Source: Report of the Activities of the CC of the PLA, given at the 5th Party Congress of the PLA on 1st November 1966 (Original text)
Translated: Arne Rjevan (from German)
Transciption: Ismail Badiou
HTML Markup: Mike B.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2010). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
The composition and extension of the party, the growth of its ranks and the steeling of its members must be one of the most serious issues for all party organisations. It always has to be shown quite clearly that the party work in general and especially the admission to the party and the problem of its growth is a thing of great responsibility about which many factors have to be kept in mind:
political, ideological, organisational, economic ones as well as factors concerning one's awareness, etc.
In such delicate issues a cut and dried, formal performance of instructions or existing rules is as harmful as the negation of all rules and instructions, like in anarchist or spontaneous tendencies. We must not become slaves of predetermined structures; but on the other hand we are unable to do without correct, revolutionary structures, renewed and animated through struggle and experience.
The admission to the party follows the terms of the party statute and the rules issued by the Central Committee according to specific instructions.
… It happens that people join the ranks of the party who do not yet hold all necessary characteristics to be a communist or who are not worthy of that name...
...Often such qualities like character, morals and the personal behaviour of the candidate, his readiness to make sacrifices and his political maturity, his ideological level and revolutionary spirit as well as his connections with the masses, etc., which should be the main requirements, are not considered at all.
The basic organisations leave the judgement and the serious rating to those who issue the recommendation. Finally the same carelessness dominates during the probation time of the candidate. In fact this is very often a probation time in name only. The candidate is not bound up in any specific systematic revolutionary activity and therefore he sees himself as a member of the party from the day on which he has been accepted as a candidate. Only the colour of the envelope of his membership register makes him any different from a party member. It has to be said that such a "normal" procedure is revolutionary neither in form nor in content.
The party needs new blood, but pure blood. The party has to be strong especially regarding quality, therefore we should not seek quantity.
…The candidate is expected to give top priority to his work, keep discipline, show bravery and readiness to make sacrifices as well as determination to defend the party line, to be closely connected with the workers and peasants and humane towards his colleagues, that he is severe against himself and his flaws and mistakes and fights them...
The Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania is of the opinion that the candidature should last 2-3 years, depending on the candidate's character of work and his qualities.
To put up higher requirements for the admittance to the party should in no way be understood as closing the doors of the party. The party will close the doors to class enemies and to those unworthy of joining but its doors are open to all sons and daughters of our heroic people, to all those who want to dedicate their lives to the great cause of the revolution and of Marxism-Leninism. (Applause)
The party organisations and committees not only have to pay attention to the task of upholding the purity of the Party of Labour of Albania and to its qualitative consolidation in connection with new admittances but also with regard to the further steeling and educating of those communists who are already fighting in the ranks of the party.
The members of our party have to be true to the teachings of Marxism-Leninism, to the party and the people. This means that they always have to be revolutionary and upright fighters for the defence of the purity of Marxism-Leninism, determined till their deaths to serve the party and the people at every moment and in every situation, ready to commit every sacrifice which might be asked from them in the name of the interests of the revolution and of socialism.
Communists have to show an iron and a conscious discipline as well as a strong will to enforce the party line, the laws and the preservation of the morality and customs of our people. But this does not mean that they have to apply the received instructions in a mechanical way. A communist has to approach his work in a creative way; he has to delve into the concrete ideological and political core of the concrete party resolutions respectively state laws and has to organise his activities, depending on the circumstances under which he works, in such a way that those resolutions are enforced and applied successfully.
The members of our Marxist-Leninist party have to be aware that the party affiliation will not and cannot earn even the smallest personal privilege. It [the party affiliation - Rjevan] only brings big, difficult and responsible tasks with it. Who holds a different opinion, who seeks to ensure privileges for himself, his family or somebody else by the medium of the membership register, no matter if those privileges are of material or moral nature, does not deserve the great honour to be a member of the party for even a single moment.
A communist has to be connected closely to the masses, to listen considerately and respectfully to their voice, to live and work with the masses, to feel their pulse and know their sorrows, to head and lead the masses. He has to be an unforgiving enemy of a cocky nature, arrogance, addiction to domination of others, favouritism and nepotism, of any kind of underestimation and scorn for the masses and their work, he has to fight bravely against everybody who reveals such tendencies to damage the interests of the workers, the party and our socialist state.
A good and consistent member of our party is one who always keeps the class struggle in mind and enforces it without hesitation, outside of the party as well as within its ranks, by firmly relying both on the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism and the party line. He has, after a correct dialectical analysis, to be able to differ between good and bad, the dangerous and the less dangerous, he has to understand how to use the most appropriate methods of convincing and persuading others and lastly of using force. A good and revolutionary member of our party is one who wins the trust and love of the people by his actions and behaviour, who teaches and saves those who are erring and strikes with the utmost hatred against those who are incorrigible and socially dangerous, against the enemies of the people and the party.
Every communist has to acquire a truly revolutionary vigilance to ensure the party line and the purity of its ideals.
A member of the party has to be characterised by the highest sense of justice, by the purity of of his conscience and actions; he has to be strong in his principles and he never must hide his flaws and mistakes but criticise them himself without waiting for others to expose them. Only in this way is he able to effectively criticise the mistakes of his comrades, exercise vigilance and improve others through his purity and his just struggle.
A revolutionary communist has to fight with the utmost conscientiousness in the place where the party puts him and where it needs him, always putting public interest above all. He must never give in to an unsound situation which was caused by the incorrect conclusions and enactments of any party or state authority, just as he must not give in to the mistakes or despotic acts of any functionary.
Those characteristics, which are embodied in the majority of our party members, have to become a second nature to all Albanian communists. Without this the revolutionary spirit of our party cannot be protected and one cannot speak of revolutionising life in our country. Therefore the whole attention of the party committees and the basic organisations has to be aimed at the constant steeling of the communists. The party organisations have to be very persistent especially in this regard. Consistent revolutionaries have to be educated in their [the party organisation's — Rjevan] ranks and have to act as determined communists, so that they fully earn the honour to be members of the Party of Labour of Albania.
The right way for steeling the party members is their most active participation in the construction, their insistent and constant work on their political and ideological education. The consistent revolutionaries will stand out and grow in their daily work and struggle, in the revolutionary enthusiasm of the masses, in the effort put into the enforcement and the defence of the party line, while on the other hand the half-hearted will drift to the surface, those who look for a quiet place to live in the dream world of the past, those who gloat over the past and therefore demand privileges; and in the end those will drop out who entered the party without justification or by mistake. The party has to give everyone what they deserve. The first have to be supported, encouraged, educated by the party so that they will advance. The party has to stand by the second in a helpful way and open their eyes, so that they will see in what a bad situation they are; it has to clarify that their situation is not compatible with the responsibilities and the role of a revolutionary, it has to take care that they leave this swamp as soon as possible, rise with regard to the general revolutionary enthusiasm and side themselves with the first ranks of the most outstanding fighters. The third have to be thrown out of the party; they are unworthy to be part of its ranks.
In the struggle to improve their quality the party organisations have to pay special attention to those party members with long-lasting fighting experience. This is a great treasure of the party which must not be wasted but guarded jealously. The party has to work with those people, too, has to educate them so that they will forever stay consistent revolutionaries until they die. Even in the last days of their lives they are supposed to struggle bravely for the cause of the party with their remaining energy, even though some will be amongst them who will grow old physically. This is a natural law.
But for us communists it is also a law and it will stay a law that we will mentally remain revolutionaries until the very end, until our deaths, and also fight as such. (long-lasting applause, ovations)
The party must not evince its care for those comrades by pampering them but by protecting and mobilising them to constant revolutionary action. The party has to truly honour and love those comrades for their actions but it must in no way allow that those who have such a brilliant past in in the party become parasites, self-important and arrogant people who demand unlawful privileges for themselves and their families. This is a dangerous thing because it creates a privileged class with petty bourgeois remnants within the party which are alien to the proletariat and its ideology.