A Brief Guide to Hoxhaism.

ORIGINS

Although Enver Hoxha had been the leader of socialist Albania since 1941, the ideological branch of Marxism-Leninism known was “Hoxhaism” did not technically emerge until the late 1970s. It was during this time where Hoxha and Mao officially weakened relations, Hoxha believing Mao to be a revisionist. Relations to China were cut furthermore after Mao’s death in 1976, where the new leaders of China were even more openly revisionist than ever, a trait that Hoxha deemed unacceptable. On the other hand, Hoxha had also dismissed the post-Stalin Soviet Union as revisionist as well; he had recognized this before Mao, which was noted in his later criticisms of Maoism. When Khrushchev offered Albania to join the Warsaw Pact, Hoxha refused on the grounds that the Soviet Union had degenerated into a social imperialist nation, following the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Also, the Soviets wished for Hoxha to halt industrial development and become a center of agriculture for them. This was, in some regards, reminiscent of previous affairs with Yugoslavia, in which Tito wished for Albania to become more puppet-like for their own interests, fueled by revisionism. The Soviets also wished for Albania to become a neo-colony, and Hoxha rightfully refused. This inherently counters the claims made against Hoxha for being “too rigid;” other nations wished to have their way with Albania, and it was not simply a matter of  defending against revisionism, whether it was “paranoid,” as some say, or not.

IDEOLOGY

Hoxhaism believes primarily in two things distinctly. Anti-revisionism, and that each nation has the right do decide its own routes of development. The former of these beliefs is unique because it views Maoism as a form of revisionism. The latter, was primarily developed in response to the Soviet policy toward Warsaw Pact nations, and also the imperialistic behavior of organizations such as NATO. Hoxhaists also uphold that the Soviet Union, roughly from 1917-1956 [1956 till 1965 marked the early stages of capitalist restoration ] and Albania from 1941-1990, were the only truly socialist nations in existence. Lenin, Stalin, and Hoxha represented the views of the Party, and the working class. Hoxhaism is the most sufficient in it’s analysis of the historical development of socialism, in all nations. It has many specific opinions, sometimes inherently unpopular among other leftists. Aside from the approval of Stalin and obviously Hoxha, Hoxhaists believe such things as Vietnam being a quasi-Red, nationalist movement.

CRITICISMS

There exist numerous criticisms of Hoxhaism. I will attempt to answer the most prominent ones.

One criticism is in regards to the 750,000 bunkers that were built in Albania throughout Enver Hoxha’s leadership. The charge is that this somehow demonstrated military dominance or something along those lines. Such a charge is baseless considering Albania existed among numerous enemies. Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece, and the like are had been attacking Albania, or had tense relations. Moreover, the bunkers constituted for an extremely small percentage of Albania’s income.

Another criticism is that Hoxha established a cult of personality based on himself. However, this is not true. As with Stalin, the cult of personality was established by others, and not the leaders themselves. Alia, a prominent member of Albanian socialist party, was the main one to establish the cult around Hoxha. He was always modest, however: “It would be a mistake to say that all these colossal achievements in our country are solely attributable to the merit of [me]… I will never allow myself to let it go to my head, no matter to how small an extent.”

The usage of Maoist-like tactics is a criticism, because it supposedly illustrates hypocrisy. This is also a baseless claim, however. First of all, the Maoist-like tactics such as cultural revolution and guerrilla warfare in Albania, happened prior to the realization that Mao was a revisionist. Moreover, they were different from how Mao instituted them. Mao’s cultural revolution was an example of adventurism, idealism, and phony-Marxism which led to a total loss of control. Hoxha’s, was less adventurist and the Party played a larger role, so chaos and anti-intellectual policies didn’t occur. Hoxha’s usage of guerrilla warfare was not strictly rurally and peasant based;  the urban cities were attacked simultaneously, which was more effective.

Hoxhaism is too paranoid about revisionism, is another criticism of the ideology. However, this has already been explained. The revisionists during the time of Hoxha’s leadership wanted Albania to become a puppet for their individual interests, and to support social imperialism. Albania managed to be self-sufficient, and self-sufficiency is not at all the same as an “isolated nationalistic state,” in regards to some claims. Diplomatic relations were well established, and many of Hoxha’s top advisers were British, even. Also, anti-revisionism is not dogmatic. Instead, it is based on science. Marxism is science, and as we know, science must be followed in a proper manner as possible, or else the results will be inaccurate.

Another criticisms is that Hoxha outlawed homosexuality. This is a criticism of Hoxha that most Hoxhaists agree with, but to extent, and for different reasons. First, one must keep in mind that very few places in the world understood homosexuality as they do today. From the early days of Marx and Engels, there was much homophobia among the socialist movement, even; Engels was especially homophobic. The reason for this was that the socialists, such as Hoxha, saw homosexuality as something from the “traditional world,” and a product of bourgeois decadence, primarily based on the fact that the upper class men of Roman and Greek society would engage in homosexual behavior. Hoxha also saw homosexuality as a form of gender chauvinism. There are however, some accounts that Hoxha himself may have been a homosexual, but it is not known.

Another criticism is in regards to Hoxha’s supposedly violent policies on religion. However, they were not always characterized by violence, and it was primarily only in the later years of his rule prior to his death where violence became more systematic. The entire campaign to reduce religious influence was on the basis of the tribal and religious warfare that had been decimating Albania for years, and was sexist in nature. In these regards, the overall policy was a success because it significantly reduced religious warfare, but its methods were indeed flawed, as Hoxhaists admit.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Hoxha distributed more than 50% of the land to the peasants and working class.

Hoxha improved literacy rates to nearly 100 percent.

Hoxha established numerous schools and the first University of Albania.

Hoxha established legitimate infrastructure; roads, hospitals, schools, etc.

Hoxha eradicated numerous diseases such as syphilis.

Hoxha allowed the right to bear arms and trained many Albanians in combat.

Hoxha established womens rights.

Hoxha successfully defended against Greek, Italian, and other incoming fascists.

Hoxha recognized the revisionism of the Yugoslavs before Mao.

Hoxha successfully initiated his own cultural revolution, while understanding the reasoning behind Mao’s failures.

Hoxha helped reduce tribal warfare and feuds.

Hoxha abolished direct taxation.

Hoxha exposed revisionism wherever it existed [Mao, Tito, Khrushchev, etc].

Hoxha resisted the demands made by the post-Stalin revisionists of the Soviet Union, which would have essentially turned Albania into a neo-colony.

Hoxha left Albania with barely any foreign debt.

Hoxha established workers control of the means of production and workers democracy.

Written by comrade gl0wstick

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This entry was posted in Communism, History, Hoxha, Marxism, Philosophy, Politics, Society, Theory. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Brief Guide to Hoxhaism.

  1. Comrade Fikri says:

    Frankly, your post was open my mind about Hoxha and Hoxhaism.

  2. Editor jk says:

    Well, maybe you should have talked to a handful of Albanians before writing this article is my opinion. We weren’t starving or anything but close to.

  3. Larry Flamingo says:

    I love how it gives a quote of him saying “It would be a mistake to say that all these colossal achievements in our country are solely attributable to the merit of [me]… I will never allow myself to let it go to my head, no matter to how small an extent.” and then goes on the give a big list of accomplishments in Albania, each starting with “Hoxha”(“Hoxha distributed”, “Hoxha improved”, “Hoxha established”).

  4. Max says:

    Do you have any actual figures as to how much the 750,000 bunkers cost? If they cost very little, then how come Albanians were suffering from housing shortages? One large bunker used up enough concrete to build one apartment. Imagine, tens of thousands of apartments could have been built for people to live in. Instead newlyweds were forced to live with their in-laws. Imagine if all that money and materiel and manpower had been used to build Beach resorts along the Riviera coastline? How much revenue would that have generated? How much revenue did the Bunkers generate? I mean if we’re counting risk v.s. reward here. How much did they cost and how much of that investment was earned back? Hoxha allowed the right to bear arms? WRONG! No one was allowed to have weapons unless they were government employees, i.e. army or police. Hoxha left Albania without any foreign debt? So? He also left Albanians waiting for hours in bread lines for rationed goods for over a decade!!!! Albania managed to be self-sufficient? WRONG again! They were sufficient when receiving Soviet or Chinese aid/credits. After the 1978 break the ration lines ballooned all over. Hoxha never established a cult of personality? WTF are you smoking? It was a crime not to have his framed portrait in your home. Children sang numerous songs about him in kindergarten. He took credit for victories that others won in WWII. Everyone was made to read his personal memoirs in school, failure to do so resulted in a failed grade or even expulsion. How is that not a cult of personality? How are his portraits all over the country not a cult of personality? If Hoxha was so great….. then how come 5,000 men and 450 women were executed under the rule of Enver Hoxha? 34,135 People were jailed, and 1,000 died in prison. That’s in 45 years rule of Hoxha. That’s about 122 executions a year. But in the U.S., from 1976 to current day 2012, there have been only 1,295 executions. That’s about 36 executions per year. But the U.S. has 100 times the population of Albania(http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/executions-united-states).

    Care to explain the false arrests, imprisonment and murder of innocent people who were only prisoners of conscience? If Hoxha was so great then how come he gave border guards order to shoot on sight anyone trying to cross the border into other countries? I.e. Greece or Yugoslavia? Why didn’t he allow the free movement of people? Was he afraid that Albanians might see a better world out there and rebel? Why did Hoxha imprison artists, musicians and architects for “cultural revisionism”? How does one get 16 years in prison for singing a song that is “too modern?” How does an architect get 15 years in prison for drawing up plans that are considered “Bourgeoisie?” How does one justify the murder of innocent intellectuals under the most banal of false flag operations?: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_1951_in_Albania.

    Care to explain Mr. Hoxhaism? Or are you like all dogmatic purebred Marxist-Leninist’s going to either deny or sweep under the rug all of Hoxha’s crimes against his own people?

    Perhaps you should talk to the victims of Hoxhaism and get an in depth look at what you are truly glorifying. Tell me why it was OK for me to spend 3 years in prison over one comment regarding the quality of textiles in Albania. Tell me why it was OK to keep people locked up inside their own country?

    • The Hoxha article does not reflect the current views of the RSV staff, nor it’s Chief Editor. Thus I understand your potential rage. Actually, I rather understand such feelings for your jail time alone.

      I am not the one who wrote this article, but I am a Marxist-Leninist. As a Marxist-Leninist, even I think Hoxha was counter-productive and un-Marxist to the extreme. Even if never fully achieved, Hoxha’s drive for a “self sufficient” Albania (much like the Kim’s in North Korea) is rather in conflict with the internationalist spirit of Marx and Lenin.

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