From Albania Today, 1978, 3

The Organizational Degeneration of the Revisionist Parties and Its Consequences

By Petro Ciruna and Pandi Tase – Pedagogues at the “V.I. Lenin” Party School

Unity, as one of the organizational principles of the Marxist-Leninist party of the new type, is the foundation and source of the invincible strength of the party and its success in the revolutionary struggle to attain the immediate and ultimate objectives of the proletariat

The teachings of Marxism-Leninism on the need to organize the party of the working class, and the historical experience of the Party of Labour of Albania, refute all the views, theories, and practices of the various opportunists, modern revisionists, and anarchists, who, with the aim of destroying the party of the working class and preventing the proletariat from carrying out its historic world mission, distort the teachings of Marxism-Leninism about the party, its structure and life.

All the enemies have striven, in one way of another, to deprecate the importance of the organization of the proletarian party, claiming that organization is not of great importance to the party, is valueless, a matter of form, and a bureaucratic issue. However, this means to deny that dialectical unity which exists between the program, tactics, and organization, means in essence, to liquidate the party, which, from its character, objectives, and role, cannot exist and perform its leading role without steel-like organization.

In order to reject the teachings of Marxism-Leninism about the role and importance of the organization of the party, the enemies of the working class and Marxism-Leninism, the opportunists and revisionists, old and new, deny the principle of democratic centralism, considering it as unnecessary, as a principle which makes the party bureaucratic, which shrivels the initiative of the mass of party members and hinders their participation in the solution of problems. Under the pretext of alleged democracy and freedom of opinion, some revisionists, who take the liberal-anarchist standpoint, deny the need for centralism in the party and oppose the principle that all the work and activity of the party must be centralized and carried out under the leadership of a single centre. According to these revisionists, the concentration of leadership in a single centre negates the lower organs, inhibits their initiative, and so on. Therefore, they say, the lower organs should work independently of the centre and be completely autonomous. On the other hand, they consider discipline within the party, the obligatory implementation of decisions, as an unreasonable requirement contrary to democracy, which impedes the initiative of the masses and places them under the dictate of the higher organs or the minority. They deny the need for the participation of every party member, without exception, in one of the basic organizations, and describe the obligatory requirement that they render account for the duties they perform as ultra-democracy, that is, a distortion of democracy.

The ideological and class basis of these revisionist views and theories, which deny the principle of democratic centralism and its requirements, must be sought in bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideology – in bourgeois intellectualism, liberalism and anarchism. “It is clear," taught Lenin, “that to the petty-bourgeois, the organization of the party seems like a monstrous factory and the submission of the part to the whole, of the minority to the majority, like serfdom; while the division of labour under the direction of a centre evokes a tragic-comical outcry against people being transformed into wheels and cogs.”

While combating the liberal anarchist views, the PLA has always fought also against the bureaucratic views and practices of the modern revisionists in regard to the principle of democratic centralism. The modern revisionists who are in power, headed by the Soviet revisionists, talk a great deal about democracy within the party and boast that they implement the Leninist principles on the party. But this is far from the truth. In those parties, democratic centralism has been transformed into bureaucratic centralism. Party members who oppose their anti-proletarian line and policy are subjected to reprisals, banishment and prison. The line of the revisionist parties is not the fruit of the participation of the mass of the party members and the working people, but the work of the ruling cliques. The discipline of the party has become mechanical discipline and the mass of the party members submit to decisions of the leadership from fear.

The PLA has exposed and refuted all these views of various revisionists, regardless of the form in which they present them or the boastful phrases and demagogy used to disguise their anti-Marxist, counterrevolutionary aims and activities. In essence, the views and practices of the modern revisionists, whether of the liberal-anarchist trend or of the bureaucratic revisionist trend, serve the same counter-revolutionary purpose – the elimination of the Marxist-Leninist party of the working class, an aim which the revisionists have achieved in the countries where they are in power.

Unity, as one of the organizational principles of the Marxist-Leninist party of the new type, is the foundation and source of the invincible strength of the party and its success in the revolutionary struggle to attain the immediate and ultimate objectives of the proletariat.

The existence of a single line is one of the most fundamental questions for the party, because it is on this basis that it works out its whole revolutionary strategy and tactics. The party of the working class must not permit the existence within its ranks of groups, factions, and two lines, for which the revisionists, new opportunists, and the anarchists clamour loudly. Since the party has only one aim – the construction of socialism and communism – it can have only one general line, which expresses the interests of the working class, socialism and communism.

It has been and is an outstanding feature of the PLA, during the whole of its existence full of revolutionary struggles, that it has only one line which it has defended in principle and applied in practice, a single, correct, Marxist-Leninist line, in conformity with the concrete conditions of our country: “Our party,” stresses comrade Enver Hoxha, “has never permitted and never will permit the existence of factions in its ranks. It has had and has a single Marxist-Leninist line which it has implemented with determination."

In order to liberalize and disorganize the party of the working class, the modern revisionists, by one means or another, negate the need for the participation of the party member in one of the basic organizations. The reduction of the requirements for membership of the revisionist parties to the bourgeois parliament, admission to the party, not as individuals but in groups, and in some countries, replacement of the basic party organizations with regional organizations, is clear evidence of the degeneration of these parties in the field of organization. To deny the necessity for the participation of every party member in one of its basic organizations means to be opposed to the organization of the party, to deny the need for the basic organization as its foundation, means to liquidate the party of the proletariat.

The foundation for the building of the PLA has been the Leninist condition that to be a party member one must accept the program and Constitution of the party, must take part in one of its organizations, and pay party dues regularly. But this remains utterly formal if the communist is not an active fighter for the implementation of the line of the party, does not embody in his life and work the qualities of a communist, which are laid down in the Constitution, is not one of the vanguard and is not in the forefront of the masses in the struggle for socialism. Therefore, for the PLA which is a party of struggle and revolution, mere acceptance of its program, tactics, and organizational principles is insufficient. It requires the realization of these ideas, their application. And in order to put these ideas into practice, the party member must fight at the head of the working class and the working masses. “Only when we join one of the organizations of the party and in this way blend our personal interests with the interests of the party,” says Stalin, "only then can we become party members, and, at the same time, genuine leaders of the army of proletarians.”

The revisionists in power in the Soviet Union and the other revisionist countries found their support in carrying out the counter-revolution among the officials of the party and state apparatus who had deviated from the road of the working class and the teachings of Marxism-Leninism. “The notorious apparatchiki strangled the Bolshevik party,” said comrade Enver Hoxha at the 7th Congress of the PLA. Today, too, these bureaucrats and technocrats provide wide support for the revisionist cliques in power. That is why the revisionist press devotes great importance to the role and activity of the party apparatuses, putting them above the elected organs.

The propaganda of the modern revisionist that their parties are still, allegedly, parties of the working class, and the window-dressing to make it look as though they apply the Leninist norms and principles, are nothing but demagogy to throw dust in the eyes of the working class and the working masses.

The degeneration of the revisionist parties in ideology and policy led inevitably to degeneration of the social composition of their membership, and this is especially obvious in their leading organs and apparatuses. The doors of these parties have been thrown open to non-proletarian elements.

In every aspect and direction, in the Soviet Union today, a caste of bureaucrats and technocrats, a new bourgeois class, is ruling, and it keeps all the commanding positions and key links of the party, the state, the economy, culture, and so on, firmly in its own hands. During the ten years, 1967 to 1977, according to “Pravda”, the number of specialists in the people's economy who are members of the Soviet revisionist party has increased to 3,253,000, or 1.7 fold.

In the Yugoslav League of Communists, as a result of the bourgeois and revisionist ideology which has been made the basis of its activity, the working class and its role are treated in an anti-Marxist way, and the state, classes and the masses likewise. There are many officials, intellectuals, and rich peasants in the Yugoslav League of Communists, while the bulk of those who are leaving the League, whether by voluntary resignation or by expulsion, are workers.

The other revisionist parties, too, are becoming more and more deproletarianized. From the revisionist arsenal of the past, some of the revisionist parties dragged out the idea of one big democratic party, open to all, a party of reforms and class collaboration, and in order to win the maximum number of votes in the parliamentary elections they have admitted anybody at all into their ranks.

According to their own press, on 15th July, 1976, the Italian revisionist party had more than 1,800,000 members, while at the end of March, 1977, the French revisionist party had about 600,000 members, 50,000 of whom were admitted in the first three months of that year. Characteristic of these parties is the flood of non-proletarian elements of the petty-bourgeoisie, office workers and intellectuals pouring into them.

This building of non-proletarian mass parties has its own theoretical basis and political aims. The preaching by Marchais, Berlinguer, and company about "fraternity in divergence”, about the "transition to socialism through reforms”, with everybody – bourgeoisie, capitalists, workers, police, the bourgeois army and all – in unity and fraternity, constitutes the theoretical basis of the anti-proletarian policy and the mass character of their bourgeois revisionist parties.

As regards the political aims of these parties, it is clear that, as typically bourgeois, social-democratic, reformist, counterrevolutionary parties, they have placed themselves completely at the service of their own national bourgeoisie and the international bourgeoisie, while betraying the interests of the proletariat and the revolution.

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