Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

J. Werner

Beat Back the Dogmato-Revisionist Attack on Mao Tsetung Thought

Comments on Enver Hoxha’s Imperialism and the Revolution

I. Hoxha on the Course of the Chinese Revolution

According to Enver Hoxha, the Chinese Communist Party has been dominated by the revisionist “Mao Tsetung Thought” since 1935, the year in which Mao’s leadership was basically established within the Party. Apparently, the correct line, according to Hoxha, was represented by the line of Wang Ming, although the name of this renegade doesn’t appear in his book. Wang Ming was the leader of the Chinese Communist Party for several years until the defeat of his line in 1935, and his career in the Party was marked by two features: first, he was consistently wrong in his political line, making both right and “left” opportunist deviations; and, secondly, he enjoyed the confidence and support of the Communist International and, presumably, Stalin.

Those in the leadership of the Chinese Party who shared Wang Ming’s line (who called themselves the “internationalists,” and sometimes were referred to as the “28 and a half Bolsheviks”–a reference to Wang’s claim that he and his handful of students returned from Moscow were “100% Bolshevik”) came to the fore at a crucial juncture in the Chinese Revolution. They refused to recognize that the Chinese Revolution had suffered a period of temporary setback following the defeat of the 1924-27 Revolution, and that, as a result, a protracted period of strategic defensive was necessary.

Mao had analyzed the concrete conditions in China on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and also the fundamental theses of Lenin and Stalin on the Chinese Revolution, and had determined that while the revolution had been set back, various circumstances existed that allowed the establishment of rural base areas surrounded by the enemy in different parts of China. Closely connected to this was the question of the peasants, whom Mao correctly stated had to be the main (not leading) force in the revolution during its democratic stage. Central to building up these base areas was mobilizing the peasantry under the leadership of the Communist Party and carrying out the agrarian revolution.

Wang Ming bitterly opposed Mao on these basic theses, as well as on numerous political and military questions that flowed from them. Like Hoxha, Wang Ming railed against Mao’s thesis that in China the cities must be encircled by the countryside. Like Hoxha, Wang could not understand the ebbs and flows of the revolution and instead presented a picture of a constantly favorable objective situation with only the subjective factor being necessary to lead an immediate successful onslaught on reactionary power. Wang Ming led the Party in a wrong military, political and ideological line that led to defeat by Chiang Kai-shek in his Fifth “Encirclement and Suppression Campaign,” a defeat which forced the Red Army to retreat in the famous Long March. As a result of this “left” opportunist line, large numbers of the Communist Party and revolutionary army, as well as base areas, were wiped out.

Of course this is well known, and the political summation of these deviations comprise an important part of the works of Mao Tsetung. Further, it is on the basis of repudiating this line in particular that the Chinese Communist Party was able to carry through successfully the famous Long March and indeed the Chinese revolution.

But Enver Hoxha, like Wang Ming and the Soviet revisionists, accuses Mao of “nationalism,” of a “peasant mentality” and of opportunism because he applied Marxism-Leninism to the concrete conditions in China and developed an all-around political line capable of leading that revolution to victory.

Listen to some of the profound arguments Hoxha conjures up for his attack on Mao:

Mao Tsetung expressed this petty bourgeois theory [not recognizing the leading role of the proletariat] in his general thesis that the “countryside must encircle the city.” “... revolutionary villages,” he wrote, “can encircle the cities. . . rural work should play the primary role in the Chinese revolutionary movement and urban work a secondary role.” Mao expressed this idea also when he wrote about the role of the peasantry in the state. He has said that all other political parties and forces must submit to the peasantry and its views. “... Millions of peasants will rise like a mighty storm, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back. . .,” he writes. “They will put to the test every revolutionary party and group, every revolutionary, so that they either accept their views or reject them.” According to Mao, it turns out that the peasantry and not the working class should play the hegemonic role in the revolution.[2]

Such is the thinking of Enver Hoxha. Where, we will ask, does it say that in every country the main center of the Party’s work must be in the cities? If one is making revolution in a country in which the peasantry is 80% of the population, if the revolution has been driven out of the cities, if the movement is temporarily declining, and if the possibility exists for forming red political power in the countryside–as it did in China–how can it be said that it was wrong to “make the main center of the Party’s work” the rural areas, or to develop a strategy of surrounding the cities by the countryside? In these conditions, to fail to do so could only mean, as it did, a policy of rash adventurism which quickly led to capitulation in the face of the enemy, exactly because the “left” line of concentrating in the cities, refusing to “encircle the cities by the countryside,” meant a line which could not mobilize the forces for revolution in the concrete conditions of China at the time.

Hoxha’s blustering about Mao’s famous quotation from Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan where he says that the mighty storm of the peasant movement “will put to the test every revolutionary party and group” is also revealing. This classic work of Mao has also come under attack by revisionists historically, from Chen Tu-hsiu and Wang Ming to the Soviet renegades.

What Mao is arguing in his Investigation of the Peasant Movement is not that the proletariat should not lead the peasantry, but precisely the opposite. He was arguing against the mainly right tendencies (in form as well as content) within the leadership of the Party who argued that the peasants’ movement was terrible, or that it had “gone too far.” Those who argued that it “had gone too far” felt that it was endangering the alliance with the national bourgeoisie (in the form of the Kuomintang), and therefore should either be opposed, ignored or at least hemmed in.

When Hoxha quotes Mao saying that “Every revolutionary party and every revolutionary comrade will be put to the test to be accepted or rejected as they decide,” he deliberately omits the immediately following sentences which reveal Mao’s whole purpose in writing the essay:

There are three alternatives. To march at their head and lead them? To trail behind them, gesticulating and criticizing? Or to stand in their way and oppose them? Every Chinese is free to choose, but events will force you to make the choice quickly.[3]

So it is clear that what Mao is talking about (when you don’t butcher his quotes, as Hoxha is wont to do throughout his attack) is not the peasants leading the Party, but precisely the opposite, of the Party stepping forward and putting itself at the head of the surging torrent of the peasants.

Stalin himself spoke to the same errors that were being committed by leading members of the CCP:

I know there are Kuomintangists and even Chinese Communists who do not consider it possible to unleash revolution in the countryside, since they fear that if the peasantry were drawn into the revolution it would disrupt the united anti-imperialist front. That is a profound error, comrades.... I think it is high time to break down that inertness and that “neutrality” toward the peasantry. . .[4]

Enver Hoxha’s disdain for the peasantry and his underestimation of their central role in the revolutionary process in countries like China is linked to his inability to understand the very nature of these revolutions. It was not Mao, but Lenin and Stalin, who first expounded the theses that revolutions in the countries of Asia were bourgeois-democratic revolutions, which had as their goal two main objectives: the driving out of foreign imperialism and the defeat of those sections of the capitalist class bound together with it; and the solving of the land question–the wiping out of the feudal survivals and the implementation of “land to the tiller.”

Once again, Stalin was quite clear on this question: “The Comintern was and still is of the opinion that the basis of the revolution in China in the present period [1927] is the agrarian-peasant revolution.”[5][5a]

Hoxha charges that:

Mao Tsetung was never able to understand and explain correctly the close links between the bourgeois-democratic revolution and the proletarian revolution. Contrary to the Marxist-Leninist theory, which has proved scientifically that there is no Chinese wall between the bourgeois-democratic revolution and the socialist revolution, that these two revolutions do not have to be divided from each other by a long period of time, Mao Tsetung asserted: “The transformation of our revolution into socialist revolution is a matter of the future... As to when the transition will take place... it may take quite a long time. We should not hold forth about this transition until all the necessary political and economic conditions are present and until it is advantageous and not detrimental to the overwhelming majority of our people.”[8]

By now the astute reader will ask, what exactly did Hoxha leave out with his two sets of three dots (ellipses). The first ... is to obliterate one sentence in which Mao writes, “In the future the democratic revolution will inevitably be transformed into a socialist revolution.” The second . . . wipes out the phrase that appears in the sentence, “As to when the transition will take place, that will depend on the presence of the necessary conditions, and it may take quite a long time.” (Omitted phrase in italics.)[9][9a]

Thus we see that Hoxha omits two critical points of Mao’s: 1) that the transition to the socialist revolution is inevitable, and 2) that this transition depends on the “presence of the necessary conditions.”

Hoxha goes on to state:

Mao Tsetung adhered to this anti-Marxist concept, which is not for the transformation of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into socialist revolution, during the whole period of the revolution, even after liberation. Thus, in 1940, Mao Tsetung said: “The Chinese revolution must necessarily pass through... the stage of New Democracy and then the stage of socialism. Of these, the first stage will need a relatively long time. . . . ”[10]

For the reader’s convenience, the whole of the paragraph Hoxha “quotes” is reprinted below, from the authorized Chinese translation and without his handy ellipses:

Without a doubt, the present revolution is the first step, which will develop into the second step, that of socialism, at a later date. And China will attain true happiness only when she enters the socialist era. But today is not yet the time to introduce socialism. The present task of the revolution in China is to fight imperialism and feudalism, and socialism is out of the question until this task is completed. The Chinese revolution cannot avoid taking the two steps, first of New Democracy and then of socialism. Moreover, the first step will need quite a long time and cannot be accomplished overnight. We are not Utopians and cannot divorce ourselves from the actual conditions confronting us.[11]

So once again it is clear, even from the very passages Hoxha tries to twist and distort to back up his slanders, that Mao is clear that the new-democratic revolution leads to socialism once the necessary conditions have been met, which he specifically notes are the defeat of imperialism and feudalism.

Hoxha is quite correct when he says that “no Chinese wall” separates the two stages of the revolution, but what he really seeks to do is in fact negate the fact that there are two distinct stages of the revolution, which of necessity involve different alignments of class forces and have different tasks. What Hoxha attempts to do is mush everything together, to combine two into one, and he comes up with an amorphous democratic-socialist revolution whose characteristics are fundamentally the same in imperialist and oppressed nations alike.

Hoxha’s line is so eclectic and confused it is impossible to figure out exactly what he is saying. Is it that the Chinese Revolution prior to 1949 was (or should have been) a socialist revolution? Is he parroting the line of some leaders of the Chinese Party (with some support of the Comintern) who argued that the bourgeois revolution was transformed into a socialist revolution with the capture of power in one or two key provinces? Or is it that Mao did not recognize that the revolution would be transformed into a socialist revolution with the seizure of power on a nationwide scale? In any case, we will see that it is Mao, not Hoxha or Wang Ming, who was correct.[11a]

Hoxha deliberately confuses the fact that the socialist revolution can accomplish democratic tasks (the October Revolution being the outstanding example) with the concept of the bourgeois-democratic revolution itself. It is not surprising that in the earlier part of his book, in which Hoxha lays down his recipes for revolution in every country of the world (though, it is true, not specifically for each country), there is no real understanding of this question, and in fact a giant muddle.

This connection [between proletarian revolution in the West and the struggle in the colonies and dependent countries–J.W.] has become even clearer and more natural today, when, with the collapse of the old colonial system, most of the peoples have taken a big step forward towards independence by creating their own national states, and when, following this step, they are aspiring to go further. They want the liquidation of the neo-colonialist system, of any imperialist dependence and any exploitation of foreign capital. They want their complete sovereignty and economic and political independence. It has now been proved that such aspirations can be realized, such objectives attained only through the elimination of any foreign domination by and dependence on foreigners and the liquidation of oppression and exploitation by local bourgeois and big landowner rulers.

Hence, the linking and the interlacing of the national-democratic, anti-imperialist, national liberation revolution with the socialist revolution, because, by striking at imperialism and reaction, which are common enemies of the proletariat and the peoples, these revolutions also pave the way for great social transformations, assist the victory of the socialist revolution. And vice-versa, by striking at the imperialist bourgeoisie, by destroying its economic and political positions, the socialist revolution creates favorable conditions for and facilitates the triumph of liberation movements.[15]

Despite Hoxha’s passing reference here to “big landowner rulers,” what is strikingly missing in this passage, and indeed Hoxha’s whole book, is any discussion whatsoever of the anti-feudal character of the revolution in many of the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. For it is the struggle against feudalism, especially, that gives the democratic revolution a bourgeois character.

In the above statement, Hoxha deftly combines the socialist revolution with the bourgeois-democratic revolution by saying that independence, sovereignty, etc. can only be achieved with the “elimination of oppression of the local bourgeois and big landowner rulers.” Of course, it is true that in the final analysis, real liberation from imperialism is dependent on the socialist revolution. Mao made this point many times, including in his famous statement that “only socialism can save China.” But the fact remains that the socialist revolution and the bourgeois-democratic revolution are not the same, and in the latter certain bourgeois (i.e. exploiting) forces can play a positive role.

Ironically, despite the attempts of Hoxha to claim the mantle of Stalin, it is Stalin, in writing of another renegade, who succinctly sums up Hoxha’s basic errors on the Chinese revolution:

The basic error of Trotsky (and hence of the opposition) is that he underestimates the agrarian revolution in China, does not understand the bourgeois-democratic character of that revolution, denies the existence of the preconditions for an agrarian movement in China, embracing many millions, and underestimates the role of the peasantry in the Chinese revolution.[16]

Hoxha’s protestations to the contrary, it was precisely Mao who explained the relationship between the bourgeois-democratic and the socialist stage of the revolution. First, Mao built upon the basic Leninist theses that in the era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution (that is, since the October Revolution in Russia in 1917) the bourgeois-democratic revolutions in the dependent countries and colonies were no longer part of the old bourgeois revolution, but part of the new world proletarian revolution.

Mao stressed again and again that the national bourgeoisie in China and in countries like it could not lead the bourgeois-democratic revolution to victory, that because it was bullied by imperialism this bourgeoisie had some contradictions with it and would, from time to time, join the ranks of the revolutionary struggle, but precisely because the national bourgeoisie was a weak and flabby class economically and politically, because it was still tied in to a certain extent to the big (comprador) sections of the bourgeoisie and also to landed property, it would always vacillate at best and at times capitulate to the forces of imperialism and domestic reaction.

Because of this it fell to the proletariat to lead the people, first and foremost the peasantry, in carrying the democratic revolution through to its completion. Indeed, Mao points out that what made the Chinese revolution a new (as opposed to old) democratic revolution was precisely the fact that it was led by the proletariat and its vanguard, the Communist Party, and that this democratic revolution would not lead to “establishing a capitalist society and a state under bourgeois dictatorship,” but rather that “this revolution actually serves the purpose of clearing a still wider path for the development of socialism.”[17]

Mao further explained:

Although the Chinese revolution in this first stage (with its many sub-stages) is a new type of bourgeois-democratic revolution and is not yet itself a proletarian-socialist revolution in its social character, it has long become a part of the proletarian-socialist world revolution and is now even a very important part and a great ally of this world revolution. The first step or stage in our revolution is definitely not, and cannot be, the establishment of a capitalist society under the dictatorship of the Chinese bourgeoisie, but will result in the establishment of a new-democratic society under the joint dictatorship of all the revolutionary classes of China headed by the Chinese proletariat. The revolution will then be carried forward to the second stage, in which a socialist society will be established in China.

This is the fundamental characteristic of the Chinese revolution of today, of the new revolutionary process of the past twenty years (counting from the May 4th Movement of 1919), and its concrete living essence.[18]

Mao constantly emphasizes the real link between the bourgeois-democratic and the socialist revolutions, that only the completion of the democratic revolution–i.e., the defeat of imperialism and feudalism–paves the way for the socialist revolution, that the latter cannot be accomplished without these preconditions. But furthermore, Mao affirmed, the leadership of the proletariat and the Party is what makes it possible to carry the revolution beyond the democratic stage and into the socialist stage.

It is not surprising that since Hoxha is incapable of understanding (or pretends not to understand) the class nature of the first stage of the Chinese Revolution, he also attacks the military line of Mao Tsetung–people’s war–that was based on exactly understanding the conditions of the revolution in China. Here is what Hoxha has to say on this subject in the course of writing a prescription for the revolution in every country:

In accord with the concrete conditions of a country and the situations in general, the armed uprising may be a sudden outburst or a more protracted revolutionary process, but not an endless one without perspective, as advocated by Mao Tsetung’s “theory of protracted people’s war”. If you compare the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin on the revolutionary armed insurrection with Mao’s theory on “people’s war,” the anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist, anti-scientific character of this theory becomes clearly apparent. The Marxist-Leninist teachings on the armed insurrection are based on the close combination of the struggle in the city with that in the countryside under the leadership of the working class and its revolutionary party.

Being opposed to the leading role of the proletariat in the revolution, the Maoist theory considers the countryside as the only base of the armed insurrection and neglects the armed struggle of the working masses in the town. It preaches that the countryside must keep the city, which is considered as the stronghold of the counterrevolutionary bourgeoisie, besieged. This is an expression of distrust in the working class, the negation of its hegemonic role.[19]

Interesting indeed! Hoxha’s above statement makes clearer his protestations cited earlier that Mao held that the new-democratic stage of the revolution would take a “long period of time.”

Hoxha’s claim that Mao called for an endless war “without perspective” is patently ridiculous. What Mao made very clear is that the war (or actually, in the context of China, a series of three distinct periods of warfare–first against the KMT, then against the Japanese, and then against the KMT again) would be the basic form for carrying out the revolution until it completed its first goals, specifically the driving out of imperialism and solving the land question, a very clear “perspective.”

In Hoxha’s criticism of people’s war the rightist essence of his “leftism” begins to come into sharper focus. One would like to ask Hoxha, what course should the Chinese Revolution have taken following the defeat of the 1924-27 Revolution–when the counterrevolution triumphed in the cities and the communists were being massacred? Apparently it was all right to form base areas in the countryside as long as it was not being done “without perspective”–which we can only take to mean the perspective of a quick victory (a few years)–over the forces of reaction. This line was, in fact, the line of Wang Ming, who ordered the Red Army to go on a continual offensive, preached that the enemy was disintegrating, and predicted a quick victory. The results of this policy was a giant setback for the Chinese Revolution, the loss of all the base areas in southern China and the necessity to embark on the Long March.

One can only assume that, according to Hoxha, if it is not possible to have a clear perspective of victory immediately on the horizon, it is wrong to carry out armed struggle. If it is not possible to take the cities quickly, then to maintain red political power in the countryside is to desert the working class and lose faith in its hegemonic role. This is truly mechanical thinking approaching hitherto almost unknown “heights.” For while opportunists during the Chinese Revolution argued along similar lines (above all the Trotskyites) it was really only Wang Ming, operating safely from his perch in Moscow, that would repeat such fallacies long after history had proved him wrong.

Hoxha would have had the Chinese Communist Party dissolve the Red Army, or failing that, simply wage rash and suicidal attacks on the cities, when the conditions were not ripe for nationwide victory, which would have also meant the dissolving of the Red Army. Does Hoxha really believe that the “hegemony of the proletariat” would have been better exercised if there had been no base areas in the countryside, if the Communist Party under the blows of the White terror had been reduced to scattered forces conducting illegal and legal work in the cities? Is it really true that such a situation would have hastened the development of a new upsurge in China? Or was it not Mao’s policy of building up revolutionary base areas which in fact helped prepare through struggle *or the taking of the cities at a later date?

One cannot help but ask Hoxha in passing where in the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin or Stalin, is a clear line presented on how to wage the armed seizure of power in a country like China? Of course, there is no such prescription, for unlike Hoxha, the great leaders of the proletariat were not into speculating on hypothetical situations that had not yet arrived. Since there had never been a revolution led by the working class in such a country prior to the Chinese Revolution, isn’t it really rather silly to tell us to compare Mao’s writing with the military writings of the earlier Marxist-Leninist leaders to discover Mao’s mistakes? Actually, when we do make such a comparison we discover that Mao, more than any of the previous great teachers, analyzed not only the process of revolutionary war in China but also made invaluable contributions to the Marxist line on military affairs generally.[20] This is not surprising, since Mao had much greater experience than any of the previous leaders in waging revolutionary war. Hoxha should also be reminded of Stalin’s statement on this subject in 1926 that ”In China the armed revolution is fighting the armed counterrevolution. That is one of the specific features and one of the advantages of the Chinese Revolution.”[21]

Hoxha’s dogmato-revisionism makes it impossible for him to correctly understand the relationship between politics and warfare. Since in his view opposites cannot be transformed into one another (more on this later), he cannot understand how the revolutionary war itself was in China the principal means to carry out broad scale political work among the masses. Mao made this point clearly in assessing the importance of the Long March:

. . . the Long March is the first of its kind in the annals of history,... it is a manifesto, a propaganda force, a seeding machine. . . The Long March is a manifesto. It has proclaimed to the world that the Red Army is an Army of heroes, while the imperialists and their running dogs, Chiang Kai-shek and his like, are impotent. . . The Long March is also a propaganda force. It has announced to some 200 million people in eleven provinces that the road of the Red Army is their only road to liberation. Without the Long March, how could the broad masses have learned so quickly about the existence of the great truth which the Red Army embodies? The Long March is also a seeding-machine. In the eleven provinces it has sown many seeds which will sprout, leaf, blossom, and bear fruit, and will yield a harvest in the future.. . . Who brought the Long March to victory? The Communist Party. Without the Communist Party, a long march of this kind would have been inconceivable.[22]

It can be seen then that the revolutionary war was not simply a military undertaking but the main form of the class struggle in China. Those who would have insisted that the revolution had to be waged along the model of the Russian Revolution–i.e., a long period of preparation, in which the struggle took principally a political and not military form, followed by insurrection and civil war–would have condemned the Chinese working class and people to no revolution at all.

Hoxha declares that Mao’s whole line of encircling the cities by the countryside meant abandoning the hegemony of the proletariat. The truth is that not to have launched the armed struggle in the countryside would precisely have meant abandoning the leadership (hegemony) of the proletariat in the revolution, specifically over the hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants.

The hegemony of the proletariat means above all the leadership of its vanguard political party, the communist party. It does not mean that the proletariat is necessarily the main force in the revolution (as Hoxha himself is forced to admit). The leadership of the proletariat means the rallying of the masses of the oppressed to the banner of the working class, to its program for the revolution. In the concrete conditions of China, this meant for the proletariat through its Party to step to the front of the struggle against imperialism and feudalism, while at the same time building up the independent political strength of its Communist Party, which alone could lead the revolution to victory and forward to socialism. With this perspective, to have not embarked upon the war in the countryside would have meant that the proletariat would not have been leading the peasantry, and the possibility for revolution would have been lost.

Why couldn’t the revolution triumph first in the cities and then spread to the countryside as the revolution did in Russia, for example? Because cities were not only considered (as Hoxha puts it) the stronghold of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, they were in fact such a stronghold. The cities contained the concentration of the enemy’s troops, and they were easily reached by the troops of the imperialist powers, who were able to most effectively aid the domestic reactionary forces in the cities. The working class was also concentrated in the cities, but it was not strong enough and the conditions were not ripe for it to succeed in launching insurrections and holding power. Indeed the workers attempted such insurrections, which were drowned in blood.

To draw an analogy, one can consider the situation in the world as a whole. Marx and Engels felt, and it was an accepted “principle” of Marxism, that revolution would first come in those countries of Western Europe with the highest development of capitalism. It was not until Lenin and the October Revolution came along that the thesis was developed that revolution would develop first at the weak link of the imperialist system. Lenin was accused by the “orthodox Marxist” Kautsky of abandoning the proletariat for believing that a proletarian revolution could, in fact, first be made in the still predominantly peasant society of Russia. Of course the October Revolution proved Lenin right. Similarly, in China it was not only the case that it was in the countryside where the central contradiction that had to be solved to complete the democratic revolution was concentrated (the land question), but it was here that the power of the reactionaries was weakest and here that the proletariat could lead the masses of people in establishing and holding on to political power.

Hoxha tries to make it sound as if Mao held that in every country the road to victory lies in surrounding the city by the countryside. Quite the contrary. Mao held specifically that the model of the October Revolution, of insurrection in the cities, would be the road to power in the imperialist countries. Furthermore Mao never held that in all dependent and colonial countries the revolution would develop along this path. At first, he was of the opinion that such a possibility was only true in China for a number of specific reasons which he analyzed at length (including the fact that China was not a colony but a semi-colony with various imperialist powers competing to subjugate it; China’s vastness which allowed maneuvering room; etc.). However it has been proven conclusively by the development of the revolutionary struggle, especially in Asia, that Mao’s line on people’s war, of surrounding the cities from the countryside, and so on, has a greater applicability than simply to China. Although the path to power will never be exactly the same in any two countries, it is clear that, for example, the armed struggle in Vietnam essentially developed along the lines first laid out by Mao.

While it is certain that the path of people’s war in which the countryside surrounds the cities will not be universal for all the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, it is equally certain that it is the path many peoples have embarked on and will be the road to victory in many, if not most, such countries. To make a principle of opposing Mao’s line of people’s war is to oppose the revolution in the oppressed countries. Hoxha charges that

the peasant class, the petty-bourgeoisie, cannot lead the proletariat in the revolution. To think and preach the opposite means to be against Marxism-Leninism. Herein lies one of the main sources of the anti-Marxist views of Mao Tsetung, which have had a negative influence on the whole of the Chinese revolution.[23]

Of course Hoxha cannot offer any evidence that Mao thought the peasantry should lead the working class–indeed the whole of Mao’s writings make his opposite view crystal clear, and this point is restated literally dozens of times in Mao’s works. All Hoxha can do is say that since Mao believed that the concentration of the Party’s work had to be in the countryside, since Mao believed that the agrarian question was the principal internal contradiction that had to be solved by the democratic revolution, then for these reasons Mao must have felt that the peasantry was leading the workers!

Mao stated clearly and correctly that ”in the revolution in semi-colonial China, the peasant struggle must always fail if it does not have the leadership of the workers, but the revolution is never harmed if the peasant struggle outstrips the forces of the workers.”[24] To argue that the “leadership” of the proletariat requires that the peasant struggle be abandoned or stifled until the workers’ movement is in an upsurge is to betray the revolution.

In fact, Mao waged a fierce struggle to make sure that proletarian ideology–Marxism-Leninism–exercised hegemony in the Party and ceaselessly fought every kind of deviation, bourgeois and petty-bourgeois, that appeared in its ranks–in both stages of the revolution. He analyzed the different deviations and showed their class basis in society (something we will find Hoxha is completely incapable of when it comes to analyzing the class struggle under socialism). In hitting at the actual petty-bourgeois deviation in the Chinese Communist Party (represented especially by Wang Ming, Hoxha’s apparent hero), Mao makes some points which are very relevant in discussing Hoxha’s outlook. This passage is worth quoting at length:

First, mode of thought. Generally speaking, the petty bourgeoisie, when tackling a problem, thinks in a sub-jectivist and one-sided way, that is, it starts not from an objective, complete picture of the relative strength of classes, but takes its subjective wishes, impressions and idle fancies for actual conditions, a single aspect for all the aspects, a part for the whole and a tree for the woods. Petty-bourgeois intellectuals detached from the practical processes of production have a tendency toward doctrinairism, which we have already mentioned, because they have only book-learning and lack practical knowledge. Petty bourgeois associated with production have a tendency toward empiricism which we have also mentioned, for although these people are not without perceptual knowledge, they suffer from narrowness, indiscipline, isolation and conservatism characteristic of the small producer.

Secondly, political tendency. Politically the petty bourgeoisie tend to vacillate between the “Left” and the Right because of their way of life and their consequent subjective and one-sided mode of thought. Many typical petty-bourgeois revolutionaries long for a quick victory of the revolution, which will bring about a radical change in their present status; consequently, impatient of protracted revolutionary endeavour, they are keenly interested in “Left” revolutionary phrases and slogans and are apt to become sectarian or adventurist in sentiment and action. Such a petty-bourgeois political tendency, when reflected in the Party, gives rise to the above-mentioned “Left” mistakes on the questions of revolutionary tasks, revolutionary bases, tactical direction and military line.

But under different circumstances, the same or another group of petty-bourgeois revolutionaries may express pessimism and despair and, tagging after the bourgeoisie, entertain Right sentiments and views. Chen Tu-hsiu-ism in the latter period of the 1924-27 revolution, Chang Kuo-t’aoism in the latter period of the Agrarian Revolution and the expedient of running away from the enemy in the early period of the Long March were all reflections of such petty-bourgeois Right ideas in the Party. And once after the outbreak of the Anti-Japanese War capitulationism appeared. . . Petty-bourgeois ideology reveals its bad side under the stress of changing conditions in vacillation between “Left” and Right, a tendency to go to extremes, wishful thinking or opportunism. All this is the ideological reflection of their economic instability.[25]

Thus, we see in this passage that Mao was acutely aware of the problem of deviations from Marxism-Leninism in the Party and clearly pointed out their class basis. Elsewhere in the same work quoted above, for example, he addresses the question of those of petty-bourgeois origin who “joined the Party organizationally, but not ideologically or in the full sense, and are often liberals, reformists, anarchists, Blanquists, in a Marxist-Leninist guise and are therefore incapable of leading to victory not only China’s communist movement of tomorrow but even the new-democratic movement of today.” He stressed the need to “educate them and struggle against them in a serious but appropriate and patient manner” or else such people will “try to mould the Party’s features, the features of the vanguard of the proletariat, in their own image and to usurp the leadership in the Party. . . ”[26]

This, of course, was to be a long-term and serious problem facing the Chinese Communist Party which contributed in no small degree to its capture by the capitalist-roaders in the coup of 1976. It is clear that Mao recognized this problem early on, and devoted serious attention to finding the appropriate forms for preserving the proletarian character of the Party.

It is Hoxha, and not Mao, who puts forward a petty-bourgeois, not proletarian, line on the Chinese Revolution–precisely the line Mao summarized above, which in practice can only call for quick victory and reckless advances at one stage of the struggle, and when that does not yield an immediate “prospect” for victory, call for the communists to abandon the leadership of the peasantry, concentrate their work in the cities, and wait (i.e. capitulate) until “more favorable conditions” emerge.

Mao, the Comintern, the USSR and Stalin

In his efforts to paint Mao as a narrow nationalist and a Chinese chauvinist, Hoxha tries to make a case that Mao disobeyed the directives of the Comintern over the basic line of the Chinese revolution, did not regard the Soviet Union as the “fatherland of the world proletariat” and had the nerve to criticize Stalin. Hoxha’s views on this subject are a muddle (which we soon find to be typical for him) of wrong views, half truths and outright lies.

The fact of the matter, again apparent to anyone who has studied Mao’s works, is that Mao and the Chinese Communist Party constantly upheld the Soviet Union and Stalin. He repeatedly referred to the USSR as the homeland of the international proletariat and trained the Chinese communists and the people in this spirit. This is beyond question. Mao correctly understood the earth-shaking importance of the October Revolution and the importance of the existence of a powerful socialist state in the USSR in changing the entire political complexion of the globe. Mao pointed out that the “salvoes of the October Revolution brought Marxism-Leninism to China.” And it certainly cannot be said that statements like the following underestimate the importance of the Soviet Union to the success of the Chinese Revolution:

China cannot possibly gain her independence without the assistance of the land of socialism and the international proletariat. That is, she cannot do so without the help of the Soviet Union and the help which the proletariat of Japan, Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Italy and other countries provide through their struggles against capitalism. Although no one can say that the victory of the Chinese revolution must wait upon the victory of the revolution in all of these countries, or in one or two of them, there is no doubt that we cannot win without the added strength of their proletariat. In particular, Soviet assistance is absolutely indispensable for China’s final victory in the War of Resistance. Refuse Soviet assistance, and the revolution will fail.[27]

As far as Stalin and the Comintern were concerned, Mao did in fact agree with the basic line set forth by Stalin on the Chinese Revolution. We have already seen with regard to the cardinal questions of the Chinese Revolution–specifically the key role of the peasantry and the agrarian revolution, the bourgeois-democratic character of the revolution, the fact that armed revolution directly confronted the armed counter-revolution–that it is Hoxha and not Mao who has departed from the basic principles formulated by Stalin.

What Mao did insist is that the Chinese Revolution could not be a carbon copy of the Russian revolution, as some dogmatists insisted, and further that the task remained to integrate the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete conditions of the Chinese Revolution. Furthermore, it is quite clear that Stalin, and especially the representatives of the Comintern in China, made numerous and serious mistakes regarding the Chinese Revolution when they attempted to map out more particularly the direction of the Chinese Revolution.

This can be seen on several occasions. At the time of the 1924-27 Revolution, the Comintern representatives in China–particularly Borodin–played a very bad role in the revolution, supporting the line of “unity above all” with the Kuomintang and Chiang Kai-shek. As Mao was to say, “Borodin stood just a little to the right of Chen Tu-hsiu, and was ready to do everything to please the bourgeoisie, even to the disarming of the workers, which he finally ordered.”[28] Although it must be said that Borodin went to the right of many of the actual positions officially held by the Comintern, this alone cannot explain his errors. Chiang Kai-shek had been made an honorary member of the Executive Committee of the Comintern, a position which he held well into 1927, after his nature was clear. Furthermore Stalin himself held out unrealistic expectations that the Wuhan government of the KMT (which he incorrectly characterized as petty-bourgeois) would continue the alliance with the communists after Chiang deserted the revolution.

It is quite clear that the Comintern gave bad advice to the Chinese Party, as is openly admitted by everybody except Enver Hoxha. Borodin himself told Anna Louise Strong in 1939 that “I was wrong, I did not understand the Chinese Revolution... I made so many mistakes.”[29]

Even after the massacre of tens of thousands of communists and workers had begun, the right opportunist leadership, with the support of Borodin and the other Comintern representatives, and over the opposition of Mao, ordered the workers to disarm and tried to stop the peasant movement, all in the hopes of appeasing the socalled “left wing” of the KMT.

Stalin, who we have seen held a generally correct line on the key role of mobilizing the peasantry, himself made a serious mistake when in October 1926 he sent a telegram to Shanghai stating that until Shanghai was captured, the agrarian movement should not be intensified and urging “caution and restraint.” Stalin admitted that the telegram was a mistake and pointed out that he “never regarded and do not now regard the Comintern as being infallible.”[30]

Stalin cancelled the telegram several weeks later and in November the Comintern resolution correctly emphasized the need to mobilize the peasantry. But the telegram played a seriously damaging role, lending the prestige of the CPSU and the Comintern to the right wing line being pushed by Chen Tu-shiu and Borodin.

Stalin made an important statement in regards to the relationship of the Comintern to the Chinese Revolution which should also help to illustrate Hoxha’s wrong views:

Notwithstanding the ideological progress of our Party, there are still, unfortunately, “leaders” of a sort in it who sincerely believe that the revolution in China can be directed, so to speak, by telegraph, on the basis of the universally recognized general principles of the Comintern, disregarding the national peculiarities of China’s economy, political system, culture, manners and customs, and traditions. What, in fact, distinguishes these “leaders” from real leaders is that they always have in their pockets two or three ready-made formulas, “suitable” for all countries and “obligatory” under all conditions. The necessity of taking into account the nationally peculiar and nationally specific features of each country does not exist for them....

They do not understand that the chief task of leadership, now that the Communist Parties have grown and become mass parties, is to discover, to grasp, the nationally peculiar features of the movement in each country and skillfully co-ordinate them with the Comintern’s general principles, in order to facilitate and make feasible the basic aims of the Communist movement.

Hence the attempts to stereotype the leadership for all countries. Hence the attempts mechanically to implant certain general formulas, regardless of the concrete conditions of the movement in different countries. Hence the endless conflicts between the formulas and the revolutionary movement in the different countries, as the main outcome of the leadership of these pseudo-leaders.[31]

Compare Stalin’s statement with Hoxha’s typical jumble:

In this period [since 1935–JW] Mao Tsetung and his supporters launched a “theoretical” campaign under the slogan of the struggle against “dogmatism,” “ready-made patterns,” “foreign stereotypes,” etc., and raised the problem of elaborating a national Marxism, negating the universal character of Marxism-Leninism. Instead of Marxism-Leninism he preached the “Chinese way” of treating problems, and the Chinese style “... lively and fresh, pleasant to the ears and eyes of the Chinese people,” in this way propagating the revisionist thesis that in each country Marxism should have its individual, specific content.[32]

Before showing what Mao actually said in the passage Hoxha is “quoting,” it is worth noting that Hoxha completely negates the struggle against dogmatism that Stalin called for, and simply ridicules the idea that “foreign stereotypes” or “ready-made patterns” could be a problem in the Party and the revolutionary movement. His purpose is clear, in that he wants to impose the Albanian Party’s own stereotyped line on the entire international communist movement. As far as the charge that Mao negated the “universal character of Marxism-Leninism,” once again we will let Mao speak for himself–and once again from the very paragraph (and the one that precedes it) which Hoxha is “quoting”:

The theory of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin is universally applicable. We should regard it not as a dogma, but as a guide to action. Studying it is not merely a matter of learning terms and phrases but of learning Marxism-Leninism as the essence of revolution. It is not just a matter of understanding the general laws derived by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin from their extensive study of real life and revolutionary experience, but of studying their standpoint and method in examining and solving problems. Our Party’s mastery of Marxism-Leninism is now rather better than it used to be, but is still far from being extensive or deep. Ours is the task of leading a great nation of several hundred million in a great and unprecedented struggle. For us, therefore, the spreading and deepening of the study of Marxism-Leninism present a big problem demanding an early solution which is possible only through concentrated effort. . .

. . . Being Marxists, Communists are internationalists, but we can put Marxism into practice only when it is integrated with the specific characteristics of our country and acquires a definite national form. The great strength of Marxism-Leninism lies precisely in its integration with the concrete revolutionary practice of all countries. For the Chinese Communist Party, it is a matter of learning to apply the theory of Marxism-Leninism to the specific circumstances of China. For the Chinese Communists who are part of the great Chinese nation, flesh of its flesh and blood of its blood, any talk about Marxism in isolation from China’s characteristics is merely Marxism in the abstract, Marxism in a vacuum. Hence to apply Marxism concretely in China so that its every manifestation has an indubitably Chinese character, i.e., to apply Marxism in the light of China’s specific characteristics, becomes a problem which it is urgent for the whole Party to understand and solve. Foreign stereotypes must be abolished, there must be less singing of empty, abstract tunes, and dogmatism must be laid to rest; they must be replaced by the fresh, lively Chinese style and spirit which the common people of China love. To separate internationalist content from national form is the practice of those who do not understand the first thing about internationalism. We, on the contrary, must link the two closely. In this matter there are serious errors in our ranks which should be conscientiously overcome.[33]

Thus we can see through the disgusting deceit that Enver Hoxha is trying to perpetrate, as well as the fact that he himself understands nothing of this question. Mao is stressing that Marxism-Leninism is universally applicable because it can and must be applied to the concrete conditions of each country. Of course, this is not a new discovery of Mao’s, but a basic principle of Marxism–although a principle which has not found its way into Hoxha’s thinking. To argue differently–that the analyses, strategy and tactics developed by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, or for that matter Mao, forged in the course of their revolutionary practice, can simply be imposed on any set of circumstances–is really to “negate” the real process of integrating Marxism with the revolutionary movement, as well as being a total liquidation of the meaning of dialectical materialism. This will only lead to the defeat of the proletarian party and the surrendering of leadership in the revolution.

We can also see from Hoxha’s hatchet job the deliberate effort to misrepresent what Mao is actually saying. Hoxha claims that Mao is “propagating the revisionist thesis that in each country Marxism should have its individual, specific content.” But Mao says very clearly that the content of Marxism and internationalism acquire a definite “national form.” Is Hoxha incapable of understanding the difference between form and content, or does he choose to lie just to confuse matters?

Mao, Stalin and Khrushchev

Unfortunately 1927 was not the last time in the history of the Chinese Revolution that the Comintern gave poor advice to the Chinese communists. We have already pointed out that the Wang Ming line, which Hoxha so stubbornly defends long after it has been proven to be wrong, was to varying degrees supported by the Comintern and perhaps by Stalin as well. From 1935 onward, during the period of the war against Japan, Wang Ming generally proposed a capitulationist line, and once again had the support of the Comintern in doing so. Wang Ming called for a “united government of national defense” in direct opposition to Mao’s call for a “people’s republic” and for a united front against Japan. Wang Ming at this time supported Chiang Kai-shek’s condition for unity with the Communists–namely that Chiang be given control over the Red Army. Of course Mao vigorously fought–and defeated–this.

This same tendency came out in much sharper form in 1945, following the defeat of Japan. At that time Stalin argued strenuously that the Chinese Communist Party should cast away any perspective of completing the bourgeois-democratic revolution in the near future and should instead fight for a legal role in a bourgeois republic led by Chiang Kai-shek. In response to the situation following the defeat of Japan, Mao did, correctly, enter into negotiations with Chiang, but at the same time he made very clear that any coalition government that was formed would have to be on the basis of preserving the independence of the Communist Party, its base areas, and its army. It was in 1945 that Mao put forward his famous statement “without a People’s Army the people have nothing” as a direct rebuke to those who would have had the People’s Army dissolve and be absorbed unconditionally into a Chiang government. It should be noted that this policy, which was being urged on the Chinese Party, was the line that many of the parties of Western Europe (in France, Italy and Greece, for example) followed at the time, with the result that any immediate prospect for revolution was lost.

And in 1946, when the revisionist wind was blowing full force in many of the communist parties in the world under the cover of the compromises the Soviet Union was making with the major imperialist powers it had been allied with during the war, Mao made a very salient observation:

Such compromise does not require the people in the countries of the capitalist world to follow suit and make compromises at home. The people in those countries will continue to wage different struggles in accordance with their different conditions. The principle of the reactionary forces in dealing with the democratic forces of the people is definitely to destroy all they can and to prepare to destroy later whatever they cannot destroy now. Face to face with this situation, the democratic forces of the people should likewise apply the same principle to the reactionary forces.[34]

The rest is history. Mao led the Party in waging the civil war against Chiang Kai-shek (in reality a war of liberation against U.S. imperialism and its domestic props, represented by Chiang) that led to nationwide victory in 1949. Up until the very end Stalin doubted their ability to seize power and continued to deal with Chiang’s government (including the granting of military aid) as though it would last for a long time.

Unlike Hoxha, however, Stalin was quick to admit his error in underestimating the strength of the Chinese Revolution and the possibility of its victory over the reactionary KMT regime. Stalin said straightforwardly that he was glad to have been proven wrong.

But despite Hoxha’s charge that Mao “casts the blame on the Comintern and its representatives in China” for the defeats and deviations in the Party,[35] in fact Mao put the blame on those Chinese “Communists” who insisted on blindly following others and who attempted to use their support from the Soviets as capital with which to promote incorrect lines. Again, it is worthwhile to look at Hoxha’s excerpt from Mao and compare it to the actual text. Hoxha notes that Mao said that Stalin made “a number of mistakes in connection with China. The ’Left’ adventurism pursued by Wang Ming in the latter part of the Second Revolutionary Civil War period and his Right opportunism in the early days of the War of Resistance Against Japan can both be traced to Stalin.”[36]

This quote, along with some other points, is, according to Hoxha, an example of Mao’s “attack against Stalin, intended to disparage his work and authority, to raise Mao Tsetung’s authority to the rank of a world leader, a classic of Marxism-Leninism, who allegedly has always pursued a correct and infallible line!”[37]

In fact the quotes that Hoxha uses are far from an attempt to “disparage” Stalin’s work, but rather taken from a passage of Mao’s defending Stalin against the attack of the Khrushchevite revisionists. The paragraph Hoxha quotes (selectively) from actually reads like this:

In the Soviet Union, those who once extolled Stalin to the skies have now in one swoop consigned him to purgatory. Here in China some people are following their example. It is the opinion of the Central Committee that Stalin’s mistakes amounted to only 30 per cent of the whole and his achievements to 70 per cent, and that all things considered Stalin was nonetheless a great Marxist. We wrote “On the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat” on the basis of this evaluation. This assessment of 30 per cent for mistakes and 70 per cent for achievements is just about right. Stalin did a number of wrong things in connection with China. The “Left” adventurism pursued by Wang Ming in the latter part of the Second Revolutionary Civil War period and his Right opportunism in the early days of the War of Resistance Against Japan can both be traced to Stalin. At the time of War of Liberation, Stalin first enjoined us not to press on with the revolution, maintaining that if civil war flared up, the Chinese nation would run the risk of destroying itself. Then when fighting did erupt, he took us half seriously, half sceptically. When we won the war, Stalin suspected that ours was a victory of the Tito type, and in 1949 and 1950 the pressure on us was very strong indeed. Even so, we maintain the estimate of 30 percent for his mistakes and 70 per cent for his achievements. This is only fair.[38]

Several things are worth noting about this statement. First, it was written in April of 1956, only months after Khrushchev’s “secret speech” condemning Stalin and at a time when the Albanian Party, including Hoxha, had not yet seen through Khrushchevite revisionism. Secondly, in outlining Stalin’s errors in regards to the Chinese revolution, Mao was not telling anybody anything that wasn’t well known in China. What he was emphasizing was that despite these errors Stalin had to be upheld as a “great Marxist.” And he was criticizing those who were following Khrushchev’s wild and hysterical revisionism.

It is interesting to note that in Hoxha’s book he doesn’t dare repeat the lie that is found in some of his other statements of the past several years (and which some of the sects who follow him have broadcast)–that the Albanian Party initiated the struggle against modern revisionism. Such a claim is completely at variance with the facts based on public statements. In a backhanded way, however, Hoxha tries to slip it in the back door by saying the ties between the Albanian and Chinese Parties became closer “especially when the Communist Party of China, too, entered into open conflict with the Khrushchevite revisionists.”[39] The following statement by Mao in November 1956 makes very clear what Mao’s attitude was toward Stalin and Khrushchevite revisionism:

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

As for the sword of Lenin, hasn’t it too been discarded to a certain extent by some Soviet leaders? In my view, it has been discarded to a considerable extent. Is the October Revolution still valid? Can it still serve as the example for all countries? Khrushchov’s report at the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union says it is possible to seize state power by the parliamentary road, that is to say, it is no longer necessary for all countries to learn from the October Revolution. Once this gate is opened, by and large Leninism is thrown away.[40]

Thus we can see clearly that Mao understood the essence of the Stalin question and the essence of Khrushchevite revisionism at a time when, by their own admission, the nature of Khrushchev was “not well recognized” by the Albanian Party, which “was not yet fully convinced” of Khrushchev’s revisionism.[41] We search in vain through Hoxha’s Selected Works, looking for anything during this period in the late 1950s which evinces an understanding anywhere near Mao’s of the meaning of what was happening in the Soviet Union. All that is to be found is the recognition that after the 20th Congress the imperialists and others (like the Yugoslavians) took advantage of Khrushchev’s attack on Stalin to attack socialism, and complaints that the Soviet Union had softened its stand on Yugoslavia;[42] and even here, while it was of course correct to attack Tito’s blatant revisionism, Hoxha’s concern often has overtones more of narrow nationalism than of proletarian internationalism, with Hoxha expressing the fear of “ . . intervention by the Yugoslav army under the pretext of saving socialism in Albania.”[43] The point is not that this fear was unwarranted–for it did have some foundation–but that the works from this period which the Albanian Party has chosen to reprint do not show Hoxha making any attempt at an analysis of the general line coming out of the CPSU’s 20th Congress.

Of course there is at least one work by Hoxha which is referred to in the notes of his Selected Works but is not printed there. This is a speech delivered “at the solemn meeting on the 15th anniversary of the founding of the PLA, on November 8, 1956.”[44] This would appear to be the same, or the same in substance, as the article ’The Party of Labour of Albania Completes its 15th Year’, written by comrade Enver Hoxha and published in the newspaper ’Pravda’, on November 8, 1956,”[45] which, Hoxha notes, “was published in full in ’Pravda’, without any alteration.”[46] Actually it is not too surprising that the Albanian Party preferred not to republish this, for in fact, while attacking Yugoslavia and Titoism, it gives virtually unqualified endorsement to the 20th Congress![47]

Of course, it is not that everyone has to be absolutely clear on every question right from the beginning or else be branded a renegade. The question is, rather, how can Hoxha justify puffing himself up and pretending to be the grand old man in the fight against Soviet revisionism when the evidence shows that he vacillated, betrayed a very partial understanding of what was going on, and could not offer anything approaching the level of the analysis of the revisionist takeover in the USSR which the Chinese Communist Party made under Mao’s leadership.

And later, it was by no means a matter of the CPC “too” entering into open conflict with Soviet revisionism. It was, of course, the Chinese Communist Party (under Mao’s leadership, it need hardly be added) which opened the public conflict over the revisionist theses of the Soviet 20th Congress on April 16, 1960, with the publication of “Long Live Leninism!” in the Party’s theoretical journal Red Flag. The Chinese Party continued this attack at the meeting of the World Federation of Trade Unions in Peking in June 1960. Later that month, at the Third Congress of the Rumanian Communist Party in Bucharest, representatives of various communist parties in attendance there met “. .. in order to fix the place and date of a meeting of all the parties, at which they will discuss, among other things, the disagreements existing between the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China.” This quotation describing the purpose of the meeting is from Enver Hoxha, writing at the time, and he goes on to say: “We must listen not only to what the Soviet comrades say, but also to what the Chinese say, and then have our say in the discussion.”[48] Later that year, when such a meeting was held (November 1960 in Moscow), Hoxha’s speech there was clearly oriented toward supporting the analysis and stand of the Chinese Communist Party–supporting the Chinese rejection of the “new” theses of the 20th Congress, a rejection which the Albanians had now decided was correct.

For Hoxha now to present himself as the leader in the fight against Soviet revisionism and accuse Mao of “vacillation” is ludicrous.


[2] Ibid., pp. 114-15.

[3] Mao Tsetung, Selected Works, Vol. 1 (Peking 1975), p. 24.

[4] J.V. Stalin, “The Prospects of the Revolution in China,” Works, Vol. 8 (Moscow, 1954), p. 385.

[5] Stalin, “The Political Complexion of the Russian Opposition,” Works, Vol. 10 (Moscow, 1954), p. 161.

[5a] ’The same thesis can be found at several points in Stalin’s writings on China, as well as in Comintern resolutions on the Chinese revolution. See, for example, the Resolution of the Eighth Executive Committee of the Communist International [ECCI] Plenum on the Chinese Question (May 1927), which held that:
“Agrarian revolution, including confiscation and nationalization of the land–that is the fundamental internal socio-economic content of the new stage of the Chinese revolution. . . and the communist party should put itself at the head of this movement and lead it.”[6]
Or, again, the June 1930 ECCI Resolution on the Chinese Question:
“The agrarian question lies at the centre of the Chinese revolution. The revolution develops in the form of peasant wars led by the proletariat.”[7]
This is not to say, of course, that either Stalin or the Comintern were always correct in their analysis of, or recommendations for, the Chinese revolution.

[6] The Communist International, 1919-1943: Documents, ed. Jane Degras, Vol. II: 1923-1928 (London, 1960), p. 386.

[7] Ibid., Vol. III: 1929-1943 (London, 1965), p. 120.

[8] Hoxha, op. cit, p. 114.

[9] Mao, “On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialism,” Selected Works, Vol. 1, p. 170.

[9a] ’Whether the Albanian translators deliberately cite the Albanian edition of Mao’s works to prevent the reader from checking Hoxha’s hatchet jobs against the original, or whether it is simply a case of taking an extremely irresponsible course in the light of such an important question, we will leave to the reader to decide. In either case, it makes it virtually impossible for the great majority of the readers to refer to the original, especially when the articles in Mao’s Selected Works are not cited.

[10] Hoxha, op. cit.

[11] Mao, “On New Democracy,” Selected Works, Vol. 2 (Peking, 1975), p. 358.

[11a] Of course the other possibility is that Hoxha is deliberately throwing what he very well knows is slander at Mao. In any case, it is obvious that the revolution in Albania was of a two-stage nature, and the PLA, in its official history, seems to understand this quite well, noting that the Albanian revolution was at first “an anti-imperialist democratic revolution” which later developed into a socialist revolution, and explaining that “... in the first stage of the revolution the strategic objective of the Party was to ensure national independence and the establishment of the order of people’s democracy.”[12] Further, the Albanian Party’s line following the liberation of Albania is explained as follows:
“Under the new conditions, the Party advanced the slogan of national unity. Besides the broad masses of the people who had taken an active part in the war for national liberation, this union should include also all those who had been deceived by the reactionary chieftains or had stood aloof but now could make their contribution to the building of our new society.”[13]
This would certainly seem to amount to consolidating a stage which is rather far removed from socialism! Actually, this may have been a correct line for the Communist Party of Albania (as it was called at the time) to take. The point here is not whether it was correct or incorrect (although the Albanian Party itself admits to a series of rightist errors during this period);[14] the point is that for Hoxha to have played a leading role in a revolution which had a clear democratic stage, one which Hoxha and the Party saw at the time as a stage lasting for a while after power was seized, and for him then to turn around and accuse Mao of some sort of heresy for his development of the theory of the new-democratic revolution–this begins to smack more of deliberate subterfuge than of mere confusion on Hoxha’s part.

[12] History of the Party of Labor of Albania (Tirana, 1971), p. 175.

[13] Ibid., p. 253.

[14] Ibid., pp. 266-67, 321.

[15] Hoxha, pp. 48-49.

[16] Stalin, “The Revolution in China and the Tasks of the Comintern,” Works, Vol. 9 (Moscow, 1954), p. 297.

[17] Mao, “On New Democracy,” op. cit, p. 344.

[18] Ibid., p. 347.

[19] Hoxha, p. 65.

[20] See Part 2: “Revolutionary War and Military Line” in the series, Mao Tsetung’s Immortal Contributions in Revolution, June 1978. This series is now reprinted as a book, published by RCP Publications (Chicago, 1979).

[21] Stalin, “The Prospects of the Revolution in China,” Works, Vol. 8, p. 379; emphasis added.

[22] Mao, “On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialism,” Selected Works, Vol. 1, p. 160.

[23] Hoxha, p. 115.

[24] Mao, “A Single Spark Can Start A Prairie Fire,” Selected Works, Vol. 1, p. 123, quoting and endorsing a letter from the Front Committee to the Central Committee.

[25] From “Resolution on Some Questions in the History of Our Party,” printed as an appendix to Mao’s article, “Our Study and the Current Situation,” in the 1965 edition of Vol. 3 of Mao’s Selected Works (quote from pp. 215-17).

[26] Ibid.

[27] Mao, “On New Democracy, op. cit, p. 355.

[28] Quoted by Han Suyin, The Morning Deluge: Mao Tsetung and the Chinese Revolution, 1893-1954 (Boston, 1972), p. 114.

[29] Ibid., p. 156.

[30] Stalin, “The International Situation and the Defense of the U.S.S.R.,” Works, Vol. 10, p. 18.

[31] Stalin, “Notes on Contemporary Themes,” Works, Vol. 9, pp. 338-39.

[32] Hoxha, p. 108.

[33] Mao, “The Role of the Chinese Communist Party in the National War,” Selected Works, Vol. 2, pp. 208-210.

[34] Mao, “Some Points in Appraisal of the Present International Situation,” Selected Works, Vol. 4, pp. 87-88.

[35] Hoxha, p. 120.

[36] Ibid., p. 119.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Mao, “On the Ten Major Relationships,” Selected Works, Vol. 5 (Peking, 1975), p. 304.

[39] Hoxha, p. 105; emphasis added.

[40] Mao, “Speech at the Second Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China,” Selected Works, Vol. 5, p. 341.

[41] History of the Party of Labor of Albania, p. 414; Enver Hoxha, Selected Works, Vol. 2 (Tirana, 1975), p. 484, editorial note.

[42] See, e.g., Hoxha, ibid., pp. 626, 638, 676.

[43] Ibid., p. 637.

[44] Ibid., p. 623, note.

[45] Ibid., p. 624, editorial note.

[46] Hoxha, ibid., p. 624.

[47] “Albania Labor Party is 15 years old,” Pravda, Nov. 8, 1956, p. 3.

[48] “Always Follow a Correct Line” (Hoxha’s contribution to the discussion at the meeting of the Political Bureau of the CC of the PLA, June 22, 1960), Albania Challenges Khrushchev Revisionism ([Translation from Vol. 19 of Hoxha’s Works] N.Y., 1976), pp. 2 and 3.