Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Ray O. Light

Once Again in Support of the Struggle of the Party of Labor of Albania against Revisionism


First Published: Ray O. Light Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 3, October 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Dedicated to the memory of Comrade Hysni Kapo, staunch Marxist-Leninist fighter of the courageous collective leadership of the heroic Party of Labor of Albania which is leading forward the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania through proletarian dictatorship on the basis of proletarian internationalism.

Through all the years of heroic struggle against international revisionism, comrade Hysni Kapo, along with comrades Enver Hoxha, Mehmet Shehu, and Ramiz Alia, has been the core of the collective leadership of the heroic Party of Labor of Albania. A few weeks ago, comrade Kapo died – leaving the international communist movement the responsibility of applying itself with greater determination to the liberating tasks of the proletarian revolution in order to fill the shoes of this departed but not to be forgotton comrade, Albanian patriot and peoples leader, staunch Marxist-Leninist fighter.

On the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution comrade Kapo said,

The triumph of the Great October Revolution and the creation of the first socialist state was the victory of proletarian internationalism, because the Soviet Union, under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin became the powerful centre and support of the world revolutionary and liberation movement. J.V. Stalin wrote that Lenin always saw the Republic of the Soviets as an indispensable link to facilitate the victory of the working people of the whole world over the capital, because, according to Lenin, the tasks of the revolution which has come out victorious is to do the maximum of what is possible in a country for the development, support and awakening of the revolution in all the countries. (The Ideas of the October Revolution Are Defended and Carried Forward In Struggle Against Modern Revisionism, Hysni Kapo, p. 16)

Today it is comrade Kapo’s party, the Party of Labor of Albania, which more than any other party in the world holds aloft the revolutionary flame of the October Revolution. For this reason, on the 1st anniversary of the Scientific Session on problems of current world development, under the auspices of the Institute of Marxist-Leninist Studies at the Central Committee of the PLA, we are publishing the following material (now almost a year old) supporting this important proletarian internationalist initiative of the Party of Labor of Albania.

* * *

Today as the peoples of Iran, of Lebanon and the Middle East, of Eritrea, of Southern Africa, of Nicaragua and Central America, have risen up in armed struggle for the liberation of their nations from the imperialist yoke, the existence and development of Marxist-Leninist leadership, of Marxist-Leninist parties capable of leading these peoples successfully through the national democratic revolution to the socialist stage of the revolution, is a burning task which will largely determine the fate not only of the important mass movements for the national revolution centered in Asia, Africa, and Latin America but also of the entire international proletariat for the foreseeable future.

It is in this light that the revisionist betrayal of the communist cause by the Communist Party in the USSR which in the past year pushed for a “peaceful alternative” to the armed liberation path traveled by the Nicaraguan people against the terrorist Somoza dictatorship, supported the bloody Shah of Iran, and openly supported the counter-revolutionary Ethiopian regime in its war against the Eritrean liberation fighters, can be understood in its counter-revolutionary depth. Likewise, it is in this context, that the revisionist betrayal of the proletarian revolutionary cause by the present Chinese leadership in the form of Chinese support for known U.S. CIA agents such as Mobutu in Zaire, and the Roberto-Savimbi FNLA-UNITA forces in Angola, for King Hussein of Jordan, and last but not least for the Shah of Iran as well as Chinese economic support for Somoza at precisely a moment when the Nicaraguan people threatened to topple this terrorist regime, can be understood in all its counterrevolutionary significance.

It is in this light as well, however, that the struggle against revisionism currently re-emerging under the leadership of the heroic Party of Labor of Albania can be understood to the depths of its positive revolutionary significance.

The outstanding contributions of the Party of Labor of Albania to the anti-revisionist struggle, the 7/29/78 letter to the Chinese revisionists and the speech by comrade Ramiz Alia, The Revolution–A Question Taken Up For Solution delivered in early October 1978, have particular importance for the so-called “new communist movement” in the USA. For almost all the organizations and individuals which make up this movement were first impelled toward the communist cause on the basis of the ideas and events that constituted the so-called “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” (“G.P.C.R.”) in China, and they were guided at least initially by the “Cultural Revolution’s” “original” concept of “Mao Tse-tung Thought.” And these two Marxist-Leninist polemics by the Party of Labor of Albania are the first public statements by an authoritative Marxist-Leninist Party which tackle the revisionist essence of the concept of “Mao Tse-tung Thought” and the counter-revolutionary essence of the “G.P.C.R.”

Given the strategic importance of the present ideological struggle against revisionism being led by the heroic Party of Labor of Albania it is not surprising that it is in the course of supporting and developing the polemics of the Party of Labor of Albania internationally that we can contribute to the advance of the proletarian revolutionary cause in the USA as well.


In the first few days of October 1978, Comrade Ramiz Alia, a member of the Politburo and Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party of Labor of Albania, presented the speech entitled “The Revolution – A Question Taken Up For Solution”. In what lies the significance of this speech?

1) Firstly, comrade Alia focuses his speech on the question of revolution, on the question of power, and particularly on the question of the revolutionary seizure of power. Comrade Alia “resurrects” this key question of Leninism in struggle in opposition to the opportunists of the Second International who historically preached and practiced class collaboration in general as well as in opposition to Browderism in the CPUSA which preached and practiced class collaboration with US imperialism in particular, a characteristic feature of all the important trends of revisionism today, and finally in opposition to these revisionist trends of today, including Titosim, Euro-communism, Soviet revisionism and Chinese revisionism.

With his focus on the question of revolution comrade Alia proceeds to appraise the world situation basing himself on the Leninist general teachings on the imperialist stage of capitalism and the most important contradictions of imperialism.

In our tentative Draft Program published in the first Ray O. Light pamphlet, we quoted Lenin from “The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky” as follows:

It was the Bolsheviks who strictly took into account the difference between the bourgeois democratic revolution and the socialist revolution; by carrying the first to its logical end they opened the door for passing to the second. This was the only policy that was revolutionary and Marxian. (P. 104, The Present Party-Building Movement in the USA and the Materialist Conception of History)

Comrade Alia’s speech takes this cornerstone of the Leninist Theory of the Revolution into account and applies it primarily in relation to the situation in the oppressed nations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Comrade Alia himself states that ”Within the capitalist-revisionist system, there is no longer a clearcut division between frontline and base areas...” (p. 4). Nevertheless, in the speech as a whole, comrade Alia stresses the importance of the question of the revolution for the peoples of the oppressed nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America in the present situation, thereby correctly reflecting in his speech the fact that the contradiction between the imperialist oppressor nations on the one hand and the oppressed nations on the other is the principal contradiction in the world today, the one around which the prospects for the intensification of the other three most important contradictions presently hinge and therefore around which our present efforts (including his important speech) should be oriented.

As we pointed out in our letter to the Central Committee of the Party of Labor of Albania (PLA) (10/78),

Today the main contradiction of imperialism is ’the contradiction between the handful of ruling ’civilized’ nations and the hundreds of millions of the colonial and dependent peoples of the world.’ (Stalin, Foundations of Leninism) It is in the oppressed nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America where the other three most important contradictions are focused along with the contradiction between the oppressed and the oppressor nations. It is there where the contradictions between labor and capital have been the sharpest. It is in Asia, Africa and Latin America where the most determined and dedicated revolutionaries, struggling to bring their peoples through the bourgeois democratic revolution to socialism and the eradication of capitalism have been struggling against imperialism, It is around these nations that the contradiction between and among the imperialist and social-imperialist countries has been sharpest.

Comrades, it is in the revolutionary resolution of the contradiction between the oppressed and oppressor nations that all of the contradictions of imperialism will be exacerbated and the general struggle of the international proletariat vs. international capital can be best advanced. (Please note the relationship between the victorious independence movements of the peoples of Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, and Angola with the subsequent revolutionary developments in Portugal.)

Secondly, the contradiction between labor vs. capital in the ’advanced’ countries has once again assumed more importance in the past few years, as you comrades have pointed out and have helped us to see. Certainly, in the countries of Italy, Spain and Portugal, Greece and even France there are some encouraging signs for the development of the proletarian revolution.

On both these fronts against capital, the heroic PLA by its principled ideological struggle against the revisionist ’theory of the 3 worlds’ as well as against Euro-Communism, Soviet revisionism, etc. has played a yeoman role in the revival of Leninism and the resurgence of proletarian revolutionary activity.

Comrade Alia’s emphasis on the key questions of the revolution with his particular emphasis on the (bourgeois) democratic stage of the revolution in the oppressed nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America constitutes a significant contribution to the revival of Leninism.

All the other significant propositions and conclusions presented in this fine Marxist-Leninist speech flow from the core of the document with its focus on the question of revolution. Such a Leninist conclusion as the necessity for the Revolution rather than “spontaneous” peaceful transition is reaffirmed by comrade Alia who states that “the world can be changed only through revolution” (p. 8, The Revolution – A Question Taken Up For Solution). Likewise the speech reaffirms the Leninist conclusion that, “For the revolution to triumph, the use of the revolutionary violence of the masses is an essential condition”. (p. 33, Ibid)

Important for the health of the international communist movement as are these propositions and conclusions already mentioned, the above are restatements from the revolutionary revival of Leninism that the PLA has already struggled through and achieved in such important works as The Theory and Practice of the Revolution (Zeri i Popullit Editorial) and the 7/29/78 letter of the Albanian Party and State leadership to the present Chinese revisionist leadership.

The other significant features of comrade Alia’s speech are at least somewhat new and distinctive, going beyond the polemics that so far have constituted the PLA’s leadership of the re-emerging anti-revisionist struggle for the revival of Leninism. And these features have deep implications for the honest communist forces in the USA today.

2) A second significant feature of this speech is that for the first time the concept of “Mao Tse-tung Thought” is exposed internationally as a component part of the revisionist ideological foundation in China by an authoritative Marxist-Leninist leader.

Comrade Alia states,

The Chinese version of modern revisionism goes even further in the struggle against Leninism then all its revisionists that preceded it, by opposing to it the so-called ’Mao Tse-tung Thought’ and its offspring–the theory of ’three worlds’, which is complete negation of the revolution. (p. 8, Ibid)

As we pointed out in December 1977,

Youth For Stalin warned about the misuse of the concept of ’Mao Tse-tung Thought’ by the revisionists within the CPC leadership who used it to conceal their opportunist line and policy leading to national bourgeois rule in China. Marxist-Leninists can never substitute the thought of one man or woman, no matter how great of a leader, for the collective genius of the international proletariat, which produces its Marxist theory, as comrade Stalin put it, ’based on the experience of the working class movement summed up in its general aspect’. The leadership of one individual no matter how great cannot substitute for a Communist International which is capable of collectivizing the experience and coordinating the theoretical development of the international revolutionary proletarian movement in its struggle against international capital. The thought of one individual leader, no matter who, should never be substituted for a concrete analysis of the concrete conditions which is the starting point for the dialectical materialist political positions of the Marxist-Leninist movement. (p. 24, The Role of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the International Marxist-Leninist Movement: The October Revolution Vs. The “Cultural Revolution”, Youth For Stalin, reprinted with introduction by Ray 0. Light, 1978)

Comrade Alia’s criticism of the concept, “Mao’s Thought” is in line with the observation made by Youth For Stalin almost 11 years ago and re-published by us one year ago in The Role of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the International Marxist-Leninist Movement: The October Revolution Vs. The “Cultural Revolution”

...the ’Cultural Revolution’ leaders put forth the concept of ’Mao’s Thought’ as the criteria for whether or not one is a revolutionary. This eliminates any need for self-criticism based on a recognition of the backward international situation in which the world Marxist-Leninist movement now finds itself.

Making one’s attitude toward ’Mao’s Thought’ the criteria for distinguishing Marxist-Leninists from counter-revolutionaries disarmed the Marxist-Leninists within the CPC, for it negates the crucial issues of the day – imperialism, revisionism, the oppressed nations and China’s relationship to these – which are the real questions distinguishing Chinese Marxist-Leninists from Chinese revisionists. The ’Mao’s Thought’ slogan created an ideological smokescreen for the ascendancy of the national bourgeoisie within the CPC. (p. 100, Ibid)

Finally, after the Albanian letter to the Chinese revisionists of 7/29/78, and now Ramiz Alia’s speech of 10/78, an authoritative Leninist party has begun to critically examine before the proletarian masses, Mao the individual, Mao’s actual body of thought, as well as the “Mao Thought” concept projected by the Chinese national bourgeoisie. This represents a giant step toward a decisive break with the idealism that has plagued the Marxist-Leninist movement both within the USA and throughout the world during the past decade.

In our first document written in late 1976 and entitled The Present Party-Building Movement in the USA and the Materialist Conception of History we addressed the fundamental problems that permeate the US “new communist movement” in its efforts to build a genuine Marxist-Leninist party in the USA; namely 1) economic origin of the majority of the members of the “new communist movement” in the privileged petty-bourgeoisie of the chief oppressor nation in the world, 2) political origin under the impetus of the “G.P.C.R.” in China and in blind obedience to the “Thought of Mao Tse-tung”, deriving their political positions from the statements of the Chinese state, party and “Cultural Revolution” leaders (as interpreted by the particular Chinese revisionists at any given moment in power), and 3) ideological origin based on the idealist conception of history, justified by the “Cultural Revolution” conception of “Mao Tse-tung Thought”, i.e. based on “the good wishes of ’great men’” rather then “on the real needs of development of the material life of society” (See Stalin, Dialectical and Historical Materialism).

Hence, because the PLA’s letter of 7/29/78 to the Chinese revisionist leadership and comrade Ramiz Alia’s speech of early October 1978 expose ideologically the reactionary character of two foundation stones of the U.S. “new communist movement”, these Marxist-Leninist polemics of the PLA give honest forces in the “new communist movement” a new opportunity to break with Chinese revisionism: 1) economically, breaking with the objectively pro-imperialist privileged petty-bourgeois of the U.S. (North) imperialist society, and self-critically linking their destiny with the only consistently revolutionary class (at least potentially) in the U.S. (North) oppressor nation, the working class, and its brothers and sisters of the international proletariat; 2) politically, breaking with the bourgeois nationalist and great nation chauvinist positions projected by the present Chinese revisionist leadership and finally take proletarian revolutionary political positions internationally and domestically based on Lenin’s teachings on imperialism and the unfolding proletarian revolution and proceeding from a concrete analysis of the concrete conditions as comrade Lenin taught; and 3) ideologically, breaking with the idealist conception of history exemplified by their kowtowing to “Mao Tse-tung Thought” and finally being able to place the party-building movement in the USA on a materialist basis.

3) A third feature of comrade Ramiz Alia’s speech noteworthy for its contrast with the bombast and arrogance of the self-satisfied sectarians who dominate the so-called “new communist movement” in the USA today is the exposure of the ideological bankruptcy and opportunist treachery of the present Chinese revisionists in their projection of the proposition that the ”situation in the world is excellent”.

As comrade Alia points out, ’The Chinese revisionists, in a completely pragmatic and unprincipled manner, on the one hand use the slogan that the ’situation in the world is excellent’ for demogogical purposes, while on the other, on the pretext that in some capitalist countries no revolutionary situation exists for the time being, they proclaim revolutionary situations impossible on principle in the present day world, thus justifying conciliation of exploiters with the exploited, of the ’third world’ with the ’second world’ and with U.S. imperialism.” (p. 28, The Revolution – A Question Taken Up For Solution)

As Youth For Stalin in its struggle against Chinese revisionism pointed out 11 years ago,

According to the ’Cultural Revolution’, no matter what class is in power, no matter how terrorized and exploited the oppressed peoples are, as long as they express their love for Chairman Mao and their ’admiration for China’, the situation is excellent. No matter how difficult the situation of the oppressed peoples, as long as national construction is carried out in China, the international situation is excellent. (p. 89, The Role of the Dictatorship of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the International Marxist-Leninist Movement...)

The present Chinese leadership has consolidated its power in China with huge financial deals with the imperialist powers of Japan and Western Europe and now with U.S. imperialism itself. On the basis of normalization of U.S. – China relations this will only be intensified. It is only on the basis of their bourgeois nationalist aspirations and practice that the revisionist Chinese leadership can claim that the situation is excellent. The bourgeois nationalist (leading to comprador) politics of the Chinese leaders renders insignificant from their point of view their alleged fact that revolution is impossible at this time, for they do not aspire to or need the revolution. Quite the contrary, the revolution would “upset their applecart”.

Likewise the fact that the same financial agreements with the imperialist powers by which the national bourgeois class consolidates its power over the Chinese masses, seals the fate of China to become once again dependent on and subordinate to imperialism, does not change their narrow, selfish appraisal that this situation too is excellent.

Finally, while the tragic war continues between the fraternal peoples of Kampuchea and Vietnam fueled by the involvement of Chinese revisionism, as long as Chinese bourgeois financial dealings with U.S. imperialism are not hindered, then the situation remains excellent according to the Chinese revisionists.

Comrade Alia, in exposing the Chinese opportunist concept of the “excellent situation”, raises the Leninist approach to the struggle. As comrade Lenin taught, “We do not minimize the dangers. We look them straight in the face...” (p. 24, Selected Works, Vol. IX)

Comrade Alia raises the need to appraise concretely both the objective and subjective factors in the world, including the leading role of the genuine Marxist-Leninist party which he calls “the number one subjective factor”.

It is only on the basis of such a concrete analysis of the concrete conditions, that the Leninists can lead the class and the masses from where they actually are today to the revolutionary victory.

4) Significant also is that Comrade Alia wages a “three-line struggle” consistently in his speech. This is in marked contrast to the dogmatic chanting and ranting about “two line struggle” that has dominated the “new communist movement” in the USA since its inception under the banner of the so-called “G.P.C.R.” in China a decade ago.

For “two line struggle”, (almost always referring to the struggle between Marxism-Leninism and right revisionism) leads Marxist-Leninists into the opposite opportunist treachery (usually “left opportunism”).

Comrade Alia states that,

The Marxist-Leninist understanding of a revolutionary situation has nothing in common with the standpoints of all kind of opportunists cloaked as ’leftists’, of anarchists who, from positions of voluntarism, disregard the role of the objective factors, and proclaim the launching of revolution possible at any moment... Genuine Marxist-Leninists clearly demarcate themselves from the anarchist groups. They are also clearly demarcated from the opportunists, the Soviet revisionists, the Eurocommunists, etc., who, not only do not prepare the masses for revolution, but even when revolutionary situations present themselves, hold the masses back and sabotage the revolution. (p. 27, 28)

History is replete with examples from the experience of the working class movement which demonstrate the importance of Marxist-Leninists struggling against both right and “left” opportunism simultaneously (though one or the other will be the main obstacle to the advance of the science of Marxism-Leninism and the proletarian revolutionary cause at any given time).

In Harry Haywood’s great autobiography, Black Bolshevik, published last year, comrade Haywood reveals that there was a relatively large group of dedicated mainly Black and Latino Marxist-Leninists who waged a sharp struggle against the prevailing right opportunist leadership of the CPUSA in the middle 1950’s. Yet as Haywood points out, “Our purely oppositionist tactics, combined with a refusal to participate in mass work, enabled the Party leadership to portray us as anti-party and disruptive elements.” (p. 621, Black Bolshevik) Refusal to accept party posts, boycott of the Daily Worker and failure to fight for publication of the group’s views in the Party organs, precipitated the Provisional Organizing Committee split with the CP.

Failing to struggle against their own understandable tendency to “left” opportunism, these genuine “lefts” allowed themselves to be led into a series of “ultra-left” errors which culminated in a premature split with the CPUSA and creation of Provisional Organizing Committee and its rapid degeneration into an ultra-left sect. This has had tragic repercussions for the revolutionary movement in the USA ever since.

In his speech, comrade Alia fights for Marxism-Leninism in opposition to both right and “left” opportunism, a “three-line struggle” so to speak, in order to ensure that the Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries will be neither too far ahead nor tailing behind the movement of the masses.

5) Most significant of all, what is new and distinctive about comrade Ramiz Alia’s speech of early October 1978, is the tremendous step forward for proletarian internationalism represented both in the context in which this speech was delivered as well as in its Marxist-Leninist content. This speech in a number of ways goes well beyond the genuine proletarian internationalism already manifested by the heroic PLA in its Marxist-Leninist polemics over the past two years against the “theorists of the three worlds”, and the right revisionists of the Eurocommunist, Titoite, and Soviet types.

In the first place, in the beginning of his speech comrade Alia points out the basis and need for “a global strategy of the revolution”. He states,

Recognition of the unity of the world revolutionary process is important in order to understand the wide possibilities for alliances among the revolutionary forces on an international scale as well as to work out a global strategy of the revolution, which could be able to link and channel the outbursts of the revolutionary movement of various countries into one single process of the fight to overthrow the capitalists order and win national independence. (p. 4)

Secondly, comrade Ramiz Alia polemicizes against the Chinese revisionists who have,

... persistently opposed any initiative, any action, any multilateral meeting of the Marxist-Leninist Parties aimed at strengthening their solidarity unity and joint struggle. The Chinese leadership favored only bilateral talks between parties, because in this way it could exert pressure and impose its opportunist line on the others and disorient the Marxist-Leninists. (p. 40)

On the basis of this struggle comrade Alia then points out the many internationalist meetings inspired by the PLA since its 7th Congress.

The participation of many delegations of fraternal parties in the congresses of our Party and our celebrations, the Joint Statements of groups of Marxist-Leninist Parties of Latin America and Europe, the internationalist rallies which were held in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Greece, etc. testify to this. (p. 40-41)

He continues,

Our Scientific Session, in which many comrades from the fraternal parties are taking part, is also a testimony to this. The common struggle, the interests of the revolution, demand that all Marxist-Leninist Parties, all the revolutionaries further strengthen the unity, collaboration, and internationalist solidarity of all the revolutionary forces on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. (p. 41)

Clearly, comrade Ramiz Alia’s speech itself was an integral part of “the Scientific Session on problems of current world development, under the auspices of the Institute of Marxist-Leninist Studies at the Central Committee of the PLA.”

Taken together then, all these manifestations of proletarian internationalism associated with the speech, “The Revolution – A Question Taken up For Solution”, constitute a tremendous step toward the development of a new Communist International.

The need for such multi-lateral meetings of fraternal Marxist-Leninist groups and parties was raised long ago and very capably by Hammer and Steel, as well as by Stalinist Workers Group for Afro-American National Liberation and a New Communist International, two predecessors of Ray O. Light. The need for a new Communist International is an integral part of the Ray O. Light program and was raised by us in the first Ray O. Light document.

Given our history, we have been deeply inspired by this new height of proletarian internationalism reached by the PLA as reflected in comrade Ramiz Alia’s speech and the Scientific Session of early October 1978. We salute the PLA’s initiative and look forward to more such meetings. They are invaluable in helping to lay the conditions for the establishment of a new Communist International, which will serve the interests of the international proletariat and the oppressed peoples.