Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

League for Proletarian Revolution (Marxist-Leninist)

Enver Hoxha and the PLA: For Imperialism, Against Revolution

First Published: Resistence, Vol. 10, No. 5, April 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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For many years the U.S. anti-revisionist communist movement recognized the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Party of Labor of Albania as the leading parties in the international communist movement. All around the world anti-revisionist forces did the same.

This was a correct position, and was based on the recognition that these two great parties have led the struggle against modern revisionism. The struggle against the revisionist Khruschov clique led to a major split in the international communist movement in the early 1960’s. On one side stood genuine Marxism-Leninism led by the CPC and the PLA, and on the other modern revisionism led by the revisionist communist party of the Soviet Union.

Recently, the international communist movement has passed through another major split. The former fraternal relations between the peoples, the parties and the states of China and Albania have been severed. At the center of the controversy are the views on the international situation and the tasks of communists, the laws governing socialist construction, the character and role of the party, and many other fundamental questions of theory and practice facing communists and progressive people the world over. This split is the result of the acute class struggle that goes on, both in capitalist as well as in socialist countries.

Since the initiation of the open polemic between the CPC and PLA we clearly expressed our support for the CPC and its line on the major questions under discussion. Specifically, we established our support for Chairman Mao’s theory of the Three Worlds, which became the focus of the polemic. In doing so we also opposed those forces who in supporting either the CPC’s or the PLA’s position began to label the other position and the other party as revisionists, opportunists, Trotskyites, etc. We did this convinced that such was the correct M-L approach to ideological struggle among fraternal parties.

Today, after the split has been completed, we reaffirm ourselves in the correctness of that position. Marxist-Leninists are not fatalists who at the sight of a contradiction begin to shout “split!, split!”, but rather, committed revolutionaries who believe that open and above board struggle using the method of criticism-self-criticism, of unity-struggle higher unity, is the correct way of dealing with contradictions among fraternal parties and comrades.

As a matter of fact, this way of approaching the contradictions between the CPC and the PLA is the way in which the Chinese comrades have consistently dealt with their contradictions – with the CPSU in the 1960’s, and with the PLA now. Their Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement (1963) and their Chairman Mao’s Theory of the Three Worlds, a great contribution to Marxism Leninism (Beijing Review No. 45, 1977), are examples of principled polemics in which, without labels, slanders or diatribes, the Chinese comrades explain their position and let it stand on its own merits.

On the other hand, you can examine the letter of the CPSU to the CPC, or the PLA’s Theory and Practice of the Revolution (or any of their recent documents) and you will see the reverse of the coin. It is quite clear that the CPC stands for principled unity in the international communist movement; the CPSU and the PLA stand for split. The CPC patiently attempted to win over both the CPSU (in the polemic of the 60’s) and the PLA today; the CPSU and the PLA opted for phrase mongering and distortions. The CPC stands for the defense of Marxism-Leninism up to its highest development, i.e. upholding Stalin in the 60’s and Mao today; the CPSU and the PLA attack Marxism-Leninism by attacking and denying Stalin’s contributions (the CPSU) and Mao’s contributions (the PLA).

We hold that the approach to polemics is part and parcel of the general line of any communist organization. You are to start from unity, a wish for unity, and not from sectarianism and a wish to split. In light of this, we defend the stand we took on this question in November 1977 at the Conference on the International Situation, sponsored by the Revolutionary Communist League M-L-M.


Though it was correct to stand for unity at the beginning of the polemic, that position was to be changed in the course of the struggle. While we don’t claim to be the experts on the PLA in the U.S., we feel that we have done enough investigation and study of their political line and historical development to be able to take a firm stand on the PLA and to make clear and definitive lines of demarcation with this former revolutionary party. In doing so we uphold that in fact the PLA was a genuine communist party which has degenerated. We believe that in the course of this polemic we will provide enough evidence of the PLA’s changes in line to back up our contention.


The major differences at this moment center on (1) the international situation (main enemy, danger of war. united front, peaceful coexistence, and their overall attacks against the three worlds theory); (2) their evaluation of Mao Zedong, the CPC, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and other related matters; (3) their views on classes and class struggle under socialism: (4) their views on national liberation struggles and the New Democratic Revolution; (5) their views on inner party struggle.

These, we repeat, are the major differences we have identified up to now. We are studying the line of the PLA in still other areas, like the trade union-movement, the woman and national question, etc. We will start this polemic by dealing with the major changes in the PLA assessment of Chairman Mao, the CPC and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.


The attitude towards Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought is a clear and de finite line of demarcation between Marxism and modern revisionism. As we pointed out in September, 1978:

Chairman Mao dedicated his entire life to the struggle for the liberation of China, the world proletariat, and all oppressed peoples and nations of the world, from the yoke of imperialism. In so doing, he creatively applied Marxism-Leninism not only to the concrete conditions of China and the Chinese revolution, but also to the concrete conditions of the world, and the world proletarian revolution.

The attacks against Chairman Mao cannot be seen as isolated acts but in fact as a coordinated attack against Marxism-Leninism, socialism, and the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the same way in the 60’s the attacks on Marxism-Leninism concentrated against Stalin, today they concentrate on Mao. Resistance, Vol.9, No.7

In his recent book Imperialism and Revolution, Enver Hoxha says that “Mao Tsetung was not a Marxist-Leninist, but a progressive revolutionary democrat... ”“He was an eclectic who combined some elements of Marxist dialectics with idealism, with bourgeois and revisionist philosophy, indeed, even with ancient Chinese philosophy...”. (p. 448 Tirana Edition) But in November 1977 this “eclectic” was praised as “the great strategist of the Chinese revolution (who) applied and developed the teachings of Marxism-Leninism in the conditions of China” Albania Today, No. 6, 1977). And under the correct title “The name and work of Comrade Mao Tsetung are immortal” (they are immortal indeed) Albania Today of November 1977 says: “On the basis of the immortal teachings of Marxism-Leninism and relying firmly on the revolutionary struggle and efforts of the Chinese proletariat, comrade Mao Tsetung founded the glorious Communist Party of China”.


Today, Enver Hoxha says: “Mao Tse-Tung Thought is a theory devoid of the features of Marxism-Leninism.” (Imperialism and Revolution, p. 385) and adds: “Mao Tsetung Thought is a variant of revisionism which began to take shape even before the Second World War, especially after 1935 after Mao Tsetung came to power”. (IAR, p. 395)

Can he possibly be referring to the same Mao whose “name and work are immortal”? But in 1974 the PLA thought differently. In their article “The Struggle to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius: A Great Revolutionary Movement” (Albania Today, No. 1, 1974) evaluating how positive this struggle was, they said: “The victory in the struggle against Lin Piao and Confucious is of great historical importance for the socialist present and future of China. It serves, in the first place, the further strengthening and ideological tempering of the Communist Party and the defense and consolidation of the position of socialism in China. It is still better arming the Chinese communists and people with the precepts of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse Tung Thought...” (emphasis LPR). Clearly in 1974 they did uphold the precepts of Mao TseTung Thought, which today they claim are a “variant of revisionism”.


Today Hoxha says: “With such an organizational platform the Communist Party of China has never been and never could be a Marxist-Leninist Party ”. (IAR, p. 401). But the same Hoxha in his report to the Seventh Party Congress of the PLA says: “Our party and people will strive unceasingly to keep the fraternal friendship and collaboration with the great Chinese people, their glorious Communist Party, the great People’s China, pure and strong.”

From “glorious” to “has never been a Marxist-Leninist Party” there is an unreachable distance. We could provide at least a couple of hundred passages written within a time lapsus of more than 10 years in which the PLA is all unity with the CPC all praises for Chairman Mao, “the great and beloved leader of all the peoples and communists of the world”. Not a single word of criticism of the CPC or Mao can be found in all of the PLA publications, including Hoxha’s speeches and books, until very recently. But today Hoxha claims that they knew all along that the Chinese were revisionists and that Chairman Mao was a “progressive revolutionary democrat”. Proof of this, we are told, are the “minutes” the PLA has of their meetings and conversations plus “copies of letters” that the PLA sent to the CPC starting 18 years ago, but which they have not seen the need to make public until now. This is sheer opportunism!

Anybody has the right to break with a group, a leader or a line which they consider incorrect. When you do so, you must come out open and aboveboard and explain why the break. You must show concretely that you are breaking either because the other has changed its line from Marxist-Leninist to revisionist, or because you have been incorrect in calling revolutionary what was really counterrevolutionary. But Hoxha and the PLA do neither.

Instead, they tell us that the PLA always had “the correct M-L line” (Imperialism and Revolution, p. 461) and then give us this gem of pure sophistry claiming that they supported the Cultural Revolution “because Mao himself asked us to do so”. They continue: “In our press Mao Tsetung has been described as a great Marxist-Leninist but we never used and never approved the definitions of the Chinese propaganda which described Mao as a classic of Marxism-Leninism” (IAR, p. 393).

Besides being false, this is nothing but an attempt to play with words in order to cover their rotten backs. First, what kind of Marxist-Leninist leader is the one that sup ports something of the magnitude of the Great Proletarian Revolution, just because “Mao asked us to do so”?

The PLA is trying, with no luck, to cover for the fact that up to 1977, they upheld the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which they now claim was ”neither a revolution, nor great, nor cultural, and in particular, not in the least proletarian”. (IAR, p. 392)

On the second question, we have already shown how the PLA refers to Mao as “applying and developing Marxism-Leninism in the conditions of China” (AT, No. 6, 1977). and how they refer to the importance of the struggle against Lin Piao as arming the Chinese people with the ”precepts of Marxism-Leninism Mao Tsetung Thought” (AT, No. 1, 1974). This goes for Hoxha’s claim that the PLA “never used or approved” the concept of Mao TseTung Thought. But more important than showing Hoxha’s lies is the fact that even if they had never used the concept, it would still be equally incorrect to have called a “progressive revolutionary democrat” a “great Marxist-Leninist” – as Hoxha admitted they did.

And on every question, the PLA has the same problem. They want to prove to us that what Marxism-Leninism teaches us is that we should help build the prestige of those we consider opportunists, that we are to unite in line and practice with those who are revisionists for as long as 20 years or until they cut their economic aid from you. And then, and only then, will you remember about those old “letters” which you have in your files, and the “minutes” of the conversations of 15 years ago. Really now! Only the most foolhardy (as well as neo-Trotskyites and revisionists) can go for such logic!


In one of at least 25 similar statements on the GPCR the PLA says:

The great proletarian cultural revolution, initiated and led by Chairman Mao Tse-tung personally, created an unprecedented revolutionary situation. The triumph of this revolution which constitutes a valuable contribution to the treasure of Marxism-Leninism for the continuation of the revolution in the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, led to the defence and consolidation of the socialist gains, to the liquidation of the bourgeois-revisionist treacherous Liu Shao Chi gang, the successful exposure and smashing of the counterrevolutionary plot of the traitor, careerist and agent of the Soviet revisionists, Lin Piao.

This statement is correct and a very accurate sum-up of the GPCR. We want to stress that the PLA recognized it as a “valuable contribution to the treasure of Marxism-Leninism”, that they recognized the importance of the “implementation of Mao TseTung’s Marxist-Leninist teachings”, and that the contributions of the enrichment of the science were in the realm “of the continuation of the revolution in the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat”. We stress this because in attacking the GPCR today, Hoxha is also attacking the view that classes and class struggle continues all along the transition from capitalism to communism, that is, during the entire period of socialist construction, and that there is a struggle between the two classes, the two lines and the two roads within communist parties.

Hoxha says today:

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 as 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, who have been liquidated through a military putsch staged by other anti-Marxist and fascist elements. (Imperialism and Revolution, p. 392)

From an “enrichment of Marxism-Leninism”, to a “hoax”. And not a single line of explanation, and no self-criticism!


By calling “squabbles” the struggles against the representatives of the bourgeoisie in the party, and by denying that in every communist party there is a struggle between the two classes, the two lines, the two roads. Hoxha is not only attacking the CPC. but also the CPSU(B) under Lenin and Stalin. And if not, what was Trotsky’s line in the CPSU(B)? The same Bolshevik line, or a counterrevolutionary one? And what about Martov’s and Bukharin’s. Khrushov’s and Mikoyan’s?

Hoxha’s attacks against the CPC on this question are definitely an attack against the M-L concept of (he party. They are the other side of the coin of Trotsky’s concept of the party. In order to liquidate the party, Trotsky proposed the legalization of factions within the party with their own programs, separate press organs, etc. Hoxha goes to the other extreme and denies that bourgeois ideology and bourgeois agents do find their way into genuine communist parties. This disarms the party and leads belittling the need for ideological struggle within the party.

Hoxha attempts to win credibility for his rotten line by quoting comrade Stalin at random. He uses Stalin’s teaching that “The Communist Party is the monolithic party of the proletariat, and not a party of a bloc of elements of different classes.” But he forgot that it was this same Stalin who, conscious of the fact that the bourgeoisie knows its ways, stressed that “The party becomes stronger by purging itself of opportunist elements.” You have only to read Stalin’s works in the struggle against Trotsky and other opportunists within the party, to see that in fact more than one line develops in the CPSU(B) consistently, and that the way of solving that contradiction was that of defeating the incorrect line. That is, by ideological struggle, and purging when necessary, but not by denying the existence of the struggle between the two classes, the two lines, and the two roads within the party.

To the question of, do we stand for factions within the party, the answer is NO. To the question of, do we want a party Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, the answer is again, NO. To the question of, can bourgeois elements and careerists that represent the bourgeois ideology get inside genuine M-L parties, the answer is YES. That is the experience of all genuine M-L parties throughout the world.


Hoxha claims that Mao’s thesis that the conditions of a semi-feudal, semi-colonial country, in which the peasantry is the largest class and the main force in the revolution, and in which the proletariat is still very small, that to carry our “peoples war’ and the tactic of ’the countryside encircles tin cities’, is a wrong one. He says so because according to him, Mao’s thesis is “absolutising the role of the peasantry.” (IAR p.387)

For Marxists, “practice is the criterion of truth”, and the practice of not only the Chinese revolution, but also that of the Vietnamese and Kampuchean, shows that this thesis is correct and that it led victory when correctly applied. In fact. Chairman Mao’s teachings on “peoples war” have been accepted as a great contribution by most of the revolutionary movements in the world. Be it in the Philippines, or Eritrea, in Zimbabwe or in Azania, revolutionaries the world over are proving with their practice that it is Chairman Mao’s teachings, and not Hoxha’s superrevolutionary gestures, that is helping them to move forward the revolution in their countries.


Once the PLA used these words as the title of one of their articles. Today, we have to rescue these words from them. For the PLA and Hoxha. and all those who are part of the bourgeois, revisionist and neo-Trotskyite. anti-Mao, anti-three worlds, anti-CPC anti-revolution, anti-Marxist chorus, we quote these words from a once genuine Marxist-Leninist party:

The base anti-China calumnies and inventions of the imperialist-revisionist enemies cannot deceive the peoples, they are smashed in face of the reality that is shining like the sunlight and cannot darken in the least the great role of People’s China, as a fortress of the revolution and socialism in Asia and all the world, as staunch fighter for the defence and triumph of Marxism-Leninism, for the freedom of the peoples, peace and real international security. Socialism, the revolution, the liberation of the peoples march forward because the People’s Republic of China unwaveringly marches at the head of this glorious road. Albania Today, No. 6, 1974