The Polish service of Radio Tirana

Radio Tirana International no longer broadcast in Polish. Today the foreign language output is restricted to Turkish, Serbian, Greek, German, Italian, French and there are seven half hour livestream on the internet in English on a daily basis.[i]

It was different back then when you could tune into Radio Tirana broadcasting in Polish in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Polish section of Radio Tirana began broadcasting in September 1966 and in 1967 had daily broadcast of three half-hour programs. Later their number increased to four a day, and from July 1968 eight programs  in Polish for four hours a day on short and medium waves, when the Polish BBC section averaged just over three hours a day.

Monitored by the Polish Ministry of Interior in 1968, their analysis noted Radio Tirana broadcast 197 programs in Polish focused on 265 topics on socialist countries and 74 on different capitalist countries. By 1973, the radio broadcast 248 programs, of which only 43 concerned capitalist countries. Radio Tirana broadcasts were an interesting curiosity; the output of the Tirana-based service also served an anti-revisionist Polish domestic agenda rather than a simply international propagation of the viewpoint of Albanian authorities.

Virtually all broadcasts were readings of texts bristling with rhetorical language of the anti-revisionist movement and a vital source of information for supporters and opponents alike. Broadcasts of the Polish section of Radio Tirana, similar to KPP leaflets and pamphlets, focused on criticizing Polish party and government policy and accused Gomułka and later Gierek for the desire to restore capitalism. It is worth noting that problems and subjects raised on the airwaves by Radio Tirana were often picked up by Radio Free Europe, which also widely informed listeners about the activities of Mijal and the repression of authorities in Warsaw against the Polish Maoists.

Overall, the illegal oppositional Communist Party of Poland, headed by former CC member Mijail , concludes Margaret K. Gnoinska, was a  nuisance for the leadership of the ruling Polish United Workers’ Party (PUWP) domestically, and had a certain effect on international politics complicating  reformist First Secretary Gomułka’s delicate diplomacy with both Beijing and Moscow.[ii]

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Mijal had became the Polish embodiment of anti-revisionism within the international communist movement; he defended Stalin and his legacy and joined those communists who rejected a pro-Soviet orientation, thereby aligning himself with China and Albania. Maoist thought did resonate to some degree with the younger generation of Polish communists who also saw it as a means of challenging the Kremlin’s control of Eastern Europe.[iii]

The authorities propaganda attempts to discredit the KPP centre on Mijal himself: “ Only the sympathizers of communism in the Chinese edition, such as publishers of the La Voix du Peuple communist Belgian communist authority, treated the Mijalists with full seriousness”. [iv]

In April 1967, the Polish service of Radio Tirana broadcast the KPP’s “To fight in defense of socialism against the revisionist agent of imperialism.” Broadcasts often coincided with the physical distribution of pamphlets reported by radio Tirana , e.g. “KPP is fighting and calling for battle!” or “I lost the compass of Marxism, or Polish paths to socialism.” The latter was so extensive promoted that in May 1968 it was read daily for 10 consecutive days.  The co-ordination of the propaganda offensive between Albania and the communist resistance inside Poland was seen as part of the internationalist struggle against modern revisionism by the Albanians and others.

Polish journalist Micheal Przeperski noted the importance given to current political comments and the anti-Semitic prejudices in the KPP commentary in his article on theAlbanian adventure of comrade Mijal[v]

“ On the events at the University of Warsaw of March 8, 1968, Tirana said: “Students’ speeches in Warsaw cannot be detached from the general political situation in the country, which is difficult, nor can they be called hooligan, because these accidents are deeply social ( …) not the youth, and the party is responsible for this tragic spectacle. ” At first glance, it might seem that the KPP supported the victimized students. Nothing could be more wrong, because it was further stated: “Who are the students defending? Student manifestations (…) are organized from the outside in order to maintain the largest group of Jewish nationalists and their supporters in leadership. “

This was all the more surprising because a few months earlier, in October 1967, Radio Tirana talked about the agent’s role of “Zionist elements exercising power in Poland together with Gomułka.” Thus, the Jews were simultaneously with Gomułka and against Gomułka, and always against vital national interests. This confusing rhetoric brought the KPP closer to the anti-Semitic faction of the so-called partisans within the PZPR. The latter, however, have never allowed themselves to openly question Gomułka’s leadership.

And this was the comment on the entry of Warsaw Pact troops into Czechoslovakia in August 1968: “An armed assault carried out at night on CSR bears barbaric fascist aggression.” But this time, in no way meant any support for the ideals of the Prague Spring, whose leaders were described as “Dubček’s counterrevolutionary clique.”

Programs presenting letters from listeners from the country were important for every medium broadcasting from abroad, highlighted because they presented evidence that the station was listened to in the country. On the other hand, letters signed by “communists and honest Polish workers”, using exactly the same phraseology as the editors from Tirana, raised considerable suspicion. It should be noted that not all letters from readers were written by the editors.  If a letter containing a lot of details that made them credible, from “a certain comrade from Lodz”, read in December 1967, described the story of Zygmunt Kępa, “a pensioner and old revolutionary”, sentenced to three years in prison for distributing KPP brochures and appeals. The author pointed out not only a positive hero, but also villains. Judgment was issued by judge Halina Michalak and jury members Jan Minister and Leon Kamiński, and the prosecutor was prosecutor Kazimierz Masłowski, with whom he cooperated with SB provocateur Władysław Karbowiak.

Supporters of the KPP had indeed sent critical opinions to Albania about the situation in Poland. An example of operational elaboration may be used as an example codenamed “Radio”, founded in January 1976 by the SB in Sieradz.

The state response promoted by an anonymous letter addressed to Tirana and sent from Łódź became the reason initiating multi-track surveillance reaching hundreds of people. The letter’s writer described himself as a member of the CPP and “critically ascribed the People’s Republic of Poland” authorities for wanting to introduce capitalism in the country “using fascists methods of operation. “

The Ministry of Interior staff suspected that the sender of the letter could have been someone inhabiting the Sieradz province, and began a complicated operation to detect it. In its course to determine and identify the alleged KPP supporter, they designated 317 people who could be potential writers of the letter, They searched about 2,000 applications and complaints in terms of analysis of the convergence of the nature of the letter, and for the same purpose reviewed about 22,000 applications for permission to use a radio and television set. Despite SB officers’ efforts they were unable to identify the author of letter.  [vi]

Kazimierz Mijal, secretary general of the KPP, in February 1966, illegal left the Polish People’s Republic, with an Albanian diplomatic passport in the name of Servet Mehmetka. In exile in Tirana, Mijal was in contact with Poland. He controlled the underground KPP, published the paper “Czerwony Sztandar” that was smuggled back into Poland and most accounts state, he began to run the Polish program of Radio Tirana. However Robert Mazurek, talking with Kazimierz Mijal in May 1998, asked:

– Albanians were very interested in Poland at the time, and founded the Polish section of Radio Tirana.

They used my materials there sometimes. When I lived there, I gave them an interview once, but I had nothing to do with them.

An incredulous reply from Kazimierz Mijal when his name became synonymous with the broadcaster.

A harsh but not unfair judgement was that in practice Mijal did not manage to garner support among the workers in Poland and thus did not further Beijing’s ambitions of fomenting a radical revolution in the Soviet bloc. His efforts were eventually silenced by the Polish security services on instructions from the party.[vii]

In Poland, the state had more success in neutralising the banned KPP whose organized groups were active in Warsaw, Wrocław, Łódź, Katowice, Pabianice and Żyrardów . The state managed to introduce agents into the KPP. Several active members were arrested and sentenced to several years in prison. By the mid-1970s as a result of State security operations under the code name “Znak”, the KPP was shattered and its activists forced to cease operations.[viii] Although reports appeared announcing its dissolution in 1972, Mijal continued to issue pronouncements and commentaries in its name as did Radio Tirana.



[ii] Margaret K. Gnoinska (2017): Promoting the ‘China Way’ of communism in Poland and beyond during the Sino-Soviet Split: the case of Kazimierz Mijal, Cold War History, DOI: 10.1080/14682745.2017.1362394

[iii] See: Which East is Red? – Andrew Smith

[iv] See: “We Present Kazimierz Mijal” published by FBIS, East Europe Report February 2nd 1985   JPRS-EPS-85-017   

[v] Taken from Michael Przepererski  “Albanian adventure of comrade Mijal” Polityka , October 2nd 2012

[vi] Taken from Przemysław Gasztold ,Maoism on the Vistula? Activities of the Communist Party Of Kazimierz Mijal , memory and justice 2 (32) 2018

[vii] . Gnoinska (2017)

[viii] Jakub Kryst: A hard – headed adventurer , ” Focus Historia “, No. 3 (38) from 2010

News from FLP

An accelerated publishing programme saw the first webinar from Foreign Language Press now available on Youtube and includes the web launch of two new titles: J. Moufawad-Paul offers an exacting analysis of the different trends that emerged out of the victory, development, and ultimate defeat of the Chinese revolution, exploring maoism after Mao in his Critique of Maoist Reason. Also discussed in the presentation is number 19 in the Colourful Classic series , a reprint of the 1975 A New Outlook on Health with an introduction that contextualise the issues in healthcare policy in the ongoing global COVID-19 pan­demic , including the addition of some detailed footnotes. The footnotes provide more current sta­tistics and some updates about how healthcare and the US economy has changed in the past forty plus years.

A brief history of the development of the publishing endeavour is also provided by Chris Kistler in the internationally organized Zoom webinar.

The next webinar is on Sunday, August 30, North America: 9:00PM EST/6:00PM PST featuring two titles in the New Roads series.

Like Ho Chi Minh! Like Che Guevara! focuses on the Ethiopian communist movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Ian Scott Horst’s – whose principle contribution made EROL’s national section on Ethiopia such a valuable online legacy to the struggle in the region – provides an historical treasure trove of first hand accounts and narratives from the actors themselves documenting the heady, complicated and ultimately tragic events of that revolution.

A collection of writing from the imprisoned K. Murali (Ajith) confronts and counters Brahmanism, an ideological linchpin of the Indian ruling class, is also featured

Other titles, including corrected reprints of the additional selected Works of Mao Zedong originally published in India  by Kranti Publications, are available from its webshop

Chile , China & diplomatic silence

The friendly relations between China and Allende’s Chile, followed by diplomatic silence and business-like relations with Chile under Pinochet broke an unspoken contract that revolutionaries without power expect better of Socialist states they admire and defend.

The international communist movement gets conflated with behaviour of regimes negotiating the currents of international relations in a hostile imperialist dominated world. Historical precedents abound of disillusionment and sense of betrayal engendered by the pragmatic nuisances and decisions taken from Brest-Litovsk onwards.

Former regime supporters of different political currents  can name their own pivot event that shredded the bounds of friendship and solidarity : non-aggression pacts, suppression in Hungry, peaceful co-existence, the Sino-India border war, invasion of Czechoslovakia, Sri Lankan revolt, war in the Horn of Africa, three world theory, the occupation of Kampuchea, teaching Vietnam a lesson or the silence over Chile. The tapestry of issues is beyond this simple chronology of articles in the English language edition of Peking Review on Sino-Chilean relations and the aftermath of the 1973 military coup.

Continue reading    Friendly relations   

Of related interest

English edChile: An Attempt at “Historic Compromise”

Compass Points North

Reaching Out: Global Maoism

58. Global Maoism

45. Guilty to the charge of promoting revolution

135. Rojas, an early adopter

In exile in London, Dr. Oscar Róbinson Rojas Sandford made his name as a specialist in the political economy of development teaching as a university lecturer eventually at University College London UCL. He established online an economic database, The Robinson Rojas Archive, a potpourri of articles, lectures, links on planning for development covering ethics, development, economics, global financial crisis, Dependency Theory, Imperialism, capitalism, economic, terrorism, globalization, sustainable development, poverty, and sustainability. This text draws upon material at the Róbinson Rojas Archive – .

He makes available to download work from the last century when a political activist in Chile, then a contributor to Causa Marxista Leninista (first published in May 1968). A former colleague of Jorge Palacios, Rojas was in the leadership of the PRC-ML before the 1973 military coup drove him into finally into exile in the UK.

Rojas had been a Santiago crime and military affairs reporter who also edited a Maoist magazine. Like many Chilean leftists, he was unhappy as early as 1971 with the slow pace of Allende’s march toward socialism. He said so then and he said so in a book he terms an “accusation.” Rojas’ book was largely written in Santiago’s prison where he was held after the Pinochet coup. Besides those who already stand accused—the CIA, the U.S. State Department, his country’s upper classes and military—he accuses the Pentagon for THE MURDER OF ALLENDE and the end of the Chilean way to socialism.

 As equally noteworthy was that because of his political allegiances, he was an early researcher on the restoration of capitalism in China. The political conclusion, in a nutshell that does no justice to his own experiences studying in China or depth of research work, is that:

Between October 1976 and late 1978 the Chinese socialist path to development was stopped and then dismantled by the counter-revolutionary members of the Communist Party who staged a coup-d’etat in late 1976 to reverse the revolutionary process evolving since 1950. This coup d’etat was the last battle in a civil war started in 1966, when the new communist ruling class in China was challenged by part of the industrial workers, students and peasants and a section of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. Leaders of the new ruling class were Liu Shao-chi (then president of China), Chou Enlai (then Prime Minister of China), and Deng Xiaoping (then second in command in the political bureau).Between 1966 and 1976 this civil war was known as the “cultural revolution”.

From the same archive the Spanish language edition of Rojas’ China, una revolucion en agonia (Barcelona: Martinez Roca, 1978) is available to download.

China: A revolution in agony / Robinson Rojas

 A necessary explanation This book is the first fruit of a thirteen-year investigation that began in late 1964, when I first came into contact with citizens of the People’s Republic of China at the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,military prison. Since then, three stays in that nation -which coincided with the beginning of the proletarian cultural revolution in 1965-1966, the crisis in the power struggle between Lin Biao and Chou En-lai in 1970-71, and the dramatic outcome in 1974-1977, which includes the deaths of Chou En-lai and Mao Tse-tung and the anti-Maoist coup d’etat led by Hua Kuo-feng and Teng Hsiao-ping in October 1976 – have endowed me with an experience ‘on the ground’ more or less complete on the contemporary development of a revolution that agonized for two decades.

This book aims to demonstrate that:

a) a new ruling class has taken over Chinese society : the civil-military bureaucracy that emerges triumphant in a socialist system when the proletariat is unable to maintain and consolidate that system;

b) The Chinese revolution was a national-democratic revolution led by an alliance between the peasant petty bourgeoisie and the proletariat, which, when trying to go to the socialist stage, gave rise to a struggle between attempts to “proletarianize” or “gentrify” (bureaucratize it);

c) The Chinese Communist Party did not develop until it became the vanguard of its proletariat, and only reached the level of a political organization of alliance between the petty bourgeoisie and the proletariat, where, naturally, the struggles for power, from the Yenan era, they took the form of a “struggle” to “proletarianize” the party on the one hand, and to transform it into a bureaucratic, managerial organization at the national level , on the other hand, by the petty bourgeoisie that occupied key positions in the communist hierarchy;

d) the political leaders of the Chinese proletariat did not live up to their task, and left this class to their fate at the time that it could have won its most important battle for power, in 1967. In this sense, it can be affirmed that the Chinese are a people betrayed by their leaders;

e) the combined action of the above factors, plus the pressure of the ideological-economic reality of a model of society in which the Asian mode of production was valid for two millennia, with all the pressure that the habits, customs and conception of the world that this entails, especially with the divine character component of the “protective State”, have given rise to a new social system of exploitation of the great majority by a tiny minority, with a police State that seeks, within the structure facistizing petty-bourgeois thought, the creation of an almighty nation that, to be so, not only does not hesitate to betray anti-imperialist revolutions contemporary, but also enters into an open military and economic alliance with what is generally, from the Marxist angle , called “North American imperialism”.

It was not an isolated event, for example, that of February 28,1976, of which the United Press International, in a dispatch dated in Guangzhou, reported as follows: “Former President Richard Nixon arrived in this southern Chinese city on Saturday and received the greatest welcome from the Chinese people so far … Tens of thousands of students and workers tumultuously celebrated Nixon and his wife Pat along the route between Guangzhou “White Cloud” Airport and the Guest House in the heart of the city ​​… Secret service agents and members of Chinese security had to pluck the ex-president and his wife from the tumult , who almost fell to the ground in the middle of the crowd …After being led a few yards from the crowd, which was waving and clapping enthusiastically, Nixon turned to one of his interpreters and said, “How do you say ‘thank you’?” When the Chinese words were spoken to him, Nixon raised his hands with the V sign and shouted, “Sie sie.” The crowd applauded and howled even louder… “. Nor was it an isolated point of view expressed by the Chinese army unit 8341, in charge of the guard of the central committee , when in October 1976, in an article collectively written in “Renmin Ribao“, in tribute to Mao Tsetung , now deceased, he said: “Respected and dear Chairman Mao … You frequently gave us plum plants, sunflower seeds , fruits and other things that were presented to you by foreign guests and the popular masses, and you also offered us white pumpkins and potatoes that You grew yourself … When you received mangoes, watermelons, or noodles from foreign guests and the masses, you used to say, “Take them to the fighters on call, they do hard work. ” Both things are the product of the same task already fulfilled by the civil-military bureaucracy that took power in China: that of refining cultivating the mental habits of a static society for centuries, controlling information, transforming the study of Marxism into a caricature, making socialism an imitation of the old imperial hierarchy, creating a cult of personality to transform Mao into the emperor-god -and therefore, a part in the game to prevent the proletarianization of the revolution-, and thus get to the point in which they managed to convince broad sectors of the people that ” US imperialism” is now a fighter “revolutionary” and ally of the “Chinese people” to “liberate humanity”. Similarly, his funeral corps’ funeral tribute to Mao tastes of “central empire” where foreign “heads of state” bring tribute in kind, which the good-natured god-emperor hands out generously to his subjects. What has happened in China? What has happened in a society whose people waged a bloody civil war to liberate themselves, managed to get out of misery and made the creation of a just society a reality, by performing feats in the tasks of production and collective well-being? Perhaps a text written on April 6, 1966 as an editorial in “Renmin Ribao“, when the proletarian insurrection wanted to destroy the military civilian bureaucracy, clarifies that question: “In the old society, the relationship between men in production and at work it is the one that exists between the ruler and the dominated. In socialist society, the transformation of private property of the means of production in public ownership radically changes this type of relationship … and replaces it with one of equality, mutual aid and cooperation among ordinary workers. But this new relationship does not automatically occur with the transformation of the property. The old systems of administration left by the bourgeoisie, the precepts and formulas copied from abroad, the influence of bourgeois and feudal ideas , as well as the strength of all kinds of habits, hinder the establishment of the new relationship between men under the socialist system.

“In socialist society, the new relationship between men is manifested in a concentrated way in the relationship between the cadres (officials) and the masses. The cadres at all levels of the Communist Party and the State are servants of the people and not gentlemen astride their backs. Between party and state cadres and the masses, the only distinction is that arising from the division of labour, and there is no distinction between high and low, superior and inferior. The cadres must be found among the masses as common workers and should not enjoy any privilege. In order to fully implement this principle it is necessary to put the proletarian policy, strictly applying socialist principles and solving this problem ideologically and through systems and regulations, completely changing the relationship between men in production and work left by the old society. OTHERWISE, IT COULD HAPPEN THAT THE PICTURES WILL USE THEIR POWER TO POSITION IN A PRIVILEGED POSITION AND TAKE MORE THAN DUE, OR EVEN COME TO COMMIT PECULATES AND MALVERSATIONS AND USURPR THE RESULTS OF THE WORK OF OTHERS. THE RESULT WOULD BE THE RISE OF A PRIVILEGED LAYER AT THE DETRIMENT OF THE SOCIALIST PROPERTY OF ALL THE PEOPLE AND THE SOCIALIST COLLECTIVE PROPERTY … THE SOCIALIST PROPERTY OF ALLTHE PEOPLE AND SOCIALIST COLLECTIVE PROPERTY WILL GRADUALLY TRANSFORM INTO SOMETHING SUPERFICIAL AND, IN FACT, DEGENERATE IN PROPERTY OF THE PRIVILEGED LAYER. SUCH ALTERED FORMATION OF THE PRODUCTION RELATIONS BETWEEN OPERATORS AND EXPLOITED CREATES THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A NEW STRUGGLE OF CLASSES OF ANTAGONIC NATURE. FROM THIS IT IS GIVEN THAT, IN A SOCIALIST SOCIETY, AFTER THE SOCIALIST TRANSFORMATION OF OWNERSHIP OF THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION IS FULLY COMPLETED, THE PROLETARY POLICY MUST ALSO BE PLACED IN THE FIRST PLACE, TO GRADUALLY DEVELOP A NEW MEN IN PRODUCTION AND WORK AND PREVENTING THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW PRIVILEGED LAYER. ONLY SO IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONSOLIDATE AND DEVELOP SOCIALIST PROPERTY, EXTRACT THE ROOTS OF REVISIONISM, AVOID THE RESTORATION OF CAPITALISM AND ENSURE THE CONSTANT ADVANCE OF THE SOCIALIST CAUSE.”  Ten years after this editorial was published, the privileged layer gave a coup d’etat and it was seized with all power in China. In November 1977, the Military Museum in Beijing inaugurated its “restored” exhibition halls. To close the exhibition, a huge photograph of Mao Tsetung shaking hands with Richard Nixon, a second time in 1976. In the time since the first time, in 1972, the former president of the US had ordered the sowing of corpses on Vietnamese land and Cambodian soil, and had put into the government of Chile, through the murder of its constitutional president Salvador Allende, a group of soldiers who methodically dedicate themselves to killing those who are even suspected of “Marxists” and to establish a brutal dictatorship that has earned the abhorrence of the world; furthermore, he had been forced to resign from the presidency of the United States, ignominiously. However, the task carried out by the civil-military bureaucracy has not been complete. Proletarian sowing in the Chinese revolution has not been sterile. And currently, underground, clandestine and heroic, there is opposition and there is a fight against the new mandarins of the former imperial palace: fight for freedom and to build a society where no one feeds on the misery of others.

ROBINSON ROJAS                                  December 1977

Related work that can be found at the archive include

Notes on class analysis in Socialist China 1978

Class stratification in the Chinese countryside – 1979

The Chinese attempt to build a socialist society (notes) 1997

Notes on Chinas Painful Path to Capitalism 1997

The other side of China’s miracle: unemployment/inequality) 1997


Unitary Road Update

2020 began with reports from Maoist Road of a successful International preparatory meeting held in Italy in January before the lockdown.

Arguing for a method of unity-struggle-unity and against the spirit of faction and division, the PCm has striven through the Maoist Road sharing of information and campaigns and other avenues, for organizations “to arrive at the widest possible unity of the MLM movement”. [i]

There discussions were developed regarding the conditions, the need and possibility of holding a Conference grandly envisaged as a Unified International of Marxist Leninist Maoists of all countries.

The main organising sponsor the PCm Italy issued a message that spoke of

“The battle for the unity of the MLM communist movement, the struggle between the two lines within it, the definition of a common platform, the organized form with which to continue this work require, as we know, a prolonged work which demands preparatory meetings, new bilateral and multilateral meetings, as well as the exchange of documents, initiatives aimed at the masses, on the tortuous but luminous path of the realization of a Unified International Conference of the communist movement MLM that wins over the fragmentation, surpassing the effects of the collapse of the Rim and responds to the need to unify MLM on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, on the basis of a critical-self-critical assessment of the general experience of the RIM and other attempts to formation of an international organization.”

Previously the PCm had said “let’s work together for an International Conference of mlm parties and organisations in the world against revisionism, opportunism and pretty bourgeos leftism masked by ‘maoism’.” No names named this time.

Internet commentator, Harsh Thakor [ii] (coincidentally after interviewing exiled Philippine communist Jose Maria Sison) was not so circumspect arguing comrades must make a distinction between the positive practice of Communist Party of Peru (PCP) under Chairman Gonzalo and the most sectarian interpretation, naming Gonzaloists like RGA groups in America, some of which are now defunct , the German Committee Red Flag associated with Dem Volke Dienen website and those around Tjen Folket Media. He references Kenny Lake’s critical exploration of the debate around the universality of protracted people’s war (PPW) [iii], and the scathing criticism in Andy Belasario in PRISM blog, On the so-called University of Protracted People’s War and thethe dubious genius of a Gonzalo….his flip-flop from “Left” opportunism to Right opportunism, which has caused the people’s war to decline and nearly total defeat in Peru”. [iv]

Even before the enforced pause brought about by Covid 19, the conditions for convening the unified international conference have been absence with 2020 the year of alternative planning for separate developments on the unitary road in the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist tendencies.

Sison is involved in a big call for the new decade in what was set to be a year of competing “internationals”. Issued jointly at the end of December 2019, after months of discussions and exchanges between the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), two international anti-imperialist formations, the organisations entered the fray inviting others to join them in part of a new global alliance: The Anti-Imperialist Anti-Fascist United Front (AIAFUF), or simply United Front. [v]

What is envisaged is that the United Front shall be a movement of allied organizations without democratic centralism and a costly and expensive apparatus, so not a new Comintern-type arrangement. A challenging timetable was set with the promise that “The Front will be launched before the end of June 2020.”

The problems of establishing and agreeing a general orientation involved in uniting on a common platform was illustrated in an article ‘Maoism as in itself: against the idealism of the “mainly Maoist” current’ from the Canadian PRC-RCP – the Quebec Continuator group – that lays into the Communist Party of Brazil (Red Fraction), Struggle Sessions group, the Maoist Communist Party in France (despite its ambivalence), and domestically swipes at “intellectual revisionist Joshua Moufawad-Paul”. Factional fighting and name calling are milestones on the road to demarcation but can the direction of travel be to a unitary destination? The conclusion in the reassuringly-named ISKRA is hard to reject:

Currently, there is no, such a thing as an international Maoist movement per se. What exists are Maoist parties and organizations with more or less strong links between them, and in many cases without links at all. For a movement to exist, there must be unity, even if it is relative: common objectives, regular exchanges of experience, close collaboration and solid organizational links. If there is no unity at all, there is no movement. In history, the only time that an international Maoist movement actually existed was when the Internationalist Revolutionary Movement (RIM) was in place. Ironically, this experience, the partisans of the idealist tendency reject it under the pretext that the RIM defended a “disjointed and eclectic” conception of Maoism. The PCB (FR) declared last year that “in today’s world, unlike the founding or existence of the RIM, a revitalized international communist movement has flourished and developed”. This is a mind-blowing statement totally disconnected from the real world situation.” [vi]

Indeed dismissive of the whole engagement in the international project of communication, co-operation and co-ordination – they were never members of RIM – the Canadian group reflects a fundamentalist stance that

If we want Marxism to once again become a powerful weapon in the hands of the popular masses, we will have to put an end once and for all to literary leftism and petty-bourgeois pseudo-Maoism. That said, it is in the material world, and not in the world of ideas, that the idealist and postmodern currents will be swept away. It is through real practice, and not through an endless ideological struggle to reach the purest concepts, that the problem that these idealist currents represent will be resolved.

It is not likely they will be engaged in the debates and manoeuvres or overblown rhetoric on the road to establishing a durable structure for international relations with like-minded comrades. The advice from the Maoist era was clear: “the CPC, to its credit, refused a hegemonic role…and constantly drummed into overseas Maoists the need to think independently about their own conditions” [vii]


[i] January 2020

[ii] On the Theory of International Proletariat Military tactics of Mao and Chairman Gonzalo February 12, 2020




[vi]   ISKRA January 26, 2020  

 [vii] Biel, Robert (2015) Eurocentrism and the Communist Movement. Montreal: Kersplebedeb p162.


Chile: An Attempt at “Historic Compromise”

Chile: An Attempt at Historic Compromise-The Real Story of the Allende Years, by Jorge Palacios (1926-2004).

Published in Spanish language edition in 1977, the first in English was produced by the Canadian-based Norman Bethune Institute connected to Hardial Bains-led CPC (ML), as well as an English translation of the RCP Chile: Open Letter to the Communist Party of China .

Its National Publications Centre assisted in other Spanish language publications of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Chile produced by its Ediciones Marxista-leninistes publishing house in Toronto. One such text was the collection, “50 issues of EL PUEBLO clandestinely” covering the years 1974-1977 of the Chilean paper. There was also the use of material from ANCHA, monthly of the Chilean Anti-Fascist News Agency, produced by the external section of the Frent Del Paeblo (People’s Front) established by the RCPC.

However the relationship faded as the RCPC, although aligned with the anti- three worlds position of the Albanian party, gradually moved away as Albanian criticism expanded to encompass condemnation of Mao Zedong. The organisation’s paper, El Pueblo carried its view in the article “Comrade Mao Tsetung was a great Marxist-Leninist and a great internationalist” (#101 October 1978). Such an appreciation differed from the trajectory in Enver Hoxha’s book Imperialism and the Revolution , first published [in Albanian] in April 1978 for distribution within the PLA, then multi-language editions distributed internationally in the December.

The Chilean party did not become part of the Albanian grouping but joined with the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) led by Avakarin in efforts to establish an international alignment of Maoist parties who rejected the successors of the Mao Zedong as they drew up a joint declaration with the RCP setting forth, “Basic Principles for the Unity of Marxist-Leninists and for the Line of the International Communist Movement.” The RCP-Chile played an important formative role in the regroupment of Maoists after 1976 (according to one participant)

“presenting a form of communist thinking and politics that was marked by its both creative and fiercely revolutionary character. A few of the RCP-Chile’s writings have been broadly available. In the crucial period around 1980, the RCP-Chile (and its leading figures in post-coup exile in Europe) actively helped regroup Maoists internationally, in the project that would give rise to the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement.” [i]

Chile speaking tour

The RCP run Chicago publishing house, Banner Press took on Chile: An Attempt at Historic Compromise and published its English language edition in November 1979. The book was made available in the U.S. in conjunction with a nationwide tour by the author being sponsored by El Frente del Pueblo, a mass organization of the Chilean resistance abroad as well as in Chile. It helped pave the way to the U.S. tour by Jorge Palacios with the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA actively building support for the tour.

The favourable RCP, USA review of “an excellent Marxist analysis” notes: “The book documents in painful detail the efforts of the CP to restrain and derail the mass movement of the workers and the oppressed, all the while protecting the bourgeois state and other reactionary institutions from the attack of the masses. As Palacios points out, this was a policy which the CP had pursued for many decades and for which it was rewarded by being allowed to be one of the few Communist Parties in Latin America that enjoyed a long period of legal, open activity…. While An Attempt At Historic Compromise correctly concentrates on unmasking the falsifiers of Marxism and the revisionist CP, it also serves as excellent material exposing the U.S. imperialists’ crimes and intrigues in Chile.” [ii]

An academic review thought that,

“This is by no means a scholarly work. There is no pretense to objectivity. This should not deter scholars from using Palacios’s work, however, in order to learn still more of the inside story of recent Chilean political history. As an inside view, it is quite valuable.” [iii]

And indeed, there is a section in the book where Jorge Palacios also discusses the views and activities of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Chile all during this period. The account Palacios provides found expression in English,  French  and Spanish editions.

There was another consequence in the appearance of the Banner Press edition as it was the focus of a letter from Joseph Green, for the leadership of COUSML, the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists, to their fraternal comrades in the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). Dated December 1st1979 raised their astonishment and register protest at

…. the recent action of the CPC (M-L) in selling the rights to the book by Jorge Palacios entitled Chile: An Attempt at “Historic Compromise” to the utterly corrupt and rotten to the core American neo-revisionist and “three worlder” sect known as the so-called “Revolutionary Communist Party of the U.S.A.” ….was carried out without consultation with us. Indeed, it was carried out without even notifying us. It in fact amounted to a violation of the most elementary norms of fraternal relations between parties. ….” [iv]

In their exposition of some of the issues involved in the sale of the rights of the book by Palacios to the “RCP, USA.”, the aggrieved comrades argued that Hardial Bains led CPC (ML) had failed to foresee the difficulties that have come up in this question of the selling of the rights to the Palacios book involve a major tactical blunder as well as a violation of principles.

The points these slighted comrades made were that the Palacios tour had great significance. With it, RCP of Chile unilaterally and by surprise, broke its relations with the COUSML in a very unprincipled manner and publicly concluded an alliance with the “RCP, USA.”. Although the reason behind the break was clearly understood:

“… it has broken relations with us because we stand for carrying the struggle against Chinese revisionism through to the end, because we have denounced Mao Zedong Thought, and because we defend socialist Albania.”

“Instead of carefully sorting out the issue of Mao Zedong Thought, it has instead gone onto a very dangerous anti-Marxist path…..We are in no hurry to come to a final conclusion on the RCP of Chile, and we hope that they desist from the path they have taken. It would be a pity and a loss to the international movement if this Party which has shed its blood in the struggle against reaction, does not stop and reconsider this very dangerous and slippery inclined slope that it has set foot on.”

Joseph Green told his Canadian allies they did not regard the selling of the rights to the book as just a run-of-the-mill business dealing related to the routine commercial operations in the book and pamphlet trade which are part and parcel of the operation of the National Publications Centre. They saw it first and foremost as a political act.

With the rights to the Palacios book in the hands of CPC(M-L) it had been “a definite thorn in the side of the “RCP, USA” a political embarrassment for them, instead COUSML faced the aftermath of the action of the Chilean party, its “unprincipled dropping of relations with us and the establishment of relations with the “RCP, USA” and what that signified”.

“….the “RCP, USA’s” publishing of this book was used as a way to make it appear that the “RCP, USA,” which in actual fact had never done any work at all for the support of the resistance movement of the Chilean people, was actually a supporter and enthusiast of the solidarity movement.”

“Helping the “RCP, USA” to find a way to promote itself internationally, especially among certain forces in Latin America which are still considering the question of Mao Zedong Thought and which have respect for the RCP of Chile, although they do not presently follow the position of the RCP of Chile.”

“…. furthermore the CPC(M-L) puts itself in the apparent position of having worked with the “RCP, USA,” even though only on this transaction, even though for the present apparently neither the “RCP, USA” nor you yourself wish to publicize this particular transaction.”

COUSML complained this act violated the elementary norms of fraternal relations which were to deteriorate and eventually broken off.

“You did not even notify us about it. Finally it came up in discussions in early November between our two Parties because our delegate, asked you a direct question about how the “RCP, USA” got the lights to the book.

To us, this lack of consultation is truly astonishing.”

…. Our two Parties may not always agree on certain tactical issues, but that does not give you the right to unilaterally undertake actions such as the selling of the rights to the Palacios book that affect us first and foremost and undermine our stands and struggle.”

… This question of consultation and cooperation is important in itself in the strengthening of the relations between our two Parties. But it is also important in particular in the question of the struggle against revisionism and opportunism.”


[i] Mike Ely of the now defunct Kasama project (2007-2013) highlighted the theoretical work of Chile’s Revolutionary Communist Party as they summed up their experiences in the Allende years, the Pinochet coup, and the international communist movement. These essays are from the period of the late 1970s to 1981 when the RCP of Chile was seeking to help regroup the international communist movement, and thinking through the implications of events in China in the post-Mao period. Kasama, thanking those who did the work of making this material available and Rosa Blanc, provided pdfs in Spanish of several issues of the organization’s theoretical journal Causa Marxista-Leninista.

Causa Marxista-Leninista, Issue #27

Causa Marxista-Leninista, Issue #28

Causa Marxista-Leninista, Issue #29

Causa Marxista-Leninista, Issue #30

[ii] Reviewed

[iii] Frederick M. Nunn Hispanic American Historical Review (1981) 61 (2): 330–331.

[iv] The truth about the relations between the Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA and the Communist Party of Canada (M-L)



Bank Holiday Fun

The photograph is of a man in mid-flight from a chasing policeman. This is his tale of being arrested.

tron-grim-April 6, 1968ogrim

Flanked by a younger Tron and detail from the cover of Tron Øgrim the revolutionary fireworks by Bo Brekke, Tron Øgrim runs from a policeman during an illegal demonstration against the Vietnam War in April 1968.

Tron Orgrim’s reminiscence are taken from a posting made in February 2004. Enough time has passed to safely transgress the reticence of disclosure particularly as it contains no revelations, no implications of damaging reputation or betrayal of trust. It is a familiar activists’ memory, a minor element in a mosaic of a revolutionary life lived reproduced out of fond memory and respect for the man from the north who, in equal measure, enlightened and entertained and infuriated an audience of “leftist trainspotters” before his untimely death in 2007.

If you live in a glass house
You shouldn’t throw napalm!

We were about 10, all from the (then Maoist) SUF youth union of the SF party (about to break with it 45 years ago in March 1969) and the SOLIDARITETSKOMITEEN FOR VIETNAM (SOLKOM) the absolutely dominating solidarity movement in Norway which we lead from about 1967.

On the other side of the street (to the left in the picture, you don’t see it) it’s the park of the royal castle. We came down the street on the backside of the royal castle, and our predetermined tactic when the small police guard would follow us after the attack, was to divide our forces in every side-street in order to give the police as few to follow as possible.

We ran forward and threw our stones {at Oslo’s American embassy]. Some windows shattered (I have never been a good thrower and I gotta admit that I probably smashed nothing…)

  • Hey! Shouted the police (they were possibly only 3, maybe 4).

The first side-street was downtown from the enemy and away from the town. I was in the group running away from the town.

A girl I knew ran towards the town. A thin, long-legged comrade (later for many years RV parliamentarian in the county of Nordland) ran past her, as she had rather short legs… when a policeman ran past her too, following in his heels, she understood she could slow down.

For us running away from the town centre, there was immediately a side-street, straight ahead and to the left.

Some comrades ran straight on, as I was behind them, it was my task to run to the left. At this time together with one comrade – as he had diabetes he was of course called “melis” (icing sugar).

Two policemen behind us and we being (at the time) young and fleet, we ran away from him. Then came a bloody traitor of a taxi driver and picked him up.

Next side-street, straight ahead on the street on the back of the royal castle or to the left. “Melis” took the left side, and I ran straight on.

One of the policemen jumped out and followed “Melis” running.

The policeman in the taxi followed only me, and got me after 20 metres.

Having arrested me, he waited for his colleagues, who had followed “Melis” into a building of flats. (As the outer entrance of Oslo apartment houses were usually not locked at this time, this was open).

We waited for a long time, and then he came back: “I followed that guy into the backyard. As he wasn’t there I ran up all the stairs but couldn’t find him. I really don’t know where he has disappeared.”

“Melis” at the time was in a trash can in the back yard, having pulled the cover over his head. So he got away too.

So I was the only one arrested that night.

And got a month. Had my day in court too, political defence and some funny details. That’s another story.

Still feel well about the whole thing, including out running that cop, and mildly irritated about the stupid reactionary taxi guy.

And of course, NOW the US imperialists got their OWN armed guards in the embassy – armoured glass in the windows – and are putting up a HUGE BERLIN WALL around their fortress – and even the TORIES in Oslo dislike them openly:

We got them on the run comrades!


Research Note: Tron recalls……

Tron Øgrim (1947–2007) was, during the 1960s and 1970s, the International Secretary and political ideologue of the Norwegian AKP(m-l), Arbeidernes Kommunistparti (marxist-leninistene). He left the organisation in 1984. He died on May 23rd 2007.  Still fondly remembered.

hqdefaultBEWARE fifteen years have passed, these rough working notes are digests of internet postings & email musings, “was there, remember some of it. [This] only very rapid jottings of the type I would never publish – more like talking in the bus…”  So not fair to attribute this as a source to Tron, not a quote but more or less what he said as it is an edited version of what Tron was understood to be saying, and he can’t be held responsible for any misinterpretation and the linguistic tiding up. Links and Italics are added working notes otherwise the rest derives from my man in the north. Postings were largely date from 2003/4 and gathered here ( and download)  as notes on

Maoism and the World Communism Movement

130. Research Note~ Albanian Attitude towards the Cultural Revolution

In the Western commentaries of the 1960s, when Chinese and Albanian interests coincided in their struggle against Soviet revisionism, much was framed in terms of Albania being a bridgehead for the Chinese in Europe as if Albania was a springboard, the European outpost of Mao’s revolutionary policy and Chinese penetration of the European based communist movement.

An article from the influential British think-tank Royal Institute of International Affairs reflecting this narrative was “Albania: A Chinese Satellite in the Making?” by Anton Logoreci ([i]), while Newsweek could headline an article “Albania: Mediterranean Maoists”[ii]  and they reflected the lack of attention paid to the internal dynamics of People’s Republic of Albania and that Western approach devalued the actual value and experience of the Albanian revolution and its achievements in the poorest of the European countries. demonstration

Clearly Albania was the strongest supporter of China not only within the international communist movement, but in efforts to break the American quarantine of the People’s Republic. In concluding that Albania was fully committed to ideological and economic dependence on China, it underestimated the domestic roots of Albania policy and its independent motivation of Albanian national survival and pride in those achievements and its chosen path. For all the references to Stalinist Albania, that Stalin remained an irremovable reference point for Hoxha, was overshadowed in the narrative of the “Mediterranean Maoists”. The “deal” was seen as unequivocal ideological support of the Albanian leadership on the part of Mao’s China as accompanied by substantial material aid; even in the aftermath of the break down in the alliance, western commentators would argue the break with China left Albania with no foreign protector as if that was a prime diplomatic concern.

Albania did became a major recipient of Chinese foreign aid, receiving huge economic and military assistance. China could never materially satisfy the exorbitant requests for full industrial plants, massive amounts of equipment, and military aid. The total assistance from China to Albania amounted to ten billion renminbi. It was, according to a Chinese estimate, equivalent to 6 billion US dollars then. [iii]

“Sometimes our Albanian friends had too big an appetite for Chinese assistance,” Fan CHENGZUO told an international seminar.[iv]

It was the political relationship that had brought the two together, that shared anti-revisionist stance, and it was political divergence that saw the collapse of the relationship. As an alliance it was ideologically based, party propaganda, in turn, Albania lauded China as the crucial factor in the building of socialism. The shared opposition to modern revisionism did not mean a shared understanding of its causes nor its avoidance. There was an emerging explanation coming out of China that was accelerated during the Cultural Revolution that the Albanian party were reluctant to endorse in practice whilst eventually rhetorically supporting the events in China.

In the Sixties, Zhou Enlai, Politburo member Kang Sheng, deputy premier Li Xiannian, and leading Cultural Revolution activist Yao Wenyuan all made similarly highly publicized visits to Albania.

Symbolical of that relationship was seen in 1964 when Zhou Enlai stayed in Albania for an unprecedented nine days


1964 Premier Chou Enlai in Tirana 

Peking Review #1  January 3, 1964 & Peking Review #2 January 10, 1964

1964 Zhou in Albania-a memoir


“Memorandum of Conversation, between Comrade Zhou Enlai and Party and State Leaders of Albania, 27-29 March 1965,” March, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central State Archive, Tirana, AQPPSH-MPKK-V. 1965, D. 4. Obtained for CWIHP by Ana Lalaj and translated for CWIHP by Enkel Daljani.


Zhou Enlai also paid a visit to Albania from June 24 to 28, 1966

1966 hoxha_conversation_with_chou_en_lai_entry in his Political Diary.


Memorandum of Conversation between Albanian Labor Party Delegation and the Chinese Communist Party Leadership,” October 12, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central State Archive, Tirana, AQPPSH-MPKK-V. 1967, L. 19, D. 20. Obtained by Ana Lalaj and translated by Enkel Daljani.

Memorandum of Conversation between comrade Enver Hoxha and a delegation of Chinese Red Guards (led by Yao Wenyun) , July 08, 1967. National Archives of Albania (AQSH), F. 14/AP, M-PKK, 1967, Dos. 43, Fl. 1-18. Obtained and translated by Elidor Mëhilli.

Zeri I Popullit editorial, The Albanian Edition of “Quotations From Chairman Mao tse-tung” – A Great and Precious Gift From the Fraternal Chinese People, reproduced in Peking Review #44 October 27, 1967  PR1967-44

In June 1966, Zhou Enlai visited Albania. Shortly before he landed in Tirana, Zëri I Popullit (People’s Voice), published on its third page an article that for the first time reported on the Cultural Revolution. Zhou Enlai in his visit had had a long conversation with Hoxha, aimed at finding the roots of revisionism as a phenomenon. Zhou went back to the early stage of Stalin’s rule and tried to convince Hoxha that Stalin was not infallible as he had thought, but now Hoxha stated that ‘he [Zhou] did not convince us at all.”[v]

Still the outward appearance was very different:


For both sides, when it comes to describing the bilateral relationship between China and Albania, expressions such as “unbreakable,” “arm-in-arm,” and “growing with each passing day” no longer cut it; better expressions include “strong as steel and pure as crystal,” “advancing from climax to climax,” and even direct quotations from poetry like“ long distance separates no bosom friends.” We who were responsible for drafting speeches at that time were all racking our brains to come up with better phrases or expressions.[vi]

Later was exposed (after the breach in the relationship) the disconnect between the public utterances and supposed entries into Hoxha’s private diary at the time, his increasing sceptical views on China and its relationship with Albania.[vii]

There is no evidence that the Chinese sought to impose their Cultural Revolution on the Albanians, as Hoxha accused them in his later published accounts.

The Albanians rejected the main ideological driver of the Cultural Revolution the issue of existing class antagonism under socialism, and in their own activities the Albanians insisted that the loss of party control was unacceptable. There were no calls to ‘Bombard the Headquarters’ appearing on Tirana’s walls.

“Albania, instead, maintained that the main purpose of the revolution had been the removal of the exploitative classes, and of the bourgeoisie as a class. Without this, the communists would have not considered their historical task of liberating the proletariat as accomplished. Perhaps, Shehu maintained, what was let was only the remnants of the bourgeoisie, and therefore not the class as an entity still able to challenge the political power of the communists” [viii]

After all, conditions in Albania were radically different from China’s. Albania’s specific context as an underdeveloped country, which did not precipitate the emergence of a strong bourgeoisie or its subsequent development into a powerful class.

There were differences in practices: unlike in China, the Albanian ‘Ideological and Cultural Revolution’ was less disruptive, mainly serving the ‘further’ consolidation of what Albanian leaders called the total socialist revolution.

The old idealist ideology of the exploiting society still has deep roots and exerts a powerful and continuous influence. When we speak of this influence, it is not just a matter of «a few remnants and alien manifestations that appear here and there», as it is often wrongly described in our propaganda, but the influence of a whole alien ideology which is expressed in all sorts of alien concepts, customs and attitudes, which are retained for a long time as a heritage from the past, have social support in the former exploiting classes and their remnants, in the tendencies to petty-bourgeois spontaneity, and are nurtured in various forms by the capitalist and revisionist world which surrounds us. [ix]

With no ‘revisionists’ to contend with, it addressed more practical goals and intensified policies that had already been in place since the establishment of communist rule such as female emancipation, and the eradication of religious beliefs. The campaign was carried out always under Hoxha’s control and did not cause turmoil, as in launching it, he had warned that ‘our party is not an arena where the class struggle will manifest. It is the party itself who leads the class struggle, it does not allow groups of revisionists within it.

The Albanian view of class struggle within the country was that

It is waged against the remnants of the exploiting classes, overthrown and expropriated, but who continue to resist and exert pressure by every means, first and foremost, through their reactionary ideology, as well as against new bourgeois elements, degenerate revisionist and anti-Party elements, who inevitably emerge within our society. It is also waged against bourgeois and revisionist ideology which is retained and expressed in various forms and degrees of intensity, as well as against the external pressure of imperialism.[x]

The propaganda rhetoric papered over Chinese differences with the Albanian vision of class struggle which acknowledged class struggle is reflected within the Party, however targeted the crimes of bureaucrats rather than a regenerative class enemy.

On July 8, in fact, Hoxha received a delegation of Red Guards and showered them with ihoxhae001p1praise, told the Red Guards that Mao was “a shining ideological and political beacon” for the international communist world. Albania asked for and were gifted 100,000 volumes of the Little Red Book.

Between the two sides, there were frequent high-level contacts and a broad range of cooperation; there was also a steady flow of large amounts of assistance from China to Albania; and the two countries piled on each other high praises and constantly exceeded reception and other official protocols for each other. [xi]

Shehu and mao

Visiting China, Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu spoke declaring that the Albanians,

“We hold that one’s attitude towards China’s great proletarian cultural revolution is the touchstone for distinguishing between Marxist – Leninists and revisionists and opportunists, and between genuine revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries.”  The Albanian party and people, he concluded, had “consistently supported the great proletarian Cultural Revolution and will support it to the end.” [xii]

It was Mao Tse-tung’s that proclaimed [xiii] 

Beacon quote

A sentiment echoed in the Marxist-Leninist movement internationally.

See also When Enver Was A Maoist



[i] The World Today Vol. 17, No. 5 (May, 1961), pp. 197-205

[ii] Newsweek August 14, 1967

[iii] Estimate from Fan Chengzuo, graduate of Tirana University in 1957, served as an Albanian translator for Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, and was appointed as the Ambassador to Albania from 1986 through 1989. Quoted in Sino-European relations during the Cold war and the rise of a multi-polar world- A Critical Oral History, Edited by Enrico Fardella, Christian F. Ostermann, and Charles Kraus (2015) Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

[iv] Fan Chengzuo’s recollections are contained in Xiaoyuan Liu and Vojtech Mastny, eds.,China and Eastern Europe, 1960s– 1980s: Proceedings of the International Symposium: Reviewing the History of Chinese – East European Relations from the 1960s to the 1980s (Zurich: Center for Security Studies, 2004), p. 184

[v] Quoted in Ylber Marku (2017) China and Albania: the Cultural Revolution and Cold War Relations, Cold War History, 17:4, 367-383

[vi] Fan Chengzuoin Sino-European relations during the Cold war and the rise of a multi-polar world- A Critical Oral History, Edited by Enrico Fardella, Christian F. Ostermann, and Charles Kraus (2015) Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

[vii] Explored in Elidor Mëhilli’s chapter on “Mao and the Albanians” in Cook (2014) Mao’s Little Red Book: A Global History . Cambridge University Press.

[viii] Quoted in Ylber Marku (2017) China and Albania: the Cultural Revolution and Cold War Relations, Cold War History, 17:4, 367-383

[ix] Enver Hoxha (1982) Selected Works IV February 1966-July 1975. Tirana: the < 8 Nentori> Publishing House p164 See for a hostile view: Pano, “The Albanian Cultural Revolution ”Problems of Communism, 23, 4, 1974: 44-57

[x] Enver Hoxha (1982) Selected Works IV February 1966-July 1975. Tirana: the < 8 Nentori> Publishing House p165

[xi] Fan Chengzuo in Sino-European relations during the Cold war and the rise of a multi-polar world – A Critical Oral History, Edited by Enrico Fardella, Christian F. Ostermann, and Charles Kraus (2015) Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

[xii] Peking Review October 27th, 1967:18

Mehmet Shehu met Mao Zedong on September 30, 1967, and on October 12, 1967. For the Albanian records of conversation, see Ana Lalaj, Christian F. Ostermann, and Ryan Gage, “‘Albania is not Cuba’: Sino-Albanian Summits and the Sino-Soviet Split,” Cold War International History Project Bulletin Issue 16, Spring 2008

[xiii] Peking Review #46 November 11, 1966: 5

Related posts:

Re-tuned to Radio Tirana

The PLA on Modern Revisionism

63. Friendship and Solidarity with Socialist Albania

Friendship and Solidarity with Socialist Albania, part two

33. Enver Praises Mao (1973)

Tirana builds an Internationale (1)

Winstanley (1975)

Winstanley details the story of the 17th-century social reformer and writer Gerrard Winstanley, who, along with a small band of followers known as the Diggers, tried to establish a self-sufficient farming community on common land at St George’s Hill (“Diggers’ Hill”) near Cobham, Surrey. The community was one of the world’s first small-scale experiments in socialism or communism, and its ideas were copied elsewhere in England during the time of the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, but it was quickly suppressed, and in the end left only a legacy of ideas to inspire later generations of socialist theorists.


Made by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo (creators of It Happened Here) and based on the 1961 David Caute novel Comrade Jacob. Great efforts were made to produce a film of high historical accuracy. Armour used was real armour from the 1640s, borrowed from the Tower of London. Libertarian activist Sid Rawle played a Ranter (i.e. a member of one or other of several English Revolution-period dissident groups).

The film was reissued on DVD and Blu-ray in 2009 by the British Film Institute (BFI), which had funded the original project

Guardian interview with David Caute (2008)

See also the book Gerrard Winstanley: The Digger’s Life and Legacy by John Gurney

‘The power of property was brought into creation by the sword’, so wrote Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676) – Christian Communist, leader of the Diggers movement and bête noire of the landed aristocracy. Despite being one of the great English radicals, Winstanley remains unmentioned in today’s lists of ‘great Britons’. John Gurney reveals the hidden history of Winstanley and his movement. As part of the radical ferment which swept England at the time of the civil war, Winstanley led the Diggers in taking over land and running it as ‘a common treasury for all’ – provoking violent opposition from landowners. Gurney also guides us through Winstanley’s writings, which are among the most remarkable prose writings of his age. Gerrard Winstanley: The Digger’s Life and Legacy is a must read for students of English history and all those seeking to re-claim the commons today says the publisher.

There is also the director’s text:

Winstanley; Warts and All by Kevin Brownlow (2009) UKA Press

[Elisabeth’s Amazon review: Reality of filming a real film]

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 March 2011

This book is a marvellous read, immersing me in the filming of the 1976 low-budget cult classic, Winstanley. Co-director, Kevin Brownlow took notes during filming which he wrote-up after the film was finished. Published for the first time in 2009, his account is a wealth of fresh honest detail.

The book takes us on a journey of the challenges facing an independent filmmaker. It starts with the painfully-won success of securing UK-funding, includes financial and technical obstacles, and ends – despite critical acclaim – with the frustration of not getting proper distribution.

Professional conflicts and resolutions are truthfully described, with humour and empathy. I identified with the satisfaction of being an (unpaid) local extra dressed in 17th century costume, and the ouch of the screenwriter’s polished script being used as raw material by co-directors, Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo. Both had previously made It Happened Here (another cult-classic), and the book reproduces their creative tussles making Winstanley – which, sadly, for British cinema, turned out to be their final film.

I first came across Gerrard Winstanley a few years ago in the land-campaign magazine, The Land. His writing is as relevant as ever: the earth is “a Common Treasury for all”. A key figure in the Digger movement, which resisted the enforced enclosures of common land, Winstanley was a Christian communist, political activist, eco-hero.

I saw the film at Bristol’s independent cinema, the Cube, in 2009 (and wrote about it on my blog, Real Food Lover). I believe our current industrial food model is linked to the enclosures, conducted over several centuries, depriving the poor of their traditional land-rights to grow food and rear cattle.

Shot in black and white, the film brings to life with authentic detail the Diggers’ self-sufficient commune set up in 1647 at St George’s Hill, Surrey. Inhospitable British weather features strongly – I have an enduring image of rain dripping off trees. The film captures the wretched meaning of resistance where only a camp fire and tents protect protestors.

The film acquaints us with Winstanley’s vision through his written words. It shows the inequal battle with the aristocratic authorities, and paints the conflict with local poor people, suspicious of the Diggers.

I did not realise until reading this book what goes into creating such scenes, making them accurate, accessible and filmmable.

Just as Kevin Brownlow’s film reveals a hidden part of history and makes it real so does his book unveil the reality of filming. Its subtitle – Warts and All – says it all.

And for many the quick verison is

The Digger Song

Roy Palmer who prints the song in his “A Ballad History of England” notes:

“Gerrard Winstanley’s Diggers’ Song remained in manuscript until 1894, when it was
published by the Camden Society. No tune was indicated, but it is clear from the metre which was meant: a version of the family of tunes later used for Jack Hall, Captain Kidd and Admiral Benbow. Its earliest appearance in print seems to have been 1714.”

The song has been recorded by many artists, take your pick from this six.

Lady Maisery – Diggers’ Song

Chumbawamba – The Diggers’ Song

Attila the Stockbroker – Levellers / The Diggers’ Song

The world turned upside down – Billy Bragg

The Digger’s Song · Leon Rosselson

The Song of the DiggersThe Black Family –