Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sam Marcy on Albania Part 2.

In Defense of the Peoples Republic of Albania
December 22, 1961

From: Selected Works of Sam Marcy

As Enver Hoxha and the ideological line of Albania have a renewed interest among the online Marxist-Leninist community, I thought it would be of interest to re-post Sam Marcy's two articles on Albania. Enjoy. - Caleb T. Maupin

Of all the errors committed by the Khrushchev leadership, the break in the diplomatic relations with Albania is unquestionably the worst and the most grievous of all. It cannot be justified by any standards of working class principles, nor can it be justified by the long-standing tenets of Soviet foreign policy.

This action must be unequivocally condemned as a calculated attempt to undermine the Albanian Peoples Republic, overthrow the existing leadership by forceful and external methods, and substitute a leadership which will do Khrushchev's bidding.

If this is what is called "democratization," militant Communists the world over must take another look, and try to decipher its deeper significance.

To begin with, the glee and merriment in the camp of the class enemy over the diplomatic rupture, should be enough to make any class conscious worker suspicious of the motivation behind the move.


What has Albania done to deserve such a rash and unwarranted attack? The accusations leveled against her range all the way from fostering the "cult of personality" to the denial of the "Leninist principle of co-existence."

Even if one were to assume that Khrushchev's indictment against her was true in all respects, it could under no circumstances be regarded as sufficient cause for taking such an extreme measure. Even in the case of Yugoslavia there was no actual severance of diplomatic ties. Why Albania? Why not the re-Nazified government of Western Germany? of Denmark? or of the U.S.?

Such governments as the U.S. and West Germany are pursuing the "cult" of war against the Soviet Union! Is the pursuit of the "cult" of Stalin and Hoxha so much worse than the pursuit of the "cult" of superprofits and imperialist war?

Is it not the height of irony to preach peaceful co-existence with states having different social systems, while initiating a merciless war against a small state with a similar social system?

If there is to be peaceful co-existence should it not be first and foremost among the fraternal states within the socialist camp?


To begin with, it should be borne in mind that Albania has been a beleaguered fortress ever since the ouster of Tito. It is amazing how such a small country, surrounded on all sides by enemies, should have been able to survive and develop under such hostile surroundings.

Of course, the tremendous contributions of the Soviet Union, China and the other socialist countries helped the Albanian Peoples Republic in no small measure. But there is no ground whatever to doubt the assertion of the Chinese Communist Party, that it was accomplished "mainly by relying on their own (i.e., Albanian) efforts."

The account of the struggles of the Albanian Peoples government in ridding the country of feudal and foreign rule, and the heritage of a backward, agricultural population that was 80 percent illiterate, is contained in the November 17, 1961 issue of Peking Review.

The appraisal by the Chinese of the role of the leadership of the Albanian Party of Labour, contrasts sharply with the dark picture painted by Khrushchev. Whatever may be the faults of Enver Hoxha and his collaborators, they have been the leaders who have, through trial and tribulation, seen their country through foreign oppression to socialist construction. To extirpate this leadership by external pressure -- which is what Khrushchev apparently wants to do -- is to do violence to the most elementary principle of socialist justice.

Khrushchev, it seems, would be only too glad to see Albania come hat in hand to the imperialists, begging for a handout. But the firm and loyal support of the People's Republic of China and others in the socialist camp, make such a development unlikely.

It should be noted, however, that Poland and Yugoslavia both receive imperialist handouts, but are not under attack from the Khrushchev leadership.

In the context of the present international situation, and considering the fact that Albania is completely isolated geographically from the other socialist countries -- and especially when one regards the fact of Albania's small population (one and a half million) -- the Albanian Peoples Republic and its leaders, have every right to regard the diplomatic rupture as an attempt at political and economic strangulation.


It is claimed by the Khrushchev leadership that Albania made "inordinate demands" upon the Soviet Union with regard to economic assistance.

It is difficult to conceive of "demands" being made by little Albania. But if so, could not these "demands" be politely turned down?

It is further claimed that the Albanian leadership expressed "resentment" over the "aid rendered by the Soviet Union and other socialist countries to the underdeveloped countries of Asia and Africa." This is the claim made by Professor Fedor Constantinov in the November issue of Kommunist, theoretical organ of the Central Committee of the CPSU.

It is a distortion of the real issue raised by Albania and China on the permissible limits to which a socialist country may obligate itself in rendering aid to such countries as India, Egypt, and others -- while at the same time reducing aid, or denying it completely to such governments as those of China, North Vietnam, and the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic.


"... Hoxha and Shehu," says Professor Constantinov, regard the Leninist principles of co-existence of two systems not as the general line of foreign policy, but as "merely a phrase, words which do not bind one, a clever tactical maneuver, whereas the policy (of the USSR) is no tactical device, but the general line of foreign policy substantiated by Lenin and creatively developed by the CPSU, by Nikita Khrushchev." But the truth of the matter is that Hoxha, no less than Khrushchev, is for peaceful coexistence. Only his interpretation of it differs. It reflects a more militant attitude toward imperialism. Unquestionably, Albania holds a political position on this issue very similar to that championed by the Chinese Communist Party.

The Chinese position was aptly summarized by Liu Ning-yi, head of the Chinese trade unions, in a speech at Peking celebrating the anniversary of the Algerian rebellion:

The only effective way to deal with imperialism and the new and old colonialism headed by the United States is to wage a head on struggle against them, tooth for tooth and eye for eye. We should never cherish the slightest illusion about them. (New York Times -- November 2, 1961)

It is difficult to see how militant Communists can help but support the Albanian-Chinese position as against Khrushchev's.

Whoever does so, however, is immediately branded as a Stalinist by the bourgeois apologists, or a dogmatist and a left-sectarian by Khrushchev's apologists.

A leftist apology for the Khrushchev position is contained in the Monthly Review -- December 1961. In its view, the above quotation from Liu Ning-yi epitomizes all that is wrong with the Chinese position, which it characterizes as a severe case of " dogmatic leftism."

In reality it represents the inflexible determination of the Chinese CP not to be taken in by the wiles of imperialism, and to be prepared for any eventuality, since imperialism -- as the CCP has said on innumerable occasions -- will not change its aggressive warlike nature.

"The world should be grateful to the moderating influence of the Soviet Union" upon China, says Monthly Review. Whether it is speaking of the capitalist world or the working class world here, the reader can judge by its additional statement:

"As compared to the Chinese, the Soviet position puts more emphasis on nations as actors on the world stage and less emphasis on classes."

MR's analysis of the differences between the Chinese and the Russians is inaccurate and faulty -- especially coming from authors who regard themselves as Marxists, for they failed to take into consideration the Marxist-Leninist definition of a nation from the point of view of its relation to the classes. "A nation," said Lenin, "is an instrument of a definite specific class."

All nations big and small, both oppressor and oppressed, are definite instruments of a given specific class. It is true that nations exist as independent entities, but to put more emphasis on nations without respect to whether this or that nation is an instrument of the bourgeois class or the working class, is to blur over and deny the significance of class antagonisms, which is one of the issues in dispute in the first place.


In addition to the dispute over the nature of imperialism, there is also what the bourgeois press refers to as "de-Stalinization."

For a long time now, the bourgeoisie has been bestowing accolades on Khrushchev for his ouster of old "Stalinists" and the process of "de-Stalinization." This chorus of applause ranges all the way from the semiofficial organ of the State Department, The New York Times, to their social democratic lackeys.

But while the so called "de-Stalinization" has found a welcome reception among the ruling classes, it has not found such a reception among the class-conscious Communists anywhere in the world. On the contrary, it has met with stubborn resistance. For what the bourgeoisie and its agents call "de-Stalinization," is in reality appeasement and capitulation to imperialism.

(The process of reviving socialist legality and enlarging the rights of the masses is a more or less independent process, not really related to what the bourgeoisie call "de-Stalinization." We hope to return to this theme at a later date.)

Where "de-Stalinization" has been approved by masses of party members in the world Communist movement, it is done so out of party loyalty, with little if any conviction that the line is correct.

One need not be an adherent of Stalin to realize that this "process of de-Stalinization" does not augur well to those who were looking forward to a genuine revival of Leninism following the death of Stalin. All who are interested in the history of Communism know by this time that Stalin has played a dual role in the movement. That while he defended the gains of the proletarian revolution, he also exterminated practically the entire generation of old Bolsheviks by his abuse of power and personal dictatorship.


The revelation by Khrushchev and his collaborators, of some of the reactionary aspects of Stalin, has unfortunately not been done in a spirit calculated to revive genuine Leninist principles. But on the contrary, it has been carried out in the spirit of appeasing imperialism.

In an earlier article we expressed the hope that the political struggle within the Communist movement should not lead "to a rupture in the relationships between the Socialist states."

Now that this has happened, the responsibility for it must be put squarely on the shoulders of Khrushchev and his collaborators.

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