i) 14.2.91 Letter from CPNZ Central Committee to PLA Central Committee;
ii) 14.2.91 Full text of letter from CPNZ Central Committee to the Editorial Board of Zeri i
Popullit, organ of the PLA Central Committee;
iii) 14.2.91 Full text of letter from CPNZ Central Committee to Radio Tirana;
iv) 21.2.91 Bill Bland, secretary of the Communist League of Britain, to the Communist
Party of New Zealand in response to the CPNZ's exposure of Albanian revisionism:
v) List of Other organisations cited by CPNZ
vi) "TROTSKYITE COUP" CONSISTING OF:
The CPNZ Central Committee has published a lengthy statement in the latest People's Voice exposing and condemning the revisionist course of Alia & Co. We enclose this issue of the People's Voice together with a 400-page book on the same theme published by the CPNZ Central Committee. We are circulating these materials to the world communist movement.
The CPNZ Central Committee considers that the PLA leadership has adopted an openly anti-communist position in every field, including the theoretical principles of communism, the nature of the Albanian state, the role of the working class, the role of the communist party, the defence of Stalin, the political economy of socialism and the foreign relations of a socialist state.
Until fairly recent times, comradely relations existed for many decades between the PLA and the CPNZ. The revisionist course of Alia & Co, however, has unilaterally destroyed these comradely relations. A genuine communist party like the CPNZ cannot co-exist peacefully with the revisionists organising a capitalist counter-revolution in Albania.
The CPNZ Central Committee hereby issues an invitation for a delegation from the PLA leadership to visit New Zealand in the near future so our Party can make a face-to-face declaration of opposition to the revisionist course of Alia & Co. The demands of work on our relatively small Party forces make it impossible to send a CPNZ leadership delegation to Albania. Therefore any meeting between our two parties will have to take place in New Zealand.
In addition, we request a detailed written response from the PLA Central Committee to the CPNZ Central Committee's detailed exposure of the revisionist course of Alia & Co....
The tactic of Alia & Co has been to pretend that the
CPNZ does not exist.... The world communist movement has the right to a
public reply from the PLA Central
Committee in response to the CPNZ Central Committee's public criticism
of the revisionist course of Alia & Co.
The CPNZ Central Committee has published a lengthy statement in the latest People's Voice exposing and condemning the revisionist course of the present leadership of the PLA. We enclose this issue of the People's Voice. This material is being circulated to the world communist movement.
The CPNZ Central Committee considers that Alia & Co have adopted an openly anti-communist position in every field, including the theoretical principles of communism, the nature of the Albanian state, the role of the working class, the role of the communist party, the defence of Stalin, the political economy of socialism and the foreign relations of a socialist state.
Until fairly recent times, comradely relations existed for many decades between the PLA and the CPNZ. The revisionist course of Alia & Co, however, has unilaterally destroyed these comradely relations. The CPNZ has been a strong defender of the principles of communism ever since its formation in 1921 and therefore cannot co-exist peacefully with the revisionists engineering a capitalist counter-revolution in Albania.
The world communist movement has the right to a public airing in Zeri i Popullit of the CPNZ Central Committee's public criticism of the revisionist course of Alia & Co.
Without any public explanation, over a year ago Zeri i Popullit stopped its regular round-up of extracts from the newspapers of the world communist movement. Your paper instead featured speeches from the revisionist leaders of the PLA praising the merits of closer "co-operation" with the imperialist powers and defending the opening up of Albania to foreign capital. So Zeri i Popullit changed from being a paper promoting the socialist cause of the world communist movement to being a paper promoting an accomodation with capitalism and its imperialist rulers.
If Zeri i Popullit refuses to publish an objective summary of the CPNZ Central Committee's exposure of Alia & Co, then this would be conclusive proof that your paper has become a pliable tool of the revisionists engineering Albania's slide into capitalism. This would be a tragic fate for a paper that began its life as the champion of Albanian toilers in the revolutionary heat of the liberation struggle against fascism. As all genuine communists know, fascism is "the open terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital" (to quote Georgi Dirnitrov's famous definition).
Opening up Albania to the penetration of Western finance capital means opening up Albania to the same sort of imperialist control that tried to strangle Albania during World War 11. The nature of imperialism has not changed in the slightest. It is the attitude of Alia & Co towards imperialism that has changed. These revisionists are now sucking up to Western finance capital and thus betraying the tens of thousands of Albanians who laid down their life during the anti-fascist National Liberation War.
To remain true to its revolutionary origins, Zeri i Popullit must take a firm stand against this revisionist betrayal. This will involve courageous and determined struggle by genuine Albanian communists to mobilise the working class against the powerful revisionist forces now in control of the Party of Labour. Therefore we appeal to Zeri i Popullit to publish an objective summary of the CPNZ Central Committee's exposure of Albanian revisionism to show how genuine communist parties in other lands oppose the dirty work of Alia & Co.
If Zeri i Popullit were
to feature the CPNZ Central Committee statement, this would uphold in a
very practical way the communist principle of international working class
solidarity. Buckling under to revisionist censorship, however, would spell
the complete bankruptcy of Zeri i Popullit
as a champion of the world's workers.
The CPNZ Central Committee has published a lengthy statement in the latest People's Voice exposing and condemning the revisionist course of the present leadership of the PLA. We enclose this issue of the People's Voice. We are circulating this material to the world communist movement.
The CPNZ Central Committee considers that Alia & Co have adopted an openly anti-communist position in every field, including the theoretical principles of communism, the nature of the Albanian state, the role of the working class, the role of the communist party, the defence of Stalin, the political economy of socialism and the foreign relations of a socialist state.
Until fairly recent times, comradely relations existed for many decades between the PLA and the CPNZ. The revisionist course of Alia & Co, however, has unilaterally destroyed these comradely relations. A genuine communist party like the CPNZ cannot co-exist peacefully with the revisionists engineering a capitalist counter-revolution in Albania.
We note that Radio Tirana (on 31.12.90) suddenly stopped playing the international communist anthem "The Internationale", at the end of its world broadcasts. No direct explanation was offered for this action which contradicts the communist principle of international working class solidarity. However much you might be turning your back on workers in other lands by such actions, the world communist movement has the right to a public airing on Radio Tirana of the CPNZ Central Committee's public criticism of the revisionist course of Alia & Co.
Radio Tirana recently proclaimed that "radio and television
is now an independent body" forming part of a "democratic and plural mass
media" in Albania which is unable to make any comments on politics, industry
and the economy" (Radio Tirana broadcasts on 31.12.90 and 22.1.91). We
will see whether your words about "independence", "democracy", "pluralism"
and "freedom" match up with your deeds by whether or not Radio Tirana carries
an objective summary of the CPNZ Central Committee's exposure of Albanian
21.2.91 Bill Bland, secretary of the Communist League of Britain, to the Communist Party of New Zealand in response to the CPNZ's exposure of Albanian revisionism (from the CPNZ archives):
"I am directed by the Committee of the Communist League
to thank you for sending us the People's Voice and the book dealing with
the Albanian revisionist betrayal of communist principles. You ask for
a public response from "overseas parties" to your exposure of Albanian
revisionism. The Communist League is not yet, alas, a party, but its aim
is to form a Marxist-Leninist party free of all revisionist trends, and
it is in this capacity that we are pleased to send you our sincere congratulations
on your stand and to express our solidarity on this issue. It should be
a matter of the greatest pride that the Communist Party of New Zealand
- almost alone of the previously existing communist parties of the world
- has taken such a principled, consistent stand against all the successive
brands of revisionism which have caused so much damage to the international
communist movement and to the working people of the world in recent years."
In February 1991, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of New Zealand published the 400-page book "Albania's Slide into Capitalism". This book was split into three sections:
This 90-page supplement is split into seven sections, incorporating the latest CPNZ Central Committee statement on Albanian revisionism issued on 15.4.91, a re-print of the CPNZ Central Committee statement of 11.2.91, four People's Voice articles exposing the counter-revolutionary actions of Alia & Co, and the latest update (to 8.4.91) of significant documents, declarations and news reports on Albania.
The price of the supplement is $NZ15 for local orders and $US20 for overseas orders.
The 400-page volume Albania Slides into Capitalism and the 90-page supplement Trotskyite Coup in Albania together constitute an extremely detailed and comprehensive exposure of the origins and nature of Albanian revisionism.
They are essential reading for everyone fighting to put the well-defined principles of communism into practice in the sharpening class struggle.
The CPNZ Central Committee invites a public response from all overseas parties to our party's public exposure of Albanian revisionism. This should help to focus the international struggle against revisionism and consolidate the world communist movement. Please address all correspondence to:
CPNZ Central Committee
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 stand- over 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 despatch 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.
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:
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 Khrushchev and 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. Central Committee Communist Party of New Zealand
15 April 1991 9
Albania's Slide into Capitalism
Statement by the Central Committee Communist Party of New Zealand 11.02.91
At the stroke of midnight on December 22, the famous statue of Stalin in the Albanian capital Tirana was ripped off its pedestal on the orders of state officials, and driven away under cover of darkness to an unknown grave.
This politically-motivated act of official vandalism stemmed from the decision to de-Stalinise the country made the day before by the Politburo of the ruling Party of Labour of Albania (PLA). The Politburo ordered the removal of Stalin's name from all state institutions and the tearing down of his statues and portraits.
When they toppled Stalin's statue in Tirana at midnight, Albanian officials acted like thieves in the night. No prior warning was given to the Albanian people so they could express their opinion, no open debate was carried out within all levels of the PLA, nor was there any opportunity for the world communist movement to have its say. Yet previously the PLA leadership had expressed the opinion that the defence of Stalin was a matter of fundamental principle for the world communist movement.
The PLA leadership had criticised Nikita Khrushchev as a revisionist for springing a surprise attack on Stalin at the 1956 Congress of the Soviet Party and openly setting out on the counter-revolutionary course of restoring capitalism in the Soviet Union. Up until very recently, the PLA leadership had declared that Stalin was a genuine internationalist whose life and work belonged to the world communist movement, and couldn't be misused by the Soviet Party as its own personal property.
Now the PLA leadership is following in the footsteps of the Khrushchevites and other revisionists whose attacks on Stalin signalled their surrender to capitalism.
On December 26, Albanian leader Ramiz Alia told a PLA Conference that "Stalin's life has no direct relevance to Albania". The many symbols of Stalin in Albania "are of no use to anyone", he continued, and therefore should "now be done away with".
But Alia showed that his revisionist faction still fears the strong proletarian emotions aroused by the symbols of Stalin when he went on to admit "the trouble was that these things risked being turned into political and ideological symbols".
ATTACKS ON STALIN
While their tactics differ according to circumstances, all revisionists must attack Stalin since he led the construction of socialism in the Soviet Union for 30 years, which gave practical confirmation to the communist theories of Marx, Engels and Lenin. The revisionists cannot rest easy knowing that workers continue to be attracted to the banner of communism taken so far forward by Stalin despite the frenzied opposition of the enemies of workers inside and outside the Soviet Union.
Leon Trotsky claimed that Stalin ran a "terrorist bureaucracy". Trotsky wanted to promote his allies amongst the middle class intelligentsia into a ruling elite and destroy the dictatorship of the proletariat. Thus it was Trotsky who advocated subjecting the Soviet working class to army-style commandism from above, while Stalin insisted that the Party was the instrument of the proletarian dictatorship and must therefore mobilise the working class by methods of comradely persuasion, and the class in turn must lead all other toilers in the construction of socialism.
Mao Tse-tung talked loudly about un-named "errors of Stalin" in order to lead the Chinese Party down the road of big power expansionism and collaboration with imperialism. While every person and party makes errors, as Stalin readily recognised, the successes of socialist errors, as construction proved to be so solid while Stalin was at the helm that the Soviet Union smashed the fascist blitzkreig after Western powers had been knocked for a six by Hitler's armies.
Nikita Khrushchev slandered Stalin as a "bloody tyrant". Khrushchev wanted to de-stabilise the Bolshevik Party as the instrument of the proletarian dictatorship and restore the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Party was led by Stalin, the enemies of the working class were suppressed when they challenged the dictatorship of the proletariat. But under Khrushchev and his successors, the Soviet Party suppressed the friends of the working class when they challenged the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie being installed by the Khrushchevites.
Lenin and Stalin always warned that the class struggle would continue in the Soviet Union throughout the entire period of transition to classless society (i.e. communism) where the class state withers away. In the era of Lenin and Stalin, the Bolshevik Party organised the working class as the ruling class in a socialist nation whose social production went to satisfy expanding social needs.
After the Khrushchevite counter-revolution, when revisionists gained control of the leadership of the Soviet Party, the working class was forced back to the same position it occupied under Tsarism as an exploited mass of toilers whose purpose in life was to produce surplus value for a tiny minority of pampered parasites.
This new class of Soviet exploiters had its social origins in those officials of the Soviet Party at district, republic and central level who over a period of decades started to become somewhat isolated from the working class. They finally coalesced into a separate stratum from the working class, serving their own selfish interests instead of the broad interests of the whole class. This search for official privileges was the material base of revisionism in the Soviet Union.
This counter-revolutionary process certainly had its beginnings during Stalin's lifetime, but while he was alive, the revisionists could not reveal themselves openly and gain control. Those Party officials who had started their almost imperceptible slide into revisionism had to keep their heads down in Stalin's era and carry out the socialist programme of the Bolshevik Party's Central Committee or they would get Stalin's boot up their backsides.
WAVES OF OPPORTUNISM
Waves of opportunism inside and outside the Bolshevik Party were exposed and defeated by Stalin and the honest Bolsheviks. The Stalinists beat the Trotskyites in the 1920's who planned to capitulate to the pressures of imperialism and open up the Soviet Union to control by foreign capital since they claimed that "socialism cannot be built in one country".
The Stalinists beat the followers of Nikolai Bukharin in the 1930's who wanted to protect capitalist farming and retain antagonistic classes in the countryside instead of going over to collective farming which alone would consolidate socialism and satisfy the class interests of the vast majority of small peasants and landless rural workers.
And the Stalinists beat the revisionist advocates of bourgeois political economy in the 1940's and early 50's who wanted to expand, not shrink, the operation of the law of value and commodity production in order to provide the "market forces" for the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union.
This iron determination to consolidate socialism and defend the dictatorship of the proletariat earnt Stalin the blind hatred of all imperialists and opportunists. They invented every possible slander to hurl against him. Since Stalin's death in 1953, the enemies of communism have been trying to bury his life and work, but like a spectre he returns to haunt them in the shape of the communists all round the world who are fighting for the dictatorship of the proletariat.
While Stalin, like every other person on earth, made mistakes, which he publicly corrected when he realised them, the essence of Stalin's strategic line is correct. This is why the international 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.
Genuine battlers for socialism have always seen Stalin as the defender and developer of the communist theories of Marx, Engels and Lenin. This has always been the position of the Communist Party of New Zealand (CPNZ) over its long history, it remains the position of genuine communist parties in other lands, and it used to be the stated position of the Party of Labour of Albania until very recently.
But now Ramiz Alia and the current PLA leadership have reversed their stand on Stalin and have called for the de-Stalinisation of Albania. Alia & Co are attacking Stalin in order to openly throw aside all the communist principles that Stalin defended all his life.
STUDY OF ALBANIA
Alia & Co are now warmly embracing bourgeois principles in all fields, as we will prove later on in this statement. But first, we must confess that if the CPNZ Central Committee had made a closer study of the situation in Albania than it did over the last year or so, then possibly the revisionist course of Alia & Co could have been revealed before now.
But this possibility of an earlier exposure of revisionism in Albania could not be achieved in practice by the CPNZ Central Committee because of several factors.
The main factor was the necessary concentration of the CPNZ Central Committee on giving communist leadership in the class struggle within New Zealand, in line with Lenin's thesis that the internationalist duty of communists is expressed first and foremost by bringing the socialist revolution closer in their own countries. But this left little time for our relatively small number of Party leaders to devote detailed study to the situation in Albania.
Another factor was the need for a period of practice to clarify the stand of Alia & Co without rushing to hasty judgements since there had been many decades of comradely relations between the CPNZ and FLA.
So while the CPNZ Central Committee is critical of its inability to expose the flowering of Albanian revisionism earlier, we also recognise the factors which held us back.
But when the PLA leadership attacked Stalin last December in an open rejection of the dictatorship of the proletariat, then the CPNZ Central Committee was impelled to devote itself to a much closer study of the situation in Albania. A 400-page dossier of source documents was compiled which chronicles events in Albania over the last two decades. This dossier clearly reveals the movement of Alia & Co from apparent adherence to communism towards open promotion of revisionism, at first almost imperceptibly, then cautiously speeding up the process over the last 18 months or so, and now in headlong gallop after the PLA Politburo was purged in July and December 1990 of those resisting Alia & Co.
The PLA leadership has openly rejected the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat as the form of state power in Albania. This is always one of the first moves by revisionists in order to weaken working class resistance to the capitalist counter-revolution.
The December 1976 Constitution, drafted in the era of former Albanian leader Enver Noxha, defined Albania as "a state of the dictatorship of the proletariat which expresses and defends the interests of all working people".
But this is contradicted by the draft of a new Constitution drawn up in December 1990 under Ramiz Alia's close supervision. This new draft asserts that "the whole state power in Albania stems from the people and belongs to them".
In 1976, therefore, the Albanian state was declared to be a class state in which the working class exercised its rule on behalf of all toilers. In 1990, however, the Albanian state was in effect declared to be a finon- class" state where all "the people" - working class, peasantry, state officials, intellectuals, etc - hold power together.
This new formulation by Alia & Co is in essence identical to the "state of all the people" that the Khrushchevites claimed to be constructing as a more "democratic" replacement for the dictatorship of the proletariat of the Stalin era. In fact, the revisionist concept of the "state of all the people" 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.
The history of the Soviet Union over the last 35 or so years, from Khrushchev to Brezhnev and now to Gorbachev, shows how a new class of exploiters arose out of the ranks of revisionist officials of the Soviet Party, coalescing into the ruling class under the political disguise of building the "state of all the people", steadily consolidating their economic and legal position as pampered parasites sucking the blood of Soviet toilers, linking up with Western big business to unleash the full fury of capitalist "market forces" and eliminate the last remnants of socialist economy, erecting a pluralist political superstructure that allows different factions of the ruling class to squabble inside a "democratic" parliament over who gets what perks, so that today the Soviet fat cats preside over a country that is virtually indistinguishable from Western monopoly capitalism.
In response, Soviet toilers are organising mass resistance against the attacks of their ruling class. The Soviet working class is organising trade unions independent of their bosses and the state in order to gain better conditions of wage slavery. Many nationalities are agitating for separation from the Soviet Union in order to escape the "prison of nations" erected after the Khrushchevites betrayed the common cause of labour. And pro-Stalin political activists are discussing the formation of a genuine communist party in order to mobilise the Soviet working class for a second socialist revolution.
The revisionist leaders of Albania have started down the same capitalist road trodden by the Soviet revisionists. Disaster awaits the workers of Albania unless they organise around a new communist party to defeat the counter-revolution led by Alia & Co.
LENIN ON THE STATE
In his famous work State and Revolution, Lenin severely criticised the revisionist concept of the state of "the people" now being promoted by Alia & Co to disguise their capitalist counter-revolution. Paraphrasing Marx and Engels, Lenin declared that "every state is a special force for the suppression of the oppressed class". Therefore, he concluded, there can never be any such thing as a "people's state".
Lenin went on to quote Marx who insisted that "the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat" (i.e. socialist society) and "this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society" (i.e. communist society).
"The period of transition from capitalism to communism", Lenin observed, "is a period of an unprecedentedly violent class struggle in unprecedentedly acute forms and, consequently, during this period the state must inevitably be a state that is democratic in a new way (for the proletariat and the propertyless in general) and dictatorial in a new way (against the bourgeoisie)."
Lenin then stated: "The dictatorship of a single class is necessary not only for every class society in general, not only for the proletariat which has overthrown the bourgeoisie, but also for the entire historical period which separates capitalism from classless society, from communism. The forms of bourgeois states are extremely varied, but their essence is the same: all these states, whatever their form, in the final analysis are inevitably the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The transition from capitalism to communism certainly cannot but yield a tremendous abundance and variety of political forms, but the essence will inevitably be the same: the dictatorship of the proletariat."
Lenin's thesis that the dictatorship of the proletariat is necessary for the entire period of socialism, as the transition period between capitalism and classless society (communism) is called, is fully in line with the conclusions of Marx and Engels.
In the Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx declared: "Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. There corresponds to this also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat."
But Alia & Co have turned their backs on the dictatorship of the proletariat. Therefore they have turned their backs on Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. And when communist principles are discarded, the only other sort of principles available are capitalist principles, since these two sets of principles correspond to the antagonistic class interests of the two decisive forces in our class-divided world - the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, or in more simple terms, the working class and big business.
Before Enver Boxha died in April 1985, the PLA leadership declared itself in support of the dictatorship of the proletariat. But close study shows that the terms "people's power" and "people's state power" were used as virtually interchangeable terms with the dictatorship of the proletariat by Hoxha and other PLA leaders.
In Hoxha's report to the 8th PLA Congress in 1981, for instance, he declared: "People's state power is the greatest victory and the most powerful weapon of the working class and the other working masses for the construction of socialism and the defence of the homeland."
This is just a random selection of one example amongst many. The term "people's state power" occurs repeatedly throughout Hoxha's works alongside the term "dictatorship of the proletariat".
As we have seen, it is nonsensical to use the term "people's state power", since all state power rests on "the dictatorship of a single class" (as Lenin put it). State power can never rest on all "the people" belonging to the different classes which still exist after the socialist revolution right up until the era of classless society (i.e. communism). In hindsight, therefore, we must conclude that even in Hoxha's era the PLA leadership showed theoretical confusion in its defence of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
And this theoretical confusion about the nature of the Albanian state must express a degree of separation between the PLA and the Albanian working class. In practical terms, the Albanian working class cannot have fully consolidated itself as the ruling class in Hoxha's era, nor can the PLA have completely become the instrument of the proletarian dictatorship.
Given such theoretical and practical weaknesses in creating the dictatorship of the proletariait, it logically follows that socialism must have always been on shaky ground in Albania, despite the outward appearance of good progress being made in Hoxhas era.
Lenin put it this way in State and Revolution: "The overthrow of bourgeois rule can be accomplished only by the proletariat, as the particular class whose economic conditions of existence prepare it for this task and provide it with the possibility and the power to perform it. While the bourgeoisie breaks up and disintegrates the peasantry and all the petty- bourgeois strata, it welds together, unites and organises the proletariat.
"Only the proletariat - by virtue of the economic role it plays in large-scale production - is capable of being the leader of all the toiling and exploited masses, whom the bourgeoisie exploits, oppresses and crushes often... more than it does the proletarians, but who are incapable of waging an independent struggle for their emancipation."
Lenin continued: "The overthrow of the bourgeoisie can be achieved only by the proletariat becoming transformed into the ruling class, capable of crushing the inevitable and desperate resistance of the bourgeoisie, and of organising all the toiling and exploited masses for the new economic order. "The proletariat needs state power, the centralised organisation of force, the organisation of violence, both to crush the resistance of the exploiters and to lead the enormous mass of the population - the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie, the semi-proletarians - in the work of organising socialist economy."
Lenin here clearly spelled out the need for the working class to become the ruling class and lead all other sections of working people - farmers, intellectuals, self-employed, small business people, rural labourers, etc - along the road of socialist construction towards the ultimate goal of classless society (communism). The task of the communist party is to make the working class fully conscious of its leading role and help organise the class to take up its leading role in the swirling currents of the struggle between capital and labour.
In the light of our close re-examination of the situation in Albania, the CPNZ Central Committee must now characterise Enver Hoxha as an incomplete Marxist, someone genuinely trying to apply the principles of communism but falling down on some of the fundamentals.
This is not to merely blame Hoxha for personal mistakes without applauding his merits and looking at the objective conditions which helped shape the man and his party. Hoxha was the driving force behind the formation of the PLA which, in turn, directed the liberation of Albania from the invading fascist powers in 1944. Then the government formed by the PLA leadership expropriated the capitalists and feudal lords, established state ownership over the means of production, embarked on an ambitious programme of industrialisation, established free health services and education, distributed land to the peasants and assisted them to set up modern farm co-operatives.
The economic and political landscape of Albania was radically transformed by this tremendous social progress. For the first time in Albanian history, the ordinary toiler was guaranteed a job, a living family income, a home, education for the kids, social security and a real say in how the country was run. These facts speak volumes for the merits of the PLA's work under Enver Hoxha.
But the passage of time has revealed that there were grave weaknesses along with these merits in Hoxha's era. In particular, we now see the fatal undermining of the dictatorship of the proletariat resulting from the confusion sown by the "non-class" concept of "people's state power".
Our research indicates that socialism couldn't be consolidated in Albania because the leading role of the working class was never brought into full play by the PLA which was hamstrung by the concept of "people's power".
Objective conditions certainly hindered the creation of the leading role of the working class. When Albania was liberated there were virtually no factories or large-scale industries, and so there wasn't a fully formed working class in existence, just a scattering of urban artisans. The overwhelming majority of the population were peasants. Stalin suggested to Hoxha in 1947 that the Communist Party of Albania be re-named the Party of Labour to clearly reflect this lack of proletarians in the country and consequently the party. This suggestion was acted on by the Albanian Party at its first congress.
The Albanian working class was created after liberation by the PLA's programme of industrialisation. The sons and daughters of peasants were turned into industrial workers on a large scale. This created the possibility to consolidate the leading role of the working class in practice as well as in theory, and a number of steps were taken in this direction by the PLA, but this wasn't able to be carried through to the end because of the lingering influence of the concept of "people's power" amongst the PLA leadership.
After Hoxha's death, this fatal weakness allowed Alia & Co to progressively censor all talk of the dictatorship of the proletariat, thus preventing the working class from becoming conscious enough of its leading role in the consolidation of socialism to squash the counter- revolutionary plans of the revisionists.
During his funeral oration at the memorial service for Hoxha in April 1985, Alia gave only the most cursory mention to the dictatorship of the proletariat, laying most of the stress on "people's power".
Opening a PLA Conference in October 1985, Alia equated socialism with "the Albania of the people", not mentioning the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the same month, the PLA Central Committee resolution on setting up the Enver Hoxha Museum talked of the contribution their former leader made to "the establishment and strengthening of people's state power". Again, not a single mention of working class state power.
In Alia's 200-page report to the 9th PLA Congress in November 1986, there are just three passing references to the dictatorship of the proletariat, in sharp contrast to previous congress reports. Instead, Alia emphasised the anti-Marxist concept of "people's state power".
In June 1989, Ramiz Alia and Albanian prime minister Adil Carcani held talks with East German foreign minister Oskar Fischer. The official Albanian news agency ATA has described Carcani as "one of the closest co-workers of Ramiz Alia".
According to the official account of these talks with Fischer published by the East German Government, Alia stressed that East Germany constituted "an important factor for peace and socialism in the world". Alia went on to say that both countries "are building socialism under their specific conditions". And Carcani characterised Albania and East Germany as "valuable partners in building socialism".
Here we see further evidence that Alia & Co regarded revisionism, as practiced in East Germany, as the type of "socialism" they wanted in Albania.
In the space of a few short months following these talks, the revisionists ruling East Germany had allowed their state to be incorporated into capitalist West Germany. Now Alia & Co are making overtures to the West European powers to incorporate Albania into their political and economic system. The phoney "socialism" of the revisionist leaders of East Germany and Albania has taken them to the same counter- revolutionary destination.
The 8th Plenum of the PLA Central Committee was held in September 1989. This plenum was later described by Alia (in December 1990) as the concrete beginning of a "new line" in the PLA which signaled "a correction of many past stances" and "a distancing from many previous postulates in relation to socialism, to property, to mass democracy and to the party itself".
Alia's speech to the 8th Plenum showed how cautiously his revisionist faction was setting the stage for a future counter-revolutionary coup. Alia used his criticism of the "revisionist betrayal" of Gorbachev in order to question whether "particular individuals or leading organs had too much power" in Stalin's era. In hindsight, it can be seen that this was a significant step towards an open attack on Stalin as the defender of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Alia used his lip-service about "strengthening the leading role of the Party" in order to call for more recruits to the PLA from amongst the intelligentsia. In hindsight, it can be seen that this was a significant step towards destroying proletarian influence within the PLA so that the Albanian working class was left leaderless against the counter- revolutionary coup.
Alia used his praise of "the active role of the masses" in order to propose changes to "the mechanism of the electoral system". In hindsight, it can be seen that this was a significant step towards political pluralism where all bourgeois trends are sponsored by the state while communists are gagged and bound.
Alia used his criticism of "imperialist-revisionist encirclement" for causing "difficulties in socialist construction" in order to call for more "contacts with the world". In hindsight, it can be seen that this was a significant step towards opening up the Albanian economy to control by Western capital.
Alia used his criticism of failing labour productivity to float the idea of a bigger role for "bank and financial discipline" and "control by means of money". In hindsight, it can be seen that this was a significant step towards opening up the Albanian economy to the full play of capitalist "market forces".
Casting our eyes backwards and knowing what to look for, the CPNZ Central Committee is now in the position to characterise this September 1989 plenum of the PLA Central Committee as marking a significant increase in tempo of the still cautious offensive by Albanian revisionism.
Over the next few months, Alia & Co steadily prepared the ground for the next big revisionist push. This can be seen in his December 1989 speech to the General Council of the Albanian trade union movement where he talked about improving "worker control" against bureaucracy without once mentioning the dictatorship of the proletariat which is the state form of worker control.
Alia went on to advise the trade unions to fight "bureaucrats, tricksters and careerists" holding official posts in the PLA.
We can now see this was an attempt to set workers and their unions against those PLA officials who Alia designated as "bureaucrats" because they opposed his revisionist course. This behaviour can only have widened the gap between the PLA and the working class already in existence because of the pervasive influence of the anti-Marxist concept of "people's power" in the PLA leadership.
Alia & Co used the 9th Plenum of the PLA Central Committee in January 1990 to unveil significant capitalist reforms for the Albanian economy. In his speech to the plenum, Alia advocated these measures:
"NEW ECONOMIC MECHANISM"
Alia's proposal for a "new economic mechanism" in Albania was endorsed by the 10th Plenum. The elements of this new economic mechanism, Alia declared, would include:
Reducing the role of state planning.
Increasing the role of the marketplace.
Bringing prices closer to value.
Restricting non-economic factors in price setting.
Elevating the role of the profit motive.
Requiring state enterprises to fund themselves from their own profits.
Increasing the independence of state enterprises.
Indexing wages to an enterprise's profit or loss.
Tightening labour discipline.
Giving managers of enterprises the unrestricted right to hire and fire workers.
Forging closer economic links with capitalist states.
Giving land to peasants for their private use.
These measures were described by prime minister Adil Carcani as "all- round and radical changes of the economic mechanism".
STALIN ON POLITICAL ECONOMY
Ramiz Alia told the plenum that the new economic mechanism was a "valuable contribution to socialist political economy". In truth, however, it was the same type of revisionist slide into bourgeois political economy that Stalin condemned in his 1952 essay Economic Problems of Socialism. This was written with the benefit of over 30 years of practical successes in socialist construction in the Soviet Union.
Stalin spoke about "the economic law that the relations of production must necessarily conform with the character of the productive forces". Put simply, productive forces mean the instruments of production and the people operating them, while relations of production mean the property relations between people.
Talking about pre-revolutionary Russia, Stalin continued: "The productive forces of our country, especially in industry, were social in character, but the form of ownership, on the other hand, was private, capitalistic. Relying on the economic law that the relations of production must necessarily conform with the character of the productive forces, the Soviet Government socialised the means of production, made them the property of the whole people, and thereby abolished the exploiting system and created socialist forms of economy."
Stalin continued: "The law of balanced development of the national economy arose in opposition to the law of competition and anarchy of production under capitalism. It arose from the socialisation of the means of production, after the law of competition and anarchy of production had lost its validity. It became operative because a socialist economy can be conducted only on the basis of the economic law of balanced development of the national economy."
And Stalin noted: "Today there are two basic forms of socialist production in our country: state, or publicly-owned production, and collective farm production, which cannot be said to be publicly-owned.
"In the state enterprises, the means of production and the product of production are national property.
"In the collective farm, although the means of production (land and machines) do belong to the state, the product of production is the property of the different collective farms, since the labour, as well as the seed, is their own, while the land, which has been turned over to the collective farms in perpetual tenure, is used by them virtually as their own property, in spite of the fact that they cannot sell, buy, lease or mortgage it.
"The effect of this is that the state disposes only of the product of the state enterprises, while the product of the collective farms, being their property, is disposed of only by them. But the collective farms are unwilling to alienate their products except in the form of commodities, in exchange for which they desire to receive the commodities they need. At present the collective farms will not recognise any other economic relation with the town except the commodity relation - exchange through purchase and sale. Because of this, commodity production and trade are as much a necessity with us today as they were 30 years ago, say, when Lenin spoke of the necessity of developing trade to the utmost.
"Of course, when instead of the two basic production sectors, the state sector and the collective farm sector, there will be only one all-embracing production sector, with the right to dispose of all the consumer goods produced in the country, then commodity circulation, with its money economy, will disappear, as being an unnecessary element in the national economy."
Stalin also noted: "It is said that commodity production is bound to lead to capitalism under all conditions. That is not true. Not always and not under all conditions. Commodity production must not be identified with capitalist production. They are two different things. Capitalist production is the highest form of commodity production. "Commodity production leads to capitalism only if there is private ownership of the means of production, if labour power appears in the market as a commodity which can be bought by the capitalist and exploited in the process of production, and if, consequently, the system of exploitation of wage workers by capitalists exists in the country. Capitalist production begins when the means of production are concentrated in private hands, and when the workers are bereft of means of production and are compelled to sell their labour power as a commodity."
And Stalin went on to state: "Wherever commodities and commodity production exist, there the law of value must also exist.... But does this mean that the operation of the law of value has as much scope with us as it has under capitalism?.... No, it does not. Actually, the sphere of operation of the law of value under our economic system is strictly limited and placed within definite bounds.... The law of value cannot under our system function as the regulator of production."
STRIP AWAY DISGUISE
These words by Stalin strip away the political disguise of the revisionist faction now in control of the PLA and shows why they must attack Stalin.
Alia & Co are expanding commodity production to state enterprises by requiring them to fund themselves from their own profits. Alia & Co are allowing the law of value to regulate prices and production by restricting non-economic factors in price setting and bringing prices closer to value.
They are restricting the law of balanced development of the national economy by reducing the role of state planning.
They are unleashing the law of competition and anarchy of production by elevating the role of the profit motive, increasing the scope of the marketplace and forging closer economic links with capitalist states. They are undermining publicly-owned production by increasing the economic independence of state enterprises whose managers can largely do what they like.
They are undermining collective farm production by giving private herds to peasants and allowing them the private use of land.
And Alia & Co are turning labour power into a commodity by indexing wages to the profit or loss of the enterprise employing the worker, tightening labour discipline and giving managers unrestricted power to hire and fire staff.
The 10th Plenum revealed that the PLA's revisionist leaders were fast retreating from socialist political economy in favour of bourgeois political economy. But how does this square up with the economic law that the relations of production must conform with the character of the productive forces? How could Alia & Co have imposed this flight from socialist political economy on Albania?
The answer lies in the failure of the Albanian working class to cement its leading role in socialist construction because of the negative influence of the concept of "people's power" inside the PLA leadership and the consequent gap between the working class and the PLA. It is logical that this must have caused some degree of disharmony between the relations of production and the productive forces and prevented the consolidation of socialist political economy in Albania.
This disharmony provided the fertile soil for the revisionist seeds spread by Alia & Co to take root and begin to choke out the socialist plants which couldn't grow to maturity because the working class was held back from exercising its leading role. Factors outside our control prevented the CPNZ Central Committee from making a speedy analysis of the capitalist economic programme adopted by the PLA Central Committee's 10th Plenum. Such a poor English translation of the proceedings of the 10th Plenum was provided by the Albanian Telegraphic Agency that we couldn't understand much of what happened. We never received a better translation until late last year, when the CPNZ Central Committee was too busy preparing for our party's National Conference and giving leadership in the class struggle within New Zealand to devote time to the situation in Albania.
The 10th Plenum also adopted a revisionist agenda in the arena of foreign relations. Alia said Albania had to forge closer links with capitalist and revisionist countries involving "contacts, talks, agreements, compromises, refusals and approvals". Telling the plenum that European states are finding "ways and means to reduce tension", he proposed that Albania join "the process of European co-operation and security" and also seek diplomatic relations with America and the Soviet Union.
This April 1990 plenum therefore marked a significant step by Atia & Co towards integrating Albania in the global network of imperialism. The necessity of securing maximum profits for its ruling class compels each imperialist power to ruthlessly exploit and impoverish most of its own citizens and unleash economic, political and military aggression against other countries.
The nature of imperialism has not changed in the slightest. This is shown once again by the inter-imperialist conflict in the Gulf over control of Middle East oil. What has changed is the public stance of Alia & Co towards imperialism.
Whereas they previously said they stood opposed to imperialism, Alia & Co in effect told the 10th Plenum that Albania must now compromise with imperialism. And compromise with imperialism inevitably means the enslavement of Albania and its working people by international big business. But in the usual deceitful fashion of revisionists, Alia told the plenum that Albania would continue to be "inspired by Marxism- Leninism".
Then in July last year came the storming of foreign embassies in Tirana by 4,500 mostly young Albanians demanding a quick passage out of the country. We can now see that this unprecedented mass discontent reflected the growing social conflicts within Albania stemming from the accelerating revisionist counter-revolution.
Naturally the foreign embassies acted according to their imperialist instincts and stirred up as much trouble as possible, but without the internal cancer of revisionism splitting the ranks of Albanian workers, the external pressures of imperialism would have met a brick wall. The 11th Plenum of the PLA Central Committee convened during the middle of the embassy occupation. The class struggle in the streets of Tirana found reflection in the plenum with obvious signs of a bitter internal struggle within the PLA's leadership.
When he slammed "forces who want to hinder our development and change its direction", Alia in effect acknowledged strong opposition to his revisionist counter-revolution. He added: "The worst is that now these forces have found some supporters, conscious or otherwise, inside our country, something expressed in the latest events in front of the foreign embassies in Tirana.... We enter a new class struggle with internal and external reactionary forces that want to hinder and undermine this development."
At this plenum, Alia & Co engineered the sacking of three members of the PLA Politburo - Rita Marko, Prokop Murra and Manush Myftiu - and instigated a major re-shuffle of government posts. The opponents of Alia & Co in leading party and state posts were starting to be purged.
Alia used the July plenum to criticise "procrastination" in the carrying out of his revisionist programme. "It is high time to score achievements as quickly as possible," he declared. It seems that Alia & Co had decided it was now time for the counterrevolution to switch to top gear.
The plenum adopted Alia's proposal to give the green light to family- based private businesses in the retail and trades sectors. These private businesses are free to buy or sell from whoever they like at whatever prices they care to negotiate.
The main theme that Alia hammered at the 11th Plenum was the "democratisation of the country". He declared that democratisation was sweeping the economy, culture, the state, government and party. By linking the concept of "democratisation" to his capitalist-style policy programme, Alia was in effect calling for capitalist democracy in Albania.
But capitalist democracy is only democratic for the ruling class, while the working class suffers under the cruel heel of bourgeois dictatorship.
"In capitalist society," Lenin declared in State and Revolution, "democracy is always hemmed in by the narrow limits set by capitalist exploitation, and consequently always remains in reality a democracy for the minority, only for the propertied classes, only for the rich.... Owing to the conditions of capitalist exploitation the modern wage slaves are so crushed by want and poverty that they 'cannot be bothered with democracy', they 'cannot be bothered with politics'. In the ordinary peaceful course of events the majority of the population is debarred from participation in public and political life."
Lenin emphasised that only socialism provided "democracy for the vast majority of the people" on the basis of "suppression by force" and "exclusion from democracy" of all those who wanted to exploit and oppress working people.
And he added that only when socialist society had developed into communist society, where there were no classes and the state withers away, could there be "a truly complete democracy, democracy without any exceptions whatever".
Despite all the hot air spouted by Alia & Co about "democratisation", the months following the July Plenum provided growing evidence of mass discontent and social conflict inside Albania. In September, Alia publicly admitted there were "hindrances and big difficulties" in implementing the decisions of recent Central Committee plenums. He slammed the "bureaucratic" opposition coming from Party and state officials and the managers of state enterprises.
An editorial a few days later in Zeri i Popullit, organ of the PLA Central Committee, detailed the increasing amount of theft, conflict and demoralisation in farming co-operatives as livestock was handed over to peasants as their private property. The editorial noted that "people who wanted to see the destruction of the co-operatives" and take Albania back to the old days "when the rich farmers lorded it over the toilers" were raising the banner of democracy.
Also in September, PLA Politburo member Pirro Kondi reported in Zeri i Popullit how "sudden changes in policy" had caused anxiety, confusion and anger amongst people. The PLA's "poor communication" with the people had created "a vacuum, an uncertainty," he stated.
Then in October, Alia publicly declared that "we should not make haste" in what he called the "process of democratisation". This came just three months after he had advised his revisionist faction to proceed "as quickly as possible". Why the sudden reversal of tactics? It seems that the growing opposition to the counter-revolution compelled Alia & Co to come to a temporary halt while they prepared the next stage of their revisionist coup.
This conclusion is borne out by the defection to the West several weeks later by Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare, who told the capitalist media he had long hoped that Alia would become the "Albanian Gorbachev". But he had gone into exile when "the process of democratisation halted suddenly," Kadare stated.
The 12th Plenum of the PLA Central Committee convened in November 1990. Here Alia noted that Albania now welcomed foreign investments, joint ventures with foreign capital and economic co-operation with foreign countries. This opening up of Albania to economic control by foreign capital strips the country of the ability to defend its sovereignty.
At this plenum, Alia had to defend his revisionist line against un- named opponents who, he said, were having a "dangerous" impact on public opinion because they "appear under the guise of principle" to declare that "we are giving up socialism".
He slammed "bureaucratic" state and economic officials who "hinder the implementation of decisions".
Alia admitted that "there might be confrontation" between management and workers over the need for enterprises to make more profits. He noted "a general demoralisation" amongst workers of town and countryside. And he asked why "party committees sit with folded arms" when they see such a lack of labour discipline.
Going by what Alia said, it seems there is widespread opposition and disillusionment amongst workers, officials and PLA members to the counter-revolution being engineered by the PLA's revisionist leadership.
This unrest is being expressed in the rapid fall in labour productivity. Workers obviously feel their class interests cannot be satisfied in the revisionist climate now prevailing in Albania and are merely going through the motions on the job. The same dramatic fall in labour productivity also occurred in the Soviet Union after the Khrushchevite counter-revolution.
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 acknowledged by Alia himself at the 1986 PLA Congress when he reported that over the last five-year plan the total social product had increased by 19 per cent, financial income by 17 per cent, industrial production by 27 per cent and the export of goods by 29 per cent.
Now Albania is being plunged into disaster by the counter-revolution. Alia informed the November plenum about Albania's "extraordinary" slide into economic crisis. State investments had to be reduced by hundreds of millions of leks to prevent a budget deficit which, he admitted, "has never before happened".
Alia launched into a defence of "free discussion" and "pluralism of opinions" at the 12th Plenum. This was presented as theoretical justification for the change of political direction in Albania, indicating that the PLA's revisionist leadership felt under considerable pressure.
Alia's open encouragement of political pluralism was also designed to open the floodgates to every opportunist trend in the country with the aim of swamping genuine communists under this counter-revolutionary torrent.
Alia presented the plenum with a plan for "pluralistic" multi-candidate elections to the People's Assembly which, he claimed, will give a "higher degree of political democracy than before". These are the usual lies spread by revisionists. The real content of democracy comes not from the number of candidates, but from the political platform they present to the electors, and in Albania today the PLA's revisionist leadership is working flat out to make sure that only a bourgeois platform is being promoted in every forum.
Just how openly Alia & Co are pushing their bourgeois platform was demonstrated in late November in a speech to top officials by Enver Halili, a PLA Central Committee member and minister of justice in the Albanian Government. According to the official ATA news agency, Halili proclaimed that Albania is now "implementing the principles of the fundamental documents of the Conference on Security & Co-operation in Europe".
But CSCE's fundamental documents are centred around the capitalist principles of a free market economy and the protection of private property. In effect, therefore, Halili declared that the Albanian economy was now on the capitalist road, which obviously goes hand-in-hand with bourgeois domination in the political and state superstructure.
The dumping of seven Politburo members by the PLA's dominant revisionist faction at the 13th Plenum of the Central Committee in mid- December was further evidence of the intense inner-party struggle being waged. Those sacked from the Politburo were Muho Asllani, Foto Cami, Hajredin Celiku, Lenka Cuko, Pirro Kondi, Qirjako Mihaii and Simon Stefani.
The Politburo was completely stacked with Alia's men following this latest purge and the purge five months before. The majority of the old Politburo had become casualties of the revisionist counter-revolution.
Alia & Co also used the December plenum to engineer a major re-shuffle of ministerial posts in order to eliminate their opponents in the government.
The 13th Plenum gave the green light to the formation of "independent political organisations". This opened the way for the People's Assembly election in early 1991 to be multi-party. The plenum's communique defended such "pluralism" as being "to the good of the further democratisation of the country's life".
The capitalist media reacted with unrestrained delight to these decisions. Thus Reuters news agency gave tremendous prominence to how Albania was "dumping Stalinist dogma and moving towards multi-party politics" after virtually ignoring the country during Hoxha's era.
SPEECH TO NATION
One day after the plenum, Alia delivered a "state of the nation" address which was broadcast on all radio and television stations. Not even once did Alia refer to Albania as a socialist country, but instead he called for the creation of a "modern democracy" where there would be "independent political organisations".
Since Alia refused to link his call for a "modern democracy" with socialism, he clearly wasn't talking about socialist democracy. Capitalist democracy is the only other type of democracy possible in our class- divided world where capital and labour face each other as irreconcilable enemies. Therefore, it is self-evident that Alia was advocating the creation of capitalist democracy in Albania.
Capitalist democracy means democracy only for the tiny minority of parasitic millionaires, while the majority of people are subjected to a daily grind of crushing exploitation and excluded from any real say in how their country is run. In New Zealand, for example, monopoly groups like Business Roundtable set the agenda of both the National and Labour parties, while the working class remains without representation in Parliament.
Nor can there be any "independent" party in our class-divided world. Every party represents the interests of a definite class or section of a class. A genuine communist party, for instance, represents the interests of the working class, and these interests demand a friendly alliance between the working class and all other toilers in society.
Alia's talk about "independent" political parties is merely the sort of political deceit typical of revisionists. Alia couldn't openly say that he was promoting different bourgeois parties to represent the different factions of the class of exploiters now arising in Albania, so he disguised his betrayal of socialism under the cloak of "independent" parties and a "modern democracy".
In his "state of the nation" address, Alia declared that he and other "initiators" of democratisation "wish to advance at a faster pace". But he went on to say that "wishes alone are not enough" as he sounded the alarm against "dark forces" opposing his programme.
Alia hit out against "political demagogues, malcontents and provocateurs" who were resisting the "speedy democratic processes". He warned against "enemies who want to divide us". And he stated that "now is no time for theorising" in a probable reference to opponents who point out that communist theory directly contradicts Alia's revisionist course.
So Alia was appealing to everyone inside Albania to come to the aid of the counter-revolution and help smash the resistance of the opponents of revisionism. Using deceitful code-words like "democratisation", he was taking the struggle against socialism out to the widest possible audience.
Unfortunately, however, it appears that Alia's opponents have mainly confined their struggle against revisionism to within the Party of Labour. They haven't taken their message out to the working class and mobilised the class to smash the counter-revolution. This can only be a tragic legacy of the separation between party and class originating from the revisionist concept of "people's power" which prevented the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Because the working class was not led into battle as an organised force against revisionism, it was inevitable that mass dissatisfaction with the situation in Albania would express itself in spontaneous and anarchic outbursts. And this is precisely what happened a few days after Alia's "state of the nation" address when violent riots broke out in Elbasan, Shkodra, Kavaje and Durres. In several cities, troops and tanks had to be deployed to restore public order.
About the same time, the Democratic Party was formed by Tirana- based students and intellectuals on an openly bourgeois platform of creating a free market economy, restoring private property, integrating Albania with other European countries, establishing bourgeois democracy, etc.
There is plenty of evidence showing the friendly relations between Alia & Co and the Democratic Party (DP). Prime minister Adil Carcani, one of Alia's closest allies, invited DP leaders to a cosy two-hour chat soon after the new party was formed. DP leaders immediately got a lot of air time on television and radio. The PLA's electoral platform drafted by Alia called for "loyal dialogue" and "democratic relations" with parties like the DP. The few hundred Albanians jailed for anti-socialist offences were set free after the DP demanded the release of political prisoners. The government agreed to the DP request to move polling day back in order to give the new party more time to organise for the People's Assembly election.
There are friendly relations between leaders of the PLA and DP because both parties are advocates of capitalism, although for tactical reasons Alia & Co still drop the occasional "Marxist" word, while the intellectuals leading the DP are openly pro-bourgeois.
But Alia & Co are far from friendly to their opponents within the PLA. Alia told a PLA Conference on December 26 that "leading apparatuses of the party" would be restaffed as soon as possible with "young people able to respond energetically to the new demands and situations". In simple language, Alia & Co are taking advantage of their dominant position to purge the "leading apparatuses" of all opponents of revisionism.
And he promised that this purge would extend right down to the executive committees of regional party organisations. The method to be used would be the drafting of "new rules and criteria" for elections to these executive committees designed to weed out opponents of Alia & Co.
In his usual deceitful fashion, Alia paved the way for this ruthless purge by talking about the need "to further deepen inner-party democracy".
Alia had to admit that "the economic situation is no good" in his speech to the PLA Conference. "Many strategic objectives which once seemed so close to accomplishment are now seen to be much more distant."
He slammed "a psychosis of laziness and slackness in many sectors which caused falling labour productivity". Like all bourgeois politicians, Alia blames the workers for not wanting to work themselves to death to make more profits for the class of parasites sucking their blood.
He told conference that the new economic mechanism is "replacing the system of centralised administrative commands" and leading to a "market economy" based on competition between the state, co-operative and private sectors.
The profit motive driving the market economy would lead to "the closing of non-viable enterprises" which, he admitted, "will result in large-scale redundancies". The imposition of taxes on workers and enterprises would be necessary to fund unemployment benefits and subsidise lower-income families.
He called for "political stability" in order to attract foreign investment. Praising the money that the Western powers are now pouring into Eastern Europe, Alia declared: "We like to hope that this aid will not be lacking for Albania." The Albanian leader was begging for charity from the imperialist powers who never give any aid without many strings attached.
Alia's December speech to the PLA Conference is further evidence of how fast Albania is sinking into the mire of bourgeois political economy. His talk about more competition, bigger profits, lazy workers, mass redundancies, higher taxes and foreign investment could have come from the mouth of any capitalist politician in New Zealand or overseas.
At the end of last year, the draft Constitution for Albania drawn up under Alia's close supervision was publicly unveiled. One of its most remarkable features is the almost dictatorial power it places in the hands of the president of Albania who just happens to be Ramiz Alia. If the draft constitution is ratified, the president will be given these new powers:
The convening of sessions of the People's Assembly.
Dissolving the People's Assembly before its term has expired and calling fresh elections.
Disbanding district people's councils and calling fresh elections.
Re-submitting laws that he is unhappy about back to the People's Assembly for further consideration.
Proposing to the People's Assembly who should be appointed as prime minister and when that person should be dismissed. Appointing and dismissing members of the government.
Appointing or dismissing leading officials of other central institutions.
Presiding over meetings of government ministers.
Overturning actions of the government, the ministries and the district people's councils that he deems to be unlawful or irregular.
Issuing presidential decrees which have the full force of law.
Entering into international treaties.
Appointing or dismissing diplomatic representatives.
Presiding over the Council of Defence.
Commanding the armed forces.
Proclaiming a state of emergency.
Proclaiming a state of war and partial or general mobilisation.
Presiding over the Supreme Council of Justice.
Exercising the right of pardon.
Awarding decorations and titles of honour.
Granting political asylum.
Drafting proposals to amend the Constitution of Albania.
The capitalist media invariably refers to Enver Hoxha as a "Stalinist dictator" because he fought for socialism despite being an incomplete Marxist. Hoxha had very few of the sweeping powers that the draft constitution proposes granting to Ramiz Alia, yet the capitalist media portrays Alia as a "reformer" taking Albania towards "democracy", simply because this revisionist is fighting for capitalism.
Further evidence of the bourgeois dictatorship over the working class being created by Alia & Co was revealed in mid-January when the Albanian Government passed a law which virtually outlaws strikes. This was sparked off by a wave of strikes by miners, drivers and dockers for more pay.
The new law compels workers to give 15 days' notice of stoppages. They cannot take any action during this "cooling-off period". After the required 15 days' notice has expired, workers are permitted to strike for only one day, after which they must wait another 15 days before launching a full-scale stoppage.
Strikes are forbidden during times of national crisis and before elections. In key sectors such as defence, energy, telecommunications, food and health, strikes will be allowed only if minimum functioning can be guaranteed.
On top of all these restrictions, the People's Assembly is authorised to suspend any strikes if it decrees that the "national interest" is threatened.
In Albania today, therefore, it is virtually impossible for workers to mount a legal strike that is effective and widespread. The new anti-strike law is a police state law designed to prevent workers from even defending their conditions of wage slavery. This exposes the real capitalist content of the "democratisation" being imposed on the country.
NO SOCIALIST COUNTRY
With the slide of Albania into capitalism, the international working class doesn't have any country it can call socialist. We are back in the position communists found themselves in before the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.
There have been successful anti-imperialist revolutions since World War I in a number of countries which were weak links in imperialism's global chain, such as the Soviet Union, Albania, Eastern Europe, China and Indo-China. But it proved impossible to consolidate working class rule in these particular countries, in large measure because the majority of the population consisted of peasants and other non-proletarian strata who provided fertile soil for the spread of revisionism.
But the class struggle between capital and labour is flaring up ever more fiercely around the world. This finds reflection inside New Zealand, for instance, in the government's anti-union law and social welfare cuts. This is the most repressive legislative attack on the working class in New Zealand history. It amounts to an open declaration of class war by the parliamentary representatives of big business.
Therefore it is more imperative than ever for the NZ working class to unite around its own Communist Party and build a united front of labour able to undermine and finally destroy the economic, state and ideological dictatorship of big business.
It is more imperative than ever for the NZ working class to unite around its own Communist Party to take up the struggle for socialism where there is social ownership of the means of production protected by the dictatorship of the proletariat.
DEFEAT INTO VICTORY
The open embrace of revisionism by the PLA leadership is a defeat for the international working class. We have no wish to hide this unpalatable fact. But if our study and exposure of the causes of revisionism in Albania helps the CPNZ become more conscious about how to give communist leadership in the sharpening class struggle in New Zealand, then we will turn defeat into victory. The same applies for overseas parties.
The CPNZ has never based its existence or its work on what parties in other countries do or don't do. Therefore the CPNZ will not be shaken by events inside the PLA.
The CPNZ is solidly based on the firm foundations of communist theory and practice. At the same time as the PLA leaders are rushing to suck up to international capital, an increasing number of workers in New Zealand are coming to regard the CPNZ as the most conscious and determined centre of opposition to the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.
In the 70 years since the CPNZ was founded in 1921, our Party has stood up against many revisionist trends, such as Trotskyism, Browderism (in the United States), the Titoites (in Yugoslavia), the Khrushchevites, Maoism, Euro-communism (the revisionist parties of Western Europe) and all their local counterparts in New Zealand. Now we must stand up against the revisionism of Alia & Co who have engineered Albania's slide into capitalism.
The CPNZ has stood loyal to communist principles for seven decades. Our Party has become one of the world's most battle-hardened opponents of social democracy and revisionism during its 70 years of existence. We won't crack in this fight against Albanian-style revisionism, nor will our Party flinch from the on-going struggle to overthrow the rule of big business and establish the rule of the working class in New Zealand.
The CPNZ Central Committee is asking our whole Party to vote on reversing our recent National Conference resolutions supporting the PLA and describing Albania as a socialist country. We are confident that our whole Party will stand up against Albanian revisionism.
The CPNZ Central Committee invites a public response from all overseas parties to our Party's public exposure of Albanian revisionism. This should help to focus the international struggle against revisionism and consolidate the world communist movement. Central Committee Communist Party of New Zealand
11 February 1991
"Would You Trust This Man? "
People's Voice article 11.2.91
Ramiz Alia is first secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania. He heads the revisionist faction, which has gained a stranglehold on the PLA and is engineering the slide of Albania into capitalism.
Alia today talks like a capitalist politician. But not so long ago he talked like a Marxist. It is instructive to compare his statements today with those of yesterday to show how Alia has gone back on his word on every fundamental principle.
December 1979: "The name and work of Stalin are immortal and will live through the ages.... The attitude towards Stalin and his work is a clear line of demarcation between Marxist-Leninists and modern revisionists. This is not just an issue of bygone history, but constitutes a current problem of major importance.... To the communists and people of Albania, Stalin is inseparable from the triumphant doctrine of the proletariat which has lit the way to the achievement of all our ictories.... The Albanian communists and our whole people honour Stalin with great respect and gratitude, because all these victories are based on his teachings and aid and the experience of his struggle and work."
September 1989: "We will never relinquish or permit the weakening of the leading role of our Marxist-Leninist party for the sake of the so-called pluralism that the bourgeoisie dishes out to us.... This question we consider sacred."
January 1990: "Western countries are encouraging the political changes in Eastern Europe. Under the calls for free elections and political different parties and groups, they want pluralism, for the creation of man) to bring about the total destruction of everything that reminds one of socialism.... In the East European countries, socialism was rejected under the slogan of liberation from the monopoly of communist parties. And pluralism... became the formula of salvation, allegedly for democracy to flourish.... We have declared ourselves for the hegemony of the Party of Labour, because we are conscious that this is a basic condition for socialist construction."
January 1990: "Our socialist society... experiences no social conflicts.... We have a solid situation at home."
November 1986: "We never link trade with the acceptance of [foreign] credits, the granting of concessions, or permitting activities of foreign companies and economic or financial institutions in our country. This has been clearly sanctioned in the Albanian Constitution."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
December 1990: "The new economic mechanism replacing the system of centralised administrative commands will lead to a market economy where there will be competition between the large state sector and the co-operativist and private sectors.
November 1986: "Our economy is managed on the basis of the principle of democratic centralism, which combines the centralised management of the state from above with the initiative of the base and the masses from below. The safeguarding and consistent application of... democratic centralism is an issue of principle."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
July 1990: "Confined and controlled private business doesn't run counter to our moral and ideological norms. There is no danger that a certain class of owners or exploiters will be created."
September 1989: "We will not allow the opening of the way for the return of private property and capitalist exploitation."
September 1989: "We will never permit the weakening of socialist common property."
December 1989: "The Eastern countries hope to secure the aid of international capital to get out of the crisis in which they've landed. But has capitalism changed and become generous? Not at all.... Capitalism gives nothing without interest. This is growing more and more obvious in the events of Eastern Europe. It is dictating what they should do, how they should reform their economies so as to pave the way for private property and foreign capital."
June 1989: "Our view is that the temporary easing of tension, which is dictated by the specific interests of the superpowers, should not lead to euphoria or lowering of vigilance. The superpowers, the United States and Soviet Union, remain what they have always been. They have given up neither their strategic aims of ensuring hegemony for themselves... nor their spheres of influence.... Socialist Albania has... condemned and will continue to condemn the expansionist and hegemonic policy of the imperialist superpowers, which are mainly to blame for the tensions between states today."
November 1986: "There will never be any conciliation between socialist Albania and the two superpowers."
Comparing these contradictory statements by Ramiz Alia automatically leads to this question: Would you trust a man who said one thing one day and a totally different thing the next? Such rapid shifts in opinion is a sure sign of a politician guided not by communist principles but by opportunist expediency. This type of politician is eminently suited to betraying the cause of socialism and pushing Albania onto the capitalist road.
"No Working Class Candidates"
People's Voice article 17.4.91
The working class of Albania is now being shut out of any say in how their country is governed.
Ramiz Alia's opportunist faction, who have a firm grip on the ruling Party of Labour of Albania (PLA), are muzzling the working class to stifle opposition to their capitalist counter-revolution. Alia & Co prevented rank-and-file industrial workers from being included on the 243-strong list of PLA candidates for the March 31 People's Assembly election.
Zeri i Popullit, the PLA Central Committee's daily paper, published details of the class composition of 241 out of the 243 PLA candidates. A People's Voice translation of the Zeri i Popullit article reveals that these PLA candidates are economists, engineers, teachers, party officials, agronomists, lawyers, army officers, state officials, scientists, artists, doctors, etc - but not a single industrial worker.
Agronomists - 56 (22%)
Economists 37 (15%)
PLA officials - 18 (7%)
Teachers 14 (6%)
Doctors 14 (6%)
Army officers - 6 (2.4%)
Chemists -. 6 (2.4%)
Veterinarians - 5 (2%)
Managers 4 (1.6%)
Lawyers 4 (1.6%)
Mathematicians - 3 (1.2%)
Writers 3 (1.2%)
Zoologists 3 (1.2%)
Physicists - 2 (1%)
Scientists - 2 (1%)
Editors - 2 (1%)
Artists - 2 (1%)
Pensioner - I
War veteran - I
Most of the remaining one-third of seats went to the stridently pro-capitalist Democratic Party DP). The People's Voice doesn't have details of the class composition of DP election candidates. However, since the DP leadership is composed almost exclusively of anti-communist intellectuals, it is a safe bet that very few (if any) of its candidates were industrial workers.
The PLA suffered most of its losses in city electorates. Even the president of Albania, Ramiz Alia, was chucked out of his Tirana seat. This must be counted as a mass protest vote against the PLA by the working class concentrated in the city electorates.
Regardless of which party won the March 31 election, the Albanian working class had to lose. The leadership of both the PLA and the Democratic Party are dedicated to transforming Albania as fast as possible into a rich man's paradise where workers are the exploited wage slaves of capital.
The working class gains of the past will be totally wiped out by the pro-capitalist policies of the PLA and DP. And the working class is being denied even token representation in the Albanian Government by the total lack of proletarian candidates put forward by the PLA.
Working class interests in Albania cannot find expression through either the PLA or the DP. The workers need to form a genuine communist party to stem the tide of capitalist counter-revolution.
"Alia to Blame for Statue's Fall"
People's Voice article 17.4.91
A giant statue of Enver Hoxha, Albania's leader for four decades until his death in 1985, was unveiled in the main square of Tirana in October 1988. The keynote speech was delivered by Albanian president Ramiz Alia. Noting that Hoxha had always defended "the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin", Alia pledged that "the Albanian people and their Party of Labour will march non-stop on the road of Enver Hoxha".
However, Alia's actions totally contradict his "solemn" pledge delivered at the unveiling of Hoxha's statue. The counter-revolutionary faction headed by Alia, after cementing their grip on the Party of Labour, have engineered the slide of Albania into capitalism.
Elements of their pro-capitalist programme include introducing a "free market" capitalist economy, opening Albania up to unlimited foreign investment and forging an alliance with the imperialist powers of Europe.
Last December, Alia & Co ordered the famous statue of Stalin in Tirana to be knocked down. This was the signal for an open campaign of de-Stalinisation similar to that launched in the Soviet Union after Khrushchev's counter-revolutionary "secret speech" to the 1956 Soviet Party Congress. So much for Alia's promise to "march non-stop on the road of Enver Hoxha" who always defended the name and work of Stalin. Events have proven Alia to be nothing but a liar.
Even though Hoxha must be characterised as an incomplete Marxist, since his elevation of the "non-class" concept of "people's power" prevented the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat in Albania, his statue in Tirana was widely regarded as a communist symbol.
The counter-revolutionary forces unleashed by Alia & Co therefore turned their fury on Hoxha's statue. On February 20, thousands of university students toppled the statue, then rolled its head through the streets to the university where they urinated on it.
This was the aftermath to a student strike demanding that the Enver Hoxha University of Tirana be re-named to delete all reference to the former Albanian leader.
A few hours after the destruction of Hoxha's statue, the Albanian Government issued a statement agreeing to remove Hoxha's name from the university. This was met with jubilation by the students.
Again, so much for Alia's pledge to "march non-stop on the road of Enver Hoxha". Alia's refusal to defend Hoxha's name on the university goes hand-in-band with the way Alia now refers to Hoxha merely as an "historical personality" instead of as a person who did his (however incomplete) best to defend the principles of communism.
Alia had destroyed the essence of Hoxha's life long before the students destroyed his statue.
One of Alia's most noticeable characteristics over the last couple of years has been his constant praise of the intelligentsia as the most "progressive" force in Albania. Alia promoted the idea amongst the students that they should be the masters of the country and recruited them as a necessary base of social support for his counter-revolutionary programme.
The inevitable result was the student campaign against the symbols of communism which culminated in the toppling of Hoxha's statue.
Therefore, the person most to blame for the destruction of Hoxha's statue is the very man who gave the keynote speech at its unveiling - Ramiz Alia. There is just no limit to the political hypocrisy of opportunists like Alia.
"Hoxha's Statue Toppled in Tirana"
People's Voice article 25.2.91
Thousands of students in Tirana pulled down the giant statue of the late Albanian leader Enver Hoxha on February 21 in their campaign to push the country even faster down the road of capitalism.
The students were in the third week of a boycott of lessons. They were demanding the removal of the name of Enver Hoxha from the title of Tirana University. After the statue was toppled, the students rolled its head through the streets to the university, and then urinated on it.
A few hours later, the Albanian Government issued a brief statement agreeing to remove Hoxha's name. This was met with jubilation by the students who opposed Hoxha because of his reputation as a Stalinist who defended socialism.
Tirana's students founded the Democratic Party last December on an openly capitalist platform of creating a "free market" economy, restoring private ownership of industry, commerce and farming, integrating Albania with the big powers of Western Europe, creating a capitalist Parliament devoid of any working class influence, etc.
Ramiz Alia and other leaders of the Party of Labour of Albania (PLA) had decided to allow the formation of opposition parties dedicated to turning Albania into a capitalist state. This followed student demonstrations calling for "political pluralism".
Alia & Co openly came out as the gravediggers of socialism in Albania. Their promotion of "political pluralism" gave free rein to all capitalist trends, while the working class was gagged and bound by such measures as turning all official positions within the PLA over to opportunists, vastly increasing the power of management over workers in state enterprises, and severely restricting the right to strike.
Alia & Co have engineered Albania's slide into capitalism. They have come out as open enemies of communism since purging the PLA's Politburo of their opponents in July and December last year. But the rot had set in before Enver Hoxha died in 1985.
Hoxha was an incomplete Marxist. He genuinely tried to apply the principles of communism and, therefore, defended Stalin as a great Marxist. However, Hoxha fell down on some of the fundamentals of communism. In particular, the leading role of the working class in Albania was undermined by Hoxha's promotion of the anti-Marxist concept of "people's power".
It is a fundamental communist thesis that every class society is ruled by a single class. This can be illustrated by capitalist New Zealand where big business sets the agenda of both the National and Labour parties behind the "democratic" facade of Parliament.
In a socialist country, the working class must hold state power in order to protect social ownership of industry, commerce and farming. But the rule of the working class couldn't be consolidated in Albania because Hoxha and other PLA leaders were caught up in the concept of "people's power".
The working class must organise itself around its own communist party and lead all other sections of "the people" - such as farmers, intellectuals, self-employed, small business people and rural labourers - along the road of socialism. If the rule of the working class is undermined, then this opens the way for the sort of capitalist counter- revolution that now grips Albania.
Alia & Co hid behind the concept of "people's power" to destroy all working class influence in the Albanian state and boost the political clout of the students and intellectuals. Over recent times, therefore, the PLA's leaders began praising the pro-capitalist intelligentsia as the most important force and ordering the removal of all statues of Stalin. One of the inevitable results of this counterrevolutionary alliance between Alia and the students was the tearing down of Enver Hoxha's statue.
The capitalist news agency Reuters described the student protest that toppled Noxha's statue as "people's power". Both the capitalist media and Alia & Co therefore use the concept of "people's power" to justify Albania's slide into capitalism. This in itself reveals that any weakening of working class rule leads to the destruction of socialism.
But hand-in-hand with the counter-revolution come all the usual crises of capitalism stemming from the antagonistic struggle between different classes. President Alia's address to the nation after the student rampage in Tirana began with an admission that "the country is reaching crisis point".
Alia went on to announce that "I have decided to assume
the direction of matters of state myself". Adopting such dictatorial powers
will allow Alia to speed up the tempo of the counter-revolution. The Albanian
working class can expect more vicious attacks from Alia & Co in the
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