First Published: in Struggle! No. 124, September 12, 1978
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
Last July 29, the Party of Labour of Albania denounced, in a public Letter, China’s decision to stop all forms of aid to Albania. The PLA clearly explained that China’s accusations to the effect that Albania had “sabotaged” the aid and that the Party had taken part in “anti-Chinese” activities were unfounded. Until now, China has not denied any of the facts and statements of the PLA’s letter. It did not deny, for example, that, for several years now, many of the PLA’s letters to the CPC were never answered!
In an article entitled “Answer to the attacks of the Albanian leaders – classes and class struggle under socialism” published in its official organ, The Forge, the League finally leaves its cozy position of silence and states that with the letter of July 29 “the Albanian leaders...launched an hysterical, unfounded attack on the CPC and its history, on Mao Tse-tung Thought and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” and that they are playing into the hands of social-imperialism.
We would expect the League at least to attempt to argue against the points presented in the PLA’s letter. Not at all. In this article, as in all the others, the League does not present the slightest explanation of China’s actions. Now is it [possible to justify that a socialist country unilaterally ceases its aid to another socialist country and at the same time, continue to uphold proletarian internationalism?
So the League adopts the tactic of diversion. When faced with an accusation which it is incapable of answering, it responds with another accusation. This is “Khrushchevite dialectics”. In the fifties and sixties, when Khrushchev was incapable of answering the PLA’s and the CPC’s arguments, he simply accused these two parties of being “dogmatic” and “anti-Soviet”. So, the League’s tactic is nothing new.
The League’s diversionary manoeuvres do not deceive anybody, its metaphysical reasoning on the PLA’s so-called revisionism will not fool anybody either. Yet, this is the aim of the article in The Forge which ends with the following statement: “By refusing to admit the existence of the bourgeoisie as a class, the leadership of the PLA is misleading the Albanian people on the nature of the enemy (...) they are disarming the masses with respect to the danger of revisionism. (...) They .are objectively weakening the dictatorship of the proletariat and are opening the doors to the possibility of the restoration of capitalism.”
On what basis can the League make such serious accusations? Its position rests essentially on two things: first, the statement of Foto Cami of the Central Committee of the PLA – “In our country the exploiting classes have disappeared”; second, Mao’s position which The Forge presents as follows – “Chairman Mao taught us that during this period (socialism) class struggle continues to exist. The bourgeoisie though weakened does not abandon its attempts or its hopes of restoring capitalism and tries every means to sabotage the dictatorship of the proletariat.”
It is easy to imagine the rest of the League’s reasoning: to deny the existence of “exploiting classes” in socialist Albania is to oppose Mao’s position on the existence of the bourgeoisie during the period of socialism. And, to contradict Mao is to be revisionist and to play into the hands of the Soviet Union and social-imperialism. Anyone who reads The Forge regularly knows this line very well.
However, there are a few small ,questions which we must look at before we can accept the League’s conclusions. First, is the PLA justified in stating, given the present nature of Albanian society, that “the exploiting classes have disappeared” in Albania? It does not even seem to occur to the metaphysicians of the League to ask this question. The League responds to the question “is there a bourgeoisie in Albania?”, by saying, “Yes, there is a bourgeoisie in Albania because Mao said, after analysing Chinese society, that the bourgeoisie continues to exist under socialism”. This is how the League applies the principle of “the concrete analysis of the concrete situation”. When faced with a specific problem, it takes refuge behind general principles... which it does not even understand.
The second “small” point we should look at is what does the League mean when it states that a “bougeoisie” exists under socialism. In the same article of The Forge, the League says, “This bourgeoisie is composed of the remains of former exploiting classes plus new bourgeois elements, that is, party or state cadres that degenerate and seek only to get fat off the backs of the working people” So the League uses the expression “bougeoisie” in a very particular sense not to be mistaken with the meaning it has when it refers to the bourgeoisie of a capitalist country like Canada. This is, by the way, an important source of confusion, but we will put this question aside for now...
What is astounding in this whole thing is that, in the article, The Forge explicitly mentions that the PLA recognizes the existence in Albania of “remnants of the exploiting classes” and isolated “degenerated elements”. And it is precisely these terms (to be exact: “remains of former exploiting classes” and “cadres that degenerate”) which the League uses to define the “bourgeoisie” under socialism. Being so accustomed to copying parts of Peking Review, perhaps the League got carried away and copied parts of Albania Today without realizing it.
In any case, the League’s article does not help clarify things. The accusations of “revisionism” directed at the PLA are unfounded. Instead of analysing a situation, the League pits the quotations of one against those of another. Moreover, as can be seen by’ referring to the box on this page with that part of Foto Cami’s article quoted by the League, the League takes the quote out of context and completely distorts the position of those which it claims to criticize, displaying the utmost contempt for reality.
When dealing with a central question of Marxism-Leninism, that is, the building of socialism under the dictatorship of the proletariat, the League is so preoccupied with saving face, does nothing but spread confusion instead of educating its readers.