Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

A Chicago Study Group

Hoxhaism or Leninism?

A Review of Enver Hoxha’s ’Imperialism and the Revolution’


First Published: Class Struggle, No. 12, Summer 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

The exacerbation of contradictions and rivalries among imperialist powers and groupings is fraught with the danger of armed conflicts, of predatory wars of enslavement. This is a well-known thesis of Marxism-Leninism which history has proved to the hilt. Enver Hoxha


Imperialism and the Revolution, a new book written by Enver Hoxha, is an all-round attack on the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism. It is the latest in a series of polemics coming from Albania since the November 1976 Seventh Congress of the Party of Labor of Albania (PLA), which has Hoxha as its chairman.[1]

These polemics have been directed against the Communist Party of China (CPC), particularly against Mao Zedong’s “theory of the three worlds.” They have led to an open split between Albania and China. In addition, a small number of groups following Hoxha’s line in a few countries have joined in these anti-China attacks. Together with Albania, they have formed a small ultra-“left” bloc upon which Hoxha hopes to construct a “new Comintern.”

Hoxha’s book, along with his previous polemics, brings out into the open some important differences that have existed for some time within the international communist movement and between the PLA and CPC. Previously, both parties had been allies in the fight against the Soviet revisionists, starting with the period when Khrushchev tried to force his line of “peaceful transition to socialism” upon the international movement.

During this joint struggle, however, both parties still had longstanding differences over major questions of principle. But these were correctly restricted, particularly by the Chinese side, for internal discussion and debate, in light of the earth-shaking struggle against the Soviet revisionists.

Such differences among parties are natural and, some could argue, necessary for progress. There is room for differences between parties of different countries, each of which has its own experiences and conditions. The problem comes when one party tries to impose its view on other parties or uses differences to foment splits.

The PLA began its open attacks on China soon after the death of Mao Zedong. These were not the beginning of the struggle, however, but rather an open attempt by the PLA to split the movement. They aired these differences openly before the enemy and thus violated the norms and principles of communist behavior. While this splittism has had only a minor effect and few successes, it has nonetheless served the cause of Moscow.


Today the Albanians are going beyond polemics. They are now supporters of the Soviet-backed Vietnamese invasion of Democratic Kampuchea.[2] They have eliminated a section of their own leadership who opposed the break with China. They are also giving open support to notorious and discredited police agent-type groups in several countries.

In fact, every party and organization which can be turned against China, no matter how miserable their record may be in the class struggle, is now being hailed by Hoxha as “genuine Marxist-Leninists.”[3] Meanwhile those who defend Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, and especially the theory of the three worlds, are being described as “counter-revolutionary groups” and “lackeys of U.S. imperialism.”[4]

Nor is Hoxha content to carry out his wrecking activities only in Albania. In 1977 and 1978, the Albanians engineered a series of meetings in many European countries and in Canada. Along with their loyal followers, they would use these platforms to make denunciations of the Marxist-Leninists in each of these countries. Such interference reveals Hoxha’s chauvinism and lack of faith in the people of each country to build their party and make their own revolution. It shows how Hoxha fancies himself as the new leader, not just of Albania, but of the movement in the whole world.

In Italy, Hoxha’s followers invaded offices of the China Friendship Association and burned books of Mao Zedong. In Turkey and some other places they have tried to break up mass meetings. Now the Hoxhaites have crossed the line between splitters and disrupters, on one hand, and outright supporters of superpower invasion and mass slaughter, on the other. They are now aiding the Kremlin in its drive to war.


Here in the U.S., Hoxha’s ultra-“leftism” has had some minimal influence. Only a few little sects made an attempt to form pro-Albania parties. Symbolic of their style of work, perhaps, is the fact that Imperialism and the Revolution has been published and distributed in three different editions by three different sects–all at different, competing prices.

These are put out by the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists (COUSML), the followers of Hardial Baines in Canada; the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee (MLOC), which now calls itself the “Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist),” or CPUSA-ML; and the group around the journal, Albania Report, which distributes the original Albanian edition. As for the remaining bunch of one-time “China supporters,” the so-called Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), they haven’t got into the competition. They can’t go all the way with Hoxha’s open and all-out denunciation of Mao Zedong, even though they accept Hoxha’s basic premises and opportunist theories. For the purpose of this review, references will be to COUSML’s edition, for the simple reason that it is the least expensive.

The limited and waning influence of these groups does not mean that the views in Hoxha’s book have no influence in this country. Within the revolutionary and communist movements, ultra-“leftism” of the Hoxha type is still widespread among various trends and groupings. It still presents a major obstacle to the unity of the communist and workers’ movements.

This review, then, will examine this viewpoint as outlined in Imperialism and the Revolution. It will try to snow how Hoxhaism represents an opportunist, anti-Marxist current which, while all dressed up in “left” rhetoric, plays right into the hands of the Soviet revisionists and their fascist, aggressive policies.

Hoxha’s distorted view of history

One initial feature of Hoxha’s book likely to strike the reader is Hoxha’s Trotsky-like exaggerated image of himself and his sectarian hatred for other Marxist-Leninist and progressive forces.

According to Hoxha, for instance, he and the Albanian party “led” the struggle against Khrushchev revisionism while Mao Zedong and the Chinese party were “vacillators.”

“Right from the start,” claims Hoxha, the PLA “raised high the banner of implacable and principled struggle against Soviet revisionism and its followers, courageously defended Marxism-Leninism, the cause of socialism and the liberation of the peoples.”[5]

That this self-centered view has other supporters in the PLA is evident in a statement by Central Committee member Piro Bita, who claimed in 1977:

Our Party realized that Khrushchev had taken an anti-Marxist and anti-Leninist path since he ascended to the leadership of the Soviet Party and state.[6]

In addition, according to Hoxha, the CPC was only in good shape until 1935, which happens to be when Mao came into leadership.[7] This shows that Hoxha prefers Wang Ming’s “leftist” line, which held sway earlier and was disastrous for China. It neglected the allies of the working class, such as the peasants, and confined the revolution to China’s urban centers. During China’s democratic revolution, this line in practice led to the loss of 90% of the CPC’s cadres, organization and soldiers in the Red areas. In the cities controlled by the KMT, the losses were nearly 100%. This bloody disaster necessitated the heroic retreat known as the Long March. It was only after 1935 that the Chinese revolution, from that point under Mao’s overall guidance, won its greatest victories. But Hoxha is blind to the fact that his line today, like Wang Ming’s in the past, is bound to lead to defeat.

Hoxha uses terms like “vacillated,” “opportunist stands” and “anti-Marxist” when referring to China’s role in the fight against Khrushchev’s revisionism. For those who don’t know the real history of this fight, then, one would get the impression that Hoxha had always been firm and unwavering in his opposition to this threat to destroy the communist movement.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The PLA’s own documents show that it was Hoxha who vacillated and not Mao Zedong. Hoxha accepted most of Khrushchev’s revisionist theses until very late in the struggle. Nor was his present ultra-“leftism” in evidence in this period. Rather, Hoxha echoed the most blatant rightist views coming out of Moscow.

For example, take Hoxha’s comments on the situation in the Soviet Union made in November 1957. This was a full year and a half after the CPSU’s 20th Congress, the political landmark of the restoration of capitalism in the USSR. Here Hoxha goes overboard in praising Khrushchev’s “new contributions,” including his one-sided attack on Stalin and his “theory of peaceful transition”:

As it is known [says Hoxha] the 20th Congress, a very important event in the history of communism and of the international communist movement, not only developed numerous Marxist-Leninist theses, such as the theses of peaceful coexistence, of the possibility of avoiding wars, of the ways ensuring the conquest of power by the working class, etc. It also drew the grandiose program of the passage from socialism into communism, the task of attaining and superceding after a short historic period, the capitalist countries which are more developed in production per capita, at ensuring the victory of the socialist system over the capitalist system through peaceful economic emulation.[8]

It seems that Hoxha’s red banner was slightly pink at this time, to say the least. But that is not all. In the same speech, he adds:

In the present moment, thanks to the existence of the USSR and other socialist countries, thanks to the rallying of the workers and progressive mankind around the USSR, around its peaceful policy, the possibilities for avoiding wars have also been brought about.[9]

So according to Hoxha, the laws which propel imperialism inevitably into war went out of existence with the emergence of the USSR as a powerful country. Moreover, he claimed, now that the working class can come to power via the parliamentary road, there is no longer any need for the Marxist-Leninist theory of the state and revolution.

The PLA was actually a latecomer to the struggle against Khrushchev’s line. It supported the revisionist line of both the 20th and 21st Soviet Party Congresses. Actually, it wasn’t until the national contradictions between Albania and the USSR themselves grew sharper in 1960 that the PLA changed its position.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with communists in one country opposing revisionism later than others. Nor is it true that anyone fully and completely understood everything about the emergence of Khrushchev’s revisionism or the restoration of capitalism right off the bat. Furthermore, it would not have been correct for any party immediately to open polemics in front of the enemy. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. At that time, in fact, it was the Moscow revisionists who opened the attack, leaving the Marxist-Leninists with no recourse but to respond.

But even granted the need for these tactics and norms, it is clear from Hoxha’s statements at the time that he went overboard in support of Khrushchev. He certainly has no grounds to claim that the PLA was always “holding high” the red banner or that the Chinese party was a “vacillator” by comparison.

Many parties followed the Soviet line in this period and were turned into reactionary or even fascist parties. Others wavered at first and only later came to oppose modern revisionism to one degree or another. The Chinese party, for its part, initially made some tactical concessions for the sake of the unity of the socialist camp. But unlike Hoxha, it was firm on questions of principle.

Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai were far from being “vacillators,” even though Hoxha reserves his sharpest scorn for them. They drew a clear line of demarcation between the CPC and the CPSU. Just two months after the 20th Congress, for example, Mao made the following response to Khrushchev’s one-sided denunciation of Stalin:

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% of the whole and his achievements to 70%, and that all things considered Stalin was nonetheless a great Marxist.[10]

Just nine months after the 20th Congress, Mao also made this comment in a speech to the CPC’s Central Committee:

I would like to say a few words about the 20th 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 criticizing the Soviet Union, and their leader is Togliatti. The imperialists have also used this sword to slay people with. Dulles, for example, 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...

As for the sword 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? Khrushchev’s report at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union says it is possible to seize 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.[11]

There are many other examples of the leading role that Mao Zedong and the CPC leadership played against the rise of Khrushchevism. There are also many other examples to show Hoxha’s waverings or, at the time, his out-and-out support for Khrushchev’s main revisionist premises.

For example, Hoxha’s differences with the Soviets over the Stalin question didn’t surface until late in 1960. But at that point, he did a total flip-flop the other way, claiming that Stalin never made any mistakes.

Again, this is not to say that the Party of Labor of Albania was always in the revisionist camp. Nor is it true that it never made any important contributions to the struggle against revisionism. It did. The main thing to understand about Hoxha’s waverings during this period, however, is that Hoxha showed a weak understanding of Marxism-Leninism on many points of principle. In fact, these anti-Marxist aspects of his thought in the past are quite evident today. Their development is responsible for his latest attacks on China and on Marxism-Leninism.

Peace under imperialism?

In 1957 Hoxha stated that war is no longer inevitable under imperialism. Let’s examine this statement. Because of the great prestige and influence of the Soviet party in this period, a great deal of confusion was being spread on the meaning of Marxism-Leninism. So perhaps one might excuse Hoxha’s apparently temporary departure from Lenin’s teaching that “imperialist wars are absolutely inevitable under such an economic system.”[12]

But in Imperialism and the Revolution, Hoxha continues to ignore Lenin’s teachings on war. As part of his attack on Mao’s three world theory, Hoxha takes issue with Mao’s warning that the two superpowers will inevitably go to war as a result of their contention for world hegemony.

To do so, Hoxha claims that we are living in a new era, a new stage “of the collapse of imperialism,” in which imperialism is crumbling.[13] He claims, therefore, that the war drive can be “sabotaged” so that the war “does not assume worldwide proportions.”[14]

To some, this may sound hopeful or even “revolutionary” and “Marxist.” But as we shall see, what lies behind Hoxha’s claims is the old opportunist Karl Kautsky’s well-worn “theory of equilibrium,” or “ultra-imperialism,” where war is no longer necessary.

Hoxha blasts the Chinese party for warning the world’s peoples about the inevitable clash between the superpowers.

To begin, how can such an imperialist conflict be prevented today? What is Hoxha’s plan for such “sabotage”? The threat of war comes directly from the two superpowers, the U.S. and especially the Soviet Union. These are the biggest and most powerful imperialist powers which are directly confronting each other today over spheres of influence.

But if the war is to be “sabotaged,” doesn’t this mean that the superpowers must be defeated? Or is Hoxha content to repeat the myth of “superpower detente” so popular in Washington and Moscow these days? Under present conditions, does it make sense to talk about the possibility of limiting such a war to a local conflict, to hope that it won’t assume worldwide proportions? Given the fact that several such “local conflicts” are taking place today–and they are occurring with increasing frequency–wouldn’t these hopes be based on dangerous illusions?

To view the problem from another angle, what is the likelihood of revolution taking place in the biggest imperialist countries before such a war breaks out? Isn’t it more likely that a revolutionary situation would develop as the consequence of such an outbreak? While working to delay this outbreak, isn’t it better to prepare the people for the inevitability of world war?

Not according to Hoxha. When describing superpower contention, he only says “these frictions kindle local wars and may even lead to a general war.”[15] “May even” indeed! And what, we would ask Hoxha, would be the other possibility in today’s world?

Hoxha can only reiterate his views about the possibility of peace or limited wars under imperialism, thus clearly underestimating the growing war danger. In fact, he is openly hostile to stressing the point. He blasts the Chinese party for warning the world’s peoples about the inevitable clash between the superpowers.

“The Chinese leaders,” he goes so far as to charge, “are inciting war between the superpowers in Europe, far from China and the danger of its involvement in it.”[16] Where have we heard this before? Again, Hoxha is simply echoing Moscow’s slanders that all opponents of “detente” are warmongers.

But even this is not enough for Hoxha.

On its part [he adds] China has a marked inclination to attack the Soviet Union when it feels strong enough because it has great territorial ambitions towards Siberia and other territories in the Far East.[17]

Given this “warning” of a “Chinese invasion,” what better excuse does Moscow need for the massive Soviet troop buildup on the Chinese border? What better public relations could the USSR buy than that now offered free of charge by Hoxha?

Hoxha’s upside-down view of China as a source of war grows from his incorrect view of imperialism. Contrary to Leninism, he does not see world conflicts as being caused by inter-imperialist rivalry and the drive to redivide the world for colonies and markets. Instead, Hoxha sees the imperialists as mainly “colluding” with each other to establish a world marked by equilibrium and joint domination among the great powers. “Between the United States and the Soviet Union,” he says, for example, “there is an obvious tendency towards maintaining the status quo.”[18]

To Hoxha, imperialism doesn’t operate on the basis of the law of uneven development or other scientific laws described by Lenin and Stalin. Rather he supports the “theory of ultra-imperialism” formulated by Karl Kautsky, the revisionist leader of the old Second International. Kautsky argued that national antagonisms among imperialist powers were a declining feature of the past, that they no longer had to lead to war. Instead these rivalries were being:

Supplanted by a new, ultra-imperialist policy, which will introduce the joint exploitation of the world by internationally united finance capital in the place of the mutual rivalries of national finance capital.[19]

Kautsky concluded from this that war was no longer inevitable under imperialism. Instead it was merely a “policy preferred,” a sort of throwback to the old ways of doing things. But today, if the imperialists would just get in touch with their new “ultra-imperialist” interests, their own desire for peaceful profits could put an end to wars among themselves.

Lenin had nothing but the strongest denunciations of Kautsky for this theory. He exposed it in this way:

Let us assume that all the imperialist countries conclude an alliance for the “peaceful” division of these parts of Asia; this alliance would be an alliance of internationally united finance capital. There are actual examples of alliances of this kind in the history of the twentieth century–the attitude of the powers to China, for instance. We ask, is it “conceivable,” assuming the capitalist system remains intact–and this is precisely the assumption Kautsky does make–that such alliances would be more than temporary, that they would eliminate friction, conflicts and struggle in every possible form?

The question has only to be presented clearly for any other than a negative answer to be impossible. This is because the only conceivable basis under capitalism for the division of spheres of influence, interests, colonies, etc., is a calculation of the strength of those participating, their general economic, financial, military strength, etc. And the strength of these participants in the division does not change to an’equal degree, for the even development of different undertakings, trusts, branches of industry, or countries is impossible under capitalism.[20]

Hoxha’s views fly in the face of Lenin’s analysis. He makes an absolute out of the relative collusion between the different capitalist countries, especially the U.S. and the USSR.

These two imperialisms [he claims] are linking themselves in an alliance in order to form an imperialist power opposed to the others [Germany, Japan, etc.–ed.][21]

Hoxha claims that a common fear of communism is:

Driving the imperialists and the revisionists into each others’ arms, to coordinate their plans and seek the most appropriate forms in order to prolong the existence of their rule of oppression and exploitation.[22]

(This last point is an interesting display of Hoxha’s megalomania, since he also believes that Albania and its tiny band of followers are the only geniune communists in the world.)

The particular reality of the Soviet threat escapes Hoxha. The Soviet Union, as a latecomer to the imperialist feast, represents the most aggressive force in world politics today. U.S. imperialism, while still maintaining its aggressive nature, is no longer the uncontested top dog in the imperialist world, as it was following World War II. It has suffered devastating defeats in Korea and Indochina, and is facing severe economic and political difficulties. Therefore the U.S. is in a defensive position, trying to hang onto its empire in the face of both Soviet expansion and the anti-imperialist struggle throughout the world.

But to Hoxha nothing has changed in the past decade. The U.S. is still just as strong as ever and the Soviet threat is minimized. “U.S. imperialism,” he claims, “has not weakened in the least.”[23] And furthermore: “The general trend does not indicate the weakening of U.S. imperialism.”[24]

What does Hoxha conclude from this?

The two imperialist superpowers represent to the same degree the main enemy and danger to socialism, the freedom and independence of the peoples, and the sovereignty of nations.[25]

He isn’t even bothered by the fact that such a statement opposes both dialectics and the law of uneven development. But the law of uneven development implies a fundamental conflict. Hoxha must disregard it because he sees no real conflict between the two superpowers, since their collusion and not their contention mainly defines their relationship. What is more, both superpowers present an exactly equal threat–there are no offensives, no defensives; no rises, no declines. What a pure, orderly and uncomplicated world Hoxha lives in!

But if this is not enough to show Hoxha’s metaphysics, he goes even farther. Anyone who ever makes distinctions between imperialist powers, he claims, is an anti-Marxist in the same league with the opportunists of the Second International. He claims it was only people like this “who wanted to make a distinction between imperialist powers on the basis of which were more aggressive and which less aggressive.” “Lenin,” he claims, “stressed this stand was anti-Marxist.”[26]

Fortunately for us and unfortunately for Hoxha, Lenin’s writings are still around. According to Hoxha, distinguishing among imperialists on the basis of aggressiveness puts one in league with opportunists. But Lenin himself would be the first to go.

Wasn’t it Lenin who referred to the “latecomers” among the imperialists, those who “came late to the capitalist banqueting table when all the seats were occupied,” those who thus always pushed for a redivision of the spheres of influence? Wasn’t it Lenin who described these latecomers as being “even more rapacious, even more predatory”?[27]

Why did Lenin draw such distinctions? His purpose was to make use of every division in the enemies’ ranks and to rally every possible ally. To do so, it was necessary to examine the contradictions among the various imperialist powers carefully and scientifically, to assess accurately their differences, weaknesses and strengths. In this way the forces of socialism, which were weaker than those of imperialism, could triumph, even if only in one country at first. Lenin put it this way:

The more powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and most thoroughly, carefully, attentively and skillfully making use without fail of every, even the smallest, “rift” among the enemies, of every antagonism of interest among the bourgeoisie of various countries and among the various groups or types of bourgeoisie within the various countries, and also by taking advantage of every, even the smallest, opportunity of gaining a mass ally, even though this ally be temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional. Those who fail to understand this, fail to understand even a particle of Marxism.[28]

But Hoxha is too pure to engage in such dirty business as making use of rifts within the enemy camp. He argues against any use of such tactics:

The exacerbation of contradictions and rivalries among imperialist powers and groupings is fraught with the danger of armed conflicts, of predatory wars of enslavement [he warns]. This is a well-known thesis of Marxism-Leninism which history has proved to the hilt.[29]

But what has history really proved? Didn’t Lenin “exacerbate” contradictions among the imperialist powers in order to gain a tactical advantage in forging the first socialist state? What would Hoxha say to the remarks Lenin himself made to the American workers:

When in February 1918 the German imperialist vultures hurled their forces against unarmed demobilized Russia, who had relied on the international solidarity of the proletariat before the world revolution had fully matured, I did not hesitate for a moment to enter into an “agreement” with the French monarchists The French monarchist and I shook hands, although we knew that each of us would willingly hang his “partner.”[30]

No, contrary to Hoxha, there is no such “well-known thesis” in Marxism which one-sidedly opposes the use of inter-imperialist contradictions because of the “danger” involved. This is strictly a thesis of Hoxhaism, and a cowardly one at that. No revolution in the contemporary world is possible without a plan for exploiting such rifts.

Of course there are dangers involved in using such tactics. But the dangers are even greater in ignoring these contradictions. The prospect of defeat is immeasurably greater for those who allow themselves to strike out in all directions at once, to fight all enemies at once and together, to mouth childish slogans about “overthrowing all” as a substitution for revolutionary tactics.

Not every party, of course, is able to make use of imperialist rivalries and rifts at any given time. A socialist country like China, for example, may well be able to make agreements and establish normal relations with the U.S. in order to utilize superpower contention. Or China, in the course of carrying out its state relations, may be able to win over the European bourgeoisie, or sections of it, to an anti-hegemonist united front. The Marxist-Leninist parties in these countries, however, in most cases are relatively small and do not hold state power or government positions. They are not in a position to use exactly the same tactics or stress the same contradictions in their work as China is able to do.

Our use of such tactics must be measured in the context of the objective and subjective factors operating in our own situation. But we are not afraid of the dangers inherent in these tactics. We always support them when they serve the cause of the working class.

China continues to use such tactics today. Contrary to the claims of the fake “leftists,” this does not reflect an abandonment of revolutionary principle. Instead it shows how Marxists make use of every possible advantage in struggling against a strong and dangerous enemy. The use of rifts in the enemy camp has enabled China to keep from being surrounded, from being attacked on all sides by both superpowers at once. This has served to defend socialism without sacrificing the vital interests of the revolutionary struggle.

Tactics of this type are necessary today in the fight against the superpower war drive. If a united front is built around the working class and its vanguard party, a united front of all those who can be united against superpower hegemonism, then it is possible to delay the outbreak of world war. This is the road to victory outlined in the three worlds theory. In this way, the war drive can be blocked at various points. It gives the revolutionary forces more time for preparing the masses for the eventual outbreak of war, for preparing to turn it into a revolutionary war against capitalism.

The united front needed today can draw many lessons from the sound policy pursued by the communist movement and the Soviet Union prior to World War II. Fascist aggression was threatening world peace then in much the same manner as Soviet aggression is doing today.

The Soviet Union took the lead in proposing a united front against war and fascism, especially after Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito established their military axis. Although the aggression of the Axis was being carried out under the signboard of “anti-Bolshevism,” Stalin pointed out how it was in fact aimed at the conquest of both Europe and Asia.

In this grave crisis, the communists called for “collective security” as a means for checking the fascist offensive. The Soviet representative Litvinov proposed this policy to the League of Nations in 1937. It was a blow against the appeasement policies then being pursued by a section of the ruling circles in England, France and the U.S.

The Soviet policy also demonstrated to the peoples of the world that the socialist USSR was in the vanguard of the fight for world peace and against fascist aggression. It stood in sharp contrast to the words and deeds of the imperialists, who were bowing and scraping before Hitler’s war crusade. In fact, had it been accepted, Stalin’s collective security program could have nipped fascism’s schemes for (world domination in the bud. The Axis was still relatively weak and was plagued with internal contradictions and domestic crises. The USSR together with the non-fascist powers would have had an overwhelming superiority in armed forces and industrial capacity.


But the imperialists were not interested in defeating fascism and maintaining peace. At first they tried to steer Hitler into first attacking the USSR, with the hope that they could pick up the pieces after the communists and fascists had exhausted each other. This ploy failed, however, and its proponents then entered into an inter-imperialist war with Germany. Since they had refused Stalin’s peace proposals, the Soviet Union again made use of the contradictions among the imperialists. This time it concluded a non-aggression agreement with the Germans, which temporarily stalled Hitler’s anti-Soviet offensive and bought precious time for the USSR to get prepared for the onslaught when it did come.

These are tactics similar to those being used by China today. They are stalling a Soviet social-imperialist offensive and keeping China from being the target of a world-imperialist attack.

But Enver Hoxha today is essentially joining the Soviet Union in its call for a united front against “Chinese revisionism.” In this way, Hoxha is imitating the Trotskyites in the pre-World War II era, who added their voices to the Nazi’s propaganda against the Soviet plan for collective security. Like Trotsky, Hoxha attacks all alliances or uses of inter-imperialist rivalries from the “left,” claiming that this has to mean “relying on one imperialism to fight the other.”[31]

But from this perspective, how can Hoxha explain the common front built in the anti-fascist war? He simply claims that Stalin’s non-aggression pact was “a skillful utilization of inter-imperialist rivalries” and that it was correct to do so since the “Hitlerite aggression against the Soviet Union was imminent.”[32]

What can we deduce from this? One conclusion is that Hoxha feels free to change his position from page to page. Another is that the antifascist united front was merely a matter of Stalin’s personal “skill” while today the “skillful” use of such rivalries is impossible. Still another is that Hoxha simply downplays the extent of Soviet aggression, in spite of its already having been unleashed in Czechoslovakia, Zaire, Kampuchea and other countries.

A superpower war may not be necessarily imminent today. But then no one has proposed a military alliance between the U.S. and China. Under present conditions, neither side has seen such an alliance as either necessary or desirable.

But aren’t there other forms, short of a military pact, for various countries to take common action against the Soviet war drive? Again one might ask about the lessons of the Soviet alliance with the Western powers against Hitler. Here Hoxha claims that such an alliance only occurred after Hitler had invaded the USSR.[33] While this is certainly true, Hoxha uses this fact to rewrite history. He makes it appear that the communists were opposed to any alliance prior to the Nazi attack, and only supported it afterwards. In fact the delay was due to the refusal of the West to accept Stalin’s earlier collective security proposal.

One final point needs to be made about Hoxha’s view of such alliances between socialist and capitalist countries. He maintains that it must mean an end to the class struggle within the imperialist countries. It is true that the Browder revisionists in the U.S. did distort the united front to mean an end to the class struggle, to the party and to the fight against national oppression and racial discrimination.


Contrary to Hoxha, however, Browderism was not a necessary consequence to the anti-fascist coalition. In fact it was a counter-current to the approach taken in countries like China, Yugoslavia or Albania itself. In these places the continuation of class struggle under the conditions of the united front against fascism led directly to the victory of socialism.

The lesson is that communists must always maintain their own independence and initiative and wage the class struggle for socialism in accordance with the conditions at hand. This is true no matter what alliances are made between socialist and capitalist countries for the purpose of defeating aggression and hegemonism, whether they be political, diplomatic or military. To maintain, as Hoxha does, that any agreements automatically mean “class collaboration” only serves to spread pessimism and defeatism in the ranks of the working class. This is the real class collaborationist path in the end, just as was Trotsky’s treacherous collaboration with Hitler 40 years ago. It would be incorrect, of course, to draw an exact parallel between the anti-fascist front of the World War II period and the type of worldwide united front needed today. In fact one consequence of fascism’s defeat was the accelerated rise of the peoples and countries of the third world, the great majority of humanity who have long suffered under imperialism’s yoke. Today the third world has become the main force in the united front against imperialist hegemonism, the main ally of the communist and workers’ movements in all countries.

So where does Hoxha stand on this matter? The fact is that he tries to discredit the whole concept of the “third world” or the “non-aligned movement.” To him, all capitalist countries should be lumped together–regardless of their size or strength, regardless of whether they are oppressor or oppressed nations, regardless of whether they are imperialist powers or the objects of imperialist plunder. Failing to do any class analysis, he sees no anti-imperialist aspect to the upper classes of the third world, mainly labeling them as “reactionary and fascist cliques.”

Hoxha opposes any kind of common, united struggle among the third world countries for liberation and independence. As far as he is concerned, problems and differences among them have far greater weight and significance than their basic contradiction with imperialism. But where the Arab or African countries, for instance, actually have banded together to resist the superpowers, Hoxha borrows tricks from the Soviets to play up and exacerbate factors for disunity. He will freely label some as “progressive” and others as “reactionary,” according to the maneuvering and policy shifts of the superpowers.

Hoxha singles out the Arab countries as an example.

To lump all these separate elements together [he says] and to demand that the question of freedom, independence, democracy and socialism must be solved for all these countries in the same manner and at the same time is an impossibility.[34]

No one, of course, is making any such far-reaching demands. Hoxha is exaggerating here for effect. But his main point comes through: unity of the third world against superpower hegemonism “is an impossibility.”

But there are many examples of third world unity. So Hoxha is put in the position of denouncing it even if it were possible, which he does by stating: “To seek unity within the ’third world,’ in fact means to seek unity of the oppressed class with the oppressor class”[35]

Hoxha claims that his anti-imperialism is firm and unshakeable. But what happens when one or another third world country comes under an imperialist attack? Hoxha says let them fight alone. To offer support during an invasion or attack is allegedly akin to supporting dictators or capitalists. The desire of the masses to defend their country counts for nothing.

A case in point was the Soviet-backed invasion of Zaire in 1978. To do its dirty work, the Soviets employed mercenaries who had previously been in the pay of the CIA and responsible for the murder of the Congolese patriot, Patrice Lumumba. The ploy was part of the wider Soviet expansionist drive using Cubans and local mercenaries to do the bloodletting.

The invasion was pushed back by the Zairean people together with worldwide backing. It was exposed and denounced both in the UN and the Organization of African Unity. China firmly backed Zaireans in the defense of their country. Belgium and France, for their own reasons, sent troops as well.

Imperialism and the Revolution takes a clear stand on the matter. Its harshest words are not for the Soviet-backed invaders, nor even for the old-line colonialists. Instead its fire is concentrated on China for “intervening” in Zaire and “assisting the bloodthirsty Mobutu clique”![36] Is it too obvious to ask who really benefitted from this line?

Liquidating the National Question

Imperialism and the Revolution is essentially’a chauvinist attack on the national movements for liberation and self-determination. Throughout his book, Hoxha displays an erroneous line and lack of sensitivity toward the three billion people suffering under the boot-heels of colonialism and national oppression throughout the third world.

To Hoxha, the revolutionary viewpoint developed by Marx and Lenin on the national question serves only to “extinguish class struggle.” He is especially upset over the terms “non-aligned” and “third world.” These became widely known after the 1955 Bandung Conference and expressed the aim of uniting the oppressed peoples against imperialism and colonialism. But as Hoxha sees it, these concepts are reactionary. “The aim of both these “worlds,” [he says] is to provide a theoretical justification for extinguishing the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie...”[37]

Capitalism and socialism–these are the only “two worlds” that Hoxha recognizes. To divide the world in any other way, regardless of the present realities, would be to obscure the class question. To unite the peoples of the third world against domination would only serve to blunt the internal class struggle.

But what would happen if revolutionaries around the world followed Hoxha’s advice? The working class would be split. Its parties would be isolated from the millions in the oppressed nations taking up the struggle against national subjugation. The bourgeoisie in turn would be seen as the “champion” of the national movement, which it would lead ineffectually, or betray. The aims of the broad masses would be thwarted, the proletariat would be defeated.

Lenin strongly opposed a Hoxha-type approach to the national question under imperialism. He made this quite clear in his famous speech to the Communist International in 1920:

What is the cardinal idea underlying our theses? It is the distinction between oppressed and oppressor nations. Unlike the Second International and bourgeois democracy, we emphasize this distinction. In the age of imperialism, it is particularly important for the proletariat and the Communist International to establish the concrete economic facts and to proceed from concrete realities, not from abstract principles, in all colonial and national problems.[38]

Notice how different Lenin’s approach was from the abstract phrasemongering of Hoxha’s “two-world theory”! Don’t bother to make any concrete distinctions between aggressors and victims, says Hoxha. Don’t dwell on national oppression. And most important, don’t make common cause with the oppressed nations when they clash, to one degree or another, with one or both superpowers.

Hoxha singles out Egypt as an example, referring to the time when it broke relations with the USSR. This was a step forward for Egypt and an exposure of how the Soviet Union uses its “friendship treaties” to maintain control in other third world countries. He states:

But our country cannot make common cause, or a compromise, as the Chinese revisionists call it, with a state ruled by a reactionary clique, which in the interests of its own class and to the detriment of the interests of its people, enters into an alliance with one or the other superpower.[39]

Here we have Hoxha’s “purist” view of compromises again. Egypt must break with all imperialists, and all of them at once, before any steps in defense of its sovereignty are worthy of support from socialist countries. Nor would that be enough. Governments such as those in Zaire or Somalia would have to comply with the standards of Western-style democracy before any moves they made against imperialism could be “compromised” with or supported.

Again, what a difference with Leninism! Wasn’t it Stalin who said: “The struggle that the Emir of Afghanistan is waging for the independence of Afghanistan is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the monarchist views of the Emir and his associates, for it weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism... For the same reasons, the struggle that the Egyptian merchants and bourgeois intellectuals are waging for the independence of Egypt is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the bourgeois origin and bourgeois title of the leaders... despite the fact that they are opposed to socialism.[40]

Does Hoxha imagine that Emirs and merchants in Stalin’s time did not maintain connections or take money and arms from the imperialist rivals of the imperialist powers they were fighting? Does he think they were “democrats” in those days and “fascist cliques” now? No, the fact was that Lenin and Stalin would never appraise such national movements simply from the abstract viewpoints of “purity” or “formal democracy.” Rather they analyzed these movements concretely, evaluating the objective role they played as vast reserves of the working class in weakening the enemy camp on a world scale.

The conclusion of this is that Hoxha’s stand towards the national liberation struggle is chauvinist, even if it comes from left field. Towards China, in particular, this chauvinism assumes more blatant forms throughout the text of Imperialism and the Revolution. China’s history, traditions and culture all come under fire. Repeatedly Hoxha attacks the use of traditional images in the Chinese style of writing.

Hoxha even raises the spectre of the “yellow peril” to warn imperialism of the Chinese “danger.” His main ploy here is directed against the prospects of what he calls a “racist” Chinese-Japanese alliance. He warns the imperialists of the West against the day when:

The diabolic, hypocritical, empire-building, unprincipled policy in the imperialist-militarist spirit, pursued by China and Japan, will turn against the superpower which helped them recover.[41]

Hoxha goes on to claim that Mao Zedong was fomenting a race war through his support for the peoples of color throughout the world. For good measure, he throws in charges that the Chinese people are “xenophobic” and against “foreigners.”[42] What a string of labels! All that is left would be for him to throw in the charge of “inscrutability” to make the racist stereotype complete.

Hoxha’s charge of “xenophobia” or fear of foreigners is especially ironic. It comes from the leader of a Party which still refuses to allow Americans to visit Albania, regardless of their class, political stand or friendship for the Albanian people. As for those foreign visitors who do go to Albania, the stories are widely known about how they are not allowed to dress in their national or customary garb or to wear their hair in their own style if these fail to conform to Albanian norms.

But to get back to the “yellow peril” conspiracy, Hoxha assumes that it must have a European mastermind somewhere behind it. Imperialism and the Revolution claims that this is none other than Tito and the Yugoslavs, who are supposedly the biggest revisionist danger, even surpassing the Moscow revisionists.

Yugoslavia, Hoxha believes, “has the ambition to make China one of its satellites.”[43] This is certainly an original twist from the Russian view that China is the big hegemonist trying to take over the world. Certainly Hoxha must win some kind of award from Moscow for coming up with such a “creative” and ingenious scenario as Yugoslavia turning China into its pawn.

But in the end, Hoxha’s view of Chinese-Yugoslav relations is no more detached from reality than the rest of his analysis of the role of the third world. It’s just that his substitution of chauvinist metaphysics for Leninist concrete analysis here takes on the quality of being ridiculous as well as dangerous.

Socialism without class struggle

The final and perhaps most interesting point in Imperialism and the Revolution is Hoxha’s view of socialism and socialist construction. His idealist and metaphysical views come through in both right and “left” deviations. He declares antagonistic classes nonexistent while borrowing freely from the line of China’s “gang of four.” This is bound to lead the Albanian people to increased difficulties similar to those suffered in China if Hoxha’s line continues to be pursued.

Hoxha’s views stand out in his attacks on China and the course of its revolution since 1949. As has already been pointed out, Hoxha has opposed the Chinese leadership ever since Wang Ming was demoted in 1935. Now he adds the claim that China was never socialist and its party never Marxist-Leninist. He writes:

During the entire period that Mao was alive, the Chinese policy, in general, was a vacillating one, a policy of changing with circumstances, lacking a Marxist-Leninist spinal cord.[44]

This statement is riddled with idealism even apart from its evaluation of Mao’s contributions. The most apparent point is that policy must change with the circumstances. That is not vacillation. A policy is a definite course of action proposed on the basis of concrete analysis of a given set of conditions. As conditions change, policy must change. Otherwise both dialectics and materialism are thrown out the window. Is Hoxha saying that China’s policies should remain the same now as they were ten years ago? Or the same as they were before Mao came to leadership in 1935? Or what?

Of course there have been many changes in Chinese policy over the years, as there are in any genuine Marxist-Leninist party. Some are due to changing conditions. Others were the result of two-line struggle against opportunists who had succeeded in seizing the leadership or part of the leadership.

But Hoxha cannot grasp the concept of two-line struggle. In fact he denounces the whole idea and claims that such a phenomenon does pot exist in a Marxist-Leninist party or under socialism.[45] He presents a picture of the party and socialist state similar to the one painted by Khrushchev and the Soviet revisionists, who advocated a state and party “of the whole people.”

Hoxha admits that “many positive changes were made” in China after liberation, such as the liquidation of foreign imperialism and big landlords, poverty and unemployment, and so forth.[46] Of course, this is no big deal, since many bourgeois commentators have made the same points. But Hoxha adds his own twist:

From the adoption of these measures and the fact that the Communist Party came to power, it appeared as if China was going to socialism. But things did not turn out that way.[47]

From here Hoxha goes on to repeat the claim of the revisionists and Trotskyites: China’s revolution was merely a “peasant revolution” and China’s proletariat never had “political power or big industry in its own hands”–not in 1949, not even in 1956 and certainly not today.[48]

Of course even the Moscow revisionists don’t go quite this far. It’s a “new contribution” of Hoxha to claim that China was never socialist, that Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai were “never Marxist-Leninists,” and that in fact the whole Chinese revolution was a failure.

One thing can be said for Hoxha–his evidence for this claim is irrefutable. This is because he never gives any evidence and frankly admits that he knows and knew “very little” about China.[49]

But this is really why Hoxha cannot explain the great accomplishments and traditions of the Chinese revolution. How could the lives of more than 900 million people have changed so radically from the pre-liberation days under the leadership of any other class than the proletariat? The bourgeoisie was never so profoundly revolutionary even in its heyday prior to the imperialist era. Hoxha can’t explain this because, frankly, his version of socialism has nothing in common with Marxism.

Hoxha, first of all, has an undialectical view of the relationship between socialism and communism, the latter of which is the ultimate goal of the socialist revolution. He claims that socialism and communism “in essence, are two phases of one type, of the one socioeconomic order; and which are distinguished from each other only by the degree of their development and maturity.”[50] (Emphasis added)

Karl Marx, of course, was the first to point out that socialism was the “lower” or first phase of communist society.[51] But Hoxha departs from Marx when he claims that this lower phase differs from communism “only by degree” of its development. For the fact is that communism is a classless society, while socialism is a long period of transition towards it, a transition period characterized by the dictatorship of the proletariat. In other words, socialism is a class society where the working class maintains its rule over the bourgeoisie, meaning both the former exploiters and any newly engendered bourgeois elements.

By blurring over this distinction, Hoxha lays the groundwork for an all-round attack on the dictatorship of the proletariat and the class struggle under socialism. It leads him to claim that the socialist phase is already free from antagonistic classes and class struggle.

The importance of this distinction in the economic sphere is a well-known aspect of Marx’s writings. Communism, as he saw it, meant a great development of the productive forces. It meant the abolition of poverty, the establishment of an economy of abundance rather than scarcity. It meant the ability of society to base itself on the concept of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Socialism is different in the sense that distribution is based on the concept of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his work.”[52]

Nor is it simply a matter of one phase maturing into the other.

Reaching communism requires, as Lenin put it, “a most determined and most ruthless war against a more powerful enemy, the bourgeoisie.”[53] This was a development of Marx’s statement that:

Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transition 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.[54]

One could ask Hoxha if he thinks the nature of the state differs “only by the degree” of its maturity in the socialist and communist phases. During socialism there is a state of a new type directed against a minority of exploiters rather than against the majority of working people. Still, Lenin says “the state is needed by the proletariat” and that democracy is “almost complete, limited only by the crushing of the resistance of the bourgeoisie.” In communist society, however, Lenin says “the state is not needed, it withers away” and democracy is “really complete, becoming a habit and for that reason withering away...Complete democracy equals no democracy. This is not a paradox, but a truth!”[55]

These ideas of Marx and Lenin were developed even further by Mao Zedong’s contributions on the nature of class struggle under socialism. But Hoxha attacks these contributions, claiming that antagonistic classes do not exist under socialism, that they merely disappear as society “matures.”[56]

Hoxha is actually attacking China for continuing the class struggle while claiming that there are no antagonistic classes in Albania. He points out that the PLA opposed the course of the Chinese revolution from the very beginning. This includes an all-round subjective denunciation of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which “was neither a revolution, nor great, nor cultural, and in particular, not in the least proletarian.”[57]

Hoxha’s attack is based on his thesis of the dying out of class struggle. It has nothing to do with whatever weaknesses the Cultural Revolution may have had or with whatever problems were caused by the “gang of four” during its later periods. It is basically the same viewpoint as Khrushchev’s, even if it comes from the “left.”

There are many examples of Hoxha’s “left” line on socialist construction in his book. One is his attack on Mao’s view of mainly practicing self-reliance while carrying out trade and getting economic help where possible from the outside at the same time. According to Hoxha, however, it is absolutely impermissible to utilize foreign investment from the capitalists or allow any type of capitalist penetration, regardless of the conditions or problems that may exist.

In no case [Hoxha says] do the capitalists provide their credits for the construction of socialism. They provide them to destroy socialism. Therefore a genuine socialist country never accepts credits, in any form, from a capitalist, bourgeois or revisionist country.[58]

Of course this “revolutionary purism” completely contradicts Lenin, who allowed foreign investment and credits as long as it served the overall aim of socialist construction and socialist development of the productive forces. In 1921, for example, Lenin wrote:

The Soviet government is inviting foreign capitalists to obtain concessions in Russia.

Is it right for the Soviet government to invite foreign capitalists after expelling the Russian landowners and capitalists? Yes, it is because seeing the workers’ revolution in other countries is delayed, we have to make some sacrifices in order to achieve a rapid or even immediate improvement in the conditions of the workers and peasants. . . .

But is it not dangerous to invite the capitalists? Does it not imply a development of capitalism? Yes, it does imply a development of capitalism, but this is not dangerous, because power will still be in the hands of the workers and peasants, and the landowners and capitalists will not be getting back their property.[59]

China today is faced with an urgent task similar in some ways to Lenin’s. It must carry out a rapid modernization campaign in the face of the threat of war and in the wake of the destruction done by the “gang of four.” In these conditions it has allowed some concessions and foreign investment.

But China is also using Lenin’s tactics to do so. What is more, it is proceeding from an even better basis than Lenin had, since China is even stronger and state power is even more firmly in the hands of the working class than in Russia in 1921. Also, socialist ownership of the economy has been mainly completed in China, while Lenin made his concessions in the more difficult period of the New Economic Policy.

Nonetheless there are still some misguided people who are influenced by some of Hoxha’s thinking. They have exaggerated the degree of foreign penetration in China or have misunderstood the purposes for it. China has practically restored capitalism, in their minds, if it allows some Coca-Cola into the country for consumption by tourists or if it allows foreign oil companies to help China exploit its resources in exchange for modern technology.

Hoxha views socialism as some completely self-contained and self-sufficient phenomenon, a situation where no political or economic ties with the outside world are necessary. With this kind of leadership, socialist construction can only proceed at a snail’s pace, if at all, or worse, the failure of such a program could well turn into its opposite-dependence on one or the other superpower for support. Of course the capitalists aren’t providing trade, credits or technology in order to aid socialism. They do so for profit. But does this mean that socialism cannot make use of the competition among the capitalists and their drive for profit? Can’t this factor be used, under certain conditions, to advance socialist construction without being diverted onto the capitalist road? Isn’t this what the Soviet Union did in the time of Lenin and Stalin?


If the answer is negative, then how does Hoxha explain China’s aid and credits to Albania? If China has been a revisionist country all along, as Hoxha would have us believe, then Albania must be revisionist as well. Using Hoxha’s logic, this would have to be the case, since China’s aid to Albania over the years has been responsible for the most considerable portion of Albania’s industrial development.

In fact China’s aid to Albania was selfless and entirely in keeping with the norms of proletarian internationalism. Far from being done for the sake of profits, China’s aid was at great expense to itself and given at a time when China’s living standards were actually lower than Albania’s. The assistance was ended only when Albania violated the economic agreements between the two countries in order to further Hoxha’s splittist activities in the international communist movement.

Each country, of course, has to approach the task of socialist construction from the standpoint of its own conditions, its own traditions, its own history. There is nothing in Marxism that says Albania has to build socialism in the same way as China or any other country. In fact the opposite is true. No socialist country should try to wave a baton at others and no socialist country should dogmatically or mechanically copy the experience of others.

But this is not the issue here. What Hoxha is attacking in China is part of the very substance of socialism–the theory of the existence of classes and class struggle under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The irony is that Hoxha’s views will do little harm to China, but they are certain to do considerable damage to socialism in Albania.


There are many other theses in Imperialism and the Revolution that will have to be dealt with elsewhere. In fact there is hardly an area touched on by the science of Marxism-Leninism where Hoxha does not advance some new distortion or attack. To mention just a few briefly:

–On the strategy and tactics of people’s war. Hoxha attacks Mao’s military writings. He claims that urban insurrections are the path to revolution in the colonies and semi-colonies, rather than the strategy of surrounding the cities from the countryside.

–On the two-stage revolution in the third world. Hoxha advocates skipping over the stage of democratic revolution and couples this with a vehement anti-peasant stand.[60] He complains about Mao’s reliance on the peasantry as the main force in the Chinese revolution as “opposed to” the leading role of the proletariat.

–On the tactics of international affairs. Hoxha opposed Nixon’s visit to China in 1974 even though this was a retreat by the U.S. which opened the door to normalization. He also hits at Zhou Enlai’s visit to Moscow in 1964, even though its purpose was to explore any possible changes in Soviet policy following the downfall of Khrushchev. While Brezhnev and Kosygin pursued an even more reactionary course, this visit was still a propaganda victory for the Marxist-Leninists.

All in all, it is clear from our examination of this latest Albanian polemic that Hoxha’s line is an ultra-“left” countercurrent to Marxism-Leninism. Much like Trotsky decades earlier, Hoxha plays into the hands of imperialism and fascist aggression.

Ultra-leftism of the Hoxha variety takes advantage of the fact that the main target of the ideological struggle overall is modern revisionism, a right opportunist current. But “left” opportunism is no better than right opportunism. As Hoxha’s distortions of Marxism, splittism and support for social-fascist aggression shows, it can lead down the capitalist road just as fast.

Hoxha’s ideas may have some momentary appeal among some activists. But this appeal comes as part of the all-round propaganda campaign presently being conducted by the Moscow revisionists and the imperialist media. These reactionaries have also suddenly become very “left” in their denunciations of socialist China. Finally, ultra-leftism traditionally has had a base in the U.S. communist movement. The petty bourgeoisie is quite large and influential in this country and the communist movement here is still composed largely of recruits from the intelligentsia. These are the strata most susceptible to super-“revolutionary” views.

The party of the working class must strike at all sorts of anti-Marxist currents in order to defend scientific socialism and the ranks of the workers’ leadership. Hoxhaism, of course, does not nearly have the influence of modern revisionism. But if it is not combated, it will present itself as a growing obstacle to the unity and fighting capacity of our movement.


[1] See, for example, the “Letter of the CC of the Party of Labor and the Government of Albania to the CC of the Communist Party and the Government of China” (Tirana: 8 Netori Publishing House, 1978) or “The Theory of the Non-aligned World’ and the ’Theory of Three Worlds’ United in Defense of the Imperialist Status Quo” appearing in the No. 4, 1978 issue of Albania Today.

[2] See, for example, the recent editorial of Albania’s leading newspaper, Zeri I Popullit, entitled “The Chinese Leadership With Deng Xiaoping at the Head Has Launched a Military Attack Against Vietnam.” The complete text is available in the February 26, 1979 press release of the Albanian Mission to the UN.

[3] Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution (Chicago: Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists, 1979), p. 124.

[4] Ibid., p. 124.

[5] Ibid., p. 7.

[6] Albania Today, No. 4, 1978. An interesting note here is that just two years prior to Bi’a’s statement, a foreword to Vol. 2 of Hoxha’s Selected Works claimed: “The PLA was not yet [at the time of the CPSU’s 20th Congress–ed.] finally convinced that N. Khrushchev and his group had betrayed Marxism-Leninism, and hoped that the Soviet Leadership would realize and correct their mistakes.” For a party claiming to have only one line, the PLA certainly manages to stretch that line a bit.

[7] Hoxha, Imperialism, p. 108.

[8] Enver Hoxha, “Speech at the Solemn Conference Organized in Tirana on the Occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution,” Nov. 2,1957.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Mao Zedong, Selected Works (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1977), vol. 5, p. 304.

[11] Ibid., p. 341.

[12] V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1968), p. 8.

[13] Hoxha, Imperialism, p. 70.

[14] Ibid., p. 16.

[15] Ibid., p. 34.

[16] Ibid., p. 99.

[17] Ibid., p. 100.

[18] Ibid., p. 10.

[19] Karl Kautsky, quoted in Lenin’s Imperialism, p. 110.

[20] Lenin, Ibid., pp. 111-12.

[21] Hoxha, Imperialism, p. 15.

[22] Ibid., p. 9.

[23] Ibid., p. 30.

[24] Ibid., p. 31.

[25] Ibid., p. 38.

[26] Ibid., p. 38.

[27] V.I. Lenin, Collected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1964), vol. 24, p. 403.

[28] V.I. Lenin, “Left-Wing Communism,” An Infantile Disorder (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1965), p. 67.

[29] Hoxha, Imperialism, p. 101.

[30] V.I. Lenin, Letter to American Workers (Chicago: Liberator Press, 1975), pp. 9-10.

[31] Hoxha, Imperialism, p. 14.

[32] Ibid., p. 84.

[33] Ibid., p. 84.

[34] Ibid., p. 50.

[35] Ibid., p. 75.

[36] Ibid., p. 58

[37] Ibid., p. 89.

[38] V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 31, p. 240.

[39] Hoxha, Imperialism, p. 85.

[40] J.V. Stalin, The Foundations of Leninism (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1970), pp. 75-76.

[41] Hoxha, Imperialism, p. 10.

[42] Ibid., p. 119.

[43] Ibid., p. 91.

[44] Ibid., p. 105.

[45] Enver Hoxha, Report Submitted to the 7th Congress of the Party of Labor of Albania (Tirana: 8 Netori Publishing House, 1976), p. 80.

[46] Hoxha, Imperialism, p. 116.

[47] Ibid., p. 116.

[48] Ibid., p. 117.

[49] Ibid., p. 105.

[50] Ibid., p. 113.

[51] Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Program (New York: International Publishers, 1966), p. 10.

[52] Ibid., p. 10.


[54] Marx, Critique of the Gotha Program, p. 18.

[55] V.I. Lenin, Notebook on Marxism and the State, included as an appendix in edition of Critique of the Gotha Program cited above, pp. 55-

[56] Hoxha, Imperialism, p. 113.

[57] Ibid., p. 107.

[58] Ibid., p. 27.

[59] V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 32, p. 368.

[60] Hoxha, Imperialism, p. 114.