De som bekänner sig till kommunismen och vill smutskasta Mao tar gärna fram de argument som albanen Enver Hoxa använde efter Maos död. Men varför skall vi bry oss om detta? Därför att Maos idéer om hur kommunisterna kan utveckla revolutionen både före och efter ett maktövertagande visar en väg framåt. Om Hoxas föreställningar får dominera så blir den kommunistiska rörelsen låst i reformism och idealism (ja det var Hoxa som var idealist). Bilden till denna artikel syftar på Hoxas föreställning om det monolitiska partiet vilket i praktiken leder till att motsättningar inom partiet löses med administrativa åtgärder istället för ideologisk kamp.
En påminnelse om vad som hände
När Sovjetunionen klassmässigt övergick till kapitalisterna i mitten av 50-talet så ändrades landets politiska linje till en starkt reformistisk anti-klasskampslinje. Kommunisterna i Kina och Albanien var tidigt ute och kritiserade detta. När de krafter som representerade kapitalismen tog över också i Kina 1976 så var det många kommunister runt om i världen som började fokusera på Albanien som en förebild. Att göra detta var dock ett fruktansvärt misstag. Ledaren i Albanien, Enver Hoxa, var nämligen en osedvanligt oärlig revisionist vars anti-revolutionära och idealistiska föreställningar lever vidare och skadar fortfarande den kommunistiska rörelsen i Sverige. I slutet på 70-talet började Hoxa angripa Mao i sina skrifter men inte främst genom att kritisera vad Mao faktiskt hade skrivit eller sagt utan genom att tillskriva Mao det som revisionisterna i Kina förde fram efter hans död. Det är därför de som idag i kommunismens namn angriper Mao i Sverige inte gärna citerar Mao. Det är lättast så. Författaren till artikeln nedan var med när det begav sig. Han var t.ex. med på albanernas kongress 76. För er som inte läser hela artikeln så ligger det först några citat:
“Enver Hoxha is trying to trace the origins of the revisionism of the present Chinese leadership back to Mao. He seems to ignore the fact that Teng Hsiao-ping has reversed all the correct decisions of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and is seeking to erase the entire period of Mao’s leadership of the Chinese Party as a bad dream.”
“One of the most serious political charges made by Enver Hoxha against Mao is that the latter had repudiated the Marxist conception of the leading role of the proletariat in the revolution, and instead, assigned that role to the peasantry. This is both an incorrect and unsubstantiable charge which can be easily answered. Throughout his theoretical writings Mao has always stressed the leading role of the proletariat and has referred to the peasantry as the main force. He has never deviated from this position.”
“Thus we vehemently repudiate the thesis that the anti-Marxist-Leninist Theory of the Three Worlds was a product of Mao Tsetung Thought. There is no evidence whatever to support such a possibility. Comrade Mao Tsetung is a leader who has expressed his point of view on almost all conceivable subjects that came within his purview. The fact that the apologists for the Theory of the Three Worlds cannot dig up a single quotation from Mao in support of this absurd theory is sufficient proof …The favourite technique used by Enver Hoxha, right throughout his book, is to attribute to Mao views that are not his and then to proceed to demolish them. This is a most dishonest method of debate.”
“Albanians would now have us believe that Mao was always pro-American, or that he shifted his positions continuously. … he characterised U.S. imperialism as the main enemy which had to be defeated before China could be liberated. And, defeat it he did!”
“Using the influence of their State power, they subverted a number of undoubtedly revolutionary forces into the false position of opposing Mao Tsetung Thought and led them into the political wilderness where they are floundering. Why did the Albanian Party do this! This will probably remain an enigma. But the magnitude of their treason can only be understood if one realises the magnificent potential that existed in 1977 and that was not tapped because of the disruption by the Albanian Party.”
Enver Hoxha Refuted
by N. Sanmugathasan, General Secretary, Ceylon Communist Party
From its very origin, Marxism has been internationalist in its form and content. That is why Marx and Engels ended their famous Communist Manifesto in 1848 with the stirring call: ‘Workers of the World, Unite!’ They also went on to give organisational form to this concept by forming the International Working Men’s Association, which has come to be known as the First International. It was this organisation that was responsible for spreading the seeds of Marxism among the advanced workers of Europe and North America.
When the heavy hand of repression fell on Europe, after the defeat of the Paris Commune in 1871, and made impossible the functioning of the International from Europe, its headquarters was shifted to North America, where it died a natural death. After the death of Marx, the Second International was formed under the leadership of Engels. This was the period of the emergence of the mass socialist and labour parties in Europe many of whom exist to this day.
Engels did not live to see its degeneration to bourgeois opportunism at the beginning of the First World War. Lenin waged a titanic struggle against the revisionist leaders of the Second International, Kautsky and Bernstein, who had now claimed the mantle of Marx and Engels as leaders of the strongest social democratic party that of Germany.
The success of the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 and the end of the First World War completed the exposure of the opportunism of the leadership of the Second International. Lenin painstakingly gathered together what was good in the old International and in 1919, in Moscow, was formed his Third International, which, despite many shortcomings and mistakes, was to play the historical role in establishing mass communist parties in most parts of the world. Certain compromises forced on it by various reasons—mainly, the need to facilitate the entry of local communist parties into national anti-fascist coalitions which included even non-proletarian forces led to its dissolution in 1943.
The correctness and wisdom of this decision continues to be a source of controversy. What is perhaps more difficult to understand is the failure to re-establish the unity of the international communist movement in an organisational form at the end of the Second World War. It is true that the Cominform played a role as a centre for a brief period. But it was not an international body, and its role was limited.
The death of Stalin and the usurpations of power by the Khrushchovite revisionists in the Soviet Party and State struck a deadly blow at the monolithic unity of the international communist movement which had been built up under Stalin. Besides, the ideological rift between Marxism-Leninism and Modern Revisionism completely sundered both the organisational and ideological unity of the international communist movement. New Marxist-Leninist parties that repudiated Khrushchovite revisionism sprung up everywhere. They looked for leadership to the glorious Communist Party of China, led by Comrade Mao Tsetung, which had remained steadfast in its defence of Marxism-Leninism and had launched polemical battles in its defence.
Perhaps this was the most opportune time to revive the Communist International. But the opportunity was not taken. The leaders of the Chinese Communist Party seem to have considered that the time was not yet ripe for such a venture, and confined themselves to bilateral exchanges between parties. Their later practice of recognising more than one party in a country as Marxist-Leninist did not help unity of Marxist-Leninist forces on the national level. Instead, it proved to be divisive. For its part, the Party of Labour of Albania recognised only one party in a country as Marxist-Leninist. But it had no clear-cut or principled norms.
The only opportunity that delegates from Marxist-Leninist parties and groups got to meet each other was at national congresses of the Parties of China and Albania. In respect to China, that opportunity, too, ceased with the 9th Congress, when the Chinese Communist Party ceased its practice of inviting fraternal delegates from other parties to its congress. It also discontinued the practice of sending its delegates to Congresses of other fraternal parties. No official explanation has been given for these actions.
Perhaps, the absence of an international forum for Marxist-Leninists was felt most when, immediately following the death of Mao, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party slid into the slime of modern revisionism and put forward the utterly revisionist theory of the ‘Three Worlds’ as a strategic weapon for the international communist movement.
Undoubtedly, a large number of Marxist-Leninist parties and groups—and, foremost, the Party of Labour of Albania—came forward to denounce the revisionist theory of the Three Worlds. But, instead of uniting these forces firmly and posing a formidable front to both Soviet and Chinese revisionism, the Party of Labour of Albania further disunited these forces by dragging still further in the mud the flag of Mao Tsetung Thought, which had been flung into the mud by the Chinese revisionists. The Albanian Party had the chance of picking up the banner of Mao Tsetung Thought from the mud into which the Chinese revisionists had thrown it and to unite all the genuine Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries round that banner. Instead, they chose to do the opposite. Using the influence of their State power, they subverted a number of undoubtedly revolutionary forces into the false position of opposing Mao Tsetung Thought and led them into the political wilderness where they are floundering.
Why did the Albanian Party do this! This will probably remain an enigma. But the magnitude of their treason can only be understood if one realises the magnificent potential that existed in 1977 and that was not tapped because of the disruption by the Albanian Party.
But, it is our duty to rebut the false theories of the Albanian Party. Because, today, the defence of Mao Tsetung Thought has become the central task of all Marxist-Leninists. For, the defence of Mao Tsetung Thought is nothing short of the defence of Marxism-Leninism because Mao Tsetung Thought is a further development of Marxism-Leninism. Whoever rejects Mao Tsetung Thought is rejecting Marxism-Leninism. Herein lies the importance about the debate on Mao Tsetung Thought.
What disconcerts anyone in this debate with the Albanian Party is their dishonesty. Writing at the end of his foreward to his Reflections on China, in May 1979, Enver Hoxha says that the 7th Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania: “made a thorough analysis of the anti-Marxist stand and counter-revolutionary actions of the Chinese revisionist leadership, without excluding Mao’s responsibility for the situation created.” This is just not true.
The present writer was present at the 7th Congress in 1976 and never heard a word against Mao Tsetung. On the contrary, in his report to the 7th Congress, Enver Hoxha referred to Mao not only as a great Marxist-Leninist, but also as a great friend of the Albanian people. It is there in the report. Lies cannot be tolerated in any polemic.
Enver Hoxha is trying to trace the origins of the revisionism of the present Chinese leadership back to Mao. He seems to ignore the fact that Teng Hsiao-ping has reversed all the correct decisions of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and is seeking to erase the entire period of Mao’s leadership of the Chinese Party as a bad dream. Even the rehabilitation of Liu Shao-chi, whose denunciation as a capitalist-roader by Mao has the approval of Enver Hoxha (in his book Reflections on China), has not woken up Enver Hoxha to face realities. Perhaps, only the expected open denunciation of Mao by the next Congress of the Chinese Party alone can completely expose the political bankruptcy of Enver Hoxha. Surely, it must be clear even to the meanest intellect that if Teng Hsiao-ping’s revisionism springs from Mao, Teng could not be so venomously opposed to Mao and everything he stood for.
Enver Hoxha accuses Mao of being an idealist and a metaphysicist. But, in fact, it is Enver who is guilty of that charge. Let us illustrate this by the way he approaches the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which is, perhaps, one of the greatest revolutionary events that has ever happened. In calling this great event as being neither great, nor proletarian nor cultural nor a revolution, Enver Hoxha displays not merely total ignorance of what the revolution is all about, but also displays his mechanical, metaphysical attitude.
From the angle from which he approaches this great event, he sees the great Chinese Communist Party with its constitution and an elected Central Committee which should decide everything and give leadership. There can be no place for turmoil or what he calls ‘chaos’. This is precisely how Liu Shao-chi also approached the question. He thought he was sitting pretty because he knew that he commanded a majority inside the Central Committee. He also further envisaged that, as a good communist, Mao would have to first raise his differences inside his Central Committee where Liu Shao-chi was confident of victory. He little thought that Mao would go over the head of the Central Committee and appeal to the masses outside with his famous slogan: ‘Bombard the Headquarters’. Whoever heard of a communist appealing to the masses to overthrow the leadership of the Party or, that part of it which had gone revisionist.
But this was what Mao precisely did. He was not inhibited by mechanical rules or by metaphysical thinking. He thought dialectically and acted to preserve the dictatorship of the proletariat from those capitalist readers who had seized power in the superstructure. To follow rules would have been to court sure disaster. Besides, Mao had immense confidence in the masses. He knew that they could make mistakes. But he also knew that, fundamentally, they would act correctly, under proper and revolutionary leadership. That is why he was not afraid of ‘stirring’ up trouble.
But Enver Hoxha cannot understand this. Therefore, he describes this great revolution in which literally millions participated, as a palace putsch on an all-China scale. This is indeed a naive description.
If Mao had to go outside the Party leadership and appeal to the people and thus give a personal leadership to the Cultural Revolution, it was because the leadership of the Party was riddled with revisionists and capitalist readers. Mao had no other alternatives if he wanted to safeguard the Party and keep China from changing colour.
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is an example of how to carry on class struggle under conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat in China, to prevent China from changing colour and going down the path of capitalist restoration, and to preserve China as a base for world revolution.
It was called a Cultural Revolution because it was in the cultural front that both the revisionists and the revolutionaries fired their first shots. Like the role of the Petofi Club in the Hungarian counter-revolution in 1956, cultural activities played a big role in the attempt of the revisionists in China to put the clock back. Besides, the whole revolution was about the question of capturing and influencing men’s minds, to create a new kind of socialist man, devoid of selfishness and the lust for personal power and grandeur.
The Cultural Revolution was no hoax, as Enver Hoxha claims. Nor did it liquidate the Communist Party of China. It only demolished its bourgeois headquarters, that part of its leadership that had gone revisionist. In its place, it introduced new blood. Of course, there was chaos. Every revolution produces a certain amount of chaos. That is inevitable. That is why Mao said that revolution was not a dinner party. It was an attempt by one class to overthrow another. Destruction always precedes construction.
That Mao and the revolutionaries did not achieve all the aims they set out to achieve by means of the Cultural Revolution is true. This was because, half-way through the revolution, acting on the pretext that the revolution had gone too far to the left, certain leaders like Chou En-lai succeeded in rehabilitating people dethroned by the Cultural Revolution. That this could not be prevented represented the weakness of the social classes represented by Mao and the revolutionaries.
Enver Hoxha objects to the role of the youth in the Cultural Revolution. Why the youth? Why not the proletariat? he asks—forgetting that the Albanian Party, itself, called upon the youth to build their railways and to terrace their mountainsides. The youth is not a class by itself. They come from different classes. But they have the common trait of being idealistic, self-sacrificing and willing to change society. Therefore, they can play a vanguard role which means taking the lead in marching in the forefront of the ranks.
But this does not mean that the working class youth were not in the forefront of the Cultural Revolution. Youth from the working class and the peasantry formed the bulk of the Red Guards even though there were small sections of workers who were opposed to the Revolution. Let us not forget that the driving force of the January Storm in Shanghai—one of the outstanding pace-setting events of the Cultural Revolution—was the organisations of revolutionary workers in Shanghai, led by Chang Chun-chiao and his comrades.
One of the most serious political charges made by Enver Hoxha against Mao is that the latter had repudiated the Marxist conception of the leading role of the proletariat in the revolution, and instead, assigned that role to the peasantry. This is both an incorrect and unsubstantiable charge which can be easily answered. Throughout his theoretical writings Mao has always stressed the leading role of the proletariat and has referred to the peasantry as the main force. He has never deviated from this position.
In his very first essay in Volume I of his Selected Works, answering the questions: Who are our enemies? Who are our friends?, he has stated in his “Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society,” “The leading force in our revolution is the industrial proletariat.” In his essay on the May 4th Movement, he has stated: “It is impossible to accomplish the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal democratic revolution without these basic revolutionary forces and without the leadership of the working class.” He has further analysed in detail this question in his essay: “On the Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party.” Therein, he states, “The Chinese proletariat is the basic motive force of the Chinese Revolution. Unless it is led by the proletariat, the Chinese Revolution cannot possibly succeed.” He has returned to this position several times in his writings. In practice, too, he has given prominence to the organisation of workers, e.g., those of the Anyuan coal mines.
But Enver Hoxha resorts to a dishonest trick. He quotes two sentences from Mao’s famous: “Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan” in an attempt to prove that Mao had said that all other political parties and forces must submit to the peasantry and its views. This is what Mao said in that celebrated report: “Millions of peasants will rise like a mighty storm, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back,” and, “they will put to the test every revolutionary party and group, every revolutionary, so that they accept their views or reject them.”
Mao wrote this essay not to urge the hegemonic role of the peasantry in the Chinese Revolution, but to urge the then leadership of the Chinese Communist Party to give leadership to the already emerging peasant movement in the countryside. It must be pointed out that the then leadership of the Chinese Communist Party was only interested in the alliance with the national bourgeoisie and neglected the task of forging the worker-peasant alliance. Mao correctly wanted this policy changed. He wanted a proper appreciation of the role of the peasantry, which formed between 80 to 90% of the population, as the main force of the Chinese revolution. He declared that: “without the poor peasants there would be no revolution.” He never argued for the hegemonic role of the peasantry in the revolution.
Enver Hoxha further cites the thesis about the “revolutionary villages” and that the “countryside must encircle the city” as proof that Mao had elevated the peasantry to the position of the leading role. But what did Mao mean? As far as we could understand it, Mao pointed out that in the semi-colonial countries of the present time, the forces of the enemy were superior to the initially inferior forces of the people and that the enemy forces were concentrated in the cities—e.g., the headquarters of the government, the military, the police, the radio, the railway, the postal department, etc. were all in the cities.
In such a situation, the enemy forces were, at the beginning, superior to the initially weaker people’s forces. In such a context, Mao suggested that it would be folly to hit our heads against the stone wall of the enemies’ superior might. Instead, he suggested that the people should move away, as far as possible, from the enemies’ centers of power. In countries like China where the majority of the people lived outside the cities, this would mean going among the people, organizing them and building up revolutionary bases within which a people’s army could be built and trained. This would change a disadvantage into an advantage and would oblige the enemy to send his forces in search of the people’s forces. In such an event the enemy should be lured deep among the people and destroyed by using the tactic of pitting ten against one. The people’s army will learn and grow in actual combat with the enemy till a qualitative change is reached when the people’s forces would have become superior to the forces of the enemy. This is the theory known as protracted guerrilla warfare. When the people’s forces had become superior to those of the enemy it would then be possible to surround the cities and finally liberate them.
This was the brilliant military strategy and tactics worked out by Mao in the course of guiding the Chinese revolution. By no means does it negate the leading role of the proletariat or allocate such a role to the peasantry. The leading role of the proletariat is realized through the proletarian ideology of Marxism-Leninism and as expressed through the Communist Party. It does not mean that the proletariat should numerically be the superior force or that all actions must originate or take place in the cities. This is so because, in an undeveloped and big country like China, the proletariat is numerically weak, while the vast countryside gives ample room for the people’s forces to maneuver. Neither do these tactics mean doing no work or less work in the cities. In the conditions of illegality that prevailed in pre-revolutionary China, Mao has said that in the enemy-occupied Kuomintang areas their policy should be to have well selected cadres working underground for a long period, to accumulate strength and bide our time.
Besides, when we consider the practice of the Chinese Revolution, we find that the greater number of the forces that formed the first Workers and Peasants Red Army which Mao led to the Ching Kang mountains in 1927 were composed of coal miners from Anyuan among whom Mao had worked earlier. Nevertheless, Mao did not offer this tactic as a universal solution to all countries. On September 25th, 1956, in a talk with the representatives of some Latin American Communist Parties, he had said that the Chinese experience in this connection may not be applicable to many of their countries, though it can serve for their reference. He begged to advise them not to transplant Chinese experience mechanically.
Comrade Mao Tsetung is also being criticised by Enver Hoxha for alleged non-Marxist conceptions about the two stages of the democratic revolution and the Socialist revolution. None are so blind as those who have eyes and yet do not see. Comrade Mao Tsetung has explained his point of view in several of his writings. The most important one of these is his article “On New Democracy”. He has pointed out: “The Chinese revolution is a continuation of the October Revolution and part of the world proletarian-socialist revolution. The Chinese revolution must take two steps. First the new democratic revolution and then the socialist revolution. These are two essentially different revolutionary processes which are at once distinct and interrelated. The second process, or the socialist revolution, can be carried through only after the first process, or the revolution of a bourgeois democratic character, has been completed. The democratic revolution is the necessary preparation for the socialist revolution, and the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the democratic revolution.”
Thus it is quite clear that Mao had no misconceptions about the existence of a Chinese wall between the democratic and socialist revolutions. He has stressed this when he said, “It is correct and fits in with the Marxist theory of development to say that of the two revolutionary stages the first provides the conditions for the second and that the two must be consecutive without an intervening stage of bourgeois dictatorship.
“It is however a Utopian view, unacceptable to true revolutionaries, that the democratic revolution has not its specific task to be accomplished during a definite period of time, and that this task can be merged and carried out simultaneously with what is of necessity a future task, i.e., the socialist task, thus accomplishing both at one stroke.” Thus Comrade Mao Tsetung has clearly stated that the democratic revolution is the necessary preparation for the socialist revolution, and the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the democratic revolution. This naturally means that during two different stages of the revolution, the working class will have different allies. Specifically, Comrade Mao Tsetung said that, during the democratic stage of the revolution, it would be possible both to unite and struggle with the national bourgeoisie which has a dual nature. On the one hand it has contradictions with foreign imperialism and domestic bureaucratic capitalism. On the other hand, it has contradictions with the working class and the peasantry. Consequently it has a dual nature in the Chinese people’s democratic revolution.
Mao has pointed out, “From this dual nature of the national bourgeoisie, we can conclude that at a certain period and under certain circumstances, it can take part in revolution against imperialism, bureaucratic capitalism and warlordism, and it can become a part of the revolutionary forces. But at other times, it may serve the big bourgeoisie by assisting the counterrevolutionary forces.”
This view about the temporary alliance between the working class and the national bourgeoisie had earlier been stated by both Lenin and Stalin. In his “Preliminary Draft of the Thesis on the National and Colonial Questions”, Lenin has said, “The Communist International must enter into a temporary alliance with bourgeois democracy in colonial and backward countries, but must not merge with it, and must unconditionally preserve the independence of the proletarian movement, even in its most rudimentary form.” In his “Chinese Revolution and the Tasks of the Communist International”, Stalin has concluded that an alliance with the national bourgeoisie was permissible.
Mao was aware of the need for vigilance and of the need to both unite with and struggle with the national bourgeoisie. He has said, “The people have a strong State apparatus in their hands, and they do not fear rebellion on the part of the national bourgeoisie.” This is somewhat similar to the sentiments voiced by Lenin when he introduced the New Economic Policy. He said, “There is nothing dangerous to the proletarian State in this so long as the proletariat keeps political power firmly in its hands, so long as it keeps transport and big industry firmly in its hands.”
Enver Hoxha denies that such a situation existed in China after the democratic revolution, but apart from making a categorical statement, he does not adduce any facts to justify the statement. But it is well known that even in the first years of People’s China big banks and big industrial and commercial enterprises were state owned and that enterprises such as banks, railways and airlines were operated by the state. Besides, the most important arm of the state machinery, the People’s Liberation Army, was exclusively under the leadership of the Communist Party.
Neither was Mao unmindful of the necessity for the class struggle even after the revolution. In 1957, he said, “In China, although in the main socialist transformation has been completed with respect to the system of ownership, and although the large scale and turbulent class struggles of the masses characteristic of the previous revolutionary periods have in the main come to an end, there are still remnants of the overthrown landlord and comprador classes, there is still a bourgeoisie, and the remoulding of the petty bourgeoisie has just started. The class struggle is by no means over.”
Earlier in 1952 he had said, “With the overthrow of the landlord class and the bureaucrat-capitalist class, the contradiction between the working class and the national bourgeoisie has become the principal contradiction in China; therefore the national bourgeoisie should no longer be described as an intermediate class.”
The democratic stage of the revolution in China lasted for about seven years. By 1956 privately owned industrial and commercial enterprises had been converted into joint state-private enterprises and the co-operative transformation of agriculture and handicrafts had taken place. Sections of the bourgeoisie had become administrative personnel in joint state-private enterprises and were being transformed from exploiters into working people living by their own labour. But they still got a fixed rate of interest on their capital in the joint enterprises. That is, they had not yet cut themselves loose from the roots of exploitation.
Clearly, the class contradiction had not been completely resolved and was not to be resolved for some more years to come. It was only during the Cultural Revolution that the Red Guards forced the cancellation of the payment of interest to the national bourgeoisie. This was China’s specific method of limiting, restricting and transforming the national bourgeoisie.
Every party in different countries will have to apply different methods in overcoming the contradictions that always arise as society proceeds further and further on the socialist path. The methods each party uses would differ from country to country. The degree of resistance encountered by the Bolsheviks in Russia from the overthrown landlord and capitalist classes was very great. They had to take harsh measures to eliminate such resistance. They were entirely justified in doing so. In China, too, counter-revolutionaries were eliminated. But, in China, Mao advocated using two different methods under the people’s democratic dictatorship, one dictatorial and the other democratic, to resolve the two types of contradictions which differ in nature—those between ourselves and the enemy, and those among the people. In his article “On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship” written in 1949 and also published in the Cominform Journal, Mao had explained that “The combination of these two aspects, democracy for the people and dictatorship over the reactionaries, is the people’s democratic dictatorship.”
This method of using persuasion and not compulsion to resolve contradictions among the people may sound non-Marxist to some people. But it is a cardinal principle of Marxism that when working among the masses Communists must use the democratic method of persuasion and education, and never resort to commandism or force. This method was particularly successful in its application to China as gauged by the fact that when, during the Korean War, the Americans raced up to the banks of the Yalu river, there was not a single Chinese traitor to be found. This contrasts with the situation in Hungary at the time of the counter-revolution in 1956.
Enver Hoxha also finds fault with the theory of contradictions, as outlined by Mao, whereby he asserts that the law of contradictions, i.e., the law of the unity of the opposites, is the most basic law of materialist dialectics and that all other laws spring from it. It would need more space and time than we have at our disposal to reply to all these criticisms.
We will confine ourselves to re-stating what we think are the basic principles of the law of contradiction in things, as enunciated by Mao. Contradiction is universal; contradictions express themselves in a particular form; of all the contradictions there is always a principal contradiction and also a principal aspect of the contradiction which plays the leading role in resolving the contradiction; all aspects of contradiction have identity as well as opposition, and under certain circumstances, can exchange places (identity is temporary and relative while opposition is absolute); finally, among contradictions there are antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions and they must be handled properly without permitting non-antagonistic contradictions to turn into antagonistic contradictions.
It is the same fundamental failure to understand the theory of contradiction in things that makes Enver Hoxha criticise Mao’s views on the two-line theory. According to Enver Hoxha, a party can have only one line and therefore it was un-Marxist to conceive of the existence of two lines inside the party. But what Mao was referring to was the universality of contradiction, i.e., that contradictions exist in everything; even in thought, in parties and even inside an individual. It is correct that at a particular point of time, a party or an individual can and should speak with only one voice. But formulation of that one voice is always the result of the bitter conflict between two contradictory points of view. It is this conflict of contradictions, even in thought, that pushes things forward. In this sense, there have always been two lines inside a party or even an individual. It is on the basis of the contradiction between these two lines, between what is right and what is wrong, that development and progress takes place. To deny this is to deny Marxist dialectics.
Similarly, there is a failure to understand the dialectical principle of the unity of opposites between opposite aspects of a contradiction and that, under certain conditions, opposites can change places. Under capitalism, the working class and the bourgeoisie are two contradictory aspects of the same contradiction. They are opposed to each other and this opposition is absolute. But there is also an aspect of unity between the two, i.e., one cannot exist without the other. And, under certain circumstances, i.e., as a result of revolution, the working class and the bourgeoisie can exchange places. That is, the working class, from being a class that is ruled, can become the ruling class, while the bourgeoisie, from being the ruling class, would become the class that is ruled.
Enver Hoxha also criticises the method used by Mao to deal with counter-revolutionaries and contradictory forces among the people. While admitting that the proletariat had no choice but to finish off the bourgeoisie in Russia which was a counter-revolutionary class, Mao pointed out that there was a slightly different situation in China. By 1956, the bulk of the counter-revolutionaries had been cleared out. Therefore, while still advocating harsh treatment against counter-revolutionaries and other enemies of the people, he advocated a different method of democratic persuasion and remoulding through labour for other enemies. He said that too many people should not be shot and that there must be a limit even to the number of people arrested, and that whenever mistakes are discovered they must be corrected. This policy was advocated because of the large number of petty bourgeoisie in China and of the necessity of winning over all non-working class sections of the people (other than the feudal landlords and the big bourgeoisie) to the side of the working class.
Similarly the theory of “Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, Let a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend” was put forward in order to encourage struggle between contending schools of thought among the people, but under the supervision of the Communist Party. Mao held that it would be wrong to suppress wrong ideas among the people by administrative actions. Instead he held that such wrong ideas should be allowed to come out into the open and face competition and struggle. He had no doubt that the correct ideas would triumph because socialism was in an advantageous position in the ideological struggle. The basic power of the state was in the hands of the working people led by the proletariat. The Communist Party was strong and its prestige high. Therefore the only method of ideological struggle should be painstaking reasoning and not crude coercion.
This campaign to “Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom” was an ideological struggle against “poisonous weeds” and for the supremacy of Marxism in the cultural field. The opportunity was used by the rightists to call for Western-style democracy. There were even ugly incidents, like people being beaten up. As Mao said, “Only when poisonous weeds are allowed to sprout from the soil can they be uprooted. A fierce counterattack was launched against the bourgeois rightists who had jumped out and exposed themselves and they were beaten back. Some of them were punished and dubbed as rightists, one of the five groups who were considered black in Chinese society. This decision was reversed only after Teng returned to power. The same is true with regard to Mao’s policy of permitting all the classes that had participated in the democratic revolution to share in the government after the revolution. This was a peculiar feature which obtained in China as the result of a section of the urban bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie allying themselves with the workers in the revolution against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism. This was a historical fact. But such a policy was carried out on the basis of the leadership of the Communist Party and the acceptance by the other parties of the transition to socialism. But this long term co-existence and mutual supervision of the Communist Party and the democratic parties is not to the liking of Enver Hoxha.
He forgets that even after the October Revolution in Russia, there were two parties in the government—the Bolsheviks and the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries. The alliance with the latter was broken up only after they rose up in revolt against the Bolsheviks. Even in Albania, there exists even today the Democratic Front.
It is useful in this connection to note that this idea of remoulding and re-educating other classes dates back to Lenin. He said in ‘Left’ Wing Communism, “Classes have remained and will remain everywhere for years after the conquest of power by the proletariat… The abolition of classes means not only driving out the landlords and capitalists—that we accomplished with comparative ease—it also means abolishing the small commodity producers [whom he considered engender capitalism and the bourgeoisie continuously, daily, hourly, spontaneously and on a mass scale], and they cannot be driven back, or crushed; we must live in harmony with them; they can (and must) be remoulded and re-educated only by very prolonged, slow, continuous organisational work.” Thus, Mao’s policy, is by no means an expression of his liberalism.
Enver Hoxha refers to the criticisms of the leadership of the Communist Party of China and Mao Tsetung by Stalin and the Comintern. These criticisms apparently refer to the failure by Mao to implement the principles of Marxism-Leninism consistently on the leading role of the proletariat in the revolution, proletarian internationalism, strategy and tactics of the revolutionary struggle, etc. We have already dealt with some of these points.
It is true that there were differences between the Comintern and the Chinese Communist Party. But it must be admitted that in almost all the issues, Mao was proved right and Stalin, to his credit, was one of the first to admit it. There was of course no difference between the two sides about the character of the revolution, which both considered to be bourgeois democratic, and about the key role of the peasantry and agrarian revolution, and the fact that armed revolution was the only solution for revolution in China. For his part, Mao considered the USSR as the homeland of the international proletariat and correctly understood the historic importance of the October Revolution and its global impact. But there were differences on the question of strategy and tactics of the Chinese Revolution.
Between 1927 and 1935, through the respective lines of Li Li-san and Wang Ming, the Comintern influence was felt on such issues as the simultaneous capturing of power in the cities, the necessity to resort to positional warfare instead of guerrilla warfare, and the refusal to build rural revolutionary bases. In fact, the Long March had to be launched as a method of escaping from the fifth encirclement campaign of Chiang Kai-shek. Today Albanian comrades (in discussion with our Party delegation that visited Albania in April 1979) have taken to belittling the Long March and are asserting that it would have been better if the Red Army had given battle where it was and saved such tremendous losses. One need hardly add, that had such a policy been adopted, there would have been no revolution, no party and no Mao. The Albanians also belittle the Tsunyi Conference which elected Mao to power in 1935 as being unrepresentative. One wonders whether they expected a fully fledged legal and representative Congress to be held in the midst of one of the most hotly contested civil wars in the world.
At the end of the Second World War, too, Stalin had his differences with the Chinese Communists. He doubted their ability to win in an all-out civil war against Chiang Kai-shek (who was being backed by U.S. imperialism) and maintained relationships with Chiang Kai-shek even during the civil war. But, Stalin was gracious enough to say that he had been glad to have been proved wrong.
Despite these mistakes, there is no doubt that Mao considered Stalin to be a great Marxist-Leninist and that fundamentally he was correct. Besides, Mao did not blame the Comintern and its representatives in China for the mistakes of the Chinese Communist Party. He blamed those Chinese Communists who tried to blindly follow the Soviet pattern without paying attention to the peculiar characteristics of the national situation in China.
And, unkindest cut of all, Enver Hoxha suggests that the Chinese Communists’ stand against Soviet revisionism was not dictated from correct, principled, Marxist-Leninist positions. This is not merely unkind but also completely untrue. Not only had Mao correctly understood Khrushchov’s revisionism as far back as 1956, but it was under his leadership that the Chinese Party initiated the great polemics with the publication of Long Live Leninism in 1960. These polemics, which consisted of several letters to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and to certain other revisionist parties of Western Europe, were brilliant for the clarity of thought and depth of argument. They schooled a whole generation of Marxist-Leninists all over the world in revolutionary principles and styles of work. To deny this today is to fly in the face of facts.
Albanians would now have us believe that Mao was always pro-American, or that he shifted his positions continuously. They told our delegation that, during the Second World War, there was in America a Chiang Kai-shek lobby and a Mao lobby. It is true that there were differences of opinion among the American ruling class as to who should be supported in the common fight against Japanese fascism. Chiang? or Mao? There were honest Americans who wanted support given to the Chinese Communists because they were the only forces genuinely fighting the Japanese, not the Kuomintang under Chiang. This does not mean that Mao was a pro-American.
His attitude to U.S. imperialism has been unambiguous and consistent. During the Second World War, when Japanese fascism became the main enemy of China, he used the contradictions between Japanese fascism and U.S. imperialism and stood for an alliance with the latter. But, no sooner had the war against fascism ended and U.S. imperialism replaced Japanese fascism as the main enemy of China by supporting Chiang Kai-shek in his civil war against the communists, he characterised U.S. imperialism as the main enemy which had to be defeated before China could be liberated. And, defeat it he did!
In the years following, nobody could doubt the anti-U.S. imperialist bona fides of Mao when he sent the Chinese volunteers across into Korea to stem the U.S. led invasion of that country, and when he gave unqualified support to the peoples of Indochina struggling against U.S. imperialism and, in fact, to all peoples struggling for their independence. His famous 1970 statement, calling for the unity of all forces opposed to U.S. imperialism and its running dogs, still rings in our ears.
But, by this time, a new element had entered the international situation. With its brutal occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Soviet revisionism signaled its development as a social imperialist power. A new imperialism has been born and Mao took note of the change in the relation of forces. There afterwards, he was to bracket Soviet social imperialism along with U.S. imperialism as the twin enemies of mankind. This was the position to which he stuck to the last when, for the last time he presided over the Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China held from August 24th to 28th, 1973.
The Report adopted at this Congress contains this excellent formulation: “Therefore, on the international front, our Party must uphold proletarian internationalism, uphold the Party’s consistent policies, strengthen our unity with the proletariat and the oppressed people and nations of the whole world and with all countries subjected to imperialist aggression, subversion, interference, control or bullying, and form the broadest united front against imperialism, colonialism, and neo-colonialism, and in particular, against the hegemonism of the two superpowers, the U.S. and the USSR. We must unite with all genuine Marxist-Leninist parties and organisations the world over, and carry the struggle against modern revisionism through to the end.”
It is useful to note that there is not even a hint of the theory of the Three Worlds to be found in this report. It is also absolutely slanderous for the Albanians to state now that Mao, at any stage, characterised Soviet imperialism as the main enemy and, therefore, called for an understanding or an alliance with U.S. imperialism. This is a monstrosity born out of Teng’s mind and has nothing to do with Mao.
Thus we vehemently repudiate the thesis that the anti-Marxist-Leninist Theory of the Three Worlds was a product of Mao Tsetung Thought. There is no evidence whatever to support such a possibility. Comrade Mao Tsetung is a leader who has expressed his point of view on almost all conceivable subjects that came within his purview. The fact that the apologists for the Theory of the Three Worlds cannot dig up a single quotation from Mao in support of this absurd theory is sufficient proof that he never did advocate the unity of the second and third world against the first world; or, worse still, advocate the unity of the second and third world along with one part of the first world against the other half.
The favourite technique used by Enver Hoxha, right throughout his book, is to attribute to Mao views that are not his and then to proceed to demolish them. This is a most dishonest method of debate.
It is unfortunate that we have to spend so much time and space refuting Enver Hoxha. But this, in itself, is an education in Marxism-Leninism. Just as the international debate between Marxism-Leninism and Modern Revisionism became a school for all Marxist-Leninists, so today the principled defence of Mao Tsetung Thought constitutes an education in Marxism-Leninism.
The international communist movement must and will unite itself over again and forge ahead towards victory. But that unity must be a principled unity—a unity between revolutionaries who base themselves on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought.
[This article is taken from the first preliminary issue of A World to Win published before that journal became the official voice of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM). The issue is labelled as No. 1, with a date of May 1981. The text of this article has been checked and corrected in accordance with the way it originally appeared there. —BannedThought.net Ed.]