The Fifth Architect?

The published works of Enver Hoxha in the Albanian language amounts to 70 volumes. His “Selected Works” is contained within six volumes of various language editions. Separate version of speeches, conversations and articles are available and there is internet access to ENVER HOXHA International archive, now in 26 languages.

Books in Hindi, in Punjabi language, in Icelandic, Danish, and in Russian.

Figure 1 Books in Hindi, in Punjabi language, in Icelandic, Danish, and in Russian.

“Works of Comrade Enver are creative application of universal truth of Marxism-Leninism of the immortal teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin in particular conditions in Albania. They are the greatest treasure in the revolutionary experience of the communist movement in Albania. They serve at the same time an important contribution to the further creative development of Marxism-Leninism and to the strengthening of the international communist movement”[i]

“… No one like him defended with such revolutionary pathos at any time and under any circumstances the situation of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin from opportunistic perversions.
No one like him exposed the social-imperialist and social-chauvinistic policies and activities of the Titovites, Khrushchevites and other renegades … ” [ii]

Going down the rabbit hole again….. The question you may never have asked is when did Hoxahism emerge? In 2001 Wolfgang Eggers, self-identified Chairman of the C P Germany [ML], stated:

 “We, as Marxist-Leninists all over the world have finally and urgently to put the question: Is Comrade Enver Hoxha the 5th Architect of Marxism-Leninism, yes or no?” Wolgang Eggers has laid out the case in tens of thousands of words on why “finally 16 years after the death of Enver Hoxha we decided to call him the 5th Architect of Marxism-Leninism“.

the Architects

the Architects

Eggers authored the study What is Stalinism_Hoxhaism? and runs the Comintern (SH) website that promotes that very concept. He writes a lot on the subject so his position is not in doubt:

it`s the crucial key-question of our new century, in which general direction the international revolutionary class-struggle will continue to develop, a question of necessary decision, where the ideological demarcation-line has to be drawn

So What is Hoxhaism?

“ a variant of anti-revisionist Marxism–Leninism that developed in the late 1970s due to a split in the Maoist movement, appearing after the ideological dispute between the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labour of Albania in 1978. The ideology is named after Enver Hoxha, a notable Albanian communist leader.”

According to this entry in Wikipedia it was formed in 1978, announced in the publication of “Imperialism and Revolution!”

That date is disputed but we will return to that later.

In 1977, Albania began to publicly if indirectly distance itself from Chinese foreign policy, clearly exemplified by the lengthy Zëri i Popullit editorial, “Theory and Practice of the Revolution”. The editorial, written by Enver Hoxha in the third person but not signed, implied — without mentioning China by name — strong criticism of the thesis of the division of the world into three groups of countries — super-powers, developed countries and developing (or “third-world”) countries — and furthermore castigated the policy of seeking bourgeois allies in its struggle against the world influence of the Soviet Union as being a deviation from the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of the class struggle.

At the 7th Party Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania, Enver Hoxha stated during the analysis of the current international situation and the occurring revolutionary processes:

The world is in a phase where the cause of the revolution and the national liberation of the peoples is not only and ideal and a perspective but as well a problem which has to be solved.”

This thesis of principle importance is based on the analysis of imperialism, and the nature of the present historic epoch provided by Lenin, the 7th Party Congress of the PLA was a reaffirmation against the “three Worlds theory” of the Marxist-Leninist strategy of the revolution under the current circumstances. [iii]

By the following year, however, the break became an open one with the publication and translation into numerous foreign languages of Enver Hoxha’s book, Imperialism and the Revolution, which not only took issue with the “theory of three worlds” but criticized Mao Zedong Thought as an “anti-Marxist theory”.

Not all agree – if you consider that Mao Zedong was the leading Marxist of the age, then it is not surprising that the Albanian positions were regarded as championing a new revisionist, opportunist current directed at Mao and in fact challenging the communism, which Mao upheld.

For instance, the Revolutionary Communist League of Britain saw the Party of Labour of Albania as a New Centre of Revisionism”. The Norwegian marxist leninists, AKP(ml) once strong defenders of Albania and the PLA were critical of the attacks upon both China’s foreign policy and those that developed to target Mao. Three instalements on the open Letter of the CC of the PLA (July 1978) were published in the AKP (ML)‘s English language International Bulletin, Class Struggle: Letter from the AKP (M-L) to the Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania[iv].

In 1973 Hoxha himself said in a message to Mao on his 80th birthday, “you further developed and creatively enriched Marxist-Leninist science in the field of philosophy, the development of the proletarian party, the strategy and tactics of the revolutionary struggle and the struggle against imperialism, and the problems of the construction of the socialist society. Your precepts on continuing the revolution under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, so as to carry socialist construction to final victory and bar the way to the danger of the restoration of capitalism, whatever form it takes and wherever it comes from, constitute a valuable contribution, of great international value, to the theory and practice of scientific socialism. Your works are a real revolutionary education for all Marxist-Leninist and working people.” [v]

There was never really an explanation why the Albanians themselves were so hopelessly confused by Mao and such “anti-Marxist” theory that they adopted large portions of it or, worse still, they recognized it all along but were willing to help promote this “revisionist” line on revolutionaries around the world. Instead there is the belated assertion, with scant evidence provided, as in the foreword to the first Albanian edition of  Imperialism and the Revolution:

….At its 7th Congress, our Party exposed all the different revisionist currents, including the Chinese theory of “three worlds”. …. it resolutely rejected the bourgeois-opportunist theses and views on the present stage of the world historical process, which repudiate the revolution and defend capitalist exploitation, and emphasized strongly that no change in the evolution of capitalism and imperialism justifies the revisionist “inventions” and fabrications. Principled criticism and ceaseless exposure of the anti-revolutionary and anti-communist theories are absolutely necessary to defend Marxism Leninism, to carry forward the cause of the revolution and the peoples, to demonstrate that the theory of Marx Engels, Lenin and Stalin is always young, and remains the unerring guide to future victories.”     [April 1978]

The Albanian position presented a stark choice as it cleaved at an association that had developed over a decade and a half, challenging the young anti-revisionist organisations to choose between its analysis and that of the Chinese authorities. Personified in Enver Hoxha’s writings was a call essentially based on the promotion of the ideological orthodoxy of Marxism-Leninism. [vi]

enverA relatively modest appraisal comes from the internet blogger, Expresso Stalinist:

All these criticisms made by Enver Hoxha and his defence of Marxism-Leninism throughout his life are not a simple repetition of the sum of this scientific doctrine until then. On the contrary, this defence involves efforts of renovation/development of this science on the basis of actual facts and phenomena. This is what Enver Hoxha did in a simple and modest manner and this is what makes him more valuable. The international working class and every communist will not forget Enver Hoxha. They will defend him against all attacks in a determined way and hold on to this great son of the international working class.[vii]

The blogger, the Finnish Bolshevik regards Enver Hoxha straight-forwardly as

“a great Marxist-Leninist & anti-revisionist. His works are a valuable contribution to anti-revisionism and the practical application of Marxism-Leninism. This ought to be recognized by every communist.”[viii]

Indeed, Hoxha considered himself and his thoughts, and most Hoxhaists regarded themselves as pure marxist-leninists, not ”hoxhaists”. Hoxha never sought to create a new “ism”. As superfan Wolfgang Eggers elucidated in 2001, “There were no different »new principles« he found out, but he came to new conclusions and cognition under the changing conditions of the society in his time. One of the most important lessons of Marxism-Leninism is not to defend it in the sense of conservation but in defence of the achievements, the valuable experiences of socialism in the Soviet-Union and Albania to apply to it to ease the future way of world revolution, to finish October Revolution successfully.“ [ix]

Strangely, and this applied in most of the industrialised world, some of these groups, which had been among the most zealous proponents of Mao Zedong Thought, would compete with each other to prove who was the most critical of Maoism and the most vociferous opponent of Chinese “social imperialism”. See the publications posted on the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line, at U.S. Marxist-Leninists Take Sides: the China-Albania Split.

Hoxhaism, in whatever presentation, did not emerged in the last century but has become a self-identifying category in this century. However within the “Hoxha camp” there was a lack of unanimity with the construction of competing international allegiances after the collapse of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania in 1992 and a couple of supportive blog postings suggest alternative dates for the birth of Hoxhism.

Leaning towards the late 1970s, one blogger observes

“Although Enver Hoxha had been the leader of socialist Albania since 1941, the ideological branch of Marxism-Leninism known was “Hoxhaism” did not technically emerge until the late 1970s. It was during this time where Hoxha and Mao officially weakened relations, Hoxha believing Mao to be a revisionist. Relations to China were cut furthermore after Mao’s death in 1976, where the new leaders of China were even more openly revisionist than ever” [x]

Whereas, another self-identifying Hoxhist-Stalinist argues that it was formed in 1948, starting from the critique of Tito’s revisionism :

​“With the struggle against the social-chauvinist Yugoslav (first revisionism in power), Stalinism became the basis of the development of Hoxhaism. Beginning with the struggle against Yugoslav revisionism, Hoxhaism developed as the world-proletarian, ideological weapon for the fight against the global spreading of modern revisionism at power. Thus, Hoxhaism arose when modern revisionism was already in power for the purpose to liquidate the new Marxist-Leninist world movement and to destroy the last socialist country – Albania. Hoxhaism developed as a self-contained theory and tactics for the defense of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the anti -revisionist and anti-social imperialist struggle of the world”

Furthermore the anti-revisionist, international character of Hoxhaism appeared with Enver’s speech on 16 November 1960, at the Moscow Conference of 81 Communist and Workers’ Parties. Here, for the first time, Enver Hoxha represented the revolutionary interests of the entire world proletariat …

– to defend and strengthen the socialist world in the struggle against modern revisionism

– to fight against the restoration of capitalism under the terms of the rule of the capitalist-revisionist world”[xi]

Wolfgang Eggers Weighs In

A champion of Stalinism-Hoxhaism, Wolfgang Eggers (who has a website dedicated to this question on the date of the formation of Hoxhaism) questions the understanding of such contributors:

“Hoxhaism emanates from Stalinism….The answer of the question of the formation of the teachings of the 5 Classics can neither be limited in dates of their personal development nor dates of its formation on a national scale….  It is that you needed to study:  “The foundations and concerning questions of Hoxhaism” published by the Comintern (SH): Wolfgang Eggers, July 11, 2015.

Decisive for the date of the formation of Hoxhaism is the date when it became the most advanced guideline of the communist world movement.

He is clear that Hoxhaism developed after the death of Stalin. Stalinism-Hoxhaism developed after the death of Enver Hoxha.[xii]

Eggers argues: If we assume that Hoxhaism developed after the death of Stalin in 1953 then it is wrong to date the beginning of Hoxhaism in 1948. In 1948, Titoism, as the first revisionism in power, was unmasked and exposed by Stalinism and not by Hoxhaism.

“It was Stalinism which paved the way towards the development of Hoxhaism especially on the battlefield against Titoism. So the date of 1948 is not the correct date of the formation of Hoxhaism as an independent higher stage of the development of the proletarian ideology.

Hoxhaism was born as the only correct ideology against Soviet revisionism on November 16, 1960.

1978 was the date of the liberation of the Marxist-Leninist World Movement from the danger of its degeneration through Maoism, namely Maoism as the predominant international ideology of Chinese revisionism. The victory over Maoism would be possible not without Hoxhaism that – logically – was already developed during the formation of the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist World Movement in the 60ies. More than that, In the 60ies, Hoxhaism was already the predominant ideology of the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist World Movement with comrade Enver Hoxha at the head.

Hoxhaism is not an ideology which was formed in the struggle against Maoism but completed in the struggle against Maoism.”

 In an earlier work, Wolfgang Eggers argued that,

….. Under the leadership of Enver Hoxha the Marxist-Leninist World Movement received an enormous impetus. He succeeded to unite and strengthen the Marxist-Leninists and effected the rebirth of all the world`s revolutionary elements after the revisionist betrayal against Stalin.

….he stepped forward to develop Marxism-Leninism under the new conditions of revisionism in power, under conditions of imperialism AND social-imperialism, in the period of the restoration of capitalism and its social-fascist ruling system under the conditions of the fallen dictatorship of the proletariat in the Great Soviet-Union. [xiii]

12b5Including Enver in the Architects of Marxism-Leninism list emphasis the revolutionary contribution and legacy as …..They are formed as a common, monolithic whole, existing of one cast. For instance, the modern revisionists separate Marx, Engels, Lenin from Stalin, and they don`t approve Stalin as the 4th Architect of Marxism-Leninism up to this day. The appreciation of Stalin as the 4th Architect of Marxism-Leninism was, however, an unavoidable demarcation-line against Modern Revisionism and the supposition to gain the victory over it…..

….  Enver Hoxha again applied to the lessons of Stalin in a correct way. So he became the best and deserving pupil of Stalin….

…… Under the leadership of Enver Hoxha the Marxist-Leninist World Movement received an enormous impetus. He succeeded to unite and strengthen the Marxist-Leninists and effected the rebirth of all the world`s revolutionary elements after the revisionist betrayal against Stalin. ……. Nobody, except Enver Hoxha struggled against imperialism and social-imperialism on an international stage on the principles of proletarian internationalism in a way he did.


Those who recognize the positive contribution of Hoxha don’t need to be “Hoxhaists” to do that. However when some insist on using the description “Hoxhaists” they then seem incapable of distinguishing between disagreement, deviation & revisionism, an anti-Marxist trend, a line that contradicts with the core of Marxism.

Those who complain that Hoxhaists are focusing all their time on isolating themselves from others, obsessed with attacking non-Hoxhaist Marxist-Leninists as “revisionists” and deadly enemies, fail to appreciate the demarcation line drawn by Hoxhaists.

It is not a minor question whether one appreciates the contribution of Enver Hoxha, and to split with those who don’t agree with Hoxha on everything is maybe regarded as obviously sectarian, however in the worldview of such believers Enver Hoxha is not only the last Architect of Marxism-Leninism of socialism of the 20th century but also the pioneer of socialism of the 21st century, the pioneer of world-socialism, neither is there a broad movement that encompasses a category of marxists (plural) but only the existence of their specific movement.

This sectarian mindset in neither new nor unsurprising, nor simply an ultra-left tendency of seeking “ideological purity” over all else. Criticism of others whose calls seek unity is partly because such unity is on their terms which usually violate a political redline enshrined in the quest to have specifically Hoxhaist organizations. Unity is not achieved by merely proclaiming it and even on the Hoxhaist spectrum, an outlier like Eggers has criticism of what others would regard as fellow thinkers. He, secure in the political platform of his fifth architect, contextualises the problem because the struggle initiated by the PLA (and Communist Party of China) against modern revisionism is not finished. It continues in conditions even more difficult today.

We could – unfortunately – recognize that the Marxist-Leninist World Movement in times of Enver Hoxha lost its quality and quantity as well. It cannot be compared with the present situation. … the foundation of the Comintern[ML] was a necessary and important step to cope with this worldwide line of revisionism.

There was easy criticism of the gathering of previously pro-Soviet elements, basically unreconstructed Stalinists groups with their self-advertised World-Congress in Toronto back in September 2001 as the revisionists all over the world unite in the name of the Soviet people, in the name of Marxism-Leninism, in the name of the Soviet Union, in the name of socialism, in the name of the October Revolution …with the only aim to re-conquest Russian revisionism in power.

Equally scathing of the very low ideological level of »unity-agreements« and collected all opportunists whoever and whatever it was. ….. The North Korean social-fascists promoted the Conference of Pyöngyang with a declaration signed by a lot of revisionist parties and organisations all over the world. The social-fascist Milosevich appealed to the »Left« to support Yugoslavian »socialism« against the imperialist aggressors of the NATO. Social-fascist Fidel Castro/ Che Guevara-World Movement continued to organize international solidarity to defend »socialist« Cuba against US-Imperialism.

And in Sofia representatives of the former social-fascist East- European countries falled with their attempt to build up »something internationally«.

Which all goes to rule out the vast majority of surviving revisionist groups.

The critical position on Maoism – as unmasked by Enver Hoxha – sees it categorised as Neo-Revisionism as a new branch of Modern Revisionism, with new quality and a world wide movement of it`s own that developed from the Marxist-Leninist Movement in their struggle against Modern Revisionism….. We kick the revisionists out of the front door, but we let them in through the back door.

In his works Enver Hoxha unmasked revisionist Maoism irrefutably as the ideological roots-effect of Chinese social-imperialism. So, Chinese capitalist development is not an appearance of turning away from Mao Tsetung Thought, but in the contrary the result of applying to it in different ways. …Enver Hoxha verified that Mao is – under no circumstances and to no time an Architect of Marxism-Leninism, not even a Marxist-Leninist.

While Eggers points out Chinese Neo-Revisionism was palliated by »left« opportunism and revolutionary phraseology and hard to find out, he authored the online publication War on Maoism that rules out reconciliation with Maoism.

The demolishing consequences are occasion enough to draw a clear demarcation-line between Enver Hoxha and the Neo-Revisionism of Mao Tsetung Thought as a matter of principle. Definitely we have to make a clean sweep with the legend, that »BOTH TOGETHER« – Enver Hoxha AND Mao – would be the greatest Marxist-Leninist leaders in the struggle against Modern Revisionism..

This goes beyond the responsibility to preserve the memory of the part played by the Party of Labour of Albania and its First Secretary Enver Hoxha and slides into historical revisionism of the crudest form, that of denial.

The Beligan communist leader Ludo Martens of the PTB gets a mention as the centralist attempt at a big tent enuemical gathering at May Day succeeded in attracting many international branches of revisionism…. The camp of the Maoists is non-uniform and heterogeneous. Some groups support openly, others hidden the social-imperialist and social-fascist China. Sectarian and Neo-Revisionist Groups support Mao and the »Culture-Revolution« more or less, and again some other groups try to reconcile Neo-Revisionism with Marxism-Leninism which means critics at Mao to some extend.

So no reconciliation with Maoism is another redline.

Whereas, one component of the pro-Hoxhaist movement in the late 1970s, were amongst those who condemned the allies of Ramiz Alia but also paralyzed the Marxist-Leninist World Movement – thank-you Hardial Bain with his neo-revisionist CPC [ML] in Canada.

In the aftermath of the collapse of the Albanian Party of Labour, the most prominent re-grouping emerged with the Quinto Declaration, (in Eggers unpromising description) as without principles pure revisionist and opportunist, associated with the neo-revisionist international grouping around the »Unity & Struggle« magazine.

Last not least the neo-sectarian ISML that propose to be »non-sectarian«: The truth is, that they are non-sectarian towards the united front of neo-revisionist opportunism, but cruel to the Marxist-Leninists that ISML accuses as »sectarians«, because we criticized their opportunism. So we call them Neo-Sectarians because they mask their sectarianism behind the lessons of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin AND Enver Hoxha! Their »non-sectarianism« includes not only collaboration – attempts with »Unity & Struggle«, but everybody who calls himself »Marxist-Leninist« included liberalist publications of open social-imperialist and social-fascist contents on their ISML-List which they call »tactic of the communist united front«.

Thus framing the composition of international communism, Stalinism-Hoxhaism identifies who it struggles against. When asked in 2017, how many people are in Comintern (SH) and how many people support it?

Eggers replied,

You will certainly understand that we will not present the concrete amount of our members on a silver platter to our enemies. We are an illegal party.

Though we are still not more than a few comrades all over the world, we are already the leading communist world organization on the battle field of the world proletarian ideology of today – Stalinism-Hoxhaism. We are still in the period of the ideological construction of our party – thus far away from leading the entire world proletariat towards world socialism.[xiv]

The advocacy of the Fifth Architect, even without state sponsorship, is integral, in Eggers world, to the ideological construction of the dreamed of world Hoxhaist party.





[i] Zeri i Poppulit May 19, 1968 (quoted by the magazine New Albania № 4 1968)

[ii] Radio Tirana broadcast 04/11/1985

[iii] Link The Character of the Epoch

[iv] Part 1 to 4 of the comments of AKP (ml) were printed in Class Struggle no 1/78, parts 5 to 7 in C.S. no 1/79, the remaining comments in issue 14.

[v] Link When Hoxha Praised Mao



[viii] Thoughts on Hoxha & Hoxhaism   14 Jul 2017

[ix] Wolfgang Eggers ,Enver Hoxha -the 5th Architect of Marxism-Leninism……and the foundation of the Comintern [ML] 2001

[x] Red Vanguard A Brief Guide to Hoxhaism. Posted on June 11, 2011

[xi] Ideas Of A Proletarian What is Hoxhaism? written by hoxhaiststalinist1924

[xii] Naturally, “only the Comintern (SH) was able to give a complete answer to the question what Stalinism really is [see our book: “On the foundations and concerning questions of Stalinism”].”  Likewise, only the Comintern (SH) was able to give a complete answer to the question what Hoxhaism really is [see our book: Enver Hoxha – the 5th Architect of Marxism-Leninism and the re-foundation of the Comintern”]

[xiii] Following paragraphs draw upon the argumentation in Enver Hoxha -the 5th Architect of Marxism-Leninism……and the foundation of the Comintern [ML]


Stalin, Bo and Mao


Addressing the “Stalin Question” raised critical conclusion from the anti-revisionist movement that initially gave an uncritical defence of Stalin. These assessments were characteristically muted in tone, partly to avoid supporting bourgeois and revisionist condemnation. This remains evident in more contemporary observations such as ‘STAND FOR SOCIALISM AGAINSTMODERN REVISIONISM by Armando Liwanag. However drawing upon the policies and practices of China under Mao, a critical evaluation emerged that was incubated but co-existent with that which would manifestly identify itself as more ‘Stalinist’ than ‘Maoist’ in the disintegration of the anti-revisionist movement in the late 1970s. Activists come a new to the “Stalin Question” at various times in their political journeys, for the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninists an early and initial exploration came from Sweden.

In June 1965 anti-revisionist study groups were formed under the leadership of the lecturer in economics Bo Gustafsson at the University of Uppsala (Sweden). A leading member of the old Swedish Communist Party (SKP) Bo Gustafsson, had distanced himself from the proposal that the party should change its name to the Left Party and convinced that a new communist advance was needed, free from revisionism and reformism.

According to Wikipedia entry,

Bo introduced Marxist theorists like Maurice Dobb and Paul Sweezy to Swedish readers, and his From Colonialism to Socialism from 1964 highlighted the issues that became crucial to the anti-imperialist movement of the sixties. He later became editor of the journal Clarté in the early sixties and started and led the great ideological settlements that brought together almost a whole generation of radical young people around to a China-friendly policy.

Contradictions came to ahead at the SKP’s 21st Party Congress in May 1967. Shortly after, in what was later subject to criticism the organization: Kommunistiska förbundet marxist-leninisterna (KFML) was constituted at a conference in Sweden that June, under the leadership of Bo Gustafsson and Frank Baude. The KFML’s formation in mid-summer 1967 took place in a bureaucratic manner “without a fight”; the decision made by a small group of older SKPs without opposition from the rather insecure younger militants in the movement.

Gustafsson became the KFML’s chairman, Nils Holmberg its study secretary; other leading members were Frank Baude , Bernt Westerberg , Kurt Lundgren and Åsa Hallström . The central organ was called Gnistan; which was to reach a print run of 14,000 and the theoretical organ: Marxist Forum .

Communist_Party_Sweden_1967Gustafsson (left) with Nils Holmberg and Frank Baude .

Figure 1 From left Bo Gustafsson, Nils Holmberg and Frank Baude

Gustafsson helped Clarté to start publishing Marx’s Capital in 1969 new translation in Swedish. In 1970 he presented his doctoral thesis Marxism and Revisionism, a study of the historical roots of ideas for Eduard Bernstein’s revisionism. One of Bo Gustafasson’s most distributed articles was ‘Bo Gustafsson AFTER THIRTY YEARS – Copy an accompanying commentary on Stalin’s On dialectical and historical materialism.

Bo Gustafsson’s criticism of Stalin’s works was one of the influential articles of the anti-revisionist movement,reprinted by various groups and distributed in various organizations.

KFML republished Stalin’s article in 1967 as a “training brochure”  ,and its then chairman Bo Gustafsson wrote an epilogue entitled, ‘After thirty years’.  The German group KPD / ML published in 1970/71 an edition in the series “From the Marxist-Leninist World Movement” as , “Stalin’s Theoretical Works (1936-1953).   A criticism by Bo Gustafsson of the Swedish KFML. KPDml

It explained: [Dietmar Kesten , Materials for the analysis of opposition February 2014 ]

“Stalin’s important work ‘On dialectical and historical materialism’ is part of the basic training program of the Swedish KFML. When KFML therefore republished Stalin’s script in 1967 as a training brochure, its then chairman Bo Gustafsson wrote an afterword under the title: ‘After thirty years’. In it, Stalin’s treatise is subjected to Marxist-Leninist consideration and criticism. Since the KPD / ML also included Stalin in its training, we consider it appropriate to publish Bo Gustafsson’s criticism in German as a supplement to our training program. .

Bo Gustafsson’s criticism of Stalin’s works was one of the much read articles of the Maoist movement.  It was reprinted by various groups and distributed in various organizations such as in a Danish edition, About dialectical and historical materialism by JV Stalin published in Copenhagen October, 1976.


At the formation of the KFML internal and external critics on the Left said Mao’s thinking had been given a hidden role, not in the forefront of propaganda, or any emphasizes on “the role of ideological education” (ie Mao Tse-tung’s thinking) as maoist thought unmentioned in the formation of the KFML.

Mao is mentioned four times in “After 30 Years” – centred on Mao’s contribution stating

….The conflict between productive forces and production relations is, of course, under socialism a completely different character from capitalism. The main difference is that during capitalism there is a contradiction is essentially antagonistic, while it is non-antagonistic during socialism. But if during socialism there would be no contradictions between the forces of production and the relations of production, not the socialist the production method could evolve at all. That is why Mao Tsetung, who has dealt with this most thoroughly question, says quite rightly:

“The most fundamental contradictions in socialist society are the constant relations between production relations and the productive forces, and conflicts between the superstructure and the economic base.”

Bo Gustafsson and other authorities within KFML were said to show no particular enthusiasm for the Chinese Cultural Revolution which aroused the distrust of many younger activists, partly contributing to the environment that saw the emergence of the breakaway KFMLr group. This distrust was channelled in Uppsala by Francisco Sarrion, a Spanish Marxist (went by the name of Fredrik Svensson) who lived privately in China during the most intense period of the Cultural Revolution in 1967. Sarrion was “the latest eyewitness” from China and as such became very influential in Uppsala’s KFML- section. He lambasts Bo Gustafsson and Nils Holmberg as false authorities. Fight them! is the Rebellerna /”The Rebels” slogan. Reflecting the tone of the late 60s, the establishment of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking as absolute proletarian authority is a vital issue for the communist world movement and for all revolutionaries throughout the world. Using an ageist argument attacked the leading layer within KFML as not significantly affected by the cultural revolution as Bo Gustafsson and Nils Holmberg proletarian attitude had been shaped long before the Cultural Revolution, more spuriously during the time when President Liu Shao-chi was the “guardian” of the CCP.

They were characterised by the intemperate ultra-leftist sectarianism of the age against the broader Leftist and Maoists movement, which they considered corrupted. “They even went to the Chinese embassy in Stockholm where they demanded to become members of the Communist Party of China. When they were denied membership, because they were not Chinese citizens, Francisco Sarrión declared that the embassy was under the control of reactionary bureaucrats who had betrayed Mao Zedong.”

The internal KFML opposition, Left opportunists according to the leadership, the self-styled Rebels argued in a Leaflet signed Four Red Guardians from April 1968, that Bo Gustafsson’s foreword to the anthology “Mao Tse-tung: Political Writings” “reveals his bottomless revisionism and contempt for Mao Tse-tung’s thinking .

Victoria Höög’s article, Bo Gustafsson, science & politics [Tekla No. 7 Dec 1979] outline some of the outstanding features of Bo Gustafsson’s authorship and its connection to his position as a leading politician in the Maoist movement at that time. Much of his work continued in an orthodox Marxist manner, as evidenced in his posthumously published essay, “The Transition from Domestic Industries to Factories” on the emergence of mechanized cotton spinning in the 18th century.

Like many other former activists, Bo excelled in his professional career as professor at the Department of Economic History 1977−2000 at Uppsala University in Sweden, and politically moved to a social-democrat position in doing so revised his analysis evident in the extract (below) reproduced in the Online newspaper Trend

Supplement: After 45 years.

After another decade and a half, BoG had broken with KFML / SKP and considerably revised his view of Stalin and Stalin’s Soviet. In the book Marx & Marxism (published 1983) he writes, among other things following:

The communist labor movement that emerged in Western Europe did not see… any major difference between bourgeoisie and social democracy, because even though the mass of social democrats was workers, according to Lenin’s statements, they were headed by “bourgeois workers leaders”. During In the 1920s, social democracy was even labeled “social fascist”, which was even more so extreme and distorted designation than Lenin’s “social chauvinist”. This split, as under

The 1930s enabled the victory of fascism, not changed by that line in relation to social democracy was temporarily transformed into a unified front policy of 1934. It came too late. Only temporary unity was first established in the fascist concentration camps.

Another consequence of the establishment and politics of the Soviet Union and the Third International were that socialism as goals became more difficult in Western Europe and difficulties grew as Leninism moved into Stalinism with its forced collectivization and mass purges in the Soviet Union. About Marxism initially split by the Russian revolution, Marxism now seemed to disappear more and more as a living doctrine and as a guide for political action in the Soviet Union. It became Marxism-Leninism and Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism, a collection of dry formulas, state doctrine and even magic. In the latter property, it could still be used to mobilize the population in efforts to modernize the country. Everything was subordinate – and all means were allowed with reference to – the future goal: communism. But the consequence was that Marxism, this rationalistic, humanistic and liberating doctrine, came into sharper form contrary to the realities of Soviet society. A new class of administrators and bureaucrats – proven and lamented already by Lenin before he died – took over the dominion of the class and used Marxism only to legitimize its own class rule, just as bourgeois according to Marxism did. Marxism was transformed in the Soviet Union and after World War II as well the rest of Eastern Europe to a bourgeois ideology: to false consciousness.