First Published in English: Class Struggle,, International Bulletin of the Workers’ Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) of Norway, No. 12, October 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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This letter from the Central Committee of the Workers’ Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist AKP (m-l) of Norway was sent to the Central Committee of the Party of Labor of Albania early in the autumn of 1977. This was done on account of the Albanian leaders recurrent attacks on Mao Tsetung’s theory of the three worlds at and since the 7th congress of the PLA. These attacks were also directed against the Communist Party of China and all other communist parties – including the AKP (m-1) – which support this theory. Because the Albanian leaders have now provoked a rupture with China, we shall publish the complete text of this letter. The subtitles have been written by the editors of Klassekampen.
* * *
Between the Party of Labor of Albania and the Workers’ Communist Party (m-l); Norway, there have been close and friendly relations for many years. The PLA has greatly contributed to world revolution. Our party has always appreciated the firm struggle of the PLA against Khrushchev’s modern revisionism, and the courageous struggle of the Albanian people to build socialism in a small country. The AKP (m-l) has always studied the experiences of the Albanian revolution and propagated Albania as an example to the working class and the working people of Norway.
At previous talks between representatives of our party and comrade Ramiz Alia of the Political Bureau of the PLA, we discussed the fact that our two parties maintain contradictory attitudes to certain important issues. Since ’Zeri i Popullit’ published the editorial The Theory and Practise of the Revolution July 7 this year, we find it necessary to clarify our views in writing, We do this in accordance with the principles emphasized by comrade Mehmet Shehu in his report on the five year plan at the 7th congress of the PLA:
According to Marxism-Leninism, every nation has the right to have its say, every Marxist-Leninist party has the right to air its views. (Tirana 1976, p.116)
1. The PLA has initiated a sharp polemic in the international Marxist-Leninist movement. We accept the right of every par1y to fight for its own views. But we think that the Central Committee of the PLA has chosen a form which jeopardizes the unity of the international communist movement instead of strengthening it.
On the basis of our talks with comrade Ramiz Alia and the program of the AKP (m-l) it will be known to the PLA that our party supports the theory of the division of the world in three, When the July 7 editorial characterizes “advocates” and “supporters” of the theory of the three worlds as “anti-Leninists”, “supporters of class collaboration” etc., we must consider this as an attack on our party and on the majority of parties in the Marxist-Leninist world movement as “anti-Leninists” etc. Not only do we reject such a criticism as baseless, but we think it is wrong to carry out such polemics in public, as our enemies could easily take advantage of it.
The statement that our party, because it approves of the theory of the three worlds, should be a “supporter of class collaboration”, is absurd. We can assure you that workers in Norway know very well from their own practise, that our party stands for class struggle and not class collaboration. Our enemies: the bourgeoisie, the social-democrats and the revisionists are also aware of this attack and attack us daily for this very reason. The program and theoretical writings of the AKP (m-1) also show that we uphold the principles of Marxism-Leninism and defend them against all kinds of revisionism.
2. We disagree with the criticism of the theory of the three worlds. The AKP (m-l) program from 1976 and our Resolution on social-imperialism from 1974 make it quite clear that we support Mao Tsetung’s theory that the world today is to be divided in three: the superpowers, the small and medium-sized imperialist countries, and the third world, This is the characteristic of the objective conditions of the world today, and no correct strategy for revolution can be drawn up if it is not founded on such analysis of the world situation. It may be maintained that the theory of the three worlds has been abused by opportunists and enemies of Marxism. But this is nothing new. Lenin teaches us that opportunism can be expressed in the terminology of any ideology, Marxism included. The fact that there are groups which misuse the theory of the three worlds cannot be used as a pretext to reject the theory itself. The essential thing is that it gives a correct appraisal of the conditions in the world today.
On the first anniversary of the October revolution Stalin elucidated its significance to world history in these words:
1. It has widened the scope of the national question and converted it from the particular question of combating national oppression in Europe into the general question of emancipating the oppressed peoples, colonies and semi-colonies from imperialism;
2. It has opened up wide possibilities for their emancipation and the right paths towards it, has thereby greatly facilitated the cause of the emancipation of the oppressed peoples of the West and the East, and has drawn them into the common current of the victorious struggle against imperialism:
3. It has thereby erected a bridge between the socialist West and the enslaved East, having created a new front of revolutions against world imperialism, extending from the proletarians of the West, through the Russian revolution, to the oppressed peoples of the East. (Works, Vol. IV, p.170, Stalin’s emphasis.)
Stalin explicitly assigned the imperialist oppressor nations and the oppressed nations to different camps:
In solving the national question Leninism proceeds from the following theses:
a) The world is divided into two camps: the camps of a handful of civilized nations, which possess finance capital and exploit the vast majority of the population of the globe; and the camp of the oppressed and exploited peoples in the colonies and dependent countries, which constitute that majority: (The Foundations of Leninism, ch.6, section 2, in Works Vol. 4, pp.149-150.)
“... the focal point in the Social-Democratic programme must be that division of nations into oppressor and oppressed which forms the essence of imperialism, and is deceitfully evaded by the social-chauvinists and Kautsky.” (Lenin: The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination)
In solving the national question Leninism proceeds from the following theses:
a) The world is divided into two camps: the camp of a handful of civilized nations, which possess finance capital and exploit the vast majority of the population of the globe; and the camp of the oppressed and exploited peoples in the colonies and dependent countries, which constitute that majority.” (Stalin: The Foundations of Leninism.)
We explained previously that Stalin’s position is irreconcilable with comrade Enver Hoxha’s report to the PLA’s 7th congress where the countries of the world are divided between two categories: “bourgeois-capitalist countries and socialist-countries” (p.173), and it seems we must repeat this fact. The demarcation line between oppressor nations and oppressed nations is a fundamental question in Marxism-Leninism. There is no room for wavering. Lenin puts it like this:
the focal point in the Social-Democratic programme must be that division of nations into oppressor and oppressed which forms the essence of imperialism, and is deceitfully evaded by the social-chauvinists and Kautsky. (The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination. Coll. Works Vol. 21, p409, Lenin’s emphasis.)
That Marxist-Leninists divide the world in three on the basis of a concrete analysis of the relative significance of the four basic contradictions, under imperialism is nothing new. As early as at the second congress of the Comintern Lenin said:
Thus you get the broad outlines of the picture of the world as it appeared after the imperialist war. In the oppressed colonies countries which are being dismembered, such as Persia, Turkey and China, and in countries, that were defeated and have been relegated to the position of colonies – there are 1250 million inhabitants. (Note: In this, figure Lenin included socialist Russia, Austria-Hungary, Germany and Bulgaria).
Not more than 250,000,000 inhabit countries that have retained, their old positions, but have become economically dependent upon America ... And, finally, we have not more than 250.000.000 inhabitants in countries whose top stratum, the capitalists alone, benefit from the partition of the world. (Coll. Works Vol. 31, p.218.)
Lenin did not explicitly mention socialism in this partitioning. On the other hand he insisted that:
I would like to remind you of this picture of the world, for all the basic contradictions of capitalism, of imperialism, which are leading up to revolution, all the basic contradictions of the working class movement that have led up to the furious struggle against the Second International ... are all connected with this partitioning of the world’s population. (same place)
But the fact that Lenin did not mention socialism in his partitioning of the world in three in 1920 gives us no reason to maintain that he “eliminated the existence of socialism from this system” or that he was an “anti-Leninist.” Likewise there is no reason to say such things about Mao Tsetung’s thesis on the three worlds.
During World War II Stalin partitioned the world in three after the German attack on the USSR, viz. the fascist block, the anti-fascist block, and the neutral countries.
In the early sixties, Marxist Leninists, headed by the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labor of Albania, carried on a sharp struggle against Khrushchev’s false communism. On the question of the partitioning of the world, Khrushchev maintained in the Open Letter from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) dated July 14. 1963:
... according to the new theory the main contradiction of our time is, you see, contradiction not between socialism and imperialism. but between the national liberation movement and imperialism. The decisive force in the struggle against imperialism, the Chinese comrades hold, is not the world system of socialism, not the struggle of the international working class, but again, the national liberation movement. (English text according to the quote in Apologists of Neo-colonialism, Peking 1963, p.24.)
The Open Letter of the CPSU was a reply to the CPC’s Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement (June 14, 1963). The Proposal divides the world in this way: “the socialist countries” (section 6), the “oppressed nations” (section 9), and the “imperialist and capitalist countries” (section 10). Section 8 of the Proposal begins with these words, that were repeated in Apologists of Neo-colonialism, the fourth commentary of the People’s Daily and Red Flag editors to the Open Letter of the CPSU:
The various kinds of contradictions in the contemporary world are concentrated in the vast areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America; these are the most vulnerable areas under imperialist rule and the storm centres of world revolution dealing direct blows at imperialism.
As far as we know, the PLA acknowledged the Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement, which we too consider a sound Marxist-Leninist analysis of the world situation at that time.
Today the world situation is drastically changed. In our opinion this is correctly explained in the AKP (m-l) Program from 1976:
The transformation of the Soviet Union from a socialist country to a capitalist imperialist country supported counterrevolution in most previously socialist countries and people’s democracies, transformed these countries into capitalist countries, satellites and neo-colonies of social-imperialism, and demolished the socialist camp.
While the socialist camp existed, the countries of the world could be assigned to three groups; the countries of the imperialist camp, the third world, and the socialist camp. In 1976 we have to distinguish between them in a different way. In a separate group we have the imperialist superpowers. Confronting them are the countries of the third world. In an intermediate position are the smaller capitalist and imperialist countries which have contradictions to the countries of the third world as well as to the imperialist superpowers. AKP(m-l) Program, Norwegian edition p41, from section 11: Imperialism and the Proletarian World Revolution, chapter 5: The Two Imperialist Superpowers. (English translation forthcoming).
3. The “Zeri I Popullit” editorial of July 7, 1977 – The Theory and Practise of the Revolution states:
Any imperialism, from its very nature, is always a savage enemy of the proletarian revolution. Therefore, to divide imperialisms into more or less dangerous, from the strategic viewpoint of the world revolution is wrong. (English edition, Tirana 1977, p.29.)
Comrades, we find this opinion incompatible with Marxism-Leninism. In our opinion Stalin did not depart from the “strategic viewpoint of the world revolution” when he stated in 1939:
The war is being carried on by the aggressive states which every day harm the interests of the nonaggressive states, above all England, France and the USA ... (Report to the 18th Congress of the CPSU(b), 1939.)
We also think that it is wrong that small imperialist countries, like for instance Denmark and Norway, constitute an equally serious threat to world revolution as the two superpowers. It is evident that the class character of imperialism is the same in the imperialist superpowers as in the small imperialist countries. But this does not mean that the superpowers on the one hand and countries like Norway and Denmark on the other have the same power, the same means, to threaten the peoples of the earth. Accordingly it is correct to draw a dividing line, point out the main enemy and concentrate the attack on him. Otherwise the distinction between the superpowers and the other imperialist states would be futile.
The joint meeting of Nordic Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations in 1975 adopted a Statement on the international situation. When asked for an appraisal, representatives of the Central Committee of the PLA declared their full agreement with the Statement, which contains notably this paragraph:
The Nordic Countries: Between the Superpowers and the Third World. Denmark. Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland are developed capitalist and imperialist countries where monopoly capital is in power ... But at the same time the Nordic countries are not imperialist superpowers. They are small capitalist countries, under pressure from the really big imperialist powers, and especially from the superpowers. Documents from the First Joint Meeting of Nordic Marxist-Leninists, January 1975, English edition p.26.)
Albania has also applied this correct view to its policy towards the Nordic countries. Albania acted correctly when it for instance supported a small imperialist country like Iceland against an intermediate imperialist power during the “cod war” in 1972.
The editorial of the “Zeri i Popullit” of July 7, 1977 asserts:
It can never happen that so-called countries of the ’second world’, in other words the big monopoly bourgeoisie ruling there, become allies of the oppressed peoples and nations in the struggle against the two superpowers and world imperialism. (op, cit, p.20.)
“Never” is a strong word, comrades, we are not able to anticipate the exact development of the international class struggle, But we would like to remind you of things that have occurred in the past:
In this connection the Meeting of the Communist Groups considered the Soviet Union, Great Britain: the United States of America and all the enslaved peoples who fought against the common enemy – German, Italian and Japanese fascists – as the allies of the Albanian people.”... “The Communist Party of Albania considered the Soviet Union as a loyal and sincere ally of the Albanian people, which would also help them to establish and consolidate people’s power in Albania, Whereas Great Britain and the USA were only temporary allies in the war against the fascist states. (History of The Party of Labor of Albania, Tirana, pp, 96-97.)
“Our war is part and parcel of the great antifascist war of the whole world, and the alliance of our people with the Anglo-Soviet-American bloc and with all the national liberation movements in the world is a vital condition for us.” (Enver Hoxha, 1944).
“Any imperialism, from its very nature, is always a savage enemy of the proletarian revolution. Therefore, to divide imperialisms into more or less dangerous, from the strategic viewpoint of the world revolution is wrong.” (The Theory and Practise of the Revolution)
In a letter to the command of the allied forces in the Mediterranean, General Wilson, comrade Enver Hoxha wrote in 1944:
Our war is part and parcel of the great anti-fascist war of the whole world, and the alliance of our people with the Anglo-Soviet-American bloc and with all the national liberation movements in the world is a vital condition for us. (Selected Works, Vol. I, p.350)
In the present situation it is the’peoples of the third world who constitute the main force in the struggle against imperialism and the Superpowers. (From the Program of the AKP(m-l))
Does not this show that it is impossible from a Marxist point of view to exclude temporary alliances with imperialist countries as a matter of principle?
Comrade Mao Tsetung is not the first Marxist-Leninist to distinguish between large and small imperialist powers, Already Lenin said:
An essential feature of imperialism is the rivalry between several great powers in the striving for hegemony. (Imperialism in Coll. Works Vol. 21, p.269)
Which great powers compete will, of course, depend on how history develops. During World War I, they were above all England, France, Germany, the USA and Russia. In 1939 they were England, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and the USA. Today, it is first and foremost the two superpowers, the, US and the USSR, which are hegemonic powers.
In the contemporary world it is therefore important to take advantage of the schism between the two superpowers and the other imperialist countries to split the enemy and direct the attack against the main one.
As far as the AKP (m-l) is concerned this idea is not new. It was clearly enunciated in our Resolution on social-imperialism from 1974:
Modern revisionists try to make people believe that small and big imperialists are all equally important. saying that all imperialists represent the same danger. It goes without saying that, say, England, cannot possibly be as a big a threat as the two superpowers, not because imperialists in these countries are ’kinder’ than the superpowers, but simply because they do not possess instruments of power equal to those of the United States and the Soviet Union. The revisionist propaganda is a reactionary maneuver intended to make people inattentive and make them ignore the most dangerous imperialists the two superpowers.
The working class and, the people of all countries must be able to fight the superpowers, as well as the lesser imperialists at the same time, in this struggle they must be aware of the revisionist trap, single out the most important enemies, and concentrate on the two superpowers and their attempts at gaining world supremacy. (Norwegian Marxist-Leninists Intensify the Struggle Against Social Imperialism, English edition pp.57-58)
This Resolution was published in English in 1975 and widely distributed throughout the world. It should consequently be well known internationally.
The “Zeri i Popullit” editorial talks about “the absolutization of inter-imperialist contradictions” (p.21). But this is not the point. The point is the Marxist-Leninist principle expounded by Lenin in Left-Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder:
The most powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and by the most thorough, careful, attentive, skilful and obligatory use of any, even the smallest, rift between the enemies, any conflict of interests among the bourgeoisie of the various countries and among the various countries, and also by taking advantage of any, even the smallest, opportunity of winning a mass ally, even though this ally is temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional. Those who do not understand this reveal a failure to understand even the smallest grain of Marxism, of modern scientific socialism in general. (Coll. Works, Vol.31 pp70-71.)
We think that this analysis of Lenin is still entirely valid today.
4. In the Report to the 7th Congress of the PLA, comrade Enver Hoxha states that:
US imperialism ...is strengthening its positions everywhere, and in every way. (p. 167)
Elsewhere he says that the two superpowers “pose the same danger” (p. 186). We disagree with this assessment of the relative strength of the two superpowers. Both superpowers are the main enemies of the peoples of the world. But it is a well known that US imperialism has met a series of setbacks the last decades. It is sufficient to recall that since the 6th congress of the PLA, the US has by no means strengthened its positions everywhere: on the contrary, in Indochina it has suffered severe military and political defeats.
Compare the situation in Africa today with the situation there ten years ago. Can there be any doubt that the balance of power between the two superpowers has changed drastically in favour of social-imperialism? Has not the USSR recently acquired a base in the South Atlantic? Does not the Soviet Union send Cuban mercenaries here and there on the African continent?
Or consider our country Norway. We are very happy to see that the 7th Congress of the PLA pointed out the danger of social-imperialist aggression against the Nordic countries in these terms:
... social-imperialism has now begun to commit arrogant violations of the maritime sovereignty of the freedom-loving Nordic countries and to try to establish its domination over all the seas of the North. (p.l88)
This is quite true, and the development of the political situation in northern Europe proves that Soviet social-imperialism is on the offensive to assume command over territories which US imperialism has controlled until now.
Comrades, in your assessment of the relative strength of the two superpowers you disregard concrete facts and give the impression that there is a balance of power between the two superpowers. This breaks with Lenin’s thesis on the uneven development of imperialist powers. Lenin states:
... the only conceivable basis under capitalism for the division of spheres of influence, interest, colonies, etc., is a calculation of the strength of those participating, their general economic, financial, military strength, etc. And the strength of these participants in the division does not change to an equal degree, for the even development of different undertakings, trusts, branches of industry, or countries is impossible under capitalism. (Imperialism Coll. Works, Vol.22 p.295.)
The presentation the PLA gives today of the relation between the two superpowers breaks with Lenin’s scientific thesis.
5. The AKP (m-l) holds that the tendency towards revolution and the tendency towards war-are both increasing. Leninism teaches that no conferences, agreements and the like between imperialist countries can prevent war, only revolution can prevent war. After a concrete assessment of relations of power in the world today, we have drawn the conclusion that a new imperialist war, a war between the two superpowers, is inevitable. We also thought that the PLA was of the same opinion, because comrade Enver Hoxha said in his speech to the electors on October 3, 1974:
Look out! US imperialism and Russian imperialism are leading the world into another world war, more terrible than the two previous wars! (Our Policy is an Open Policy, the Policy of Proletarian Principles, Tirana, 1974, pp.50-51)
But in the report to the 7th Congress of the PLA the danger of war is actually considered less acute, and is not seen in connection with the uneven development of imperialism. In the July 7 editorial, the danger of war is practically neglected. This is an error of principle as well as an incorrect analysis of the contemporary world.
In his article “On the Slogan for a United States of Europe”, which you quote in another connection, Lenin says:
Under capitalism the smooth economic growth of individual enterprises or individual states is impossible. Under capitalism there are no other means of restoring the periodically disturbed equilibrium than crises in industry and wars in politics. (Coll. Works, Vol. 21. p.341.)
Referring to the fact that Germany by-passed England’s production of pig iron between 1892 and 1912, Lenin posed the following question:
What means other than war could there be under capitalism to overcome the disparity between the development of productive forces and the accumulation of capital on the one side, and the division of colonies and spheres of influence for finance capital on the other? (Imperialism, Coll. Works Vol. 22, p.276.)
Today the USSR has long since by-passed the US in steel production and war industry. In important branches of military power the USSR has bypassed the US or is on the verge of doing so. Is it not time that Marxist-Leninists recognize that according to Leninism, this rivalry under capitalism can only be solved by war?
The AKP (m-l) program of 1976 states:
The Soviet superpower is still young as an imperialist power. It is still not weakened by the huge defeats which all imperialist powers unavoidably meet with sooner or later. It has been able to use the setbacks of US imperialism and of other western imperialist powers to expand itself. It is a superpower which, relatively speaking is still advancing and expanding. The Social-imperialist superpower has characteristics which make it an especially dangerous and aggressive power.
The USSR differs from US imperialism in that economic and political power are even more strongly centralized in the US and in all other imperialist countries.
The economy of the Soviet Union is state monopoly capitalist. In politics the dictatorship of the monopolist bourgeoisie takes the form of a dictatorship of the fascist type, as Mao stated in 1964: The Soviet Union is today a dictatorship of the big bourgeoisie, a dictatorship of the German fascist type, a dictatorship of the Hitler type. (Note: this analysis by Mao was quoted by the People’s Daily, Peking, in Leninism or Social-Imperialism. April 22, 1970, the centenary of the birth of Lenin)
The strong concentration of economic and political power in the hands of the leading clique within the bureaucrat bourgeoisie gives this clique an especially good opportunity to start expansionist adventures without meeting opposition from other groups within the bourgeoisie itself. It makes it possible to concentrate great amounts of resources on military production and rearmament. It makes it possible for them to use violence and terror against all attempts by the laboring masses to show their opposition to the imperialist policies. All this makes it very easy for Soviet social-imperialism to arm for war and to go to war.
At the same time the fascist and imperialist leaders of the Soviet bureaucrat bourgeoisie make use of the glorious past and the international prestige of the formerly socialist Soviet Union, They use demagogic methods to infiltrate liberation movements and countries which are fighting against other imperialist powers.
It is precisely this ’socialist’ demagogy which makes social-imperialism an especially treacherous enemy of the peoples, an enemy which is harder to expose than the old imperialist powers were. (op, cit. pp,43-44, same section and chapter as quoted above.)
6. The July 7 editorial of “Zeri i Poullit” attacks the theory that the third world constitutes the main force in world history today:
But to speak in general terms about the so-called ’third world’ as main force of the struggle against imperialism and the revolution, as the supporters of the theory of the ’three worlds’ are doing, without making any distinction between the genuine anti-imperialist, reactionary and fascist forces in power in a number of developing countries, means a flagrant departure from the teachings of Marxism-Leninism and to preach typically opportunist views, causing confusion and disorganization among the revolutionary forces. (op. cit. pp,14-15.)
These statements also apply to the program our party adopted in 1976 which notably states:
In the present situation it is the peoples of the third world who constitute the main force in the struggle against imperialism and the superpowers. (op. cit. p.39, chapter as above.).
These accords with a policy our party has practised a number of years; a policy we have published officially in several programmatic documents and which we have defended in sharp polemics against trotskyists and revisionists.
The Resolution of the AKP (m-1) on social-imperialism from 1974 stated:
Both the Western monopoly bourgeoisie and Soviet revisionists do everything they can to slander the front of the Third World. When the peoples of the Third World get together at conferences-and denounce the exploitation of poor countries by rich imperialist countries, the revisionists talk about ’the reactionary leaders in the underdeveloped countries’. When the USA is voted down in the UN, they talk about the ’unacceptable majority dictatorship of extremists that will destroy the world organization’. They call Chinese and Albanian support to the peoples of the ’third’ world ’opportunism’ and they say that China is practising a ’nationalistic great power policy’. This shows that the peoples of the Third World are heading in the right direction: It shows that the foreign policy of China and Albania is a consistent and principled anti-imperialist foreign policy, hitting the superpowers where it hurts the most. Real anti-imperialists ought to fight the hateful propaganda against the front of the Third World and support the correct foreign policy of China and Albania, the most unfaltering support given by any government to fight against imperialism. (op. cit. pp, 60-61.)
In its polemics against the significance of the struggle of the third world, the PLA refers to king Khaled and the Shah of Iran as “evidence” that it is correct to “reject even the concept” of the third world. ’Our answer to this was formulated long ago:
It is irrelevant whether some governments at the same time represent a reactionary policy and are extremely unreliable allies. As long as they for some reason or other oppose the superpowers, this objectively weakens the superpowers, we objectively strengthens the peoples’ united front against imperialism. (id. p.60)
The Statement from six Marxist-Leninist parties and party-building organizations of January 1975, which our party signed, asserts:
In this situation it has become apparent that many of the states of the Third World have succeeded in uniting and rallying around important demands directed against the imperialist countries, and especially against the two superpowers. This has notably occurred at UN conferences on raw materials, economic development, law of the sea, population etc. The countries that have supported this struggle have contributed to the weakening and the isolation of the superpowers, irrespective of the fact that many of them are governed by regimes with a reactionary domestic policy.
it is an important task for the working class and the people of the Imperialist countries to support the struggle of the Third World. (op. cit p.19)
“The various types of contradictions in the contemporary world are concentrated in the vast areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America; these are the most vulnerable areas under imperialist rule and the storm centres of world revolution dealing direct blows at imperialism.” (Proposal Concerning the General Line...)
This Statement was favourably commented by “Zeri i Popullit” at a meeting with a delegation from our party in spring 1975, the PLA representative affirmed that the PLA shared the views of the Statement on all points included therein.
We think that the view expressed in the 1974 Resolution, in the 1975 Statement, and in our 1976 Program, is correct. We think that the attack on this view in the July 7 editorial is incorrect.
In our opinion, reality shows us that the largest revolutionary movements dealing the hardest blows to imperialism and reaction in the contemporary world are the revolutionary movements for democracy and national liberation in the large colonial, semi-colonial and formerly colonial areas in Asia, Africa and Latin America. There are the areas included in the concept of the ’third world’.
The type of revolution which is the first step in most of these countries is what Lenin, Stalin and Mao term people’s democracy or new democracy. They teach us that this kind of revolution makes it possible to proceed to the construction of socialism in such countries. It is the struggle of the masses for new democratic and socialist revolutions which is the main force in the struggle against imperialism today and the motive force in world history in the year 1977.
This view accords with the polemics conducted by Marxist-Leninists against the revisionists in the early sixties. In the Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement (1963) the Central Committee of the CPC put it this way:
The various types of contradictions in the contemporary world are concentrated in the vast areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America; these are the most vulnerable areas under imperialist rule and the storm centres of world revolution dealing direct blows at imperialism.
The national democratic revolutionary movement in these areas and the international socialist revolutionary movement are the two great historic currents of our time.
The national democratic revolution in these areas is an important component of the contemporary proletarian world revolution.
The anti-imperialist revolutionary struggles of the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America are pounding out and undermining the foundations of the rule of imperialism and colonialism, old and new, and are now, a mighty force in defence of world peace.
In a sense, therefore, the whole cause of the international proletarian revolution hinges on the outcome of the revolutionary struggles of the people of these areas, who constitute the overwhelming majority of the world’s population.
Therefore the anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle of the people In Asia, Africa and Latin America is definitely not merely a matter of regional significance, but one of overall importance for the whole cause of proletarian world revolution. (Peking 1963, pp,12-13)
The Central Committee of the PLA expressed its full support of the views of the CPC, notably in an editorial in ’Zeri i Popullit’, under the headline “A Document of Great International Significance” the “Zeri i Popullit” editorial commented on the Proposal in these terms:
It is the high internationalist duty of all socialist countries and all communist parties to give their unconditional’ help and support to the national democratic movement, in these areas, which constitute the overwhelming majority of the world’s population.
These movements are the most important and mightiest allies of the international communist movement. Without an alliance with them there can be no talk of any victory or consolidation of the socialist revolution in the other countries. (July 24, 1963, our translation.)
“The struggle that the Emir of Afghanistan is waging for the independence of Afghanistan is objectively a revolutionary struggle despite the monarchist views of the Emir and his associates for it weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism ...” (Stalin: The Foundations of Leninism)
Thus, in 1963, the Albanian and Chinese communists correctly appraised the significance of the struggles of the third world in 1963.
What is the situation in 1977? Has the revolutionary struggle in Asia, Africa and Latin America decreased? No, as we know it has grown substantially in extent, assumed a clearer political orientation and won massive victories over imperialism and reaction. Many Marxist-Leninist parties head peoples’ wars of considerable significance in their own country.
Class struggle in the developed capitalist countries and in the two superpowers themselves has also witnessed an upsurge. Our party itself has grown forth in the course of this upsurge, and has for many years led important class struggles in a developed capitalist country. But is it possible to consider the extent and significance of this upsurge of class struggle in the developed countries as equal to the revolutionary storms which have swept over Asia, Africa and Latin America during the same period? Reality shows us they cannot be considered equal. Class struggle in Europe has made tremendous progress. Can this progress be compared to the revolutionary victories in Indochina? Can the level of class struggle in Norway or Germany be compared to the level of the revolutionary wars in Burma or Thailand, where Marxist-Leninists are leading people’s wars?
Reality gives us no reason to alter the correct appraisal of the revolutionary struggle in Asia, Africa and Latin America that the Chinese and Albanian communists made in 1963. Today there is all the more reason to assert the definite significance of the struggle of the peoples of the third world.
We think that the July 7 editorial incorrectly underestimates the significance of the struggle for socialist and new democratic revolution in the third world.
The “Zeri i Popullit” editorial of July 7 has also this to say about certain politicians in the third world:
In essence, according to the theory of the ’three world’, the peoples of those, countries must not fight for Instance against the bloody fascist dictatorships of Geisel in Brazil and Pinochet In Chile, Suharto in Indonesia, the Shah of Iran or the King of Jordan etc., because they allegedly are part of the revolutionary motive force which is driving the wheel of world history forward. (op. cit. p.15)
Our party holds that it is not correct that these men are “the leaders of the third world”. The leaders of the third world are revolutionaries like the Marxist-Leninist parties in Burma, Thailand, Malaya who are waging people’s wars, like the freedom fighters of Azania and Zimbabwe, etc. It is these revolutionary combatants who are the vanguard of the movement for new democratic revolution in the third world. It is therefore not correct to say that various reactionary heads of state are the leaders of the third world.
Furthermore, it is the opinion of our party that Marxist-Leninists must develop revolutionary tactics with respect to the heads of state of the various countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, on the basis of what Lenin teaches us. Since only a few of these countries have carried out real socialist revolutions, most of their heads of state represent domestic exploiting classes, foreign imperialists, or both. Revolutionary Leninist tactics do not imply creating any illusions about these politicians, but make it imperative that we take advantage of the situation if they turn against imperialism on certain issues.
The Resolution of the AKP (m-l) from autumn 1974 asserted:
All real, anti-imperialists welcome this development. We do so without any vain hopes that, diplomatic action from countries with different forms of government – including regimes with reactionary domestic policies and imperialist countries – can possibly replace people’s war as a means to defeat the superpowers.
However, the united front of states is not opposed to the struggle for revolution. Because if as many as possible of the world’s countries go against the imperialist superpowers, then this will limit their scope of action and weaken them. This again strengthens those forces waging wars of independence and the masses fighting for revolution. (Norwegian Marxist-Leninists ... op. cit. p.59)
As mentioned above, the Statement from the Nordic parties and party building organizations pointed out:
The countries (of the third world) that have supported this struggle have contributed to the weakening and the isolation of the superpowers, irrespective of the fact that many of them are led by regimes with a reactionary domestic policy. (Documents ... op. cit. p.18)
This line accords with Stalin’s correct assessment of the Emir of Afghanistan in 1924. This assessment is not based on the fact that this feudalist played any revolutionary role in his own country, but points on the contrary to the fact that he represented reactionary monarchist ideas. At the same time Stalin emphasized that communists had to support the struggle conducted by the Emir for the independence of the country, because it weakened imperialism and was objectively revolutionary:
The struggle that the Emir of Afghanistan is waging for the independence of Afghanistan is objectively a revolutionary struggle despite the monarchist views of the Emir and his associates, for it weakens; disintegrates, and undermines imperialism ... (The Foundations of Leninism, in Works Vol. VI, p.l48; see chapter 6.)
This correct Leninist assessment did not imply that Stalin directed the Afghan people to refrain from fighting against the monarchism of the Emir. At the same time it correctly took advantage of the conflict between the Emir and British imperialism. Stalin shows that this is a policy which strengthens and does not weaken the revolutionary movement.
It is our opinion that the “Zeri i Popullit” editorial is incorrect when does not point out that Leninist must also take advantage of conflicts between such heads of states and imperialism. The editorial errs when claiming that correct Leninist tactics require the revolutionary forces to “give up the revolution”. On the contrary, the result of their application is the strengthening of the revolutionary movement.
We support our Marxist-Leninist comrades in the third world when they say that the contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat is not yet the main contradiction in their country. This does not imply that they “give up class struggle”, but that they realize that the main contradiction at the moment is between imperialism and the oppressed nation and that class struggle must be conducted with regard to this fact. In our opinion the “Zeri i Popullit” not only wrongly criticises these comrades, it also contradicts Marxist-Leninist view which is put forward in the PLA’s own history:
The Communist Party of Albania did not call for the intensification of class struggle within the country, nor did it launch slogans calling on the people to rise against the landlords, the tribal chieftains and the bourgeoisie; to the end it directed its main efforts against the fascist invaders. The class struggle was intensified by the open treachery of the exploiting classes. (History op. cit. p.233)
7. The “Zeri i Popullit”.editorial states:
To follow this “theory” (of the three worlds) means to divert the revolutionary movement from the right road, to abandon revolution half way, to separate it from the proletarian revolution in the other countries, to set the struggle of the peoples and the proletariat of those countries on an anti-Marxist and revisionist course.
The present theories about the so-called ’third world’, ’non-aligned countries’ etc.. are intended to curb the revolution, and defend capitalism, which must not be hindered in the exercising of its hegemony, but should practise some forms of domination which are slightly more acceptable to the peoples. (op. cit. p.11 and pp. 16-17)
In these paragraphs the ’theory of the three worlds is characterised as anti-Marxist and revisionist. It is asserted that the theories of the “third World” and ’non aligned countries’ oppose revolution and defend capitalism.
These are blows directed against the Communist Party of China and comrade Mao Tsetung who personally worked out the theory of the three worlds. They are directed against our party, since we in our program in articles and in conversations with you have expressed our support of the theory of the three worlds. They are also directed against a large number of parties in the Communist world movement. Among them is the Communist Party of Kampuchea, which has asserted that Democratic Kampuchea is part of the non-aligned movement and the third World. They are also directed against many other parties, such as the Communist Party of Burma and a large number of other parties and organizations in Europe, America, Africa and Oceania.
“The Communist Party of Albania did not call for the intensification of class struggle within the country, nor did it launch slogans calling on the people to rise against the landlords, the tribal chieftains and the bourgeoisie; to the end it directed its main efforts against the fascist invaders.” (The History of the PLA)
Reality shows that the “Zeri i Popullit” editorial’s characteristic of the three world theory is incorrect. The Communist Party of China is and has been a mighty force in the struggle against imperialism, social-imperialism and revisionism, and a powerful supporter of the liberation movements and the Marxist-Leninist parties.
The Communist Party of Kampuchea has won victory in a mighty revolution, beaten US imperialism in the battlefield, defeated the intrigues of social-imperialism, established the dictatorship of the proletariat and commenced the construction of socialism.
Several of the parties we mentioned are leading revolutionary liberation wars in their own countries. Many others contribute significantly to the struggle against US imperialism, social-imperialism, and reaction in their own country.
Our own party, the AKP (m-l) is still small and young and has not yet achieved much. But it is undoubtedly fighting against the superpowers, the Norwegian monopoly bourgeoisie and for socialist revolution.
It is according quite incorrect to identify these parties with revisionism and, imperialism: It is, entirely wrong to say that these parties have betrayed the revolution. We find it very harmful that the “Zeri i Popullit” Editorial of July 7 can be interpreted in this way.
8. The Albanian press has loudly supported the meetings which were held in Ludwigshafen, Rome, etc., during the first half of 1977.
We have another opinion on these meetings. As you know, the AKP (m-l) does not oppose multi-national meetings on principle. But such meetings must advance and not weaken unity in the international Marxist-Leninist movement, and they must advance and not weaken the struggle against the two superpowers. We support and participate in such meetings only on very strict conditions. We hold that the meetings in Ludwigshafen etc. have broken with demands that must necessarily be advanced with regard to the relationship between parties and international meetings. In the spring of 1977 we informed the Central Committee of the PLA that we had broken our party relationship with the KPD/ML (Communist party of Germany/ML, weekly paper “Roter Morgen”), because the leaders of the KPD/ML support the revisionist “gang of four” in China and slander comrade Hua and the Central Committee of the CPC as “bourgeois revisionists”. On this background, our party could no longer recognize the KPD/ML as a revolutionary Marxist party. The Ludwigshafen meeting was organized by the KPD/ML. This organization has also participated in the other meetings. We think that the participation of Marxist-Leninist parties at meetings together with parties like the KPD/ML is harmful because it distorts the lines of demarcation between real Marxist-Leninists and revisionists.
These meetings have been used by some of the participants to launch attacks on the Communist Party of China, and also to spread other ideas which we consider incorrect. It is our opinion that such meetings are not fit to create unity on a correct basis. On the contrary, they can be misused to further factionalism and disruption.
We have observed that the organisation of Hardial Bains, the so-called “Communist Party of Canada (M-L)” has propagated these meetings. We will therefore once more draw your attention to the fact that we are utterly convinced that Bains operates as an agent for an imperialist superpower.
9. In conversations with representatives from the AKP (m-l) Comrade Ramiz Alia has explicitly stated that the PLA does not consider Mao Tsetung a Marxist-Leninist classic on a par with Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. We think this is a mistake, an underestimation of Mao Tsetung. In the point of view of the AKP (m-l), Mao is not only a Marxist-Leninist classic, but he is one of the greatest. It is he more than anybody else who has developed the Marxist-Leninist theory that the revolution must continue under the dictatorship of the proletariat. He has defended and further developed dialectic and historic materialism and made a comprehensive analysis of contemporary imperialism and the conditions for revolution today. To disregard Mao as a classic means to disregard one of the sharpest weapons against imperialism, social-imperialism and modern revisionism. This is our position on this matter. It has been ours since our movement was established more than a decade ago.
Comrades, we have repeatedly declared how highly we value the significant experience of the Party of Labor of Albania, how highly we value friendship with the heroic Albanian people. The experience of the PLA constitutes an important reserve for the international struggle of the working class. The Albanian revolution is an important contribution to the struggle against imperialism, social imperialism, and all reaction. The AKP (m-l) will continue to study your experiences and the PLA may rest assured that our party will always fight against imperialism, social-imperialism, and modern revisionism.
Long live proletarian internationalism.
Comradely greetings from the Central Committee of the AKP (m-l)