Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Party of New Zealand

Trotskyite Coup in Albania

Trotskyite Coup in Albania: Statement by the Central Committee Communist Party of New Zealand 15.4.91

The capitalist media is jumping for joy at what it describes as “the dumping of Stalinist dogma” in the small Balkan state of Albania. Capitalist governments are praising its president, Ramiz Alia, for taking “the path of democracy” as Albania falls under the sway of “market forces” and the politics of international big business. The Albanian Government no longer mentions words like “socialism”, “class struggle”, “revolution” and “dictatorship of the proletariat”. Instead, the pro-capitalist intellectuals who have engineered a complete take-over of the affairs of state in Albania base their policies on such economic concepts as “maximum enterprise profitability”, “free market competition’ and “privatisation of state assets”, which are the same big business buzz-words that New Zealand workers have come to know and hate.


Every principle of communism has been openly renounced over the past year by the ruling elite grouped around president Alia. With the ruthlessness typical of capitalist politicians everywhere, they are purging their opponents from all positions of influence in the economy, the government, the ruling party and the state forces.

Alia & Co carried out two strong-arm coups inside the Party of Labour last July and December which eliminated the majority of Politburo members, replacing them with pro-capitalist politicians. Similar standover tactics inside the Albanian Government over the last nine months have axed all ministers resisting the capitalist counter-revolution.

Particularly significant was the dumping in July 1990 of Simon Stefani as minister of internal affairs (in charge of police) and Prokop Murra as minister of defence. Both these holders of key positions in the state apparatus were characterised as “hard-line Stalinists” by the capitalist media. Their overnight elimination without any public explanation to the citizens of Albania amounted to a capitalist coup d’etat designed to reverse the policies of government.

The de-Stalinisation programme now in full swing is re-shaping the political and state apparatus into a sharp weapon of the capitalist counter- revolution as Albania is pushed under the thumb of international big business.


The Tirana regime is opening up the country’s resources and labour to unlimited exploitation by foreign capital under the argument that “Albania is not a closed box”, as Ramiz Alia stated on February 13. “We live in this world,” the Albanian president continued, “and without contact with it, we cannot exist.” (Albanian Telegraphic Agency bulletin.)

Genuine communists make “contact” with capitalism in the same sense as a boxer extends his gloved hand to make “contact” with his opponent in the “friendly” handshake before the start of a bout, knowing that as soon as the bell rings he will be using his fists to make “contact” With his opponent’s chin.

As traitors to communism, however, Alia & Co understand “contact” with the capitalist world to mean moulding Albania into whatever shape is demanded by international big business.


The reasoning of Alia & Co is very similar to Leon Trotsky’s reasoning in the 1920’s when he played the central role in organising a failed counter-revolution inside the Soviet party and state. He was expelled from the Soviet Union for his secretive counter-revolutionary activities.

Trotsky was fanatically opposed to Stalin’s communist line of building “socialism in one country” until the international proletarian revolution could deliver additional countries into the socialist camp.

Trotsky argued that socialism must fail in the Soviet Union because the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution wasn’t reinforced by successful socialist revolutions in a number of other European countries. Falling victim to his own defeatism, Trotsky became the foremost “left-wing” enemy of socialist construction in the Soviet Union.

Precisely because he posed as “left-wing”, Trotsky was the most useful propaganda tool of international capitalism in its ideological offensive against socialism during the 1920’s and 30’s. But no amount of “revolutionary” sloganeering could hide Trotsky’s true position as a right- wing politician who was acceptable to capitalism because he refused to fight for “socialism in one country”.

If workers were to refuse to take advantage of a revolutionary situation to organise a victorious revolution just because the Trotskyites declare that “socialism in one country” is not allowed, then socialism could never replace capitalism on a world scale, since it is obvious that a start must be made in one particular country. If a start is never made, no job can ever be completed. This is perfectly clear to class conscious workers, even if it isn’t to the middle class intellectuals who constitute the class base of Trotskyism.


As a political trend, Trotskyism was decisively rejected in the 1920’s and 30’s by not just the Soviet toilers, but also by the class conscious workers of all other lands. Deprived of any mass base, Trotsky came to rely on a covert alliance with Hitler’s nazis and other imperialist secret services to stage a coup against the Stalin Government, as his supporters later admitted in open court hearings during the 1936-38 Moscow Trials. Amongst the journalists and diplomats attending the court hearings was the American ambassador to Moscow,Joseph Davies, himself a very experienced trial lawyer. In a confidential embassy dispatch to the US Secretary of State in 1937, Davies reported that the foreign diplomats in Moscow “are all of the opinion that the proceedings established clearly the existence of a political plot and conspiracy to overthrow the government”.

Davies declared that the “calm” and “wise” conduct of the open court hearings “won my respect and admiration as a lawyer”.

After the outbreak of World War II had revealed the full range of covert weapons in the nazi arsenal, Davies publicly stated in 1941 that the Moscow Trials had wiped out “German fifth column activity” in Union. “The purge [of Trotskyites] had cleansed the country and rid it of treason,” Davies said.


All politicians, regardless of their party labels, have only two basic choices. Either they put themselves at the service of the working class struggle to gain freedom from the rule of capital and build socialism. Or they put themselves at the service of big business domination of the labour movement.

Put another way, the only possible alternatives are either the dictatorship of the proletariat (where working class rule frees all other sections of working people from class exploitation while would-be exploiters are suppressed) or the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (where big business is free to trample over the interests of all toilers).

These two forms of state power correspond to the antagonistic interests of the two main classes in the modern world, labour and capital. Big business can only continue in existence by using its economic, state and ideological power to organise the maximum exploitation of labour. We see the terrible results for the working class in New Zealand today with the union-busting Employment Contracts Bill and the life-threatening welfare cuts facing the poor.

The on-going class struggle between capital and labour is only decisively resolved in favour of labour when the working class carries out a successful socialist revolution, places industry and commerce under public ownership to serve public needs instead of private profits, and establishes the dictatorship of the proletariat to stand guard over socialist construction.


Opportunist politicians like Leon Trotsky and Ramiz Alia label themselves “communist” to gain positions of influence within the labour movement, but then use these positions to try to adapt the labour movement to the demands of international capitalism. This is why the working class needs to be vigilant, insisting that leaders of the labour movement be directly accountable to the working class, and checking that the words and deeds of such leaders match up exactly.

While Stalin remained at the head of the Soviet party and state, opportunist politicians like Trotsky couldn’t stage a capitalist coup d’etat. Stalin always talked directly and honestly to the Soviet toilers about how the Bolsvevik Party should assist the proletariat to exercise its leading role at each stage of the class struggle.

The vast majority of the Soviet population was composed of the peasantry, whose class position tended to propel them towards the capitalist outlook of private land ownership, private markets and private accumulation of capital. Stalin and the Bolshevik Party mobilised the Soviet working class as the conscious mass leadership of the peasantry to pull them onto the path of socialist construction. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, a fairly stable alliance was forged between the Soviet working class and peasantry on the basis of delivering much-needed material benefits to the peasantry, such as:

*The satisfaction of peasant land hunger by the state-assisted expropriation of the rich farmers.
*The elimination of backward farming techniques through the collectivisation of agriculture.
* The introduction of machine & tractor stations in the countryside manned by proletarians.
* A stable state market for farm products giving income security for the peasantry.

Even though the vast peasant masses were pulled onto the path of socialist construction, their deeply-entrenched class traditions provided fertile soil for the continual regeneration of capitalist ideology, which was only held in check by the dictatorship of the proletariat.

But when a number of Bolshevik Party officials at district, republic and central level succumbed to the outlook of private gain being continually regenerated inside the peasantry, and began to coalesce into a separate stratum of bureaucrats serving themselves instead of the class interests of the proletariat, the strong bonds between proletariat and party were seriously weakened. This began to disrupt the dictatorship of the proletariat, since the working class needs to be tightly organised around its own communist party in order to play its leading role in all stages of the class struggle.

It is evident that this process of ideological corrosion within the Bolshevik Party began during Stalin’s era. But while Stalin was alive, the bonds between proletariat and party were never broken. Stalin’s theoretical and practical activity remained closely linked with all the necessary struggles of the proletariat. Therefore, the Bolshevik Party remained as the instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat, despite serious weaknesses introduced by opportunist party officials.

After Stalin died in 1953, however, the Bolshevik Party’s Central Committee was unable to keep its feet in the struggle against the political opportunists who emerged from the woodwork, with the result that latter- day Trotskyites grouped around Nikita Khrushchev seized power in a counter-revolutionary coup. Their first job was to ruthlessly purge the Stalinist majority from the Central Committee.


We see the tragic results in the Soviet Union today. Mikhail Gorbachev, the opportunist successor to Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev, is today finishing the job of transforming the Soviet Union into a monopoly capitalist state identical to the Western powers. A small Soviet elite grows immensely rich and powerful in alliance with foreign capital while the Soviet toilers face misery piled upon misery.

This defeat in the Soviet Union was not inevitable, however. The Soviet proletariat, expanding in numbers and influence as a result of the Bolshevik programme of industrialisation, could have continued to provide the solid mass base for the further advance of socialism after Stalin’s death if opportunist rot had not infected the political nerve Centre of the proletariat – the Bolshevik Party’s Central Committee.

Tragically, however, the Khrushchevites took the same Trotskyite line that Ramiz Alia is now taking in Albania. Under the slogan of “peaceful coexistence”, the Khrushchevites stressed the need for peaceful “contact” with the capitalist world, in the sense of giving away the class struggle for socialism and adapting the Soviet Union to the dictates of Western imperialism.


Adaption to capitalism means giving away the dictatorship of the proletariat in favour of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The middle class intellectuals grouped around president Alia have developed a complete economic and political programme of adaption to capitalism. The capitalist programme of Alia & Co includes:

* Re-writing the country’s Constitution to eliminate any references to Albania being “a state of the dictatorship of the proletariat” engaged in the building of socialism.
* Giving president Alia the sweeping powers of a bourgeois dictator in a re-drafted Constitution so that opposition to the capitalist counter-revolution can more easily be crushed.
* Promoting the phoney “non-class” concept of “people’s power” to cover up the installation of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. a Supporting the creation of openly capitalist parties like the Democratic Party which acts as the Albanian arm of the US State Department.
* Axing all opponents of the counter-revolution from top positions in the Party of Labour and the state apparatus and beginning the purge of lower-ranked officials.
* Requesting permission for the Albanian State Bank to join the International Monetary Fund and World Bank which are notorious as imperialist tools to control small nations.
* Opening the entire Albanian economy up to foreign investments which are legally guaranteed against expropriation or nationalisation.
* Allowing foreign companies investing in Albania to repatriate overseas every single dollar of their profits flowing from the exploitation of Albanian resources and labour.
* Encouraging all Albanian state, co-operative and private enterprises to form “joint ventures” with foreign capital.
* Replacing the communist principle of proletarian internationalism with propaganda about defending “national independence” to cover up the sale of Albania to Western imperialism.
* Enacting an entirely new judicial code to bring Albanian laws into full conformity with the imperialist-inspired Paris Charter which is centred on the right of private capital to freely exploit labour.
* Passing anti-worker labour legislation which makes it virtually impossible to legally mount any effective and widespread strike action.
* Refusing to allow a single rank-and-file industrial worker onto the 250-strong list of Party of Labour candidates for the People’s Assembly election.
* Pushing the peasantry away from collective farms and towards running private herds on plots of land set aside for private use and selling the produce in private markets.
* Making maximum profits the only objective of every state enterprise and turning enterprise managers into de facto capitalist “owners” with the unrestricted right to hire and fire labour and to accumulate “private” profits.
* Severely restricting the role of centralised economic planning which is essential in socialist construction in order to expand the role of capitalist “market forces”.
* Re-writing school text books to get rid of “ideological” terms like socialism, revolution, Marxism, class struggle, dictatorship of the proletariat, dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, capitalism, imperialism and opportunism.
* Launching an attack on Joseph Stalin in order to create the ideological conditions for the consolidation of capitalism in Albania.


Alia & Co’s programme contradicts every single principle of communism. Stalin put these principles of communism into practice in the Soviet Union for over three decades. Therefore, Stalin’s legacy must be attacked by Alia & Co, since they want to go in the opposite direction.

Enver Hoxha, who died in 1985 after leading Albania for four decades, is now merely referred to as an “historical personality” by Ramiz Alia. No hint is given that Hoxha always defended the name and work of Stalin with great vigour.

Likewise, no hint is given that Hoxha did his very best to apply the principles of communism, although he fell down on some of the fundamentals and therefore must be regarded as an incomplete Marxist.

Central to Hoxha’s failings as a Marxist is the way he regarded the anti-Marxist concept of “people’s power” as being the same as the Marxist concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

It is nonsensical to use the term “people’s power”, since all state power rests on “the dictatorship of a single class”, as Lenin put it. In the modern world, this means either the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie or the dictatorship of the proletariat. No other class is in the economic or political position to take state power into its hands.

Contrary to what Hoxha suggested, state power can never rest on all “the people” – industrial workers, collective farmers, intellectuals, state officials, rural labourers, self-employed tradesmen, etc – who still exist as very different layers of the social strata after the socialist revolution right up until the era of classless society (i.e. communism).


Hoxha’s concept of “people’s power” has close similarities to the anti-Marxist concepts of state power advanced by Nikita Khrushchevand Mao Tse-tung.

Khrushchev’s concept of the “state of all the people” was promoted as a more “democratic” replacement for the dictatorship of the Stalin era. In fact, it was nothing more than a political disguise for the erection of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in the Soviet Union on the ruins of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Mao Tse-tung proposed the “democratic dictatorship of four classes” – the workers, the peasants, the middle class and the “patriotic” bourgeoisie. By denying the fundamental communist principle that state power in today’s world can only be held by either the proletariat or the bourgeoisie, this Maoist concept blocked the Chinese working class from ever taking the reins of state power and setting out on the path of socialist construction. Instead, a form of state capitalism arose out of the 1949 Chinese revolution.

Naturally, both Nikita Khrushchev and Mao Tse-tung had to criticise Stalin for “crimes” and “mistakes”, just like Ramiz Alia is doing today, since Stalin remained true to the dictatorship of the proletariat while these three opportunists all adapted themselves to the pressures of world capitalism.


It is self-evident that every person and party makes mistakes. Both Stalin and the Bolshevik Party made mistakes, which they publicly corrected in the light of practice. But the essence of Stalin’s strategic line is correct. This is why the world communist movement went from strength to strength during Stalin’s era and why imperialism was pushed very much onto the defensive despite a relentless campaign of military, political, economic and ideological aggression against the Soviet Union.

History has repeatedly shown that politicians of the labour movement who criticise Stalin’s strategic line as “incorrect” are themselves on an opportunist course. Workers should be aware that one of the warning signs of opportunism is when a supposedly “left-wing” or “communist” politician starts slamming into Stalin.

Hoxha must be characterised as an incomplete Marxist, not as an opportunist, because he genuinely believed that “people’s power” was the same as the dictatorship of the proletariat. His genuineness is reflected in his lasting respect for Stalin and his persistent efforts to consolidate socialism in Albania. Unfortunately, the confusion sown inside the Albanian proletariat and the Party of Labour by the anti-Marxist concept of “people’s power” prevented the numerically increasing working class from fully taking up the reins of power.

This failure to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat in Albania lies behind the rapid victories of the capitalist counter-revolution over the past year or so.


In an attempt to deflect the anger of the Albanian working class, Alia & Co are now suggesting that the small size of their country, its tremendous backwardness when it was liberated from fascist rule in 1944 and its encirclement by powerful capitalist countries are compelling reasons why Albania has no choice but to embrace capitalist principles.

In fact, this is merely the latest variation on Trotsky’s theme that “socialism in one country” cannot be victorious. Therefore, say both the Trotskyites and Alia & Co, “socialism” must be adapted to suit capitalism if it wishes to survive. This anti-communist viewpoint was expressed with great clarity by the New Zealand Trotskyite group Workers Power last July in its criticism of “Stalinists” in Albania and New Zealand. “Socialism can be successful only if it can take advantage of an international division of labour, with the highest productive forces of capitalism at its disposal,” declared the New Zealand Trotskyite journal Redletter.

But the only sort of “socialism” that can be built “with the highest productive forces of capitalism at its disposal” is the type of system now being created in Albania which, as Alia & Co say, is based on “contact” with world capitalism. In plain language, this is adaption to world capitalism, and it’s just what the Trotskyites ordered.


President Alia reported on February 13 that ”the country is experiencing economic decline” as he called for more “contact” with world capitalism and more pro-capitalist “change” in Albania.

But Alia also admitted that “over the last ten years the economic difficulties have intensified” (ATA bulletin). And it was during this decade that the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat was openly replaced in top party and government circles by the anti-Marxist concept of “people’s power”.

It seems the key factor in Albania’s present “economic decline” is the tremendous fall in labour productivity over the last few years. Last December, Alia slammed “a psychosis of laziness and slackness in many sectors which caused falling labour productivity” (ATA bulletin).

This rapid fall in labour productivity expresses working class disillusionment and anger at the capitalist counter-revolution gathering pace in Albania. Workers now feel totally alienated from the affairs of state and, therefore, are merely going through the motions on the job. Tens of thousands are trying all means possible to get out of Albania because they don’t feel they have any stake in the system.

The same dramatic fall in labour productivity also occurred in the Soviet Union after the Khruschevite counter-revolution. No worker ever does anything more than strictly necessary for a capitalist boss, since any extra output only goes to enrich the employer and increase the power of capital over labour.


Yet during Hoxha’s era, the labour productivity of Albanian workers had increased in leaps and bounds, allowing the country to experience some of the highest growth rates in the world. This was confirmed in Alia’s report to the 1986 Congress of the Party of Labour. Even though Hoxha’s promotion of “people’s power” meant that the dictatorship of the proletariat couldn’t be properly consolidated, at this time the Albanian working class still had enough influence in the affairs of state to reap increasing benefits from increasing labour productivity.

Therefore, it appears that Albania’s present “economic decline” has far more to do with the capitalist counter-revolution than with the objective difficulties facing a small country with a backward heritage surrounded by powerful enemies.

In other words, Albania’s economic crisis stems more from political factors than it does from economic factors.

This knocks holes in Trotsky’s thesis that “socialism in one country” must fail. It verifies Stalin’s thesis that the dictatorship of the proletariat is essential for working class progress. There are plenty of outward signs of economic and political chaos in Albania, such as the increasingly violent demonstrations, the tens of thousands attempting to nee the country, the upsurge in strikes and workplace absenteeism, and the huge balance of payments problem. These are the bitter fruits of Alia & Co’s Trotskyite line of adaption to capitalism. The way forward for the workers of Albania lies in organising around the strategic objective of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This was Stalin’s consistent line. It holds good for all workers of the world today.