Enver Hoxha Page
The following article was published by the EMEP, the Labour party of Turkey:
100th Anniversary of Enver Hoxha
We’re here to celebrate the 100th birthday of Enver Hoxha. He was the resolute defender of proletarian socialism, the leader of the International Communist Movement and of the anti-revisionist struggle, the great friend of the oppressed peoples and the architect of the revolution and socialist construction in Albania.
After the 22 years of his death, we must talk about his struggle to build socialism in Albania and help to the international workers’ movement. We don’t need to compliment him, but we need to introduce him to the new generations. Because, his struggle against all types of revisionism, such as Khruschevism, Titoism and Euro Communism; his resistance to defend Marxism-Leninism; and his estimation on the imperialist strategies of the Soviet Union have great importance.
It’s obvious that, preserving the proletarian character of Marxism-Leninism; developing and practising it by analysing the concrete situation lies on the bases of this big resistance and comprehension. Comrade Enver Hoxha characterised the reason for the attacks of these counterrevolutionary currents and the imperialist bourgeoisie on Marxism-Leninism, and the importance of defending it as follows: “It is not a coincidence that the imperialists, the bourgeoisie and the revisionists are directing the sharp point of their spear at our victorious doctrine Marxism-Leninism. Without Marxism-Leninism there can be no genuine socialism.” (Report to the 8th Congress of the PLA)
With this correct point of view, Comrade Enver Hoxha considers the defence of Marxism-Leninism as a corner stone of all the victories and successes of the people: “The boundless loyalty of our party to the immortal doctrine of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, its ability to apply this doctrine in a creative manner, in conformity with the conditions of the country and the complicated international situations, its determination to defend the purity of the principles of this doctrine from the attacks and distortions of many enemies, internal and external, have been and remain the fundamental basis of all the successes and victories of our people.” ( Report to the 8th Congress of the PLA)
So, who were the “attacks and distortions of internal and external enemies?” The biggest attack to the Hoxha’s struggle to construct the socialism in Albania had came from Khrushchevites. In the beginning, the Khrushchevites directed their attacks to Stalin. This was because the imperialists and revisionists were quite aware that Stalin’s name and works were inseparably tied to the establishment of socialism in the Soviet Union. Also, they knew that if this reactionary attack was successful socialism, for the establishment of which Stalin spent his whole life, would be dealt a fatal blow, be destroyed, and the desire of hundreds of millions of proletarians and labourers to establish a society without classes and exploitation would suffer a heavy blow.
Knowing this fact the Khrushchevites launched their attack and betrayal on this point. They attacked the theory and practice of socialist construction which was identified with Stalin’s name. Their successors continued these attacks. And what happened next is quite well known. No communist or sympathiser of the revolution who can assess what is happening today can deny the fact that revisionist betrayal and imperialist attack were not limited to Stalin. On the contrary, it involved a fundamental settling of accounts with and taking revenge on socialism and its history.
Later, the Euro-communists came onto the stage as the most ferocious anti-Leninists. By attacking Stalin Khrushchev wanted to destroy socialist construction and its practice. The Euro-communists, on the other hand, wanted, as Enver Hoxha stated, to destroy the theory and practice of proletarian revolution by attacking Lenin. The Titoists and Maoists attacked the fundamentals of proletarian revolution and socialist construction, and announced that “ they had entered the path of a self styled socialism”. They put aside socialist construction, the struggle for revolution against imperialism, and all the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism. They betrayed the international working class and the peoples of the world, taking refuge in bright and sharp rhetoric.
Evaluating Enver Hoxha only by what he did in Albania means not to see or understand his contributions and efforts to defend and develop the scientific doctrine of the international working class, his leadership in the anti-revisionist struggle, and the moral support he gave to the peoples of the world for their national and social emancipation. It must also be emphasised that Enver Hoxha must be defended and remembered, in the first place, for the contribution he made to the great cause of the international working class, rather than what he did in his own country.
This is because Comrade Enver Hoxha’s struggle, together with the PLA under his leadership, against modern revisionism and its various currents -Khrushchevism, Titoism, Euro-communism, etc., and Maoism, his great efforts to defend Marxism-Leninism, his resistance against the encirclement by the imperialist capitalist system, and its attempts to destroy socialism, and his analysis which revealed the strategies and current tendencies of imperialism and the super powers, have far greater importance than his successes in establishing and defending socialism in Albania. This is because what lays behind this great effort and resistance is the resolute defence of Marxism-Leninism, the protection of its proletarian nature, its development through contributions based on the analysis of the current situation, and its successful application.
All communists remember well how Bolshevism led by Lenin defended and developed Marxism on the basis of current and theoretical questions against the opportunism of the Second International which had degenerated and given up its revolutionary traditions. It should also be remembered that this defence and development of Marxism was achieved through a broad- fronted struggle including the defence of the Marxist theory of the state and the doctrine of revolution which were concealed by the opportunist leadership of Second International, of imperialism and war, of the organisation of communist parties of a new type, the condemnation of empty daydreams about bourgeois democracy and criticisms of its exaltation, defence of Marxism in socialist construction, etc. Lenin characterised the grave harm caused by the opportunism of Second International as follows: ”What is necessary today is to start digging to re-find Marxism whose purity has not been degenerated and to place it in the consciousness of broad masses.” (State and Revolution)
No serious-minded communist can deny the fact that Enver Hoxha, the leader of the PLA, carried out a similar struggle against revisionism in power and opportunism of all shades. Today, we can see better the gravity of the harm caused by Khrushchevite, Brezhnevite, Titoite, Maoist, Euro-communist, etc. currents to the cause of revolution. Thus, the great importance of Comrade Enver Hoxha’s determination in defending Marxism-Leninism can be understood better.
What happened was a many-sided struggle against all these anti-proletarian ideologies to defend the principles of Marxism-Leninism in various fields such as the state and revolution, the Leninist party, imperialism and its contradictions, socialist construction and the understanding of proletarian socialism, Stalin’s masterpiece (the construction of socialism in the USSR), philosophical materialism, and even Marxist aesthetics in arts and literature. The purity of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian socialism was maintained. Furthermore, Marxist-Leninist theory was enhanced in daily struggle.
In the fight against Titoism, Khruschevism -modern revisionism- Euro-communism and Maoism, Comrade Enver Hoxha did not only defend the fundamental theses of Marxism-Leninism such as imperialism, the state, revolution, the class struggle, socialist construction, etc. and enrich them through actual facts, but also strongly defended philosophical materialism.
He exposed the efforts of Maoism to place dialectical materialism in the service of Maoist revisionism distorting it in the same way as all the other fundamental theses of Marxism-Leninism and turning it into metaphysics in essence, and to whitewash the path taken by China.
With great self confidence we can claim that in the same way that Lenin is the leader of the period of getting rid of the opportunism of the Second International, realising the socialist revolution and making Marxism stand more firmly on its feet, and that Stalin is the leader of the period of realising socialist construction and of the struggle against Trotskyism, other deviations and imperialist encirclement, Enver Hoxha is the leader of the period of the struggle against setback and modern revisionism.
If the International Communist Movement is beginning to stand firmly on its feet again, it is doing so on the basis of a heritage and a platform which Enver Hoxha played a leading role in establishing and passing on to the next generation. It owes its very existence and its ideological platform -which is insufficient today and which needs to be renovated in such a way that it can respond to current conditions in every aspect- in great part to Enver Hoxha.
Enver Hoxha did not simply repeat the fact that there was no change in the nature of imperialism and that our era is the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions, as was stated by Lenin at the beginning of our century, but also defended and developed this theory on the basis of current developments.
”The concentration and centralisation of production and capital, creating giant monopolies which have no technological unity, is widespread today. Enterprises and entire branches of industrial production, construction, transport, trade, services, of the infrastructure, etc., operate within these gigantic ‘conglomerate’ monopolies. They turn out everything, from children’s toys to intercontinental missiles.”
”The mergers and combinations of industrial, trading, farming and banking enterprises have led to the creation of new forms of monopolies, to the creation of big industrial-commercial or industrial-agrarian corporations, forms which are finding wide application not only in the capitalist countries of the West, but also in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and other revisionist countries. In the past the monopoly combines carried on the transport and selling of goods with the help of other independent firms, whereas today, the monopolies control production, transport and marketing.” (ibid.)
Throughout his life and struggle, Comrade Enver Hoxha has been a sound guide for the communist parties of various countries comprising the International Communist Movement. He always encouraged and gave moral support to them not to feel hopeless in the face of hardships and temporary failures, to constantly renew themselves and take up their revolutionary tasks as struggling parties. He valued the revolutionary work carried out by Marxist-Leninist parties, even though they were small at that moment, and encouraged them to feel more courageous and to take the initiative in taking up greater tasks.
Comrade Enver Hoxha wrote the following with great self confidence and determination:
”The Marxist-Leninist parties, all revolutionaries, however few in numbers establish themselves among the people, organise the masses systematically, with great care and patience, convince them that they are a great force, that they are able to overthrow capital, to seize state power and wield it in the interest of the proletariat and the people. Such parties do not think that, being small, they cannot stand up to the coalition of the parties of the bourgeoisie and the opinion formed by them.” (Imperialism and the Revolution)
”Our party believes that the present situation does not allow anyone calling themselves communist or revolutionary to wait for the attacks of revisionists, watch it and be satisfied with saluting the struggle against revisionism carried out by others. Time does not wait. Marxist-Leninists must be in the offensive not in defence. They have never been afraid of revisionist attacks and threats. Fear is a concept which is alien to them. They do not recognise this concept in their struggle against imperialism and revisionism. Those who are afraid of imperialism are the revisionists. Being afraid of revisionism would mean being more afraid of imperialism and having no belief in the power and victory of Marxism-Leninism.” (Struggle Against Modern Revisionism)
This was the position of Enver Hoxha in his whole life and struggle. As one can clearly see in these quotations, frontal attack was his position against imperialism and reactionary forces. He did not write this with an empty confidence or without taking into account the conditions and without thinking in order to encourage action. On the contrary, he showed where the real possibilities of the revolution and revolutionary work lay. It is for this reason that he greatly valued the daily practical work and every small step of the communist parties especially in the imperialist-capitalist countries, and encouraged them to go forward.
”The genuine Marxist-Leninist parties stand in the vanguard and not at the tail-end of revolutionary action. The temporarily limited possibilities of the struggle and efforts by means of which they must and do oppose the great force of capitalist reaction, do not discourage them.” (Imperialism and Revolution)
Comrade Enver Hoxha emphasised that genuine communist parties must orientate themselves towards daily practical revolutionary work, learn together with the masses in this work and struggle and that the masses will gain experience on the basis of their struggle. He also drew attention to the absolute necessity of giving importance to theoretical education. He never accepted being inadequate in theory and considered it an important reason for the degeneration of old communist parties. He specially stressed the fact that the work of studying Marxism-Leninism cannot be separated from revolutionary action.
All these criticisms made by Enver Hoxha and his defence of Marxism-Leninism throughout his life are not a simple repetition of the sum of this scientific doctrine until then. On the contrary, this defence involves efforts of renovation/development of this science on the basis of actual facts and phenomena. This is what Enver Hoxha did in a simple and modest manner and this is what makes him more valuable. The international working class and every communist will not forget Enver Hoxha. They will defend him against all attacks in a determined way and hold on to this great son of the international working class.
FOR ENVER HOXHA THERE IS NO DEATH
(ADDRESS DELIVERED BY ETHEM HALILI AT THE GRAVE OF ENVER HOXHA ON THE 15th ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH, 11 APRIL 2000).
Like the people as a whole, the Communists remember Comrade Enver Hoxha with deep respect and honour. It is fifteen years since the day when the heart of the greatest figure who has emerged from the Albanian nation in its entire history ceased to beat, from the day when Enver Hoxha was physically separated from the Party which he created and led for almost half a century, from the people who loved him and which he served unsparingly.
Leaders like Enver Hoxha come rarely. They are thrown up by great epochs and have as their mission the revolutionary transformation of the world. Such was Enver, whose influence was so powerful that the time in which he lived and worked may justly be called the epoch of Enver.
Enver Hoxha was a great statesman, a distinguished diplomat, an able soldier, a brilliant political analyst and organiser — qualities which made him a far-sighted, even visionary, leader.
With the deep Marxist-Leninist thought of Enver Hoxha are indissolubly linked victory in the Anti-Fascist War of National Liberation and the position of Albania on the side of the victorious United Nations. This opened the way to the period of socialist construction, to the creation of a many-sided industry and a modern agriculture which not only met the needs of the country but produced a growing surplus for export. This opened the way to the construction of a secure defence system and the development of an educational system which transformed the country from one with 90% illiteracy into one with a university and an Academy of Sciences.
Enver Hoxha was the distinguished founder and leader of the Party of Labour of Albania (PLA), which he directed with wisdom for fifty consecutive years. He was the commander of the Army of National Liberation and of our People’s Army, a tireless defender of the country’s freedom and independence. With Enver Hoxha at the head of the Party, Albania was truly an independent, sovereign country whose voice was heard in the international arena, a country which no one dared to attempt to bully and which indisputably enjoyed the respect of oppressed people and revolutionaries all over the world.
The greatness of the figure of Enver Hoxha stands out all the more when we look at what the country has suffered since his death, with the return of reaction and the restoration of capitalism. Everything the people had constructed with effort and sacrifice over fifty years under the leadership the PLA and Enver Hoxha was totally destroyed from the foundations, the country and the people faced mass unemployment, as a result of which Albanians were forced into emigration or into employment to work as the servants of others. Crime, corruption, prostitution and other evils associated with capitalist society spread. Albania lost not only its good name but also its sovereignty. For ten years a whole team of propagandists inspired and directed by the international bourgeoisie has poured out insults and demagogy with the aim of distorting the truth, denying the work of Enver Hoxha and striving to blacken his figure.
But this was in vain. The people understand very well what has happened, and long for the return of the time of Enver. The more time passes, the higher his figure towers on the horizon, the brighter the rays of his teachings shine.
By communists and by honest people Enver Hoxha has always been loved and respected. He has left to us a very precious inheritance — the theory and practice we need to guide us in the great and difficult battles which lie ahead.
His teachings call for the unity of communists into a single party, for the broadening of the links of the communists with the people, for the strengthening and tempering of that unity. Only in this way can we put ourselves in a position to fulfil these tasks successfully, to realise the historic mission to which we have dedicated ourselves.
As we commemorate today the figure of Enver Hoxha, his work and his name, we bow with deep respect and at the same time pledge ourselves to work with revolutionary dedication and without sparing ourselves, to keep alive communist ideals, to be guided at all times and at every step by the compass of the teachings of Enver, to work to realise his last wish that Albania should always march forward red, like the hearts of the communists and partisans.
Eternal glory to the immortal work and name of Enver Hoxha!
Enver Hoxha: A Life for Communism
Albania, this small country at the Adriatic Sea, was at the beginning of the 20th Century a very poor country. There were more than 90% illiterates, almost no schools, few doctors, no industry, vast marshes, hardly any roads, no means of transport, no railways, etc. etc. Those who had bread were considered rich. There were reactionary, medieval ideologies and practices such as blood vengeance. The relations between people among each other were feudal. Woman was the slave of man.
In November 1917 the working class and the poor peasantry of Russia, led by the Bolshevik Party, overthrew the power of the capitalists and established the dictatorship of the proletariat. The echo of the October Revolution was also felt in Albania. The first brochures about Russia and communism came from abroad. They were read within small circles of workers and intellectuals.
The Comintern made valuable contributions to the building of a communist party. In 1928, Albanians in exile in the Soviet Union founded the Albanian Communist Group. According to the statute of this group it was their task to build further illegal communist groups in Albania and to spark a revolutionary activity. Connections were made to the already existing small communist groups in Albania. Already during his youth Enver Hoxha (born at 16th October 1908 in Gjirokastër) experienced the activities of the various occupiers and superpowers which oppressed and exploited Albania. In 1924 he joined the democratic movement. In 1930 he graduated from the high school of Korca. There he was for the first time thrown into jail by the reactionary Zog officials because he protested fellow comrades against theft committed against students.
For some years Enver Hoxha stayed in France to study at the university. He began to sympathise with the French Communist Party and published materials about the Zog regime in Albania in their newspaper “Humanite”. His scholarship was revoked, so that Enver Hoxha was forced to accept work at the Albanian consulate in Belgium. But here, too, Zog’s agents had him dismissed (Ahmet Zog came to power in 1924 through the military overthrow of the bourgeois-democratic government of Fan Noli). He returned to Albania in 1936. The years of struggle had turned Enver Hoxha into a communist.
He first worked as teacher at the secondary school in Tirana, then at the high school of Korca. In Korca he became one of the most active members of the Communist Group of Korca. He was also active in the organisation “Rinia Korcare” (Korca Youth). On 7th April 1939 the Italian fascist troops invaded Albania. The Albanian people felt consequences of the occupation very soon. Hundreds of patriots were imprisoned or detained to concentration camps. But the Fascists were met with the bitter resistance of the people. The communists put themselves at the top, although they were not yet organised into a single party. On the decision of the Communist Group of Korca, Enver Hoxha was sent to Tirana in order to develop the anti-fascist work there. He used this task to determinedly struggle for the unity of the various communist groups in Albania and for the foundation of the Communist Party.
There was much resistance from the ranks of the communist groups against establishing a uniform CP. Opportunism, group spirit, sectarianism, etc., inhibited this process. The “Korca” group, the “Shkodra” group, the “Youth” group or the “Zjarri” group – all posed as the “Communist Party of Albania”. No leader wanted give up his position. “His” group was more important than the movement. The “Theory of Cadres”, for example, was spread which said that the communists should not organise and mobilise the masses, but encapsulate themselves in their cells and deal primarily with theoretical education, with the “training of cadres.” Only afterwards the revolutionary activity could begin.
The “Youth” Group was of the opinion that there is no proletariat in Albania, and therefore no class struggle. Fascism was considered beneficial for Albania, because this way capitalism develops and the proletariat grows. The leaders of the “Shkodra” group saw no problem with testifying in court. In January 1939 they betrayed their comrades in court. The court sentenced 52 defendants to various punishments. The leaders of the “Shkodra” group regarded the denunciation as a mean to test the comrades in the face of torture by the enemy. Trotskyism and Anarchism was widespread in all groups. But enough examples. These leaders of the communist groups were not suited to create a unified communist party. On the contrary, they were an obstacle.
The Albanian communists fought actively against the fascists, they organised the resistance of the people. They fought as partisans in the mountains. However, the fragmentation was a hindrance. It had to be overcome. In a backward country such as Albania and under the conditions of the fascist occupation it was extremely difficult to unite the local communist groups. From 8th – 14th November 1941, representatives of various communist groups gathered in Tirana.
The pressure of the base, and Enver’s efforts led to this meeting. 15 representatives of the communist groups took part: Qemal Stafa, Vasil Shanto, Pilo Peristeri, and others. A provisional Central Committee was elected and Enver Hoxha was put at the head. Furthermore it was decided that the leaders of the communist groups had to assign all links to members of their group to the Central Committee. Thus, the fragmentation in different groups was brought to an end. The merger did not happen through negotiations, but by the pressure of the base. The need for a single CP became more and more obvious to the communists. Each group fought the fascists on its own.
The Communist Party was born in the fire of class struggle, in the struggle against its own leaders. The party was initially very small. It counted about 400 members (In comparison: Albania at that time had about 1 million inhabitants, Germany has today over 80 million, thus an equally small party would then have to have 80 x 400, approximately 32,000 members. We are still far away from this). The CPA, which later renamed itself into Party of Labour of Albania, immediately started to organise a National Liberation Army and lead the armed struggle against the fascists.
Besides of the CPA there was no other political party or force in Albania which pursued this goal. This way the CPA united not only the small number of workers but also farmers, craftsmen, etc. in the anti-fascist resistance for the liberation of Albania. With the CPA the force had emerged which could do this great work. It was a battle full of sacrifices. First the Italian, then German fascists resided inhumanely in Albania: 28,000 Albanian women and men left their lives for freedom, 7.3% of the population were killed or severely wounded, 21% of houses were destroyed, one third of the livestock was annihilated, the few bridges, factories, workshops, ports, etc. destroyed or damaged.
Although more than 700,000 fascist soldiers set fascist foot on Albanian ground during WW2 (the population of Albania was at that time around one million), although the fascists resided brutish, they were beaten. Comrade Enver Hoxha was the head of the CPA and the National Liberation Army. All the revolutionary, national, democratic and progressive forces were united. People’s councils were elected. And finally, on 28th November 1944 the Democratic Government of Albania took residence in Tirana and took power. A day later, on 29th November ’44, the last Albanian town, Shkodra, was freed. Thus, the decades-long struggles and efforts of the Albanian people to achieve independence and freedom from foreign powers were crowned with success. Enver Hoxha and the Albanian Communists and together with them the entire Albanian people took over a troubled legacy – the term “difficult” is actually flattering.
For the Zog regime and the fascists had left nothing on which one could have built an independent, progressive Albania. On the contrary! They had destroyed everything. The Albanian communists and Enver Hoxha did not shy away from these difficulties. They rolled up their sleeves and set about to satisfy the most urgent needs of the people. Marshes were drained, the grain production expanded, irrigation systems were built in order to secure bread. Schools were built, literacy courses were run, professionals were trained to provide a minimum of culture and education. Factories were rebuilt and expanded, water power stations and railway lines were built, new industrial facilities were constructed to go the first steps on the way to a modern industry. Health and hygiene were developed, doctors and nurses were trained in order to dam the worst epidemics and diseases. The success of the first years of the construction of the People’s Republic of Albania alone surpassed all developments of the previous decades in Albania by far. In Albania development had stopped. The people lived in hunger and misery. Now the country awakened, lived, and stormily went forward.
Soon Albania and the Albanian party had to make the experience that not everyone who calls himself a communist really is one. Tito in Yugoslavia turned to the Western capital, took loans from the US imperialists, tried to break down the socialist countries, etc. He also targeted Albania. Under “fraternal kisses” he wanted to turn Albania into a province of Yugoslavia. Tito called himself “Marxist”, but he bent Marxism in every way to fit his power interests. He revised Marxism – therefore such people are called revisionists. Tito became the agent of capital in the socialist camp, who wanted to sow his revisionism, his betrayal of Marxism, in all communist parties. The Party of Labour of Albania and Albania were in immediate danger. Tito and his men had already created groups in Albania and in the Albanian party, who worked for his goals. Tito talked about “democracy”, but in practice he worked with the means of conspiracy and his secret service (a characteristic of all revisionists by the way). Comrade Enver Hoxha was the one who defended Marxism as well as the independence of Albania and the PLA against Tito’s attacks. Together with Stalin and the Cominform office he led a determined fight against Tito’s betrayal. But this was only the beginning of a disastrous development for Marxism and socialism.
The adherence to Marxism-Leninism and not least the experience with the Titoists made the Albanian communists ears and sensitive to the developments in the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death. Nikita Khrushchev was the one who advised the Albanians to make their country an orchard, he would send the bread: “The wheat you need is less than that consumed by our mice!”, said Khrushchev. Additionally there were plans to massively extend the Albanian port of Vlorë as a base for the Soviet fleet. Albania’s independence was once again in danger. “We have fought barefoot without bread, but we never bent!” – this answer by Enver describes the Albanian position. When it became clear that Khrushchev and his associates had irrevocably taken the path of treason and could not be moved to return to the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, the Party of Labour of Albania and Enver Hoxha argued for dealing with the traitor as enemies and draw a clear dividing line. After the severance of diplomatic relations by Khrushchev in 1961, the withdrawal of Albania from the Warsaw Treaty.
Struggle against Maoism
The PLA had closer ties with the Chinese only after 1956. These contacts increased as a result of the battle the PLA led against Khrushchevite modern revisionism. As the Khrushchevites intensified their attack against Marxism-Leninism in the late 50′s they targeted the Communist Party of China. The PLA came to the aid of the CP of China in this period. Under the assumption that China was a socialist country and the Communist Party a Marxist-Leninist party, the PLA always showed solidarity with China. At the same time the PLA viewed the anti-Marxist attitudes and actions, that could be found on many instances among the Chinese leaders, with concern; it expressed critical opinions about what happened in China, as far as it was really possible. In the summer of 1971, the US Secretary of State made a secret visit to Beijing, held talks and arranged a visit of US President Nixon in China. The visit took place in 1972. Mao received Nixon personally. This event marked a fundamental turning point in Chinese politics. China had taken its place in the dance of the imperialist rivalries to redistribute the world in order to secure its share, taking the side of one superpower, the USA, against the other superpower, the Soviet Union. For this reason, it was necessary indicate through a letter to the Central Committee of the CP of Chinas that Albania objects determinedly against this new course.
“We Albanian Communists”, Enver said in Imperialism and Revolution, “have gradually formed our opinions and conviction about the danger presented by ‘Mao Zedong Thought’.” Comrade Enver analysed the Chinese policy based on the Chinese press and foreign press. The Albanian Embassy in Beijing was the most important source of information. The PLA only rarely received information on Chinese policies through the official channels and by the Chinese leaders. Since the information was fragmented and inadequate, the Albanian communists were forced to speculate and draw conclusions. Comrade Enver Hoxha subjected Chinese revisionism to a comprehensive analysis. Chinese revisionism openly showed itself in the early seventies, but it did not emerge only at that time, let alone only after the death of Mao Zedong. It is rooted ideologically and theoretically in the so-called “Mao Zedong Thought” which began to form in particular after 1935, when Mao Zedong came to the party leadership. “Mao Zedong Thought” is fundamentally different from Marxism-Leninism. They are an amalgam of views, where ideas and theories borrowed from Marxism have been mixed with Confucian, Buddhist, Anarchist, Trotskyist, Titoite, Khrushchevite and Eurocommunist ideas and theories together with strong nationalist and racist impact. It is exactly this mix of all sorts of idealistic, pragmatic and revisionist philosophies which has made “Mao Zedong Thought” into a weapon of every fractionalist current and line in China in the fight of each against everybody or in the frame of temporary co-existence.
For these reasons, the CP of China never succeeded at any time to become a truly proletarian party on questions of ideology, politics, composition and organisational structure. For these reasons the bourgeois-democratic revolution in China did not proceed into the socialist revolution, did not lead to the establishment of the true proletarian dictatorship and did not bring the country on the true path of socialist development. Mao Zedong had a reputation of a great Marxist-Leninist and described himself as a communist. But he was not. He was just a democratic revolutionary who united some elements of Marxist-Leninist philosophy with idealism, with bourgeois-revisionist philosophy and with the ancient Chinese philosophy in an eclectic way.
The 7th Party Congress of the PLA
As the Party Congress had predicted, the imperialists and revisionists increased the pressure on Albania to prevent it proceeding forward on the path of socialism. The Albania-hostile activities of the Chinese leadership in particular were reinforced under the banner of revenge against the PLA, which had exercised a principled critique of the anti-Marxist theory of “Three Worlds” at its 7th Party Congress. It tried to sabotage the Party Congress by directed provocations. The exiled president of the illegal Communist Party of Poland, Kazimierz Mijal, had been incited by the Chinese and was supposed to provoke at the Party. So he rioted in Tirana under the influence of alcohol, called the Central Committee of the PLA and Enver Hoxha traitors and much more. Soon it would show that the CP of Chinas used its influence on the international Marxist-Leninist world movement to divide it. They invited Tito to Beijing, whom they now called a “great Marxist-Leninist” leader. In Germany the “Peking Review” (45/77) spread the “The Worlds Theory” as “new general line” (“The Theory of Chairman Mao on the division of the world into three – an important contribution to Marxism-Leninism”). Under the pretext that there are little differences between the organisations calling themselves Marxist-Leninist and that one could come to terms and unite with all of them, the Chinese Maoists officially got into contact with all organisations (KPD/AO, KBW, etc.).
Simultaneously, the only party previously recognised as Communist Party, the KPD/ML, was fought. By means of repression, division attempts, slander and intrigue the CP of China tired to drag the Marxist-Leninist movement on its counter-revolutionary side. It was clear that the Chinese revisionists would suffer defeat in the ideological field against the PLA. But within the framework of intergovernmental relations, particularly in the economic and military sphere, they thought to punish Albania. Immediately after the 7th Party Congress numerous goods, machinery and equipment, which China was under a contractual obligation to supply, arrived defect or not at all. Meanwhile, the Chinese specialists working in Albania committed various acts of sabotage on instructions from above. In order to be prepared for the emerging new situation, the Central Committee took all necessary measures to ensure that the communists and the whole people were prepared and ready in all respects to strengthen the confidence in their own strength. Just as once the Khrushchevites, the Chinese leadership, to, turned to openly Albanian-hostile activities and announced on 7th July 1978 their decision to terminate Albania’s economic and military loans and aid with immediate effect and to withdraw all specialists from Albania. This act was the logical consequence of the course which they pursued for the capitalist development of China and for its transformation into a social-imperialist superpower.
When China broke all contracts, left works half-finished in which Albania had already invested millions, this did not lead to resignation and chaos in Albania, but to a rearing of the entire people and the PLA to overcome these difficulties. The clear, unwavering attitude of PLA and Enver had support among the people and was understood there. The working people were not masses to manoeuvre for him, but active participants in this struggle against the betrayal of socialism.
Under Enver Hoxha’s leadership, the Albanian industry and agriculture was developed. It was a great victory for Albania that could independently produce spare parts now and thus reduce the dependence on the deliveries of capital, a dependence in which many developing countries are caught. It was a great victory for Albania to produce its own power and to even export it, because there was surplus. The electrification, the first own steel, an expanding resource extraction, a growing railway network, the first own tractor – all of these were victories. Under Enver Hoxha’s leadership, Albania managed to jump from a semi-feudal country to an industrial-agricultural state. All these successes could only have been achieved by socialism and a planned economy. Other developing countries on a comparable level, living in the blessings of the market economy, can only dream of such success. There the masses are impoverished more and more. The planned economy made it possible to put the few economic reserves of the country in the most important sectors and this way to enable a rapid and effective build-up. The plan was never something dead in Albania, but always a combat mission. Of course, the Albanian industry had not the level of major Western imperialist economies. This was hardly possible given the starting conditions and the conditions of an imperialist world market in which the small nations will be dictated.
The successes of the socialist planned economy must be evaluated even higher in light of these factors. The great economic development of Albania made social and cultural progress possible which previously was unthinkable in Albania and which remain unthinkable even in many industrialised countries. There were no taxes and inflation. Medical care was free and so good that Albania had the lowest infant mortality in Europe. Of course, many a medical device was simple. But in reality colourful pills and sparkling appliances do not say everything about the quality of medical care. Men could receive pension when 60 years old, women at the age of 55 years. Rents were extremely cheap. Where people once lived in mud huts, etc., now everyone had a roof over his/her head, even if not luxurious. Over 70% of the young people received a higher education. Technical colleges and the first university of the country, the Enver Hoxha University, were constructed. The list could be continued indefinitely.
Dictatorship of the proletariat
Under the leadership of Comrade Enver Hoxha, socialism was built in Albania and the dictatorship of the proletariat was realised. Dictatorship of the proletariat, in Albania this was not the dictatorship of bureaucrats over the proletariat, but in fact the rule of the working class. It decided together with its party the plan and the course. It could recall deputies and directors if they did not act in the interests of the working people. The party put itself and the state apparatus consciously under the control of the working people. This way it took the consequences from the degeneration of the USSR and Eastern European countries. Cadres regularly had to work in production. The wages of a factory director, a minister, a university professor were based on the average wage of a worker. Wage differences were 1:1.5. This sounds unlikely for us, but it is possible in a country that is actually governed by the working class. The prices for consumer goods, services, etc. did not rise like we are “used to it”, on the contrary: there have again and again been price reductions! New party members were checked by their colleagues. Each official and functionary could be publicly criticised and had to publicly comment on this. The Party discussed all major issues discussed with the masses. Only this way, e.g. the life-threatening situations during the attempted annexation by Yugoslavia, the military threats of Khrushchev, the Chinese economic sabotage, could be mastered. Enver Hoxha was a champion for the close connection between the Albanian Party and the working people. He fought tirelessly against all forms of bureaucracy, against any tendency of degeneration.
Enver Hoxha defended Marxism-Leninism against the revisionists of all shades
Getting to know the Tito revisionists shaped Enver’s further development. It was a fight to the death. The experience helped the Party of Labour of Albania to recognise the “false” Marxism, i.e. revisionism, as a lethal threat. “… that we have to deal with revisionists, tricksters, hypocrites, swindlers, with shameless individuals that are selling out Marxism-Leninism.” (Enver Hoxha, The Superpowers, p.35) The defence of Marxism-Leninism was from now on the driving force. After this poison affected most communist parties, made them degenerate into revisionist parties, Comrade Enver Hoxha supported and helped the new, developing Marxist-Leninist parties. The building of Bolshevik parties was and had to be carried out in the fight against modern revisionism. The lessons Comrade Enver Hoxha drew out of the degeneration, are an immeasurable treasure.
Revisionism in Albania
The experiences of the degeneration of communist parties state: Communists should not “be unconditionally loyal” to any apparatus nor party, because each apparatus, each party may change its class character under certain conditions or be previously used by hostile or wavering, opportunistic or certain forces pursuing self-interest to a certain degree.
Today, Enver Hoxha is portrayed as a monster by the bourgeois press, as somebody who bloodily suppressed a whole nation. This is the same game as for Stalin. Everywhere we hear talks about “errors” and Enver’s Albania is attacked. Of course Enver made errors. How could there be no errors in such a long life, full of battles? But above all: his errors are nothing compared to the merits and successes of Enver Hoxha. Under his leadership Albania was an encouragement for all progressive and revolutionary people around the world.
For decades Albania was the only country in the world where socialism existed. It was “a liberated zone” in the literal sense of the word. From Albania all world could hear the voice of the revolution, socialism and communism. Albania supported all progressive movements, all true Marxist-Leninist parties. It was a role model for the working people of the world. The experiences won in class struggle are available and are essential for re-building socialism. It is an encouraging fact that such a small country resisted the imperialist-revisionist encirclement that long. Even an anti-communist wave in Albania cannot darken Enver Hoxha’s merits for his country and the world revolution in the long run. On the contrary! The rapid integration of today’s Albania into the capitalist market economy emphasised the achievements of Albania under socialism even more. The sordid reality of reintroduced capitalism, unemployment, exploitation, dependence, poverty and hunger will make the work of Comrade Enver Hoxha even shine brighter.
As the Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania announced on 11th April 1985, that the heart of Comrade Enver Hoxha had stopped beating at 02.15 am, this message was received with great pain by the Albanian people. Millions of people around the world mourned one of the greatest Marxist-Leninists of the 20th Century.
THERE WILL BE NO DEATH FOR ENVER HOXHA, ONLY HIS DATE OF BIRTH EXISTS!
Millions of children left behind as Eastern Europe develops
Despite recent economic growth, two-thirds of Albania’s children still live in poverty.
By Nicole Itano, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor / July 10, 2007
It’s 10 o’clock in the morning and Shkelten Daljani, a rambunctious boy of 14 in a tattered “Route 66″ T-shirt, should be in school. But if he wants to eat, he has to help his father collect scrap metal to sell. The previous day, he says, there was no metal and no food.
“If we have food, we eat,” Shkelten says with a shrug. “If we don’t, we don’t.”
Shkelten and his family live on the outskirts of Albania’s capital, Tirana, in the neighborhood of Breju Lumi, which means riverside, though the only nearby water is a dry streambed cluttered with trash. The houses are a collection of concrete blocks and tin shacks without electricity, running water, or sanitation. The streets are little more than dirt lanes.
Shkelten’s situation – inadequate housing and sanitation, poor medical care, and occasional hunger – is little different from that of millions of children throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. But his home is in the heart of Europe.
Millions of children in the formerly communist nations of Eastern Europe have been left behind as their countries made the transition from centralized economies to free-market capitalism. While in absolute numbers the number of poor children has fallen in recent years, advocates and researchers say that a new class of excluded children is emerging who suffer many of the same problems as children in the poorest countries of Africa – but receive far less attention.
“We used to say that everybody was equally poor,” says Arlinda Ymeraj, a social-policy officer with the UN Children’s Fund in Albania. “Now, if you compare, there are big disparities. A few people have gotten very rich, but more have stayed poor or gotten poorer.”
The situation of Albania’s children is among Europe’s worst. Once one of the most isolated nations, the country remains one of the continent’s poorest countries.
Despite recent economic growth, a third of Albania’s children live on less than $2 a day. And according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), a staggering 35 percent of children in rural areas are malnourished; in urban areas, 17 percent are. In terms of child malnutrition – measured by the percentage of children under age 5 who are underweight – the World Bank puts Albania just above Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.
Leonardo Menchini, a researcher for UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Center in Florence, Italy, says no one is certain why so many children in Albania are malnourished and that more research needs to be done since the statistics are based only on a handful of studies. Still, he says, “The data for Albania are quite shocking.”
Ms. Ymeraj says that it is difficult to compare the situation of children today with that during communist times, but that life has deteriorated for the poorest in a number of concrete ways.
The state no longer guarantees jobs, houses, or healthcare, as it did before. In rural areas, industry and state-farm collectives have collapsed, leaving people to fend for themselves, and many government services are no longer available. In rural areas, for example, 85 percent of secondary schools have shut their doors.
Researchers say that poverty is becoming increasingly entrenched, particularly in rural areas, among Albania’s minority Roma population and in families with children. Indeed, across the region, countries with the lowest birthrates also have the lowest poverty levels.
“What has emerged is the concentration of disadvantage. Families with children seem more disadvantaged than before, relatively speaking,” says Menchini, emphasizing that the state must do more to protect children. “It’s important for these counties to invest in social services. They have to break the intergenerational transmission of poverty.”
Jalldyz Ymeri, a young grandmother who lives near the Daljani family, says in communist days she would not have nearly lost her 3-year-old grandson Orgito – a spiky-haired boy with angelic eyes – whom races around the family’s dirt yard as she watches. A few months earlier, the boy fell seriously ill, and Ymeri had to bribe a doctor to see him.
“The medicines to cure him are very expensive,” she says. “Sometimes we have to choose between food or medicine. Nobody will treat us if we don’t pay.”
“For us it was much better in communist times,” insists Ymeri’s husband, Safet. “We were obliged to go to school. The government gave us housing. We like democracy, but this is not real democracy.”
“Where Are You, Enver?”
16 Tetori: Albania today & yesterday
No. 22, Jul-Sept. 2010
Publisher: Dr. Laver Stroka
We have passed 20 years under ‘Democracy’. Education languishes at all levels from kindergarten to University. There are problems of different kinds. Kindergartens, schools and private universities are not free from problems despite advertisement and high prices. Texts are absent in large numbers. Even those texts that are available have utter deficiencies. The classes and auditoriums are insufficient. The level of teaching is low or below all standards in many classes and faculties. The problem is big not only in the villages, but also in the towns. There is a need for teachers.
Militants of parties without the respective education are nominated up to leading levels. Many schoolchildren and students have no financial income to attend school and studies. Not a few students work as waiters or elsewhere, being unable to participate in lectures, creating gaps and deficiencies in their preparation. For this reason they need money to buy the exams. The story of 10-20% of white children and 80-90% of Roma children is even more painful. They must beg or perform different jobs such as selling cigarettes, lights, pens and other things in order to live. Those who are orphans feel worse. We are talking of thousands of children lost these 20 years.
Still more painful is the fate of the children of the families in blood feuds. They do not see the daylight and their number reaches 6000. The state remains silent before this situation. On special days it must say something in order to fool the people.
The above-mentioned facts were unimaginable for the children and students in the time of Enver Hoxha. The children were all happy. The orphans were well treated in special institutions or received the wages of their deceased parents until they finished their higher studies. Then they were immediately given a place of work and were provided a house for free to live like all other citizens of the country. Nowadays the people in such situations rightfully and painfully say: ‘Where are you, Enver!’
The Time Has Come
At a time when the legal system has been spoken and is being spoken about for these two decades of ‘democracy’ in Albania, words and reality are extremely far apart. The judicial system is as discredited as the political system. Their credibility is almost inconsiderable. In a TV questionnaire at the beginning of September on the most watched TV channel for Albanians, ‘Top channel’, only 22% trust the court and the prosecutor’s office in their decision making, whereas 78% are sceptics. The questionnaire was related to the open processes against the power holders involved in great corruption areas, stepping on the law. This has already been proved tens of times.
The power holders, traffic dealers and big businessmen connected to power have never been accused or punished for the different crimes they have committed. The judicial processes have been postponed for months and years under the most absurd pretexts, helping them wash their hand for crimes that would not need much time to prove. In many cases the main witnesses have been sent out of the country with forged passports or have been found killed. The news of the ‘accidental’ death of Kosta Krebicka, ‘going hunting out of town of Korca’ was shocking. In a TV interview this witness had provided and given incontrovertible information concerning the involvement of the Berisha family in the weapons traffic and the Gerdec issue, where 26 people lost their lives, 300 others were wounded and many houses were destroyed.
Another scandal is the sheltering in London for many years of Ilir Kumbaro using the name of a Kosovo national as the only witness to the state crime of torturing and killing the patriot Remzi Hoxha by the National Informative Service (SHIK of Berisha). The event of Gerdec in addition to the economic damage of tens of millions of dollars, the sexual abuse of the minister Ylli Pango, the appropriation of hundreds of millions of Euros earmarked for the street ‘Rruga e Kombit, the ruining of the crossover of ‘Zogu i Zi’ under Sali Berisha’s orders are only the tip of the iceberg, which discredits the system of justice as the bulwark of state crime, as a part of a corrupt political and degenerate system.
The parliament is no less discredited. The investigative commissions raised for the events of the year 1997, and for many other issues have ended in real farces. At the time of Enver Hoxha, people from the head of the country to the simplest citizen were equal before the law. Today a person who has stolen a mobile phone or a ewe receives severe punishment of up to a decade of imprisonment, while the minister or the heads of institutions who have appropriated millions of dollars in a tender or other corrupt sphere can rarely be seen inside a court room not to say in a cell.
The present-day politicians hold forth this masquerade as a success of ‘democracy’ and the past equity as a punishment of their friends by the ‘Dictator’: everything is already clear. The last TV questionnaire shows 22% believing and 78% sceptical at the present system, the most discredited for inequality. It needs to be eradicated from the face of the earth as soon as possible. Time for action has come.
Why Did INSTAT Cheat?
The State Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) has been forging the economic – financial indicators during these years of the Berisha government. This has become the scandal of the Berisha government. This fact was discovered by ‘Gazeta Shqiptare’. However the manipulation of the real economic figures by INSTAT does not allow Berisha to hide the truth from the Albanian people. They are experiencing the reality of the cost of living rising by giant steps.
Many important items for living have become up to twice as expensive compared to one year ago. The cost of fruit has gone up by 10 percent, while vegetables by 11 percent. Sugar and its by-products have gone up 12 percent, energy 13 percent, drinking water 26 percent, health services 13 percent, premedication, medication and dental services 52 percent. These figures are the clearest evidence that for Albanians who work or receive social benefits, life is worse than one year ago. The rise of the price of bread and the doubling of the price of telephones for families remains a concern.
Such things could never even be thought of in the era of Enver Hoxha. The prices in agriculture were becoming continuously lower as was the cost of living. The reform in agriculture and farming assisted by the team of ‘experts’ of the agent Mehmet Shehu, as a necessary measure ‘to prevent capitalist tendencies in the country’, brought aftermaths that the renegade team of Ramiz Alia, instead of correcting them, used them to destroy the socialist system. The ordinary people understand better the treason of this renegade who put at the head of Albanian politics two of the worst examples that history has known for these two decades. They are Siamese twins Sali Berisha and Fatos Nano with their teams without political or national morals.
A Government of Thieves
The family and the court of Prime Minister Berisha have been transformed into a criminal organization, which steals and robs the efforts and properties of Albanians in the middle of the day. Corruption has reached scandalous dimensions, one minister more than the other. We are talking about tenders, privatizations, appropriations of large sums in a very short time. The courts and prosecutors’ offices remain silent or perform formal acts in order to fool the revolted Albanians.
Another act of robbery is the order of the Ministry of Finances to buy every trading unit with a price 10 times more than the actual price of the cashboxes brought by people related to the main officials. In such conditions the ordinary people’s revolt has reached their peak. The ex-Minister, involved in the scandal of stealing 1.8 million Euros, declared that anonymous persons asked him for 1 million Euro or they would threaten his life. In such a climate of poverty and wretchedness among the broad masses and fabulous enrichment of the leading people and persons related to them, within a few days the president, Bamir Topi, was forced to ask the High Council of Justice to remove incapacitated and corrupt judges and prosecutors in order to improve the fallen image of the court and prosecutors’ office. These are fairy tales. Here we are not talking about particular individuals but about a whole system of corruption and crime – capitalism.
There is no justice, freedom and equity before the law if this system does not vanish. Time has come for action.
Short Biography of Enver Hoxha
(Published by La Nostra Lotta, Italy)
Enver Hoxha was born in Gjirokaster, in the south of Albania, on October 16, 1908; his father was a modest employee, for many years an emigrant in America; his mother was a housewife.
A great influence on the spiritual growth of Enver Hoxha was exercised by his uncle Hyen Hoxha, a man who for that period was a definite revolutionary. He represented Gjirokaster on November 28, 1912, in the act of proclamation of independence of Albania, signing a document that consecrated the will of the Albanian people to free themselves from the yoke of the Turkish empire. He later also took a hostile attitude towards the reactionary regime of king Zog. This played a fundamental role in the formation of the political ideas of Enver Hoxha.
In his city he breathed the air of protest against a repressive government that culminated in the democratic revolution of 1924.
Having finished elementary school he attended the high school of Gjirokaster. At the age of 16 he was already among the first initiators and also secretary of the Society of the Students of Gjirokaster, which was permeated with a democratic-revolutionary spirit. He led the protest of progressive students when center was closed by the government after a year.
He left Gjirokaster to move to Korca, where he continued his studies in the French high school. Here he learned French history, literature and philosophy. In this city he read for the first time the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” given to him by a worker named Koçi Bako. In this period he also learned for the first time about the October Socialist Revolution; all that together with the ideas of the French Revolution which thrilled Enver Hoxha, determined his cultural development and his political tendencies.
In the summer of 1930 he finished his studies at the high school of Korca with excellent marks; in the same year he won a scholarship to attend the faculty of natural sciences at Montepellier in France. He wanted to study philosophy or law. Here he attended the lessons and the conferences of the Association of Workers organized by the French Communist Party.
After a year, not having much interest in biology he left Montepellier to go to Paris, hoping to continue his university studies. He took courses in the faculty of philosophy at the Sorbonne and, in the Marxist environment of the French capital, he collaborated with “Humanite”, writing some articles on the situation in Albania. Here he had the opportunity to study Marx’s “Capital” and Engels’ “Anti-Duhring.” For these reasons in November of 1933 he was denied his scholarship by the government of Zog.
For economic reasons and with the help of some Albanian friends he went to Brussels, where he found a job in the Albanian Consulate. He attended university courses in the faculty of law; here he broadened and enriched his knowledge of Marxist-Leninist literature. Once again he was dismissed, because the consul discovered through Zog’s agents that his employee had deposited in his office revolutionary materials and books. In that period he studied in France and worked in Belgium, also attending the University of Brussels.
Being without work and without money, he could not finish his university studies, so Enver Hoxha in the summer of 1936 finally returned to Albania. He spent a brief period of time in the city of his birth, he made contact with Albanian communists, and in July of 1936 he met Alì Kelmendi, an Albanian communist. He had contacts with the communist group of Korca, which was the most solid and organized of the movement. He returned to Korca as a teacher in the French high school.
On April 7, 1939, Italy occupied Albania.
For his openly revolutionary and anti-fascist ideas he was dismissed. He left Korca, went to Tirana, the Albanian capital, on November 29, 1939. Here he worked part-time in the government grammar school for a short time as a teacher, being again dismissed because he was by now known as a communist. With the help of some friends he opened a small shop, which became a cover for his clandestine activity. He came into contact with many members of the varied communist groups, that of Scutari, that of the youth of Korca, etc. In collaboration with the communist activists of these groups he worked actively for the unification of the scattered communist movement, with the firm intention to create a single communist party.
On November 8, 1941, the Communist Party of Albania was founded and Enver Hoxha, who had a played an important and decisive role, was chosen one of 7 members of the provisional Central Committee. According to the decision of the meeting, no one was chosen secretary or president. Soon Enver Hoxha showed himself as the true leader of the party. He carried on an intense activity for the organization of the party in Tirana and in the various cities and regions of Albania.
He was the principle inspirer of the political life of the party, which consisted in organizing the armed struggle by means of a united front of all forces, independent of their political and ideological orientation. In September of 1942 at the Conference of Pesa the National Front of Liberation was formed.
Condemned to death in absentia by a fascist tribunal, Enver Hoxha lived and worked illegally in Tirana and in the various regions of the country.
In March of 1943 the first National Conference of the C.P.A. elected him formally as General Secretary of the Party, a position that he held until his death. He founded the Army of National Liberation which, in the spring of 1944 had about 70 thousand men.
The role of Enver Hoxha as a political and military figure was very important and perhaps fundamental. The role that Enver Hoxha played in the organization of the new political system was also fundamental. Aware of the fact that Albania in the post-war period could no longer be a feudal dominion of the bourgeoisie, nor a colony of the imperialist powers, Enver Hoxha in the party inspired the creation of embryos of the new political power: the National Councils of Liberation.
In May of 1944 the Anti-Fascist Congress of Permet chose Enver Hoxha as president of the National Anti-Fascist Committee of Liberation, which was at that epoch the only legislative organ of the Albanian State, with the attributes of a provisional government, and Commander-in-Chief of the Army. After 4 months, in view of the coming liberation of the country, the Committee was transformed into a Provisional Democratic Government and Enver Hoxha became the first head of government of the new Albania.
After liberation, which was the exclusive achievement of the Army of Albanian Liberation itself, Enver Hoxha began a new phase in the fight for Albania to rise again on the path of socialism. In March of 1946 the Constituent Assembly, chosen in the elections of December 1945, proclaimed Albania a Peoples Republic and nominated Enver Hoxha as Prime Minister, the office that he held until 1954.
In August of that same year Enver Hoxha participated in the Peace Conference in Paris as head of the Albanian delegation, defending brilliantly the right of his people to be considered a member of the anti-fascist coalition, opposing the territorial claims of Greece.
The period of 1947-1948 was marked by the firm and determined attitude of Enver Hoxha to prevent the realization of the intentions of Tito: to transform Albania into a Yugoslav republic. The distrust of Enver Hoxha towards the Yugoslav leaders and towards Tito had its origin during the war and developed in the post-war period. As the relationships between the two states grew, so did Enver Hoxha’s doubts about Yugoslavia’s real policies. These doubts were fed by the way in which the economic relationships between the two countries were conducted, and by the ever stronger tendency of Yugoslavia to make Albania into a satellite state. Above all, the national problem, with the lack of self-determination for Kosova promised by Tito but never realized, fed Enver Hoxha’s doubts about the Yugoslav leaders.
The 1950s were years of the first, most difficult steps for Albania towards economic, social and cultural development. To appraise correctly and objectively this experience of almost fifty years, to comprehend the vastness of the political, economic, social and cultural transformation that was realized, one must take into account the enormous backwardness that Albania had inherited from the past.
A country with a completely agricultural economy, with a primitive agriculture marked by feudal economic relationships, almost totally lacking in industry, with a very low level of education: 80-85% of the population was illiterate; a life expectancy that did not reach 40 years; this was Albania before the war. To all that must be added the human casualties, 28 thousand fallen out of 800 thousand inhabitants and the destruction of the war.
Enver Hoxha as leader of the C.P.A. and as head of government played an important role in what was revealed as a still bloodier struggle than the war, for the revival of Albania.
The politics of the Party of Labor – called that after the first congress of November, 1948 – had three fundamental orientations: industrialization, the development of agriculture through the formation of cooperatives, and a program for the development of education and culture. Enver Hoxha was the inspirer and author of the work that was carried out in those years, as leader of the Party of Labor. With great sacrifices, with enormous popular enthusiasm and also with aid of the socialist countries – the Soviet Union in the 1950s and for a certain period afterwards also China – Albania was transformed into a advanced country, very far from the level inherited from the past, and this was already an excellent progress.
Big industrial complexes, thermo and hydroelectric power plants were built, swamps, embankments and rivers were reclaimed, entirely new cities were built from nothing. A very widespread system of elementary and middle schools were developed that assured the education of all children; the whole country was electrified. Enver Hoxha knew very well that Albania was not heaven on earth, that it was still very far from the more advanced countries of Europe.
The last fifty years were marked by increasing differences with the Soviet leaders.
The Party of Labor of Albania and Enver Hoxha personally had many reservations about the new course officially applied by Khrushchev after the XXth Congress of the C.P.S.U. For Enver Hoxha there was not only the question of Stalin, but above all the policy toward the U.S.A. and world imperialism, and still more the hegemonic tendencies of the new U.S.S.R, towards the socialist countries.
Enver Hoxha, in the contacts he had with Khrushchev, presented his reservations on different occasions: in Moscow in December of 1956, April 1957, January 1960, and also in Tirana in May of 1959. Upon his arrival at the Conference of the 81 Fraternal Parties held in Moscow on November 16, 1960, Enver Hoxha in a courageous speech made public his reservations and his accusations regarding the new Soviet course. This act also marked the official break between Albania and the U.S.S.R. From that moment Enver Hoxha, supported for a brief period of time by the Chinese, become the unique heroic fighter against modern revisionism.
For all his life he defended the theory and the principles in which he believed, Marxism-Leninism. He rejected every deviation from the revolutionary spirit of this theory. Yugoslav, Soviet, Chinese, Eurocommunist, all were for him the Trojan horse in the international communist and workers movement. Enver Hoxha wanted to defend the victories of the socialism in Albania and the very independence of the country.
In the 1970s, new fronts of struggle were opened, all those inside the Party and the State who were against socialism were unmasked.
Enver Hoxha suffered a heart attack in 1973, and although he was able to recover fairly well, he could no longer devote the maximum of his being to this new struggle. In fact, from that moment on the activity of Enver Hoxha in the Party and he in the State tended more and more to decrease. There began on the part of the enemies infiltrated into the Party and the State the work of methodical, systematic destruction of all that had been realized on the road to socialism in Albania.
From the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s Enver Hoxha began a period of intense theoretical activity. All his experience, all his life, from an activist to a communist leader, is contained in the various volumes he has written. Among these are:
- Yugoslav “Self-Administration” – A Capitalist Theory and Practice (1978)
- Imperialism and the Revolution (1978)
- Reflections on China (1979)
- With Stalin (1979)
- Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism (1980)
- The Khrushchevites (1980)
- The Anglo-American Threat to Albania (1982)
- The Titoists (1982)
- Reflections on the Middle East (1984)
- Laying the Foundations of the New Albania (1984)
- Two Friendly Peoples (1985)
- The Superpowers (1985)
This is only a part of his intense theoretical activity by which Enver Hoxha has enriched the universal fund of the experience of the theory to which he devoted all his life, Marxism-Leninism.
In the 1980s Enver Hoxha’s state of health worsened, he suffered from diabetes and in 1983 he was stricken with a cerebral ischemia, and again in 1984.
On April 9, 1985, he suffered a cardiac arrest; the doctors were able to revive his heart, but he was deprived of consciousness. On April 11, 1985, Enver Hoxha died.
His death was felt by the people as a great loss. There was nationally a sincere and heartfelt grief. The Albanian people loved and adored him. Enver Hoxha in his period of activity of fifty years had given the Albanian people freedom and national dignity, he had brought his people from the darkness of the feudalism towards a society, which, although not ideal, was more just and more advanced. He had given his people an ideal for which it was worthy to fight, to sacrifice, oneself, to live for. Enver Hoxha succeeded in giving to his people all that they do not have any more. He gave the world Marxist-Leninist movement the clarity of the development of the class struggle, from the October Revolution until today.
Celebrating the 100th birthday of Enver Hoxha
Printed in Proletarian, issue 27 (December 2008).
Architect of socialist Albania, anti-revisionist fighter, and one of the great Marxist-Leninist heroes of the 20th century.
Born in Gjirokastër, southern Albania, on 16 October 1908, Enver Hoxha was involved in politics from a young age – at just 16, he became secretary of the Students Society of Gjirokastër, an anti-monarchist movement. A highly capable student, he won a scholarship to further his studies in France, where he spent the early 1930s. There he found an active communist movement, and started to immerse himself in communist activity and Marxist literature, reading such works as Marx’s Capital and Engels’ Anti-Dühring.
Hoxha returned to Albania in 1936, becoming a school teacher. He was dismissed from his post when, following the Italian invasion of 1939, he refused to join the Albanian Fascist Party. Driven underground, he became actively involved in the communist movement, and, at the founding conference of the Communist Party of Albania (later renamed the Albanian Party of Labour) on 8 November 1941, he was chosen as a Central Committee member.
In the remaining years of the second world war, Hoxha emerged as a most able and inspiring party member, working tirelessly all over the country. He played a crucial role in organising the armed struggle of the united front against fascism, leading the Army of National Liberation. He was also the main inspirer of the new forms of underground popular power that were emerging – the National Councils of Liberation. In March 1943, Hoxha was named First Secretary of the Communist Party.
After the partisans forced the withdrawal of German troops in November 1944, Enver Hoxha became head of government of Albania. In March 1946, the Constituent Assembly proclaimed the birth of the People’s Republic of Albania, and nominated Hoxha as its prime minister.
Comrade Hoxha was a key figure in devising Albania’s path to socialism – an immensely challenging task, given that Albania had long been the most backward country in Europe. Pre-war Albania was characterised by regular famine and disease, almost complete illiteracy, feudal property relations, chronic underdevelopment and the prevalence of such charming feudal traditions as the blood feud.
One of the first acts of the post-war government was to pass the Agrarian Reform Law, which turned the land of the large landowners over to the peasants. Albania’s first university was established in 1957, and new educational institutions sprang up at every level. Literacy grew to 99 percent, and life expectancy grew to over 70. Electricity was made available throughout the country. The blood feud was banned. A comprehensive national healthcare system was implemented, and malaria, the most widespread disease, was wiped out. An extensive socialist industry was built up.
These were remarkable achievements, especially if you consider that, on the one hand, Albania was subjected to constant infiltration and plotting by the western imperialist powers, and, on the other, Soviet aid to Albania was effectively ended by the early 1960s.
Mehmet Shehu, then premier of Albania, summarised the victories of Albanian socialism in the following terms: “The health service is free of charge for all and has been extended to the remotest villages. In 1960, we had one doctor per every 3,360 inhabitants; in 1978, we had one doctor per every 687 inhabitants, and this despite the rapid growth of the population. The natural increase of the population in our country is 3.5 times higher than the annual average of European countries, whereas mortality in 978 was 37 percent lower than the average level of mortality in the countries of Europe, and the average life expectancy in our country has risen, from about 38 years in 1938 to 69 years. That is, for each year of the existence of our people’s state power, the average life expectancy has risen by about 11 months. That is what socialism does for man! Is there a loftier humanism than socialist humanism, which, in 35 years, doubles the average life expectancy of the whole population of the country?” (‘The magnificent balance of victories in the course of 35 years of Socialist Albania (Speech)’, 28 November 1979)
Battle against revisionism
Socialist Albania recorded great victories in the fight for socialism, and Enver Hoxha deserves to be remembered as the principal architect of these victories. However, we must not ignore the tremendously important role he played in the world communist movement. Of all the communist leaders of eastern Europe, it was only Enver Hoxha who had the courage, the independence and the tenacity to reject the diktat of Nikita Khrushchev and his cohorts, who were in the business of making ‘fraternal’ aid dependent on total acceptance of revisionist Soviet ideology.
In response to Khrushchev’s denunciation of Joseph Stalin, his turn towards market socialism and his negative attitude towards other socialist countries, Hoxha correctly labelled Khrushchev a “revisionist, anti-Marxist and a defeatist”, saying “the Albanian people and their Party of Labour will even live on grass if need be, but they will never sell themselves ‘for 30 pieces of silver’ … They would rather die honourably on their feet than live in shame on their knees.”
In the 1960s, Hoxha formed an alliance with the Communist Party of China to defend Marxism Leninism from the vicious attacks of Soviet revisionism. (For reasons that are beyond the scope of this article, relations between Albania and China soured in the 1970s, leading to a diplomatic breakdown that can only be described as a historic blow for the international proletariat.)
Hoxha argued vociferously against the ideas of market socialism that were starting to dominate the Soviet economic discourse. Hoxha also refused to fall in line with Khrushchev’s extraordinary and baseless attack on Stalin, which turned out to be nothing but a cover for an attack on the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist planned economy. Writing in 1981, on the occasion of the centenary of Stalin’s birth, Hoxha wrote:
“Stalin’s whole life was characterised by an unceasing fierce struggle against Russian capitalism, against world capitalism, against imperialism and against the anti-Marxist and anti-Leninist currents and trends which had placed themselves in the service of world reaction and capital. Beside Lenin and under his leadership, he was one of the inspirers and leaders of the Great October Socialist Revolution, an unflinching militant of the Bolshevik Party.
“After the death of Lenin, for 30 years on end, Stalin led the struggle for the triumph and defence of socialism in the Soviet Union. That is why there is great love and respect for Stalin and loyalty to him and his work in the hearts of the proletariat and the peoples of the world. That is also why the capitalist bourgeoisie and world reaction display never-ending hostility towards this loyal disciple and outstanding, resolute co-fighter of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.” (‘With Stalin’, 1981)
Albania since counter-revolution
Hoxha died on 11 April 1985. The cause of Albanian socialism was greatly weakened by the loss of its architect, and, tragically, Albania was not able to withstand the wave of counter-revolution that swept the USSR and eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Albania is, of course, a small country, and its ability to develop socialism was hampered by numerous internal and external factors. Nonetheless, life in socialist Albania was immeasurably better than it was before 1945 and has been since 1992.
Post-socialist Albania, much like the rest of eastern Europe, has suffered dreadfully from the dodgy goods it was sold, ie, the ‘free market’ and privatisation. It is now once again one of the poorest countries in the world. The diverse industry developed under socialism has been all but completely neglected, as the western privateers are predominantly interested in Albania as a source of raw materials. Unemployment stands at over 30 percent. The only ‘industries’ in which Albania has been allowed by its US allies to thrive are the drugs trade, prostitution and human trafficking.
The blood feud has returned in rural areas, after an absence of more than 40 years. According to The Telegraph of 3 June 2007, “more than 20,000 … live under an ever-present death sentence because of such blood feuds”. (‘Thousands fear as blood feuds sweep Albania’)
Since 1992, at least 6,000 Albanians have been killed owing to blood feuds. Nicola Smith, in The Times of 20 January 2008, writes: “According to the National Reconciliation Committee, more than 1,200 children are without schooling because of feuds. Figures … show that since the end of the communist dictatorship in 1990, more than 20,000 families have been affected by blood feuds and 6,000 lives have been lost. The tradition, which dates back to the 15th century, was banned by Enver Hoxha, the Stalinist dictator, but took hold again in the chaos after the collapse of communism.”
Naturally, this bourgeois journalist cannot resist the temptation to slander Hoxha, Stalin and all things red; nonetheless, she is forced to admit that vendettas did not take place in socialist Albania.
We are confident that, in time, the Albanian workers and peasants will realise the gravity of their mistake in allowing the restoration of capitalism in Albania. Capitalism is long past its sell-by date; it has nothing to offer the masses of the world except death, poverty, war, exploitation, repression, unemployment and a bit of escapism in the form of drugs and TV.
May the Albanian people take inspiration from the heroic example of their patriots in the second world war and from the remarkable successes of socialist construction led by Comrade Enver Hoxha.
Forward to socialism.
From: “DDR-Roter Morgen”, illegal newspaper of the KPD/ML, July 1978
What do you know about Albania? It is not much what you can learn about it from the school books or newspapers.
“A country where a man is afraid to criticise another one is no socialist country.” — Enver Hoxha
In Albania the party and the working class are aware that it is not enough that the socialist relations of production was established but that a constant struggle has to be lead to keep them and to perfect them. In order to prevent that the Socialist People’s Republic of Albania will suffer the same fate as the Soviet Union, the GDR and the other former socialist countries where capitalism was restored, the Albanian communists and the Albanian people took measures to strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat according to the teachings of Lenin and Stalin.
The PLA (Party of Labour of Albania) considers it very important to create a proper relationship between the leading cadres and the broad masses of the working people in town and country. They lead a consistent struggle against the cadres separating themselves from the working class and placing themselves above it, they lead a consistent struggle against bureaucratic, technocratic, liberal, sectarian and other bourgeois tendencies showing up in the work of the functionaries.
In order to prevent that decadent elements and privileged strata develop, the PLA has always followed the line of steadily decreasing the differences in the level of income and the way of living between the cadres and the workers and collective peasants. No significant differences in wages are allowed, while at the same time petty-bourgeois tendencies of egalitarianism are fought.
“The cadres have to have oil-stained hands and clayey shoes in order to learn the concerns, the needs and the work of the people not only from above but also from below, in order to make bureaucracy, pride and arrogance, the disease of commanding and of favouritism disappear; because all of these diseases are more likely to emerge within those who hold positions of power and thus think that they alone could manage everything and without them nothing could go on.” (Enver Hoxha)
In Albania the worker has the say
To strengthen socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat the Albanian working class has created extensive ways to exercise workers’ control and to prevent the rise and growth of bureaucracy, cliques and nepotism. This is of great importance in the education of the people, the education to the “new human” with a socialist consciousness. Therefore much weight is given to criticism and self-criticism. Criticism and self-criticism are seen as driving force in Albania which contributes to the development of society.
To prevent that the criticised feels offended by the criticism and looks for an opportunity to take revenge or to prevent that somebody misuses criticism just for his own selfish and ambitious interests, all criticism is discussed in the workers’ collective. And further important features like the “Flete Rrufe” (flash letters) haven been created. The Flete Rrufe are openly posted criticism or proposals, which everybody can hang out and in which everybody, regardless of his position, can be criticised for his behaviour. This way e.g. the following criticism of a department chief in Fieri, written by one of his subordinates, was posted:
“The party teaches us to be not vengeful, not arrogant towards subordinates but to let us be guided by the ideology of Marxism-Leninism. We know that you, comrade, know very well about all of this in theory. But we are right if we call you a dogmatist because this is illustrated by the fact that you have taken revenge on us. You tried to look down on the work of the others, to exert pressure and command us. You have been criticised for you mistakes but you have not changed. We ask you: Does the proletarian discipline apply to everybody or just to some? We request that the District Committee shall make an analysis about your mistakes after you have given the answer.”
The criticised is obligated to provide a written reply to this criticism, which he also has to post openly. It is of course important that the criticism doesn’t stay formal but that measures are taken to correct the mistakes. The primary purpose of criticism is, of course, education but it also happened in similar cases that even directors were sent back to work at the machines so that they could correct their arrogant attitude.
Did you already know…
… that the last case of measles in the People’s Republic of Albania was in 1971?This is because general vaccination against measles was introduced in Albania as the only country in Europe. By the way, medical care is completely free in Albania. For children up to one year the socialist state also provides all medicaments for free.
… that workers in certain professions – e.g. miners – receive pension already with 50 years in Albania? Furthermore they get an additional annual vacation of 36 days.
… that women who go back to work after their maternity leave can bring their children to a crib at their business and additionally get at least half an hour break every three hours so that they can take care of their child? This break is seen as working time and is fully paid. By the way, all women who gave birth to six or more children receive their pension already at the age of 50 years, regardless of the jobs they had.
… that price increases are completely unknown in Albania? While prices rise continuously here, the prices for consumer goods have been decreased 14 times in Albania since 1950. By the way, a ticket for the opera or ballet costs 3 Lek in Albania – that is 75 Pfennigs [60 Pfennigs were around 30 ¢ at the time when the Euro was introduced in Germany].
… that nobody in Albania had to pay taxes or any other dues since 1967?
… that on 25th October 1970 the last house in Albania was connected to the national grid? The peasants even at the most remote farms do not have to pay a cent for their connection to the national grid.
… that every third Albanian goes to school, respectively educates himself further? In 1946 four of fife Albanian were still illiterates.
… that Albania is the country with the lowest wage differentials in the world?Thus, for example, the director of a metal-working factory can earn at most 50% than a qualified worker. The director of a mine can earn at most 20% more than a qualified worker, a minister 30-50% (payroll taxes do not exist).
… that everybody in Albania who is not working in production has to physically work at least one month a year? This applies for administrative officials to professors to the top-level state functionaries.
Work of the cadres in production
Everywhere in Albania, in cities and villages, one could see leading cadres of all ranks, working people of the administration and intellectuals who worked directly in production, shoulder to shoulder with the workers and peasants. It was a principle of the socialist life in Albania that all cadres of the administration, the party, state- and economic apparatus, of the mass organisations, the army and the cadres of state companies, of agricultural collectives and the members of the intelligentsia, with the exception of old persons and those who cannot regularly take part in production because of their health or physical disablement. Productive work was also an integral part of school, next to lessons and the physical and military education.
The direct participation of leading cadres and intellectuals at work in production was a principal aspect of social life and of vital importance for the cause of socialism. It is not sufficient to establish the socialist ownership of the means of production. It is also necessarily needed to establish correct relationships between the leading cadres and the broad masses of the working people in town and country. On the one hand this requires the cadres to guide, lead and control but on the other hand they have to see themselves as servants of the people.
They have to be connected closely with the masses and merge with them, learn from the, give account to the masses and to be under the actual, effective and constant control of the masses. This way centralism is correctly linked with socialist democracy. After the victory of socialism, too, the danger exists that the leading cadres become bureaucrats, that they isolate themselves from the masses or even oppose them, that they transform from servants of the people to rulers of the people, that they degenerate, that a new anti-socialist caste or class arises; this would lead to the liquidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat and to the restoration of capitalism. The existence of such a danger was fully proven by historical experience. To ignore this danger is momentous and fatal for the fate of socialism. But it is no inevitable doom and can be avoided if effective countermeasures are taken.
Among the very important measures which the Party of Labour of Albania has taken is the cadre rotation, that is the relocation of cadres from leading positions to the basis and from administration to production and the other way around, the admission of more working people, especially from the ranks of workers in production, into governing bodies and furthermore the reduction of the higher
wages and the creation of a correct relationship between the quality of living of the cadres and the masses as well as the increased Marxist-Leninist ideological and political education of the cadres and the struggle against technocratic aspects, etc.
The participation of the leading cadres and the intelligentsia at work in production was a major principal problem as well as strengthening the moral and political unity of the people in the struggle for the cause of building socialism and preventing the separation of theory and practice – as Lenin emphasised, one of the worst ills inherited from the old capitalist society. It was one of the most concrete and most effective ways to decrease the significant differences between physical and intellectual work.
The relationship between low and high wages
The continuous revolutionary efforts for social equality, which began with the elimination of private property of the means of production and the liquidation of the exploiting classes in Albania, developed further during the process of socialist construction by the decrease of the differences in the quality of life of the working class, the collective peasants and the other working people.
Comrade Enver Hoxha said: “Our party fights for and will always fight for the constant improvement of the life of the people, and this means for all people. Our party is guided by the correct principle that there must not be egalitarianism in the wages but also no favouritism, and this means for nobody. Every single wage has to equal the amount and quality of work done and the gap between the wages of the working people has to be reduced further and further.”
The PLA took care of establishing a relationship as correct as possible between the wages of the cadres and the workers and collective peasants, a relationship which did not allow any significant differences in wages. At the same time the PLA fought against tendencies of petty-bourgeois egalitarianism in wages which is alien and harmful to socialism, too. At the beginning of the 80s the relationship between the average wage of a worker and the salary of a plant manager in the corresponding branch was 1:1.7, the relationship between the average wage of a worker and the salary of a department head in the ministry around 1:2, the relationship between the lowest and the highest wages of the workers within the specific branch around 1:1.5-1.65, etc. The relationship between wages is defined by law.
This is a specific and unique application of the Marxist-Leninist teaching, a great reality of proletarian justice in socialist Albania where the cadres do not exploit their position as a privilege but are connected with the masses. The reduction of the higher wages and the measures to eliminate the excessive additions to the basic pay of those creating literature and arts, of the workers in the education field and science and to adjust the material stimuli better with the moral is an expression of the class-based treatment of the problem of the wages. This way the relationship between the masses and the cadres and the relationship between the cadres themselves were supposed to be revolutionised from the material point of view, too, because this is an essential requirement to save the people, especially the cadres, from harmful influences. Experience shows that bureaucracy is bred by high wages. The bureaucratic elements are always tending to increase the gap between the wages by different way and by all kind of methods.
Country without taxes and dues
In developing and implementing the tax policy towards the people, the Party of Labour of Albania was always aware that taxes are a temporary historical category. Therefore it prepared, step by step and with the utmost care, all the necessary conditions to abolish it. On November 8, 1969 very important measures were taken to eliminate the system of taxes and other direct charges for the population completely. This is because the area of the socialist relations of production had expanded and the productive forces of the country developed rapidly. The share of taxes and fees of the population in the income of the state budget was 92 percent in the fiscal year 1945-1946 (the first year of liberation), in 1950 it had fallen to 12.6 percent and to 2.7 percent in 1960; 1969 it was only
The process in which the taxes and fees have been abolished for the people did not take place at once and not in an administrative process. The taxes were abolished gradually, while simultaneously the socialist sector of the economy developed and the class structure of the country changed.
Article 31 of the Constitution states: “The citizens pay no taxes and fees.”
Rely yourself on your own strength
The Albanian economy was based entirely on its own strength, based on its own material and financial resources without assistance and loans from abroad. The decisive factor of the revolutionary changes and achievements in socialist construction, in stability and continuous development of the economy, was the selfless work of the Albanian people itself. The principle to rely on one’s own strength arises from the teachings of Marxism-Leninism, according to which the internal factor is crucial and the environmental factor remains a complementary, an auxiliary factor.
Already at the time of the anti-fascist National Liberation War the Albanian people, relied entirely on its own forces, won through its armed struggle for freedom and independence of the country. Similarly, the construction of socialist society, the development of economy and culture as well as the defence of the achievements will never be due to help from the outside. The experience of Albania showed that every nation, large or small, is able to manage the economy and to develop it in an independent manner, if it bases itself on its own strength. Relying on its own strength, important steps forward were taken in the SPR Albania to expose the natural resources and the water resources and exploit them rationally. The producing and manufacturing heavy industry developed, and the industrial reserves of natural resources increased steadily. The development of the economy was based on the raw material and energy resources of the country, on the producing and processing of oil and natural gas, coal and the production of electric energy. Albania had no debts and did not base its own plans for development on foreign credits.
To rely on one’s own strength is not a temporary and cyclical policy. It is not a policy of autarchy and isolation in the national scarf. All nations, big or small, make their own contribution to the question of the revolution and building socialism. The principle of relying on your own strength excludes the internationalist aid of the world proletariat and the socialist countries by no means, but on the contrary requires them.
The retirement age
The Albanian socialist legislation does not define an uniform limit on the retirement age or on the length of service. The retirement age and years of service necessary for obtaining a pension were determined primarily by the difficulty of the work and by the gender. The more difficult the work is, the lower is the retirement age. According to this principle the workers were divided in three categories regarding the retirement age: The first category includes the working people who do work that is considered very hard. In this case, the pension age for women was set at 45 years and for men at 50 years. The required period of service for women was 15 years and for men 20 years.
This category includes the workers who were working underground, some occupations in the metallurgy and chemical industry, the working people who work at the blast furnaces, on metal melting and casting, etc., the workers involved in the production of ammonium nitrate and superphosphate. Similarly, the working people who are exposed to radioactive substances and ionising irradiation belong to this category, further some occupations in the civilian air traffic as well as in education and in the field of culture, like dancers, acrobats, circus performers, musicians who play wind instruments, members of dance companies, etc. In the health sector the radiologist, the staff of the cobalt therapy departments and others are included.
The second category includes the workers who carry out less heavy work than that of the first category. For them the retirement age is set to 50 years for women and to 55 years for men, the length of service to 20 or 25 years. The right to a pension under this category belongs to the workers in some occupations in oil and gas industry, a number of other occupations in metallurgy and chemical industries, who do a less hard work than those of the first category. Similarly, some occupations among this category were geology, the textile industry, leather industry, the tobacco industry, some jobs in the commercial fleet; furthermore the fishing workers, teachers, surgeons, psychiatrists and others are covered in this group.
The third category includes all workers who carry out other work that does not belong to the first or second category. The retirement age in this case is 55 years for women and 60 for men, the length of service 20 or 25 years.
In order to receive a pension at the age of 45, 50 or 55 years, it is sufficient when the worker was active for three quarters of his service in one of these occupations. For the workers in the mines, it is sufficient if they had spent half their working lives underground in order to obtain the pension of the first category. For example, if a miner of a chrome mine who has worked 10 years underground, changed at his own request to a work in another place, say as a mechanic in a metal processing plant, where he will work another 10 years, then he was entitled to a full retirement pension at the age of 50 years because he had spent half his service underground. For some special categories of workers pensions are provided at even more favourable conditions.
These, for example, include mothers with many children, the blind, deaf and persons with congenital physical damage. The former – the mothers with many children – may retire after 15 years of service and at the age of 50 years, if they gave birth to six or more children and raised them till the age of eight years. Blind, etc., receive pension after 15 (men) or 10 (women) years of service if they are 50 or 40 years of age.
There is also a pension “for special merits.” This pension goes to persons who made an enormous contribution in the great anti-fascist National Liberation War, or who decorated themselves in the field of science, technology, culture, in public or social branches of the economy. In the period of socialist construction not only the workers from the city, but also those of the village received the benefits of the pension. The pension was for the working people of town and country alike, it was 70 percent of their salary. For the calculation of this pension the worker had the right to pick the highest wage he received for three consecutive years in the last 10 years.
On Enver: Some read some of his texts. But did they really study him?
The question of a Youth League:
It should be a communist one. This view was widespread after 1968. But it did not take into account the complicated conditions in an imperialist state, such as the FRG. Enver variously analysed this situation and was not of the opinion that a communist youth organisation should be first established.
Thus, in an dialogue of Enver Hoxha with João Amazonas on 25th July 1980 (Selected Works VI, Tirana 1987, p.65):
“(…) it is for the Marxist-Leninist parties to exercise their influence and to create the front of the youth. This front cannot be built – as some think – by creating a communist youth organisation. No, this would be a very narrow organisation that many young people would not join. But if a broad populist organization is established, then tens of thousands of young people will flow into it. It is for the party to work out how this youth organisation should be created and how it could gradually substantiate its work. The Marxist-Leninist communists may have clear ideas, but they must ensure in their work that the youth understands and accepts these ideas, while they always watch over the unity of their own ranks.”
Or let’s take the question of the dissolution of the Comintern:
The Party of Labour of Albania was of the opinion that there should no new Comintern at the present time. The PLA supported all true Marxist-Leninist parties, held bilateral talks and invited all Marxist-Leninist parties to their Party Conferences.
In his book “The Khrushchevites” (162 – 165), Enver writes about the Comintern:
“The decisions of the Comintern and Dimitrov’s direction-giving speech in July 1935 have gone down in the history of the international communist movement as major documents which mobilized the peoples, and first of all the communists, to create the anti-fascist front and to organize themselves for armed struggle against Italian fascism, German Nazism and Japanese militarism. In this struggle, the communists and their parties were in the forefront everywhere. Therefore, it is a crime to attack the great work of the Comintern and the Marxist-Leninist authority of Stalin, which played a major role in the creation and the organizational, political and ideological consolidation of the communist and workers’ parties of the world. For its part, the Bolshevik Party was a powerful aid for those parties, and the Soviet Union, with Stalin at the head, was a great potential in support of the revolution in the international arena.
Imperialism, the capitalist bourgeoisie and its fascist dictatorship fought the Soviet Union, the Bolshevik Party and Stalin, with all their might, waged a stern struggle against the Comintern and the communist and workers’ parties of every country and ruled the working class with terror, bloodshed and demagogy. When Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union, the communist and workers’ parties of various countries took up arms, united with the other patriots and democrats in their own countries and fought the fascist invaders. Because of this natural struggle, the enemies of communism said: ‘The communist and workers’ parties have put themselves in the service of Moscow.’ This was a slander.
The communist and workers’ parties fought for the liberation of their own peoples, fought for the working class and people to take power. In the great alliance of the anti-fascist war, the sympathies of these parties were with the Soviet Union, because it was the most reliable guarantee for the victory.
It was Stalin himself, who, on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Comintern, announced the decision for the disbanding of the Comintern and the reason given was that no further need was felt for its existence. This stand was completely correct, because by that time, the communist and workers’ parties had become mature and militant, had been tempered in class battles and in the great war against fascism and had gained colossal experience. Now, each party could march on its own feet and had Marxism-Leninism as its unerring guide. After the Second World War the Information Bureau of communist and workers’ parties was formed. It was necessary to create this, because the parties of socialist countries and those of capitalist countries, especially of Europe, needed to exchange their very valuable experience. The exchange of experience between our parties was especially necessary in the unsettled period immediately after the war, when American and British imperialism wanted to interfere by any means in the internal affairs of the countries which had won their freedom.
Reaction, and Tito and the Titoites, later, wanted and fought to place the countries of Eastern Europe in a dilemma; with the assistance of the British, they tried to bring reaction to power in Czechoslovakia and to bring about the same thing in Albania, Romania, Poland and elsewhere. The ”Marxist“ Tito made a major issue of the Venezia Giulia province, claiming that the Soviet Union was not assisting him to take this province, which he described as entirely Yugoslav, while this same “Marxist” not only did not raise the issue of Kosova, which was truly Albanian, in order to give it to Albania to which it belonged, but did his utmost to prevent any talk about it.
The Belgrade clique massacred people from Kosova, alleging that they were Ballists, and later also attempted to gobble up the whole of Albania and turn it into the seventh republic of Yugoslavia.
The Information Bureau uncovered the treachery of the Yugoslav revisionists and this was one of its historic deeds and a tribute to the revolutionary vigilance of Stalin. Tito was exposed and condemned with ample, incontestable facts and subsequent events completely confirmed his betrayal.”
Excerpts from: The Unknown Opposition in the GDR – Communist Workers against the Honecker Regime
Our Albanian comrades
Through a comrade from the army I had received the address of the Albanian Embassy in Berlin. A contact with the Albanian comrades came about quickly. From 1974 on there were extensive discussions with the Albanians. Comrade Idris Bardhi, an outstanding Albanian Bolshevik, became my main confidant. I could discuss all political issues at length with him. He had studied in the GDR in the 50s and was perfectly familiar with the local conditions. His knowledge was always amazing for me. The atmosphere, the interaction among the Albanian comrades – I had never previously experienced anything like it.
They were comrades from a genuine socialist country, who knew no airs and graces, who had a completely different way with one another than the “Herr Comrades” of the SED [Socialist Unity Party of Germany]. Even though I never was a member of the FDJ [Free German Youth] or the SED, the situations there were clear enough to get you a picture.
Comrade Idris Bardhi was in his mid-forties when I met him. We were colleagues, both machinists, and we exchanged some experiences at the beginning. And here already the differences between the GDR and Albania showed. Although he was a diplomat, he had to go back to Albania once a year and work in production there. But this time was not to rest and was not formally paid. In these 4 weeks he had to achieve at least 90 percent of the standard. The other comrades of the embassy, too, had to go home, into production. For the leading comrades the work in the production was a measure of the socialist society, in order to prevent phenomena like in the revisionist states.
This cadre policy was completely different than in the GDR. Skilled workers often received more pay than their director. In whole Albania the pay gap between the lowest pay and the highest was 1:2.8. The goal was to adjust the living standard of the leading cadres, the artists and scientists of the high category and the standard of living of the working people of the country as far as possible.
Taxes were unknown for years. The policy of the comrades in Albania was not arbitrary and certainly not spontaneous. The Party of Labour of Albania (PLA) drew the consequences from the bitter experiences of the revisionist countries, where bureaucracy was one of the main causes of degeneration. The struggle against bureaucracy was one of the priorities in Albania. Therefore a profound mobilization work had to be done, the broad masses had to govern the country and the economic management. Effects such as inefficiency, nepotism, favouritism, misuse of public office, inertia, arrogance, arrogant and inattentive attitude towards the working people, choking the voice of the masses – these bureaucratic phenomena had to be fought. And they were fought in Albania, unlike here. Bureaucratic phenomena were part of the daily life in the GDR and over the years they became more pronounced. In the GDR it was out of question for high cadres to assist in production. In Albania, the tables for the apparatus and administration were reduced and simplified – in complete opposition to the GDR. Here production relied more and more on material incentives. Bonuses were in the foreground. The “bloated machinery” grew and grew.
In the Albanian socialist society measures were constantly taken to ensure that the ideological and political educational work of the Party was carried out. The main objective was to educate people on the socialist attitude towards work. The essence was to put the common interest of the people, of socialism above the self-interest. This required, of course, concrete steps. Material incentives, which were paid in the form of bonuses, were indeed still necessary. The main task of the Communist Party was the education of the working people. Therefore, the method of persuasion was used. The high level of revolutionary consciousness that is needed for the construction of socialism does not arise spontaneously and can not arise spontaneously; it develops through the Marxist-Leninist science, the party brings it to the masses by all its daily educational work. Then Comrade Idris mentioned very casually that in Albania the military insignia would just be removed. This would be preposterous in the GDR!
In the further course of our conversation, he then explained this measure and why the comrades enforced it. I wanted to know why Albania did not travel on that disastrous road to revisionism as the other countries of Eastern Europe. To explain this, he outlined the situation in Albania long before the liberation. Back then, there were some communist groups, scattered across the country. It was not possible to establish a united communist party.
In 1939, Mussolini signed the plan for the military occupation of Albania. During this time of danger of an Italian fascist aggression, there were renewed attempts to unify the Communists. But even this failed because of the leaders of the various groups. At the same time there was a wave of arrests by the royal gendarmes of Zog. The communist Shkordra group was wiped out. The group leaders made extensive testimony in front of the investigating judge. They regarded the denunciation as a mean to test the comrades by torture by the enemy’s hand. How absurd!
A number of group leaders presented their theories in order to show that they were the “real leaders” of a united Communist Party. The leadership of the Youth Group thought, for example, the cadres must not connect with the masses, because this would endanger them. Others again propagated a new “theory” after the occupation: that the fascist stronghold had to be taken from within. Therefore, the Communists, rather than openly fighting against the occupiers, would have to rise in their political and administrative apparatus. Trotskyists dug in the communist movement: people like Niko Xoxi promoted the tactic of destroying and disintegrating the other communist groups.
This was to happen in a planned manner, so that at the end only one’s own group would remain and then would be the only Communist Party. These absurd “theorists” did not only exist in Albania. Even today self-appointed “leaders of the workers’ movement” develop similar “theories”. Comrade Idris then went on about the multitude of communist organisations in Germany. Especially in Germany and Austria, theorising is typical.
Infinitely long debates that usually end in vain, build barriers and hinder building a unified Communist Party. The pursuit of a completely “new human”, who is already created under capitalism, is characteristically. The organisations develop codes of conduct and patterns for their members. You are supposed not smoke, drink, curse, tell bad jokes, etc. A lot of time is wasted by creating the “true Communist”. The situation in Albania was similar. Especially in times of absence of a revolutionary situation, phenomena of this kind are widespread. That only changed after the occupation of the country. All across the country the anti-fascist people’s movement grew. The communists were at its head. The occupation of the country had caused a radical change in their mind. The ordinary members of the groups recognised more and more that the merger could not be achieved by fruitless negotiations between the leaders, but only by a common struggle against the occupiers. The ideological differences moved back and the authority of the leaders decreased. In the united struggle with the goal of liberation, the communists at the base of the various groups united together and called for a merge to a single party. Comrade Enver Hoxha worked out the foundations for the merger of the communists. The beginning of the armed resistance of the communists was one of the main reasons for a unified Communist Party.
The Communist Party was born in battle and not by negotiations at the green table. The ordinary communists, the party base, forced the unity of all communists in fierce class struggle. The Anti-Fascist National Liberation Movement of Albania succeeded in cleaning the country of the fascist robbers all on its own. Units of the People’s Liberation Army helped the Yugoslav Liberation Army in the fight against the Nazi fascists. The Albanian communists benefited from the fact that they were the only relevant political force acting in the political arena. The bourgeoisie was only very little organised and because of this the Communists had a decisive advantage in the struggle for power. Albania was the only country in Europe that did not have to be liberated from the outside.
Based on its own forces, involved in the anti-Hitler coalition, and under the leadership of the communists, the Albanian people succeeded in liberating the country. The basis for the transformation of the country was different than in those countries which, for example, were liberated by the Red Army of the Soviet Union. The firm base of the communists, the people’s confidence was always greater in Albania than in the other countries of Eastern Europe. There were many topics we discussed. The talks and discussions were to exchange our views. The Albanian comrades were never instructive. Sometimes we argued, sometimes we analysed and reached a common position together. There was also a vast number of questions. Since 1975, once a month I was a guest at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Albania. The newspapers and documents I received from the Albanian comrades were very useful for our political work. The time when I had to copy tape recorded articles by Radio Tirana by hand and then pass them on, was over. The Albanian comrades invited everybody to a celebration each year. The 29th November 1944 was the day of the liberation of Albania from fascism. I received an invitation, too. Friends of Albania, comrades of various fraternal parties and sympathisers streamed into the embassy that day. After the opening speech we watched several documentary films together. Again and again the audiance applauded and was impressed. Then we had the opportunity to take a snack and hold talks.
During a public discussion I asked the question why the GDR and the Soviet Union remained silent on the subject of Albania. In 1961, Ulbricht attacked Albania in public. After a few years, the SED quit their polemics and declared that time would show who was right. Since then there has been silence. Not a word about the differences anymore, not a word on the accusations against Albania.
The Albanian comrades responded to my question and explained that the revisionists suffered heavy defeats on a global scale as well as at home. In order to prevent their treacherous course being faced with any criticism, they abandoned all public polemics, they preferred to remain silent. Nobody in the GDR would now officially mention the policy differences. Even a Herr Schnitzler [Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler, infamous host of the propaganda show “The Black Channel”], who loves to argue so much, would now not say a single word about it. The “Totschweigegesetz” [law of burying in silence] was one of the methods of the modern revisionists and illustrated all their hypocrisy, showed that they are enemies of Marxism-Leninism.
A few months later I made contact with the Chinese news agency Xinhua. Since the Cultural Revolution of 1967/68, the Chinese embassy in Berlin was hermetically sealed for citizens of the GDR. In1971, I was in Berlin with friends to visit the embassy. We did not succeed. A few hundred meters away from the embassy, we ran into a group of Chinese. We tried to communicate, but did not really succeed. As a farewell I got the Red Book by Mao. Only years later, I received the address of the news agency. Here again the contact was to my full satisfaction. Until the end of the 70′s I was often there for a visit. I could read the Peking Review regularly, could study documents by the CPC. The conversations had many topics. During this time I was able to witness first hand the rapidly changing policies. One moment eulogies were given to Chinese leaders and a few weeks later I discovered how “evil” he was. Then he was praised once again and was a “good one”. The case with Deng Xiaoping was really bad. But other things were more than surprising, too. Keyword Gang of Four: There were plenty of contradictions that even the respective employees of Xinhua could not convincingly explain. The policy of the CP of Chinas became more and more controversial.
The rock bottom was hit by the openly hostile act of the Chinese against Albania. The Chinese leaders attacked socialist Albania in 1977, slandered it and tried to stir up the Marxist-Leninist parties, all the revolutionary forces of the world against the PLA. By a series of actions the Chinese leaders made clear to the world public that China no longer regards socialist Albania as an ally and that it will no longer be supported. They invited the revisionist Tito in a demonstrative way to China and called him a great Marxist-Leninist. The Chinese leaders openly showed their grotesque face: they were revisionists. One accusation of the Chinese was that Albania does not accept the “Theory of Three Worlds”, which Mao propagated.
This theory of Mao was reactionary and has harmed the international revolutionary movement. It quite became clear that China pursued pragmatic and opportunistic politics. Long before this hostile act of the Chinese, we had repeatedly criticised China’s policies in our cell. The revelation of China’s policy being revisionist was therefore not surprising.
Once again on the Albanians
Comrade Idris was transferred to the local embassy in Vienna in 1980. Other comrades in the embassy changed their location in the coming years. After the wave of arrests in the early 80′s, the embassy restricted its activities. The reason given were the trials against communists in the GDR.
After being sentenced my contacts took place in Leipzig at the local fair. From 1985 on I regularly visited the embassy in Berlin again. The atmosphere was friendly. We had very good relations with almost the entire staff. Especially with Comrade Dhimiter Karanxha I could discuss many things. Regularly, we agreed to meet outside the embassy. We went to one of the many pubs. Here we could speak more freely. During these discussions, I learned a number of information which were very valuable and made me think. It was about the lives of Albanian workers, how they worked, what problems they had. Since years I got the satirical newspaper “Hosteni” and through it I had already learned about the problems of socialist construction in Albania. Bureaucracy, technocracy, inefficiency, traditional reactionary phenomena, etc., were denounced. Directly and concrete, unlike in the newspapers, leaflets and radio broadcasts, which were meant for foreign countries. Here was the plain-talking.
In the talks with the Albanian comrades I learned, for example, that many workers excessively drank alcohol. Be it during or after the working hours – wine, raki or beer. But other phenomena in the everyday life of the Albanians also reminded me of the local state of affairs. I certainly never had illusions about the life of the Albanian workers. But it surprised me very much that the situation was that serious. Claiming that I became a critic now would be far wrong. Albania, it was still the beacon of socialism. The pressure – both from outside and inside – was very strong. This small country with its 3 million inhabitants defied all the imperialist-revisionist attacks for decades. Sign of change in Albania were increasing, however. Sure, the relations with the Albanian comrades were extremely cordial. Nevertheless: the relations with the revisionist countries – with the exception of the Soviet Union – improved noticeably. The polemics against the revisionists still took place, especially against the policies of Gorbachev. However, the other revisionists were spared. In the spring of 1989 the Foreign Minister of the GDR, Oskar Fischer, visited Albania. Das Neue Deutschland [“New Germany”, official party newspaper of the SED, today of The Left, Die Linke] reported in detail. In the editorial it was claimed that Albania called the GDR socialist. This was a heavy blow. Upon request, the Embassy denied this. But I already had my doubts. Many reasons suggested that Albania had started taking a disastrous course.
A few months later, Radio Tirana broadcast a report on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the GDR. Topic: The combines in the GDR. They were praised to the skies in the truest sense of the word. This turn was unbelievable. Events came to a head in the revisionist countries. How will Albania survive this time? That it will make concessions was clear. But how far would they go?
1990: the GDR was in dissolution. The Albanian Embassy in Berlin was closed. One day before the departure I came to visit a last time. There was bustle and an atmosphere of departure. Several staff members were seated at the table and it was time to say goodbye. The ambassador delivered a speech involving the events in Eastern Europe. He stressed several times that in Albania it would not come to such excesses as in Romania. The situation was better, there was food and the people also were not so brutal. I understood none of this then. What on earth should Romania have in common with Albania?
Finally he emphasised that today, after the collapse of revisionism, democracy and consumption are on the agenda. The struggle against revisionism is won. Then he wanted to drink to the future of a united Germany, which made me interrupt him: “A united Germany: Yes. But not this! It has to be a socialist Germany! This one will bring only bring harm to the working people.” He laughed and said: “All right. It shall be as you wish.” After the goodbye we wished each other all the best. I left the embassy for the first time feeling uneasy. The subsequent events confirmed the suspicion that Albania had already degenerated to revisionist. With all the consequences arising from this. Once Comrade Idhris had spoken about this: if Albania was ever to become revisionist, it is the duty of all Marxist-Leninists to fight against the Albanian revisionists. These words went through my head now. But when would the time come? It then took a long time until the Marxist-Leninists started the open struggle against the Albanian revisionists. (…)
Moscow Jams Radio Tirana
Jammer of the counter-revolution
Many listeners of Radio Tirana often experienced that serious disturbances appeared during the broadcasts, sometimes other noises interfered with sentences and sometimes whole passages were difficult to understand due to static noise. Usually this is not because of the fact that one needs a better receiver but because the broadcasts of Radio Tirana are systematically jammed. Jammed by enemies of the revolution, enemies of revolutionary propaganda. These jammers are located nowhere else than in the Soviet Union and the revisionist countries of Eastern Europe.
The journal Funkschau, issue 26/75, reports about these jammers of the Soviet revisionists: “These ugly noise on the HF radio bands have increased. During the day especially the 19-meter and 25 meter bands and in the evening the 41-m and 49-m bands, but also the 31-m band are largely contaminated by strong and powerful jammers.” As the magazine reported, the number of Soviet jammers in the last few years increased and today is expected to have passed the 3000th by far.
When asked whether these jammers are directed against the Western channels, Funkschau replies: “Objectively seen, this cannot be said because Western radio stations such as the VoA [Voice of America], the BBC, Deutsche Welle [German Wave] in Cologne, and big broadcasting services in Europe are rarely affected by the jamming of the East.” It “is above all… the very large foreign broadcasting service of Albania [Radio Tirana] which is jammed by Moscow and its ‘acolytes’ in Eastern Europe. Moscow currently aims its strongest jammers in this direction [Radio Tirana]. This is evident already after a brief look at the HF scene.”
“And finally”, Funkschau concludes, “jamming is far more expensive than regular broadcasting. This fact makes you considering ‘where’ to aim your jamming at.” So it is not the Western radio propaganda but the revolutionary voice of Radio Tirana, which the Russian social-imperialists and their vassals are afraid of. They are afraid of their constant exposure as enemies of Marxism-Leninism, as enemies of the proletarian world revolution.
But in spite of all counter-revolutionary attempts of the Russian social imperialists to drown the voice of the revolution in the ether by noise, “silencing HF radio broadcasts completely is simply not possible”, as Funkschau concludes. And indeed, despite all the propaganda of the Russian social-imperialists against the People’s Republic of Albania, in spite of all jamming attempts against the broadcasts of Radio Tirana, the number of friends around the world grows more and more and the listeners in our country as well as in the whole world increases.
International Food Prize for Albania
Article from “Arbejderen” from 22th April ’87, central organ of the Danish Communist Party/Marxist-Leninists
On April 6, the International Food Prize “Enrique Diaz Balestros” was awarded to socialist Albania. Albania received this award for ensuring food supply for its population. The award ceremony, held in Mexico, was attended by representatives of the international Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, the International Food Program and other international organisations.
“For us who are familiar with the Albanian experience, it is not surprising that Albania has been awarded the International Food Prize”, the president of the International Nutrition Institute said at the award ceremony. “I believe that Albania’s example benefits all countries with fragmented farming and backward means of production in agriculture.” The International Food Prize is named after a Mexican who rendered outstanding services to the Mexican people because of his commitment to the national food supplies. “Today one can hardly imagine that Albania used to be the poorest country of Europe”, the President of the International Nutrition Institute said. “Today we are witnesses how the country achieved great victories in agriculture and raised the living standards of the peasants, how it satisfied the needs of the population for agricultural products and livestock breeding better and better and at the same time reduced the differences between country and city – results which the International Food and Agriculture Organization FAO has recognised, too.”
Professor Sofokli Lozri accepted the award for Albania, which means an international recognition of the Albanian agricultural policy.
On The Role of the Party of Labour of Albania and of Enver Hoxha in the Struggle Against Modern Revisionism
As a determined area of the division of work, the philosophy of each epoch supposes a determined intellectual documentation, that has been transmitted to it by the philosophies having preceded it and from which it proceeds. And this is why it happens, that countries lagging behind in the economic field may nevertheless play first violin in philosophy.Fr. ENGELS, Letter to Conrad Schmidt, October 20th, 1890
THE CRIME OF IGNORANCE
During the VIIth Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania in November 1976, between the official sessions, Jacques Jurquet, leader of the PCMLF, proposed to Ramiz Alia that to the emblematic figures of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin be joined that of Enver Hoxha. This was of course a provocation, which was sharply rejected. In his Report Enver Hoxha denounced the “theory of the three worlds” openly expressed in 1974, that is to say before the death of Mao Zedong, by Deng Xiaoping1.
In France – amongst many other countries – it was the portrait of Mao Zedong that was displayed by many parties and organizations that claimed to be Marxist-Leninist. It was placed after that of Stalin, and increasingly in replacement of that of Stalin. This little war of effigies may seem puerile. It has however an evident practical use, that of putting forward a membership which though not being of religious nature adopts religious forms, claims to trace a demarcation and in fact traces this demarcation. The boundaries of the latter, of course, can only be fuzzy. While some are popularizing the image of the precursors or leaders of a party, it may turn out that the purpose is to cover themselves by a reference in order to conduct a policy contradictory to the teachings of the one whom they claim to take as a model. This is a policy fairly well known, a practice common to all regimes. This practice precisely renounces to examining the theoretical and political works of the one whom one praises.
Images may be distorted ones, being either praised or spurned for any good or bad reasons related to propaganda. Sustained by active publicity they have a chance, if one may say so, to survive some time, while being turned over or used according to more or less avowables objectives. Besides this – and here is the object of this short text – there are men and parties that, since at first sight they haven’t had an international stature, are somehow repelled out of the field of history. That is, of all the histories and (what imports most to us here) of our history, which is that of communism and of the men and women who have struggled at the price of their lives for the destruction of the capitalist mode of production, for the emancipation of humanity, so that it be finally liberated from its chains.
In this sense we have a historical responsibility, which is the responsability to preserve the memory of the part played by the Party of Labour of Albania and its First Secretary Enver Hoxha. In fact, a double responsibility, because it does not only concern the memory : the struggle initiated by the PLA against modern revisionism is not finished off. It continues in conditions even more difficult today. The foundations of the struggle we claim to fight against modern revisionism appear in the history of the PLA, and the teachings that we can derive from this past struggle will enable us to continue and develop our own struggle.
There is a major risk, and this is why it seems essential to us to reconsider the question, and to reconsider it again and again : the risk of oblivion. Given, among others factors, the acceleration of history – at least a sensation of acceleration – from one generation to the other, whole sections of history are precisely evaporating. Who today, simply observing the present situation in Albania, would be able to conceive by himself the part played by the Party of this country on an international level in the defense of Marxism, of Leninism, during more than three decades, from the 50s to the 80s ?
The extreme brevity of the period is not a criterion ; the decomposition of the parties that claimed to be Marxist-Leninist, to take socialist Albania as a référence, is not a criterion either. The same is true, of course, as for the very decomposition of the revisionist parties like that of the ex-USSR. It is evident that our conception of the world, based on Marxism and Leninism, does not depend on the ups and the downs that stand out as landmarks of the struggle between communism and capitalism.
During all historical periods, and mainly in periods of ebb-tide, whether they may be considered as transitory or not, the important is to ensure the continuity of the relay. No one who today claims to politically assure the continuity of revolutionary Marxism, can ignore the contribution of the PLA and Enver Hoxha, contribution that constitutes an arm for the present and the future. Like any arm this one can rust. Our duty is to preserve it, to enrich it under the conditions of the new period that we approach just now and that begins to take form.
The oblivion can have, if one may say so, a natural cause : the extreme weakness of the international communist Marxist-Leninist movement. It can equally be favored by the renegades, not to mention the parties and organizations that share the points of view and the theses denounced by the Party of Labour of Albania, wether they are avowed revisionists or not. In a more veiled manner can be expressed criticisms, reticences, hesitations that have specific practices and geographical environments as a basis. The result is the same, namely having a limited political view and sacrificing the essential.
A temptation for militants who have not lived through the different periods that have to be dealt with – from the death of Stalin in 1953 to the 80s – or who have lived through only some of these periods, is to enter this history backwards, starting from the current situation. Yet it is necessary to deal with it in the context prevailing then. Let us keep away from all retrospective illusions.
A LONG STRUGGLE : 1942-1978
The struggle of the Party of Labour of Albania and Enver Hoxha against modern revisionism spans over a long historical period. It can be divided in several stages :
1. Initially the context was characterized by the denounciation of Yugoslavia lead by Tito, which was undertaken by the PLA in conjunction with all the other communist parties from 1948 on, and even from 1942 on, as far as the PLA (CPA at that time) alone is concerned.
2. From 1953 after the death of Stalin until the XXth Congress of the CPSU in 1956.
3. From the end of 1956 until the Meeting of the 81 Communist and Labour Parties at Moscow in November 1960.
4. From December 1960 up to Khrushchev’s public attacks against the PLA at the XXIIth Congress of the CPSU in 1962.
5. From 1962 to July 1978 (the public rupture of the PLA with the Chinese Communist Party).
It is necessary at this point to underline that this struggle had a double aspect : internal and external. Before the PLA publicly adopted a definite position against Khrushchev and the leaders of the CPSU, the struggle had been circumscribed to relationships from Party to Party. By what had leaked out about disagreements, later turning into divergences, it was however possible to perceive that they concerned the way to qualify Yugoslavia and the relations from Party to Party between the CPSU and the CLY. In fact the Yugoslav question has served as a line of demarcation. The fluctuations of the CPSU and equally of the CCP2 have in some sense served as a revealing factor and have strengthened the vigilance of the PLA that for its part, despite Soviet pressures, has never hesitated to denounce the Yugoslav regime as anti-Marxist3.
Even more important, of course, has been Khrushchev’s Report, termed secret, at the XXth Congress of the CPSU in February 1956, that is, the denounciation of Stalin, as well as the Soviet theses concerning especially the question of war and peace, the putting forward of different ways to achieve socialism, the peaceful transition to socialism, the attenuation of class struggle in the period of construction of socialism. In fact the CPSU intended to promote a general line for the International Communist Movement, a line based on the peaceful coexistence and the establishment of new relationships with the US. The fruitition of all this was to be facilitated by the reconciliation of the USSR with Yugoslavia and its theses.
The grave presumptions the PLA could have in the aftermath of Khrushchev’s journey to Belgrade in July 1955, were thus found justified. They were confirmed in 1955 and in 1956 by the different attempts inside Albania to destabilize the Party as well as at the time of Gomulka’s return to Poland and the counter-revolutionary insurrection in Hungary.
The positions defended by the PLA were sufficiently explicit in 1956, to cause Tito to personally attack Enver Hoxha in a speech pronounced at Pula on November, 19th. An article of Zëri i Popullit of November, 23rd, having as a basis some theses by Enver Hoxha, replied to Tito4.
By the end of 1956 the PLA was placed in a contradictory situation : the necessity to oppose Khrushchev’s revisionist theses, while preserving the unity of the international communist movement face to the world-wide reaction. It had to resist to pressures exercized by the CPSU, yet without envisaging a rupture. Indeed it then seemed possible that Khrushchev and his theses be combatted victoriously inside the USSR. Another factor was important, that of the deserved prestige which the USSR enjoyed inside the Party and inside Albania, wether it concerned the October Revolution, the part played by Lenin and Stalin, the victories of the Red Army over the Germany of Hitler. Divergences were examined at the Politburo of the PLA even before1956, but they could not yet be expressed inside the Party, inside the working class and the labouring masses.
It was only in 1960, after the attempt of condemning the CCP undertaken at Bucarest by the Khrushchev group (scheming that the delegation of the PLA to Bucarest made fail), that the Central Committee of the PLA resolved upon putting its divergences before the Communist and Labour Parties during the Meeting at Moscow in November. Already before the end of the year the basic organizations of the PLA were informed by a Letter of the Central Committee about “the attitude adopted by the Party of Labour of Albania in the struggle against modern revisionism5″.
A first step was carried out. The divergences were exposed before the whole of the Communist Parties – and so they were obliged to adopt a definite position – and before the whole Party of Labour of Albania. Nevertheless the divergences still remained inside the framework of the International Communist Movement. A year later, at the tribune of the XXIIth Congress of the CPSU, Khrushchev publicly attacked the PLA. The rupture was consummated. And the Popular Republic of Albania isolated, at least in Europe.
For Albania the material consequences of the rupture were grave – is it necessary to emphasize it ? – as early as at the end of the year 1960. From a political point of view, with respect to the other Communist Parties, this rupture had little effect, wether speaking of the Parties in power in the Popular Democracies, or of the Parties existing in capitalist, imperialist countries. As for these latter ones, the denounciation of Stalin in 1956 had raised some problems, but the theses of the Khrushchev group encouraged the polycentrism put immediately forward by Togliatti, the idea of the peaceful and specific way of passing to socialism in each country. Modern revisionism could develop freely and vigorously, particularly in Europe, at the very time when the war – then conducted by America – in Vietnam and many other anti-imperialist conflicts referring or not to communism were going on.
As for China, it had taken a particular path in 1955 at Bandung, in presenting itself as the leader of the Third World6. Relations had been established with the PLA at the VIIIth Congress of the CCP (September 1956), where a delegation of the PLA conducted by Enver Hoxha was present. The divergences between China and the USSR as well as the CPSU had been indicated in a text issued in 1960, Long Live Leninism !. From December 15th, 1962 to March 8th, 1963, as the divergences amplified, the CCP published seven articles in order to reply to the attacks of which it was the object. Finally, in reply to the letter of the CC of the CPUS of March 30th, 1963 there was the text known as the “Letter in Twenty-Five Points” that was to be followed by eight other texts questionning the positions of the CPUS, of the Parties of Yugoslavia, Italy, France …, published in foreign languages in the different issues of Peking Review.
It was in these circumstances that the PLA was rejoined by the CCP. For easily explicable reasons the part of the CCP and Mao Zedong resulted in occulting the one played by the PLA and Enver Hoxha. From now on the rupture with the revisionism of Moscow became all the more easy in so far as China, the Chinese revolution, the part played by Mao had been popularized. Moreover, against Khrushchev the CCP defended Stalin. Two great countries and two great Parties making a stand one against the other with Marxism-Leninism as a reference : the first, the USSR, claimed to have a modern lecture of it, while the second was accused of dogmatism for referring to ancient principles, outdated in an allegedly “new era”, that of peaceful coexistence.
As for Albania and its Party, they continued their struggle, strengthened to a certain extent by the fact that in defending Peking against Moscow, those who rejected the Khrushchevian theses (including and perhaps most of all the condemnation of Stalin) were brought to defend Tirana.
However, the rupture with respect to modern revisionism was extremely limited and concerned only a minority of militants of the old Parties7. Some of these militants were susceptible to the reference to Stalin, others had been engaged with respect to the national liberation wars, others lastly rejected the theses of Moscow on the peaceful road to socialism, etc..
In fact the rupture mainly implicated young intellectuals, and the new parties, the new organizations, that were formed in this beginning of the 60s, being in general deprived of bonds with the proletariat and the working class, were excessively weak and played no political part at all in the capitalist countries where they were created.
Peking, Tirana – the two capitals both received delegations of these new parties and organizations founded from 1963 on. The ideological coherence between the CCP and the PLA was not questionned, while very soon divergences between the two Parties began to appear. And some of these divergences were public as early as 1965 : in France, for example, during the presidential election that opposed De Gaulle and François Mitterrand, where one organization resolved to vote for De Gaulle in the name of his anti-americanism emphasized by Peking Review.
One aspect was becoming outlined, namely the putting forward by the CCP of a theory still without name, only claimed as such in 1974, the theory of the three worlds. This theory resulted in raising against the two superpowers – the United States and the USSR -, a world-wide United Front formed by the proletariat together with the oppressed peoples and nations, and these nations were of any nature whatever. To make the revolution in one’s own country no longer was among the questions of the day, and this meant strengthening directly or indirectly the capitalist countries, wether they were themselves imperialist or not! Once again, after the Khrushchev group, this meant conducting the international communist movement towards a policy determined by the interests of a single country.
During the same period, after the eviction of Khrushchev at the end of 1964, the CCP was going to pursue an extremely sinuous policy towards the CPSU as well as towards Yugoslavia.
In order to judge the rise of divergences between the PLA and the CCP it suffices to put face to face the presses of the two Parties. As for the PLA, it affirmed its independence face to the policy conducted by the CCP, asserting its positions without attacking those of China. With the Cultural Revolution going on, it is the very conception of the Party that was an object of divergence, while the “maoists”, taking to a catastrophic flight ahead, claimed to closely copy this Cultural Revolution in western countries both against Stalin and against Lenin, against the “iron collar” of the Party. Divergences got worsened with the visit of Nixon to Peking in 1972.
These divergences – I had the opportunity to notice it in 1972 during my first journey to Tirana – were not confined to the limits of the Politburo of the PLA or its Central Committee. Still expressed in a discrete manner, their object was the journey of Nixon and the part of the army in China during the Cultural Revolution.
These signes were of course found to be confirmed, as far as I am concerned, during the VIIth Congress of the PLA in November 1976 : there was no other way than to render public these divergences. The new element was the directly questioning of the part played by Mao Zedong. This obviousness could not escape the notice of the leaders of the brother Parties invited to the Congress, that – at least some of which – had already undertaken to criticize the PLA8.
One thing that this brief recall shows already is that the PLA and Enver Hoxha – practically since the foundation of the Party in 1941 – have never ceased to struggle against modern revisionism, whatever were the parties that put forward new revisionist theses. This meant preserving the independence of Albania against all sorts of dangers that threatened it, not of an Albania of any indifferent nature, but of the State of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The proletarian patriotism and the bourgeois patriotism cannot of course be viewed in the same manner : the cause is either the defense of the construction of socialism or the perpetuation of national capitalism. The forms the patriotism can take may appear identical, but these two possible contents of it are of antinomic nature.
Thus it is that the putting forward by the PLA of Marxism and Leninism fatally had to be accompanied by the reject of the external pressures that by their various economic, ideological, political manifestations tended to cause the Party to deviate from the very construction, according to the norms that it had fixed, of socialism in Albania, norms that reflected the principles that had served as basis for its formation.
When considering the geographical dimensions of Albania, its economic starting point – one of the poorest countries of Europe -, hence the necessity to create a worker “know-how”, it is a matter of course that this policy comprised risks. And the different ruptures fatally tended to delay, to imperil its development.
It can be said that the attempt of the PLA has been exemplary, precisely in so far as the proletarian internationalism had become a dead letter after the death of Stalin, when to the existence of the socialist camp had been substituted a quite doubtful “socialist system”.
A historical example reduced to the status of an icon being flourished in processions would inspire only passive sentiments, adorned indeed by very beautiful colors, but inoperative. That could be conceivable if revisionism had been eradicated under all its forms – one of which is reformism -, if communism had finished to propagate throughout the whole world, if the survivals, the aftermaths of capitalism had become obsolete. Contradictions would then be of another nature, which would require others arms in order to assure that the world-wide society (that cannot be described today) continue on the road towards the total and real liberation of man.
It is hardly necessary to say that the path of this liberation, that had been opened by the Revolution of October, today runs into a great void. The acquirements conquered with such difficulty have been ruined. And the memory of this havoc weighs heavily on the brain of the living. As if the void had gobbled anything, as if nothing could be built on the field of ruins that offers itself to our eyes.
The importance of the struggle led by the Party of Labour of Albania having Enver Hoxha at its head lies in the fact, that this struggle has been carried on beyond the revisionist transformation of the USSR, beyond the Chinese experience of sinoization of Marxism-Leninism. It constitutes the final moment of the ultimate resistance, on behalf of a Party in power, against the theoretical and political regression that has characterized the end of the epoch that draws to a close, whose completion we live through, while the contours of a new epoch are outlining.
This new epoch is still characterized by the existence of capitalism and imperialism, but today in a single world. And face to this domination, the combat is conducted by dispersed chaotic forces that, when at best they appear under a same banner – that of Marxism-Leninism -, do not assign the same content to it, do obey to contradictory references.
From the epoch that draws to a close to the one that takes shape, there is not only continuity of the capitalist mode of production and of imperialism, of the different imperialists. What remains equally is revisionism that, by merging itself into the capitalist world, gradually transforms itself into simple reformism. Waving red flags does not change anything to the matter, neither does singing the International, parading with the fist lifted, or tattooing oneself with sickles and hammers ! All this is nothing else than disguises, scarecrows.
Thus it is that the struggle against modern revisionism is more than ever the question of the day. Our struggle has a basis to lean on, the work carried out by the PLA and Enver Hoxha, work that it is necessary to resume and to continue under the new conditions forming the context of this struggle. The path has been cleared and this is a solid reference which we ought to be proud of. And it is not simply a reference, but an arm that we must sharpen unceasingly.
Reserving the rest of the world to itself, the Chinese Communist Party had declared one day that Albania was the beacon of Marxism-Leninism in Europe. Similarily some African leaders refuted Marxism in so far as Marx was European. The experience of the Red Khmers, like others carried out by various armed movements in the world, demonstrates indeed up to what catastrophic absurdities these affirmations can lead.
It is more and more evident that capitalism tends to occupy the world-wide space and that even the reserving of agricultural zones takes place as well in the framework of the international division of work, that is to say, the capitalist world-wide market. It may be possible to loosen temporarilly this vice in such or such country. This would be prejudicial to the development of one imperialism among others, but would not induce that there is a threat to the latter, and even less to the system as such. It is by the coordination of these struggles with those that will have to be conducted in the imperialist countries, and under the direction of communist parties that will assume this coordination in one form or another, that it will be possible to ensure the transformation of these armed struggles into proletarian revolutions.
Marxism-Leninism – this is a conception of the world, it determines an engagement that has as ultimate object the destruction of capitalism. To this extent it has of course a world-wide vocation. Is it necessary to repeat these “common places” ! Like the one that consists in reaffirming that revolutionary struggles must have as their primary field the country itself where they develop.
In fact the struggle started and developed by the PLA against modern revisionism has had effects well beyond the frontiers of Europe, whether it be in Africa or in Latin America, and even in Asia.
Enver Hoxha used a vivid expression to describe Marxism-Leninism : to him, it was a great avenue where opened small streets, each a bit different. This difference of course cannot be in opposition to the whole, to Marxism-Leninism in its totality. This very totality indirectly unveils through the various aspects of modern revisionism, combatted and revealed all along the history of the PLA as well as in the work of comrade Enver Hoxha.
1. In Peking Review n 45, 1977, can be read the following statement of Mao Zedong, made in February 1974 in the course of an interview : “In my opinion, the United States and the Soviet Union constitute the First World. The intermediary forces, like Japon, Europe and Canada, constitute the Second World. As for us, we are a part of the Third World.” “The Third World has a quite numerous population. Whole Asia, except Japan, is a part of the Third World. Whole Africa belongs to the Third World, Latin America too.” Politically, to the extent that the “First World” is the main ennemy, this analysis leads to uniting the capitalist countries of the “Second World” with the “Third World”. In fact, this “theory” is quite anterior to 1971. See in the Bulletin International (First Series) a Summary Chronology of the “Theory of the Three Worlds” about the period 1946-1974 : n 0 (October 1977), 01 et 02, 1977, n 2, 4, 5, 1978. This is the meaning of the formulation promoted by the CCP : “Proletarians of all countries, oppressed peoples and nations, unite !”
2. See Bulletin International.
3. And this quite before the text of the CCP of September 13th, 1963, “Is Yougoslavia a socialist country ?” A courious appreciation is met with, in this text : “For sure, Yugoslavia has been a socialist country and during a certain time this country progressed on the way to socialism.” (Debate on the general line of the International Communist Movement (1963-1964), Publishings in Foreign Languages, Peking, 1965, p. 189 in the French edition). Nevertheless, it is clear that what has been questioned in 1948-1949 concerned the policy followed by the Yugoslavian Party since the liberation of Yougoslavia.
4. Theses published in French in 1974, in Les communistes albanais contre le révisionnisme – De Tito à Khrouchtchev 1942-1961 – Textes et documents choisis et présentés par Patrick Kessel, UGE-10/18, pages 180-185.
5. Idem, pages 291-326.
6. See Speech of Zhou Enlai.
7. With the exception of the Communist Party of Bresil that by a vote of the majority condemned the policy of Moscow.
8. In the Franco-Albanain Friendship Association, the fraction having the overwhelming majority of the Presidency, directed by the PCMLF, in fact defended China since several years.