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

III. On Continuing the Revolution Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat

It was in developing the theory and practice of “continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat” that Mao Tsetung made his greatest contribution to and development of the science of Marxism-Leninism. This truth came to be recognized by all the genuine Marxist-Leninists in the course of the struggle against modern revisionism, and especially in the course of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. In fact, Hoxha and the Albanian Party spoke highly of this contribution of Mao’s. It can be said that the recognition of this development of Marxism-Leninism by Mao was, and is, a cardinal point of demarcation between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism. Thus it comes as no surprise that in his attempts to dethrone Mao from the position as one of the great classic Marxist-Leninist teachers and leaders, Hoxha launches an hysterical, frenzied assault on the Cultural Revolution, without, however, ever trying to confront directly the theoretical teachings of Mao and the revolutionaries who fought together with him on this question.

Hoxha’s summary of the Cultural Revolution is remarkable for its superficiality as well as its reactionary line:

The course of events showed that the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was neither a revolution, nor great, nor cultural, and in particular, not in the least proletarian. It was a palace putsch on an all-China scale for the liquidation of a handful of reactionaries who had seized power.

Of course [!], this Cultural Revolution was a hoax. It liquidated both the Communist Party of China, and the mass organizations, and plunged China into new chaos. This revolution was led by non-Marxist elements [read: the Four], who have been liquidated through a military putsch staged by other anti-Marxist and fascist elements.[76]

Thus we have Hoxha’s basic thesis–far from original–that the Cultural Revolution was nothing more nor less than a factional power struggle manipulated by a handful of leaders at the top of the Communist Party. What it shows is that he is unable to understand the dialectical development of socialist society and thus is completely at a loss to understand the Cultural Revolution and its world-historic lessons.

The Cultural Revolution is hated by Hoxha because it went entirely against his deep-rooted metaphysical world outlook, in which stability, unity and harmony are the principal characteristics of the universe and certainly the highest goals to strive for in earthly society. “Chaos” is Enver Hoxha’s favorite epithet to hurl at the Cultural Revolution, for the concept of “chaos”–and in fact the struggle between opposites, the class struggle, revolution itself– goes against the Hoxha vision of the world and of where it is heading, which, as noted before, has much more in common with the religious conception of “heaven” than it does with dialectical materialism. Before going on with an examination of Hoxha’s metaphysical world outlook, which is at the root of his entire attack on Mao, it is useful to examine the particular “chaos” he found so repugnant in China, the Cultural Revolution.

In the Cultural Revolution Mao committed the Ultimate Sin for the dogmato-revisionists–unleashing the revolutionary masses to struggle against and seize power from the leading capitalist-roaders within the Party who had usurped portions of Party and state power. If we are to take Hoxha at his word, he had no quarrel with going after those against whom the Cultural Revolution was directed–namely, Liu Shao-chi and Teng Hsiao-ping’s revisionist headquarters (although we will see that his “opposition” to their line is more imaginary than real). But to unleash a torrent of mass struggle on an unprecedented scale, to not conduct the struggle through the orderly processes of the Party and state, and most importantly, to rely directly on the masses–the workers, peasants, soldiers and students–this was something else again!

Here is what Hoxha writes:

When we saw that this Cultural Revolution was not being led by the party but was a chaotic outburst following a call issued by Mao Tsetung, this did not seem to us to be a revolutionary stand. It was Mao’s authority in China that made millions of unorganized youth, students and pupils, rise to their feet and march on Peking, on party and state committees, which they dispersed. It was said that these young people represented the “proletarian ideology” in China at that time and would show the party and the proletarians the “true” road! “This grave situation stemmed from MaoTsetung’s old anti-Marxist concepts of underestimation of the leading role of the proletariat and overestimation of the youth in the revolution. Mao wrote: “What role did the Chinese young people begin to play since the ’May 4th Movement’? In a way they began to play a vanguard role–a fact recognized by everybody in our country except the ultra-reactionaries. What is a vanguard role? It means taking the lead. ...

Thus the working class was left on the sidelines, and there were many instances when it opposed the red guards and even fought them. Our comrades, who were in China at the time, have seen with their own eyes factory workers fighting the youth. The party was disintegrated. It was liquidated, and the communists and the proletariat were totally disregarded. This was a very grave situation.[77]

Imagine that! The Albanian comrades actually saw “with their own eyes” factory workers fighting students! Hoxha’s attitude can only be compared to Adam’s after taking a bite out of the apple. It’s lucky Hoxha didn’t himself go to China during the Cultural Revolution, or he may have seen workers fighting workers and dropped dead of a heart attack right on the spot. The truly amazing question, and one we cannot answer at this time, is how Hoxha could actually have gone through a revolution and still utter such inanities.

The fact that during the Cultural Revolution Party committees were dissolved, the regular functioning of the Party’s chain of command to a large degree suspended and so on are well known–they have always been harped upon by the Soviet revisionists as proof of Mao’s “idealism” and ultra-“leftism”. (Wang Ming’s writings from Moscow–where he ended his career as an apologist for Soviet revisionism–again are particularly instructive, and after reading them one would suggest that his heirs sue Hoxha for plagiarism!) One understands why the Soviets don’t want to talk about what was the nature of the Party committees that were dissolved, what line they were following, and so on, but one would hope for a little better from Enver Hoxha. Instead all we hear is about the form and not the content of the Party committees. And since people know very well what the actual content of those Party committees was and what line they were following, it cannot help but make the reader suspect that, despite Hoxha’s protestations, he considers the “communists” so rudely “disregarded” to be none other than the Party bureaucrats aligned with Liu Shao-chi.

The situation Mao was addressing at the start of the Cultural Revolution in 1966 is quite clear. The revisionist headquarters in the Party led by Liu Shao-chi had succeeded in usurping power in many of the key industries, towns and provinces. Teng Hsiao-ping, in his capacity of General Secretary of the Party, held a hammerlock on the chains of command of the Party. Revisionism was dominant on the cultural and educational fronts. The revisionist line was being followed by a great many directors of factories and so on. This situation enabled the bourgeois headquarters to thwart the revolutionary line of Mao, severely hamper the training of the masses in Marxism-Leninism, and use a great deal of the organizational structure of the Party as a weapon to suppress and control the masses. (That this situation was not a result of Mao’s “errors” or “liberalism” is a matter we will return to shortly.) The strength of the revisionist headquarters can be seen not only by examining the documents and policies that were prevalent at the time in the Chinese Party, but also by their subsequent strength in China even after being dealt some big defeats in the Cultural Revolution. For it is above all the old Liu Shao-chi headquarters, to which Teng is the rightful heir, together with the part of the bureaucracy loyal to Chou En-lai, that played the central role in the counterrevolutionary coup of 1976. The intensity with which the capitalist-roaders in China have attacked all the gains of the revolution and the speed with which they are restoring the capitalist system both indicate the real strength of this class. The notion that it could have been eliminated by merely reshuffling the make-up of the key bodies of the Party and putting out a directive or two would be laughable if it weren’t criminal, especially in light of what has happened in China. Similarly, the program of the current revisionist rulers in China makes clear what it was that Mao and the revolutionary Left were fighting, that it was not simply an apolitical battle between “factions” but a battle between classes to decide along what line, what road, the bourgeois or the proletarian, China would advance.

It seems that Hoxha’s advice to the revolutionaries in China comes down again to the tired refrain of the opportunists of Marx’s day on the Paris Commune and Plekhanov’s comments on the 1905 Revolution that “they should not have taken to arms.” Of course the question wasn’t whether to take up armed struggle, but it was a question of whether an actual revolution was called for, a political uprising directed against the top people in the Party taking the capitalist road. And, while it had particular features, occurring as it did under the dictatorship of the proletariat, it remains true that, like any revolution, the Cultural Revolution could only advance through turbulent struggle. It could not but have counter-currents within it and involve different sections of the revolutionary masses who brought into the struggle their own prejudices and limitations and, at times, contradictory outlooks and programs. And, like any revolution, it could not help but be met by fierce and stubborn resistance–not only from the targets of the revolution who represented only a very small percentage of Chinese society and of the Party–but also from among sections of the masses themselves, including even many workers, who could be mobilized to one degree or another and at certain junctures as part of the social base and the social movement of the reactionaries. This is not simply a feature of the Cultural Revolution, it is a law of class struggle, of revolution in general. Here it might be helpful to recall Lenin’s famous comment on the Easter Rebellion of the Irish people in 1916, directed at those who tried to use “Marxism” to ridicule, downplay and slander that heroic uprising as a “putsch” and by so doing ended in objective unity with the imperialist bourgeoisie.

The term “putsch,” in its scientific sense, may be employed only when the attempt at insurrection has revealed nothing but a circle of conspirators or stupid maniacs, and has aroused no sympathy among the masses. The centuries-old Irish national movement, having passed through various stages and combinations of class interest, manifested itself, in particular, in a mass Irish National Congress in America. . which called for Irish independence; it also manifested itself in street fighting conducted by section of the urban petty bourgeoisie and a section of the workers after a long period of mass agitation, demonstrations, suppression of newspapers, etc. Whoever calls such a rebellion a “putsch” is either a hardened reactionary, or a doctrinaire hopelessly incapable of envisaging a social revolution as a living phenomenon.

To imagine that social revolution is conceivable without revolts by small nations in the colonies and in Europe, without revolutionary outbursts by a section of the petty bourgeoisie with all its prejudices, without a movement of the politically non-conscious proletarian and semi-proletarian masses against oppression by the landowners, the church, and the monarchy, against national oppression, etc.–to imagine all this is to repudiate social revolution. So one army lines up in one place and says, “We are for socialism”, and another, somewhere else and says, “We are for imperialism”, and that will be a social revolution! Only those who hold such a ridiculously pedantic view could vilify the Irish rebellion by calling it a “putsch”.

Whoever expects a “pure” social revolution will never live to see it. Such a person pays lip-service to revolution without understanding what revolution is.[78]

Lenin’s words strike hard at the dogmato-revisionist line of Enver Hoxha, which leads him to slander the most massive, sustained and conscious revolutionary upsurge in the history of the world as “a palace putsch on an all-China scale.”

Let us look further at the way Hoxha treats the question of youth, of the role they can play as an initiating factor in the revolution. He condemns the Cultural Revolution because ”millions of unorganized youth, students and pupils” rose to their feet and marched on Peking. The theoretical basis for this “error,” according to Hoxha, is found in Mao’s famous work “Orientation of the Youth Movement,” where Mao has the audacity to say that “in a way” Chinese youth began to play a vanguard role, which he defines as ”taking the lead and marching in the forefront of the revolutionary ranks.”[79]

Again, we will have to agree with Mao and not with Hoxha. First of all, it is a fact, undeniable by anyone with the slightest concern for historical accuracy, that Chinese youth did “in a way” play a vanguard role in the May 4th Movement in China and subsequently. It is equally undeniable that this historical experience, of youth “taking the lead,” of “marching in the forefront of the revolutionary ranks” has been repeated numerous times and throughout history. Today we see this before our very eyes in Iran, where the youth, including the students and young intellectuals, have stood in the forefront of that mighty movement, helping to arouse the broad masses of the Iranian proletariat and people, and sacrificing their lives in the armed struggle. Indeed, it is difficult to comprehend any truly great and profound revolutionary process in which this wasn’t true to a large degree.

But for Hoxha, the dynamic role of youth–their daring, their desire to destroy the old world, and so on–is really more of a liability than an asset, something to be attacked and stifled unless it can be “led” (by which he really means controlled) by the working class and its party. (As with the peasant question, at issue is not whether or not youth will rise up, but whether to lead or to stifle the initiative of the youth.)

What does it mean for the working class and its party to “lead” the youth? According to Hoxha it means that the youth should trail passively at the rear of the working class, and heaven forbid the thought that the youth might themselves have a kind of vanguard, that is leading, role to play in mobilizing and organizing the broad ranks of the people.

Mao is, of course, quite clear that in an overall sense it is the working class that must provide leadership in the revolution. In the companion article to the one Hoxha quotes,[79a] Mao makes quite clear the basic class relationships:

China’s democratic revolution depends on definite social forces for its accomplishment. These social forces are the working class, the peasantry, the intelligentsia and the progressive section of the bourgeoisie,. . . with the workers and peasants as the basic revolutionary forces and the workers as the class which leads the revolution. It is impossible to accomplish the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal democratic revolution without these basic revolutionary forces and without the leadership of the working class.[80]

But it is at this point that Mao and Hoxha part company. For once it is agreed upon that there must be the “leadership of the working class” (and this can only mean, first and foremost, the leadership of the working class party and of the working class line, Marxism-Leninism), the question remains, what is the content of this leadership, what does it seek to accomplish, along what lines does it steer the youth?

The whole content of Mao’s article, “The Orientation of the Youth Movement” (as its title implies), which Hoxha “quotes,” is exactly designed to provide leadership, an orientation, for the youth:

Our young intellectuals and students must go among the workers and peasants, who make up 90% of the population, and mobilize and organize them. Without this main force of workers and peasants, we cannot win the fight against imperialism and feudalism, we cannot win it by relying only on the contingent of young intellectuals and students. Therefore, the young intellectuals and students throughout the country must unite with the broad masses of workers and peasants and become one with them, and only then can a mighty force be created.[81]

Mao noted that “In the Chinese democratic revolutionary movement, it was the intellectuals who were the first to awaken.. . . But the intellectuals will accomplish nothing if they fail to integrate themselves with the workers and peasants.”[82] Here Mao is making clear the correct, dialectical view of the relationship between the fact that the intellectuals, particularly the students, are often the first force in a given revolutionary movement to rise in struggle–and play a vital role in helping to “mobilize and organize” the masses of people–and the fact that it is only by integrating with the workers and peasants that the intellectuals can make a real contribution to the revolutionary process. And, as he points out repeatedly in his writings, it is only by doing so that the youth can be transformed in their world outlook and become genuine Marxists.

This is an example of real leadership. Not Enver Hoxha’s concept of strait-jacketing the youth movement and having it march obediently one step behind the workers. Real Marxist-Leninist leadership in the revolution means knowing how to bring to the fore and unleash the factors for revolution and at the same time provide guidance and a correct orientation for the movement overall and its particular parts. Real leadership does not mean ignoring or trying to eliminate the contradictions between (and hence the different contradictory roles of) different sections of the masses, but recognizing and utilizing these contradictions to push the revolution forward. Enver Hoxha’s concept smacks much more of the “everything at my command, everything at my disposal” concept of Lin Piao than of the Marxist method of leadership shown by Mao.

Only a person hopelessly entangled in the outlook that Lenin described, of waiting for the two armies to appear ready-made, packaged and neatly labeled, would be capable of criticizing Mao for recognizing and utilizing the fact that very often in the revolutionary struggle youth will play a kind of vanguard role. And only someone who is determined that a revolution will never come about, or at least who has no conception of what a revolution is, would want to avoid mobilizing sections of the revolutionary masses and sections of the workers themselves before the day when the workers as single, monolithic and united whole rise up (a day which, in that sense, will never come in reality). For there will never be a time, as long as there are classes, when workers aren’t divided into sections holding revolutionary, non-revolutionary and even counter-revolutionary sentiments and lines. And these divisions will lead to conflicts (ideological, political and, yes, even physical conflicts at times) between sections of the workers and other sections of the revolutionary masses.

It was this understanding that enabled Mao, at the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution, to rely heavily on the initiative and the daring of the youth and the students–not as a substitute for the working class, but to help awaken and mobilize the working class in this great battle. Hoxha should be familiar with Mao’s understanding of this, since Mao spelled it out quite succinctly to a visiting delegation from Albania in 1967:

The “May 4th” Movement was launched by the intellectuals, thereby fully demonstrating their foresight and awareness. However, we must depend on the masters of the time, the workers, peasants and soldiers, to serve as the main force in carrying through thoroughgoing revolutions on the order of a real Northern Expedition or Long March.. . . Although it was the intellectuals and the broad masses of young students who launched the criticism of the bourgeois reactionary line, it was, nonetheless, incumbent upon the masters of the time, the broad masses of workers, peasants and soldiers, to serve as the main force in carrying the revolution through to completion,. . . Intellectuals have always been quick in altering their perception of things, but, because of the limitations of their instincts, and because they lack a thorough revolutionary character, they are sometimes opportunistic.[83]

Thus it is clear that in theory (as well as in practice) Mao regarded the role of the students in China as mainly an initiating one. He fully recognized their weaknesses–especially their tendencies toward anarchism, ultra-“leftism,” but also toward conservatism at times–and their problems in uniting the revolutionary ranks to carry the struggle through to victory. Without the initial role of the students, especially the heroic Red Guards, revisionism would have triumphed much sooner in China and the Cultural Revolution would never have gotten off the ground; without the fact that the workers became the main and leading force in the Cultural Revolution, initial victories would have turned to defeat, the great accomplishments of the Cultural Revolution would not have been achieved, and certainly not consolidated, and likewise revisionism would have triumphed in China many years before it actually did.

Hoxha leaves out the role of the working class in the Cultural Revolution because it doesn’t fit the fantasy he is trying to pass off on revolutionaries throughout the world. But who, may we ask, was the driving force of the January Storm in Shanghai–actually the first and pace-setting example of the revolutionary masses “dissolving” the reactionary Party committees? Everyone with the least familiarity with the events in China knows that it was mainly the organizations of the revolutionary workers in Shanghai, led by Chang Chun-chiao, Yao Wen-yuan and Wang Hung-wen, all of whom are now vilifed as members of the “gang of four,” that accomplished that momentous uprising. And this scene was repeated in city after city in China.

When it became clear that sections of the Red Guards were, by themselves at least, incapable of carrying the revolution further and their initial role was turning into its opposite, what happened? Again, it is well known that Mao issued his famous directive “the working class must exercise leadership in everything,” and workers, in their tens of thousands, marched into the universities and took charge of them. And after marching on to the universities they stayed there, uniting with the revolutionary students, teachers and cadres, and launching the greatest revolutionary changes on the educational front that the world has ever seen. All these accomplishments are undeniable, Enver Hoxha notwithstanding.

Finally, on the leadership of the Party in the Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution was led by the Party–in the only form that was appropriate in the concrete conditions prevailing at the time. It was led by the leading line in the Party and in the Central Committee, the line of its Chairman, Mao Tsetung. The general orientation of the Cultural Revolution was approved by a bare majority of the Central Committee in 1966, and the task of leading it was entrusted to the Cultural Revolution Group.[84] Mao himself refers to having had to “bide my time” until he was able to win a majority on the Central Committee to proceed with the Cultural Revolution. Unlike Hoxha, however, we will not base our opinion of the Cultural Revolution on whether or not it corresponded to the established practice of conducting struggles within Leninist parties. We say unequivocally that even–and in fact especially–if the Cultural Revolution had been opposed by the majority of the Central Committee–that is, if the Central Committee had been captured by revisionists–Mao would have had the responsibility to call on the masses inside and outside the Party to rebel against the Central Committee.

We would like to ask Enver Hoxha, what should the genuine communists, the class conscious workers and the revolutionary masses generally, do when the possibility of the triumph of revisionism is imminent? And what stand should the genuine communists and revolutionary masses take if a revisionist usurpation of power does, in fact, take place? Would it have been acceptable to Hoxha if the working class in the Soviet Union had risen up after Khrushchev’s “secret speech” and overthrown him? Or what if just prior to his coup the genuine Marxist-Leninists in the Soviet leadership had mustered a bare majority on the Central Committee and called for a Cultural Revolution? And what if the majority of the working class was still unawakened to the imminent danger of revisionism–would it be permissible for the Party leaders to turn to the students and initiate a revolutionary struggle, or would it be better to suppress and stifle them in the name of the “hegemony of the proletariat”?! There can be no doubt that Hoxha’s whole line of argument can only lead to one conclusion–that the revolutionaries should not have taken to arms (or, for that matter, relatively “peaceful” political struggle).

Of course, Hoxha’s arguments are wrapped in the mantle of being the strongest upholder of Marxism and Leninism, but his effort to put form (“Leninist norms”) above content (which class these forms serve) really has much more in common with the typical song and dance run out about “democracy” in the bourgeois democratic countries than it does with the revolutionary teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. It is again the practice that Lenin heaped such scorn on–using the letter of Marxism against the spirit of Marxism!

At bottom, Hoxha opposes the Cultural Revolution and the line of Mao Tsetung because he prefers the line of those that the Cultural Revolution ousted! True, he mutters a few things about opposing Liu Shao-chi and Teng Hsiao-ping, but there is no content to his criticism of Liu, and as for Teng and Hua’s line, Hoxha starts and stops with the criticism of the “strategy of the three worlds.” We shall see later that Hoxha’s line on the nature of socialism, of the class struggle under socialism, is in its essentials the same revisionist line promoted by Liu and Teng, with a very thin dogmatist cover.

Actually, Hoxha does a very poor job in covering his own tracks in his book. The very internal logic of it leads the reader to the conclusion that it would have been better if Liu Shao-chi’s forces (or other pro-Soviet revisionists) had won out. If Mao Tsetung Thought has been a variant of revisionism since 1935, why shouldn’t support go to those who were his most consistent opponents? Hoxha claims that the Party as a whole was never Marxist, that none of the various groups in the leadership (at least during the last decade; Wang Ming, of course, is another story) were revolutionary. Then why Hoxha’s professed concern that the Cultural Revolution “liquidated both the Communist Party of China, and the mass organizations”? If it is true that “in the leadership of the Communist Party of China there are no Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries”85 then who cares if it is liquidated!

But Hoxha’s concern about “liquidation” is real, not assumed. Take his statement about “the mass organizations” being liquidated. It is not just that any mass organizations were wiped out. After all only an imbecile could deny that the Cultural Revolution created a whole myriad of new mass organizations–Red Guards, rebel worker groups and so on in the early phases–and later led to the reconstruction of the trade unions, women’s organizations and others on the basis of the leadership of the line of Mao and the Left. Thus it is clear that Hoxha’s real concern is that the mass organizations under the domination of the line of Liu Shao-chi–such as the Young Communist League–were defeated, and while he supports those organizations, Hoxha condemns with a frenzy the revolutionary mass organizations brought forward in the struggle.

And further, if the main problem with the Chinese Communist Party was that it departed from “Marxism-Leninism” in the revolution and in the construction of socialism (and by this Hoxha means departed from the experience, the ways of doing things, in the Soviet Union), shouldn’t support go to those in the Chinese Party who fought to implement these “Leninist” principles in China? One main advantage in reading Wang Ming in the original (as opposed to Hoxha’s plagiarism of him) is that he does away with the deceit Hoxha still finds it useful to employ. Wang Ming openly claims that the “true internationalists” in the Chinese Party included none other than Liu Shao-chi in their ranks, as well as a host of other traitors now being brought back to power or rehabilitated posthumously by Teng Hsiao-ping.”[86] Vietnam, for whom Hoxha’s support escalates even as it falls completely under the wing of the Soviet Union, is also clear that it was Liu Shao-chi and Teng Hsiao-ping who were the true Marxist-Leninists in China.[87]

Hoxha’s criticism of the Cultural Revolution results from his own failure to understand the nature of socialism, his metaphysical world outlook, and pragmatism. In his own “explanation” for the dramatic and tragic change in the line of the Albanian Party toward Mao and the Cultural Revolution, Hoxha inadvertently advertises the pragmatic basis which led to their “re-evaluation” of Mao Tsetung Thought.

Hoxha states:

In judging their [the Chinese’s] previous dubious actions, as well as those observed in the Cultural Revolution, and especially the events following this revolution up till now, the rises and falls of this or that group in the leadership, today the group of Lin Piao, tomorrow that of Teng Hsiao-ping, a Hua Kuo-feng, etc.,... all these things impelled our Party to delve more deeply into the views and actions of Mao Tsetung and the Communist Party of China, to get a more thorough knowledge of “Mao Tsetung thought.”[88]

Later he adds:

The chaotic development of the Cultural Revolution and its results further strengthened the opinion, still not fully crystallized, that Marxism-Leninism was not known and was not being applied in China, that in essence, the Communist Party of China and Mao Tsetung did not hold Marxist-Leninist views...[89]

Thus Hoxha makes clear his basic outlook and orientation in summing up the question of Mao Tsetung.

It is clear that Hoxha did not like the “results” of the 1976 coup d’etat in China, particularly Hua and Teng’s policy of capitulation to and reactionary alliance with U.S. imperialism under the banner of the strategy of the “three worlds.” Hoxha’s own errors and outlook made it impossible for him to analyze events in China from the reference point of the class struggle in China and in particular the struggle between the overall revisionist line of Hua and Teng and the revolutionary line of Mao and the Four who fought beside him. Rather than take up the task that history demanded of him, of leading the defense of the accomplishments of the Chinese revolution and the contributions of Mao, he chose to proceed from the “results” of the class struggle in China (defined in the most immediate and narrow way) and work backward to try to find the basis for them in the line and actions of the Marxist-Leninists themselves.[90]

They lost, therefore they must be wrong. This, in a nutshell, was Hoxha’s starting point. Since Hoxha does not understand correctly the dynamics of revolution, and especially the laws of the development of socialism, it is inconceivable to him that revisionism could triumph not primarily because of whatever mistakes the revolutionaries may have made (for no one would deny that errors of different sorts are inevitable) but because of the relative strength of the contending classes.[90a]

Unfortunately this has also colored the thinking of some genuine Marxist-Leninists who, while upholding the contributions of Mao, still proceed from the premise that since revisionists triumphed, the reasons for their triumph must lie with the mistakes of the revolutionaries.

Such a line of reasoning, on Hoxha’s part at least, is tantamount to denying that any real possibility of a capitalist restoration exists as long as the party remains “vigilant,” i.e., ruthlessly prevents any factions, headquarters or fully developed lines in opposition to the leadership from emerging within the party. The problem with this view, and why it runs into such sharp conflict with the teachings of Mao, is that it separates the question of the struggle in the party from any kind of genuine materialist–and dialectical–analysis of the class struggle under socialism.

As Mao’s analysis of the class struggle under socialism developed, it came more and more to focus on the question of a bourgeois headquarters within the communist party itself. Let us examine Hoxha’s attack on Mao’s views on the existence of two lines in the party and the bourgeoisie in the party:

Mao Tsetung himself has advocated the need for the existence of “two lines” in the party. According to him,the existence and struggle between two lines is something natural, is a manifestation of the unity of the opposites, is a flexible policy which unites in itself both loyalty to principles and compromise.. . .

These views are diametrically opposed to the Leninist teachings on the communist party as an organized vanguard detachment which must have a single line and steel unity of thought and action.

The class struggle in the ranks of the party, as a reflection of the class struggle going on outside the party, has nothing in common with Mao Tsetung’s concepts on the “two lines in the party.” The party is not an arena of classes and the struggle between antagonistic classes, it is not a gathering of people with contradictory aims. The genuine Marxist-Leninist party is the party of the working class only and bases itself on the interests of this class. This is the decisive factor for the triumph of the revolution and the construction of socialism. Defending the Leninist principles on the party, which do not permit the existence of many lines, of opposing trends in the communist party, J.V. Stalin emphasized:

“. . the communist party is the monolithic party of the proletariat, and not a party of a bloc of elements of different classes”. Mao Tsetung, however, conceives the party as a union of classes with contradictory interests, as an organization in which two forces, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the “proletarian staff” and the “bourgeois staff,” which must have their representatives from the grassroots to the highest leading organs of the party, confront and struggle against each other.[91]

Hoxha is wrong on several counts: wrong in that he does not understand dialectics; wrong in that he doesn’t understand what gives all genuine Marxist-Leninist parties life and vitality; and wrong in his conception of the actual position the party occupies in socialist society, and hence the different characteristics that the struggle in the Party takes on.

First we must dispose of Enver Hoxha’s silliest argument–that “Mao himself has advocated the need for the existence of ’two lines in the party’” and that somehow Mao preferred or allowed the existence of a bourgeois headquarters in the Party. Of course, Mao never said any such thing. What he did say, and correctly so, is that the existence of two lines in the Party and of the creation of bourgeois factions, or headquarters, in the Party is an inevitable phenomenon. Most importantly, Mao developed the theoretical understanding of the necessity to fight the bourgeois line and the repeated efforts of the capitalist-roaders in the Party to establish a bourgeois headquarters in the Party, usurp power in key areas of the Party and state, and prepare for an all-out assault on the proletarian leadership of the Party and state. Not only did Mao develop this point in theory, he led the struggle to carry it out, most especially in the Cultural Revolution. To try to extrapolate from this that Mao wanted to let the bourgeoisie be, that he was not making war upon them, is at complete variance with the facts.[91a]

Marxist-Leninists have always upheld the philosophical thesis that “freedom is the recognition of necessity.” Man’s ability to transform society or nature depends not primarily upon his will, but upon his correct understanding of the objective world. For only in acting in accordance with the laws that govern society and nature is he able to influence them. To say that Mao advocated the bourgeois line and the emergence of bourgeois headquarters in the party simply because he was the first, in an all-round and systematic way, to recognize the laws determining their existence, makes about as much sense as blaming Louis Pasteur for advocating the existence of viruses!

To carry this analogy a step further, it is because Pasteur was able to discover the existence of viruses that he was able to develop the first vaccine; similarly, it is because Mao discovered the laws operating within socialist society that give rise to the bourgeois line in the party that he was able to develop the policies, the strategy and tactics, to defeat the bourgeois line and various bourgeois headquarters, not once but repeatedly.

Hoxha may believe that he has made a brilliant contribution to Marxism by applying the principle of an ostrich to continuing the revolution under socialism. But actually all he is creatively applying is the same outlook as the petty-bourgeois humanitarian who believes that by refusing to recognize the division of capitalist society into antagonistic classes he will make that antagonism disappear.

In presenting his vulgarization of “Leninist principles” regarding the party and bandying about Stalin’s quote about the “monolithic party of the proletariat,” all Hoxha is doing is further revealing his own anti-dialectical, metaphysical world view and hence his own complete lack of understanding of the actual development of any Marxist party. Hoxha claims that Leninist principles “do not permit the existence of many lines, of opposing trends in the communist party.” Brilliant! With one sentence Hoxha wipes out the need to fight revisionism, dogmatism, Trotskyism and every other conceivable deviation that might arise within the ranks of the Party.

There is no revisionist trend within the Albanian Party of Labor, for instance? We don’t believe it! Even if Hoxha were adhering to a Marxist-Leninist line, instead of himself championing a new revisionist tendency, we still would not believe it. Despite Hoxha’s yammering about “Leninist principles,” Lenin and Stalin devoted a great deal of attention to recognizing, battling against and defeating all sorts of “opposing trends” in the Bolshevik Party.

Actually what Hoxha is doing, in his typical and preferred manner, is combining two into one, as opposed to the dialectical method of dividing one into two. He takes the question of lines and trends and confuses them with the related but separate question of factions. The existence of revisionist lines and trends in a party is not a matter of anyone granting “permission.” They are an inevitable reflection of class forces in society, whose existence is also not dependent on the “permission” of Marxist-Leninists, but on the material and ideological conditions in society–including remnants of exploiting class society in the base and superstructure of socialist society.

A revisionist faction in a party can be broken up, its ringleaders expelled and so forth, but this will not and cannot mean that revisionist tendencies and revisionist lines do not exist in the party. Not only do they exist in the party as a whole, they exist in the thinking of any one individual! The Albanian Party does sommersaults around this question, coming up with an eclectic formulation which allows “class struggle” in the party but which denies the existence of opposing lines. Quite an accomplishment! Apparently Hoxha believes that by liquidating enemy agents, bourgeois elements and degenerates early on he can prevent the emergence of an enemy, alien and bourgeois line in the party–as if the existence of a line were dependent on the access to typewriters! Again it is Hoxha, not Mao, who is departing from Marxism-Leninism, which teaches that the question of line, of the struggle over line–which cannot but presuppose the existence of different lines–is the soul of the party.

To give a few examples. In the imperialist countries the tendency toward revisionism–particularly in the form of economism, of reducing the struggle of the workers to simply acquiring better conditions for slaves in their slavery–is a pernicious and stubborn tendency. Lenin laid bare the social basis for this trend in his brilliant work What Is To Be Done? and in his later writings on imperialism. But simply because this tendency has been identified and genuine Marxist-Leninists have committed themselves to a ruthless and protracted struggle against it, does not mean that it is not reflected within the Party as a line opposed to Marxism.

Similarly, in many countries where the immediate task of the working class and the party is to fight for the liberation of the nation, tendencies toward narrow nationalism are a reflection of the actual class forces arrayed in battle, and the communists in those countries must wage a fierce struggle against these deviations including and especially as they reflect themselves in the party itself. Again, it is the recognition of the erroneous lines existing in the party, understanding their class basis and historical roots, that enables the Marxist-Leninists to combat and defeat them. The question of “permission” is not the point at all.

Is the existence of two-line struggle in the party incompatible with the fact that “the Marxist-Leninist party is the party of the working class only” as Hoxha puts it?[92] Only people incapable of understanding dialectics find it so.

The communist party is the party of the working class because it is guided by Marxism-Leninism–the ideology of the working class; because the working class is the only class whose interests lie in the overthrow of capitalism and all forms of exploitation and oppression and in the realization of communism, and because the organizational principles of the party, the “Leninist norms” if you will, reflect the socialized character of production and specifically of the proletariat’s role in production. In this sense, and this sense only, it is correct to understand the communist party as the party of the working class.

The party, the working class, and Marxism-Leninism do not appear in a “pure” form. This is obvious when looking at the working class, for example. Only a small percentage of the workers in capitalist society are conscious of their role as capitalism’s grave-diggers. Furthermore there is division within the ranks of the proletariat, along political, national, and economic lines–even though all workers objectively share the same class interest. Thus to talk of a “pure” proletariat would be the height of absurdity and would, in fact, negate the very need for the communist party itself. And it is no less absurd to talk of the “purity” of the party and of Marxism-Leninism when examining the actual, concrete existence of any particular party, or the line of any particular party. To do so would exactly negate the need to carry out struggle in the party. This is why Mao correctly ridicules the concept of “monolithic unity” of the party and of the international communist movement (“some people seem to think that. .. the Party is not subject to analysis, that is to say, it is monolithic and uniform. . . . ”).[93]

Let us examine the quote from Stalin that Hoxha hopes will frighten his readers away from examining this subject critically, from the standpoint of dialectics: “The communist party is the monolithic party of the proletariat, and not a party of a bloc of different elements of different classes.”

The above quotation is correct in one aspect and incorrect in another. As a scientific abstraction it can be useful to a degree, but as an analysis of any particular party it is incorrect and harmful. The political line and the organizational principles of the party must proceed from the correct, scientific abstraction (which as Lenin put it, reflects nature more “deeply, truly and completely”) that the party is the party of the proletariat and only that class. However the membership of the communist party does and must include exactly “different elements of different classes.” True, they must be brought into the party on the basis of adopting the outlook and line of the proletariat, but can it be said that, in any party, the intellectuals, for example, do not bring with them some of the outlook, lines and organizational habits of the bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie? Don’t the peasants bring with them aspects of the outlook of the small producer into the party? Is it wrong to make a class analysis of the membership of the party and (in a dialectical, not mechanical way) use such a class analysis to help understand what deviations are likely to arise and how they must be fought? Of course all members of the party, including workers, bring various kinds of bourgeois ideology and political errors with them when they join the party; hence Mao’s sarcastic remark, “It seems as if people have to be 100% Marxists once they are in the Party.”[94] There are no “100% Marxists,” not Enver Hoxha, and not his hero Wang Ming, who first raised a big hullabaloo in the early 1930s, declaring himself and a handful of students returned from Moscow to be “100% Bolshevik.”

Does the recognition that the party is not “monolithic,” that it is, in fact, full of contradictions reflecting the class relationships in society and the class makeup of the party itself, negate the need to struggle against factionalism or the principle that the party can only be led by a single line? Again, this provides a problem only for the metaphysicians, not for Marxist-Leninists.

The recognition that the party contains two lines within it, in a fundamental sense the bourgeois and proletarian lines, is at the same time a recognition that one of these lines must be dominant, in other words, principal, and as such determine the character of the party. It is also a recognition of the possibility of the two aspects being reversed, of the party going revisionist. As long as the leading line in the party–that is, the collective line of the party and the leadership as reflected in its theories, its policies, its press, etc.–is Marxist-Leninist, then it is correct to refer to that party as Marxist-Leninist, as a party of the working class. For such a party to remain a Marxist-Leninist party means exactly to wage a vigorous and relentless struggle against all manifestations of the incorrect line. The recognition of this necessity is at the same time a recognition of the need to combat and break up bourgeois factions as they emerge in the party.

The history of the international communist movement makes clear the need to carry on struggle in this manner, to defeat attempts by organized, revisionist groupings within the party to seize control of the party and implement a revisionist line. This was the main task of the Cultural Revolution, to seize power from the top capitalist-roaders and to defeat and break up their revisionist headquarters. Hence the absurdity of Hoxha trying to use the Cultural Revolution to “prove” that Mao “permitted” the existence of bourgeois headquarters in the party.

At the same time, to recognize the existence of two lines in the party and the social basis for the existence of two lines, is also to recognize that the formation of bourgeois opposition factions in the party is not an accidental or freak phenomenon but an inevitable part of the class struggle and the party’s development. Wherever incorrect tendencies exist, wherever an incorrect line exists in embryo (and this inevitably will happen for the reasons summarized), sooner or later individuals will come forward to champion these tendencies, to formulate them into a complete and developed line and program, and fight to have this incorrect line replace the Marxist-Leninist line of the party. Understanding this enables, and does not hinder, the party and all its bodies and members to more quickly recognize this process as it (repeatedly) develops and to take resolute action against it.

Factionalism is itself the manifestation of the incorrect line. It reflects the divisive, competitive and dog-eat-dog nature of capitalism, as opposed to the solidarity and cooperation characteristic of the workers as a class. As such, factionalism must be fought by Marxist-Leninists, as Mao did with his famous three do’s and three don’ts:

Practice Marxism, not revisionism; unite, don’t split; be open and above board, and don’t intrigue and conspire.

But as the revolutionaries in China also pointed out (see Wang Hung-wen’s Report on the Constitution to the Tenth Party Congress), the latter two “do’s and don’ts” are dependent on the first.[95] Marxist-Leninists seek unity and have no need to intrigue and conspire; their strength lies in the fact that their line correctly reflects objective reality, is in the interests of the great majority of the people, and leads to advancing the revolution. Therefore the more the correct Leninist principles of inner-party life are adhered to, the more advantageous it is to the correct line overall. It is obvious that those who uphold a bourgeois line will inevitably go in for splits and for intrigues and conspiracies, for it is in this arena where they find their strength, just as they fear open political struggle like the plague. Thus it is not a question of “permitting” factionalism, intrigues and conspiracies in the party, but of recognizing that the struggle against this is part of “practicing Marxism, not revisionism,” and alerting the party members and masses to the truth that those who follow an incorrect line cannot and will not abide by Marxist-Leninist organizational principles and that vigilance must be maintained. Hoxha’s insistence on the existence of “monolithic unity” in the party is a reflection of his refusal, in theory and practice, to make the division of one into two the starting point and basis of his analysis.

Closely linked to this is his adoption in fact of the line of the “Deborin school” of philosophy. (This school is named after a Soviet philosopher, of some prominence in the 1920s especially, who preached, among other things, that a contradiction does not necessarily exist throughout the whole process of development of a thing but only arises at a certain stage of its development. For example, the Deborin school of philosophy held that there was no contradiction within the “Third Estate”–those forces who opposed the nobility and the clergy–during the French Revolution, but that the contradiction between the workers and capitalists only emerged later as capitalist production further developed.) Mao Tsetung attached great importance to the struggle against the Deborin school and pointed out in his famous work On Contradiction that:

Deborin’s idealism has exerted a very bad influence in the Chinese Communist Party, and it cannot be said that the dogmatist thinking in our Party is unrelated to the approach of that school.[96]

Thus it is not surprising that Hoxha, in wildly attacking Mao’s line and trying to reverse the judgment of history on Wang Ming, would find refuge in the philosophical school in which Wang Ming was a pupil.

How can the phenomenon of the emergence and triumph of revisionism be explained without examining the internal contradiction within the party, the contradiction between two lines? Either one has to eliminate the internal contradiction altogether and portray it simply as the capturing of the party by external forces, or (and what really amounts to the same thing) argue that the internal contradictions in the party only appear at a certain stage in its development as a result of external pressures, the “mistakes” of the revolutionaries and so on. Either explanation is metaphysics.

Stalin denied the contradiction, the two lines, in the party. He did not “permit” it. Yet this did not prevent the rise of Khrushchevite revisionism. Were the masses in the Soviet Union better armed to understand what had happened and what had to be done because of these mistakes of Stalin? Of course, it is one thing for Stalin to have been one-sided in explaining the life of the party under socialism when there was no previous experience of a genuine communist party that had succeeded in making revolution, turning into its opposite (into a bourgeois party) and restoring capitalism.[96a] But it is quite another thing for Hoxha to insist on repeating and raising to the level of principle these mistakes of Stalin when historical experience provides the basis for correcting them, and when in fact they have been summed up and advanced beyond by Marxist-Leninists, above all by Comrade Mao Tsetung.

When opportunism triumphed in the Second International during World War 1, Lenin was able, by applying the science of dialectics, to trace the development of the contradiction that led to its betrayal and show its social and historical roots. He showed how social democracy had divided into a revolutionary and an opportunist wing, how this phenomenon had its material basis in the creation of a labor aristocracy in the imperialist countries, and how the long period of peaceful, legal work had, on the one hand, led to the social democratic parties becoming mass parties of the workers in Europe, and on the other hand provided a strong pull toward the adoption of philistine, parliamentary practices and outlook on the part of most of the leadership of these parties. He showed how, with the outbreak of the first world war, the opportunist boil burst.

Hoxha cannot explain the rise of Khrushchevite revisionism because he refuses to recognize that the contradictions in the international communist movement did not emerge with Khrushchev’s coup, but only exploded then. And so, Hoxha’s “great contribution” lies in negating the real advances that have been made in the last twenty years in the struggle against revisionism and insisting that every wrong formulation, every error, and the ideological basis for these errors, be enshrined as holy writ, and that everyone who refuses to go along be condemned as a heretic.[96b]

Finally, in answering Hoxha’s attacks on Mao’s line on the party, it is necessary to try to unravel some of the confusion he spreads about Mao’s policies on dealing with inner-party struggle. Hoxha chooses to quote Mao:

Thus... we have two hands to deal with a comrade who has made mistakes: one hand to struggle with him and the other to unite with him. The aim of this struggle is to uphold the principles of Marxism, which means being principled; that is one aspect of the problem. The other aspect is to unite with him. The aim of unity is to offer him a way out, to reach a compromise with him [which means being flexible].[97]

In addition to leaving off Mao’s definition of compromise (“which means being flexible”), Hoxha also wipes out Mao’s conclusion: “The integration of principle with flexibility is a Marxist-Leninist principle, and it is a unity of opposites.”[98]

First of all, it should be pointed out that Mao is specifically not talking about the die-hard counter-revolutionaries in the Party, about those who head up bourgeois factions. He says this specifically one paragraph before the one that Hoxha quotes:

However, dealing with persons of another type is different. Towards persons like Trotsky and like Chen Tu-hsiu, Chang Kuo-tao and Kao Kang in China, it was impossible to adopt a helpful attitude, for they were incorrigible.[99]

(Here again we see Hoxha’s brilliant polemical style at work. Actually, he accomplishes two things: one, he forces any serious reader to try to find the original material, for without doing so it is impossible to understand what Mao is saying from Hoxha’s “quotes”; second, he reveals the utter bankruptcy of his own views, which even he realizes cannot stand up to a head-to-head confrontation with Mao Tsetung Thought.)

Thus it is quite clear that Mao is not advocating unprincipled unity with die-hards. And his real point takes on much more significance when the context of his speech is examined, specifically a talk to the Moscow Meeting of Representatives of the Communist and Workers’ Parties in 1957. For it was at this meeting that Mao was leading a very complex struggle to defend the principles of Marxism-Leninism, a struggle which involved tactical compromises with Khrushchev on the one hand, and also a vigorous effort to win over and find common ground with as many as possible of the more than 60 communist parties present. Mao’s point is clear even if made in somewhat Aesopian language.

Hoxha also lambasts Mao for proposing in 1956 “the election of various leaders of right and left factions to the Central Committee.”[100] Enver Hoxha chooses not to divulge the names of these leaders, because they would add another hole in his argument–since one of these leaders was none other than our old friend Wang Ming, the “100% Bolshevik” whose line Hoxha’s dovetails with. Furthermore, Hoxha will run into problems describing why Lenin and Stalin from time to time agreed to the election of leading opportunists to the Central Committee. First off, it is correct to try to win over former leading representatives of incorrect lines; second, it is not always possible, nor necessarily advisable, to remove opportunist leaders of the party at any particular time. For example, it may be the case that these leaders have not yet been exposed and still command a social base, a base which can be greatly eroded by allowing a given struggle to go on for a particular amount of time. This was the case, in many respects, with the struggles Stalin waged against both the Right and the “Left” in the twenties and early thirties. Furthermore, it may be the case that a particular leading revisionist is not the principal exponent of the revisionist line at any one time and that to launch attack on two or more fronts could lead to defeat. Of course, often in the history of the international communist movement it has been necessary to fight on several fronts simultaneously, but there have also been many instances, from the time of Marx and Engels on, in which there was clearly one internal struggle on which the revolutionaries had to focus their attention, and to have done otherwise could have had serious consequences. We do not know all of the particular reasons why Mao considered it advisable to elect Wang Ming and Li Li-san to the Central Committee in 1956, but it is clear that such an action can hardly be said to have violated any sacred principle of Marxism, any more than the election of Trotsky to the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party repeatedly until his final fall in 1927. Or does Hoxha believe that Lenin and Stalin really didn’t understand Trotsky’s true nature?

Let us look at Mao’s reasoning on this question, as laid out in his speech to a preparatory meeting for the Eighth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. He advocates re-electing Li Li-san and Wang Ming to the Central Committee seats which they hold. These are, of course, two prominent exponents of lines which had seriously bad consequences for the Party in its history. Further, Mao has no illusions about their present lines, particularly that of Wang Ming, who had attempted to back-track on his self-criticism of his past errors. In fact, Mao says, “ . . . it is not a question of whether Wang Ming and Li Li-san will mend their ways, that does not matter very much.”[101] Rather,

The heart of the matter here is that they are not just a few isolated individuals but represent a substantial part of the petty bourgeoisie. China is a country with a huge petty bourgeoisie. A considerable part of the petty bourgeoisie vacillates...... [He goes on to talk about the different strata of the Chinese petty bourgeoisie.] What does our election of these two persons representing the Wang Ming and Li Li-san lines signify? It signifies that we treat those who have made ideological mistakes differently from those who are counter-revolutionaries and splittists (people like Chen Tu-hsiu, Chang Kuo-tao, Kao Kang and Jao Shu-shih). Wang Ming and Li Li-san went about their subjectivism and sectarianism in an open way and with a great fanfare, trying to overwhelm people with their political programmes. . . Therefore the question of Wang Ming and Li Li-san is not just a question of two individuals, what is important here is that there are underlying social causes.[102]

Mao goes on to point out that the presence of these two on the Seventh Central Committee (elected in 1945) has not caused the proletariat any loss of consequence: “We did not fail in our revolution, nor was our victory delayed by a few months [speaking of the victory of 1949] just because we had elected Wang Ming and Li Li-san.”[103] Mao explains further:

Their mistakes on the Party line are known all over the country and throughout the world, and the fact that they are well known is precisely the reason for electing them.... In a country like ours with its very large petty bourgeoisie they are standards. If we elect them, many people will say, “The Communist Party continues to be patient with them and is willing to give up two seats to them in the hope that they will mend their ways.” Whether they will or not is another matter, which is inconsequential, involving as it does only the two of them. The point is that in our society the petty bourgeoisie is vast in number, that in our Party there are many vacillating elements of petty-bourgeois origin and that among the intellectuals there are many such vacillating elements; they all want to see what will happen to these test cases. When they see these two standards still there, they will feel comfortable, they will sleep well and be pleased. If you haul down the two standards, they may panic.[104]

So there you have it. Mao’s open and shameless admission of proven opportunists into the party of the proletariat! Mao’s reasoning has been quoted at length here, not only to combat Hoxha’s misquoting and twisting of Mao’s statements, but because this particular case may cause questioning on the part of sincere revolutionaries as well. But what is wrong with Mao’s thinking here? In what way does it violate the principles of a Marxist-Leninist outlook or run counter to making revolution? It doesn’t do so at all. Mao is saying that the presence of these two on the Central Committee will not harm the revolutionary interests of the proletariat, but will push the revolution forward in the particular conditions of Chinese society.

They were well-known and in fact well-exposed, and this meant that they were not in a position to do much harm at all. On the other hand, they were not (at that time) counter-revolutionaries or splitters, but people who had very openly made ideological errors, and in particular they had made just the sort of vacillatory errors to which the petty bourgeoisie is prone. For this reason they stood as symbols for China’s vast petty bourgeoisie, with whom, in general, it was absolutely necessary for the proletariat to unite, to struggle with in a non-antagonistic way, and to gain the leadership of, if the revolution in China was to be successful. (To fully grasp this necessity, remember that most of China’s hundreds of millions of peasants were part of the petty bourgeoisie.) So to keep these two on the Central Committee would do no harm to the revolution (and indeed it would be hard to make the case that their presence did do any damage). But on the other hand, to knock them down would cause some damage, for it would cause unease and alarm in their social base, at a time when the Communist Party was trying to unite with and win over that base.

But, it might still be asked, even if the Chinese Communist Party was trying to win over this base, why did this necessitate putting petty bourgeois representatives on the Central Committee of the proletarian party? For isn’t this organization supposed to be exactly a party of the proletariat, and isn’t this in fact turning it into “a party of a bloc of elements of different classes” (to use Stalin’s words which Hoxha quotes)?

To these questions there are several answers. In the first place, it must be pointed out that the presence in the party, and even on the central committee, of persons who are in effect functioning as representatives of the petty bourgeoisie does not make the party a bloc of elements of different classes–that is, it does not necessarily change the basic character of the party as the representative and vanguard of the proletariat and as having a proletarian line. And it would have to be admitted by any objective observer that the presence of Wang Ming and Li Li-san did not change the basic character or line of the Chinese Communist Party in the period after their line was exposed and defeated.

Secondly, the specific circumstances of the Chinese revolution must be borne in mind. The first stage of the Chinese revolution was the new-democratic revolution–in other words, the proletariat and its Party had first to lead and win a bourgeois-democratic revolution whose targets were imperialism and feudalism before it could go on to the socialist revolution (for, as Mao said, the new-democratic revolution is a bourgeois-democratic revolution, but one which “ . . . is no longer of the old general type, which is now obsolete, but one of a new special type”–namely, it is “. . an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution of the broad masses of the people under the leadership of the proletariat”).[105] Given this fact, it was inevitable that people would come into the Party–which was leading this bourgeois-democratic revolution of a new type–who were genuinely revolutionary at that time and even avowed acceptance of communism but had not really assimilated Marxism-Leninism, and who in fact represented the petty bourgeoisie more than the proletariat. This was a necessity for making revolution in China, and to pretend that it was not shows nothing but a lack of historical knowledge or a desire to escape reality. Given that it was a necessity, wasn’t it far better–and far more Marxist–to admit the fact and deal with it (as Mao did) rather than pretend that it wasn’t there and talk only of the monolithic purity of the party?

Thirdly, even where a revolution does not face the specific circumstances faced in China, the pretense of the monolithic purity of its revolutionary party–including after state power is gained–is only that: a pretense. Lenin recognized this very well:

Under Soviet rule, your proletarian party and ours will be invaded by a still larger number of bourgeois intellectuals. They will worm their way into the Soviets, the courts, and the administration, since communism cannot be built otherwise than with the aid of the human material created by capitalism, and the bourgeois intellectuals cannot be expelled and destroyed, but must be worn over, remoulded, assimilated and re-educated, just as we must–in a protracted struggle waged on the basis of the dictatorship of the proletariat–re-educate the proletarians themselves, who do not abandon their petty-bourgeois prejudices at one stroke, by a miracle, at the behest of the Virgin Mary, at the behest of a slogan, resolution or decree, but only in the course of a long and difficult mass struggle against mass petty-bourgeois influences.[106]

What! Bourgeois intellectuals will invade the proletarian party! And they cannot be expelled or destroyed! But then, we must remember that it is the well-known liberal Lenin speaking here, and not a model of steel-like proletarian purity like Enver Hoxha.

Of course it would be preferable not to have to make such compromises. But revolutions, the cloud-dwelling Mr. Hoxha aside, are made precisely through and amidst such tactical compromises–even within the party of the proletariat. What does Hoxha say about the election of Trotsky to the Sixth Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party in August 1917? Didn’t Lenin know him for what he was? Can it be argued that he was “pure proletarian”? Or wasn’t it precisely the case that uniting with him involved compromises, not the least of which was making him a leading figure, in order to win over his social base, which was, in its outlook and to no small degree in its class composition, more petty-bourgeois than proletarian? And weren’t many of these people admitted into the Party along with Trotsky?[106a]

Finally, there is the following heretical passage, in which Mao is talking about this same matter:

Does their election mean encouragement for people who have made mistakes? “Now that people who have made mistakes are on the Central Committee, let us all make mistakes, then we too will have a chance of being elected!” Will this happen? No it won’t. Look, not one of our seventy or so Central Committee members has gone out of his way to make a few mistakes in order to get reelected . . . Their mistakes on the Party line are known all over the country and throughout the world, and the fact that they are well known is precisely the reason for electing them. What can you do about it? They are well known, but you who have made no mistakes or have made only small ones don’t have as big a reputation as theirs.

Hoxha quotes part of this, and he is shocked. His pristine consciousness is scandalized. Well, what can we do about it? It seems an utter lack of humor is part of the “Marxist-Leninist [sic] culture” that Hoxha takes Mao to task for departing from.[106b]

Or we might even look a little closer to (Hoxha’s) home. After all, the revolution in Albania first went through the stage of being, as it is officially described, “an anti-imperialist democratic revolution,” which established “the new democratic order” in Albania.[107] Isn’t it just possible that some people were admitted into the party who had not fully assimilated Marxism-Leninism, who were objectively bourgeois democrats or representatives of the petty bourgeoisie? But we do not have to go simply on conjecture. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Albania (now superseded by a new one adopted in 1976) had one reference to the Party:

The more active and conscientious citizens of the working class and of the working masses join the ranks of the Albanian Party of Labour, the vanguard organization of the working class and of all the working masses in their endeavours to build the bases of socialism and the leading nucleus of all the organizations of the working masses, social as well as the state.[108]

Did this mean that the PL A was not “the party of the working class only”? This point is explained a little more in the official History of the Party of Labor of Albania, speaking of the First Congress of the Communist Party of Albania, held in 1948:

The 1st Congress decided to change the name of the Party from the Communist Party of Albania to the Party of Labor of Albania (PLA). This change was dictated by the social composition of the country and the Party and did not damage its character or aims. In Albania the bulk of the population (about 80%) was composed of peasants. This was reflected in the Party, too, where the overwhelming majority of its members were toilers of the soil.[109]

Well at least under Mao’s leadership the communists did not rename their party the “Workers’ and Peasants’ Party of China” or the “Chinese Toilers’ Party”!

It is not, of course, that a truly Marxist-Leninist communist party cannot, under certain circumstances, have the majority of its members drawn from the peasantry or other strata of the petty bourgeoisie. The point is that here we have Hoxha verging at one point on thinking that the character of a party depends on its “social composition” (so that a party in a mainly peasant country, and composed mostly of peasants, must be a workers’ and peasants’ party rather than a proletarian party)–and the PLA has never criticized itself on this score and continues to keep its “labor” name. For Hoxha to do this at one point, and then to call down thunderbolts from heaven when Mao deals with the question of representatives of the petty bourgeoisie in a ruling communist party, is a rather glaring instance of Hoxha’s hypocrisy and his totally unprincipled and non-Marxist method of argument and polemic.

Perhaps most silly of all Hoxha’s charges against Mao and the Chinese Communist Party are his combination of his own bureaucratic and metaphysical approach to inner-party struggle with hypocritical appeals to the forms of democracy in the party. He says the Chinese leaders, acting “with guile,” “have not made public many documents necessary for one to know the activity of their party and state. They were and are very wary of publishing their documents.”[110] [110a]

If ever in the history of socialist states it has been possible to get a thorough view of the line of a party, of how that line has developed in combat against other erroneous lines, of how that line has been manifested in every sphere of revolutionary activity, it has been the Communist Party of China.[110b] One would like to remind Hoxha of the saying, “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” The fact is that it is impossible to get any clear picture at all of the struggle over line in Albania, specifically the actual terms of battle between the leadership of the PLA and the various opposition groups that have formed and been defeated in that party. With few exceptions, all their documents say is that this or that “foreign agent,” “degenerate,” and so-and-so tried to subvert the party. As to what the political content of the opposing lines are–at least beyond the briefest and most superficial characterization–is anybody’s guess. And if Hoxha wishes to say that there have been no revisionist lines in the PLA we will say again, we don’t believe it and nobody else really believes it either–not even your sycophants.

We have dealt at length with Hoxha’s criticism of Mao’s line on the nature of the party since Hoxha’s work is being advertised by the orchestra he leads as universally applicable. Actually, it is universally wrong. His thesis on the “monolithic unity of the party” is no more correct for parties out of power than for parties in power. But it must be said that while many of the formulations he offers and the mechanical thinking he promotes are wrong when applied to parties out of power, they are a recipe for disaster when applied to a party trying to lead a socialist state.

This is because the nature of the class struggle changes qualitatively after the socialist revolution is victorious, especially after the basic socialist transformation of the economic base is completed. Under capitalism, the class struggle in the party is, to use Hoxha’s own words, “a reflection of the class struggle going on outside the Party. . . “[112] But Hoxha does not draw a distinction between the struggle under capitalism and that under socialism. He states that “The party is not an arena of classes and the struggle between antagonistic classes.”[113] Really? What does Hoxha consider Khrushchev’s coup to have been? What, for example, does he consider the period of intense struggle in the two years after Stalin’s death in the top echelons of the Soviet party? Was this not the struggle between antagonistic classes and didn’t it take place within the communist party? Or, for that matter, what about Stalin’s struggle against Trotsky, Bukharin and others in the 1920s?–which lasted several years.

Actually, Hoxha’s analysis of this point has far more in common with Hua Kuo-feng and Teng Hsiao-ping than he would care to admit. Upon seizing power, Hua & Co. launched a major theoretical attack on Mao’s teaching that the bourgeoisie is “right in the communist party.” Using a line of argumentation remarkably similar to Hoxha’s, Hua made a case that the class struggle in the party was only a reflection of the class struggle in society as a whole. While he gave lip service to some of Mao’s well-known quotations on this subject, he blamed the “gang of four” (which as everyone knows was led by Mao) for promoting the concept that the bourgeoisie as a class existed within the party. According to both Hua’s and Hoxha’s arguments, if this were true the party could not be the party of the proletariat.[114] Hua Kuo-feng and Teng Hsiao-ping’s motivations for taking this line were transparent. They wanted to direct attention away from the main ringleaders of the bourgeoisie as a whole, inside and outside the party, which were none other than capitalist-roaders like themselves.

It is worthwhile to quote at length the Chinese Communist Party on this subject, at the time it was still under the leadership of the revolutionary line of Mao and when the battle against the capitalist-roaders in the Party was nearing its decisive showdown:

The principal contradiction in the entire historical period of socialism is the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. With the balance of class forces having undergone a change, the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie finds expression in the Party in an increasingly profound and acute way.[115]

In the article quoted above and many others the revolutionaries in the Chinese Party provide a materialist analysis of the contradictions in socialism, especially the principal contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, a contradiction that Hoxha denies, claiming instead that under socialism “antagonistic classes and the oppression and exploitation of man by man are abolished”[116] (abolished, apparently, because the new Albanian constitution “does not permit” it!).

The Chinese Party article quoted above pointed out:

The revisionist line pushed by the capitalist-roaders in the Party represents in a concentrated way the interests of the old and new bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes, and this determines the bourgeois nature of the capitalist roaders....

Economically, the reason why the capitalist-roaders are the bourgeoisie inside the Party is that they represent the decadent capitalist relations of production. In the socialist period, the proletariat wants to constantly transform those parts of the superstructure and the relations of production which are not in harmony with the socialist economic base and the productive forces and carry the socialist revolution through to the end. The capitalist-roaders in the Party, however, do everything possible to preserve those parts of the superstructure and the relations of production which hamper the development of the socialist economic base and the productive forces; their vain attempt is to restore capitalism.[117]

Another article published at around the same time (during the campaign to “criticize Teng and beat back the right-deviationist wind” in 1976) puts more flesh and bones on this point:

If leadership over a department or unit is controlled by capitalist roaders who energetically push the revisionist line, socialist production will turn into a movement to multiply the value of capital with the pursuit of maximum profits as the only goal, a capitalist wage labor system. While the socialist system of ownership is reduced to an “outer shell,” it will actually become a capitalist system of ownership under the control of capitalist roaders, and the proletariat and the laboring people will in fact lose this part of the means of production.

Judging from the mutual relations between people, the socialist system, which is not based on exploitation and oppression of man by man, is one under which the relations between cadres and masses and between the higher and lower levels within revolutionary ranks should be comradely relations of equality. But after all, the three major differences [the difference between workers and peasants; between the town and the countryside; and between mental and manual labor] still exist and the old practice of division of labor in society and the gradation system [differences in pay scale] exist, and in these respects bourgeois rights still exist to a serious extent. Even those bourgeois rights in the mutual relations between people which must be eliminated today, such as rigid gradation, lording it over and being divorced from the masses, unequal treatment of others, and so forth, often re-emerge after they have been broken. If the leadership of certain departments is usurped by capitalist roaders, they will strengthen and extend bourgeois rights in the relations between people, subject workers to “control, check, and repression,” turn the socialist relations between people into capitalist mercenary relations, and enforce the bourgeois dictatorship. This situation is particularly obvious in the Soviet Union of today.[118]

And the article continues:

The appearance of capitalist roaders within the Party in the period of socialism is not strange at all. Everything is divided into two. The political party of the proletariat is no exception. So long as classes, class contradictions and class struggle remain, such struggles will inevitably be reflected in the Party. “The capitalist roaders are still on the capitalist road”–this will be a long-term historical phenomenon. Marxism is different from revisionism in that the latter is afraid of mentioning the existence of the class struggle in socialist society, and particularly the appearance of the bourgeoisie within the Party. Khrushchev, Brezhnev and their like tried to deceive themselves and others with such fallacies as “The party of the whole people” and “the state of the whole people.” And Teng Hsiao-ping is as afraid of hearing the term “capitalist roaders” as Ah Q is of hearing others talk about the scab on his head. This is because if they admit this fact, it is tantamount to admitting that they themselves are the bourgeoisie inside the Party and it means their destruction. This to them is both painful and unthinkable. The proletarian revolutionary party and Marxists not only dare to admit that the bourgeoisie may exist within the Party but also dare to wage the Great Cultural Revolution and arouse the masses in airing views, putting up big-character posters and holding mass debates in a resolute struggle against capitalist roaders. For it is only in this way that we can consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and prevent capitalist restoration and finally send the bourgeoisie to its grave and realize communism. The socialist revolution is a great revolution aimed at burying the last exploiting class ever since mankind came to existence. “Living in such an era, we must be prepared to wage a great struggle which has many features different in form from those of the past.” [Mao] This then requires us to apply the method of class analysis to fully understand the features of class struggle and the changes in class relations so as to make clear this important problem–the bourgeoisie being in the Party, persist in the exercise of overall proletarian dictatorship over the bourgeoisie, and thus carry the socialist revolution through to the end.[119]

The quotations appearing above represent, in a clear and concise way, the line of Mao Tsetung on the nature of the class struggle under socialism. It is this line that has been overthrown in China and is now also under attack by Hoxha. And, of course, it has been this line that has been feverishly attacked by the Soviet revisionists all along. The Soviet, Albanian and Hua-Teng lines not only join together to attack Mao’s great contributions on this subject, but share a great many common features–above all, the negation of dialectics. All three fail to analyze socialism (or what they call “socialism”) from the standpoint of its internal contradictions, and refuse–either openly in the case of the Albanians and the Soviets, or not so openly but definitely in essence as in the case of the current Chinese rulers–to recognize that throughout the entire period of socialist transition there remain antagonistic classes.

Let us examine Hoxha’s contention that there are no antagonistic classes under socialism–i.e. the bourgeoisie as a class has been eliminated and there only remain “remnants” and the influence of its ideology and so on. This thesis was first expounded by Stalin, who declared that the bourgeoisie as a class had been eliminated in the Soviet Union with the completion of the socialist transformation of ownership. This formulation represented a concentration of Stalin’s errors and revealed the ideological basis–the tendency toward metaphysics–that mars his thinking. But Stalin’s real heirs, the genuine Marxist-Leninists of the Soviet Union and the revolutionary proletariat worldwide, were taught a very bitter and tragic lesson. The bourgeoisie not only existed, but it succeeded in making a comeback, capturing state power and restoring capitalism. To Hoxha’s attempt to resurrect this line which has been disproved by history, one can only respond: “first time tragedy, second time farce.”

But unfortunately, this farce is not a laughing matter. Stunned by yet another bitter setback for the international proletariat–namely, the temporary defeat of the revolution in China–large numbers of Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary-minded people have become disoriented. Hoxha offers them a lure, the lure of metaphysics and idealism, and offers them a never-never land where socialism never existed in China because Mao “permitted” the bourgeoisie to exist, so the defeat there amounts to no defeat anyway. But in this fantasy land there is hope–if real, genuine Marxist-Leninists seize power the race can yet be won–marching steadily and “uninterruptedly,” the proletariat will not have to go through chaos, fierce struggles and reversals, but will arrive at the land of perpetual harmony and stability. Well, Reverend Hoxha, your vision just won’t wash. The working class and the people have had their fill of fairy tales and aren’t particularly interested in another one from so-called communists. The workers don’t want guarantees–soon they recognize that it is only fools and opportunists who offer them victory without the possibility of defeat–what the class-conscious workers do want is science, an explanation of the workings of society that will enable them to change the world in accordance with its laws.

Let us return for a moment to the question of the Soviet Union, in the years before Khrushchev interrupted the “uninterrupted advance.” If there were no antagonistic classes, if there was no bourgeoisie, where did Khrushchev and the many followers he had come from? Were they sons of landlords and former capitalists, or perhaps “foreign agents” smuggled into the Soviet Union from the imperialist countries? Far from it, Khrushchev and his bunch were raised under the red flag, were high officials in the communist party, and could out-quote Hoxha about the “purity” of Marxism-Leninism.

But they were a bourgeoisie. Not a fully developed bourgeoisie, for that requires state power, but a bourgeoisie nevertheless.[119a] They grew up out of and thrived upon the remnants of the old capitalist relations of production and distribution that still existed–and could not help but exist–not because Stalin “permitted” those capitalist relationships (although he did not recognize them until the end of his life, and then only partially) but because all of the “birthmarks” of capitalist society, economic, political and ideological, cannot be eliminated at one stroke or willed out of existence. They can only be dug away bit by bit, in accordance with the further revolutionizing of production relationships and the superstructure and, on this basis, the further advance in the productive forces.

The revisionists in the Soviet Party, like their cousins in China, throve on the vestiges of the old capitalist relations and in turn became their political expression, fighting to preserve and expand these same capitalist elements. Even while the proletariat was in command of the Party and state and the revisionists were subject to attack, the capitalist-roaders in the party were able to usurp leadership in various units, ministries, factories, etc., as well as key sections of the Party itself, cultural, educational and scientific institutions, and so on throughout society. This is undeniable.

What relations does Hoxha think existed in those areas of economic, social and political life dominated by the revisionists prior to their seizure of nationwide power? Does he really believe that in factories run by Khrushchev’s crew there was no element of exploitation, of these bureaucrats privately appropriating the fruits of the workers’ collective labor? Does he really believe that these factories, for example, were completely–in content as well as form–public property? Or was it not in fact the case that the revisionists implemented to the greatest degree possible all the policies that they were able to implement on a full and complete scale only after they succeeded in seizing state power?

No, the revisionists are not classless bureaucrats with some wrong thinking–they were and are capitalist elements sucking the blood of the workers. Politically they tried to enforce a bourgeois dictatorship in every realm where they held sway. They used their strongholds in the cultural, educational and scientific fields to promote bourgeois ideology and combat Marxism-Leninism, to prepare public opinion for the course they were determined to follow. In the party, the pivotal point and concentrated arena of the class struggle, they promoted revisionism, demanded the adoption of lines and policies reflecting their own interests in developing as exploiters, and fought to wipe out the Marxist-Leninist line.

All this would seem very elementary in light of the actual history of the victory of revisionism in the Soviet Union. But not according to Enver Hoxha. In his idealist and metaphysical view, the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie only comes into being after the revisionists have seized power. Once again, the Deborin school of philosophy rears its ugly head. The contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the antagonism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, only emerges at a certain point–full-blown and from the head of Zeus. And this, no less, in a country where the revolutionaries did not “permit” the existence of a bourgeoisie, of antagonistic classes, or wrong lines in the Party!

Hoxha cannot understand the existence of the bourgeoisie under socialism because he cannot penetrate beneath the surface of things and understand their contradictory essence. He does not understand the essence of capitalism–the domination of dead labor over living labor, the private appropriation of the socialized production of the working class–and instead can see only some of the forms and effects of capitalist exploitation–joint stock companies, interest payments, the fact that some people live in dachaus and don’t ever do any manual labor, etc. Because of this he cannot understand how a bourgeoisie can exist, whether permitted or not, right within the party, in socialist society itself.

The role of the party itself under socialism is full of contradictions. On the one hand, and principally, the party is the political leadership of the working class, which leads it forward in making revolution and attacking every vestige of the old society. But the party is also, objectively, an administrative apparatus under socialism. Most of the people exercising leadership over particular units are party members, the state planning is done under the leadership of the party, and so forth. Similarly, the party must exercise all-round dictatorship in every sphere of society, and it is an instrument of proletarian dictatorship, but at the same time the existence of the party itself is in contradiction to the goal for which the party is fighting–namely the elimination of all class distinctions, and with it the need for any state or party. The party seeks to eliminate all inequality, but finds itself in the position of having to protect, even enforce, vestiges of inequality in the form of wage differences, the division between mental and manual labor, and so forth, because the party is not free to simply will them out of existence. All these contradictions in the very role of the party under socialism make possible the transformation of the Marxist-Leninist party into its opposite.

Mao’s important statement, “You are making the socialist revolution and yet don’t know where the bourgeoisie is. It is right in the Communist Party–those in power taking the capitalist road,” could well be directed at Enver Hoxha. Hoxha would send the workers on a wild goose chase looking for old exploiters who have long been expropriated when the actual main target of their class struggle is nestling in the very party itself. Instead of concentrating their efforts on uncovering and combatting those instances in socialist society where public ownership and the leadership of the party were a mere shell hiding a situation where the directors and big shots were implementing a revisionist line and trying to reduce the workers once again to the status of wage slaves, Hoxha would have the Marxist-Leninists concentrate on uncovering instances of petty exploiters illegally hiring labor and so forth. Instead of directing the political struggle against the bourgeoisie in the party, as Mao did, Hoxha would direct it against people like Sun Yat-sen’s widow and other old bourgeois democrats because they occupied a formal position in a state body that hasn’t met in years anyway and holds no real power. Of course all these secondary sources of capitalism and the bourgeois state played their role in the reversal in China, as did similar forces in the Soviet Union, but they were not and could not have been the main source of the bourgeoisie and were in fact only a significant force insofar as they were commanded and led by the bourgeoisie inside the Party.

In fact, at a certain stage in the development of the socialist revolution it becomes virtually impossible for the old bourgeoisie (i.e. the particular members of the old exploiting classes) to make a comeback–after all, they have been deprived of their means of production, they have been under constant political attack, they have grown old or died and they have become so politically discredited that they command no support in society (and even many of their own children have been won to support, or accept, socialism). Stalin perceived this, he knew that the old henchmen of the Tsar, the kulaks, the former factory owners, would never be able to regain power short of an imperialist invasion. But he drew exactly the wrong conclusions–that the restoration of capitalism was impossible without an imperialist take-over, and the dictatorship of the proletariat was only necessary to protect the socialist state from external enemies. And it is essentially this line that Hoxha is resurrecting, with a few of his own “shibboleths” about the “contradiction between the capitalist and socialist road,” “class struggle” (but no antagonistic classes!) and the “possibility of restoration still exists”–phrases the Albanian Party took from Mao while never really absorbing his Marxist-Leninist line, the line they are now attacking as revisionist.

Stalin’s recognition of the need to maintain the dictatorship of the proletariat stood in sharp conflict with his theory of the disappearance of the bourgeoisie and the non-existence of antagonistic classes and antagonistic contradictions under socialism. While he began to tackle some of the problems in this line in his Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR (written shortly before his death), in which he corrected the view put forward in the 1930s that there was no contradiction between the relations of production and the forces of production under socialism, he still did not reach correct conclusions on the nature of class struggle in the USSR at that time. It remained for Khrushchev to “resolve” the contradiction in the Soviet line between the dictatorship of the proletariat and the supposed non-existence of the bourgeoisie. Khrushchev did this with his infamous theory of the “state of the whole people.”

After all, Khrushchev argued (and not unreasonably) that if there is no bourgeoisie, if there are no antagonistic class relationships, why is it necessary to maintain a dictatorship of the proletariat, a state which by its very definition exists to exercise dictatorship over, suppress by force, the bourgeoisie? Furthermore, if the state is no longer needed to combat an internally generated enemy, but only to fight the external imperialist enemy and the foreign agents, saboteurs and so on who are dependent on this external enemy for their existence, couldn’t such a state be more appropriately termed the state of the whole people, and actually represent all the existing classes in Soviet society (the working class, the peasantry and the socialist intelligentsia), and still fulfill its functions against the external enemy? Of course, Stalin’s muddle is infinitely preferable to Khrushchevite revisionism, but it must be said that his muddle contained more than a few elements that could be and were used by Khrushchev in constructing his revisionist theories.


[76] Ibid., p. 107.

[77] Ibid., pp. 106-107.

[78] Lenin, “The Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up,” Collected Works, Vol. 22 (Moscow, 1964), pp. 355-56; Lenin’s emphasis.

[79] Mao, Selected Works, Vol. 2, p. 245.

[79a] The short article “The May 4th Movement.” Both the article and the speech came out on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the May 4th Movement, in 1939.

[80] Ibid, p. 238.

[81] Ibid, p. 245.

[82] Ibid, p. 238.

[83] “Speech to the Albanian Military Delegation,” Joint Publications Research Service, Miscellany of Mao Tsetung Thought (1949-1968) (Arlington, Va., 1974), p. 458.

[84] See the “16 Point Decision on the Cultural Revolution” and May 16, 1966 “Circular of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party,” printed as pamphlets, Peking 1968.

[86] Wang Ming, Lenin, Leninism and the Chinese Revolution, (Moscow, 1970).

[87] See Manchester Guardian (October 29, 1978), p. 13, quoting Hoang Tung, editor-in-chief of the Vietnam Party’s daily Nhan Dan.

[88] Hoxha, p. 106; emphasis added.

[89] Ibid., p. 107; emphasis added.

[90] See the Letter of the CC of the Party of Labor and the Government of Albania to the CC of the Communist Party and the Government of China (Tirana, 1978) where the Albanian Party held that the Cultural Revolution “ended in the establishment in China of state power dominated by bourgeois and revisionist elements.” (emphasis added) p. 36.

[90a] The reader might ask, if this is true how can Hoxha so uncritically uphold Stalin when revisionism triumphed so shortly after his death? Indeed, this is a contradiction in the Albanian line from which they run like the plague. What is most noteworthy in their writings on this subject is their shallowness and inability to provide any real explanation of the triumph of revisionism in the Soviet Union.

[91] Hoxha, p. 109.

[91a] At the same time, Mao sometimes saw the necessity of, and even advocated, putting known opportunists in certain positions within the Party for tactical reasons. This is discussed below.

[92] Ibid.

[93]. Mao, “A Dialectical Approach to Inner-Party Unity,” Selected Works, Vol. 5, p. 515.

[94] Ibid.

[95]. The Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Documents) (Peking, 1973), p. 46; reprinted in R. Lotta, ed., And Mao Makes 5 (Chicago, 1978), p. 96.

[96] Mao, “On Contradiction,” Selected Works, Vol. 1, p. 311.

[96a] The possible exception to this is Yugoslavia, but it is highly questionable in that case that socialism had ever been established, or that the League of Communists of Yugoslavia had ever been Marxist-Leninist.

[96b] While this is not the place to provide an overall critique of Hoxha’s political line, it is worthwhile to indicate what some of the other errors are that Hoxha is determined to enshrine. The complete and uncritical endorsement of the line of Dimitroff and the Seventh Congress of the Communist International; the thesis Stalin advanced in the early 1950s that the imperialist bourgeoisie had “dropped the national flag” and it was incumbent on the working class to pick up the national flag and be the best fighters for the nation–even in the imperialist countries; the failure to recognize and take into account the fact that the storm center of revolution shifted from the West to the East (to the colonial and semi-colonial countries) in the decades following World War 2–these are all examples of cases in which Hoxha continues to uphold wrong theses and to defend them against the further advances of Marxism-Leninism.

[97] Quoted by Hoxha on p. 109; the words which occur in brackets are not quoted by Hoxha although they are part of the sentence, as found in Mao, ”A Dialectical Approach to Inner-Party Unity,” Selected Works Vol. 5, pp. 515-16.

[98] Mao, ibid.

[99] Ibid., p. 515.

[100] Hoxha, p. 109.

[101] Mao, “Strengthen Party Unity and Carry Forward Party Traditions,” Selected Works, Vol. 5, p. 322.

[102] Ibid., p. 320.

[103] Ibid.

[104] Ibid., p. 322.

[104] Mao, “The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party,” Selected Works, Vol. 2, pp. 326-27.

[106] Lenin, “Left-Wing” Communism–An Infantile Disorder, Collected Works, Vol. 31, p. 115.

[106a] Of course Trotsky also had organizational skills which the Bolsheviks wanted to use in leading the revolution, and of course Trotsky had made a self-criticism and formally repudiated his past errors (as had Wang Ming and Li Li-san).

[106b] The “heretical passage” from Mao quoted above is from pp. 321-322 of his Selected Works, Vol. 5. Hoxha [Imperialism and the Revolution, p. 106) complains that articles written under Mao’s leadership “were full of typically Chinese stereotyped formulas,” which made them hard for Albanian theoreticians to understand, ”... because we are used to thinking, acting and writing according to the traditional Marxist-Leninist theory and culture.”

[107] History of the Party of Labor of Albania, pp. 275, 277.

[108] Quoted by William Ash in Pickaxe and Rifle: The Story of the Albanian People (London, 1974), p. 112; emphasis added.

[109] History of the Party of Labor of Albania, p. 334.

[110] Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, p. 106.

[110a] In this same section Hoxha raises the puzzling remark that Mao’s four volumes “are carefully arranged in such a way that they do not present an exact picture of the real situations that developed in China” but dares not offer one shred of evidence to back up this contention. The reason that Hoxha does not care to pursue this argument is that the source is in none other than the Soviet press. See, for example, “The Philosophical Views of Mao Tsetung.”[111] This same article also includes many of Hoxha’s other slanders against Mao such as ”racism” and so on. Similarly, Hoxha raises a hue and cry that ”The congress of the party, its highest collective organ, has not been convened regularly,” putting form over content and reminding one more of a bourgeois parliamentarian than a communist. (And by the way, one might ask Hoxha, the mighty and uncompromising upholder of the regularity of party congresses, why it was that the Communist Party of Albania did not hold its first congress until 1948, some seven years after it had been founded and more than three years after the liberation of the country.)

[110b] The same could be said for the USSR in the early years of socialism, but from the time of the mid-1930s on it becomes much more difficult to get an all-round picture of the line struggle in the USSR from the printed documents.

[111] M. Altaisty, V. Georgigev, The Philosophical Views of Mao Tsetung: A Critical Analysis (Moscow, 1971).

[112] Hoxha, p. 109.

[113] Ibid.

[114] See Hua’s report to the CPC’s 11th Congress in The Eleventh National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Documents) (Peking, 1977).

[115] Fang Kang, “Capitalist-Roaders Are the Bourgeoisie Inside the Party,” Peking Review No. 25,1976. Reprinted in And Mao Makes 5, p. 360.

[116] Hoxha, p. 113.

[117] And Mao Makes 5, p. 362.

[118] Chuang Lan, “Capitalist-Roaders Are the Representatives of the Capitalist Relations of Production,” And Mao Makes 5, pp. 369-70. This article first appeared in Study and Criticism, the journal put out in Shanghai under the direct leadership of the Four, and suppressed since the 1976 coup.

[119] Ibid., p. 373.

[119a] Just as it is impossible for the bourgeoisie to exist, under socialism, in exactly the same manner that it does under capitalism, so too the term proletariat acquires a different meaning. The proletariat under socialism is no longer a ”propertyless class” as it is under capitalism and is no longer dominated by capital. But to draw from this that communists could no longer speak of a proletariat under socialism would be the height of absurdity–and revisionism. The point is that with the socialist revolution both the bourgeoisie and the proletariat exist, but take on some different characteristics than under capitalism. It is easy to see how the dogmatist method (applying strict ”Marxist” definitions to analyze a situation where those definitions are not strictly applicable) dovetails nicely with the revisionist conclusion (no antagonistic classes).