual, and violated the Party’s system of democratic centralism and the principle of combining collective leadership with individual responsibility. As a result, he made some serious mistakes such as the following: he broadened the scope of the suppression of the counterrevolution; he lacked the necessary vigilance on the eve of the anti-fascist war; he failed to pay proper attention to the further development of agriculture and the material welfare of the peasantry; he gave certain wrong advice on the international communist movement, and, in particular, made a wrong decision on the question of Yugoslavia. on these issues, Stalin fell victim to subjectivism and one-sidedness, and divorced himself from objective reality and from the masses.”

(“On the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the proletariat”. Peking, 1956; p3,4,9-10)

Bent, as always, on sowing confusion, the Trotskyites have consistently characterised these same revisionists (whether ‘right’ Soviet or ‘left’ Chinese), dedicated to the overthrow of Marxism-Leninism, as ‘Stalinists’. It is hardly surprising that other aspects of their political analysis fails to convince, an example being the interpretation of Gorbachev’s perestroika and glasnost offered by Gerry Healy of the Socialist Labour League as:

“the political revolution for restoring Bolshevik world revolutionary perspectives”!

(‘Trotskyism or Leninism?’ Harpal Brar, London 1993)

Of course the Trotskyites were not completely wrong in discerning a progressive and popular element in the mass movements which have taken place in Eastern Europe. They were incorrect to characterise these as ‘anti-Stalin’ since revisionism had already led to the dismantling of socialism and the reintroduction of capitalist economies in these countries.

In Poland, for example, following the imposition as party leader of Wladyslaw Gomulka by the Kruschevites in 1956, the communist party became dominated by revisionists. With every step taken by the revisionist leaders of the Eastern European countries to restore capitalism, the law of antagonism between workers and management, between exploiters and exploited, operated with ever increasing intensity. Continuing claims about the ‘socialist’ nature of these states were no more than demagogic propaganda to hold back the rising tide of class struggle.

As if commenting on a self-evident error, Harpal Brar states that:

“… all the Trotskyites everywhere supported the counterrevolutionary … Solidarnosc in Poland”. (p57)

However, Solidarnosc called for the formation of independent self-administering trade unions outside and in opposition to the existing trade unions in Poland, together with the right to strike, freedom of speech and the press.

Commenting on the development of Solidarnosc, the Party of Labour of Albania correctly characterised Poland as a revisionist country in which the essentials of capitalism had been restored, and described the official trade unions as

“….transmission belts, of the policy of the revisionist party”. (‘Only the revolutionary road can take the Polish working class to victory’, in; Zeri i Popullit”, September 7th, 1980)

Under these circumstances, (even though the leaders of Solidarnosc may well have been in league with the CIA), the demands of solidarnosc oh behalf of its millions of members such as the right to strike, could hardly be considered reactionary. In fact, as far as Marxist-Leninists within Poland were concerned, the struggle to raise revolutionary consciousness of the workers could surely best be carried out in organisations not dominated by the revisionist-fascist state, and once a degree of freedom of speech for the workers could be achieved.

It is also difficult to join with the author in lamenting developments in Romania:

“.. in regard to the counter revolutionary movement in Timisoara, which resulted in the overthrow and foul murder of Ceaucescu and his wife. “(p55)

for, as Enver Hoxha pointed out:

“Regardless of what the Romanian leaders claimed, the dictatorship of the proletariat was not operating in Romania and the Romanian Worker’s Party was not in a strong position. They declared that they were in power, but it was very evident that, in fact, the bourgeoisie was in power. It had industry, agriculture and trade in its hands and continued to fleece the Romanian people and to live in luxurious villas and palaces.”

(Enver Hoxha, “The Khrushchevites. Memoirs”, Tirana 1989; p156-7)

CONCLUSIONS

Trotsky’s attacks on the Soviet Union became increasingly rabid up until his death in August 1940. His assassination and an earlier assault on his house in Nay that year, have formed the basis for the final great myth of Trotskyism.

It is now known that the raid on Trotsky’s house in May was stage managed, no doubt to raise Trotsky’s status as a persecuted exile. The investigating authorities, however, were satisfied that:

“… the raid could not have been carried out without the co-operation of someone in Trotsky’s entourage”.

(Isaac Deutscher: ‘The Prophet Outcast: Trotsky: 1929-1940’; Oxford; 1989; p491)

The Mexican authorities preferred to drop proceedings against the perpetrators of the May raid on Trotsky’s house rather than risk the exposure in court of the fact that the ‘assault’ had been a spurious one organised by, or in collusion with, Trotsky. This can be explained as a consequence of Mexico’s dependence on United states imperialism, and the certainty that Trotsky, a leading disrupter of the international communist movement, was by this time an agent of US imperialism, a fact uncovered by the American historian Professor William Chase, of Pittsburgh University:

“I can tell you we have concrete information that Leon Trotsky too (as well as Diego Rivera – Ed.) was an informant of the US government”.

(‘Independent’, 25 November 1993; p24)

Despite such evidence, and that the assassin was a Spanish anarchist who had no links to the Soviet government, supporters of Trotsky insist on continuing to present him as a victim of Stalin’s spleen! If Trotskyism were not such an important asset to the imperialist bourgeoisie, this, and the many other myths concerning Trotsky should be laid firmly to rest by Harpal Brar’s excellent book.

There is much that can be learned from this volume which should be read by all interested in history and politics, and all who wish to understand the true counter-revolutionary nature of Trotskyism.

Compass is published by:

THE COMMUNIST LEAGUE

The aim of the Communist League is to establish in Britain a Marxist-Leninist Party of the working class free of all revisionist trends.

‘Trotskyism or Leninism?'(ISBN 1-875613-02-8) is available from E. J. Rule, 14 Featherstone Road, Southall, Middx 0B2 BAA; price £10.00.