Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Group (Marxist-Leninist)

A Tactical Dispute Among Social-Chauvinists – The PLA’s 7th Congress and the CPC

First Published: Forward, No. 2, January 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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An abbreviated version of Enver Hoxha’s Report to the 7th Congress of the Party of Labor of Albania has been made available to our movement and has received, as is the usual case with resolutions issued by the PLA and Communist Party of China, a standing ovation from the “Marxist-Leninist” press. The significance of this Congress rests on, among other things, the fact that the PLA has begun a covert criticism of the CPC’s view of the international situation, in particular the CPC’s concept of “three worlds” and its portrayal of the USSR as the ’main danger’ threatening world war. It is a covert criticism since although Hoxha specifically critiques the concepts of “Second World” and “Third World”, stating that such concepts “...cover up and do not bring out the class character of these political forces...”, i.e. do not show that many capitalist and undeveloped countries have reactionary governments in league with imperialism, he ’overlooks’ the fact that the concept of “three worlds” is credited to Mao Tse Tung and forms the mainstay of the CPC’s present view of the international situation. By thus ’politely’ failing to mention whose formulation he is criticizing, Hoxha ’reassures’ us that the PLA holds no ill will towards the CPC, has no intention of disrupting their fraternal relations with anything so ’tacky’ as open criticism; while on the other hand, by raising the criticism in some, even if muted, form, Hoxha is able to uphold the PLA’s “...opinion that the peoples must be told about the situations...” and thus “...make clear who is their chief enemy...”. How it is possible for us to ’make clear’ the ’situations’ when things are not given their proper names, when various positions and lines are not traced to their source, when the ’polemic’ is conducted by way of innuendo in public and by ’diplomatic’ negotiations in private, is a rather ’delicate’ secret. It is known only to those who wish to keep it, that is, to those who wish to ’make clear1 only so much, and thus make quite unclear upon what basis the struggle is being waged.

For anyone who is vitally concerned with the future of our movement who wishes to draw the advanced workers into a general, open and comprehensive debate on all questions of substance, a thorough discussion of the PLA’s 7th Congress and the nature and extent of the PLA’s differences with the CPC would seem to be absolutely essential. Our “ML” opportunists, on the other hand, who despite all the outstanding differences they have with one another swear a common allegiance to both the PLA and CPC, have for the most part limited their comments on the 7th Congress to enthusiastic congratulations and have passed over any hint of ’differences’ between the PLA and CPC in complete silence. Thus the Nov 29th issue of The Call, political organ of the October League (ML), hails the “successful completion” of the 7th Congress, kindly omits any reference to Hoxha’s criticism of the concept of “Second and Third Worlds”, and then, a week later, in the Dec 6 issue, attacks, not the PLA, but the RCP USA for its “...long-standing opposition to these (2nd and 3rd Worlds) concepts...”. In its January issue of Revolution, the RCP USA responds that “...the claim that the RCP has long opposed the concept of the Third World is a sheer lie.” The RCP cites its own party programme which, sure enough, ’talks up’ the notion of ’Third World’, but, to demonstrate where its sympathies lie, the RCP now qualifies its usage of the term to state that “...the Third World is composed of different countries with different social systems...” and that by ’Third World’ it by no means wishes to imply some sort of “monolithic force”. Thus the RCP USA and OL(ML) have found a common ground on which they can wage their struggle on the question of “three worlds”, without so much as mentioning the PLA or CPC and thus without endangering their dual allegiance to both these leading Parties of the “ML” trend. It should be clear that if the OL(ML) were to criticize the PLA’s stand on “three worlds”, or if the RCP USA were to criticize the CPC’s portrayal of the ’Third World’ as a “monolithic force”, both would risk ending up on the ’wrong side’ of the debate. Thus the OL(ML), which leans rather heavily towards the CPC, will staunchly defend the CPC’s formulations, while remaining silent on Hoxha’s criticisms of ’Third World’ and the PLA’s failure to ’come out’ against the ’Gang of 4’; while the RCP, leaning towards the PLA, will “in essence” support Hoxha’s criticisms, remaining silent on the question of who it is that advocates the concept of ’Third World’ as a monolithic force.

Confronted with such opportunist subtleties, the reader may justifiably ask: Why is it that those who claim to ”...have always done their internationalist duty towards international communism...” (Hoxha Summary of the Report on the Activity of the CC of the PLA p.1), who claim they wish to “...establish the dividing line...” (Ibid p.6) between friends and enemies, and so on, should act as if they were walking on eggs when criticizing a position of a fraternal Party? Why is it that those who claim that “...the peoples must be told openly about the situations...” persist in confusing the ’situations’ by their lack of open and above-board criticism? If the PLA finds that it has differences with the CPC on the concept of “three worlds” or any other issue, why does it hesitate to spell them out, to truly ’make clear’ what position the CPC maintains and what, precisely, the PLA finds at fault? One thing or another. Either the PLA and CPC have discovered some new ’epoch’, during which one’s ”internationalist duty” is fulfilled via hidden complaints, oblique hints and innuendos, during which the real political struggle is carried on by way of private correspondence; in which case we should study, not Lenin, but Kautsky and other adepts at centrist maneuvering. Or, the PLA and CPC, like people who live in glass houses, are afraid to cast the proper stones and so deliberately suppress the polemic lest the roof come down on their own heads.

When we examine the line the PLA advances in opposition to the CPC’s it is clear that the PLA has no desire to open a full and comprehensive debate with the CPC, but simply wishes to pressure it to the left. From the PLA’s standpoint, the current position of the CPC on the greater threat posed by the USSR, its support of the “Growing Unity of Second and Third World Countries”, its generous attitude towards NATO, and so on is simply going too far. The PLA thus implies that the CPC1s positions gloss over class lines and encourage an opportunist alliance with imperialist and reactionary elements. But the PLA does not want to call this by its proper name – social-chauvinism –, does not want to state plainly that there is nothing in common between the CPC1s line and Marxism-Leninism, does not want to state plainly that such a line is an outright betrayal of the working class and should be ruthlessly exposed, since aside from the current ’excesses’ vis-a-vis NATO and elements such as the Shah of Iran, the PLA is in fundamental agreement with the CPC’s social-chauvinist assumptions. It therefore takes, in addition to its own specific social-chauvinist stands, a centrist attitude towards the CPC’s. It is precisely the function of Centrism to chastise the overt social-chauvinists, not for being social-chauvinist, but for being too open and too exposed. The Centrists, in order to protect their own opportunist interests, must ’reassure’ the working class that, just as the workers themselves had suspected, something is rotten after all. But, not to worry... The PLA itself will ’make clear’ the ’situations’, will demonstrate that the foul smell of opportunism is rising, not from some particular Party, but from a ’mistaken concept’ that ’gives a wrong impression’. The effect of this on the working class, and in particular the advanced workers, should be clear. “...Nothing is more harmful or more disastrous to the proletarian cause than a continuation of inner-Party diplomacy towards the opportunists and social-chauvinists...”(V.I. Lenin On The Struggle Against Social-Chauvinism CW Vol. 21 p.200). It is harmful and disastrous precisely because it justifies and perpetuates the deception and confusion spread by the overt social-chauvinists in the workers’ ranks, creates a more ’suitable’ and sophisticated apology for crass opportunism and attempts to inculcate the workers in a spirit of compromise and conciliation towards those who are betraying their interests. It, in short, attacks the development of the workers’ class consciousness and thus ties their hands. That is the content of the PLA’s ’diplomacy’.

The theory of Marxism-Leninism holds that imperialism is an international system, in which every imperialist power, no matter how small or relatively ’weak’ compared to the others, has a vital stake in exploiting the world proletariat and in dividing and redividing the globe on the basis of size of capital; that the enemy of the international working class is not one or another imperialist power, but the entire imperialist system; that economic contention between the various blocs of imperialist powers inevitably gives rise to imperialist wars for the redivision of spheres of influence; that in imperialist war, the proletarians should fight, not on behalf of one or another imperialist bloc, but against the bourgeoisie of ’their own1 imperialist country so as to hasten the downfall of the system as a whole; that the workers and peasants of the oppressed nations, i.e. those subjugated by imperialism and lacking political independence, should head the national 1iberation movements in their own countries so as to insure that the struggle for political self-determination is led by the struggle for socialism; that the objective allies of the world proletariat in the struggle against imperialism are the lower petty bourgeoisie and semi-proletariat of the capitalist countries, and the peasantry and genuinely anti-imperialist elements in the oppressed nations who have gone over to the side of the world proletarian movement; that the issue of ’national interests’ and ’national defense’ in imperialist countries is, in Lenin’s words, a “dead letter” since the interests of the proletariat and bourgeoisie are irreconcilable and have outgrown any common ’national’ tasks; that to advocate, after the fashion of the imperialists and p.b. nationalists, the ’defense of national interests’ in such countries is an outright betrayal of the workers’ interests; that imperialism is the ”eve of proletarian revolution”, must give way to socialism, and that between imperialism and socialism there is no ’middle way’; these, among the major points. These are the most elementary princip1es,i.e. scientific guide-lines, of Marxism-Leninism on the quest ion of imperialist contradictions and imperialist war, applicable to the entire epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution, and formed the basis of Lenin’s thinking in elaborating the tasks of the Third International and the world proletariat.

It should be clear to anyone who has studied (and not simply read and considered ’interesting’) Lenin’s writings on imperialism, imperialist war and the tasks of the international proletariat, and compared these basic principles with the present lines of the CPC and PLA, that both Parties, despite their tactical differences, have nothing in common with Marxism-Leninism on these questions and have instead evolved ’new’ ’principles’ of the narrowest petty bourgeois nationalism to substantiate their positions. These ultra-opportunist positions (which in Forward #1 we mistakenly attributed only to the Foreign Ministries of Albania and China, but which are properly the ’collective’ property of all the Rights at the head of both Parties) are not simply temporary deviations, but reflect the maturation of opportunist tendencies within the PLA and CPC into open social-chauvinism, into crass bourgeois-nationalist policies in ’socialist’ phrases, which are in direct opposition to the interests of the world proletariat.

Both the PLA and CPC agree on the need for a ’United Front Against the Two Superpowers’ which, to varying degrees, includes an alliance between the working class and ’lesser’ imperialist powers, the defense of ’national interests’ in capitalist countries, the ’fusion’ of the proletariat with the petty bourgeoisie in the capitalist countries under the heading of “the peoples”, and thus the liquidation of the class independence of the proletariat. But from the standpoint of the working class, it makes little difference whether one apologizes for US imperialism against Soviet social-imperialism (as does the October League and others in the US, tailing after the CPC), or apologizes for Soviet social-imperialism against the US (as do the circles around The Guardian), or for the ’medium-sized’ or 2nd World imperialist countries against the two superpowers (as do the PLA and CPC, with certain tactical differences) or for the “peace-loving nations” (whoever they may be) against the “aggressors” (PLA and CPC). All equally apologize for the imperialist world system. All attempt to divert the proletariat’s attention from the system as a whole, and from the tasks of the revolutionary proletariat in each country in relation to that system. All attempt, according to their peculiar prejudice, to divide the proletariat into several portions along national lines. Our social-chauvinists of all stripes must, in order to further their own national-chauvinist ambitions, conceal the fact that the only revolutionary struggle within the capitalist countries (large or small) is that of the international struggle of the proletariat –the common and united struggle of the workers in every nation– against the bourgeoisie of all the capitalist countries. Our social-chauvinists must conceal this fact since although they are not at all opposed to rallying the working class against ’the competition’, against other bourgeois antagonists, they must prevent the working class from acting on its own behalf, from waging a revolutionary struggle against the entire bourgeois, imperialist and revisionist heap. From the standpoint of principle, then the current positions of the PLA and CPC stand on an equal plane with the rabidly social-chauvinist positions of the other revisionist Communist Parties. The only distinction is that the CP’s loosely grouped around the CPSU have cultivated modern revisionism from the Right, whereas the PLA and CPC have done it from the ’left’.


Since 1975 the CPC has modified its former position on the two superpowers to state that the USSR is now the principal danger threatening world war and is thus the main foe of the ’peace and security’ of ’the peoples’. As any ’religious’ reader of Peking Review should know, this change in line was accomplished, not through a systematic and straightforward elaboration of the new view, but simply by way of a ’peaceful transition’ from one point to another. The new line first surfaced in Peking Review reports on the positions of new “ML” organizations, for instance the CP Italy (ML)’s statement that Soviet social-imperialism is the “...principal danger to peace in Europe...”(Nuova Unita, cited in PR #20 5-16-75) and the statement of Jacques Jurquet, Political Director of the French “ML” paper L’Humanite Rouge, that “...we in Western Europe regard Russian social-imperialism as the principal danger at the present time...”(PR #22 5-30-75). These citations were followed by more direct statements by the CPC itself: “...As a breeding ground for a new world war, Soviet social-imperialism is far more dangerous...”(PR #29 7-18-75 “The Brezhnev Clique is Following Hitler’s Beaten Track”), “...the danger of war comes mainly from the wildly ambitious social-imperialism...” (PR #47 11-21-75 Huang Hua “Soviet ’Disarmament’ Proposals: Camouflage for War Preparations”), and social-imperialism “...has become the main source of war. . .”(PR #9 2-27-76 “Acting Premier Hua Kuo-feng’s Toast” to R. Nixon).

Throughout 1976 the CPC took this new line to its logical conclusion stating that “...There is a growing demand in Western European countries for the strengthening of West European unity, NATO and national defence and for a policy of resistance to the Soviet Union...”(PR #26 6-25-76, “What’s Behind Moscow’s Press Attack on General Mery’s Speech?”), that “...If the people of the European countries heighten their awakening, strengthen their unity, and press on with their struggle, Soviet social-imperialism’s wild ambition to seek hegemony in Europe is sure to end in ignominious defeat...”(PR #32-33 8-9-76 “What Does the Situation Show One Year After the European Security Conference?”), and that “...We support the unity of Western Europe and wish to see Western Europe grow strong...”(PR #42 10-15-76 Chiao Kuan-hua “The Chinese Government Will Continue to Carry Out Resolutely Chairman Mao’s Revolutionary Line and Policies in Foreign Affairs”). Where formerly the CPC criticized the role of NATO as an instrument of US imperialist interests and portrayed the buildup of NATO and Warsaw forces as equally dangerous threats, the CPC now bemoans the weakness of NATO vis-a-vis the Warsaw Pact, criticizes the “Munich approach”, i.e. the ”...danger of appeasement towards Soviet expansion...”(PR #34 8-20-76 “The Munich Approach Leads to a Blind Alley”) it feels that sections of US imperialism are following, and voices its support for French, German, Swiss and English imperialists’ statements advocating ’national defence’ against the USSR (PR #8,#11,#15 #26 1976, and numerous others).

This generosity towards the imperialist interests of the European bourgeoisie (& to advocate ’national defense’ for, for example, France, is precisely to advocate the interests of the French imperialist bourgeoisie), has spilled over onto the entire Second World, including Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. In reporting a March 1976 meeting between the heads of state of Australia and New Zealand, Peking Review stated that the two “...expressed deep concern about Moscow’s intervention in Angola and its naval buildup in the Indian Ocean. They indicated that their two countries would work especially for strengthening their joint defences in the Indian Ocean and the south Pacific region. This reflects the common aspirations of the countries and people in Oceania for safeguarding their independence and security and is fully justified....” (PR #12 3-19-76 “Closer Defence Cooperation”). In May, the Chinese delegate to the UN Conference on Trade and Development stated that “...In the past four years, the struggle of the second world countries to rid themselves of the control, intervention, subversion and bullying by the superpowers has evidently intensified...”(PR #21 5-21-76 “Speech by Chou Hua-min” to the 4th Session of UNCTAD). Thus imperialist countries which were formerly exposed for their ties to US imperialism, have in the pages of Peking Review now themselves become ’anti-imperialist’, or at least anti-Soviet-social-imperialist, and thus able to ’reflect the common aspirations’ of ’the peoples’.

As for the Third World, or developing countries, the CPC has simply stated its previous position in bolder form: ”...Although specific social and economic conditions in the various developing countries are different, they all face the common task of consolidating national independence, safeguarding state sovereignty, protecting national resources and developing their national economies. Their fundamental interests are identical...” (PR #& 2-13-76 “Struggle for New International Economic Order”; emphasis ours) and “...There is no fundamental conflict of interests among developing countries, which all belong to the third world...” (PR #20 5-14-76 “New-type Economic Cooperation among Third World Countries”; emphasis ours). The CPC formulation of ’Third World’ is meant to embrace all those countries remaining after we subtract the two superpowers and the imperialist powers of Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan regardless of whether those countries are socialist or are emerging capitalist nations.

This phenomenal ’lack’ of fundamental conflict of interests is what enables the CPC to approve the “...resolve to oppose external hegemonic influence...”(PR #7 2-13-76 ”Anti-Hegemonic Struggle Developments”) formally displayed by various Latin American government officials; applaud the efforts to “...safeguard security and maintain stability in the Gulf region...n(PR #16 4-16-76 “Further Strengthen Cooperation and Coordination”) made by King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia and the leaders of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates; and portray the Shah of Iran as a spokesman of “...the Iranian people’s strong desire to defend national independence and state sovereignty and ..the common demand of the peoples of other countries in the Gulf area to oppose big-power hegemonism and outside interference...”(PR #37 9-8-76 “Determination to Resist Aggression”). Where formerly the CPC would include a few positive words on behalf of the struggles of the workers and peasants to overthrow their ’own’ Shahs and Kings, it now restricts itself to enthusiastic remarks to the effect that “...We are happy to note that under the leadership of His Imperial Majesty the Shahanshah, the Imperial Government of Iran has made efforts to strengthen Iran’s defence capabilities and build up the country, while at the same time it has actively strengthened Iran’s unity and cooperation with other countries in this region and other third world countries, rendering each other support thus making a useful contribution to the joint anti-hegemonic cause of the people of all countries. To this, we express our support and appreciation ...”(PR #48 11-26-76 “Chinese NPC Delegation Visits Iran”).

Although the imperialist countries ”...of the second world oppress and exploit third world countries, they themselves are at the same time subjected to superpower oppression, exploitation, control or threat....” (PR #42 10-15-76 Chiao Kuan-hua ”The Chinese Government Will Continue to Carry Out Resolutely Chairman Mao’s Revolutionary Line and Policies in Foreign Affairs”). And since ’where there is oppression, there is resistance1, the CPC has chosen to simply lump the two together: “...the second and third world countries, prompted by their common desire to fight the two superpowers, particularly to oppose Soviet control, infiltration and intervention, are developing their relations continuously...”(PR #25 6-18-76 “Further Developing Relations”). This new “Growing Unity of Second and Third World Countries” is expressed politically by, for instance the support given by France to the Arab nations’ opposition to Israel; economically by the “New Economic Order”, i.e. “...in strengthening the ties between the developing countries and the EEC countries in the economic sphere...”(PR #15 4-9-76 “Strengthening Economic Ties”), establishing ’fair’ trade agreements, and so on; and militarily by the CPC’s view that “...The pressing issue before the numerous small and medium-sized countries now under the threat of superpower military expansion is to fully mobilize the people and get prepared against wars of aggression. At present a number of small and medium-sized countries stress the importance of developing their independent armed forces for self-defence; a number of other countries have put forward the proposition of strengthening cooperation on defence matters in a united struggle against hegemonism. We support these correct views...”(PR #47 11-19-76 Huang Hua “Soviet US Rivalry for Hegemony is Irreversible”). The logical conclusion of this ’integral world view’ is that “...All countries that are subjected to the superpowers’ aggression, subversion, intervention, control and bullying should unite and form the broadest united front to wage tit-for tat struggles against them...”(Ibid).

It should be clear from this that when the CPC emphasizes the danger of the USSR as being the main threat of world war, it is not simply making an assessment of relative military strength of the two superpowers. Its assessment of the USSR leads in turn to definite strategic conclusions, to the downplaying of the role of US imperialism and to support of US imperialism’s main allies: NATO, the Shah of Iran, Australia, Japan in the Western imperialist camp. Thus where formerly the phrase ’Opposition to the Two Superpowers’ meant opposition to both NATO and the Warsaw Pact, now it does not. Throughout 197& it has meant opposition to the USSR plus Warsaw, and open flattery towards and support of the US-aligned imperialist and capitalist states. The CPC cannot pretend that the US is no longer a superpower and thus poses no threat. But it has instead fostered the belief that since the European and other imperialists have antagonisms with the US, that is sufficient to qualify these countries for the ’broadest united front’, a front that is aimed in particular against the Soviets. The CPC is thus appealing to two spheres of imperialist interests: the lesser grouping of European imperialists, who via the Common Market are attempting to further their ’collective’ aspirations; and the larger sphere headed by US imperialism, which includes the EEC countries, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the numerous developing capitalist countries who on all essentials are allied with the US. These imperialist groupings have a common opposition to Soviet social-imperialism, and it is precisely because the CPC wishes to turn these imperialist contradictions to its own advantage that it goes to such lengths to prettify the ambitions of the US-allied camp.

The CPC’s line has been copied word for word by the October League (ML), August Twenty-Ninth Movement, The New Voice, Workers Viewpoint Organization and others in the US, and by over 30 new “ML” Parties and organizations worldwide. It is this trend, headed by the CPC, which the RCP USA obliquely refers to when it moans that “...Unfortunately a tendency has arisen among some Marxist-Leninists in several imperialist countries within the bloc headed by the US to make an incorrect and onesided analysis of the present situation, and as a result to view the Soviet Union as the main enemy of the world’s peop1e...”(Revolution Vol. 1 No 11 8-15-76 p.3). The RCP USA pretends that the statements in Peking Review – the USSR being the “main source of war”; in support of NATO against the Warsaw Pact; lauding the ’anti-hegemonic’ remarks of European imperialists and upholding their ’national interests’; being “happy to note” the Shah of Iran’s attempt to arm to the teeth; fostering the belief in some ’third way’, i.e. ’non-alignment’ and opposition to one or both superpowers, between imperialism and socialism; encouraging the formation of “the broadest united front” including all and sundry; and so on are simply expressions of Chinese diplomacy and are therefore fully justified. In attempting to justify the CPC’s ’right’ to pursue a social-chauvinist ’diplomatic policy’, the RCP ’overlooks’ the fact that apart from such ’diplomacy’ the CPC has no other line. One would have to be suffering from multiple stupidity to believe that when Peking Review puts in a few kind words on behalf of General Mery of France, Fraser of Australia, or the Shah of Iran, the CPC hopes thereby to ’dipiomatically’ convince these gentlemen that they are worthy ’anti-hegemoniacs’ and spokesmen of the aspirations of “the peoples”. Peking Review is not written to flatter such heads of state, who already know very well what their interests are and with whom they will tactically ally. Not at all. The line in Peking Review is aimed first and foremost at “the peoples”, to convince the working class, the lower and middle peasantry, and the lower urban petty bourgeoisie –classes who do not know what their objective interests are, who do not have a ’worldly’ understanding of imperialist contradictions – that in the event of a third imperialist world war they should ally with ’their own’ bourgeoisie against one or another or both (depending on what suits the CPC’s interests) of the two superpowers. The attempt of the CPC to put the world proletariat, the peasantry, the upper, most reactionary strata of the petty bourgeoisie, the entire national bourgeoisie and imperialist elements of the developing countries, and the imperialist bourgeoisie of the ’lesser’ imperialist powers on the same side of the barricades, to merge their class interests on the plea of ’anti-hegemonism’, is an attempt to liquidate the class independence of the proletariat and subordinate it to the interests of one or another fraction of imperialism. This is not the ’diplomacy’ of a socialist state, but ultra-opportunism, crass bourgeois patriotism masked in ’socialist’ and ’anti-revisionist’ phrases.

As even the RCP USA admits, the CPC’s view of the USSR as the “main source of war” is prompted by the threat the Soviets pose towards China. But the revisionists heading the CPC are not content to pursue a social-chauvinist policy within their own borders; they must in addition attempt via their “ML” counterparts in the US, France, Norway, Sweden, Britain, Japan, Australia, Honduras, the Netherlands, and so on, to extend their defence parameters as far as possible. Hence the favorable remarks on behalf of French armaments and the “support and appreciation” shown towards the Shahanshah’s massive military buildup. These sentiments are taken to heart by the various new “ML” social-chauvinist Parties, given an ’independent expression’, i.e. state in particulars what the CPC has indicated in generalities, and become, to the common opportunist interests of all concerned, the mainstay of their propaganda in the working class. To apologize for this state of affairs, to ’regret’, after the manner of the RCP USA and the Union of Iranian Communists (ML), the development of a social-chauvinist “new tendency” worldwide, while at the same time remaining silent on or excusing the CPC’s leadership of this tendency and continuing to uphold the CPC as the leadership in the struggle against modern revisionism, epitomizes the insipid and spineless Centrist social-chauvinism of these groups and amounts to providing a more ’revolutionary’ cover for social-chauvinism, a more ’revolutionary’ manner of attempting to rally the masses behind the imperialist bourgeoisie. The CPC is pursuing a comprehensive and long-standing national-chauvinist line, a line representing the interests of its own revisionist bourgeoisie. The entire leadership of the CPC use ’Marxist-Leninist’ ’communist’, ’anti-revisionist’ catch-phrases to deceive the Chinese proletariat, to divert its attention from its international tasks, and to thus secure the position of the modern revisionists at the head of the Chinese state. Internationally, the leaders of the CPC play no other role than that of pitting the workers of different nationalities against each other, the Iranian workers against the Soviet workers, the Soviet workers against the American workers, the workers of Western Europe against the workers in Eastern Europe, and so on. The social-chauvinist leadership of the CPC is ideologically working hand-in-glove with the French imperialist bourgeoisie directly and indirectly through Jacques Jurquet and the Marxist-Leninist Communists of France in their effort to instill the French proletariat with a national hatred of its Soviet counterpart. The RCP USA and UIC(ML) would like us to believe that in supporting French armaments the CPC is ’merely’ engaging in ’the diplomacy of a socialist state’. But these “ML” organizations ’forget’ that it is the French proletariat that is forced to bear the arms and that in supporting French armaments against the Soviets the CPC is in reality supporting the mutual slaughter of the French and Russian workers. And this under the guise of ’defence of national interests’, ’national sovereignty’, ’anti-hegemonism’, ’the struggle against modern revisionism’ and ’proletarian internationalism’! That is the vile and bitter truth that our cringing Centrist social-chauvinists are attempting to conceal.


What does the Party of Labor of Albania have to say about this? In his report to the 7th Congress, Enver Hoxha boldly stated that “...The People’s Republic of Albania has its independent foreign policy...” and that despite the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states “...this does not mean that, for the sake of these relations or of good neighborliness with the bordering states or of the policy of non-interference in internal affairs, the Albanian state should not air its views on international policy in general, as well as on the ideological and political stand of these states...”(Summary of the Report p.8). From this it would seem that the PLA is determined to uphold the Marxist-Leninist position that in matters of principle communists should not hesitate to state their views and criticisms openly, regardless of who may take offense. But as shown by the rest of Hoxha’s Report, this is not the case. In raising criticism of the CPC’s positions, the PLA not only fails to name names, but does not even attempt an analysis of the ”ideological and political stand” of the present CPC leadership. The motive for such ’mysterious’ behavior becomes clear as we examine the nature and extent of the PLA’s differences.

The principal point of difference is expressed by Hoxha’s statement that the “...analysis and assessment of, and a consistent class stand towards, the policy and activity of the imperialist bourgeoisie of the two superpowers assume, in the current conditions, first rate importance for all the revolutionary forces, all of the nations and peoples fighting for liberation and independence, for peace and security among nations. A principled stand on this fundamental question constitutes the only correct basis for defining a consistent and revolutionary strategy and tactics, and the criterion for assessing who are the progressive forces and separating them from the reactionary forces...”(Summary p.5 emphasis ours). Where the revolutionary proletariat takes as its ’only correct basis’ the analysis and assessment of its own class interests, determines the conditions it faces in each country, sizes up the role of each and every imperialist and capitalist bourgeoisie, analyzes the position and interests every class and strata, and from these factors develops its truly revolutionary strategy and tactics on a national and international scale, Mr. Hoxha is content to take as his ’only correct basis’ one’s attitude towards the imperialist bourgeoisie of the two superpowers. By so doing, Hoxha can presume to speak in the name, not merely of the world proletariat, but of “all the revolutionary forces”, including in that category those fighting for “peace and security among nations”. As shown by the elaboration of his line, this position excludes those bourgeois elements who ally with one or another superpower, but includes the rest. Thus while the PLA and CPC share a basic ’unity’ on the forces that the PLA would include under the heading of “progressive”, the CPC’s effort to make ’the analysis and assessment of the USSR the dividing line brings it into conflict with the PLA. The PLA asserts its own precise position that the two superpowers “...represent in the same degree and to the same extent...” (Summary p.5) the principal danger, that the USSR is “...just as dangerous and barbarous...” (Summary p.5) as the US but not more-so, and that ”...They pose the same danger; therefore the two superpowers are the main and greatest enemies of the peoples...” (Summary p.7). And thus takes an ’uncompromising stand’ against the CPC’s new line.

Where the CPC has taken a generous attitude towards the imperialist bourgeoisie of Europe, shamed the NATO forces for their weakness vis-a-vis the Warsaw Pact, lauded the European Common Market’s increased traffic in the ’Third World’, and so on, the PLA has taken a ’hard’ line. “...NATO and the Warsaw Treaty...” Hoxha stated at the 7th Congress “... provide the main protection for the capitalist and revisionist systems and the greatest armed force to attack the revolution and socialism, the freedom and independence of the peoples...”(Ibid p.6). The Common Market is just “...another reactionary organization. It is a large union of capitalist monopolies and trusts, bent on the savage exploitation of the proletariat and the masses of the working people in Europe and other peoples of the wor1d...”(Ibid p.6). This view of the West European imperialist bourgeoisie is based, as the PLA’s “only correct basis” indicates, on the position the European ruling class takes towards the US and USSR, i.e. that the West European imperialists ally, via ECC and NATO, with US imperialism against the Soviets. Since, the PLA states in effect, the West European capitalists are simply instruments of one of the two superpowers, they therefore fall under the heading of “reactionary forces”.

As for the ’Third World’, Hoxha states that “...The terms ’third world’, ’non-aligned states’ or ’developing countries’ create the illusion among the broad masses fighting for national and social liberation that a roof has allegedly been found under which to shelter from the threat of the superpowers. These terms conceal the real situation in the majority of these countries, which, in this or that manner, politically, ideologically, and economically, are bound to, and depend on the super- powers and the former colonial metropol is...”(Ibid p.6). The terms ’Second World’ and ’Third World’, among others, “...cover up and do not bring out the class character of these political forces...”(Ibid p.6).The concept of ’non-aligned countries’, which is consistently upheld in the pages of Peking Review, is described by Hoxha as giving “...the impression that these countries, all of them, without exception, are anti-imperialist, opposed to war, opposed to the dictate of others, that they are ’democratic’ and even ’socialist’...” and “...helps to strengthen the pseudo-democratic and anti-popular positions of the leading groups of some states...” (Ibid p.6). To Hoxha, this is a gross injustice. It ignores the “...angle of the class criterion...”, it “...has a very hollow sound...”, it overlooks the fact that “...the Marxists proceed.... from the class criterion, from the stand these governments and countries maintain towards imperialism and socialism, towards their own people and reaction...” (Ibid p.6). And whereas the PLA also desires a ’broad united front against the two superpowers’, it “...is of the opinion that the peoples must be told openly about the situations, because it is only thus that their true unity, the unity of the truly anti-imperialist and progressive states and governments is aided. In order to unite the peoples in the fight for freedom, independence and social progress, against any oppression and exploitation by whomsoever, first it is necessary to establish the dividing line, to make clear who is their chief enemy, against whom they must fight, and with whom they must unite...”(Ibid p.6).

This is boldly put, Mr. Hoxha. But after all, you are no longer working in the Resistance, there is no need to withhold names. Mao Tse Tung, whose Thought is credited with giving birth to “three worlds”, is a familiar figure, and has already appeared in print, as have the names of ’comrades’ Ulanfu, Chiao, Huang, Hua and Teng. Surely if we must be “told openly” that the line based on “three worlds” “...covers up and does not bring out...” the class contradictions within these countries, that it fosters an “...illusion among the broad masses...” and “.strengthens the pseudo-democratic and anti-popular positions...” of the ruling classes in these countries, in short, that the line acts as a cover for imperialism, then too we must be told quite openly about who it is that is advancing such a line, how it developed, and its proper name. How are we to ’make clear’ the ’situations’ when, on the one hand, you make such oblique criticisms of the CPC’s line, and on the other hand, ’talk up’ your “...close friendship and cooperation...” with the CPC and your ”...common struggle for the construction of socialism and the triumph of the cause of the revolution and Marxism-Leninism...” (Ibid p.8)? How are we to “...establish the dividing line...” (Ibid p.6) when you yourself in the name of “the revolution and Marxism-Leninism” are doing your utmost to obscure the necessary line of demarcation, to “cover up and not bring out” the class character of the CPC’s social-chauvinism?

“Opportunism is our principal enemy.” That is what Lenin said, and with good reason. “Opportunism in the upper ranks of the working class movement is bourgeois socialism, not proletarian socialism. It has been shown in practice that activists who follow the opportunist trend are better defenders of the bourgeoisie than the bourgeois themselves. Without their leadership of the workers, the bourgeoisie could not remain in power.” (V.I. Lenin, Report on the International Situation and the Fundamental Tasks of the Communist International II Congress CI, Vol. 31 p231) It should be clear that the CPC’s position is not some minor error, a ’contradiction among the people’ that can be harmoniously resolved by way of gentle and patient ’explanations’. It is opportunism rotten-ripe. Its advocates in the CPC, like all revisionists holding state power, are both opportunist “defenders of the bourgeoisie” and “the bourgeoisie themselves”. And the struggle against that line is part and parcel of the proletariat’s struggle against the entire spectrum of revisionist and ultra-opportunist trends which prop up the world imperialist system. That is what Enver Hoxha would have “told openly” if he truly meant to draw the necessary dividing line between opportunism and Marxism-Leninism, between imperialism on the one hand, and the communist workers’ movement and its lower petty bourgeois allies on the other, if he had meant to defeat the CPC’s social-chauvinism rather than simply contrast it to his own.

What does the PLA offer in lieu of the CPC’s ’Growing Unity of Second and Third Worlds’? The ”...ruthless struggle between the bourgeois-imperialist world, on the one hand, and socialism, the world proletariat, and its natural allies, on the other...”(Summary p.6). This would be a correct and orthodox Marxist-Leninist view of international contradictions were it not for the PLA’s definition of “natural allies” and its peculiar understanding of “ruthless struggle”. The PLA means by allies, “...all those who are oppressed by, and suffering at the hands of, the imperialists, the bourgeoisie and reaction, who want freedom and independence for their peoples, those who oppose imperialism and social-imperialism and their hegemonistic p1ans...”(Ibid p.6). At the 6th Congress PLA in 1971, this alliance was expressed as “...the forces of socialism, the people’s front, headed by the international working class...” and “...the class struggle of the proletariat and the other exploited social strata...” (Hoxha Report to the 6th Congress PLA 11-71 p.9-10 emphasis ours). Since the PLA has made the “analysis and assessment of” the imperialist bourgeoisie of both superpowers the “only correct basis” of its strategy and tactics, it excludes the direct agents of US and USSR imperialism from its ’people’s front’. It therefore excludes, in opposition to the CPC, the European imperialists, the Canadian, Japanese, Australian bourgeoisie, and the reactionary regimes of the developing countries that are aligned to one or another superpower. The CPC rallies all those who oppose superpower, and in particular social-imperialist, hegemonism. The PLA rallies all those who oppose both the superpowers and ’imperialism in general’. It thus includes, as a “natural ally” of the world proletariat, elements from the petty bourgeoisie who ’oppose’ imperialism from a narrow and reactionary standpoint. In his struggle against the social-chauvinist Karl Kautsky, Lenin described the development of this ’anti-imperialist’ strata as follows: “...Since the specific political features of imperialism are reaction everywhere and increased national oppression due to the oppression of the financial oligarchy and the elimination of free competition, a petty-bourgeois-democratic opposition to imperialism arose at the beginning of the twentieth century in nearly all imperialist countries. Kautsky not only did not trouble to oppose, was not only unable to oppose this petty-bourgeois reformist opposition, which is really reactionary in its economic basis, but became merged with it in practice, and this is precisely where Kautsky and the broad international Kautskian trend deserted Marxism...”. (V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism CW Vol. 22 p287). That the PLA’s position is bound up with and caters to this strictly petty bourgeois ’anti-imperial ism1, this formal opposition to the ’excesses’ of imperialism and actual defense of the fundamentals of the capitalist system, is shown not only by the PLA’s elaboration of its “revolutionary strategy and tactics” as we will see below, but by its inconsistent Centrist attitude towards the overt social-chauvinists in the CPC. Standing in the Centre through WWI, Kautsky too ’opposed’ the overt social-nationalism of the Right Social-Democrats, but from the standpoint of ”...a blend of loyalty to Marxism in word, and subordination to opportunism in deed...”(V.I. Lenin, Socialism and War CW Vol. 21 p.312) and sought ’unity’ with the opportunist Parties. This is precisely what the PLA has done with its formal adherence to “the revolution and Marxism-Lenin-ism”, its oblique and really quite harmless criticism of the CPC’s line, its vow to do its duty “...towards international communism and the peoples to the letter...” (Summary p.1) on the one hand; and its hushing-up of differences, its proclamations of unity with the CPC, its failure to truly uphold Marxist-Leninist principles, on the other. Those elements of the petty bourgeoisie who do not come completely to the side of the proletariat, who do not abandon their own narrow striving and outlook, who oppose both the imperialist bourgeoisie and the proletariat, inevitably seek some third way between outright defense of imperialism and subordination of their interests to the proletarian revolution. The middle course the PLA has found is marked on the one side by the elimination as ’possible allies’ the obvious agents of the two large imperialist blocs, and on the other by the merger of “the class struggle of the proletariat” and “the other exploited social strata” under the heading of “the peoples”. Hence “the peoples struggles” and the “peoples front”. The necessary conditions for a correct and principled alliance between the working class and lower petty bourgeoisie, the necessity for upholding the class independence of the proletariat, the need to struggle against every attempt to subordinate the proletarian movement to ’radical’ petty bourgeois leadership, is passed over in silence. To the PLA there exists only the superpowers + their agents on the one hand, and “the peoples” on the other. And it is precisely by such opportunist vagueries that the PLA has ’overthrown’ Marxism-Leninism and become the champion of the small-fry of the “ML” modern revisionist trend.

As for the proletariat’s “natural allies” in the developing countries, the PLA includes countries which are undergoing a “...new revolutionary process...” of “...economic decolonization...”, or “...the struggle of the peoples for economic independence...”(Ibid p.6). This refers to the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, which, through OPEC, other raw materials cartels, and the struggle for 200-mile nautical sovereignty, are attempting to assert their economic strength against the established imperialist monopolies. In urging the proletarians to “...closely link their struggle with the struggle of the peoples for freedom and independence...” (Ibid p.6), the PLA ’overlooks’ the fact that the proletariat’s support for political “freedom and independence”, i.e. our support for the right of nations to self-determination, is qualitatively different from the proletariat’s support for economic “freedom and independence”. The former applies to the sphere of political democracy, to bourgeois-democratic right, and thus expresses limited support for the right of all social classes in politically oppressed nations, including the national bourgeoisie, to political self-determination over their own affairs. But the proletariat cannot support the striving of “the nation”, i.e. of the ruling classes, the national bourgeoisie plus upper p.b. elements, to win economic ”freedom and independence” from imperialism, since this only expresses the desire of the ruling classes in these countries to secure a favorable place in the world imperialist hierarchy. This “new revolutionary process”, which the PLA describes as the struggle for “...use of their national riches...”, to put an end to “...the unequal relations that exist between the countries importing raw materials and those producing them...”, to “...decide for themselves the prices of these materials, the quantities, and the markets on which they will be sold...” (Zeri i Popullit “Full Sovereignty Over Their National Riches – Indisputable Right of the Peoples” Albania Today March April 1975 p.53), is nothing more than the hankering of small, national capital for a larger share in the spoils. It expresses resistance to the fundamental law of monopoly capital that “...Big finance capital of one country can always buy up competitors in another, politically independent country and constantly does so...” (V.I. Lenin A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism Vol 23 p. 44). The national bourgeoisie of the developing country attempts to make its own narrow striving a national cause, to portray its competition with big finance capital as genuine ’anti-imperialism’, and by rallying the masses to its banner make it difficult for foreign finance capital to economically ’annex’ the national bourgeoisie’s sphere of profit. From the standpoint of the working class in these countries it is immaterial whether the profits from ’their’ national riches are deposited in the account of ’their own’ bourgeoisie or some other. From the standpoint of the working class “economic independence” is only a stupid bourgeois-nationalist catch-phrase unless there is a decisive and complete break with the imperialist world system as a whole. Only proletarian revolution in these countries (either directly, if economic and political conditions are ripe; or by way of a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry if they are not) can enable them to achieve both political and economic independence from imperialism.

In championing the “...indisputable sovereign right...” of the national bourgeoisie of the developing countries to set their own prices (something the bourgeoisie strives for well enough on its own, without the encouragement of our ’socialist’ “ML”s) and so on, the PLA has, despite its criticism of the CPC on this same account, itself become an apologist for “...pseudo-democratic and anti-popular positions of the leading groups of some states which participate among the ’non-aligned’ ...” and also fosters “...the impression among the peoples of these countries that when their chiefs establish or dissolve relations, of any kind and nature, with the imperialists and social-imperialists, openly or in secret, they do this not only in the capacity of ’popular governments’, but also in the capacity of a group of states ’with which even the superpowers must reckon’...”(Summary p.6). All governments which are not socialist are precisely pseudo-democratic and anti-popu1ar, are based on the exploitation of their own working class and poor peasantry, and are either directly subservient to one or another large imperialist power or tied into the imperialist world system. Every government which is not socialist will, when it suits its interests, pose as a ’popular’ opposition to imperialism, attempt to convince the masses of workers and peasants that they should come to the aid of the “...indisputable sovereign right...” of ’their own’ bourgeoisie to protect the bourgeoisie’s national interests. One should not have to quote Lenin chapter and verse in order to establish this elementary truth.

The only difference between the CPC and PLA on this point is that the CPC wishes to bring into its “broad united front” open reactionaries on the scale of the Shah of Iran, whereas the PLA wishes to invite only ’clean’, ’progressive’, ’popular’ elements a la Boumedinne of Algeria. It is not that the PLA fears to stain its hands with the Shah; it simply has no need of him. The PLA has no desire for an alliance with the friends of US imperialism, even to oppose the Soviet Union, since from the PLA’s perspective in Eastern Europe it feels equally threatened by both superpower blocs. Thus while the CPC will make flattering social-chauvinist gestures towards NATO, Iran, Australia, etc. on behalf of its own revisionist ’national interests’, the PLA will oppose NATO etc. and direct its gestures elsewhere. Both Parties are pursuing a bourgeois-nationalist policy. Both interpret their ’proletarian internationalism’, not according to the objective requirements of the international proletariat, but simply according to what in their view will further their own ’national interests’.


The social-chauvinism of the PLA reaches its full flower on’ the issue of ’national defense’ and imperialist war. Citing the threat of “... US imperialism, Soviet social-imperial ism, and the reactionary bourgeoisie of each country...”, Enver Hoxha appeals for a “...merciless and all round struggle...” by “...all the peoples of the world, by all progressive people who have the true and complete interests of their nations at heart and have made them the aim of their struggle and life...” (Ibid, p.7 emphasis ours). But who, precisely, is it that makes the “interests of their nations” the be-all and end-all of their lives? It cannot be the proletariat, since “...The working men have no country...” (Communist Manifesto) and have as the “aim of their struggle and life” not the ’sacred’ Nation, but the abolition of social classes. “...’The workingmen have no country’ –this means that (a) his economic position is not national but international; (b) his class enemy is international; (c) the conditions of his emancipation also; (d) the international unity of the workers is more important than the national...” (V.I. Lenin, Letter to Inessa Armand 1916 Vol. 35 p.247). In the imperialist countries of America, Europe, and Asia (Japan + Australia), the proletariat cannot defend “the interests of their nations” in an imperialist war since the ’national interests’ of such countries = the interests of ’their own’ imperialist bourgeoisie in exploiting and oppressing other nations. The task of the revolutionary proletariat in such countries is not to defend the ’national interests’, but to overthrow ’their own’ bourgeoisie. In countries which have political independence, are developing on a capitalist basis, but are not yet imperialist in their own right, the proletariat’s task here too is not to defend ’the nation’, i.e. the interests of ’their own’ national bourgeoisie, but to fight for the seizure of state power. In such countries, the proletariat can justifiably take part in a national war only if ’their’ nation is forcibly annexed militarily and politically by an imperialist state and only in order to clear the grounds for the development of the domestic class struggle. The proletariat has no share in the ’national interests’ in the above two categories of nations since its independent class interests are directly antagonistic to those of ’its own’ bourgeoisie. Even in the oppressed nations proper, in nations which lack political self-determination and have outstanding democratic tasks to fulfill, in which an alliance with the national bourgeoisie may be a necessary evil, the proletariat does not have “the interests of their nations at heart”, does not struggle against imperialism in order to secure the ’national interests’, but strives to oust imperial ism only in order to create the favorable conditions for ousting ’its own’ bourgeoisie.

Theoretically we must account for the possibility of an imperialist war being transformed into a national war, if, for instance, arising from an imperialist war one of the belligerents became militarily and politically annexed by another imperialist power, and if the struggle against such an occupation was not also a struggle for the preservation of the ’oppressed’ imperialist nation’s imperialist interests. This was Lenin’s position on the possibility of a just national war for Belgium had it still been occupied following WWI. In such a case, the workers would support the national effort only as a means to remove the foreign interference blocking the domestic class struggle. We must also allow for the possibility that a formerly independent capitalist country which is not yet itself imperialist that becomes annexed by one imperialist bloc, may be so closely bound up with the other bloc that a just national war would prove impossible; if, for instance, the struggle for its political independence were part and parcel of the attempt by one imperialist bloc to plunder the interests of another; or, if the occupation or annexation is directly part of the military conflict of the two imperialist blocs. But these situations, which must be weighed on the evidence of each separate case and which are exceptions to the general rule of our strategy and tactics, do not alter the fact that the interests of the proletariat are international and that the tactics of the working class in a particular country must be assessed from the standpoint of the objective interests of the world proletariat as a whole.

The working class has no country. That is one of the most fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism and must be the starting point of our thinking on the question of imperialist war. The proletariat struggles within a national framework, not out of any particular attachment to the ’national interests’, but simply because that framework is the only one available. It struggles to overthrow ’its own’ bourgeoisie, not to thereby prettify ’the nation’ or protect the ’national interests’ but solely in order to hasten the downfall of the imperialist world system as a whole. The tasks of the proletariat within the ’precious’ national shell are aimed precisely at abolishing the system that had as a component part of its historical development the generation and dissolution of nations. The proletariat’s struggle is above all a class, not a national, struggle. The national framework is from its standpoint only an incidental factor, a remnant of the capitalist epoch, a necessary evil that must be accommodated so long as human history has not outgrown the need for social classes and ’the nation’. The working class therefore has no need to respond to Mr. Hoxha’s call to “...all progressive people who have the true and complete interests of their nations at heart...” The proletariat fights, not for ’its’ nation, but for its class.

Nor does the imperialist bourgeoisie have as “...the aim of their struggle and life...” the “...interests of their nations...” Every imperialist is an ’internationalist’. From the imperialist’s standpoint, it makes little difference what national stamp his capital bears for the moment, so long as it is ’earning’ the maximum profit. Finance capital has outgrown the ’nation’, has outgrown the need for the national shell that nurtured its early, pre-monopoly development, and has become international. If the imperialist bourgeoisie appeals to the ’national interests’, it is only in order to rally the proletariat and petty bourgeoisie to defend its ’right’ to imperialist ’self-determination’, i.e. the imperialist bourgeoisie’s ’right’ to oppress and exploit other nations.

The only social classes under imperialism that have the “...interests of their nations at heart...” and have “...made them the aim of their struggle and life...” are the nationalist bourgeoisie of the developing countries, and especially the middle and upper petty bourgeoisie of all capitalistically developed or developing countries. Only these strata have a vital stake in preserving ’for eternity’ the “interests of their nations”, since by ’national interests’ they mean the ’right’ to safeguard the existence of small capital behind the security of their own national borders. The nation is the most suitable framework for the accumulation of capital when capital has not yet matured to monopoly. Historically, it is the bourgeoisie that champions the ’national interests’ so long as it must depend on its own home market for the appropriation of surplus value, so long as it lacks the wherewithall (in both size of capital and its degree of concentration) to go beyond the national bounds. This was the historically progressive task of the bourgeoisie in all the advanced countries of Europe, America and Japan from the 1600’s to the late 1800’s. With the development of imperialism in these countries, the finance bourgeoisie abandons the national interests’ since the national framework has proven to be too narrow. And it is precisely small, petty capital, capital which still relies upon the home market, still circulates within the framework of the nation, still attempts to protect itself from the encroachments of larger and sometimes foreign capital, that takes up the fallen banner of ’national interests’ discarded by the big bourgeoisie. It is primarily the petty bourgeoisie, and in particular its upper stratum, that is the most rabid and most chauvinist defender of the ’national interests’, that defends the imperialist ’fatherland’ from the standpoint of petty national-patriotism, and thereby provides the main social props for the ambitions of the imperialist bourgeoisie.

In countries which have won formal political self-determination during the past 50-60 years, which are developing along capitalist lines but are not yet Great Powers in their own right, the defence of the ’national interests’ is shared by both the national bourgeoisie and the upper portion of the petty bourgeoisie. In such countries the petty bourgeoisie is more consistent in its ’anti-imperialism’ and defence of ’national interests’ than the national bourgeoisie, since the latter is constantly tempted by compromise with imperialism. It is the upper stratum p.b. of these countries that are the most vocal opponents of the multi-national monopolies, the penetration of large foreign capital and which lobby for ’sovereignty’ over the national economy. As in the politically oppressed nations, the national bourgeoisie and upper stratum p.b. constitute the main social basis for narrow nationalism, and oppose imperialism and feudal remnants only from the standpoint of securing their existence as propertied classes above the lower p.b. masses and the proletariat.

It is to these p.b. and national bourgeois elements, elements Which have “...the true and complete interests of their nations at heart i.e. which wish to defend the ’right’ to exploit ’their own’ working masses against the ambitions of imperialism, that Enver Hoxha issues the call for a “...merciless and all-round struggle...”. Here Mr. Hoxha is playing the role of a petty bourgeois democrat, attempting to form an international petty-bourgeois-democratic opposition to imperialism at large. But even Mr. Hoxha is not so naive as to think that the petty bourgeoisie can wage a consistent and independent struggle in its own right. He therefore supplements his call with the qualification that ”...If this struggle is led by the world proletariat and its vanguard, the Communist Party, which is guided by the unerring theory of Marxism-Leninism, it will be more resolute, unceasing, and ever mounting...” (Summary p.7 emphasis ours). That is to say, history has proven that small capital cannot secure or improve its position vis-a-vis monopoly unless it is able to rally a sizable social force, the masses of lower peasantry and the proletariat, to its side. Mr. Hoxha calls to all those who hold their ’national interests’ most dear, regardless of whether their nations are imperialist, capitalist or oppressed, and offers them the ’comradely’ advice that if they wish to successfully secure their own ’national interests’ they must rally the world proletariat and push it into the front ranks. To make the working class the ’leader’ and ’most resolute’ defender, i.e. to make it the cannon fodder, for defence of the class interests of the petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie, and to do this with “ML” ’socialist’ phrases: that is the function of Mr. Hoxha’s social-chauvinism.

It is the objective task of the revolutionary proletariat to win the p.b. masses away from such narrow nationalist striving, to persuade them to abandon their own class standpoint and join the proletariat, and show them that national tasks, when and if they do occur, are progressive only to the extent that they clear the grounds for a truly merciless struggle against ’their own’ bourgeoisie. Our “ML” social-chauvinists, on the other hand, attempt to win the proletariat to a merciless struggle on behalf of ’their own’ bourgeoisie. It thus suits the PLA to ignore the contradictions between the proletariat and the p.b., to omit any reference to the mutually exclusive nature of their class interests, to ’forget’ the principles of Marxism-Leninism which stipulate on what conditions the petty bourgeoisie may ally with the proletariat, and to introduce into their “analysis and assessment” ’above-class’ categories such as “...progressive and patriotic people...”, “...progress-loving forces...”, “... anti-imperialist and anti-social-imperialist peoples...”, and simply “...the peoples...”. Such concepts are in fact meant to obscure class distinctions, to harmoniously group together classes which are motivated by completely different interests and are often moving in contrary directions. Only by so doing can the PLA then introduce, in addition to its division of the world into bourgeois-imperialist versus socialist (proletariat + ’natural allies’),the ’above-class’ category of ”...peace-loving countries...” or “... freedom loving peoples and state...”. Considering that these opportunist concepts are every bit as misleading as the CPC’s “three worlds”, one can only wonder where Mr. Hoxha finds the chutzpah (the unlimited gall) to criticize the CPC at all.

As we have seen, the CPC advances ’national defence’ even for the NATO countries. This is ’excessive’ from the PLA’s point of view since Albania itself may be aggressed upon by the NATO forces. The proximity of the NATO bloc, i.e., the long-standing national foes of Albania – Germany, Italy and Turkey, as well as Greece – and the resulting equally immediate threat to Albania’s national security from both the Warsaw Treaty and NATO bloc, has spurred the ’principled’ opposition of the PLA to the CPC’s line. The principal threat to the national security of the People’s Republic of China is the social-imperialist bloc, hence its emphasis on the USSR. The CPC and PLA both then generalize their respective national policies, and present them as contending strategic lines for the ’world people’s revolution’. Nothing highlights more graphically the crass petty nationalist basis of the leadership of the PLA and CPC, and the equally crass petty bourgeois basis of the “ML” trend it leads. There is no difference in principle between the CPC and PLA on the question of ’national defense’; it is simply a matter of whose ’national defense’ one should support. By ’peace-loving countries’, the PLA means all those countries that are not tied into NATO or Warsaw or bound directly to one or another superpower bloc. This would include officially neutral imperialist states, Yugoslavia, many capitalist countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia which are ’rude’ towards the US and USSR. In the PLA’s view such countries “...must increase their defensive military potential and increase their efforts of self-defense in order to confront any possible attack as well as permanent threat to their independence and freedom coming from the aggressive policy of the US and Soviet Union...“ (Nesti Nase “Speech to the 27th UN General Assembly 10-72” Albania Report reprint). The PLA opposes the attempt of the two superpowers to ”...tie the hands of other countries which are thinking of their own defence...” and that “...Faced with their threats, it is not only the right, but also the duty of the freedom loving peoples and states to build up their strength and defence capacity in order to cope with any situation, any attack or aggression...” (Nesti Nase “Time is Working in Favor of the People’s Liberation and the Revolution” Albania Today 5-75 Suppl). This is the equivalent, in military terms, of the nationalist alliance (proletariat + those who have ’national interests’ at heart) the PLA advances politically. The category of ’peace-loving countries’ divides the capitalist world into nations which aggress (the US, USSR, and their allies), and those which do not (all the others). The PLA thus discourages “the peoples” from supporting armaments of the former, while actively advocating support for the latter. Workers in the ’aggressive’ imperialist powers should protest; workers in the ’peace-loving’ imperialist + other capitalist powers should arm up...not in order to overthrow ’their own’ bourgeoisie (the PLA remains silent on this point) but in order to defend the nation. Both the PLA and CPC follow this ’general line’. For both, whether “the peoples” should support the militarization of ’their own’ bourgeoisie depends on whether their country poses a threat to our opportunists’ interests. The ’proletarian internationalism’ of the PLA and CPC simply evaporates at the borders of their own countries.

The PLA thus views the threat of imperialist war not as a call for proletarian revolution, but as a call for national unity. Hence Hoxha states that “...If an aggressive imperialist war cannot be prevented, then it is the task of the revolutionaries and the proletariat to turn it into a liberation war...” (Summary p.7). A very ’creative’ application of Marxism-Leninism, Mr. Hoxha! Lenin called for the transformation of imperialist war into civil war, and you, by the substitution of only one word, have revised Lenin’s internationalism and ’transformed’ it into national-chauvinism. A “liberation war” is not a civil war, is not a struggle of the proletariat for state power. A “liberation war” is precisely a national war, a war against foreign occupation or political oppression. It is most definitely not the task of the proletariat to view imperialist war in terms of ’national defence’, but to use the conditions resulting from such a war to overthrow ’its own’ bourgeoisie and establish the proletarian dictatorship. This cannot be done unless the proletariat is prepared in advance, unless systematic illegal work is established, unless patient and durable communist work has been conducted among the petty bourgeois masses, within the military, unless all the concrete measures necessary have already been undertaken. But Mr. Hoxha is preparing the proletariat, not to defend its own independent interests but to yield those interests to the nationalist p.b. and bourqeoisie. There is no question of Mr. Hoxha’s loyalty to ’the nation’. But he is a traitor to the world’s working class.

The ’transformation of imperialist war into a liberation war’ amounts to the liquidation of class struggle, fosters a ’class truce’ within the “peace-loving countries”, and pits the national-chauvinism of one group of countries against another. Thus instead of calling for ”...all- embracing propaganda, involving the army and the theatre of hostilities as well, for the socialist revolution and the need to use weapons, not against their brothers, the wage-slaves of other countries, but against the reactionary and bourgeois governments and parties of all countries ...” (V. I. Lenin, The Tasks of Revolutionary Social-Democracy in the European War Vol. 21 p.18), or for “...support for any attempts by the socialists of the belligerent countries to bring about contacts and fraternisation in the fighting forces and the trenches...” (V.I. Lenin, To The Editors of Nashe Slovo Vol 21 p. 127), the PLA calls for what amounts to a joint national war against the “...aggressive armies...” of the “...savage powers...” in order to secure the “...cause of the freedom and security of the peoples...” (Summary p.7). While opposing the “...psychosis of fear and war...” (Hoxha, The Policy of the PRA Is Open, A Policy of Proletarian Principles, Albania Today Sept-Oct 1970, the PLA fosters its own psychosis by stating that ”...The peoples of the Soviet Union are being oppressed and nursed in an aggressive nationalist spirit ...” (Ibid) and that “...the present-day Soviet soldier is a robot conditioned to kill and massacre, ready to crush and strangle anybody” (Zeri i Popullit “May 9 Calls on the Peoples for Vigilance” Albania Today May-June 1975, emphasis ours). Instead of revolutionary civil war, ’national defence’; instead of proletarian internationalism and fraternization, national hatred. Such are the weapons with which the PLA hopes to defend itself. It makes little difference that the PLA has no imperialist ambitions of its own, that it is ’merely’ advocating a national-chauvinist policy for ’small’, ’peace-loving’ countries. What is essential is that in fostering national antagonism the PLA thereby objectively furthers the ambitions of imperialism as a whole. The PLA has no need for the class solidarity and united action of the world proletariat or a revolutionary strategy and tactics based on it, since this would mean not only the destruction of the imperialist bourgeoisie, but the destruction of all petty nationalist striving. It therefore seeks the unity of only a portion of the proletariat, a unity of the proletariat with the ’national interests’ of whatever countries the PLA may qualify as ’peace loving’, a unity of the working class with the bourgeoisie of those countries, in order to defend their interests against the ’Soviet robots’ and others.

What does the PLA seek by pursuing such a line? To defend Albania. If the PLA were truly a Marxist-Leninist Party, it would recognize that the defence of the dictatorship of the proletariat is inseparably bound with the defence of the independent interests of the international proletariat, that communists must struggle against social-chauvinist attempts to merge the proletariat’s independent class struggle with p.b. and bourgeois ’national interests’, that we must oppose the attempt by the bourgeoisie, even of lesser powers, to subordinate the proletariat’s struggle to that of ’the nation’. If the proletariat, under very specific conditions, takes part in a national movement it is only in order to facilitate the ripening of conditions for open class struggle against ’its own’ bourgeoisie. But the PLA wants no part of this. It is acting from the standpoint, not of Marxism-Leninism, but of petty bourgeois democracy, p.b. nationalism, and ’socialist’ chauvinism. It relies, not on firm and definite principles, but on petty bourgeois national hat red, chauvinism, and p.b. moralism.

This leads Mr. Hoxha to appeal, not to the finest instincts of the proletariat, but to the gross and subjective instinct of the petty bourgeoisie. Hence, “...the peoples of Europe cannot agree to become jointly guilty with the two big imperialist powers...” and “..Responsibility for the aggressive actions of the two superpowers rests not only on their governments, but also on their peoples, just as it rests on the governments and the peoples of the partners in the respective military alliances...” (Hoxha, Report to the 6th Congress PLA, 11-71 emphasis ours) Speaking as the conscience of the contemporary petty bourgeoisie, Mr. Hoxha warns that “...History will condemn them heavily if they sit quiet and leave the aggressor’s hands free...” (Ibid). At the 7th Congress, Hoxha likewise complained that the Federal German Republic “...does not make even the slightest attempt to pay the reparations for the damage which the German nazi barbarity inflicted on Albania and its people....” (Summary p.9). If, you see, “the peoples” are unable to prevent an imperialist war, if they are unable to prevent ’their own’ bourgeoisie from warring on and oppressing others, then the blame falls, not on the social props of the bourgeoisie, not on the opportunists, revisionists, social-patriots, social-pacifists and other social-chauvinists whose function is to mislead and suppress any mass opposition to the bourgeoisie. No. The blame falls upon “the peoples” themselves. Thus the PLA’s social-chauvinism is self-justifying. We do not mean, Mr. Hoxha states in effect, to be narrow national-chauvinists. But after all, we are not to blame. The “others”, those different “peoples”, are to blame. And we are therefore fully justified in heavily condemning them and in demanding that they ’pay up’ if they ’let’ their imperialists get out of hand. Well grubbed, Mr. Hoxha.

* * *

We lack the space here to develop the relationship between the current lines of the PLA and CPC and the development of social-chauvinism in the Communist International prior to and during WWII. But we should note that the PLA was born, and the CPC matured within, the Cl’s overt social-chauvinist period, and that the two lines they now hold correspond directly to the early and later stages of the CI’s social-chauvinism. The PLA’s position is based on the same opportunist reasoning as the Cl’s line during 1933-35, during which Litvinov introduced the definition of an “aggressor” in imperialist war; the CI advocated “collective security” of ’peace-loving’ capitalist countries against “the aggressor”; the Franco-Soviet mutual assistance agreement was signed; Stalin supported ’national defence’ for France; class struggle was subordinated to the “defence of democracy”; the CI portrayed the working class as the “best defender of national interests”; the workers’ class struggle was merged via ’socialist’ phrases with the p.b.; and so on. Between 1933-35 and 1939, the CI still made occasional references to the imperialist nature of the US, England, and other countries, but the term ”reactionary bourgeoisie” increasingly was used to refer only to one section of the imperialist bourgeoisie; still referred to the treacherous role of Social-Democracy, but narrowed the attack to only isolated S-D leaders; still spoke of the leading role of the proletariat, but only in terms of securing bourgeois-democratic rights. Even in the 1939-41 period, when the imperialist nature of the war was clearly admitted, the CI cal1ed for its ’transformation’ via appeals to ’peace’ and ’national interests’. The CPC’s present line corresponds to the position of the CI during the war up to its dissolution in 19^3, which advocated the same social-chauvinist positions as above, but in a more open and rotten-ripe form. By the war period, all pretense at proletarian revolution, the independent interests of the working class, the compromising role of Social-Democracy, the exposure of the imperialist ambit ions of the Allied imperialist powers, appeals to the workers for fraternization, etc. were simply dropped. Instead, the imperialist war was portrayed as a war of national liberation, grouping as ’liberators’ US and British imperialism. The distinction between these two stages, as between the line of the PLA and the line of the CPC, thus amounts only to tactical differences based on the same social-chauvinist assumptions. The eclecticism of the PLA’s current line – its criticism of the CPC and simultaneous proclamations of ’unity’; its condemnation of the agents of US and USSR imperialism, and simultaneous appeal to Turkey, Greece and Yugoslavia to sharpen ”...political and military vigi1ance...”(Summary p.9); its pretense at proletarian internationalism, and simultaneous demand that the German workers ’pay up’; and so on – only reveals that for the moment the PLA has chosen a less ’harmonious and integral’ and less overt form of social-chauvinism than the CPC. But such Centrism towards the CPC and inconsistency in theory is not without purpose. It is precisely the function of Centrism to harmonize overt social-chauvinism with Marxism-Leninism, to create a ’middle course’, a buffer, and thus protect social-chauvinism from overexposure. In this way our social-chauvinists hope to bring with them ever larger portions of “the people”, of the working class and p.b. masses, so as to defend the ’national interests’ with more vigor. The PLA and CPC have ’differences’ as to how this is to be done, but they have no disagreement whatsoever as to whether it should be done.

The leadership of both Parties of the international “ML” trend affirms the fact that the break with modern revisionism has yet to occur, and that our ’anti-revisionists’ in the PLA and CPC are themselves leading social-chauvinists and revisionists. The ’principled’ ideological and practical struggle of the PLA and CPC against the Soviets and West European revisionists is being waged from the standpoint of national-chauvinism, and thus is objectively reinforcing the imperialist world system as a whole. That is the conclusion we must draw, if we are to be true to Marxism-Leninism and the proletariat, and if we are to wage a determined and ruthless struggle against all manifestations of opportunism and revisionism.


“...Life has proved...” Enver Hoxha states “...that the course of open and uncompromising struggle which our Party chose for the exposure of the Soviet revisionists, its resolute defence of the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, was the only reliable course to save the situation and to triumph...” (Summary p.9 emphasis ours). But ’life’ has also proved that the PLA’s struggle was not ’open and uncompromising’, that for four years following the XX Congress CPSU (which the PLA dates as the advent of modern revisionism) the PLA’s struggle was both private and compromised, that it was only after the CPSU openly attacked the PLA that the PLA was prompted to bring its criticism into the open. The PLA did not ’choose’ to counter the Soviets in the open; it sought to postpone such an open struggle. As put elsewhere, “...The PLA tried in every way to avoid publicizing its differences with the CPSU lest that would put weapons into the hands of the enemies of communism...” (The Party of Labor of Albania in Battle with Modern Revisionism Tirana 1972, p.5). This apology ’overlooks’ the fact that open polemics, besides ”...putting weapons into the hands of the enemies of communism...”, also puts the necessary weapons into the hands of the working class, and that is precisely what we need. Only an open and thorough polemic over matters of principle and tactics can train the advanced sections of the working class in .a spirit of uncompromising struggle against opportunism and revisionism. The history of intra-Party diplomacy during the 19501s and the current lines of the PLA and CPC show that when their private negotiations with the CPSU broke down, the break that then occurred was not based on clear and definite Marxist-Leninist principle, but rather on the same petty bourgeois nationalist striving that has characterized the break of Yugoslavia, the attempted breaks in Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany, and the alienation of Rumania (that is, to the extent that such anti-Soviet movements were led by p.b. nationalist, rather than proletarian, elements). Modern revisionism has developed, like Social-Democracy before it, as an international trend in which the national element plays the predominating role. Even the pro-Soviet revisionist camp is now displaying (Italy and France) this feature. The break of the PLA and CPC with the CPSU was a split within modern revisionism along national lines, motivated by a nationalist p.b. democratic opposition to the designs of social-imperialism.

Only this view can account for the opportunist and diplomatic attitude of the PLA and CPC towards Soviet revisionism up to the early 60’s; their hesitancy in bringing the struggle openly to the working class; their failure to take the struggle to its roots; their refusal to deal with the history of the international movement, the United Front period of the CI, the foreign policy of the USSR under Litvinov and Molotov, the role of Dimitrov, Stalin and others; their general indifference towards the consolidation of a new communist movement worldwide; the failure to call for the reconstitut ion of the Third International; their diplomatic attitude towards each other and the “ML” trends; their failure to draw an independent course for the international proletariat; their advocacy of an unconditional alliance with the p.b.; and especially the maturation of their views into open social-chauvinism. Enver Hoxha’s claim that “... the PLA has made an extensive and profound analysis of the revisionist betrayal...” (Summary p.9), however ’sincerely’ meant, is only a hollow phrase, an attempt to convince others that the struggle against modern revisionism is well in hand, that all the essential features are known, and that the blame has been placed at the proper door. By so doing, the PLA and CPC (which shares this view) are disarming the proletariat and are attempting to rally the workers behind their own revisionist shades.

The international “ML” trend that since the middle 1960’s has emerged under the wing of the PLA and CPC has served as a rallying point for p.b. ’anti-imperialist’ elements who prettify their narrow striving with ’socialist’ phrases. All the excessive opportunist features that have marked the development of the US “ML” movement represent on a small scale what is occurring throughout the “ML” trend worldwide. And this state of affairs will continue unless there is a ruthless and determined struggle not only against all the opportunist trends in each country but against the two social-chauvinist Parties to whom our “ML” opportunists look for inspiration and legitimacy. “...The existence of Marxist-Leninist parties in all the continents and regions of the world...” Hoxha states, “...shows that conscious champions, determined revolutionaries who fight with all their strength for the great cause of communism, have now risen in defence of the interests of the world proletariat, of the revolution and socialism...” (Ibid p.ll) It is difficult to tell here just who Mr. Hoxha is talking about. The Communist Labor Party USNA, RCP USA, the OL’s promised “ML” Party, the proposed ’US Bolshevik Party’ of the Revolutionary Wing, the WVO’s future party, the New Voice’s, The Guardian-PWOC’s SD “ML” party, etc. are all peopled by “conscious champions” and “determined revolutionaries”?? Or perhaps both the CCL(ML) and En Lutte! organizations in Canada? Or the several contending “ML” Parties and groups in France? Both the ML Organization of Italian Bolshevik Communists and the Party of Socialist Revolution of Italy? Both the Union of Iranian Communists (ML) and the Revolutionary Organization of the Tudeh Party of Iran Abroad? The CP Australia (ML), a staunch defender of “three worlds”? All these Parties and organizations claim to be Marxist-Leninist; each one claims that they a-lone are the ’conscious champions’ of the ’interests of the proletariat’. In point of fact, the only thing that the existence of such a wide spectrum of “ML” organizations shows is the lack of ’conscious champions’, the lack of cohesion within the “ML” trend, the lack of firm and definite principles that would draw the necessary lines of demarcation against the consolidated opportunist tendencies. As to the struggle between the various “ML” shades, Hoxha simply states that “...The Marxist-Leninist parties have gained valuable experience in the struggle for the unity of the Marxist-Leninist forces. They fight both against narrow sectarian and subjective attitudes, and against the liberal concept of unity for unity’s sake, which may endanger even what has been built with so much difficulty and effort...”(Ibid p.11). But Mr. Hoxha does not say what this ”valuable experience” is, how it is expressed in principle, what form sectarianism presently takes, or who it is that calls for unprincipled unity. Hoxha complains that “...The aim of the enemies is to influence the immature and untested revolutionaries with the aim of throwing them into confusion...” (Ibid p.11), while he himself fosters confusion. Where Lenin established definite conditions (Terms of Admission to the CI) to define which Parties that had broken with the 2nd International were entitled to the name Communist, to establish guiding lines for the entire international movement, to demarcate against the various p.b. tendencies that attempted to penetrate the movement, and to indicate the concrete measures the Parties would have to undertake in order to conduct truly communist work, ’Comrade’ Hoxha has abandoned all conditions and has chosen to instead simply take all the “ML”s at their word. Where Lenin never hesitated to ’interfere’ in the movements of other countries, and in fact considered it obligatory in principle to combat opportunist trends wherever they arose, ’Comrade’ Hoxha has chosen to let the ’immature and untested’ movements simply work things out on their own. We will not take a ’sectarian’ attitude, Hoxha states in effect. We will not give our opinion as to whether we prefer the RCP, the OL or the Wing. We will not presume to call anyone an opportunist. Mot at all. We will simply pledge our solidarity with all and sundry, and if it happens that some of the “ML” parties are in fact opportunist, we will not embarrass anyone by saying so. And we, of course, would expect the same in return. We should add here that the CPC has taken exactly the same opportunist attitude, giving ’equal time’ in the pages of Peking Review to trends (like the RCP and OL in the US) which are constantly at each other’s throats. In reality, there is no coherent “ML” movement; there is only a loose grouping of opportunist “ML” trends who, because of their p.b. class basis, are rife with factionalism. If the PLA and CPC are content to support this movement as it is, if they flatter it with generous phrases and invite the support of all and sundry, if they perpetuate the belief that all who call themselves “ML” and ’anti-revisionist’ are so in fact, if they refuse to ’meddle’ in the affairs of other “ML” movements, if they fail to heighten the struggle against opportunist “ML” tendencies, it is simply because they themselves seek unconditional support, opportunist generosity, to be taken as authentic Marxist-Leninists, to keep others out of ’their own’ affairs, and to keep the struggle against revisionism and opportunism directed against the CPSU and company alone.

The syndicalist ’unity’ of the “ML” movement is now beingchal1enged by the tactical dispute between the PLA and CPC on international affairs, and support or lack of it to the CPC’s offensive against the Party’s left wing. While the vast majority of “ML” groups have openly supported the CPC’s positions, none have directed open criticism at the PLA. E.F. Hill of the CPA(ML) and J. Jurquet of the “ML”s of France have thus defended “three worlds”, while pretending the 7th Congress never occurred. Others such as the RCP and UIC(ML) have simply attempted to harmonize the differences and thus maintain loyalty to both. This realignment has as little to do with principle as the original ’break’ of the PLA and CPC from the CPSU. All it indicates is that there are as many varieties of opportunism as there are opportunists, and that their ’basic unity’ is subject to change without notice.


The basic principles that guided Lenin’s thinking on the creation of the Communist International were: that the class struggle of the proletariat is first of all an international struggle; that the unity of the proletariat, its discipline and common action, must therefore be built on an international basis; that such unity cannot be left to solemn pledges or declarations of good intentions, but must be embodied in an organized form; that just as the organization of the revolutionary proletariat following 1914 required a decisive break with all opportunist habits of Social-Democracy and the creation of a new, thoroughly Communist, type of Party, so the organization of the proletariat on a world scale required a decisive break with the 2nd International and the creation of a new, thoroughly Communist, International; that the CI would be the World Party of the working class, in which each national Section was subordinate to the discipline and guidance of the CI’s highest authority, the Executive Committee (ECCI); that the CI had “...its mission of fulfilling, of implementing the precepts of Marxism, and of achieving the age-old ideals of socialism and the working class movement...” (V.I. Lenin, The Third International and Its Place in History, Vol. 29 p.306), i.e. that it was an essential weapon of the world proletariat throughout the epoch of proletarian revolution.

The history of the CI shows (as outlined in Forward #1, and as we will develop more fully in Against the Tide) that the Sections and leadership of the CI (including Radek, Zinoviev, Trotsky, Bukharin, Stalin, Dimitrov and others) did not implement the principles that were established to guide it, that its development went from bad to worse, culminating in an open turn to social-chauvinism in 1934-35 and its liquidation in 1943. Unlike the collapse of the 2nd International, in which a significant portion of the movement fought the turn to open social-chauvinism and established the Third International, not a single CP survived the collapse of the Comintern. Every Party, including the PLA and CPC, supported and actively fostered the social-chauvinism of the United Front period, accepted the adoption of S-D views by the ECCI, and approved the liquidation of the only organized expression of the class independence of the world proletariat. It was this turn of the entire world movement to social-chauvinism and revisionism and its subsequent dissolution into a number of nationally distinct revisionist trends, that most discredited communism in the eyes of the working class and made the work of professional anti-communists, Social-Democrats, labor aristocrats and Trotskyites in ’disproving’ and distorting Marxism-Leninism all the easier.

The PLA, which draws many of its present formulations from the CI’s social-chauvinist period, cannot deal with the question of the Comintern in principle since to do so would throw their entire existence as an “ML” Party into doubt. Hoxha therefore apologizes for the Comintern, stating that “...There are people who do not fail to say that the Comintern allegedly made mistakes. That mistakes may have been committed cannot be ruled out, but mistakes involving violation of major principles were not made. On the other hand it should be realized that, even those mistakes that may have occurred, were either brought deliberately by deviationist elements who had managed to infiltrate the world communist movement, or, some of them, by inexperienced revolutionaries. Thus sometimes, inaccurate or completely wrong information was sent to the Comintern and consequently, being misinformed, willy-nilly it took incorrect decisions in some cases. However, the grave conditions of the bourgeois-fascist terror under which the communist and workers’ parties and their sections in the Comintern had to carry on their activity, must not be forgotten. The present critics of the Comintern fail to realize that the communist and workers parties of that time had to seek and create alliances with progressive elements and groupings who sometimes changed their positions. Thus, the directives issued by the Comintern were useful for activities at a given time, while later, when new circumstances arose, they lost their value...(Summary p.12). Hoxha follows this with the statement that “... It is not our intention here to analyze the activity of the Comintern..” (Ibid p.12). And that is quite right. Mr. Hoxha does not intend to analyze the CI here, or anywhere else. He simply means to remove it as a burning question by apologizing it out of existence.

Firstly, if the Comintern was in fact as flawless as Hoxha believes, then it would follow that the PLA should publicize this heritage as much as possible, show the continuity between its present line and the CI’s directives, thoroughly analyse the Cl’s history so as to educate and train the new ”ML” movement, and make available, in addition to Hoxha’s Works, the major Comintern documents from The Communist International and International Press Correspondence. This would seem to fall well within the scope of doing one’s “...internationalist duty towards international communism and the peoples to the 1etter...”(Ibid p.1). The PLA could then deal concretely with these ’alleged’ mistakes. It could then demonstrate how it was that elements who even by the PLA’s reckoning were deviationists – Radek, Zinoviev, Trotsky, and Bukharin– were able to “infiltrate the world communist movement” to the extent of becoming the Cl’s main leadership; and how despite the fact that such elements were responsible for some of the Cl’s major formulations, ’nonetheless’ violations “of major principles were not made”. It could cite, for example Pieck’s statement to the VII Congress CI that “...We Communists are the real defenders of the national interests of the people...”(Materials from the VII Congress CI FLPH Moscow 1939 p.40) in support of its own line on ’national interests’. It could trace its present Democratic Front, not simply to the National Liberation Anti-fascist Front of Albania, but to the ’rich’ traditions of Dimitrov’s Fatherland Front, the Popular Front the United Front Government proposed at the VII Congress, and ultimately to Radek’s Workers and Peasants Government, a formulation based on a bourgeois-parliamentary bloc with ’left’ Social-Democrats. The PLA could explain, “willy-nilly”, precisely what “incorrect decisions” in its view the ECCI made, and what lessons we should draw from them. If it believes that the grave conditions under which the Parties worked ”must not be forgotten”, it could show precisely what those conditions were and how the CP’s dealt with them. If it believes that the question of alliances “...is a very delicate problem of first rate importance...” and that “.. ..a single mistake in line, an incorrect or rigid attitude, disregard of progressive thinking on this friendship and unity created in struggle is fraught with great dangers...” (Summary p. 11), it could demonstrate how the CI created alliances with “progressive elements and groupings”, on what conditions, and how, when they “sometimes changed their positions”, the CI’s directives “lost their value”. It is not simply that the PLA is indifferent to the history of the world movement, and so discounts any serious discussion of it with blanket apologies, Both the PLA and CPC refuse to draw openly on the Comintern since to do so would reveal, not only the continuity between their present lines and the CI’s positions, but the continuity between the Cl’s social-chauvinism and all the current variations of modern revisionism, most notably the CPSU’s.

It should be clear that Enver Hoxha raised the question of the Comintern at the 7th Congress not so much to defend it from ’critics’ but because the development of so many “ML” Parties has put the question of international organization to the forefront. A reconstituted International at this time, however, would be to the PLA’s disadvantage since: 1) the formation of such an organization would require a full thrashing out of differences between the PLA and CPC, and given the current alignment of “ML” forces the CPC would no doubt win out; 2) the PLA would be bound by collective discipline to submit to decisions it would consider contrary to its own ’national interests’; and 3) all the questions concerning the Comintern which the PLA wishes to avoid, and primarily the relation of the United Front period to the development of modern revisionism, would be opened up. Hoxha therefore deliberately states that “...In its time...” the CI was useful, that “...at that time, the Comintern was an indispensable organization...” but that, after all, “...It is not our intention here to analyze the activity of the Comintern or to raise the question of setting up such an international organ again. For the time being, it is inappropriate and it would not bring the benefits expected to revolutionary struggles which are and will be waged by the Marxist-Leninist parties all over the world...”(Ibid p.12). Imagine. An organization that would coordinate the activity of new communist forces, that would serve as a vital organ of the proletariat in its international struggle against the bourgeoisie of every country, that would group the communists parties under international discipline, that would settle the outstanding ideological problems before the movement and create the basis for developing a comprehensive line to guide the communist revolutionaries in every country, a means to heighten and intensify the struggle against opportunism worldwide, and so on, would be inappropriate at this time, would not bring the benefits expected. From whose standpoint, Mr. Hoxha? You would be ’overly’ correct had you said simply that an international organization would be inappropriate and not bring the benefits expected to the PLA, to your own petty bourgeois and revisionist constituency, and that by ’internationalism’ you mean simply the ’right to be left alone’ within your own national shell. But to deny the need for such an organization on the plea that it would be ’inappropriate’ and not beneficial to the international proletariat is treason to the class you claim to serve.

Hoxha himself remains unconvinced by his own arguments. He therefore supplements his ’inappropriate’ reasoning with the same ’princip1es’ that guided the Mensheviks on the question of Party-building and the opportunists of the 2nd International on the issue of international organization: “...we, the Marxist-Leninist and workers’ parties are duty bound to constantly strengthen and temper the close cooperation among our parties, of course, with none being dependent on, or taking orders from, any other.. ..”(Ibid p.12). Of course, Mr. Hoxha; we understand. We are all so utterly equal, we may cooperate with one another, we may “...exchange our experiences and, each of us, in the conditions of his own country, must act on the basis of Marxism-Leninism.” (Ibid, p. 12) But the saints preserve us from ’taking orders’, submitting to international discipline and the like. After all, the “ML” parties have a common struggle, “...But their struggle cannot be the same, it cannot be waged without regard for the conditions and circumstances in each country. It is impossible to lay down prescriptions on how to act in all the varying and intricate situations which arise and which cannot be foreseen, and in any case, they are not always advantageous. On the contrary, striving to implement a rigid line, which does not conform either to Marxism-Leninism or to the concrete conditions of the particular country, in which each ML party is carrying out its activity, is often harmful and dangerous...” (Ibid p.12) That is to say, we must act or the basis of Marxism-Leninism in each country, but...it would be ’inappropriate’ at this time to organize this effort internationally. We must pledge solidarity with “all Marxist-Leninist parties”, but...refuse to state which among all the “ML” parties we consider truly Marxist-Leninist. We have a common struggle, but...it is so ’circumstantial’, so ’varying’, so ’intricate’, so ’concrete’ that it would be downright foolhardy to attempt ’prescriptions’. Indeed. Such prescriptions are not only “impossible”, “they are not always advantageous”! In fact, we would even go so far as to say that a “rigid line” which “does not conform either to Marxism-Leninism or to the concrete conditions of the particular country” is “often harmful and dangerous”! Quite right! We agree, Mr. Hoxha. You have let the truth slip out: a line which does not conform to Marxism-Leninism is often harmful and dangerous, and that is precisely why we must oppose you. But you have not even developed a ’line’ here; it is nothing but a string of excuses, a desperate attempt to by any means necessary liquidate the issue of a truly proletarian international organization and substitute in its place homilies on ’equality’ and ’cooperation’.

Mr. Hoxha sees such ’harm’ and ’danger’, ’prescriptions’ and ’rigid lines’, ’inappropriateness1 and lack of ’benefits expected’ on the question of international organization, that he manages to avoid completely the most essential point: on what political line are the PLA’s international relations to be based? If the PLA holds that both superpowers are equally threatening, that the concept of ’three worlds’ “conceals the real situation”, and so on, then it must demarcate itself against the CPC and this in turn would largely determine which “ML” would relate to it. But the PLA has no intention of acting in such a ’sectarian’ manner. ft will simply omit the question of political line and propose instead that “...The exchange of experience may be done on a bilateral or multilateral basis...” and that perhaps eventually, if the PLA continues tailing behind events, “...The situation may also mature to the point that a large meeting of the representatives of all the ML communist and workers’ parties can be achieved...”(Ibid p.12). Given the lack of a coherent guiding line, such a meeting would be the equivalent on an international scale, of a joint conference of the CLP USNA, RCP USA, US Bolshevik Party, the OL Party, the WVO Party, the New Voice Party, and etc., i.e. would be a free-for-all among the opportunist “ML” trends. Indeed, Mr. Hoxha; the “impossible” is “not always advantageous”. From the PLA’s standpoint, the less said about who is invited to what and on what basis, the better.

“... The opportunists are not against ’internationalism’...” Lenin wrote, “...they are only in favor of international approval for and international agreement among the opportunists. . .”(V. I. Lenin Under a False Flag, Vol. 21 p.157). The present hidden polemic between the PLA and CPC and the chain reaction this has had throughout the “ML” movement, is an expression of the attempt to reach just such an international agreement’ by way of innuendo and pressure, but without disrupting the opportunist ’unity’ that has already been achieved. This phenomenon is not new in the international movement; it has simply, and for quite some time, gained the upper hand. As Lenin told the II Congress of the CI: “..Recognition of internationalism in word, and its replacement in deed by petty bourgeois nationalism and pacifism, in all propaganda, agitation and practical work, is very common, not only among the parties of the Second International, but also among those which have withdrawn from it, and often even among parties which now call themselves Communist, The urgency of the struggle against this evil, against the most deep-rooted petty bourgeois national prejudices, looms ever larger with the mounting exigency of the task of converting the dictatorship of the proletariat from a national dictatorship (i.e. existing in a single country and incapable of determining world politics) into an international one (i.e. a dictatorship of the proletariat involving at least several advanced countries and capable of exercising a decisive influence upon world politics as a whole). Petty bourgeois nationalism proclaims as internationalism the mere recognition of the equality of nations, and nothing more. Quite apart from the fact that this recognition is purely verbal, petty bourgeois nationalism preserves national self-interest intact, whereas proletarian internationalism demands, first, that the interests of the proletarian struggle in any one country should be subordinated to the interests of that struggle on a world-wide scale, and second, that a nation which is achieving victory over the bourgeoisie should be able and willing to make the greatest national sacrifices for the overthrow of international capital...” (V.I. Lenin Draft Theses on the National and Colonial Questions Vol. 31 p. 148). That is how Lenin understood the ’internationalism’ that presently characterizes the PLA, CPC and the international “ML” trend.

Our entire movement has developed on a petty bourgeois class basis, has been drawn for the most part from the student and p.b. national movements, and precisely for that reason has responded so ’positively’ to the p.b. democratic lines of the PLA and CPC. But it should be clear that in order to create a truly Marxist-Leninist movement it is necessary to make a decisive break not only what that p.b. heritage, but with the dominant lines – the PLA’s and CPC’s – that reinforce and perpetuate it.