Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Are Mao’s Critics Marxist-Leninists at all?

First Printed: Discussion Bulletin, #3, March 17, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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“Was Mao a Great M-L” was sent in untitled from a foreign resident in Albania, employed by Radio Tirana, who asked that his name be withheld. It states more directly than was being done by the Albanian media, a critique of Mao Tsetung current in Albania and now being promoted in the international communist movement. This point by point reply is intended to be read in conjunction with the original article. Questions relating to Yugoslavia, Chinese aid to Albania and the nature of the Chinese revolution etc. will be dealt with more fully in separate articles.

1. “The Paucity of Real Facts”

Apparently scientific analysis of Mao is extremely difficult because China is such a vast country with a large population, because the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t invite fraternal delegates to its Congresses, and because Mao has quite a small published output.

Obviously we should only have confidence in views coming from a tiny country with a small population, whose party holds regular congresses attended by fraternal delegates, and whose leader has quite a great published output, at least in quantity.

Unfortunately it is not the Communist Party of China, but the Party of Labour of Albania that has “remained a closed book to anyone from outside”.

When the Albanian leaders praised Mao Tsetung in the most extravagant and even sycophantic terms up to and after his death in 1976, they had exactly the same information that is available today. China’s population has not decreased, its territory has not shrunk, and its Communist Party has not begun inviting fraternal delegates to its Congresses. Nor has Mao sent us any publications from beyond the grave. There has been no change in the information available about Mao Tsetung, the change has been in Albania.

On October 3, 1974 Enver Hoxha told the world:[1]

The Albanian people and all the people of the world nurture an ardent love and place deep trust in great socialist China, in her glorious Party and in Mao Tsetung, the great and beloved leader not only of the Chinese people and communists, but also the dear and respected leader of all the peoples and communists of the world...All the peoples of the world have pinned their hopes of liberation, independence and wellbeing on their efforts and on Mao’s China. They are not mistaken, and their conviction is not based on propaganda, but on a great reality, which shines like the light of the sun, on the construction of socialism in China, which is being carried on in a correct way, according to the doctrine of Marx and Lenin and the teachings of Mao Tsetung; it is based on the determined political stand of the People’s Republic of China in the international arena, on the concrete moral, political, and economic help it gives the peoples of the world.

This reality wrecks and exposes the bandit-like and fascist propaganda of Moscow and Washington. The peoples of the world who see and suffer on their back the oppression of the two superpowers, see and feel that Mao Tsetung, the great Marxist-Leninist, is on their side, they see socialist China stands them in good stead with, sincerity and fraternal love...

That was two years after Nixon’s visit to Peking, a year after the military coup d’etat in Chile and six months after the concept of “three worlds” was explained by the Chinese representative at the United Nations.

It may be that in 1974 Enver Hoxhaa was just using “the eclectic method of selecting such parts of Mao’s works as are suitable to produce slick arguments to substantiate an already formed subjective opinion on the matter”. Or it may well be that is what he is doing now. Or it may very well be a matter of slick subjective arguments both then and now. But he cannot be right both then and now and we can be certain he was not “making an objective scientific analysis of the whole of the activity of Mao Tsetung, including his writings, using the method of dialectical and historical materialism.”

It would be nice to hear some self-criticism before we are asked to accept the latest revealed truth from such an unreliable source.

Obviously Mao Tsetung’s international line was not a “closed book” when Enver Hoxha was praising it. But was there a “paucity of facts” about the internal situation in China? Were Mao’s published works so few that it was impossible to form any objective judgement of them? In short were the Albanian leaders just talking nonsense when they made statements like these:[2]

The work of this Outstanding Marxist-Leninist represents a contribution to the enrichment of the revolutionary theory and practice of the proletariat. The Albanian communists and people will always honour the memory of comrade Mao Tsetung who was a great friend of our Party and people (Enver Hoxha, Report to the 7th Congress of the PLA, November 1976)

Comrade Mao Tsetung was an outstanding thinker and theoretician of Marxism-Leninism, who continued the brilliant work of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. To him belongs the merit of the elaboration, defence and application of the general line of the Communist Party of China in the revolution and the socialist construction,. He personally led the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China and directed the struggle for smashing the counter-revolutionary revisionist traitor groups of Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao, Teng Hsiao-ping and other enemies of the Chinese people and the Communist Party of China. (Message of Condolences from Albanian to Chinese Party and State leaders, 9 September, 1976)

The Marxist-Leninist ideas of Comrade Mao Tsetung on continuously carrying out class struggle in socialist society, on the struggle between the socialist and capitalist roads, and on continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat are an immensely valuable and creative contribution to the theory of scientific socialism...His works on anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist struggles contain theses of tremendous value, both in theory and in practice, to the struggle against imperialism, especially against the two superpowers and their policies of aggression and war, and to the people of various countries engaged in movements for their own liberation. (Hysni Kapo, 17 September, 1976, at memorial meeting during Albania’s three days of national mourning for Mao Tsetung)

Perhaps these statements should not be taken any more seriously than anything else that comes out of Tirana. But it was not just on the Albanian leaders say so, that progressive people around the world supported Mao Tsetung.

Precisely during the period when the Albanian leaders were praising Mao, there occurred China’s Great Proletarian Socialist Cultural Revolution in which the masses were urged to “pay attention to state affairs”, and even the most confidential internal party matters were made public.

In this period the class struggle in China took the form of large scale turbulent mass upheavals and the contending political lines were plain for the whole world to see. Not only were the issues at stake clearly and scientifically explained in the official media, but this was supplemented by vast amounts of material in the Red Guard and rebel press, including many confidential party and state documents. Apart from what is available in Chinese, a great deal has been translated into English by the American intelligence agencies and other “China watchers”, including documents not published in China but captured by Kuomintang intelligence agencies. There have also been many books and articles by foreign residents who directly observed or participated in these events.

Far from being “a closed book to anyone from outside”, the internal affairs of the Communist Party of China have become the subject of a whole industry of “China watching”, with large numbers of full time researchers in various institutes with their own specialized journals and so forth. Some of their material is fabricated and many of their conclusions are nonsense, but that, like the past and present stands of the Albanian leaders, is a problem of world outlook rather than lack of information. There has never been so much information available about the internal affairs of the ruling party in a socialist country.

The best proof that there was no “paucity of information” about China is the speed with which Marxist-Leninists outside China were able to form basically correct conclusions about the counter-revolutionary coup d’etat of October 1976, despite the fact that Albania’s only contribution to this understanding was its silence (as long as Chinese aid kept coming).

Anyone who studied the material on the campaign to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius, the movement to study the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat and to restrict bourgeois right, the struggle against Teng Hsiao-ping’s reversal of correct verdicts and so on, could immediately understand what the revisionists were up to.

The accuracy of this information is proved by the fact that when they came to power, the revisionists proceeded to carry out exactly the policies they were accused of advocating.

In the two years since the Chinese revisionist coup d’etat, Albania has published no material exposing the domestic revisionist policies in China, and has even influenced overseas groups that were doing so to follow its example of talking nonsense about the “three worlds” instead. Was this due to a “paucity of real facts”? The whole of the capitalist press were talking about it. They had plenty of facts.

At first one could be excused for thinking that this silence was out of some sort of tactical considerations in not wishing to be the first to interfere in internal affairs. But wishful thinking had a lot to do with that idea. Since Chinese aid to Albania was cut off on July 7, 1978, the Albanians have not hesitated to describe China as a capitalist superpower, but there is still no comment on the reversal of the achievements of the cultural revolution, except to join in the snide revisionist attacks on it:[3]

The Cultural Revolution, more often than not, preserved, the spirit and actions of an unprincipled struggle, which was not led by a genuine party of the working class which should strive for the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Thus these clashes among factionalist groups ended in the establishment in China of a state power dominated by bourgeois and revisionist elements.

A little thought shows this really isn’t very surprising. Albania never went through anything like the cultural revolution and many of the capitalist hangovers now being restored in China were never abolished in Albania in the first place.

How could Albania expose the return to “material incentives” when bonus systems and even piece work are still the norm in Albania?[4]

How could Albania expose the return to an education system geared to producing a privileged elite, with exams, academic titles etc., when Albania has never abolished these things. Could the “Professors of Dialectical and Historical Materialism” in Albania write articles protesting at the restoration of academic titles in China?[5]

How could Albania protest against the suppression in China of literature and art directed against capitalist readers and advocating rebellion, when no such culture has ever appeared in Albania? How could it take up the regression in the status of women in China when bourgeois concepts of women’s role age still being propagated openly by Albanian leaders?[6]

Above all how could the leaders of the Party of labor of Albania, who always present the Albanian revolution as something to be defended and consolidated against external enemies rather than a continuing process, who deny that there is a bourgeoisie in Albania, (but call for “class struggle” against thin air), and whose main focus is on economic progress, expose the abandonment of continuing the revolution and the substitution of the “four modernizations” in China?[7]

Obviously they could not, so we should not be surprised that they did not. In the face of this deliberate suppression and covering up of the facts about what has been happening in China, it takes real gall to talk about a “paucity of real information”.

2. “A Closed Book”

Let us turn from the wealth of information available about China, to examine a party and state whose affairs really are so obscure that people repelled from Chinese revisionism have tended to rally around it on the basis of little more than wishful thinking.

In his Report to the 7th Congress of the PLA, Enver Hoxha was able to recite three “hostile groups” with eight named individuals who had been “made short work of”. Yet despite the very brief remarks in the report, the struggle remains a completely closed book to any outsider. No political lessons are brought out – in complete contrast to the Chinese struggles against Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao, Teng Hsiao-ping etc., which have helped revolutionaries around the world, as well as in China, to distinguish genuine Marxism from sham.

Indeed, not only outsiders were left in the dark. According to the report, Beqir Balluku, Petrit Dume and Hito Cako made up one group, a putschist faction at the head of the army who tried to “introduce in the army the detestable methods of the bourgeois and revisionist armies” (p123). The Albanian people were informed, in documents meant only for Albanian citizens, that Balluku was executed for giving military secrets to the Yugoslavs concerning underground tunnel systems. Far from being accused of complicity, it appears that the Chinese were given detailed information about the case.[8]

Yet in the open letter of July 29, 1978 we read that Beqir Balluku is accused of supporting Chou En-lai’s “hostile strategic plan” which included “applying the tactics of partisan warfare” instead of relying on “heavy armament” (p. 38). Is partisan warfare now “the detestable methods of the bourgeois and revisionist armies”?

Then according to the 7th Congress Report, Abdyl Kellezi, Koco Theodhosi, Kico Ngjela and others, made up another, separate group, accused of sabotaging the economy, planning, oil, foreign trade etc. (rather like the “gang of four”?) and wanting to introduce “revisionist forms and methods of self-administration”. Since Enver Hoxha’s deep understanding of Yugoslav “self-administration” has led him to characterize the capitalist regime there as a “state of anarcho-syndicalism” (an insult to anarcho-syndicalists, let alone Marxists!)[9] it is quite possible this group is being accused of wanting to introduce the revolutionary committees now abolished in China, in place of the one man management that has always remained in Albania.[10]

The 7th Congress Report links these groups to “certain foreign revisionist states” (presumably Yugoslavia and Rumania) while it explicitly describes China as a socialist country, and does not even hint at any possible connection.

But on October 15, 1978 we read a speech by Hysni Kapo, modestly commemorating Enver Hoxha’s 70th birthday, in which Balluku, Kellezi and Theodhosi are presented as a single group, under Chinese direction.

Obviously the Party of Labor of Albania is such a completely closed book that there is no way an outsider can evaluate the political struggles that have gone on there – except from the outcome – which is rotten.

3. Why we support Mao

It was not simply the fact that Mao led the Chinese revolution to overthrow the Kuomintang regime, carry out land reform and establish state industry that “convinced the vast majority of progressive people in the world that Mao was indeed, a Marxist-Leninist.” By those criteria, Enver Hoxha, or even Tito, would qualify. If those were the reasons that convinced our erstwhile critic then we can agree that his opinions were “based on very limited knowledge” and were “subjectivism”.

What convinced us was not just Mao’s leadership of the new democratic revolution in China, but also his leadership of the international communist movement since then.

Mao Tsetung initiated and led the polemic against revisionism in the international communist movement in the 1950s, no matter how much any other participant may want to rewrite history. That was one dividing line that established who was, and who was not, at that time a Marxist Leninist. Mao’s polemics with Khrushchev did not center around national issues such as the Soviet Union cutting off aid, or giving assistance to China’s enemies like India. They dealt comprehensively with fundamental questions of Marxism-Leninism and in far greater depth than any others at the time. They helped to educate a whole generation of communists. We may be young, but we are not so ignorant the history of that struggle can just be obliterated.

Mao Tsetung also initiated and led the cultural revolution in China. That was another watershed, which established Mao Tsetung not only as a great Marxist-Leninist, but as the greatest Marxist of the contemporary era, if not of all time. Many who passed the previous test of who was and who was not a Marxist-Leninist failed the test of the cultural revolution.

Mao’s enemies, both in China and Albania, are finding that throughout the world, a certain definite generation of communists are the first to speak out and rebel. It is the generation that became communists at the time of the cultural revolution and were inspired by its message that “it is right to rebel against reactionaries” and its demonstration that it is possible to continue the revolution and not just quietly submit to revisionist degeneration.

Our generation’s refusal to perform backward somersaults on command has prompted comments that we are refusing to recognize the facts because we “were brought up to believe” in Mao. That sounds plausible, but actually the exact opposite is true.

We were not communists when the Soviet Union went revisionist. It was not for us just a matter of transferring allegiance to socialist countries that had not. There was no question of assuming Mao must be alright (or anybody else either), just because he opposed Khrushchev.

Nobody brought us up, we were orphans. When we rallied behind Mao Tsetung, it was not without analysis, but through a fierce struggle against other lines. It was not a matter of joining some recognized and established monolithic communist movement and uncritically accepting its existing leadership. We had to fight our way to Maoism against all comers from modern revisionism, anarchism, Guevarism, Trotskyism and the New Left to social democracy, and we had to know something about what we were fighting for.

Mao Tsetung was never a charismatic individual hero. He made few public appearances and there is nothing about his personality as such that has inspired people to follow him. What inspired support was his stand, his basic approach to problems, and especially his unshakeable confidence in the people as makers of history.

Mao Tsetung thought was developed in the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution. It was not the tedious repetition of “universal truths” learned by rote, but was solidly grounded in reality. Australia is not a backward semi-colonial and semi-feudal society like China, and there are no “formulae” in Mao’s works (nor in Marx or Lenin’s) that we can uncritically apply here. Nevertheless we found enormous practical benefit from our study of Mao Tsetung, in concrete struggles here. In particular his rejection of stereotypes and foreign models helped us to do so too.

The striking thing about Mao Tsetung’s works is their practicality. They are not high flown rhetoric, but simple commonsense. Because Mao Tsetung was simply being sensible about how to fight and win a revolution in China, he drew out lessons of universal significance. Many of Mao’s major works were in opposition to lines that superficially appeared “left”, but were right wing in practice. That has helped us to see through such lines in the international communist today, even when they are disguised as opposition to a right wing line, and also to oppose the right wing line, even when it is disguised as opposition to such a “left” line.

We have found in practice that Mao’s concepts of independence and initiative within the united front lead to victories in concrete struggles, while ideas of “striking the main blow at the middle forces” and “everything through the united front” lead to defeats.

We have found that the mass line leads to victories and rejection of it leads to defeats, that the party is built in struggle and attempts to proclaim a “correct line” are disastrous.

In general, studying Mao Tsetung has helped us to grasp the laws of what is actually happening around us, and to use that knowledge to change things. It helped us to liberate our thinking, look at things critically and understand what was going on. That is why we had no hesitation in rebelling against the Chinese revisionists and their flunkeys as soon as they seized power.

With this background, we could not for long put up with anyone who wanted us to cramp our minds and abandon the actual revolution to promote blind faith. Whether they spoke in Mao Tsetung’s name, or against it. We have learned to think things through for ourselves, starting from the facts, and there is no way in the world we would surrender that for any “authority” whose basic appeal is “join us and you need never think again”.

We have learned that real discipline is consciously accepted and cannot be imposed, and that real revolutionaries are people who overthrow reactionaries, not people who endlessly proclaim their solidarity with each other.

We have made and will make mistakes. But we accept responsibility for making them, and learning from them, ourselves. It may be comforting to some to have some authority on whom they can confer responsibility for their actions and blame for their failures. But it is the comfort of slaves. We follow Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao because they are models in rebelling against and overthrowing such spurious “authorities” and respecting only the authority of the facts.

So it is not because we were “brought up to believe” in Mao that we have refused to ditch him. In particular, the Albanian critique of Mao’s international line is not some new “revelation” that could prompt us to reverse our stand.

Especially since Nixon’s visit to Peking, but also long before, we have been continually confronted with a basically similar critique from revisionists, Trotskyites, anarchists and so on. Nor were we unaware of Albania’s position at the time. Naturally people had doubts. The whole direction of Chinese foreign policy has for many years been an issue of terrific controversy among revolutionaries in Australia, and no doubt throughout the world. It was not something with which we could, or did, just follow along blindly and uncritically. We were forced to think about it, discuss it, and even fiercely debate it.

The excerpts now published from the August 6, 1971 letter from the Albanian to Chinese Central Committee ring a bell:[11]

...Welcoming Nixon to China, who is known as a frenzied anti-communist, an aggressor and assassin of the peoples, as a representative of blackest US reaction, has many drawbacks and will have negative consequences for the revolutionary movement and our cause...

...Talks with Nixon provide the revisionists with weapons to negate the entire great struggle and polemics of the Communist Party of China to expose the Soviet renegades as allies and collaborators of US imperialism, and to put on a par China’s stand towards US imperialism and the treacherous line of collusion pursued by the Soviet revisionists towards it...

...The visit... will give rise to doubts and misunderstandings among the rank-and-file who may suspect that China is changing its stand towards US imperialism and involving itself in the game of the superpowers.

...Our strategy calls for close alliance with the peoples fighting all over the world, with all the revolutionaries, on a joint front against imperialism and social imperialism, and never for an alliance with Soviet social imperialism allegedly against US imperialism, ’never for an alliance with US imperialism allegedly against Soviet social imperialism.

Exactly similar views were held by genuine revolutionaries in Australia, and no doubt elsewhere at the time. As Lenin said regarding a quite comparable situation in the early days of Soviet Russia.[12]

This sort of supervision from below, this kind of apprehension emanating from the masses, and this kind of anxiety among non-Party circles show the highly, vigilant attention that is being paid to relations between us and the capitalists. I believe that on this score we should absolutely welcome this apprehension as revealing the temper of the masses.

Yet I think that we shall come to the conclusion that, in the question of concessions, we cannot be guided by this revolutionary instinct alone....

It is not surprising that there were, and still are doubts and confusion about these matters, and it is a good, thing that people have been, and are being forced to deepen their understanding rather than following blindly.

But it is rather extraordinary that six years later, after events have proved who was right and who was wrong, we should be served up exactly the same doubts and confusion as some sort of “revelation”.

After Nixon’s visit, the U.S. went on to complete defeat in all of IndoChina. That is a simple fact. In the face of that simple fact, what is the use of declaring:[13]

This alliance and meeting in Peking, between the Chinese leadership and the American President Nixon, were taking place at a time when the US was waging its predatory imperialist war in heroic Vietnam, when it was using all its most up-to-date means of war, except the A-bomb, to kill the fraternal Vietnamese people and to reduce Vietnam to ashes. This monstrous alliance and the Sino-US contacts were condemnable acts of disastrous consequences for the peoples.

The only “disastrous consequences” were to the credibility of anti-Communism throughout the world, to the feasibility of US and allied intervention against liberation movements, and to Soviet interests.

True enough, the visit did give rise to “doubts and misunderstandings”, and it did “provide the revisionists with weapons”, which they are still using. But that is no excuse for joining the revisionists in using those weapons to increase those doubts and misunderstandings. There is simply no comparison between the negative consequences of doubts and misunderstandings being spread among some progressive people by the Soviets, Trotskyites, Albanians etc., and the overwhelming positive impact among ordinary people, and on the balance of forces on a world scale.

When Trotskyites published photos of Mao shaking hands with Nixon and commented that these were being used as leaflets by US psychological warfare experts to demoralize and confuse liberation fighters in IndoChina, we pointed out that the Trotskyites themselves were engaged in exactly the same operation against revolutionaries in Australia and since it wasn’t working here it was unlikely to work in IndoChina.

It didn’t work in IndoChina. It was the pro-imperialist forces around the world who were demoralized and confused by the sight of Nixon shaking hands with the “threat from the North” who was supposed to provide the justification for counter-revolutionary intervention.

Most of those who were not convinced at the time by analysis and argument, were convinced, later by what actually happened. Enver Hoxha could have been sunning up the feelings of many such people when he said in the 1974 statement quoted earlier that “This reality wrecks and exposes the bandit-like and fascist propaganda of Moscow and Washington. The peoples of the world...see and feel that Mao Tsetung, the great Marxist-Leninist is on their side, they see socialist China stands them in good stead...”

If Enver Hoxha wishes to justify his now echoing exactly the same tune as the “bandit-like and fascist propaganda of Moscow” concerning Chinese foreign policy (to instigate a world war so they can dominate the ruins etc.), then he will have to do better than referring to events that had already taken place two years before he made that statement, and six years before he openly changed sides.

Meanwhile, it is precisely because we were not “brought up” to support Mao, and were not “convinced” by such pathetically subjective reasons as our critics, but fought our way to an understanding of what it is all about, that we are able to continue fighting against all comers.

4. Further Complications

The issue is not being “further complicated today” by the fact that the Chinese revisionists are now trying to discredit some of Mao’s writings and “turn their author into a harmless icon”.

On the contrary, the issue has been complicated by the fact that until recently both the Chinese and Albanian revisionists loudly proclaimed their support for Mao. We would need short memories to forget about all the articles “proving” that the concept of “three worlds” was diametrically opposed to Mao’s line, from groups that are now obediently declaring their agreement with the Albanian conclusion that Mao was a revisionist from the 1930s.

When Mao died, the Albanian leaders made a point of strongly praising him and the Cultural Revolution, and refusing to praise Hua Kuo-feng or condemn the “gang of four”. They then took advantage of the confused situation to open up a general polemic on the “three worlds”, which had nothing to do with it.

Many Marxist-Leninists were taken in by this and were glad to follow the lead of a “socialist country” apparently opposed to the counter-revolution in China, without really looking at where they were being led.

So far as we know, the Red Eureka Movement in Australia was unique among groups formed in open opposition to the Chinese revisionists and their flunkies in continuing to vigorously, publicly and unequivocally defend Mao’s international line by supporting the concept of “three worlds” and the international united front against the Soviet Union.

This has left us feeling somewhat isolated, and therefore lacking in confidence, but at least we are not now in the embarrassing position of either having to eat our words of support for Mao or eat our words about the “three worlds” being a revisionist attack on Mao’s line and Albania being the center of its defence. Thus we were able to promptly condemn the Albanian attack on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung thought as soon as it became open just as we condemned the revisionist coup d’etat in China as soon as it took place, and just as we criticized the Albanian editorial “Theory and Practice of Revolution” as soon as it was published (and before the Chinese reply).

We may be lonely, but we haven’t got egg all over our face. That doesn’t change the fact that we are only a small group and haven’t worked out any real understanding of how to make revolution in Australia. But it is a source of some pride when faced with an “international communist movement” in which everybody else seems to be getting so dizzy with backward somersaults that they call “plainly absurd” today, what they called “self-evident” yesterday, and in equally loud and arrogant tones.

Nevertheless, we too were taken in by the “further complications” to the extent that we initially thought the Albanian leaders, although wrong, were in solidarity with revolutionaries in China and the world. We characterized their position as merely a “Left wing Communist error”, which may still apply to some critics of “three worlds”, but cannot accurately describe a position which more and more openly advocates at the very least appeasement of the Soviet Union.

We were indignant when E. F. Hill publicly insinuated that Hoxha had “ulterior motives” for not hailing the coup d’etat in China, and privately spread rumours that the Albanian position was semi-Trotskyite and soft on the Soviet Union, (after publicly praising the 7th Congress while still in Albania). Although the method of insinuation and behind the scenes intrigue remains contemptible, events of the past two years prove conclusively that on this particular question Hill was right, and we were wrong.

Events proved that the Albanians in no way supported Mao Tsetung, the Cultural Revolution or the “gang of four” but were cynically exploiting the situation to gain support from those who did. That was an “ulterior motive” and there are no two ways about it. Hoxha’s past record cannot change the objective facts about his present position. Despite continuing references to “Soviet social-imperialism”, the Albanian analysis of many international questions does run parallel to Soviet interests. Their overall theme that China has for many years been trying to incite war between the superpowers so that they can dominate the ruins is exactly what the Russians have been saying all along. It fits in exactly with the Soviet needs to encourage appeasement and avoid at all costs a united front of the countries that could oppose their striving for hegemony. Albania’s lack of support for Rumania’s recent struggles for increased independence, and lack of opposition to the Vietnamese aggression against Cambodia are “errors” alright. But they can hardly be called “Left wing”. The U.S. Progressive Labor Party is an example of a “super-Stalinist” group whose position ended up semi-Trotskyite (and their offshoots are saying “we told you so” about the Albanian position being essentially identical to what they said many years ago). Facts are facts. The facts about Albania are becoming as clear as those about China. Even a member of the Warsaw Pact like Rumania was sufficiently independent of the Soviet Union to condemn the aggression against Cambodia. Albania was not. In fact its stand effectively supports Vietnam.

Until now the Albanian maneuver of attacking Mao’s international policy in the guise of an attack on his revisionist successors has been quite successful in confusing and disorienting Marxist-Leninists around the world.

Likewise the Chinese revisionists maneuver of covering their attack on Mao’s domestic line by loud proclamations of loyalty to Mao personally and defense against the Albanian attacks on his international line has been quite successful in confusing and disorienting many Marxist-Leninists around the world.

It really is quite an impressive achievement to have apparently wiped out Maoism within two years of Mao Tsetung’s death and the Albanian and Chinese revisionists deserve congratulations.

Nevertheless, it was impossible to carry through either of these attacks on Mao’s line successfully without attacking Mao directly because his ideas are revolutionary and revolutionaries around the world continually use them to expose and resist the revisionist line. Hence it has been necessary to discredit Mao and deprive revolutionaries of this important weapon, in the same way that Khrushchev had to discredit Stalin.

Mao’s opponents in Albania may imagine that it will be easier to discredit Mao because the Chinese revisionists pretend to support him. They seemed to have timed things nicely by waiting until most ML and “ML” groups opposed to the Chinese revisionists had identified themselves with Albania before launching their open assault on Marxism-Leninism.

Unfortunately this timing has been stuffed up because the Chinese revisionists were also waiting until they had solved their internal problems (where it is still difficult to repudiate Mao directly) and until other ML and “ML” groups had lined, up with them in support of the “three worlds”, before publicly attacking Mao’s “mistakes”.

Now that Mao’s enemies, both in China and Albania are stepping out into the open, they can no longer use each other as a diversion and they will both be discredited more rapidly.

The “further complications” are disappearing and a good deal of support for the Albanian line will disappear along with it. Hardened flunkies will have no difficulty performing more somersaults and they will still take some others with them. But more and more genuine revolutionaries will be forced to think things through and find their bearings again over a period of time.

5. Attitudes to Tito

Certainly “Hua Kuo-feng and Co. must be sorely embarrassed” by Mao Tsetung’s consistent stand against Yugoslav revisionism. That is why they have to lie about it.

For example unofficial versions available outside China for many years, of a speech by Mao Tsetung on 30 January, 1962, include the following:[14]

If our country does not establish a socialist economy, what kind of situation shall we be in? We shall become a country like Yugoslavia, which has actually become a bourgeois country; the dictatorship of the proletariat will be transformed into a bourgeois dictatorship, into a reactionary fascist type of dictatorship...

But the recently published official version has been fabricated to delete the reference to Yugoslavia[15], without so; much as a note that the text has been edited, let alone an ellipsis (...) or a footnote.

Obviously this fabrication was prompted by the recent ’discovery’ that socialism has been re-established in Yugoslavia and Tito was a Marxist-Leninist all along!

But it seems China is not the only place where revisionists are engaged in fabrications because they wish to cover up a changing attitude towards Yugoslavia.

We don’t know what Mao Tsetung, Chou En-lai, Kang Sheng etc. said to Enver Hoxha and the Albanian delegation to the 8th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 1956. But we do know that the Albanians had to wait some 20 years for every single one of the people concerned to be safely dead before saying anything about it. And we also know that this kind of gossip is exactly like Khrushchev’s “revelations” about Stalin in his “secret speech”. Genuine Marxist-Leninists do not use these despicable methods.

While we don’t know what Mao said privately to Hoxha 20 years ago, we do know what Hoxha said about Mao for the following 20 years, and we do know what Hoxha said publicly about Yugoslavia as late as April 17, 1957 (after the Hungarian events), in his joint statement with Nikita Khrushchev:[16]

It is the unanimous view of the CPSU and APL delegations that the improvement in relations between the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia and the other socialist countries which set in in 1955-56, after the healing of the breach with Yugoslavia and the well known Soviet-Yugoslav Declarations, benefited the peoples of these countries and the cause of peace and accorded with the interests of the international labour movement.

The delegations of the CPSU and APL express regret that in recent months, since the events in Hungary, relations between the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and the Communist and Workers’ Parties have begun to develop in a different direction, which is not in keeping with the interests of the socialist and working-class parties and of all peace-loving peoples. The delegations have expressed readiness to make the necessary efforts to secure better relations and contact with the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and cooperation with it on the ideological basis of Marxism-Leninism, on the principles of proletarian internationalism. They hope that the leadership of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia will likewise take suitable steps to achieve such cooperation.

The simple fact is that the split in the international communist movement came several years after Khrushchev “healed the breach” with Tito, so such statements should not be considered especially surprising.

Nor would it be surprising if the Chinese leaders told the Albanians that “Stalin was wrong about Tito” at their eighth Congress. In fact they said the same thing publicly[17] and there was even a Yugoslav delegation at that Congress. Since the Albanians had more direct experience of Tito than anyone else (having almost become part of Yugoslavia), it would not be surprising if they were more clear about him than the Chinese in 1956.

But it is surprising that anyone should imagine reference to remarks allegedly made by Mao 20 years ago could either justify the reversal of what has been said about Mao ever since, or successfully distract attention from the recent extremely important changes in Albania’s attitude to Yugoslavia.

Those changes are just as significant as the Chinese revisionists rehabilitation of the revisionist Tito and they are expressed in Enver Hoxha’s statement on 8 November, 1978:[18]

As you know, the Chinese leadership, through Chou En-lai and company, several times tried to blackmail us in order to impose a military alliance with Yugoslavia and Rumania on us. Of course this alliance was planned to achieve the aims of China against the Soviet Union in the Balkan area and to instigate an imperialist world war.

In the same speech, Hoxha also refers to:

... the plan of the Chinese leadership, of Chou En-lai and company to create or encourage the creation of blocs of States against Soviet social-imperialism and especially to cause provocations in Europe, where It wants the third world war to be waged, in which the Soviet Union, the United States of America and the European countries are to clash with and destroy each ether while China escapes the conflagration...

In addition he talks about:

...the question of the Albanian minorities in Yugoslavia, contrived by the Junker Bismarck, the Beaconsfields and Lord Greys, whose secret treaties against Albania Lenin exposed and tore up...

And says:

...the Albanians living in Yugoslavia, both as regards the extent of their lands as well as the number of their population, amount to more than two Yugoslav republics taken together. They are only one people, but they have been scattered over two republics and one autonomous region...

These statements must be considered together, and taken together they amount to a public repudiation of Albania’s previous attitude towards Yugoslavia, reaffirmed as recently as Enver Hoxha’s 7th Congress Report (p202-3) and originally stated in his speech at Bajram Curri in northern Albania on 30 May, 1970:[19]

Our viewpoints about Yugoslavia are known and we publicly state them. We do not interfere with the internal affairs of the Yugoslav peoples, but we do not hide that between us and the Yugoslav leadership there exist deep Irreconcilable ideological contradictions which originate from the fact that the Yugoslav leadership is not Marxist-Leninist...

But we develop inter-state relations with the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in trade as well as in all the issues of mutual interest. We have stood and stand for the constant improvement of such relations and the goodwill in this direction neither has failed not will fail on our part ..also in the future, for, as we have said and continuously say, we are friends, and brothers with the peoples of Yugoslavia...

...In these last two years the Khrushchev revisionist aggressors have been threatening Yugoslavia and her peoples, their freedom, independence and sovereignty. The people of all nationalities living in Yugoslavia valiantly fought during the anti-fascist war and they will surely know how to fight again and rebuff any aggressor that would attempt to violate their freedom and independence won with blood and sacrifices. The Albanian people, in case of danger, will be on the side of the Yugoslav peoples against any aggressor whatever that would menace the freedom, sovereignty, and national independence of our peoples. And the aggressor should be convinced that he not only cannot break and defeat us, but in such an adventure he would meet with his death. We have said and continue to say this clearly, unequivocally and openly. And this stand of ours is a principled one.

Also repudiated is Enver Hoxha’s similar declaration “Revisionist aggressors, hands off Rumania”, made at Kukes in northern Albania on 28 May, 1970 in a speech referring to Soviet “preparations for aggression against Rumania, Yugoslavia and Albania...”[20]

It is quite clear from these speeches that Chou En-lai and Beqir Balluku were not the only people who could see the logic of a military alliance between Yugoslavia, Rumania and Albania after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, unless of course Hoxha only meant that he would send resolute declarations of solidarity while watching the Soviet troops pass through Yugoslavia towards the Albanian borders.

It is equally clear that by attacking the very idea of such an alliance as a “provocation” against the Soviet Union, Enver Hoxha is himself adopting the gangster logic of the Soviet Union, or at the very least, the logic of Chamberlin and other appeasers who saw collective security agreements as a “provocation” of Nazi Germany and hoped to turn the Nazis east (unsuccessfully).

Quite clearly an alliance between Yugoslavia, Rumania and Albania would pose no security threat to any other state. If the Soviet Union felt provoked it would not be because they feared an Albanian army might march through Yugoslavia to join the Rumanians in detaching Bessarabia from the U.S.S.R. It would be because they regard any declaration that other countries will stick together and not allow themselves to be subjected to Russian domination one by one, as a provocation, just as they regarded Czechoslovak independence as a provocation.

Such an alliance would be quite different from the recent Soviet-Vietnam treaty to pave the way for aggression against Kampuchea, which Enver Hoxha did not find it necessary to condemn. It would be to deter imperialist war, not to incite it.

Contrast this with Hoxha’s remarks about the Albanian minority in Yugoslavia, which are exactly the kind of thing that has historically been used by the Great Powers to “incite imperialist war”, “turn the Balkans into a powder keg” and so forth.

Does Hoxha seriously imagine that Marxist-Leninists are going to be impressed by the undiluted bourgeois nationalism now coming out of Albania[21] and will support chauvinist demands to dismember Yugoslavia and annex the Kosmet in the name of “Greater Albania”? Because that is exactly what Hoxha’s remarks are intended to pave the way for.

We need not trouble ourselves about Bismarck or Disraeli having “contrived the question of the Albanian minorities in Yugoslavia”. Both died long before either a Yugoslav or an Albanian state came into existence. The 1878 Congress of Berlin in which they took part did not define the borders of modern Albania, but the partition of Turkish territory in the Balkans.

The borders of modern Albania were determined by the 1913 conference of Ambassadors in London, presided over by Lord Grey. But it is a deliberate lie to suggest this involves “secret treaties against Albania that Lenin exposed and tore up”. The treaty Lenin exposed and tore up was the secret Treaty of London, signed between Italy, Britain, France and Russia in 1915. This violated the 1913 public agreement by proposing to partition parts of Albania between Italy, Montenegro, Serbia and Greece and place the remainder under Italian domination.[22]

None of the Albanian territories which Montenegro and Serbia claimed after 1913 are part of Yugoslavia today. Along with some small areas inhabited by Greeks and Macedonians, they are part of Albania.

The “Albanians living in Yugoslavia” who are only one people but they have been “scattered over two republics and one autonomous region”, are not the product of any secret treaty denounced by Lenin. Albania and Yugoslavia are two independent, sovereign states that long ago recognized each other’s borders. It is clearly no business of Albania’s to say where the boundaries of the republics and autonomous regions that make up the Yugoslav federation should lie. The ethnic Albanians of Yugoslavia are Yugoslavs and have no more to do with Albania than Singaporeans or the Hoa people of Vietnam have to do with China (which means that like overseas Chinese, they do have some family and cultural links).

To raise this question is in fact to raise the question of dismembering two Yugoslav republics and one autonomous region. How else could the “question” of “one people” who are “scattered over two republics and one autonomous region” be “solved”? What could happen to an “Albanian Republic” in Yugoslavia except to join it onto the rest of Albania?

Quite obviously Albania is in no position to dismember Yugoslavia. But the Soviet Union would very much like to, and is actively supporting the Croatian Ustasha, Macedonian nationalists and other secessionist forces. No doubt they would welcome a secessionist or irredentist movement among the Yugoslav Albanians.

Enver Hoxha may think he is being very clever in abandoning the internationalist stand of Albanian communists against “Great Albania” chauvinism. But the only time Albania’s borders have included Kosova and Metohia under an Albanian state was when this “Great Albania” as well as Yugoslavia was in fact under fascist occupation. Those who think like that should have joined the Balli Kombetar, not the Communist Party.

In adopting a chauvinist position concerning ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia, Enver Hoxha is following closely in the footsteps of the Chinese revisionists.

Mao Tsetung’s China had a clear stand that while overseas Chinese may have family and cultural links with China, they were no concern of the Chinese government unless they happened to be Chinese nationals. China strongly encouraged its nationals abroad to renounce their Chinese nationality and adopt that of their country of residence. In practice, to encourage overseas Chinese to abandon their Chinese nationality, the Chinese government has shown little interest in them even when they remain Chinese nationals. This internationalist stand has made it easier for overseas Chinese to take part in local revolutionary movements[23] and harder for reactionaries to use the Chinese question to stir up anti-communism. Although this policy has beer reaffirmed in words, recent Chinese statements concerning the persecution of Chinese in Vietnam (for which there appears to be considerable evidence) have been put in a way that can only encourage ethnic Chinese to see themselves as Chinese rather than Vietnamese nationals and this has been coupled with criticism of the “gang of four” for having “orphaned” the overseas Chinese. This policy has already been exploited by the Soviet Union to re-kindle fears of Chinese loyalty to the “motherland” in many other Asian countries.

Albania never took such a completely internationalist position as China and never completely renounced its right to speak for the rights of Yugoslav nationals of ethnic Albanian origin. But Albania did clearly accept that they were Yugoslav nationals, it accepted the state boundaries of Yugoslavia and it energetically opposed “Great Albania” chauvinism.

These complicated national disputes, of which we have no real experience in Australia, are of enormous importance in other parts of the world, and especially in the Balkans. It is quite inconceivable that Hoxha could have raised such questions casually.

In his report to the 7th Congress of the PLA, which we are repeatedly told was an outstanding Marxist-Leninist document, Enver Hoxha repeated that:

The declaration of the Party of Labor of Albania that in case of any eventual aggression against Yugoslavia by the Soviet Union or some other power the Albanian people will stand by the Yugoslav people, will always hold good. But the Yugoslav side must respond to this stand of Albania with just and correct actions towards us. (p202-3).

Now by denouncing “the creation of blocs of states against Soviet social-imperialism” as “provocations in Europe”, Enver Hoxha is clearly repudiating this stand. Certainly, if he did not wish to be understood, as repudiating it, he would have taken care, in saying such things, to emphatically repeat that Albania’s willingness to stand by Yugoslavia against Soviet aggression still stood. Coupled with declarations implying support for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, such a statement would not have been worth much. But without it, the intention is perfectly clear and no question of “misunderstanding” arises.

While some Marxist-Leninists may still be confused, the Soviet imperialists understand the position very well and have already expressed their appreciation. Here is the full text of a news release from Moscow headed “Albania exposes Peking reaction:[24]

The ending of Chinese aid to Albania has signalled a decisive break between, the two countries. The letter of July 29 that the Central Committee of the Albanian Party of Labor sent to the CC of the Communist Party of China shows the development of the division.

In 1968 the Chinese leadership urged Albania to form a military alliance with Yugoslavia, and Romania, saying that Albania would not be able to defend itself from foreign aggression. Again in 1975 they tried to impose on Albania the idea of this military alliance, but again it was rejected, Albania seeing it as an attempt to turn the Balkans into a powder keg.

Since the Chinese leadership sees the Soviet Union as the main enemy, they would be trying to use such an alliance for attacks on the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, and Hungary(!).

The Albanian letter accused the Chinese leadership of breaking with Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism and of collusion with US imperialism.

President Nixon was invited to China at a time when the USA was waging a devastating war on Vietnam. It stressed that the theory of three worlds as put forward by Chinese leaders, was to cover up Chinese aims to establish hegemony over the Third World and for the reconciliation of imperialism and the Third World. The letter accused the Chinese leaders of stopping assistance to revolutionary and liberation forces. The letter claimed that the attempt to hamper the development of socialism in Albania only exposed the anti-Marxist and counter-revolutionary nature of the Chinese leadership. The letter also made anti-Soviet attacks.

It appears that the Soviet Union has grasped the main point that Albania’s line on major international, questions is substantially identical to their own. The final sentence about “anti-Soviet attacks” gives these exactly the significance they deserve.

As Enver Hoxha once remarked:[25]

If you make such concessions to those monsters, they will allow you even to insult them, call yourselves communists, even pose as adherents of Marx, Lenin and Mao Tsetung. But all this is bluff, for they have gripped you by the throat and you cannot budge; you have become their slave, their agent, have sold out your country and people.

The question has been posed:

If Mao were a Marxist-Leninist, could he have attempted to impose a military alliance with a known enemy of socialism and an agency of imperialism such as Titoite Yugoslavia is, on socialist Albania.

No question of “imposition” or “blackmail” arises since the Albanians have not even claimed that the Chinese ever did more than suggest such an alliance. Aid, apparently including the “heavy armaments” China advised against continued without let up until after Mao’s death.

But certainly if the Chinese advice to Albania in 1968 was to incite imperialist wars and was part of a Chinese plan “...to cause provocations in Europe, where it wants the third world war to be waged, in which the Soviet Union, the USA and the European countries are to clash and destroy each other, while China escapes the conflagration...” then of course, far from being a Marxist-Leninist, Mao Tsetung must have been an imperialist war-monger.

If that’s what it was all about, then we must conclude not only that Mao was a warmonger, but also that Hoxha kept quiet about this imperialist war-mongering plot against the human species for a whole decade, actively collaborated with it and praised its author as long as he kept receiving aid.

At least Khrushchev and Brezhnev took steps to warn the world about this Chinese plot, and long before 1968.

It has always been difficult to understand why experienced leaders of a party and state who came to power independently through a united front struggle in the war against fascism, should be able to put forward such a transparently “left” line that it appears exactly the same as Lenin’s “infantile disorder”.

How that the Albanian parrotting of Khrushchev and Brezhnev is coming into the open, the reason for the complete theoretical bankruptcy of the Albanian polemics is becoming clearer. Their position isn’t “left” at all. They had nothing to say because it had all been said before – but they didn’t dare say it openly from the beginning because they know that this line will win no support from Marxist-Leninists.

Obviously there is no Marxist-Leninist principle against communists forming military alliances “with a known enemy of socialism and agency of imperialism like Tito”. The alliance between the socialist Soviet Union and the British, U.S. and other imperialists against the Axis powers is a classic example.

The commander of the Albanian National Liberation Army, Colonel General Enver Hoxha knows this perfectly well. After all, his general staff had attached to it military representatives of Great Britain and the United States, as well as the Soviet Union, and it sent military representatives to, and signed a military agreement with, the Allied Mediterranean High Command headed by General Wilson.[26]

Indeed Enver Hoxha went rather further than is permissible for a Marxist-Leninist by placing Britain and the United States on a par with the Soviet Union, in appealing for recognition of the Democratic Republic of Albania on the basis that it had “publicly declared its allegiance to the great Anglo-Soviet-American alliance”.[27]

It is still necessary to refute the various “left” theories raised in opposition to Mao Tsetung’s concept of the united front. But the case of Yugoslavia makes this much clear; Albania’s “left” critique of Mao is not the essence of the problem. We are not engaged in a historical dispute over whether Mao was “soft” on Tito, or a theoretical dispute about the correct interpretation of Leninist tactics. “Left” slogans are being raised only to distract attention from a complete capitulation to the basic line of Soviet imperialism. If Albania’s line was really a “left” deviation then they would be carrying on about the Soviet schemes against Yugoslavia, Rumania and Kampuchea with just as much fervour as they do against the U.S. (while “of course” refusing to unite with anybody about anything).

Their past experience of united front tactics shows that they are not so stupid as to be taken in by their own “left” propaganda. They know what they are saying and doing, and so should we.

If Hoxha is a Marxist-Leninist, could he spread in the international communist movement theories about never being allied with imperialists, that he knows from his own experience to be nonsense, to justify backing away from a stand against Soviet aggression in the Balkans? Is there anything “left” about Albanian appeasement towards the Soviet Union?

Although this is the essence, the historical differences between China’s and Albania’s attitude towards Titoism is worth exploring further, because it does bear on some current issues.

There is some truth in the suggestion that China never took quite the same stand against Titoism as Albania. The Chinese critique always centred on Tito’s revisionist policies which assisted imperialism and restored capitalism. They were never really upset about Tito’s “independence” and in fact welcomed the loosening of ties to the Soviet Union within the socialist camp. Albania’s critique, apart from focussing on the question of Yugoslav treatment of Albania, centred on Tito’s disruption of the socialist camp. It is not to Enver Hoxha’s credit that in the past as well as know, he felt closer to the Soviet revisionist leaders than to Tito and called for rallying around the Soviet Union as head of the socialist camp, long after the Soviet Union had replaced Tito as the main center of revisionism.[28] These questions will have to be documented later.

6. Stalin and the 20th Congress

The publication of Mao’s 1956 report “On the Ten Major Relationship” with its criticism of Stalin, is presented as a new revelation of Mao’s revisionism, so devastating that Mao could only be defended by claiming this article was distorted by its revisionist publishers after Mao’s death.

Actually, not only this report but many other unofficial versions of Mao’s works strongly critical of Stalin have been publicly available since at least 1969 (years before the discovery that all his writings, right back to the 1930s are an attack on Marxism). See for example the American translations referred to in Stuart Schram’s collection “Mao Tsetung Unrehearsed” published by Penguin, and the two volume “Miscellany of Mao Tsetung Thought” published by the US Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS 61269).

Apart from Mao’s remarks about Stalin in the 1956 report having been published before, exactly the same views were stated officially and publicly by the Chinese Communist Party at the time. It is well known that articles like “On the Historical Experience’ of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat”, “More on the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat” and “On the Question, of Stalin” were published in defence of Stalin against Khrushchev’s attacks, yet they repeat the same criticisms as the 1956 report. So what is the revelation?

Indeed Mao was not like those heroes who prefer to save their criticisms of Marxist-Leninist leaders until they are safely dead. (Khrushchev had the excuse that Stalin would have knocked him off – what is Hoxha’s excuse?) Many of Mao’s writings were polemics against the “Wang Ming line” which was, as is explained in the articles mentioned above, connected with the Comintern’s line i.e. Stalin’s line. Interestingly, aspects of Wang Ming’s various right and left lines bear remarkable resemblances to the lines pushed by the Albanians on the one hand, and the Chinese Parrots in Australia on the other. He died recently in Moscow.

It is no surprise to learn that Albania never agreed with any criticism of Stalin whatever, but why pretend that it is a surprise to learn that Mao did criticise Stalin? If anyone thinks history has not proved the correctness of Mao’s criticisms they should refute them. It will be an uphill job since the facts are clear, but nobody can complain about attempting it.

But this does not give anyone the right to say “The only possible conclusion that can be drawn from Mao’s report is that he was in complete accord with the revisionist line of Krushchev of attacking all the achievements of the socialist revolution in the Soviet Union under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin.” That is not a defence of Stalin. It is despicable lie. Such lies can be spread in Albania, where Mao’s works are banned and copies confiscated at the border,[29] but what is the use of peddling this sort of stuff abroad where we can read Mao for ourselves?

Here is what Mao actually said[30] only a few weeks after Khruschev’s 20th Congress speech, in “On the Ten Major Relationships”:

...Some people never take the trouble to analyse, they simply follow the “wind”. Today, when the north wind is blowing, they join the “north wind” school; tomorrow, when there is a west wind, they switch, to the “west wind” school; afterwards when the north wind blows again, they switch back to the “north wind” school. They hold no independent opinion of their own and often go from one extreme to the other.

In the Soviet Union, those who once extolled Stalin to the skies have now in one swoop consigned him to purgatory. Here in China some people are following their example. It is the opinion of the Central Committee that Stalin’s mistakes amounted to only 30 per cent of the whole and his achievements to 70 per cent, and that: all things considered Stalin was nonetheless a great Marxist... (an explanation of the 30 per cent, which refers to entirely different questions from the “crimes” alleged by Khruschev, follows).

Here is what Mao said in his “Speech at the Second Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China” on November 15, 1956.[31]

I would like to say a few words about the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. I think there are two “swords”: one is Lenin and the other Stalin. The sword of Stalin has now been discarded by the Russians. Gomulka and some people in Hungary have picked it up to stab at the Soviet Union and oppose so-called Stalinism. The Communist Parties of many European countries are also criticising the Soviet Union, and their leader Is Togliatti. The imperialists also use this sword to slay people with. Dulles, for instance, has brandished it for some time. This sword has not been lent out, it has been thrown out. We Chinese have not thrown it away. First, we protect Stalin, and, second, we at the same time criticize his mistakes, and we have written the article “On the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat”. Unlike some people who have tried to defame and destroy Stalin, we are acting in accordance with objective reality.

As for the word of Lenin, hasn’t it too been discarded to a certain extent by some Soviet leaders? In my view, it has been discarded to a considerable extent. Is the October Revolution still valid? Can it still serve as the example for all countries? Khrushchov’s report at the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union says it is possible to seize state power by the parliamentary road, that is to say, it is no longer necessary for all countries to learn from the October Revolution. Once this gate is opened, by and large Leninism is thrown away.

The “only possible conclusion” is that Mao was completely opposed to Khrushchov’s revisionist attack on Stalin, and had his own quite separate criticisms of Stalin, It is interesting to compare Mao’s forthright attack on the 20th Congress as early as 1956, with Enver Hoxha’s unqualified endorsement of it at the same time; with statements about “the just struggle against the cult of the individual waged by the 20th Congress” and talk “the experience and vital lessons of the 20th Congress”[32] (on which the 3rd Congress of the PLA was based).

Where Mao not only defended Stalin, but also took up the central political questions at stake, and even warned Chinese Communists against giving the Russians any information about internal Chinese affairs,[32a] we find Hoxha only worried about Khrushchev’s support for Tito, not raising the question of Stalin at all, expressing illusions that the Soviet leadership were Marxist-Leninist, keeping the discussion away from the Albanian Central Committee and continuing to share all party secrets with the Russians until 1960.[33] As for Hoxha’s stand on the actual political questions at the time, try this for size:[34]

...It will be known that the 20th party congress, a significant event in the history of communism and of the international communist movement, has not only developed a great number of Marxist-Leninist theses, such as the thesis of peaceful coexistence, the thesis on the possibility of averting wars, on the roads that will assure the conquest of power by the working class etc., but it has also elaborated the grandiose program for the transition from socialism to communism, the task of catching up with and overtaking the per capita production of the developed capitalist countries within a short historic period, for demonstrating the superiority of the socialist system over the capitalist by way of peaceful economic competition.

The “only possible conclusion” is that Mao’s critics have no independent opinion of their own, but simply follow the wind and often go from one extreme to the other.

We need not adopt our critic’s methods to conclude that because Hoxha was unclear about Soviet revisionism in 1956, therefore he has always been a revisionist since the 1930s. But it is strange to find someone with so many skeletons in his cupboard launching these pygmy attacks against the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our era. Did he imagine that with revisionism dominant in China, nobody would reply?

7. Mao Tsetung Thought

We cannot deny that “The line that Mao Tsetung Thought is the further development of Marxism-Leninism in the changed conditions of the present epoch has been widely propagated from about 1967 onwards.”

Indeed it has been widely propagated by leaders of the Albanian Party of Labor; who have said:

Before the peoples and all revolutionaries everywhere in the world rises Mao Tsetung’s giant figure as a great Marxist-Leninist and outstanding master of revolution, who has developed and raised the all-conquering ideas of Marxism-Leninism to a new and higher stage. Whole generations of revolutionaries on all continents are educated by and throw themselves into the flames of revolution under the teachings of Mao Tsetung...

The all-conquering thought of Chairman Mao Tsetung fill all the revolutionary forces with confidence...[34a]

Chairman Mao Tsetung was not only the beloved and great leader of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people but also an eminent Marxist-Leninist thinker and theoretician and the successor to the ideas and genial work of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. The Marxist-Leninist ideas of Comrade Mao Tsetung on continuously carrying out class struggle in socialist society, on the struggle between the socialist and capitalist roads, and on continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat are an immensely valuable, and creative contribution to the theory of scientific socialism.[35]

The words “changed conditions” have been deliberately inserted to “prove” that this makes claims for Mao Tsetung Thought, “revisionism of precisely the same order as the claim that the Krushchevite theories...are the new development of Marxism-Leninism in the new conditions.”

This is an explicit assertion that no further development of Marxism-Leninism in new conditions is possible, which as Stalin points out, is a classic revisionist position.[36]

Obviously conditions have changed in the half century between Lenin’s death and Mao’s, and even more rapidly than they did in the shorter period between Marx’s death and Lenin’s.

Mao Tsetung Thought was established as the Marxism-Leninism of our era, precisely in struggle against the Khruschevite theories of “the changed nature of imperialism”, “peaceful coexistence”, “a world without arms and without wars”, “the state and party of the entire people”, just as Leninism was established in struggle against the theories of Kautsky, Plekhanov, Trotsky etc.

It is sheer deliberate deception to pretend that to recognize a new and higher stage of Marxism implies a belief that “the fundamental nature of the epoch” has changed. As Chou En-lai reported to the Tenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party:

Chairman Mao has often taught us: We are still in the era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution.. .Since Lenin’s death, the world situation has undergone great changes. But the era has not changed. The fundamental principles of Leninism are not outdated; they remain the theoretical basis guiding our thinking today.

Most interesting is the claim that Mao’s revisionism “has led to precisely the same result of building alliances with United States and other imperialisms, which began with Nixon’s visit to China in 1972”.

So we are to believe that the “result” of Khrushchev’s revisionism was an alliance with U.S. imperialism, and not the emergence of a new superpower engaged in violent contention with U.S. imperialism (after a period of finding its feet, as China is still doing). This discredited thesis that there was more “collusion” than “contention” between the superpowers was loudly advocated by Albania for several years before being abandoned in the face of the obvious facts. Is it to be revived now?

8. The Chinese Revolution

The remarks about the role of the proletariat in overthrowing the bourgeois state power in a capitalist society are very interesting and very correct. However it does not help us to understand the strategy for a new democratic revolution in a semi-colonial, or semi-feudal society like China or Albania, both of which were backward agrarian countries in which the Communist Party led overwhelmingly peasant armies to liberate the cities (or in Albania’s case, the towns) from the countryside.[37]

The confusion and disorientation concerning the defeat of socialist revolution in China does make it necessary to discuss Mao’s concept of new democratic revolution, including the questions of proletarian hegemony, “pluralism” etc. and the continuation of the revolution into its socialist stage.

As Marx pointed out in his classic “Critique of the Gotha Program”:

Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. There corresponds to this also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.

This transition period is usually called “Socialism” but it would be wrong to imagine that there is some kind of “socialist society” or “socialist industries” except in this sense of transition: to communism. Hence there is nothing at all amazing about the process being interrupted by the restoration of capitalism under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

Here is not the place to open up this discussion. Suffice to say that the attacks on the Chinese Communist Party’s reliance on the peasantry, and its co-operation with other political parties are nothing new or original. They were first put forward by the Trotskyite opposition in the 1920s and refuted by Stalin in various articles collected in the book “On the Opposition”. History itself has refuted these arguments, but they are still the regular resort of every trend that needs to “explain away” the Chinese revolution. Where Marxist-Leninists can see a process of continuing revolution by stages (permanent revolution), with defeats and reversals only interrupting the overall movement, Trotskyites and revisionists can only compare what is, metaphysically isolated from what was and what will be, against an abstract model of what a revolution “should” be, drawn from inside their own heads.

Pluralism of political parties is not a unique feature of the Chinese revolution. The Bolshevik party first came to power in a coalition government with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries with authority from a Congress of Soviets nearly half the delegates to which represented other parties. The coalition only ended when the Left S-R’s ravings about “concessions to German imperialism” (how familiar) were threatening the very survival of Soviet power, and the other Soviet parties were only outlawed when they deserted to the side of the White guards. What is unique in China is the open assertion of Communist Party leadership at all levels of Chinese society, unconcealed by any “Democratic Front”. To see the insignificant non-communist parties of China as a threat to proletarian hegemony in a. society entirely dominated by the Communist Party takes real creative imagination.

It is the same creative imagination that sees a “flagrant negation” of the leading role of the proletariat, in any reference to peasants, or the “third world”, as the main, force. The distinction between “leading” and “main” is obvious, and the attempt to confuse the two is pathetic.

History records that the Chinese Communist Party was established as the vanguard of a modern urban industrial proletariat several million strong, that it organized and led a peasant war against imperialism and feudalism, only after having successfully led working class insurrections in the largest cities in the world, and using the working class forces it had accumulated in its leadership of the Chinese labor movement, that it came to power in the big cities of China after many years of revolutionary civil war against the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) during which it always retained its leadership of the working-class, and administered many towns comparable in size to Tirana, that the government it formed had a clear cut proletarian revolutionary program for transition to socialism and that it proceeded, to faithfully carry out that program.

If instead the Chinese Communist Party had been established in a country that as well as being backward, agrarian, semi-colonial and semi-feudal, also had no cities whatever to liberate[38] from the countryside, and virtually no modern industrial proletariat, if it had only led a resistance to foreign fascist occupation and had come to power in the same way as Tito and in close association with Tito, without having to fight a civil war against the bourgeois parties, but as the only anti-fascist party,[39] if it had no program of its own but had concealed the very existence of the Communist Party behind a “Democratic Front” in order to curry favour with Britain and the USA,[40] if it had raised the flag of some Ming Dynasty (15th century) feudal prince instead of its own flag, if it had boasted that its borders were closed to revolutionary fighters in neighbouring countries and that any who crossed these borders were automatically disarmed and interned in concentration camps[41]... if any of these were the case then it might be necessary to consider just how far the social content of the Chinese revolution went beyond the bourgeois democratic revolutions that established most, but not all, of the nation states of Europe in previous centuries.

But none of this was, the case, at least not in China anyway.

9. The Party Bourgeoisie

The arguments against Mao’s concept of a “bourgeoisie within the party” are substantially identical to those now being peddled by the Chinese revisionists and by the Soviet revisionists before them.[42] These views have been crushingly refuted by the history of the Soviet Union, China and all the other socialist countries (except of course Albania where such a thing could never happen, because Enver Hoxha wouldn’t allow it).

To speak of a bourgeoisie within a proletarian party is not “a contradiction in terms”, but a contradiction in reality. Such contradictious do exist. Things do turn into their opposites. To deny this either means denying that capitalism was restored in the Soviet Union, or else denying that the Bolsheviks were ever a proletarian party. If Khrushchev and Brezhnev don’t represent the bourgeoisie, what class do they represent? And If they do represent the bourgeoisie is this only because Lenin and Stalin’s “bourgeois workers party” didn’t take sufficiently “stern measures” and “allowed” this factional activity?

Mao Tsetung did not “allow” the Chinese party bourgeoisie to exist, or to overthrow the proletariat, any more than Lenin or Stalin did. Nor did they ask his permission. He fought them bitterly and they fought him bitterly. That fight will continue.

Incidentally, Mao Tsetung did not “allow” factionalism either. He urged communists to “Practice Marxism and not revisionism; unite and don’t split; and be open and above board and don’t intrigue and conspire.”

For example Mao would never have “allowed” Central Committee members of his party, acting as delegates to a fraternal party, to write letters to outsiders criticizing their own party organ and calling for it to toe the line of the fraternal party.

Nor would Mao have “allowed” Central Committee members to have their views published abroad anonymously or under a nom de plume because they want to express a view different from their party’s due to a “bit of difficulty” with the party line.

But people who have an opportunist line to push invariably resort to factionalism whether they are “allowed” or not, so Mao is quite right to recognize that factionalism exists and there are always two lines in the party.

It is fascinating to observe that someone who publicly (but of course anonymously) advocates a second line in the party and admits in writing that they are doing so, can claim such a state of affairs can only exist in a bourgeois workers party.

It corresponds to our experience in Australia where the people who make the loudest calls for discipline and democratic centralism also show the most flagrant individualistic determination to just go their own way and the most complete disregard for any party spirit.

It is precisely those who deny the existence of the bourgeoisie inside the Communist Party who “allow” it to seize power.

Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Hua Kuo-feng, Teng Hsiao-ping and company deny that there can be a bourgeoisie inside the Communist Party precisely because they themselves represent it. Why does our critic join them?

The utter absurdity of this denial is shown when a few sentences later we are told that on the question of capitalism or socialism, in China “For a number of years the issue hung in the balance, with the national bourgeoisie and the proletariat contending for hegemony.”

We are further told that the cultural revolution was a partial victory for the proletariat.

That happens to be exactly what Mao said about the situation, emphasizing that the issue would continue to hang in the balance throughout the entire historical period of socialism (transition, from capitalism to communism), and that it would take not one or two but twenty or thirty cultural revolutions to win final victory.

So what is the quibble? How can one deny that there is a bourgeoisie in the Communist Party in one breath and talk about it contending for hegemony in the next? How can one deny that there was a genuine Communist Party and talk about the possibility of proletarian hegemony and building socialism? Was there a possibility that a “bourgeois workers party” could have built socialism?

These are contradictions in terms, not contradictions in reality. They arise from an utterly confused (dare we say ”eclectic”) position that has not even been fully thought through to its logical conclusions before rushing into the fray.

This position is not only eclectic, but also quite mealy mouthed.

In correspondence our anonymous Mac critic writes that “Mao’s beautiful, words were just as mask for counterrevolutionary deeds of a very cunning revisionist”, and calls for “a clear line of demarcation between Marxist-Leninists on the one hand, and revisionists, Maoists, trots, anarchists, social democrats and what have you” on the other hand. But in the article for publication we are told only that Mao “was not a Marxist-Leninist” but an “eclecticist” and his “lack of Marxist-Leninist clarity and proletarian class consciousness” is blamed for the revisionists threatening his leadership.

If it wasn’t considered heretical, one could say Stalin showed. A “lack of Marxist-Leninist clarity and proletarian class consciousness” about the Soviet revisionists who seized power after his death, even though he did oppose them. But since Mao Tsetung went down fighting the Chinese revisionists with the utmost vigour and characterized Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao, Teng Hsiao-ping and company with the greatest clarity, this accusation can hardly be made against him.

To accuse a “very cunning revisionist” of “lack of Marxist-Leninist clarity” in fighting revisionism suggests either total confusion or complete dishonesty. Whichever it is, it won’t wash.

Like it or not, there is a bourgeoisie in the Chinese Communist Party just as there is in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and in the Party of Labor of Albania. Look for it amongst those who deny its existence.

10. Working Class Leadership

The argument that the Chinese Communist Party was “largely a formality”, that it didn’t hold enough Congresses and so forth is another shop worn theme of modern revisionism. The Chinese revisionist press has been full of “revelations” about the “gang of four” (meaning Maoists) having had their own apparatus which functioned independently of the formal party.

A bitter complaint about this can also be found in the 1968 Soviet pamphlet “Developments in China”, with exactly the same theme about a “military-bureaucratic dictatorship”.

Here too, but with more detail we can read about Mao’s use of the “young people, chiefly schoolchildren and students” against “the leading organs of the party” (p6), about the “political departments” (presumably the same as the “General Directory” now “revealed”), which are “handpicked by Maoists from among Army political workers on whom they could not rely” (p50). There is the same claim that because they could rely on the working class, and peasants “the Maoists saw in the politically immature youth the only force that could be given out as representing the masses” (p55).

Revisionists have always presented themselves as defenders of the working class against revolutionary “youth” and intellectuals. This corresponds to the fact that young people have always been in the vanguard of every revolution and students in particular, because they are able to respond quickly, have often played the role of detonator for the larger mass explosions that follow. One need only look at such mass upheavals as the May 4th movement in China, the 1905 revolution in Russia, the May 1968 events in France or even the Albanian National Liberation War[43] to see the active role of youth and students.

The Chinese Cultural Revolution followed this pattern too, with Red Guards first appearing among students and then rebel organizations spreading among workers and peasants and first of all young workers. Only when the working class moved into action to exercise its leading role did such a victories as the overthrow of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee become possible. Only the working class was able to carry the movement forward steadily without being side-tracked by petit-bourgeois fanaticism, factionalism etc.

This position was well understood in China, where the greatest attention was paid to direct working class leadership. Under the slogan, “the working class must exercise leadership in everything” teams of industrial workers were placed in charge not only of factories, but also of universities and offices. (cf Albania where Professors run the Universities and managers run the factories, all led by a “working class party” dressed in business suits).

Chinese students were encouraged to become industrial workers or to settle down in the countryside, and were not permitted to just go straight into bureaucratic office jobs.

All this is well known. The Chinese proletariat did exercise its leading role in all aspects of life, not by sending delegates to a Congress, but in the only way it can – by a revolution – an insurrection in which one class overthrew another.

Naturally revisionists hate the dictatorship of the proletariat.

They are not lying when they describe it as lawless, violent and arbitrary, trampling on the “proper” institutions and operating as the personal apparatus of an individual dictator (whether it be Lenin, Stalin or Mao) – from their standpoint, as the victims rather than the wielders of dictatorship, it really is rather grim, and undemocratic. This message comes over loud and clear from, the complaints of the Chinese revisionists and the sympathetic comments of their fellow bureaucrats in Albania (whose nationalist rivalry over foreign policy questions does not over-ride a common hatred of the Cultural Revolution).

Kautsky was very concerned at the dispersal of the Constituent Assembly in Russia and predicted, dictatorship within the party as well as dictatorship by the party.[44] Khrushchev and Brezhnev were much better at holding regular party congresses than Stalin. They are more “institutionalized” because they are counter-revolutionary. Revolution cannot be institutionalized.

The Soviet revisionists have given a clear explanation of why they are so zealous about defending the party institutions against Mao. It deserves careful study by anyone who imagines that “less personal dictatorship” and “more party democracy” would have prolonged socialism, in China:[45]

...despite all the difficulties, delays, deviations and zigzags, matters were moving iną the right direction and ultimately they would have brought the CPC round to a complete renunciation of the substance of Mao Tsetung’s ideological and political platform (even if a semblance of leadership by him. was retained). That is exactly what Mao Tsetung wanted to avoid and to this end he started, the cultural revolution.

To see whether this analysis is accurate, just take a look at what is happening in China today.

11. Mao’s “Successor”

Mao Tsetung did not appoint Hua Kuo-feng as his “successor”, and it was not a “simple matter” for the revisionists “to use the apparatus inherited from Mao” to take over. It required an armed counter-revolutionary coup d’etat in which several Chinese cities were placed under martial law, and power was seized, by arresting top leaders of the political bureau of the central committee in complete violation of the party and. state constitutions. It took more than a year for the revisionists to purge the “apparatus inherited from Mao”, purging a third of the Central Committee, half the provincial leaders and so on. Even today, the Chinese press still reports determined resistance to the new policies from within the party as well as outside (describing this resistance as “conservatism”, “fear” and so on).

In contrast to Khrushchev’s “legitimate” succession through, the party apparatus inherited from Stalin, and in contrast to the “peaceful evolution” of many east European party leaderships – including Albania’s (though not without some sort of upheaval involving a large number of well known top leaders in 1975), the Chinese coup d’etat attracted worldwide attention.

Not only was there a real threat of civil war, as the revisionists admitted, but Marxist-Leninists around the world were able to immediately recognize what was going on.

After two years, the Chinese revisionists are already completely exposed internationally (cf Khrushehev in 1956 or even 1958) and there is no reason to doubt that there are literally millions of Chinese, educated by the Cultural Revolution, who already see through them and are fighting-back (why else are former Red Guard leaders now being executed?)

Far from it being a “simple matter”, the Chinese revisionists are already finding it heavy going, and it will be much worse for them when the short term benefits of massive foreign investment turn into the long term problems of being tied into a world capitalist economy heading into a depression.

It is depressing to see how many Maoists outside China have been temporarily tricked into going along with either the Chinese or Albanian revisionists, but there is no reason to believe that those in China, who have been through these sort of complicated situations before, are so gullible, or that the present state of confusion is permanent.

12. Teng Hsiao-ping

The history of Teng Hsiao-ping’s “rise and fall, rise and fall, only to rise again” is indeed amazing. Stay tuned, it may not be over yet! (Although Hua has more reason to be nervous in the short term).

Clearly it was a mistake to let Teng rise again after he was first overthrown. This mistake was corrected when he was overthrown again. So what is the big deal? The only way to be sure of never having to correct such mistakes is to shoot anybody whoever goes wrong, and that would be an even bigger mistake.

It seems plausible that tolerating “the presence of proven class enemies in the party” was a factor in their ultimate victory. But in fact the overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat was not carried out by these “proven class enemies” who had been overthrown before, but by people like Hua Kuo-feng who had not been.

Teng Hsiao-ping was subject to a nationwide campaign of such intensity that he could not be restored to public office until many months after the coup. This campaign was clearly intended to culminate in the expulsion of Teng and many others in the course of a second cultural revolution.

When that campaign was defeated, not only was Teng restored to power after never having been expelled, but so were many other capitalist roaders, like Peng Chen, Lui Ting-yi, Chou Yang, Peng Teh-huai and so on, who presumably had been expelled. Certainly if they had been executed, they would not be in power today. But the Chinese bourgeoisie is not a conspiracy of a few individuals but a social class arising out of the capitalist social relations (commodity production, work for wages etc.) that still exist in a socialist society in transition from capitalism to communism. Presumably it would have found other political representatives. Stalin killed many revisionists, but Khrushchev was still his successor.

It seems clear that both Teng’s dismissal and the decision to “see how he behaves in future” were a compromise in a Political Bureau that was publicly admitted to have been split at the time (the resolution is carefully worded).

Anyone who wants to understand the complex situations that can arise, should study not only the history of the two line struggles in the Chinese Communist Party, including those against Wang Ming and Lin Piao as well as against Teng Hsiao-ping, but also the history of the Party of Labor of Albania, including the period when Koci Xoxe nearly overthrew Enver Hoxha and Albania nearly become part of Yugoslavia, and the time a few years Later when Enver Hoxha recommended that Tuk Jakova should not be immediately expelled after he rose and fell and rose again and fell again.

Life is much more complex than it would be if the leadership of China really was just a personal apparatus of Mao Tsetung.

13. Chinese Aid to Albania

We are now told that “The Chinese attempt to place socialist Albania in a position of neo-colonialist dependence on China, the facts of which are only now being made public, began long ago, when Mao Tsetung was alive and fully in command of the situation in China”.

This would be much more convincing if these “facts” had also begun to be made public some time ago, when Mao Tsetung was alive and in a position, to answer back.

Instead, during Mao’s lifetime, Enver Hoxha was telling us:[46]

All the peoples and states – and they are not few – who have demanded and received financial aid in form, of loans from socialist China or trade with it have nothing but words of praise and gratitude for its generosity, for its correctness, for the exemplary conduct and artlessness of its people, for the rapid aid it gives with, no strings attached. Every commodity China sends to the friendly and allied, nations is of high quality...

This and similar statements are not just a polite thank you, but an explicit declaration about the character of China’s economic relations with other countries, unsolicited and unnecessary if there were any problems. (Cf Vietnam which made no great to do about how exceptionally wonderful the aid was when they were getting it, and no claim that the previous aid had been neo-colonialist when it stopped).

The Albanian letter of July 29, 1978 effectively refutes the hypocritical explanations given by the Chinese revisionists for scrapping enlisting agreements and it correctly exposes the patronising suggestion, that Chinese aid was the main source of Albanian economic progress. But it falls down miserably in attempting to prove that the same attitudes characterized Chinese aid during Mao Tsetung’s lifetime as well, and doesn’t even assert this explicitly leaving it as an implication to be gradually developed into a myth.

Even these implications are self-contradictory, for example we have the claim, on page 13 that delays in the Elbasan Metallurgical complex are “the fault of the Chinese side”, yet figures are quoted showing that Chinese deliveries of equipment were far ahead of the actual construction work[47] performed in Albania. Presumably if the Chinese were holding things up, construction work should have been delayed waiting for Chinese deliveries. In fact we have Enver Hoxha’s explicit public statement, made on April 29, 1976 that delays at Elbasan were not due to the Chinese having “halted the shipment of materials” but were due to “internal (i.e. Albanian) enemies and traitors” who “attempted to sabotage the construction of socialism” and wanted (interestingly enough) “to destroy our fraternal friendship with China and the Communist Party of Mao Tsetung, and connect our country to the Soviet revisionists.”[48]

Apparently these enemies and traitors succeeded. Either Enver Hoxha was lying then, in which case he is a liar and need not be believed now, or we must conclude that these “facts which are only now being made public” are also “facts” which are only now being invented.

14. Conclusion

Mao Tsetung probably never wrote an article that started by promising “an objective scientific analysis... using the method of dialectical, and historical materialism”.

He probably never ended one by calling for “the consistent application of Marxism-Leninism, the scientific ideology of the proletariat, in every aspect of the life and struggle of society.”

Instead of endlessly boasting about it, Mao Tsetung actually demonstrated how to apply Marxism-Leninism in what he said and did.

We need not fall into the trap of assuming that Mao’s critics were never revolutionaries and never did anything good, even though, we can conclude that their past achievements were not aa great as they make out, and could not possibly excuse their present betrayal.

But we can be quite certain that the present eclipse of Maoism is temporary and that Mao Tsetung’s contributions to the revolution will be remembered long after the boastful pygmies who attack him have been forgotten.

“We’ll return amidst triumphant songs and laughter”.

2 February, 1979


[1] “Our Policy is an Open Policy, the Policy of Proletarian Principles”, 8 Nentori Publishing House, pp40-43. See Reference Material on “Albania and Mao Tsetung” in this Discussion Bulletin, item 27.

[2] Reference Material, items 22 and 23. September 9 and 17, 1976

[3] Item 4. July 29, 1978.

[4] See “Our Friends Ask”, Nairn Frasheri Publishing House 1970,p150-5 “The 8th Congress of the Albanian Trade Unions”, 8 Nentori 1977 p44. See also “A new Victory of the Policy of the Party of Labor of Albania in the Uplift of the General Wellbeing of the People”. 8 Nentori, 1976 especially pp7-9.

[5] Even after the “new victory” above, bonuses are still paid, for academic titles and degrees and royalties are still paid for creative work (if it’s per page published, Enver Hoxha must make a fortune!). Contributors to Albania Today still sign as “Professor”.

[6] See “Getting a Grasp on the Situation: A Woman’s Perspective on the USSR, China, Albania and the Theory of the Three Worlds”, $US.50 from Andrea Gabriel, 57 So. Bannock, Denver, Colo. 80223 USA.

[7] Almost any PLA documents show an even greater focus on economic progress than the Chinese revisionists. For a classic bureaucrats speech about living in the best of all possible worlds and only nee-ding to defend rather than change it, see Enver Hoxha’s speech of September 20, 1978, “Proletarian Democracy is Genuine Democracy”.

[8] See “Huang Hua’s Report on the World Situation”, Issues and Studies (Taiwan), Jan-Feb 1978.

[9] See “Yugoslav “Self-Administration” A Capitalist Theory and Practice”, 8 Nentori, 1978, p38,43 etc.

[10] See “Our Friends Ask” pp165-169.

[11] “Letter of the CC of the PLA and the Government of Albania to the CC of the Communist Party and the Government of China”, July 29, 1978, 8 Nentori, pp42-3.

[12] “The Eighth All-Russia Congress of Soviets”, Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 31, pp463-4.December 21, 1920.

[13] Letter of July 29, 1978, op. cit., p41. Reference Material, item 6.

[14] “Mao Tsetung Unrehearsed”, ed. 8. Schran, Penguin 1974, p167.

[15] Peking Review, July 7, 1978, pi 1 .

[16] New Times (Moscow), Mo 17, 1957, p40.

[17] “Second Session of the Eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of China”, FLP Peking, 1958, p77.

[18] “Albania is Forging Ahead Confidently and Unafraid”, 8 Nentori, 1978, p19,23,25.

[19] “Important Speeches by Enver Hoxha”, CPA(ML), Challenge Press, Melbourne, July 1970 (from ATA reports), pp5-7.

[20] ibid, p15,19.

[21] See “The first centenary of the Albanian League of Prizren, a marked event”, Albania Today No. 2, 1978. Also “The Work of Our Men of Renaissance Lives on and is honoured in New Socialist Albania” by Mehmet Shehu (June 11, 1978), 8 Nentori, 1978.

[22] Kris to Frasheri, “The History of Albania”(A Brief Survey), Tirana 1964.

[23] See “Chiao Kuan-hua’s Address, May 20, 1975 (Full Text), Issues and Studies (Taiwan), December 1975,

[24] The Socialist (Australia), August 23, 1978, p6.

[25] Op cit, note 1, p57.

[26] Enver Hoxha Selected Works I, p378-9.

[27] Ibid p415. See also p490-1

[28] Ibid p606-654. Also see “Oppose Modern Revisionism and Uphold Marxism-Leninism and the Unity of the International Communist Movement”, Tirana, 1964, p9. Also Enver Hoxha, Speeches and Articles 1963-64, p376.378, 385.

[29] According to “Class Struggle”(English edition, Norwegian Communist Workers Party ML), September 1978, p12.

[30] Selected Works of Mao Tsetung, Vol V,p304.

[31] Ibid, p341.

[32] “Albanian Labor Party is 15 Years Old”, Pravda, Nov 8, 1956, Condensed translation in Current Digest of the Soviet Press.

[32a] Op cit note 30, pp340-1.

[33] See note 28. Also see Hoxha’s speech at the meeting of 81 parties in Moscow on November 16, 1960. Contrary to the stories now being spread about Albania’s firm stand and China’s vacillation this speech makes it quite clear that Albania, having initially been neutral, decided to agree with a stand the Chinese had been taking against Khrushchov since the 20th Congress, as a result of what happened in 1960.

[34] Op cit note 29, pi 5, tr. from a transcript in German.

[34a] Reference Material, item 25. Zeri i Popullit May 22, 1970.

[35] Reference Material, item 23. Hysni Kapo September 17, 1976.

[36] “7. Revisionism According to Zinoviev” in “On the Opposition” Peking FLP, 1974, p605. Also see ”Lenin as the Organizer and Leader of the Russian Communist Party”, Works Vol 4, p317-8.

[37] “History of the Party of Labor of Albania”, Tirana, 1971, p12

[38] Ibid, p234. Also see “The Economic and Social Development of the PRA During Thirty Years of People’s Power”, 8 Nentori, 1974, p9,12,61, 181, 184, 187.

[39] Op cit note 37 p232-3.

[40] Op cit note 26, p814-817.

[41] Ibid Vol II, p71.

[42] The bourgeoisie always denies that it exists, even in Australia.

[43] Op cit note 37, p237.

[44] See “The Dictatorship of the Proletariat” by Karl Kautsky, Ann Arbor Paperbacks. ISBN 0-472-06096-1, and see Lenin’s refutation in “The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky”. The way even friendly criticism of Stalin, Mao and the “gang of four” can slip into Kautskyism can be seen by comparing these books with some of Charles Bettelheim’s remarks about “democracy” in “China Since Mao”, Monthly Review Press, 1976.

[45] “Developments in China” ed. Sladkovsky, USSR Academy of Sciences, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Progress Publishers, Moscow 1968, p14.

[46] Reference Material, item 26, September 18, 1970.

[47] 67% of investment in construction completed, 74% of equipment delivered.

[48] Reference Material, item 24, April 29, 1976.