Established in Canada in 2021, this site provides access to English-language pdfs of anti-revisionist literature and the name should sound familiar. The original “8 Nëntori” Publishing House, literally meaning “8 November” in Albanian, honours the founding of the Party of Labour of Albania on November 8th, 1941. It published Enver Hoxha’s Selected Works, his Reflections, his many theoretical works, his memoirs, historical notes, and more.
The new incarnation, while republishing material from the Hoxha’s canon, aims “to promote discussion among Marxist-Leninists, even reprinting controversial figures and literature. In this work, we should note that reprinting does not mean we endorse the content — nor does it necessarily represent our views — it only means that we acknowledge that there may be some value in studying it.” Amongst its existing list are titles from the usual suspects, Lenin, Stalin, Dimitrov, Zhdanov, Ramiz Alia , Nexhmije Hoxha, and Wang Ming and Kim Il Sung. Being based near Ottawa (formerly at Toronto), there are some specifically Canadian communist literature reprinted.
Amongst its publications is a new collection Congress of Betrayal – The November 8th Publishing House (wordpress.com) partially of previous untranslated comments from Enver’s Diary and other more familiar material. This selection covers the decade 1955-1966, covering such events as the 20th Congress and the denunciation of Stalin, including his epochal 1960 Moscow Meeting speech, the Hungarian counter-revolution and its source, the “anti-party” plot of Molotov et al., to the break of diplomatic relations by the Soviets in 1961, and the removal of Khrushchev and the 23rd Brezhnev Congress in 1964-66.
seek truth to serve the people
What it illustrates is the argumentation forcibly and persistently offered in the through-going contradictions with the revisionist developments under Khrushchev. Far from being a pawn in the Sino-Soviet split, as if Albania was a side show in the anti-revisionist struggle, it highlights the contribution made sincerely and independently in that anti-revisionist struggle. Having read Albania Challenges Khrushchev Revisionism (New York 1976) or The Party of Labor of Albania in Battle with Modern Revisionism (Tirana 1972) you will know what to expect, and the speech delivered at the meeting of 81 Communist and Workers’ parties in Moscow (November 16, 1960) is included in the collection. That self-reverential sense that “we have done our sacred duty to Marxism-Leninism” still pervades the selection but then again, reality proved the life-and-death class struggle they were engaged in. The disruption of the international movement and eventual disintegration did see the attempted formation and reorganisation of anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist forces. Something the Albanian party did pay close attention too.
Any evaluation of the struggle experienced by the Party of Labour of Albania led by Enver Hoxha should acknowledge it opened up the gates for the formation of the new Marxist-Leninist parties and the end of the old “fossilized and demobilized” Communist parties in the early stages of that struggle. The subsequent stance raises other questions which seems to have influenced some of the selected inclusions in the collection, before Hoxhaism was clearly delineated from Maoism,to reinforce the (contested) position that the PLA were the only forces to assess every deviationist move of the USSR correctly from the very beginning.
Congress of Betrayal | CONTENTS
KHRUSHCHEV ANNULS THE INFORMBUREAU DECISION (May 23, 1955)
WE ARE ALONE AGAINST TITO (May 25, 1955)
DITYRAMBS FROM TITO TO KHRUSHCHEV (February 18, 1956)
ON KHRUSHCHEV’S SECRET SPEECH (February 26, 1956)
THE AMERICAN IMPERIALISTS CAN NEVER CHANGE THEIR ESSENCE (March 8, 1956)
THE “ITALIAN WAY TOWARDS SOCIALISM” (March 18, 1956)
THE TRAITORS REHABILIATED UNDER THE PRETEXT OF THE “CULT OF THE INDIVIDUAL” (March 30, 1956)
A REVISIONIST PLOT AGAINST THE PARTY (April 16, 1956)
THE LESSONS WE SHOULD DRAW FROM THE PARTY CONFERENCE OF THE CITY OF TIRANA (April 21,1956)
THE 20th CONGRESS DID NOT PUT MATTERS RIGHT (May 26, 1956)
MOLOTOV HAS BEEN SACRIFICED FOR TITO (June 4, 1956)
KHRUSHCHEV SUGGESTS TO USE THE EXPERIENCE OF HITLER (June 23, 1956)
ANOTHER SLANDER LAID ON STALIN (July 2, 1956)
THE FOREIGN PRESS SALIVATES OVER THE MANOEVRE OF KHRUSHCHEV (July 3, 1956)
THE CHINESE ARE FOLLOWING THE ROAD OF THE SOVIETS (September 17, 1956)
IN NO WAY WILL WE MAKE CONCESSIONS ON PRINCIPLES (November 13, 1956)
The early sixties saw differences in the communist movement went beyond the boundaries of an internal dispute, and emergence of two main lines of demarcation, two opposite and ultimately irreconcilable lines confront each other. The struggle between two worldviews are very often materialized in the form of “power struggle” between the two leading characters, and as this happened it distorted the presentation and understanding of what was at stake. That these positions were identified with the two most prominent and successful parties complicated the development and consequences of the struggle as these enveloped both party and state relations and the world communism in ideological and strategic questions. Framed as a ‘split in world communism’, the actual ideological contest to defend Marxism and the communist vision could be less of the focus than the easy trope of Khrushchev versus Mao.
The two principal meetings of the world’s Communist Parties seeking a resolution to the issues that had arisen were those held in Moscow in 1957 with the Declaration of representatives of 12 ruling parties of the socialist countries and the 1960 Statement of 81 Communist and Workers Parties. Though ostensibly to build the unity of the Communist Movement, they were dominated by the widening rift between the CPSU and the CPC, and at each both sides fought to have their views incorporated into the final documents. The documents of those meetings became reference points in the polemic that followed. A position reaffirmed in various statements, such as the joint statement released by the Chinese and New Zealand parties in Peking May 1963:
The Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of New Zealand reaffirm their loyalty to the Moscow Declaration of 1957 and the Moscow Statement of 1960 and hold that these two documents, unanimously agreed upon by the Communist Parties of various countries, are the common programme of the international communist movement. [i]
A few years previously, a leading ideologue in the CPSU leadership had told a plenum on 22-26 December 1959, when Suslov presented a detailed report on “the trip by a Soviet party-state delegation to the People’s Republic of China” in October 1959,
“… that the Soviet Union would try to restore “complete unity” by continuing “to express our candid opinions about the most important questions affecting our common interests when our views do not coincide.” Although the aim would be to bring China back into line with the USSR, Suslov argued that if these efforts failed, the CPSU Presidium would “stick by the positions that our party believes are correct.” [ii]
From studies of declassified materials from CPSU Central committee meetings it is clear that from late 1962 on, Soviet leaders no longer held out any hope that the acrimonious polemics would be resolved with the capitulation of the Albanian and Chinese parties to the Moscow line. Toward the end of 1962, a series of conferences of fraternal Parties in Eastern Europe and in Italy were used as forums from which to attack both the Albanian Party of Labour and the Communist Party of China.
The only genuine unity, both sides argued, was on their terms, each citing Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. Still for all the fine words and sentiments, Khrushchev publicly attack the Albanian Party of Labour at the 22nd Congress of the C.P.S.U. late in 1961.The Albanian party had been told: accept without question the revisionist line of the leaders of the CPSU.
An editorial in China’s Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) acknowledged that the earlier platform set forth in the Declaration and the Statement was far from fit for purpose as
“the formation of certain questions in the Declaration and the Statement is not altogether clear and there are weaknesses and errors…we made certain concessions at that time in order to reach agreement. On more than one occasion, we have expressed our readiness to accept any criticism of us on this point. Despite all this, the Declaration and the Statement set forth a series of revolutionary principles which all Marxist-Leninist parties should abide by.” [iii]
However, the concessions made included the formulation that the CPSU leadership were pursuing as the strategy for the International Communist movement and could reference and defend as their adherence to the platform agreed in the two documents. When accused of being “betrayers of the Declaration and the Statement” they simply quoted the relevant part of the document that supported them. When either side can selectively use the positions in their argument, the coherence and integrity of the compromised documents reduces its effectiveness in forging a united approach for the parties concerned.
Time and time again, the anti-revisionist argument employed the fact that the Declaration and the Statement pointed out that all communist parties must wage struggles against revisionism and dogmatism, and particularly against revisionism, which is the main danger in the international communist movement, for their opponents to turn around and identify them as the dogmatists to be targeted.
On the Declaration and Statement, the Albanian view was that the two documents contained a scientific Marxist-Leninist analysis of the deep revolutionary processes in the modern world. Collection of anti-revisionist articles repeated the sentiments that they constituted a sound basis on which the Communist and Workers’ parties should build their line of actions on the revolutionary conclusions of the Moscow Declaration in their struggle for peace, national liberation, democracy and progress to an exploitation-free classless society (e.g. Oppose Modern Revisionism and Uphold Marxism-Leninism and the Unity of the International Communist Movement, Tirana 1964).
The anti-revisionists maintain that at the time revisionism is the main danger in the international communist movement: “In the last few years many events have further confirmed the conclusion of the Declaration of 1957 and the Statement of 1960 in this respect.” [iv]
Both sides continued to differentiation between parts of the Declaration and the Statement, with the defence of their revolutionary principles the foundation of the anti-revisionist position. The editorial argued that the CPSU leadership had “tore up these documents [the Declaration of 1957 and the Statement of 1960] on the very day they were signed.”
In contrast, the suggestion of an alternative platform was made in the 25 Points on the General Line of the International Communist Movement put forward in June 1963 that effectively jettison the platform that the CPSU leadership still used in defence of its new policies.
The Khrushchov revisionists stated the People’s Daily “are pressing forward with their anti-revolutionary line of ‘peaceful coexistence’, ‘peaceful competition’ and ‘peaceful transition’. They themselves do not want revolution and forbid others to make revolution.” The editorial concluded that betrayal of the revolutionary principles “can only lead to a split” [v]
The escalation and hardening of the public polemics were clearly signalled on both sides with the words far from reflecting fraternal relations. Whereas there was an appeal to the agreement that relations “should follow the principles of independence, complete equality, mutual support and the attainment of unanimity thought through consultation” , the article charged that “Khrushchov revisionists practise big-power chauvinism, national egoism and splittism, waving their big baton everywhere, wilfully interfering in the affairs of fraternal parties and countries, trying hard to control them and carrying out disruptive and subversive activities against them, and splitting the international communist movement and the socialist camp.”
Referencing the 22nd Congress of the CPSU, the charge was that the Soviet leadership was “casting to the four winds all the basic theses of Marxism Leninism and all the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement.” Furthermore, “they are enforcing the dictatorship of the privileged bourgeois stratum in the Soviet Union and have embarked on the road to capitalist restoration.”
The stark division in positions expressed were directed to a wider audience. Periodically there was issued calls to an end to the public polemics which “had an unfriendly character and are abusive of sister parties” however as British academic Julia Lovell, and others observers, noted,
“The Soviets’ riposte was robust. They printed 3.2 million copies, in thirty-five different languages distributed to eighty-five countries, of just one of several open letters to the CCP refuting the latter’s ‘slanderous attacks’. They poured energy and money into sponsoring local activists all over the world to write anti-Chinese copy, to show anti-China films, and give anti-Chinese lectures. As relations became deeply hostile in late 1962, the New York Times speculated that Khruschev now wished for a ‘Soviet-American Alliance Against China.’.” [vi]
The Chinese criticism of the new Soviet leadership following Khrushchev’s departure was observed and interpreted through ideological lenses, that they remain loyal to the general line of “the founder of their faith and the maestro who ‘creatively developed Marxism-Leninism’, simply because Khrushchov was too disreputable and too stupid to muddle on any longer, and because Khrushchov himself had become an obstacle to the carrying out of Khrushchov revisionism. The only way the Khrushchov revisionist clique could maintain its rule was to swop horses.”
“While proclaiming they are building ‘communism’ in the Soviet Union, they are speeding up the restoration of capitalism.” [vii]
The distrust in the leaders of the CPSU was mirrored in attitudes towards US imperialism where the base line was that “the destiny of mankind and the hope of world peace cannot be left to the “wisdom” of U.S. imperialism or to the illusion of co-operation with U.S. imperialism.”
Reconciliation between the parties, ensuring the much-proclaimed unity of the international movement was no longer a feasible option, especially as a condition laid down by the anti-revisionists involved the prospects of the CPCU repudiating the revisionist general line laid down at the 20th and 22nd Congresses. Sham unity would no longer tolerated.
The lines of demarcation had been drawn by both sides.
Since the 81 Parties’ Meeting in 1960 there had been talk of the holding of an international meeting of the world parties – provided such a meeting was held with the object of reaching ideological unity and not with the object of forcing an organisational split.
The Communist Party of China’s representatives met in Moscow on July 15, 1963. But on the day preceding, the leaders of the C.P.S.U. published to the world its slanderous attackson the Chinese Party contained in the now notorious Open Letter. [viii]
Others testify to how the CPSU leadership asserted its paternal assumptions. The talks held by the New Zealand Party delegation in Moscow in 1963 were later described in terms that
“Our frank and free presentation of views was, as comrades know, met with the same tirade of abuse and subjectivism which had been inflicted upon other Party delegations seeking a similar down-to-earth critical and self-critical study of problems on the basis of Marxist-Leninist science.”
The attitude of the C.P.S.U. leaders may be summed up: “There shall be no criticism of our line. You must submit to this line even though you consider it revisionist. This line is the line to which all world Parties must adhere without question. We shall see to it that any who do not do so are ostracised from the world movement.” Thus the line of “compulsory unity with revisionism” or open split emerged as the line of the C.P.S.U. leaders. [ix]
In March 1965 the CPSU managed to finally convene their “schismatic”, “fragmented meeting. The divisive meeting was quite small and most unseemly. It was a gloomy and forlorn affair” was the judgement of People’s Daily/Red Flag in their “A Comment on The March Moscow Meeting” (March 23 1965). Of the 26 parties invited, 19 attended who were “were rent by contradictions and disunity” (and not only according to Chinese reporting). They described the divisive March Moscow meeting as “now hatching a big plot for a general attack on China and a general split in the international communist movement. The time had passed when the CPC could proclaim “Eternal, Unbreakable Sino-Soviet Friendship” [x]
Giving it the description as a “consultative meeting” did not alter its intention as preparation for an international conference of the Communist and Workers Parties. Still, it failed to act as a drafting meeting. The Albanian paper Zeri I Popullit called it “a major crime against the world communist movement” explaining that the “incorrigible revisionists and renegades from Marxism-Leninism” had sought to “bring about the final split in the communist movement in the organisational plane”. The Albanian commentary noted that for all the demagogic oaths about unity and solidarity, the meeting showed that the CPSU leadership could not even “define a common line for revisionism and to eliminate the division that exists within their ranks”. [xi]
The reaction of the Communist Party of New Zealand to the March meeting convened in Moscow by the leadership of the C.P.S.U. reflected the scepticism at what was seen as an attempt to foist this improper meeting upon the World Communist Movement, under cover of soft words and Marxist-Leninist phrases, further disunity in the world movement: “ It makes clear that the leaders of the C.P.S.U. (and their supporters in other places) persist in their revisionist ideas and are determined to impose them upon the world movement.” [xii] The Chinese comment explained the initial approach of the party to the divergences with the CPSU:
“In the incipient stages of Khrushchov revisionism and in the course of its development, we invariably proceeded from the desire for unity and offered our advice and criticism, in the hope that Khrushchov might turn back. We indicated on many occasions that the points the fraternal Marxist-Leninist Parties had in common were basic while the differences among them were partial in character, and that they should seek common ground while reserving their differences.” [xiii]
What had developed under Khrushchov and subsequent was the policies the new leaders of the CPSU adopted towards fraternal countries and fraternal Parties remained the views expressed in the Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU of JuIy 14, 1963, in Suslov’s anti-Chinese report at the February 1964 plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU and in the resolution adopted on this report, and actions of unscrupulous interference in the internal affairs of the fraternal Parties and engage in disruptive and subversive activities against them. The inability to bring its anti-revisionist critics to heel was clear when only 19 of the 26 invited Parties attended march Moscow meeting. Significant absentees included five of the Parties from the socialist world, namely, Albania, China, Korea, Rumania and Vietnam. Indonesia (the largest Communist Party outside of the socialist world) and Japan also refused to attend. As the Chinese observed, “the number of those obeying Khrushchov’s baton was already decreasing.”
The pressures of the world Parties (including some like Italy and Britain, who attended) and the failure to get a representative gathering forced a change in the character of the meeting – from one which was to organise and prepare a meeting of world Parties in 1965 to a down-graded “consultative meeting.” This was a setback for the revisionist leaders of the C.P.S.U. The meeting itself demonstrated that it could not prepare and proceed to convene a conference of world Parties. But it is equally clear from the communique that the organisers have not given up their hopes of imposing their revisionist ideas on the world movement. [xiv]
The observations of the New Zealand party were concerns shared by others who identified with the criticisms raised by the Albanian and Chinese parties and their supporters.
“What is the attitude of the leaders of the C.P.S.U. towards criticisms of its line and policy? Were they welcomed, studied, analysed, verified or, where necessary, corrected? Comrades know from the development of the ideological dispute that this was not the approach of the leaders of the C.P.S.U. On the contrary, it was an arrogant, conceited and commandist stand. Stand-over methods and economic and political pressures were exerted in an effort to enforce the Soviet leadership’s point of view. Under the cover of words like “proletarian internationalism,” its opposite, great-power chauvinism, was enforced. On the ideological front, the theoretical bankruptcy of the Soviet leaders became quickly exposed. Abuse of other parties and distortions of Lenin were used in an attempt to bolster an impossible case. Quotations from “Left-Wing Communism,” by Lenin, became favourite missiles to hurl at all who dared to criticise the policy of the Soviet leadership from a fundamental Marxist-Leninist viewpoint.” [xv]
These were a manifestation of the same struggle being waged on a national scale, the differentiation of forces within individual parties. The growth and consolidation of the new Marxist-Leninist groups proved largely marginal, with the Communist Party of New Zealand being an exception in the industrialised world aligning to the developing anti-revisionist camp. [xvi]
The historical analogy within the anti-revisionist struggle against revisionism saw the CPSU leadership line as taking them right back to the struggle of Lenin and the Mensheviks in 1903, on the membership rule of the Party, on the role of the vanguard party and the issues of how imperialism in the early part of the century turned Labour leaders into “the Labour lieutenants of Capitalism in the ranks of the working class”.
Clearly for the anti-revisionists, the ascendancy of bourgeois ideology within the working-class movement or its political parties ends in their adaptation (capitulation) to capitalism and imperialism. It was not about personalities; the struggle between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism is a class struggle.
“The present polemic” wrote the Albanian leader, “is of a major character, dealing with the most fundamental theoretical and practical issues of communism. Having been started by the revisionists, it has become unavoidable and indispensable.” [xvii]
The point emphasised was that the ideological struggle – and its practical consequences – were in order to wage the struggle against imperialism and reaction successfully and further strengthen the unity of the international proletariat. There was the wider context expressed by the Chinese party led by Mao Zedong that
“the emergence and development of Khrushchov revisionism is by no means a matter of a few individuals or an accidental phenomenon. It has profound social and historical causes. So long as imperialists and reactionaries exist and so long as there are classes and class struggle in the world, Khrushchov revisionism will inevitably recur in one form or another and the struggle against it will not come to an end.” [xviii]
“to expose their true revisionist features”
“The Chinese Communist Party has on many occasions made clear its stand on the question of the public polemics, and we now once again announce it to the world: Since there are differences of principle between Marxism-Leninism and modern revisionism and since the modern revisionists have maligned us so much and refused to acknowledge their mistakes, it goes without saying that we have the right to refute them publicly. In these circumstances, it wiII not do to call for an end to the public polemics, it will not do to stop for a single day, for a month, a year, a hundred years, a thousand years, or ten thousand years. If nine thousand years are not enough to complete the refutation, then we shall take ten thousand.” [xix]
Participants in these struggles recognised that the struggle between these two opposing lines presented the prospect of a split as a fait accompli; the question was how the ideological division would be formulated in organisational developments. How would ‘true international solidarity’ be expressed? So far respecting norms and non-interference in the internal affairs of other parties had been violated with charges and counter-charges of factional activity thrown around when Marxist-Leninists had no avenue but to organise themselves in new groups to continue to defend revolutionary positions and challenge revisionism within their national parties. The position had shifted from the thesis of the 1960 Declaration that revisionism was “the main danger in the international communist movement”, it had become the main enemy in the international communist movement.
Enver Hoxha raised the opinion
“There can be no hope or illusion that the Khrushchevite revisionists will mend their ways and return to correct positions of principle.” [xx] He was candid in a private meeting, telling his Malayan guests: “We do not forget that the leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union are enemies who have carried on and still carrying on utterly anti-Marxist and anti-Albanian activity against our Party and people”. [xxi] After all, the Soviet leadership not only opposed the Albanian party, it broke off diplomatic relations with Albania extending the dispute to the nation-state as it scrapped all economic, culture, military and other agreements in an attempt to isolate and break Albanian opposition.
So, what could involve raising the struggle against modern revisionism “to a higher level”? A visiting New Zealand delegation were told in October 1965 that, in the opinion of the Albanian party “not unity with the revisionists but the definitive split with them is on the agenda” [xxii] .
In a conversation with a delegation of the Communist Party of Malaya in January 1965, Enver Hoxha spoke of the serious difficulties in the international communist movement created by the revisionists. He judged that while they had been exposed by the anti-revisionist struggle, that while was no unity of opinion in the revisionist ranks, the CPSU leadership had not “yet lost their power and influence”. The counter-attack of the Marxist-Leninists, Hoxha said “must settle them completely…. Our Party of Labor is of the opinion that our Marxist-Leninist parties should not give any ground in the contradictions they have with the modern revisionists.” [xxiii]
The circumstances had changed in the composition of the international communist movement since the Moscow meeting in 1960 with the emergence of a series of new Marxist-Leninist parties and groups waging “a stern principled struggle” outside, and within the ranks of the old parties. The bilateral meetings were valued by the Albanian leadership as “our Marxist-Leninist internationalist unity becomes stronger through co-operation between the parties” [xxiv] The assistance given by the Albanian party went beyond the level of propaganda support. [xxv]
1965 had begun with raised expectations. An Editorial in Zeri i Popllitt proclaimed “In the Europe which breeds revisionism, revolutionary Marxism-Leninism will triumph.” The editorial said, “History has proved that, as the principal stronghold of capitalism and world imperialism, Europe and North America are also the cradles of opportunism and revisionism in the international workers’ movement.”
Surveying the history of opposition to such ideological current it described the Khrushchev group as “the main bulwark of revisionism of the most rabid type.” It declared
The revisionists are bent on paralysing the fighting will of the European working class, making it depart from the path of revolutionary struggle and become apathetic by spreading all kinds of pacifist and reformist illusions. The revisionists try to push their line of betrayal to turn some European Communist and Workers’ parties with glorious traditions from parties carrying out the social revolution into parties for social reform, from militant, organised and disciplined revolutionary vanguard of the working class into amorphous organisations, with no clear objectives and devoid of sound Party discipline, where all kinds of bourgeois careerists, careerists and opportunists can join or leave as they please.” [xxvi]
Having unleashed attacks upon the Chinese Communist party, the Albanian Party of Labour and “all the healthy forces of the revolutionary communists in their Parties and countries”,
“With their opportunists, traitorous and divisive line and manoeuvres, the European revisionists are entirely responsible for the grave situation created in the world communist movement, and in particular, for the great harm and damage done to the European workers’ and communist movement.” [xxvii]
The article stated the need “uniting the revolutionary forces in Europe with the anti-imperialist struggle for liberation of the oppressed people of Asia, Africa and Latin America.”
Forecasting that a new revolutionary upsurge will take place in Europe, unchecked by the “temporary boom” of capitalism for “The main obstacle on the path of revolution in Europe today is Khrushchovian revisionism which strangles revolutionary enthusiasm, paralyses the fighting will and spirit of the working class …and keeps the Communist Parties of Europe far away from the revolutionary path.” Given these circumstances the Albanian paper states the perspective that:
The struggle of the revolutionary Marxists of Europe and North America, as a component part of the struggle of all the communists in the world, is of particular international significance today because this is carried out inside the citadel of modern revisionism, a citadel which must be demolished and smashed to smithereens.
With their organized legal and illegal forces, the Marxist-Leninists in Europe are carrying out work inside and outside their parties, to oppose the propaganda and organisation of the revisionists, forming and strengthening Marxist-Leninists groups and new Parties and carrying on inner-Party struggles to defend their principles trampled upon by revisionists, combat their tactics, reduce the sphere of their activities, expose their line and aims, isolate them from the masses of Communists and finally eliminate them. [xxviii]
The article cites the example of the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists of the Soviet Union “awakening and waging an active and determined struggle “, but without providing evidence or examples beyond the generalities. An explanation for the lull in polemics following Khrushchev expulsion from power was that the Soviet leadership was in a transitory stage of determining new tactics so as to avoid struggles and blows from Marxist-Leninists.
It is precisely because of this difficult position and the contradictions with which they are confronted that the present Soviet leaders are trying to maintain “silence” or “lull”. In appearance, they try their best to present themselves as being more restrained than their chieftain, N. Khrushchov, creating a false impression that they can mend their ways while in reality they stubbornly pursue the original Khrushchovian line.
Such a period of “lull” and “silence” benefits the imperialists and revisionists but harms the communist movement and the cause of Marxism-Leninism and socialism, because in this period the revisionists endeavour to consolidate their positions with a view to launching a more violent attacks on Marxism-Leninism.” [xxix]
Having described revisionism as an ulcer on the healthy body of the revolutionary movement and communist movement in Europe and the rest of the world, the article concludes with a rallying call that “Now is the time for revolutionary Communists to combat treason, liquidate modern revisionism and re-establish the original Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist unity of all communists of the world”.
This ambiguous sentiment was read as a call for the internationalisation of the anti-revisionist forces in a recognisable movement structure. Speculation was on whether, and how, the complete break with revisionism would manifest itself amid the reconstruction of the communist movement that saw Marxist-Leninists organise independent of the revisionist parties.
In the fight against revisionism the cultivation of organised anti-revisionists had resulted in separate pre-party organisations for communist unity, against revisionism. The intensification of the anti-revisionist struggle led away from reconciliation or acceptance of the revisionist path set out by the 20th and 22nd Congresses of the CPSU. Stating that the parties of western Europe stood “in the service of the monopolistic bourgeoisie of their countries” and that that they were following an “opportunistic, traitorous, and splitting course of action” there was not much hope given of transforming those parties for revolutionary struggle.
Along with the public refutation of all the slanders and attacks made against the Party of Labor of Albania, the Communist Party of China and the other Marxists-Leninists, the Albanians called for the unequivocal rehabilitation of Stalin “for the revisionists concretized their attack on Marxism-Leninism and the proletarian dictatorship with their attack on J.V.Stalin.” [xxx]
By 1965 the fight to transform those Moscow aligned communist parties had given way to establishing alternative poles of attraction in reconceiving the revolutionary movement. Evidence of this ambition of a Comintern-lite arrangement peppered the events of the year. A more favourable attitude towards a new international was discernible in the Albanian position. The PLA was more assiduous about maintaining bi-lateral relations with the new groups with regular visits by their representatives, and name checks on Radio Tirana and in ATA reports.
Speculation was not unanticipated, raised by the obvious intentions in Moscow to resolve important problems by seeking to hold a planning conference for a global meeting of parties scheduled originally for autumn 1964. Such an action would cement not only the divisions between the parties but might not their opponents be motivated to organise what would be the first anti-revisionist organised council after all the CPC’s Proposal for a General Line issued in June 1963 signalled an alternative platform for world communism.
Supporters, or what opponents dubbed them, the “Peking faction” were seen in the Albanian capital as a general test for a future international founding congress of “the Peking line”. There was even mischievous western media speculation that the next occupiers to be house in the Soviet Embassy in Tirana was to become a centre for a new international headquarters of anti-revisionists/pro-Chinese communists. There was some Western speculation that the Tirana “summit” meeting of “Marxist-Leninists” should be seen as the embryo of a Marxist-Leninist International in opposition to the Moscow centred organisations. The list of these delegations, as reported by Radio Tirana, included the Belgian Marxist-Leninist CP delegation, headed by Jacques Grippa; representatives of the New Zealand CP and the Communist Party Australia Marxist-Leninist; leading members of Marxist-Leninist groups and editors of Marxist- Leninist publications from Austria, France, Italy, Spain and Britain, and representatives from Chile, Ghana and Guinea.
The significance of the gathering of these Marxist- Leninist representatives was that this was the first time that a state event of a ruling Communist Party has been attended by the leading members of the newly emerging anti-revisionist forces. Whether there would be a declaration that formalised the political divisions – the split with Moscow – so as to likely leave a lasting imprint on the international Communist movement was an expectation that increased prior to the 1966 Fifth Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania. [xxxi]
The judgement of the Swiss based Marxist Leninist Nils Andersson was that
“An important demonstration of the reality of the Marxist-Leninist movement was the celebration of the 5th Congress of the PLA in November 1966, which was attended by the CP of China and 28 Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations from the five continents. There was great enthusiasm, for Albania it was one of the great moments in its history, it had defeated the revisionist and imperialist blockade; for new parties it was the first time they had been able to get together in such great numbers.” [xxxii]
The participation of representatives of the new Marxist-Leninist groups in the 5th Congress was seen as an important event in the international communist movement. The official authorised history of the PLA said that such internationalist solidarity manifested by such engagement:
“expressed the love, support and the great authority the PLA had won in the international arena by its resolute struggle for socialism and the preservation of the purity of Marxism-Leninism.” [xxxiii]
Mao’s Message of Greetings to the Fifth Congress of the Albanian Party of Labour was read out by Kang Sheng, head of the delegation of the Communist Party of China. He then addressed the internationalist audience invited to the 5th Congress of the PLA:
“At present, Marxist-Leninist Parties and organizations are emerging in quick succession in all continents and they are growing and becoming increasingly consolidated every day. They are drawing a clear line of demarcation between themselves and the modern revisionist clique theoretically, ideologically, politically, organizationally and in their style of work. They are directing their efforts towards building themselves into Marxist-Leninist Parties of a new type. These new-type proletarian revolutionary parties represent the fundamental interests of the proletariat and revolutionary people in their respective countries; they represent the future and the hope of these countries, they represent the core of leadership in their revolutions. The birth and growth of the new type Marxist-Leninist Parties and organizations is a great victory of Marxism-Leninism in its struggle against modern revisionism.” [xxxiv]
The 5th Congress ratchet up the unfilled expectation when Belgian party leader, Jacque Grippa, introduced a new element to the Congress with a message from the new established illegal Provisional Central Committee of the Communist Party of Poland (although Party leader Mija was at the Congress). For the first time a Marxist-Leninist party formed in opposition to a ruling revisionist party was given recognition and publicity by an estranged “fraternal” Albanian party at a time of a bitter struggle waged within the international communist movement between Marxist-Leninists and modern revisionists. The significance of a split from a ruling party and creation of an illegal oppositionist Marxist-Leninist party was not repeated elsewhere in Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union. These organisations sent greetings to the fifth congress and their flattering messages among the 28 republished in a 212 paged publication from the <Naim Frasheri> Publishing House, purveyors of Albanian political propaganda. [xxxv]
In the major report to the Congress, Enver Hoxha gave encouragement to the speculation when to the assembled Marxist-Leninists he called for a not- too-clearly defined “separate unity” composed of these forces. He did this by declaring that the PLA believed that “the creation of links cooperation and coordination of activities in conformity with the new present- day conditions was an indispensable and urgent matter.”
Marking the Soviet October Revolution, a Zeri i Popullit editorial of November 7th, praised the role of the 5th Congress on the question of unity by quoting from Hoxha’s report: “All the Marxist Leninist parties and forces, as equals and independents, should form a bloc with the CCP and the CPR, a bloc of iron to break all our enemies.”
Did Hoxha feed the expectations of the newly emergent anti-revisionist movement when he declared to the 5th Congress audience that:
“The unity in the communist movement and the socialist camp will be re-established, but it will be established by the Marxist-Leninist without the treacherous revisionists and in resolute battle against them. (Prolonged applause)” [xxxvi] . The opinion of the Albanian Party was that “we must not reconcile and unite with the revisionists, but break away and separate from them.”
Perhaps hinting at the reformation of an alternative arrangement with each party equal and independent rather than recapture of the Moscow dominated structures, especially when referring to revisionists as “the fifth column” and a “trojan horse”, the Albanian leader said, “We think it is high time to draw a demarcation line with modern revisionism, with all its group, and to wage a tit-for-tat struggle, so as to isolate them from the people and from the revolutionary Soviet communists.” [xxxvii]
Hoxha’s report stated that the anti-revisionist struggle must be promoted to a new height.
“ ..thanks to the struggle of the Marxist-Leninist forces, to the reaction against the revisionist line and methods, a great process is taking place and deepening : that of the differentiation of the forces of Marxism-Leninism and revisionism, both in a national and in an international scale. Tens of new parties and Marxist-Leninist groups have been founded in different countries of the world, including some socialist countries. We wholeheartedly hail these Marxist-Leninist parties and groups and wish them ever greater successes in their just struggle for the lofty revolutionary ideals of the working class. (Prolonged tumultuous applause. Ovations) ….. for in the growth of these new revolutionary forces we see the only just way to the triumph of Marxism-Leninism and the destruction of revisionism. (Prolonged tumultuous applause. Ovations)” [xxxviii]
The cultivation, and encouragement (some might say “talking-up”) of these newly emergent forces – “tens of new parties” – related to the background consideration to Enver Hoxha Congress report set out in his “Theses on the Unity of the International Marxist-Leninist Movement”, a diary entry for October 10 1966. Prior to the 5th Congress Hoxha consider the necessity of consultation among the anti-revisionist parties and groups on general meetings which the Albanian leadership advocated for strengthening the unity of the international communist movement. Included in the diary (published 1979) was a reference raising questions why the Chinese party was avoiding such a course of action (which some reviewers wondered if added after the fact to pre-date a political opinion subsequently formed).
“the joint meeting and the taking of joint decisions is important. The meeting will be informed of and study the forms of work and organisation and set tasks for each party…There is no one to oppose the idea in principle; the most they can do is leave it to melt away from lack of action. But it is they who will be wrong and not us.” [xxxix]
There was a militant crescendo in the rhetoric “to spare no effort to support the just revolutionary struggle of the Marxist-Leninist parties and forces, it [PLA] will tirelessly work for the consolidation and strengthening of the Marxist-Leninist movement and the anti-imperialist unity of the peoples of the world.” [xl]
“Marxist-Leninist must strengthen their unity on a national and international scale and their resolute struggle against imperialism and revisionism. The time we are living is not to be spent on academic, endless and empty discussions, but in daring militant actions full of revolutionary selfless spirit and sacrifice….The ranks of the Marxist-Leninist parties and forces must be closely united and well-organised, prepared and tempered to fight on…. Establishment of links for co-operation and co-ordination of actions in conformity with the new actual conditions….. consolidate their co-operation and they must work out a common line and a common stand on the basic questions, especially in connection with the struggle against imperialism and modern revisionism.” [xli]
Enver Hoxha in conversation with V.G.Wilcox thought
“The militant revolutionary spirit of the heroic times of the Comintern and the time of Lenin and Stalin should characterize world communism today.” October 1965 [xlii]
He told the world in his Congress report, November 1st 1966
“in the forefront of present-day struggle against the US-led imperialism, against modern revisionism with the Soviet leaders at the top, stands strong and steadfast the Communist Party of China and the great People’s Republic of China, headed by the prominent Marxist-Leninist, Mao Tse-tung (Prolonged applause. Ovation)
Yet in his diary, he supposedly written a more hostile judgement as Hoxha confided of the need to urge the “Chinese comrades somewhat to activize themselves in the support of the new Marxist-Leninist parties [xliii]
We think, in particular, that the time has come for our Marxist-Leninist parties to develop the most appropriate and fruitful different working contacts.
‘’it is up to us, to both your big party and Our Party, in the first place, to take the first steps to concretize closer, more effective links with the whole world Marxist-Leninist movement, so that our Marxist-Leninist unity is further tempered and our joint activity against our common enemies is strengthened. [xliv]
The PLA reiterated the party’s readiness and ‘lofty internationalist duty’ to give all the aid in its power to these new Marxist-Leninist forces. A later interpretation concluded that from the 5th Congress the international communist movement “had set out on the road to revival on a Marxist-Leninist basis.”[xlv]
Again, there was speculation, prior to the PLA’s 6th party congress, when Enver Hoxha raised the expansion and consolidation of the Marxist-Leninist movement which was seen as having experienced some neglect due to the domestic preoccupation with the Cultural Revolution. Albania felt this having, from September 1967 to May 1969, no resident Chinese ambassador to its closest ally in Tirana. He told the Tirana party conference, in January 1969, that the international Marxist-Leninist movement had entered a more advantage stage of development. The new emerged Marxist-Leninist parties constituted an overt detachment from modern revisionism and from the old communist parties:
“This is the picture of a new revolutionary situation in the fold of the international working class which is splitting and at the same time being re-organised. In its fold there is being consolidated the conscious and revolutionary part of the proletariat to wage the struggle of the vanguard against socialists, the social democrats and modern revisionists who still have very strong positions, especially in the strata of workers aristocracy that deceives the bulk of workers.”
The assertion of these new Marxist-Leninists forces engaged in a vanguard role might have signalled the intention of an approaching consolidation on an international scale, particularly in light of the looming Moscow Meeting scheduled for that May. He emphasised the right of independent action for these parties within their national boundaries on domestic issues reaffirming the complete equality of parties, “big or small, old or young”.
In a divergence observation, the public pronouncements of the Albanian leader altered radically by the end of the Seventies. With political rewriting and self-justification, this later interpretation of events presented a more critical analysis of relations within worldwide anti-revisionist movement, although there was no mention of the unseen side dramas. Jacques Grippa, the leader of the Communist Party of Belgium (m-l), and European fixer among the pro-China groups, took the opportunity at the 5th Congress to tell the Albanian party his great dissatisfaction with certain Chinese policies. Grippa eventually sided with Liu Shao-chi. [xlvi]
The authorised History (volume 2) stated the new Marxist-Leninist parties had:
“pinned their hopes especially on the support of the Party and PR of China as a “great Marxist-Leninist Party” and a “big socialist country”. In general, they were disillusioned when they did not find the immediate support that they hoped for. In reality, as been known later, at first Mao Tse-tung, and his associates, did not approve of the formation of the new parties and groups and had no faith in them.”
Indeed, Hoxha’s reaction to the news that no party delegation from China would be attending the 6th Congress scheduled for 1971, as convey in his diary was the belief that they had “no confidence in the new Marxist-Leninist parties and groups which are being created….does not want to be stuck with them…and this is in conformity with its vacillating revisionist line.” [xlvii] His comment was that, “For the international communist movement, of course, this opportunist revisionist line of the Communist party of China is not good, because it weakens and confuses it. But everything will be overcome.” [xlviii]
The Albanians charged later that the Chinese were “exploiting those organisations for their own narrow interests”, recognising anyone, and everyone, provided they proclaimed themselves “followers of ‘Mao Tsetung thought’”. [xlix]
In contrast to the alleged Chinese role in ‘disrupting and impeding’ the revival of the Marxist-Leninist movement worldwide, the History (1981) highlights the 7th Congress of the Party of Labor of Albania in 1976 as when the parties entered a new phrase of sorting itself out and development on what is described as Albania’s echo of the sound proletarian basis. [l]
WHEN THE Albanians made speeches condemning Mao it was accomplished without a hint of self-criticism for the PLA’s years of conciliation to the “Chinese revisionists”. Hoxha had confided in his diary that China was a “great enigma” but that the PLA proceeded from the general idea that Mao was a Marxist-Leninist.
The PLA was apparently blameless. In the publications produced by the Albanian publishing houses, the PLA was a vociferous defender of China as a socialist country, the Communist Party of China as a great Marxist-Leninist party and Mao as a great Marxist-Leninist. So it was difficult to deduce any significant difference between them. Supporters and the Albanians find it difficult to manufacture reasons for Enver Hoxha and Party of Labour of Albania to keep silence on Mao’s as well as CPC’s alleged deviations and revisionism, until Mao was dead.
Indeed in 1971, Hoxha had said in his Report to the Sixth Congress:
“Great People’s China and Albania, the countries which consistently pursue the Marxist-Leninist line and are building socialism. The role of the People’s Republic of China this powerful bastion of the revolution and socialism, is especially great in the growth and strengthening of the revolutionary movement everywhere in the world. “
Furthermore, there was full agreement from Tirana on the correct line which the Communist Party of China advocated in putting forward “A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement” in 1963, which it gave political support. Even with the voluminous anti-revisionist propaganda commentaries and its own public role since 1960 criticising Khrushchev and the cosying up to US imperialism, Tirana did defer in the leadership of the struggle against Khrushchev to the CPC. The PLA accepted the hegemony of the CPC and Mao in the international anti-revisionist communist movement even though it thought that, from 1972, China had entered the dance with US imperialism with Nixon’s visit to Beijing that marked the collapse of America’s isolation and containment policies towards People’s China.
After the breach in the relationship, what was exposed was the disconnect between his public utterances and supposed entries into Hoxha’s private diary at the time, his increasing sceptical views on China and its relationship with Albania. The deterioration in the relationship between the two allies simmered for the rest of the decade until the rupture in 1977/78 offered stark ideological alignment that divided the anti-revisionist movement.
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.
The accelerated interest and concern for the anti-revisionist parties to assist its own foreign policy objectives partly sprang from its growing contradictions with China. This international support and sympathy crafted out of an image of purity and principled struggle, standing up to face China as it had faced down the Soviet leadership. Socialist Albania would not surrender to a revisionist malignancy but expressed its insistence of remaining faithful to Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. Personified in Enver Hoxha’s writings was a presentation essentially based on the promotion of the ideological orthodoxy of Marxism-Leninism.
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.
That emergence of two main lines of demarcation within the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist movement, and the Maoist recalibration that was witnessed in the early 21st century could be seen as proof of dialectics in action as unity is sought to advance the struggles for a fairer and just society.
[ii] Mark Kramer, « Declassified materials from CPSU Central Committee plenums », Cahiers du monde russe [Online], 40/1-2 | 1999, Online since 15 January 2007: http:// journals.openedition.org/monderusse/14 ; DOI : 10.4000/monderusse.14
[iii] The Leaders of the CPSU are Betrayers of the Declaration and the Statement Peking: Foreign Language Press 1965
[v] The Leaders of the CPSU are Betrayers of the Declaration and the Statement. Peking: Foreign Language Press 1965 p8
[vi] Lovell (2019) Maoism a global history. London: Bodley Head p147
[vii] The Leaders of the CPSU are Betrayers of the Declaration and the Statement p5. Hoxha claimed “Khruschev’s downfall is a result of the struggle waged by the Marxist-Leninists.” Enver Hoxha (1977) Speeches Conversations Articles 1965-1966. Tirana: The “8 Nentori” Publishing House p5
[xvii] …. Enver Hoxha (1977) Speeches Conversations Articles 1965-1966. Tirana: The “8 Nentori” Publishing House P97. The authorised history of the young party founded November 1941, born of war and revolution, proudly recalled:
The Party of Labor of Albania has fought with exceptional severity against modern revisionism, the offspring and agency of imperialism. The irreconcible principled struggle which it has waged from the start against the Yugoslavia revisionists has equipped it with a great revolutionary experience and acuteness to recognise and to fight better and with more determination against the Khruschevite revisionists as well as other revisionism, with Soviet revisionism at the centre, constitutes a major class enemy and the main danger to the international communist and workers’ movement.
Institute of Marxist-Leninist Studies (1971) History of the Party of Labor of Albania. Tirana: The “Naim Frasheri” Publishing House p671
[xxxii] Nils Andersson The Origins of the Marxist-Leninist Movement in Europe. Unity & Struggle No. 28, September 2014
[xxxiii] Institute of Marxist-Leninist Studies (1971) History of the Party of Labor of Albania. Tirana: The “Naim Frasheri” Publishing House pp606/607
[xxxiv] Communist and Workers’ Parties and Marxist-Leninist Groups Greet the Fifth Congress of the Labor of Albania. Tirana 1966 p18
Remarks given added weight as during the Cultural Revolution period, Kang had Politburo oversight of the International Liaison Department of the CPC, responsible for contacts, communications and co-ordination with other communist organisations throughout the world. This changed in 1971 when the leadership position was held by Geng Biao /Keng Piao, formerly China’s ambassador to Albania, who remained in post throughout the 1970s.
[xlv] Institute of Marxist-Leninist Studies (1981) History of the Party of Labor of Albania 1966-1980 (Chapters VII, VIII, IX) Tirana: The “8Nentori” Publishing House p41.
The 2nd volume of the authorised History published in 1981 covers the period 1966-1980. The first chapter, labelled Chapter VII covering the 5th Congress was not a reproduction of the original Chapter VII that ended the first volume (printed 1971). It was re-written to reflect the new anti-China, anti-Mao analysis to be found in the two volumes of Enver Hoxha’s Reflections on China and other post-1976 Albanian publication.
[xlvii] Hoxha (1979) Reflections on China 1 P596 Hoxha bitterly complained about the Chinese comrades and the 6th Congress, dismissing the greetings sent as “full of stereotyped phases, which the Chinese use constantly” in his entry for November 9th 1971 with its intemperate language and accusations of “opposition to our party over line.” p609
In the tumultuous social struggles of twentieth century China, Mao Zedong strides the battlegrounds through defeat and victories. When you read the writings of Mao Zedong, you are confronted with his revolutionary theories on politics, history and economics, his tactical choices for securing the development of the party and revolutionary movement, and his strategic vision of a new social and economic order for China. Today, access to the writings, in many different language editions, by Mao Zedong is facilitated by internet access. Listed are links provided from https://emaoism.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/100-index-to-posts-50-100/
Mao Zedong, previously transliterated as Mao Tsetung, was a Communist revolutionary, leading guerrilla warfare strategist, and political philosopher. Chairman Mao was active in the Chinese Revolution, leading the anti-imperialist struggle against Japanese occupation and in the following civil war. He was part architect and founding father of the People’s Republic of China from its establishment in 1949, and the building of socialism, initiating the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960s, providing guidance and direction until his death in 1976.
Reading Mao can be complicated by his status as “the Great Helmsman”, one-time charismatic font of all wisdom and having “Mao Zedong Thought” designation as “the crystallization of the collective wisdom” of the Communist Party of China (On the Question of Party History 1981).
Take one volume that serves as part of the body of what represents “Mao Zedong Thought” – Maoism is a term not used by the Chinese, but rather reflects the view of those outside China, that sees Mao’s theoretical and practical contribution as both universal in significance and application and should be recognised as a third stage in the development of communist thought.
Selected Readings from the Works of Mao Tse Tung appeared in its Chinese edition in 1964 before the launch of the Cultural Revolution.
In June 1964 two versions of Selected Readings from the Works of Mao Tse-Tung were published: edition A, intended for cadre party study and a smaller edition B, an abridged edition meant for the general public. Most of the texts were drawn from the existing four-volume Selected Works. Selected Readings did include Mao’s 1957 speech “On Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People”, some material from the Socialist education campaign and ended with “Where Do Correct ideas Come From” of May 1963. Edition A was the basis for an official English translation in 1967; although in 1971 another English-edition was referred to as the ‘first edition’ (incorporated the new established correct spelling for the name ‘Mao Tsetung’).
“Most of the pieces published in Selected Readings from the Works of Mao Tse-tung have been changed considerably since they were originally written or spoken. However, it is extremely important for us to know their present form, the form in which they are helping to shape China today. Although the selection was completed before the beginning of the new movement, the writings contained in it are those most studied in the Cultural Revolution. It includes “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions among the People” and several other important pieces produced since 1948 which have not been in any previous Chinese collection….. The “Readings,” although abbreviated, convey some idea of the intelligence and breadth of probably the greatest man in the Twentieth Century.”
Martin Bernal , author of the Black Athena trilogy, The New York Review of Books January 16, 1969.
When reading the writings of Mao Zedong the obvious reality is that all official texts are selected texts, chosen with a purpose outside of historical record (or accuracy), so there is a difference between the original Mao speech or writings and their later published version. The revision in the editing was openly acknowledged in the publication of Selected Works, the extent of the rewriting was not. The political function of Mao’s writings underpinning the People’s Republic of China, propagating particular policies, campaigns and study focus meant that the published word (with its official stamp of approval) acted as “the ideological coinage of the State”. (Martin, 1982)
Political editing provided conformity to Mao’s writings as the stylistic refinements, not least omitting Mao’s lively, earthy and colourful expression in speech, meant the published text took on a more official tone and character. These are translated texts without the idiom of the original language however there was an also evident political consideration: the linguistic pruning of the term “comrade” and who and when it was applied was a symbolic device as persons who were in political disfavour were cast in more negative terms. Larger issues were at stake: dependent on the current state of relations with the Soviet Union, the singularities of the Chinese revolutionary experience were down play in the interest of Sino-Soviet friendship, or a greater emphasis in the direction of the Soviet role. For instance, in Volume Five, texts dealing with Mao’s visit to the Soviet Union, as well as his 1953 obituary for Stalin were not included. In earlier volumes, references to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Stalin were added partly to reinforce a political correctness in communist relations.
Selected Works obviously means omissions as well as inclusion. The delay and dispute in the publication of Volume Five, when a first draft had been available since late 1967, was because it was the focus of factional struggle as what interpretation would prevail over its content legitimizing the politics of that contentious period in modern Chinese history; would the judgements of the Cultural Revolution remain? What adjustments would have to be accommodated? Like elsewhere (in any politicians’ memoirs), political editing, not guided by historical and academic criteria, shapes the editorial process. So with Volume Five, earlier versions, with their radical commentaries, annotations and their text selection, compiled by Chen Boda and later under Yao Wenyuan, were rejected. The published Volume Five, even with an almost total lack of commentaries and footnote interpretation, still served to endorse the (then contemporary) ‘Four Modernizations’ economic focus. However it was withdrawn from circulation, regarded as tainted by Chairman Hua Guofeng’s ideological stress on Mao’s notion of “Continuing the revolution….” Interestingly a key text in Volume Five was a speech given by Mao in April 1956, “On Ten Great Relationships” in which criticism of the Soviet model had been retained unlike in earlier published versions.
Yet, while many of Mao Zedong’s important writings were from a period and conditions that no longer apply, they are the source of constant study, revisited and on reading lists the world over. Mao’s theoretical contribution to a theoretical synthesis of China’s unique experience in protracted revolutionary struggle with the tenants of Marxism-Leninism illustrated that complicated problems facing those making revolution cannot be solved by reciting the general principles of Marxism-Leninism or by copying foreign (or even China’s) experience in every detail. Mao’s admirers aboard failed too often to hear that lesson. The judgement in “On the Question of Party History” (1981) was still to read Mao:
“This is not only because one cannot cut the past off from the present and failure to understand the past will hamper our understanding of present day problems, but also because many of our basic theories, principles and scientific approaches set forth in these works are of universal significance and provides us with invaluable guidance now and will continue to do so in the future. Therefore , we must continue to uphold Mao Zedong Thought, study it in earnest and apply its stand, viewpoint and method in studying the new situation and solving the new problems arising in the course of practice.”
Published in foreign language version by Foreign Languages Press, Peking, the Selected Works of Mao Zedong were compiled and translated by the official Beijing committee. As noted previously, these are the heavily edited, authoritative word of Mao and the doctrine of the Communist Party of China.
Between 1951 and 1953, the first three volumes of Selected Works, covering Mao’s participation and leadership of the Chinese Communist movement up to 1945 and the defeat of Japanese imperialism, were published. All selections from volumes I, II and III of the Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung are English translations based on the second Chinese edition of these volumes.
Volume Four was published in 1960 concluding with the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
The publication of Volume Five, which covered the mass campaigns of the 1950s and beginning of the anti-revisionist struggle, appeared in April 1977 after Mao’s death. It is worth noting that volume V was published after the death of Mao, and subsequently the English-language edition was removed from circulation.
Selections from volumes IV and V are translations from the first Chinese edition.
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse–Tung more popularly known as “The Little Red Book” appeared in the Cultural Revolution period having first been produced for the People’s Liberation Army educational programme in the early 1960s. The iconic collection of quotes, devoid of their original historical and political context, reduced the complexities and richness of Mao Tsetung thought to a Chinese classical format of quotable wisdom.
Besides Volume V of Selected Works, an English-language collection of Mao’s writing on diplomacy was produced by Foreign Language Press in 1998. This was a translation of the 1994 Chinese language edition compiled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Party Literature Research Centre. Running to 498 pages, the speeches, talks and articles are drawn from 1938-1974. A selection was made available online. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-11/06/content_7019033.htm
Other Internet Archives
Welcome to the Mao Tse-tung (Zedong) Internet Library ~ Established May 1, 1997
The Reference Writers section provides full text access to wide-ranging writers and thinkers including selections from Chinese political leaders Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Lin Biao, Peng Zhen and Deng Xiaoping. It includes the documents compiled, edited and published in 1978 under the title “Collected Works of Mao TseTung (1917-1949) by the US governments’ Joint Publication Research Service (JPRS).
In contrast to the dearth of translated material, the publication of Chinese language editions of Mao’s writings has gone on unabated. The Party Literature Research Centre of the Central Committee published the multi-volume ‘Mao Zedong Works’. The first volume appeared in 1993 on the Centenary of Mao’s birth, and Xinhua News Agency announced publication of the 8th volume in July 1999. The multi-volume work contains over 800 pieces not previously published in the Chinese edition of “Selected Works of Mao Zedong”, although only key items from 1966 onwards are included because the Cultural Revolution “launched by Chairman Mao, was a mistake of overall importance”.
US Government publishes Mao Zedong
A translation of ‘Wansui’ material was provided by the American government in Miscellany of Mao Tse-Tung Thought (1949-1968) Arlington, Virginia: Joint Publications Research Service, 20 February 1974. It was translated from a Chinese language collection brought out by Red Guards under the title Mao Tse-tung ssu-hsiang wan-sui [‘Long Live the Thought of Mao TseTung’]. There were two editions of materials, entitled Mao Tse-tung ssu-hsiang wan-sui the first in 1967 and then republished in an enlarged form in 1969. For an analysis of the differences between the two Wansui editions and a study of the writings themselves, see Richard Levy, “New Light on Mao,” The China Quarterly 61 (1975). It contained mostly unofficial transcripts of Mao’s speeches and interviews from 1960 onwards that are not represented in the official ‘Selected Works’.
In 1978, a collection of Mao’s pre-1949 writings was produced by the JPRS under the title, Collected Works of Mao Tsetung (1917-1949). These documents were compiled, edited and published by the U.S. Government’s Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) in 1978. According to JPRS, these documents are “selected speeches, articles, essays, reports, letters, interviews, declarations, decrees, telegrams, poems, (and) inscriptions of Mao Tse-tung covering a multitude of subjects.” In introductory notes, JPRS notes that “All articles signed by Mao Tse-tung, whether individually or jointly with others, are included.” Further, “all unsigned articles which have been verified as his work are also available.” Finally, JPRS indicates that “all works which have already appeared in the (Foreign Language Press) edition of Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung or Selected Readings of Mao Tse-tung’s Works are not included.”
The main contemporary source for new English language material has been repackaged in Western scholarship rather than disseminated in English by Chinese publishers. Since John Bryan Starr and Nancy Anne Dyer compiled a bibliography and index, entitled Post-Liberation works of Mao Zedong (1976), two volumes of post-liberation writings by Mao have appeared translated from Chinese sources, under the title, The Writings of Mao Zedong: 1949-1976 edited by Michael Y.M.Kau and John K Leungcovering the years 1949-1957.
An earlier published volume from Oxford University Press in 1970 was a more compact introduction that drew upon 1940s editions of Mao’s Selected Works as well as Wansui material was the Mao Papers: anthology and bibliography edited by Jerome Ch’en.
Some of Mao’s earlier work has also appeared with a study of Mao’s philosophical concerns in an English language version in Nick Knight (ed) (1990) Mao Zedong on Dialectical Materialism: Writings on Philosophy and Mao Zedong, Report from Xunwu (1930). Re-published in China in 1982, Mao’s 1930 investigative report of the rural county of Xunwu in southern China reflects detailed empirical social research undertaken by Mao, and a study from the 1940s was produced by Andrew Watson (1980) Mao Zedong and the political economy of the border region
Mao’s speeches during the early period of the Great Leap Forward have been translated in Roderick MacFarquhar, Timothy Cheek, Eugene Wu (eds) The Secret Speeches of Chairman Mao: from the Hundred Flowers to the Great Leap Forward (1989).
A collection of Mao’s critical reading comments on Soviet political economy textbooks was translated by Moss Roberts, annotated by Richard Levy and with an Introduction by James Peck and published as A Critique of Soviet Economics (1977). Drawn from unauthorized material that circulated in China during the Cultural Revolution, Mao’s talk on Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR was probably given at the Chengchou Conference in November 1958, while his written critique was done in 1959. http://www.marx2mao.com/Mao/CSE58.html
Prominent among English-language treatment of Mao’s career is the work of Professor Stuart Schram. He has consistently explored Mao writings through his studies presenting the development of Mao’s political thinking in relation to the situation in China and the changing conditions in the course of the struggles in which Mao was engaged. Mao Zedong Thought, not as an immutable truth, has been presented to an English reading audience in Stuart Schram’s various publications.
UK publishers Penguin published The Political Thought of Mao Tse-Tung, first published in 1963 by Frederick A.Praeger, in paperback in an enlarged revised edition in 1969. A political biography, Mao Tse-Tung, was published by Penguin in 1966, and is still in print. Mao Tse-tung Unrehearsed: talks and letters, 1956-1971 (Penguin 1974) drew upon material unofficially compiled and collected in the Wansi collections made available through Red Guard sources during the Cultural Revolution.
Professor Schram initially led a project to publish the collected works of Mao Zedong. Under the series title, Mao’s Road To Power, Revolutionary writings 1912-1949 (New York: M.E.Sharpe) (so far seven volumes published). The analyses of Schram which stressed Mao’s early immersion in Chinese classical literature, drawing upon Mao’s numerous allusions to these in his talks and writings, developed the notion that Mao’s political philosophy, steeped in Chinese tradition, and his political practice, not least leading a successful peasant-based revolution, was substantially different from orthodox Marxism as sanctioned in the Soviet Union.
In Mao studies a group of radical academics (Richard Pfeffer, Andrew Walder and Mark Selden) engaged in scholarly dispute with the non-Marxist Sinologists Stuart Schram and Benjamin Schwartz in the journal of Modern China 1976/1977 to challenge this evaluation as being based on a rigid understanding of what constituted Maoist canon.
Paul Healy and Nick Knight offer an alternative, Marxist-orientated perspective in studying Mao’s career compared to the atheoretical textual attention of Professor Schram in the volume edited with Arif Dirlik (1997) Critical perspectives on Mao Zedong’s Thought
The radical argument drew upon Mao’s clearly self-professed allegiance to Marxism, drawing upon the anti-authoritarianism of the Cultural Revolution period as well as the earlier Yenan writings of Mao that resonated with the Marx of ‘German Ideology’ and the (then) newly emerging body of writings by the early Marx, in particular ‘Grundrisse’. Maoist-inclined intellectuals e.g. David Fernbach and Martin Nicolas provided many of the translations of these works. Mao’s criticism of ’Soviet revisionism’ and articulation of a generative class thesis under socialist state structures drew support from those attracted to an alternative vision from that provided by a Soviet Union that seemed little different from its Cold War adversaries.
SOME INTREPREATIVE SOURCES
Cheek, Timothy (2010) A Critical Introduction to Mao. Cambridge University Press
Cook, Alexander C. (2014) Mao’s Little Red Book: A Global History Cambridge University Press
When the Albanian state media trumpeted the formation of the GDR Section of the Communist Party of Germany/ Marxist-Leninist: Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands/Marxisten-Leninisten Albania Today No 2 (27) 1976 declared, it “a victory for the German working class”. The KPD/ML celebrated in Dortmund on March 7 1976 with a rally of 2,300 people to celebrate this historic event.
The KPD/ML declared,
“The time is long since been ripe, even in the DDR to take to build a new Marxist-Leninist party of the working class, the SED irrevocably a party of revisionist treason, degenerated into a bourgeois, social-fascist party. Long has the former workers ‘and peasants’ state became a capitalist country where the working class and all working people are exploited and oppressed. This is the work of revisionist traitors from Schlage Ulbricht and Honecker and their Moscow overlords like Khrushchev, Brezhnev and consorts. Today there is in the DDR the social fascist dictatorship of a new bourgeoisie. Only by a new violent socialist revolution we can smash fascist rule of Honecker clique that is a vassal of the Russian social-imperialism, and build again the rule of the working class in alliance with the peasants and other working people, the dictatorship of the proletariat. ” Ten years of struggle for a united, independent, socialist Germany – 1968/69 to 1978/79 – Ten years KPD / ML (1979)
More is known more about the clandestine activity of the German Maoist KPD / ML under the revisionist regime of the DDR than other anti-revisionists resistance as it is the most documented episode. There is as partial record with publicity given to it by the KPD/ML itself in its newspaper Roter Morgen and the memoirs of Herbert Polifka , a member of the DDR Section of the KPD / ML entitled “Die unbekannte Opposition in der DDR.Zur Geschichte der illegalen Sektion DDR der Kommunistischen Partei Deutschlands” [The unknown opposition in the GDR. The history of illegal section in the DDR, the Communist Party of Germany].
Communist resistance within the DDR, more commonly referred to as East Germany, can also be seen in the prism of the dossiers of the MFs [Ministry of State security] the colloquially known, Stasis. The research in the archives of the State Security service of the German Democratic Republic by Tobias Wunschik produced “The KPD / ML Maoists and the destruction of their section in the GDR by the Ministry of State Security.” Here is an archive account of the activities of the “East” Section of the KPD/ML that so annoyed the revisionist leadership that it initiated plans for the destruction and liquidation of both the East Section and its western counterpart, that are supplemented by the account of one-time east section member, Herbert Polifka, although some of his assertions were questioned by former comrades. His article “New Revelations about the Activities and Destruction of the GDR Section of the Communist Party of Germany/Marxist-Leninist (KPD/ML)”, online at Revolutionary Democracy Vol. V, No. 1, April 1999 http://revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv5n1/gdrkpd.htm and Part two available in Unity and Struggle magazine no.7April 2000. (Originally these revelations were carried in three articles published in Roter Morgen No.24 December 24, 1997, No.1 January 21 1998 and No.2 February 5 1998.)
The KPD/ML had been founded on December 31, 1968 in the Federal Republic of Germany and its ideological foundation was Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. Founded by the anti-revisionist Maoist opposition within the underground KPD, rather than emerging out of the student movement, it was led by Ernst Aust (1923-1985) , publisher and KPD editor , “Mao’s man in Hamburg”, as the “Frankfurter Rundschau” called him. In the late 70s the KPD/ML aligned itself with the dogmatic-revisionist theses of the Albanian leader Hoxha, until it dissolved in 1986 for the majority to merge with a Trotskyist group, the International Marxist Group (GIM) to form the VSP/ United Socialist party. Various individuals of the old KPD/ML established an internet presence to preserve the politics of the KPD/ML such as those maintained online by Wolfgang Eggers at Ernst Aust Archiv – Communist International (Stalinist-Hoxhaists).
The KPD/ML Anti-Revisionist Struggle in East Germany 1976-1982
The announcement of the establishment of a section of the KPD/ML in East Germany in the pages of Roter Morgen in February 1976 gave publicity to the clandestine activity of the German Maoist KPD / ML under the revisionist regime of the DDR.
The existence of dissident Marxists within the obstentially “socialist” East Germany was not a sudden overnight bloom but the culmination of a history of autonomous struggles against the disconnect between the state’s propaganda claims and the lived reality of its citizens. The core of the DDR section had emerged within the DDR itself. There were many who questioned “existing socialism” from the Left.
In the early 70s, some students in grades 11 and 12, an Extended High School (Erweiterte Oberschule; EOS) in Berlin came together to study the texts of the classical authors of Marxism-Leninism . They were not alone in the GDR doing this in that period.
Other interested persons among their friends and family joined them, which, with the passage of time, saw the existence of a small group consisting of employees and students circle .Reading the basic texts of the Marxist-Leninist social theory, they increasingly came to the conclusion that there was a wide gap between theory and practice under the `existing socialism’.
In Magdeburg, during 1969-1970, pupils, students and apprentices met to form the Progressive Youth (Progressive Jugend) (formerly Comune 13) Alongside the classical authors of Marxism-Leninism, various forbidden texts (of Mao, Stalin, the Black Panthers, etc.) were read by the youth group, whose activities extended throughout the DDR and which involved a hundred young people.
After the disintegration and liquidation of Progressive Youth, in 1976 the “hard core” of Progressive Youth formed a cell of the KPD / ML [German Communist Party / Marxist-Leninist].
Also in Rostock, an independent circle of students with a similar political orientation was created. Interested in further ideological inspiration, many of these circles themselves made contact with different organizations of the left in West Berlin and the Albanian embassy in East Berlin.
With young people, who were the majority within the section of the DDR, there were a sprinkling of older KPD comrades in the struggle. For example, Comrade Heinz Reiche (`Grandpa Reiche’), who had spent 11 years in prisons and Nazi concentration camps, took part in the activities in Weisswasser (a small town south of Cottbus). Heinz Reiche had previously come into conflict with the SED in the 1950s.
Over the next few years [after 1970] the KPD / ML succeeded in winning supporters and organizing them into cells of the Party in the DDR. These cells were inspired by the cell system operated by the illegal KPD (German Communist Party) during the Nazi dictatorship. According to figures based on research of Stasi files, Wunschik estimated the total number of militants or supporters of the KPD / ML in the GDR amounted to around three dozen. In addition there were about 50 to 60 supporters who were in personal contact with this group.
They call Walter Ulbricht a "traitor" and the ruling SED a "clique"
What the “east section” represented was a concerted effort of “illegal communists” operating clandestine cell structures engaged in the agitational activities and distribution of propaganda leaflets, posters and underground newspapers, both its own and the Polish-language Red Flag of the neighbouring illegal KPP / the Kazimierz Mijal led Communist Party of Poland to the Polish workers who worked occasionally in East Germany. In its internationalism, the “East Section” reflected the anti-revisionist politics that judged the SED’s obsequious to the state’s guarantor and “so-called “friendship with the Soviet Union” as “just a camouflage for the actual servitude to the Soviet Union by which our country suffers.”
The Founding Declaration of the DDR Section described East Germany as “a capitalist social-fascist state”, “a state in which the bourgeoisie has power, the working class and other working people are exploited and oppressed. The state as a collective capitalist manages the production for the Soviet social imperialists and the new bourgeoisie in their own country. Although the Russian Social imperialists and new bourgeois do not nominally own the farms, they get the profits from the state enterprises. The new bourgeoisie is made up of the high party and government functionaries, together with the army leadership, from bureaucrats and technocrats and top intelligentsia. It is a parasitical class living off the exploitation of the working class and toiling masses of the peasants.”
Tobias Wunschik established that the comrades of the DDR Section developed a considerable amount of propaganda activities. From 1976, numerous sheets were distributed, public buildings were painted with slogans, posters stuck on walls, lampposts, and leafleting activities of a home made type were planned and carried out by cells independently. Thus, the KPD/ML activists would intervened in the political events of the day.
A separate “DDR edition” of “Roter Morgen” was widely distributed. The voice of the Communists was distributed in the DDR either entering it in mailboxes or placing in public places (such as telephone booths, bus stops, train stations, cinemas, and hospitals) or distributing directly in the factories. This newspaper became the first opposition newspaper that regular appeared in the DDR. Stasi interrogation records notes in the course of questioning, one female participant said: “By distributing the different copies of Roter Morgen I personally saw the possibility to influence workers in a propagandistic way to gather and prepare the forces for a conscious transformation of society in the DDR.”
The East Section tried not only to self-promotion, but also tried to Information about the internal situation in the DDR. “Mood reports” of the East German Cell members were deducted for propaganda purposes anonymously in “Red Morning” prints and underpinned with precise information on supply shortages and corruption.
The East German followers of the KPD / ML developed a remarkable activity. When in January 1979 was to strengthen the DDR activities, the activists in East Berlin within ten months placed in mailboxes a total of 25 different leaflets in 547 different distribution actions
Wunschik, “Die maoistische KPD / ML und die Zerschlagung ihrer ‘Sektion DDR’ durch das MfS”
They also carried out activities in factories. Alongside propaganda actions (such as leafleting, painted slogans, etc.) trade union activities were also developed. Working within the FDGB [Free German Trade Union Federation of the DDR] offered a good opportunity to draw attention to social injustices and to mobilize partners for small actions.
The editor of the party newspaper in Dortmund created special DDR issues. They are introduced in the DDR and distributed by members. The Roter Morgen was very useful for the illegal activities of the Communists. This newspaper, published on thin paper, was introduced illegally in the DDR. Between 1977 and 1984 it was published four times a year.
One cell [City] `Cottbus’ smuggled 3,000 copies of the “DDR edition” of Roter Morgen , various internal materials of the Party, apparatus for home printing on a mimeograph machine, a typewriter, a 35mm camera , printing ink and ink pads : the train D 359 (Munich – Nuremberg – Berlin) was especially preferred to introduce the materials. In such cases, the leaflets were delivered through packages that were thrown off the train at a certain point, an action that was planned beforehand accurately. When materials are brought by car, transportation is almost always done with the help of a specially prepared fire extinguisher in the vehicle.
Herbert Polika illustrates the traffic of illegal material smuggled in and distributed,
The ‘Magdeburg’ cell in which I was active was a pioneer in this field. For instance, it distributed 200 copies of ‘The Khrushchevites’, 250 copies of ‘Imperialism and the Revolution’, about 60 copies of ‘Reflections on China’ (volumes 1 and 2), thousands of pamphlets on the fight against the modern revisionists, etc. Also, important foreign language documents were sent to different revisionist states (such as Poland, Romania, Soviet Union, Cuba, Hungary, Bulgaria). Internationalism rated very highly: comrades of the DDR Section also distributed the Czerwony Sztandar [Red Flag], organ of the illegal Communist Party of Poland. This newspaper, also printed on thin paper, was both sent into Poland and given to Polish citizens who worked in the DDR. At various Magdeburg construction sites, the Czerwony Sztandar was found over and over again. Donations were illegally brought into Poland to support the striking colleagues there. Russian language publications were left in newsstands of the Soviet army.
see: New Revelations about the Activities and Destruction of the GDR Section of the Communist Party of Germany/Marxist-Leninist (KPD/ML)
*** In challenging the ruling SED, the KPD/ML were challenging both the division of Germany, obstreperous in rhetoric to the claimed right of both states to represent the nation, and waging a low intensity struggle in opposition to the class rule of the bourgeoisie and their revisionist counter-parts. It was an unequal fight. The counter measures employed by the East German state saw infiltration by informers: The State Security succeeded to build a nearly complete monitoring of the groups. For example, one of Berlin’s cells is a pure Stasi product consisting of two IM members. This construct is used only to collect KPD/ML propaganda material.
Thomas Wunschik details the extensive security operation launched against the East section, a familiar litany of Stasi abuses and harassments of partners and families. The attempts to spread dissent and distrust to paralyses the East section, threats and illegal detentions, arrest, interrogations are recorded in the archives.
The destruction of the “east section” of the KPD/ML through the wave of Stasis arrests in 1980 was partial; it did stem the momentum of development yet the disruption activities of the state authorities continued throughout the following five years, not least in the 1982/84 hunt for an illegal and portable FM radio station, Radio Roter Stachel operating from West Berlin.
While many East section members were taken into custody and subject to Stasi questioning eventually two leading activists were sentenced to eight years imprisonment and were exiled to the West after five and a half years.
Internally, supporters and sympathisers were taken in, detained and interrogated, externally large scale travel obstruction and border searches were implement to break communication with the KPD/ML with East German authorities refusing entry to 357 West Germans suspected KPD/ML activists.
Sympathetic protest actions trying to draw attention to the plight of their comrades was organised by the KPD/ML: In the fall of 1981 the magazine “Stern” published pictures of four supporters who were chained at the Alexanderplatz in East Berlin (Stern Nr. 49/1981). They were arrested immediately. Two days after their arrest, they were sentenced to six months in prison and expelled from the DDR.
As part of the campaign for the release of imprisoned sympathisers, KPD/ML organised dropping leaflets by balloons into East Germany, presenting petitions for release, staging hunger strikes at border check points and blocking motorways.
Thomas Wunschik notes that in addition to the fear of public protests of the KPD / ML in the West, the main concern of Stasi was that the Aust-party would build a “Section East” again. It was not until 1986, after the KPD/ML’s own political disintegration in West Germany, that the surveillance operation was virtually ended. Why was the State security stronger than previously endeavour after the destruction in 1981? To prevent all the initiatives of the KPD / ML in East Germany from developing once more.
After Mao’s death in September 1976, the KPD/ML distanced herself first cautiously, from the summer of 1977 and more clearly from the “Right deviation” of the Chinese Communists, and eventually in 1978 ”fully and irrevocably” rallied to the open struggle against Chinese revisionism, as new variant of modern revisionism and denounced Maoism in support of Enver Hoxha’s Party of Labour of Albania.
Previously the term “Maoist” from a formal point of view had been applied to those parties and organizations in the debate in the international communist movement of the sixties taking the side of (what was regarded as) the apparent head of the Marxist-Leninist wing, the Communist Party of China led by Mao Zedong. A brief review of the history of the KPD / ML would record that the KPD/ML had better relations and contact with the Albanian party than the Communist Party in China, consequentially there was a “lean to one side” within their relationship. In 1974 Ernst Aust the founder-leaders of the West-KPD / ML, had been officially received by Hoxha on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the liberation of Albania. Hoxha recognizes Aust as the “leader of the Albanian oriented German proletariat” and declared his party even for fraternal party.
The Albanians, through its embassy maintained contact with the clandestine communists, supplied them with materials for their activities with copies of the books of Enver Hoxha and the German edition of the magazine “New Albania”. According to Polifka, who knew first hand, the activities of the “East section”, hundreds of copies of work by Enver Hoxha were smuggled in and distributed. Among the activities of the “East section” was promotion through leaflets advertising the broadcasting schedule of of Radio Tirana which carried reports that denounced the treachery and oppression in the revisionist DDR. There are sometimes personal contacts of individuals to embassy staff that are maintained either through visits to the embassy or other places, such as the Leipzig Trade Fair.
When, in the second half of the 1970s a rift between the PTA and the CCP occurred, the KPD / ML was aligned with the Albanian position. The position was that Albania led by Hoxha remain as the last “bastion” of the socialist idea. Indeed, Polifka suggests that the Stasi tried to use the ideological dispute to disrupt the “East section”:
“With the help of IMs [unofficial Stasi collaborators, informers], feelings of uncertainty were created in ideological issues in cells. For example, the IM Niehueser made harsh attacks against the Party of Labour of Albania (PTA), defending Maoism. His Maoist positions, however, were rejected. In addition, in the DDR the dispute with Maoism was less problematic than in the West. ”
After 1978 Hoxha tries to establish a new “Communist International” with the communist factions in various countries. The KPD/ML led by Augst was a leading European advocate of this Albanian orientation. In June 1978 the party had explained:
It decided firstly that Mao Tse-tung, contrary to the previous opinion of the party, cannot be regarded as classics of Marxism-Leninism because his teaching is contrary to fundamental questions against the Marxist-Leninist principles. This decision of the Central Committee, which was taken after a thorough discussion in the entire party will be published in “Red Morning” and explained in the theoretical organ “The Way of the Party” in detail.
The Decision of the Central Committee , published in “Red Morning” , initially explained : “Since the establishment of our party we have considered Mao Zedong amongst the classics of Marxism-Leninism.
Since August 1968 even before the founding of the party, the emblem with the heads of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong in the banner title of “Red Morning”. This was done under the influence of the Cultural Revolution in China and documented our hostility to modern revisionism. Then, as later, our party did not recognize the serious errors and discrepancies contained in the teachings of Mao Tse-tung. “In the following highlights three important issues that Mao Tse-tung in theory and practice principle of Marxism-Leninism departed: on the question of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, in Mao Tse-tung to the “co-existence in the long run” against the bourgeoisie pursued; in the question of the struggle against revisionism, in Mao Tse tung has taken a vacillating attitude not only against the Tito-revisionism, but also against the Soviet revisionism;. on the issue of counter-revolutionary “theory of the three ranges,” for their development of Mao Tse-tung’s responsible and he has enjoy political support ” These serious deviations from Mao Tse-tung “, according to the decision,” make it clear that he is not a classic of Marxism-Leninism “to conclude:”. An overall assessment of the work of Mao Tse-tung has judged mainly after are actually achieved the successes in terms of the construction of socialism in the PRC under his leadership or not has been made and the context in which today’s revisionist history of the CPC and the PRC with the work of Mao Zedong stands. ”
“Ten years of struggle for a united, independent, socialist Germany – 1968/69 to 1978/79 – Ten years KPD / ML” (1979)
– Polifka Herbert , “Die unbekannte Opposition in der DDR.Zur Geschichte der illegalen Sektion DDR der Kommunistischen Partei Deutschlands” [The unknown opposition in the GDR. The history of illegal section in the GDR the Communist Party of Germany].
The book and its three appendices with documents, in German, can be downloaded using the following links:
– Tobias Wunschik “Die maoistische KPD / ML und die Zerschlagung ihrer ‘Sektion DDR’ durch das MfS” [The Maoist KPD / ML and the destruction of their section in the GDR by the Ministry of State Security] can be download, in German, here:
Website project on the German extra-parliamentary opposition in the 1960s relating to the Maoist organizations (or ‘K-Gruppen’ as they were known in Germany, referring to the fact that they all began with the letter ‘K’) The project has the full set of back issues of Roter Morgen, the newspaper of the KPD/ML from during the Cultural Revolution.
The acrimonious Sino-Soviet split did have ramifications for Eastern European parties however the dimensions or the organizational strength of the opposition to the official line interpretation “in accordance with the new historical conditions” laid down by the CPSU, should not be overestimated amidst the stress and tension within the individual parties. This posting provides an introductory survey to little known occurrence of East European Communist dissidents, these episodes, looking at the appearance of anti-revisionist groupings, reflect a sporadic , and often individual response against the dominant power structure and ideological hegemony in Eastern Europe.
There is not much evidence that China went to work trying to foster pro-China faction within the East European countries; in the only example of another anti-revisionist party created out of the existing ruling party it was the Albanian support that was decisive. The Chinese informed the Party of Labour that “it knew nothing” about the formation of the KPP/ Communist Party of Poland, that :
It had not been informed by the Polish Marxist comrades, but also that it did not maintain secret links with them and did not help them apart from the open stand in its press about the struggle against revisionism.” Enver Hoxha, Reflections On China I (1962—1972) The «8 Nentori» Publishing House1979 p218
Norwegian Maoist, one-time International Secretary of the AKP (ML), Tron Øgrim (1947 – 2007) recalled, on the subject of illegal Marxist-Leninist parties in the revisionist “Eastern Bloc”, that “in ALL the former eastern states (as well as the western) there were Chinese supporters in the “old parties” down to the “individual, personal” ones. We met such people round in Norway when we expanded the AKP(m-l) everywhere during the 60s – people who had just dropped out on an individual basis in sympathy to the Chinese line during the early 60s.”
It was true that only one party recognised and publicised by both Albanian and Chinese parties was the CPP of Mijhal, although Tron Øgrim internet gossiping said: “In Romania I heard about a secret “Maoist” faction existing for some time inside the Ceausescu party, never heard any name for it.” (Internet posting June 8, 2005)
The SOVIET UNION
Opposition to Khrushchev within the Communist Party was clearly evident through the purge of leading members and throughout the party. However the extent this was then manifest in organised political opposition adopting a strategy to challenge revisionist rule was difficult to gauge. The most widespread of political statements purports to have originated in the Soviet Union was the “Programmatic proclamation of the Soviet Revolutionary Communists (Bolsheviks)”. Various language editions of this pamphlet was produced and circulated within the Maoist movement, and it represented an anti-revisionist platform attacking the revisionist ruling clique.
The best known of Eastern Europe’s dissident “Chinese Faction” was Kazimierz Mijal (1910- 2010) founder-leader of the Polish opposition group calling itself the Communist Party of Poland. This brief treatment is a marker for a more extensive documented exploration of anti-revisionism in Poland, which can be found at https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/poland/index.htm providing party articles and autobiographical material on Mijal’s long political career.
Kazimierz Mijal illegally left Poland holding an Albanian passport and then onto exile in Tirana. The oppositionist underground Komunistyczna Partia Polski / Communist Party of Poland was the most publicised of the Marxist-Leninist forces operating in the revisionist countries, supported clandestine by Albanian aid in production and distribution of its printed journal Red Flag and via the Polish language broadcasts of Radio Tirana. Mijal went to China, where he was well received. In 1966, the leader of that party, Kazimierz Mijal was received in Beijing by Chairman Mao on December 21, 1966. He went there twice. The second time he was there was 1975; again there was a picture in Remin Ribao received by Kang Sheng and Geng Biao and some other leaders. During the Albanian China split, Mijal sided with China. So in 1978 he fled to China under threats to his life from Hoxha (according to himself). He went from China and illegally entered Poland, where he was arrested during the 80s after living there illegally for some time. The Communist Party of Poland had faded from the political scene however in the 1980s the organization Polish Association of the Defense of the Proletariat / Stowarzyszenie Obrony Proletariatu was considered to be supporters of ideas of Kazimierz Mijal. The Polish Party of the Working Class – Initiative Group/ Polska Partia Klasy Robotniczej – Grupa Inicjatywna posted some of Mijal’s articles on their website.
DDR: German Democratic Republic
For some East Germans, the Chinese example reflected back their own state’s digression from the path of both independence and communist tradition. There was respect for China’s independent-mindedness but political sympathy for the Chinese was especially strong among the group known as the ‘old comrades’ (alte Genossen), that is, people who had joined the German Communist Party (KPD) in the 1920s. A series of East Germans were expelled from the SED around the time of the Sino–Soviet Split in 1963 for siding with the Chinese against the Soviets.
Outside of Albania obvious signs sympathetic to the anti-revisionist line were often only oblique observed : in Hungary the indication of dissent was evident when the ruling Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party journal “Tarsadalmi Szemle” accused some Hungarian Communists of being unable to understand that in the present era “war is not fatally inevitable, that the forces of socialism are capable of preventing the outbreak of a world war and local wars and that on the international level the struggle against imperialism is the main front of the class struggle.”
Rumours would occasional surface in western press accounts as that of the mysterious unsubstantiated “pro-Chinese faction” in Bulgaria. The faction was exposed by the Bulgarian counter-intelligence service and between 28 March and 12 April 1965 most of the plotters were arrested under an operation called “Fools” (Duraci – from the Russian).
The more frequent evidence of sympathy with the anti-revisionist position were individual expressions of general political support so a regular feature on Albanian’s state broadcaster was news from parties supporting the international and domestic line of the Party of Labor of Albania, and letters from listeners were also broadcast as evidence of international wide support for anti-revisionist communism. Even the slimmest evidence of support would be used to bolster the analysis of seething unrest in the revisionist-ruled east European states. So on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the proclamation of the People’s Republic of Albania, greetings from MARXIST – LENINISTS IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA was broadcast on Radio Tirana [January 16, 1976] that proclaimed:
“The Czechoslovakian people welcome the achievements of the Albanian people, welcome the construction of its beautiful socialist father-land. The Czechoslovakian Marxist-Leninists, the genuine friends of the Albanian people and the Czechoslovakian working class, look at Albania respectfully, at this banner of freedom and socialism in Europe, this banner of struggle against imperialism, social-imperialism and reaction.”
In a re-broadcast letter, which the Czechoslovakian listeners sent to Radio Tirana, there were expressions of solidarity and sympathy: a suggestion of both support for the anti-revisionist line and reassurance that they were not alone listening to the radio.
“We must admire the revolutionary resoluteness and the efforts of the work, with which the Albanian people started working for the construction in Albania – with the aim to develop and strengthen the future socialist society.”
NEXT TIME >>>>>> The Communist Resistance in East Germany
When the Albanian state media trumpeted the formation of the GDR Section of the Communist Party of Germany/ Marxist-Leninist: Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands/Marxisten-Leninisten, Albania Today declared, it “a victory for the German working class”
We know more about the clandestine activity of the German Maoist KPD / ML under the revisionist regime of the DDR as the most documented episode because of the publicity given to it by the KPD/ML led by Ernst Aust upon its formation in Roter Morgen , the memoir of Herbert Polifka , a member of the DDR Section of the KPD / ML who published a book on the subject entitled “Die unbekannte Opposition in der DDR.Zur Geschichte der illegalen Sektion DDR der Kommunistischen Partei Deutschlands” [The unknown opposition in the GDR. The history of illegal section in the GDR the Communist Party of Germany], and the research by Tobias Wunschik, “The KPD / ML Maoists and the destruction of their section in the GDR by the Ministry of State Security.”
It is complicated, and a far from comprehensive treatment of the broad issue that follows looks at some aspects of the anti-revisionist responses that were intertwined with consideration of the dominant leader in the era of building socialism in the Soviet Union.
Khrushchev’s evaluation of the Soviet era, broadly contained in reports to the 20th and 22nd Congress of the CPSU, contained a mixture of contemporary strategic considerations and historic judgements. The contentious question of Stalin, discussed under the rubric of “Cult of personality” evoke a variety of responses throughout the international movement.
As the struggle unfolded in the different arenas following the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956, it became clearer that the lines of demarcation drawn by the parties in the international communist movement were not simply disagreements or the case of different perspectives based on divergent national experiences; within the Soviet leadership, nurtured under Stalin, there was a body of ideas and policies that formed an assault on what had gone before. A critical engagement with the Soviet past became politically impossible given the nature of judgements unleashed by Khrushchev’s relentless condemnation of his dead leader. A blanket defence, without relinquishing points to one’s opponents, saw sharp polemic lines emerge in both the arguments around de-stalinisation and the course of the international communist parties. The tensions simmered within the movement, and the eventual split that emerged around 1963 marked an ideological watershed that subsequently is treated inconsequently, simply as a matter of history, ………………
Made without warning or consultation with other parties, Khrushchev’s attack on Stalin in secret session, saw a well documented Albanian and Chinese opposition emerge. 
When the Chinese leadership published a Second Comment on the Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU, although it repeated some previous positions, there were less nuances in the best known editorials of Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) and Hongqi (Red Flag), of September 13, 1963, On The Question of Stalin.
In contrast to the creative engagement of the Chinese leadership with the issues unleashed by the 20th Congress of the CPSU, the Russian leadership seem to be denying there were any lessons to be learnt from the Stalin era, others within the international camp – and not just the Chinese – were asking how much of the Soviet experience and of the Soviet model was universally valid and how much was a historical peculiarity that need not be repeated elsewhere?
Stalin’s service to the cause is actually well documented by his modern day defenders and in some case proves to be an obsessive attempt to prove every besmirch allegation upon him a falsehood. Their balanced assessment always seems to come down in his favour. A local example is when, in London, in 1991, the Stalin Society-UK was formed as an organization whose stated goal was to refute anti- communist and anti-Stalin libels and slanders through rigorous scholarly research and vigorous debate.
Following the fall of the Communist government in Albania in 1991 there were those who re-evaluated the historical experience coming to varying and contradictory conclusions.
The Danish Marxist-Leninist leader Klaus Riis used a letter to Revolutionary Democracy to argue that comrades were:
“mistaken, when you state, that the struggle against Soviet revisionism on the part of Comrade Enver and the Party of Labour did not start until 1960. It is true that it did not reach its full scope before that time, that it was indirect, and often hidden by criticism of titoism and the revisionist rapprochement with titoite Yugoslavia. The PLA later stated that in this period not everything was clear to them, and that they had hopes that the Soviet leadership would mend its ways. I think, though, that Comrade Enver’s report On the International Situation and the Tasks of the Party, published in the Zeri i Popullit of February 17th 1957, must be considered a major document in the struggle against the revisionist line of the 20th Congress. In retrospect I do not think that the stand of the PLA at the Moscow meeting, including signing the joint document of 81 parties, that indeed praise the 20th Congress, is to be reproached in any way. Later on, maoism was unmasked. From Comrade Enver’s Political Diary, his Reflections on China, you can see the protracted process of solving the Chinese enigma, as he called it.”
Long-time allies in New Zealand came to a surprising conclusion: “Enver Hoxha had been an incomplete Marxist”
The 7th Congress set the ideological framework in its criticism, and the emphasis placed by the Albanian PLA was on an appeal to the teleological messianic goal of ‘socialist revolution’ that appeal to the worldview of some. In return, those inspired engaged in sharp ideological monologues: there was an ideological price to pay – initially, criticism of China’s strategic foreign policy, and then rejecting Mao all together.
This theme was repeated as veiled polemics, implicitly directed at China, surfaced in the first half of 1977 in a flurry of meetings that attracted a host of foreign delegations at a succession of pro-Albanian rallies occurring in Europe and Latin America. KPD/ML leader Ernst Aust, in February 1977, at the first in a series of’ Internationalist’ rallies, affirming the 7th Congress Report as “a true Marxist-Leninist document because it affirms the correct principles of Marx, Lenin and Stalin which sweep aside all deviating and opportunist trash”
In light of the previously expressed judgement that “the Socialist camp had ceased to exist” (at the 10th CPC Congress in 1973), China’s inauguration of ‘Three World Theory’ was less a reconceptualisation of foreign policy on less ideologically based categories (i.e. class nature), and more a reapplication of tried and tested alliance-building strategies regardless of ideological affinity.
The genealogy of ‘The Three Worlds Theory’ suggests continuity in Communist China’s multi-polar conceptualisation of the world. There was a revival of the category of ‘intermediate zone’: the emphasis on Europe was not simply as an arena of confrontation, between the two superpowers with European states as accomplices of US imperialism, but subject to superpower domination. With the Soviet Union identified as an imperialist state, then the state-to-state relations with its “satellites” could be “cultivating outposts of resistance in the Soviet background” mirroring relations with Western European states in their alliance with the USA (Xiaoyuan 2004).
Mao’s comments to President Kaunda of Zambia saw a world system comprising of two superpowers (First World) developed industrialized nations forming a Second World, who exploited the developing countries but were also in turn exploited and bullied by the two superpowers. The Third World, consisting of the developing nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America, was exploited and oppressed by both.