Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line


Important Contribution to the Revolution

Book Review: Enver Hoxha, “Imperialism and the Revolution” Paperback. 464 pages, “8 Nentori” Publishing House, Tirana, 1979.

First Published: Discussion Bulletin #7, October 29, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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From the time the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” of Marx and Engels was published in 1848 to this day the struggle between revolutionary Marxism and opportunism in both the political and ideological fields, has centred around one problem; is the revolution necessary for the transformation of society to a socialist basis or not, do the conditions exist to carry out the revolution or not, can it be carried out in the peaceful way, or is revolutionary violence indispensable?

Thus writes Enver Hoxha in the Foreword, to his recent book, “Imperialism and the Revolution” is a powerful polemic from revolutionary Marxist positions against several currents of “revised Marxism” – Titoism, Khruschevism, Eurocommunism and Maoism.

Enver Hoxha, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Albanian Party of Labour, is no stranger to the fierce struggles which have raged in the ranks of the international communist movement since the Second World War. The Albanian communists have a solid record of sticking to their guns (both ideologically and literally) against seemingly more powerful adversaries. In the late forties they battled it out with Tito. In the late fifties and early sixties they stood up to Khruschev and in the late sixties and early seventies they withstood the pressure from the Chinese leaders.

With this wealth of experience to draw from, Enver Hoxha has set out to interpret the current world situation and point out the traps and blind alleys facing communists in the fight for socialism.

“Imperialism and the Revolution” was first published in April 1978 for distribution within the Albanian Party of Labour. The second (updated) edition has now been published in English and several other foreign languages and is available from the After Hours Bookshop (118 Hoddle St., Abbotsford, Melbourne) or by writing to the ’Albanian-Australian Friendship Association’ (AAFA) PO Box 34, Gladstone, Victoria 3148.

The book is divided into two parts and each part contains three chapters. Part one deals with the strategy of imperialism and modern revisionism and the necessity of carrying out the revolution.

Hoxha explains Lenin’s theory on imperialism and shows that it is by no means outdated. He defends the Leninist thesis that we are living in the epoch of imperialism and the proletarian revolution, and exposes the various arguments advanced to “prove” that the world has entered a “new” epoch with radically “changed” conditions.

He argues that the working class stands at the centre of our epoch and is the only class capable of exercising leadership in a victorious socialist revolution. He contends that the closest possible alliance must be forged between the proletarian socialist revolution of the advanced capitalist countries and the anti-imperialist, national-liberation movements of the undeveloped countries.

Hoxha tackles the complicated question of inter-imperialist contradictions and explains how they should be utilised by communists without discarding Marxist principles. He argues against the view that the working class and exploited peoples should rely on one superpower to fight the other and upholds the principle that if a now world imperialist war cannot be avoided, then communists must aim to transform it into a revolutionary liberation war for the seizure of state power by the working class.

Part two of “Imperialism and the Revolution” is devoted to an exposure of Chinese revisionism. Hoxha condemns the Chinese “theory of the three worlds” as counter-revolutionary and chauvinist. He compares it with the classical writings of Lenin and Stalin and shows that it does not proceed from a class analysis of the various forces acting in the world today. He points out that the “three worlds” theory is designed to unite the proletariat with its “own” bourgeoisie to forget the revolution in favour of defending the bourgeoisie’s “national independence”. He argues that the Chinese theory liquidates the national liberate on struggle of the oppressed masses of Africa, Asia and Latin America by preaching that the various pro-imperialist forces ruling these countries are “leading the struggle against the hegemonism of the superpowers.” Hoxha also shows the similarity between the “three worlds” and the Yugoslav theory of the “Non-Aligned World”.

One chapter is titled “China’s Plan to Become a Superpower”. Here, Enver Hoxha shows the link between China’s counter-revolutionary foreign policy and its counter-revolutionary domestic policy of the “four modernisations”. In order to become a superpower, China must go through two phases, says Hoxha. First it must encourage huge investment from U.S. and other imperialisms, and second (and later) it must invest surplus value in other countries. It is already apparent to everyone that China is deep in the throes of the first of these phases.

Hoxha points out that the Chinese leaders had to make a definite choice as to which of the two superpowers (Soviet or U.S.) they would forge an alliance with. They decided on the U.S. because they are aware that its economic and military potential is greater than the Soviets and therefore they calculate that they have much more to gain from it in terms of financial, technical and military assistance. He points out, however, that the capitalist transformation of the Chinese economy is bound to lead to sharp conflicts between the Chinese workers and peasants on the one hand and the Chinese leaders on the other. He predicts that revolutionary outbursts are bound to occur in China.

The last chapter of Hoxha’s book is devoted to a critique of “Mao Tsetung Thought” and to many readers will prove to be the most controversial section.

Fighting from the established positions of Lenin and Stalin on the nature of class struggle after the revolutionary seizure of power, the nature, task and method of the communist party, the principles of dialectical materialism, and other questions. Enver Hoxha concludes that “Mao Tsetung Thought” is certainly not a “new and higher development of Marxism-Leninism” but is actually an anti-Marxist theory which has caused the Chinese revolution colossal setbacks and confusion.

He criticises Mao’s thesis on “long term co-existence with the bourgeoisie”, “letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend” and the theory of the “inevitable” two lines in the Communist Party.

This last chapter of “Imperialism and the Revolution” should ideally be studied together with the extracts from Enver Hoxha’s political diary (1962-72) which have recently been published by the Albanians under the title “Reflections on China”, vol. 1.

“Imperialism and the Revolution” is essential reading. As a major work of communist theory, it has not been equaled since the days of Stalin.

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Editor’s note: To avoid any possible confusion about the above article we would like to remind our readers that REM policy is “We oppose both Chinese and Albanian revisionism ... ” and also that “Articles hostile to REM policy and Mao Tsetung Thought may also be published in this bulletin.” The most comprehensive critique of Albanian revisionism published by REM so far is a 30 page article in ’Discussion Bulletin’ 3 called “Are Mao’s critics Marxist-Leninists at all?”