Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Letter from Albania

First Published: Discussion Bulletin #4, July 13, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

Editorial note: We have been requested to publish the following letter. It refers to an article in Discussion Bulletin 3 called “Are Mao’s critics MLs at all?” (see Editorial at front if you wish to obtain a copy). We would like in receive readers’ comments on this thoughtful letter. Please fill out the following quiz. Neatest correct entry wins a free copy of Enver Hoxha’s yet to be published autobiography. Does the letter:

a. stimulate your interest in sausage production?
b. make you look forward to comrade Enver’s next 3 volumes?
c. impress you for its biting and irrefutable logic?
d. bore you stupid?

Tirana, ALBANIA. 25th April, 1979

Dear ______,

Two copies of your discussion bulletin have now reached me and been studied. The article which I wrote last November at your request haw done one very good thing – it has so infuriated Albert Langer that he has cast off all disguise and come out openly in his true colours as a rabid enemy of the Party of Labour of Albania and the only country in the world where the dictatorship of the proletariat is in power. So much now in fact that he even tries to allege that socialism does not exist in Albania. Why is this? Because the heir to the Langer Sausage empire does not like the proletarian revolution. He is a bourgeois revolutionary and hence pours out his vilest spleen on the proletariat and the proletarian party. Thus you can no longer regard him as a “good guy with whom we have some differences over strategy and tactics”, but must see him as an enemy who must be fought’. He comes in the same category as “Danny the Red” and other petty bourgeois student types who have played a role for a time in some sections of the revolutionary movement, but who always end up as vicious opponents of the proletariat in the revolution. W. Randolph Hearst in the USA played a similar role early in this century when, having inherited his family’s gold mine, he became a newspaper baron and wanted to run Upton Sinclair (of “The Jungle”, “Oil” and other famous novels) as communist candidates for the presidency of the USA.

Such people find it delightfully easy to dig out isolated passages from documents in order to bolster their case, entirely overlooking the time and circumstances in which these documents were published and the fact that almost every inter-party document represents some sort of compromise imposed by the situation. Here our “pure” revolutionaries (as opposed to real revolutionaries engaged in concrete struggle) will proclaim in triumph that a genuine revolutionary party must not make compromises. But Lenin states bluntly that this is an infantile sectarian stand. The essence of the matter is what sort of compromise – does it assist the revolution or does it harm it? Would it have been in the interests of the revolution for the PLA to have come out openly in public attack on the Soviet Union after the 20th Congress when the entire international communist movement was striving (by official decision at the two Moscow meetings)to keep the differences with the revisionists as an internal problem in the hope that comradely criticism would put the CPSU back on the M-L track? The same situation prevailed later in the differences with China. In both these cases the PLA took the stand that it must defend the M-L principles by attacking revisionism in the concrete form of Yugoslav revisionism that had been publicly denounced by the world communist movement while keeping its criticisms of the revisionist deviations in the USSR and China strictly within me confines of the two parties concerned or the legal forums of the world movement. Even when it came out openly against the theory of the three worlds at the 7th Congress in 1976 it did not name the CPC as the author of this theory and did not openly state its differences with the CPSU or the CPC until these two parties themselves had made the differences public.

As to the question of replying to the slanderous attacks on the PLA and comrade Enver, by now you will have had at least one copy of “Imperialism and the Revolution”, which is a major weapon in this battle, while we are now in the process of publishing “Reflections on China”, excerpts from Enver Hoxha’s political diary which sets out, day by day and week by week, the way Enver gradually formed his opinions about how things were developing in China and what the PLA must try to do to stop the revisionist degeneration in that party and country, because of its enormous importance to the world revolutionary movement. This work will run to about 2000 pages in three volumes the first of which is now in the hands of the printer and will be available in the middle of next month. The other two volumes will be put out before the end of this year, too. These two works are the best reply to all the shit that smart alecks like our fat friend try to smear on the PLA and socialism.

Since I have been working almost day and night on the translation of the latter work and will be continuing to do so for some months to come, it is quite impossible for me to devote the time to carefully checking up on the extensive bibliography quoted in the Discussion Bulletin in order to do a word by word refutation, and the work I am engaged in will make it quite unnecessary to do so in any case. However, I do want to refute the smear that I did not want that article published over my name because of “some little difficulty with the line of the CPNZ.”

As you can see in the decision of the CPNZ plenum, published in the yellow- covered pamphlet last September, the CPNZ was not prepared at that stage to take a decision on the reason for the obviously reactionary trend in Chinese policy in recent years. It said it needed more time and facts in order to make an analysis, which was fair enough. But this did not mean that those of us who had facts and had formed opinions should sit dumb until some heavenly miracle brought clarity to the others. On the contrary it imposed a duty on us to express our opinions in an effort to reach clarity and agreement on the issues involved, but this could not be done in such a way as to commit the CPNZ to those opinions. This is why I told you that I did not want my name published with the article, which, incidentally, I sent to the CPNZ in the same mail as I sent it to you, explaining in a letter the course I had adopted. Thus despite the screams of anguish from certain quarters, I did not breach the discipline of the party in any way.

The major earthquake that struck the northern regions of the country on 15th April did colossal damage – 10,355 houses destroyed or damaged and over 400 other buildings. The superiority of the socialist system became apparent once again with the rapid and effective measures to eliminate the consequences. Everyone was provided with temporary shelter by 6 p.m. the same day and repair work commenced immediately. A great national action is under way and all the damaged buildings will be reconstructed or repaired by 1st October, while the production plans for 1979 will also be fulfilled all on the basis of self-reliance. In neighbouring Yugoslavia, however, the story is rather different. According to radio reports, in some places tents were arriving only yesterday to house some of the homeless, and Tito has been holding out both hands for foreign aid. It’s not the first time of course. The earthquake is a severe blow to the Albanian people but they have surmounted worse problems and are confident that they will do so again.

Cheerio and best regards,