In Denying the Two-Line Struggle, Hoxha Promotes Bureaucratic Methods within the Party

For Enver Hoxha a thing does not exist if he doesn't want it to. That's why he denies not only the existence of antagonistic classes but also the objective law of the two-line struggle. For that purpose he distorts Mao's views. Thus he maintains in Imperialism and the Revolution:

"Mao Tsetung himself has advocated the need for the existence of 'two lines' in the party. According to him, the existence and struggle between two lines is something natural, is a manifestation of the unity of the opposites, is a flexible policy which unites in itself both loyalty to principles and compromise."(96)

As "proof" of Mao's so-called "sermon" on the necessity of two lines within the Party, he takes a quotation from Mao's "A Dialectical Approach to Inner-Party Unity" out of its context:

"'Thus', he writes, 'we have two hands to deal with a comrade who has made mistakes: one hand to struggle with him and the other to unite with him. The aim of this struggle is to uphold the principles of Marxism, which means being principled; that is one aspect of the problem. The other aspect is to unite with him. The aim of unity is to offer him a way out, to reach a compromise with him'."(97)

The open discussion of differing opinions within the Communist Party must not be suppressed, as long as every member argues on the basis of the unity of the Party. "The aim of struggle is to uphold the principles of Marxism." (Mao) In his essay Mao Tsetung deals with the different handling of contradictions among the people and the contradictions with the enemy. Here Mao points out the following:

"I think our attitude should be one of unity towards every comrade, no matter who, provided he is not a hostile element or a saboteur (...).
The unity of opposites is the fundamental concept of dialectics. In accordance with this concept, what should we do with a comrade who has made mistakes?
We should first wage a struggle to rid him of his wrong ideas. Second, we should also help him. Point one, struggle, and point two, help. We should proceed from good intentions to help him correct his mistakes so that he will have a way out.
However, dealing with persons of another type is different. Towards persons like Trotsky and like Chen Tu-hsiu, Chang Kuo-tao and Kao Kang in China, it was impossible to adopt a helpful attitude, for they were incorrigible."(98; emphasis by the ed.)

The two-line struggle is the objective law of development of contradictions within the party. Even if Hoxha denies it, it will nevertheless have its effect (in the PLA as well). Petty-bourgeois mentality emerges spontaneously again and again and does not only infect people of petty-bourgeois origin. Unless they have a very firm socialist consciousness, proletarians, too, are inflicted by petty-bourgeois mentality as a result of inner influences and changes, reinforced by the influence of bourgeois ideology as an external cause. Particularly vulnerable are the bureaucrats who tend to petty-bourgeois mentality because of their higher standard of living and a certain amount of power they have in their hands.

Those members and officials in the party who are dominated by petty-bourgeois mentality will soon come into conflict with the proletarian line of the party. At first these are contradictions among the people which, if they can't be resolved, change into antagonistic contradictions. These contradictions are manifested as the two-line struggle. The petty-bourgeois line attempts to undermine the proletarian line and to change the Party into a revisionist party. This must be prevented by the consequent struggle of the proletarian line.

How far can the inner-party two-line struggle go? When does a contradiction among the people change into a contradiction between the people and the enemy? Mao comments on that as follows:

"What are the limits? One is that Party discipline must be observed, the minority being subordinate to the majority and the entire membership to the Central Committee. Another limit is that no secret faction must be organized."(99)

So it is a necessary process that a two-line struggle develops on the basis of inner-Party contradictions. The objective cause of this is the existence of classes, class contradictions and class struggle in socialism. Hoxha denies this objective law by implying that Mao Tsetung approves of the constant existence of two lines within the Party. But he cannot prevent this law from having its effects in Albania and the PLA. The best example is given by Hoxha himself in the Central Committee's report to the 7th Congress:

"In the educative work, it should not be forgotten that, for known reasons, the manifestations of the feeling of private property and the hangovers of petty-bourgeois psychology still have strong roots in the countryside…."(100; emphasis by the ed.)

"The 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Plenums of the Central Committee of the Party have been great schools of class struggle in the period between the two Congresses. These plenums uncovered and made short work of the hostile groups of Fadil Pacrami and Todi Lubonja, of Beqir Balluku, Petrit Dume and Hito Cako, of Abdyl Kellezi, Koco Theodhosi and Kico Ngjela, and others, who had engaged in a far-reaching undermining and sabotage activity in the field of ideology and culture, in the army, industry, planning, trade, and so on." (101)

"The uncovering and liquidation of the plot hatched up by the internal and external enemies is a great victory of our Party and people, a victory of Marxism-Leninism over revisionism."(102)

We cannot tell which ideological-political questions were represented by the different groups because Hoxha doesn't describe the contents of the struggle. What we can tell, however, is that the struggle between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism, which Hoxha is referring to, is always a two-line struggle. But, according to Hoxha, this was not the case, because the "hostile groups … masked their counter-revolutionary activity … never daring to come out openly against the line of the Party…."(103)

But the struggle against traitors within the Party ranks is always complicated because they wave the red banner in order to fight it and they conceal their revisionist line. Since, according to Hoxha, "hostile groups" had strong influence in the Party and among the people, it would have been absolutely necessary to mobilize the masses in an ideological struggle and a comprehensive movement of criticism and self-criticism. This was not done in the PLA, as according to official opinion there was no two-line struggle. There is an obvious connection between denying the objective law of the two-line struggle, and, later on, attacking Mao Tsetung's concept of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

This is the best way to destroy criticism and self-criticism as both the law of development of the Party and the driving force of socialist revolution.

Instead, bureaucratic methods are promoted. Hoxha himself describes these symptoms in the Central Committee's report:

"For some time the enemies managed to act and cause damage without being discovered, because they found weak spots in the work of the Party and the state power. They exploited mistakes and shortcomings, manifestations of bureaucracy, liberalism and euphoria, which they did they best to spread and encourage."(104)

"The tendencies observed in some people to resort to administrative methods where persuasion and education should be used are also sectarian. Those who display sectarian tendencies often pose as 'consistent and principled revolutionaries'. But in fact they are opportunists and act in this way in order to be 'on the safe side'."(105)

What Hoxha described as a symptom in November 1976 is nothing but the systematic development of a petty-bourgeois bureaucracy.