MARXISM-LENINISM IS A NECESSITY, LIKE THE AIR WE BREATHE AND THE FOOD WE EAT
From a contribution at the meeting of the Secretariat of the CC of the PLA (1)
April 26, 1982
(1) This meeting discussed the report «We must raise the level of the work for the Marxist-Leninist education in the 'V. I. Lenin' Party School, in the Party courses and the education forms».
At first Comrade Enver Hoxha inquired what opinion the comrades of the Party School had about the programs, the lectures, the seminars, the students, the teachers and about raising their pedagogic-scientific level. After he was given the answers to these questions and was informed about the influence the activity of the enemy Fiqret Shehu (2) [See p. 568 of volume 6; Selected Works]
had on the method of work of the Party School, Comrade Enver Hoxha said:
In order to make the Party School a truly revolutionary institution, and this we must do without fail, we must think hard about how to revolutionize it, how to smash certain prejudices and methods which have become obsolete.
The teaching staff of the school can see to this best. In regard to the measures which you will take for the revolutionization of the school, Comrade Jorgji, (3) you must certainly consult with and ask not only Comrades Ramiz [Alia] or Foto [Çami], but first of all, the students of the Party School, who are Party cadres and workers.
(3) Jorgji Sota, at that time vice-director of the «V. I. Lenin » Party School.
The voice of the Party is decisive. The student of the Party School who comes from the base and knows it, will give the most correct solution to a problem of the theory he is taught there, so he should say openly: «Comrade teacher, the lecture which you are delivering to us, goes in this ear and out the other! The method of work must be changed, because I go back to the base and forget all these things you tell me, the theory which I am learning here is not properly linked with the work in the terrain,» and so on.
Therefore the work in the Party School up till now has not been done properly from the organizational, pedagogic and other aspects. I am not saying that you have been idle and done nothing, but we must look rather more closely into these shortcomings which exist there!
I have given orders that a control team should go to the «V. I. Lenin» Party School to see what was being done there by Fiqret Shehu who treated the school as «her untouchable zone» and, in fact, when the comrades of the team from the Central Committee apparatus went to the Party School, the enemy Fiqret Shehu tried to shut the door to them. But Comrade Foto Çami insisted saying:
«I am sent here by the Central Committee of the Party.»
«But why, is there anything wrong with us here?» she asked.
«Whatever there is,» replied Comrade Foto, «the Central Committee is going to check up on you.» So, the comrades of the Central Committee went there for this purpose, while you kept silent, you did not raise the problems as you should have done.
It was said here that the programs of the school must be revised. But in what directions must they be revised?
There was talk, also, about scholasticism. But what do you mean by scholasticism and what must you do to liquidate this spirit? As emerged here, after hearing lectures, the students make summaries from their study of the literature and, of course, they spend some time on them, but it may also happen that these summaries are made by one of them and the others take them from him. If this is done, those who get things ready made from others do not work, but, in a way, sleep!
For the teachers to be able to activize the students in seminars and encourage debate, they themselves must have more extensive knowledge of the work of the Party and a more thorough understanding of its life, so as to avoid scholasticism in lectures and seminars. Scholasticism manifests itself for some reasons. A teacher, for example, has prepared a lecture on a theoretical question of Marxism-Leninism, which he reads once a week or a year, according to the program. During the school year he may have to prepare about 20 lectures which constitute a complete cycle. Certainly, for this he must study, but in order to liquidate scholasticism and stimulate debate among his students in seminars, he must be in close touch with the life of the Party and in his lectures must deal with problems that one comes up against in practice. This is how he will avoid scholasticism. Therefore teachers must know life. What prevents them from doing this? Here it was said that the teachers of the Party School take part in the meetings of the forums of district party committees, in plenums, meetings of activists, etc., and after returning to School they discuss the experience they bring along.
Have you had any assistance from the apparatus of the Central Committee of the Party ? If it has not been given, why? What has been lacking? Was there lack of interest, or willingness on the part of the various sectors of the apparatus of the Central Committee, have they underrated the work with the Party School and the whole system of Marxist-Leninist education, or is there any other reason?
Regarding the teaching practice of the students of the Party School in the districts, you said that you have reached some conclusions. This is all very well, but be careful, because in the course of this practice it is not your duty to seize on the shortcomings you notice in the work of the Party in the districts and report them to the Central Committee, as you have done until now. No, that is not the role of the Party School. It is a different matter if you see that the Party line about a particular question is violated, or notice that your graduates are not applying in practice what you have taught them. You may inform the apparatus about this, and that would be of interest to us.
The practice course during which your students are sent for one month to the districts, according to the program, has other aims. In the first place, it helps students not to lose touch with life, to link up better with the base and production, and not to lose the feeling of Party work in practice. In short, they see the application in practice of the Marxist-Leninist theory given through the directives of the Party, which reach the base not through the Party School, but through Party channels. In this sense, we say that the students who come to the Party School from production have applied the directives of the Party even before that, that is, they have advanced on the road of Marxism-Leninism, have a theoretical and practical basis, and in the Party School they perfect and extend this knowledge further. While carrying out their practice, they are students and teachers at the same time.
That is how it must be understood. I believe it is clear.
I want to raise another question. In the question we are examining in this meeting about raising the level of the work for the Marxist-Leninist education of cadres in the «V. I. Lenin» Party School, in Party courses and in forms of education, the Party School is the main factor. In fact, Party courses and the forms of education do not concern you, teachers of the Party School, because they are directed by the party committees of the districts and of the army, hence, this is not your duty. But the participants in these courses and forms of education may come to attend your School later, so I ask the questions: Have you ever thought, when you go to the base, to supervise the practice of your students, to check up a little also on the work for the Marxist-Leninist education which is done in the Party courses and the forms of education in the districts? Have you an idea about how they are conducted?
Are their teaching programs suitable or not? Does the party committee of the district or of the army follow up properly the work which is done in them? Whenever you do this, as I said, you must not consider it your permanent task, but only as a means of information. I think you need this kind of interest and information, because the students coming to the Party School have already gone through these party courses and forms of education.
I think the Party should attach extremely great importance to these courses and forms, because, together with practical matters, theoretical knowledge is also given in them. In the forms of education there is debate of a truly revolutionary character and we must work to encourage it so that it always retains this character. When we say that it should have a revolutionary character, we mean that it must be carried out on the Marxist-Leninist line of the Party. The participants in the three-month courses perfect their theoretical knowledge further.
Hence, as I said before, you must have an idea of the work done in these courses for the Marxist-Leninist education of communists, and perhaps, demand to examine those parts of the program which you judge must be examined.
Shkodra, for instance, is an industrial city, but in this district which is also a border district, there is a specific situation. Shkodra, also, is a district in which the Catholic clergy exercised strong influence. Actually this influence does not exist today, religion is no longer practised, but we must not forget that religious influence and prejudices still linger on. Therefore, not only the sector of education of the Party Committee of this district, which must especially check up on, must be informed and take measures about these questions, but you, too, as the Party School, must work in this direction, because cadres from this district, also, come to you. In this manner you will be informed about how three-month Party courses are working in Shkodra, what themes are treated in them and in the forms of education. Knowing these, you are in a position to tell the Shkodra comrades where, on what problems of the Marxist-Leninist education, they should concentrate most, because the duty for conducting these courses devolves on the party committees of the districts. Indeed, you may even go to the Party Committee of the district and raise these problems with them. Have you done these things?
If you have, it's very good!
The great need for the Marxist-Leninist education has impelled us to find such forms of work, assistance and control. That is what the Marxist-Leninist theory teaches us. too. Since you have practised these forms of work, you can go on to do so, certainly, by making them still more perfect.
In my opinion, in the Party School we train neither chinovniky* [ * State employees (Russ. in the original) ] nor office workers, nor Party workers. To the «V. I. Lenin» Party School, and Party courses and forms of education in the Party we send cadres of the Party and its levers, so that they acquire knowledge of our Marxist-Leninist theory, which will serve them as a guiding compass to find their bearings in the work the Party assigns them to do.
As for the Party workers, as well as all the instructors, they are appointed, that is, they are office workers, whereas all the secretaries of the basic organizations of the Party are elected. These arc secretaries today, tomorrow they may not be re-elected, or one of them may become director of a plant, etc., so another comrade is elected party secretary in his place. He may not have gone through the Party School, but the party committee of the district or the Central Committee deems it reasonable that he should be made the first secretary of the party committee of the district, because he has the required qualities and can lead the Party work in the district. So. neither the
«V. I. Lenin» Party School, nor the Party courses train Party workers. It is a different matter for those who are appointed as such. However, these, too, whether or not they have finished the Party School, can go over to sectors in which there is need for them, and we may bring other people in their places. The Party assigns them to their respective working places. Only a small percentage of the whole number of instructors and Party workers are sent to the Party School. That is how attending the Party School and Party courses must be understood.
When I proposed that there should be no marks in the Party School, I meant that both to this School and to Party courses we send carefully selected people who understand the importance of Marxist-Leninist education, hence, marks have no importance for us and differentiation by means of marks should not exist there. Of course, there must be greater involvement on the part of the teachers so that all those who are sent to the «V. I. Lenin» Party School, or to courses organized by the Party, the trade-unions or the youth, should assimilate what is envisaged in the program.
So, they need not be given marks, as is done at state schools. In the Party School they will acquire knowledge of Marxism-Leninism, and all these people will work on many different fronts to carry out the tasks the Party sets them.
True, the Party sends selected people there, but they will justify the trust of the Party only if they are disciplined and have a sound understanding of education, of the need for mastering the knowledge given at the School. As for the work the Party will assign them to later, this is decided by the plenum, the bureau of the party committee of the district, the Political Bureau or the other organs, in which they figure as cadres.
But how is this decided by these organs? According to what criteria? For what I know, they base their decisions on the reference which the Party School issues for each student. This reference should be the fruit of the collective thinking of all the teachers of the Party School, and not as the enemy Fiqret Shehu did, nor should it be a reference issued by one teacher alone. Therefore, I think that each teacher should write a reference for each one of his students, and then, on the basis of the opinions of all the teachers, a general reference of the student should eventually be written and signed by the School director.
Hence, the aim is the Marxist-Leninist education of the communists by all forms and in all ways. We may say that with the programs approved by the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Party we have defined what we should teach these people, and we have done it well.
Now we are making some additions. In my opinion the additions we are making are good, provided what all the comrades said should be carried out, so as to link the School more closely with life, with practice. It seems to me that two years, perhaps not even three lifetimes, which we cannot have because our life expectancy is 68 years, (4) [ In 1987 the life expectancy in Albania reached to over 71 years.] are not enough to master Karl Marx and Lenin at school. What am I referring to? I am referring to the care which should be devoted to the materials recommended for the students of the Party School. The program of the School includes a great number of subjects, and if the student of the School is told to study the whole of the Anti-Dühring of Engels, or the whole of Materialism and Empiriocriticism of Lenin, and other works of the classics, we must be realistic enough to know that he will not be able to do this properly.
Of course studies in the Party School will be based on the works of the classics, otherwise it would not be a Party School. But if there is overburdening, something must be left out and only those materials of the classics, of our great teachers, which have a bearing on the theme and which are considered sufficient should remain for study.
As is known, Lenin has waged a relentless struggle against a lot of idealist ideologists and philosophers, as well as factionalists and opportunists, imbued with all kinds of wrong and anti-Marxist ideas and views. He wrote whole books in the course of his controversy with them, in which he has uncovered and argued the mistakes of their ideas and theories. We all know about this great struggle of Lenin against various opportunist currents. Now the question is asked: Is it necessary to recommend the students to get into all these details? These works of Lenin contain great lessons for us, because we can use them to draw analogies, but in the short time available for them the students cannot assimilate all the ideas reflected in Lenin's works. Therefore we should give the students those parts which are connected with the themes we have selected and insist that they assimilate them thoroughly, because these will stand them in good stead in life. So, what I am driving at here is that we must ask the students to work on those materials of the classics which illustrate the themes they study, so that he who finishes the Party School and has some experience of work should be able to draw an analogy readily in the struggle against the opponents of our ideology today. Also, we must not forget that those who come to the Party School are not ignorant of these questions.
First, because they live in a socialist country and since their childhood they have been educated with the communist ethics and morality, and have received a Marxist- Leninist education.
Second, before they come to the Party School, they attend various state schools, the programs of which are built on the basis of Party orientations, on our theory which orientates the students towards the Marxist-Leninist line of the Party. Both at the University and at all the other higher schools, all studies are based on science and Marxism-Leninism.
Third, they have participated in the forms of education for the mass organizations: the organization of the LYUA, the TUA and the WUA, which in practice not only have a revolutionary life as such, but also organize Marxist-Leninist educational courses.
Fourth, the press, the radio and television and all other mass media, which play a powerful role in the education of people, exert their influence on them, too.
The students who are sent to the Party School are people who live in our socialist country, surrounded by our Marxist-Leninist propaganda and agitation. At the Party School they deepen their Marxist-Leninist education further.
In the material presented to the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Party the aim of the proposals made is not clear. Why do you propose that in the Party School there should be parallel classes, one for cadres with higher education and another for cadres with secondary education? No, I do not agree that we should create a separate class for cadres with higher education, or that these should study only two years at the Party School. I am not telling you that we should not send cadres with higher education to the «V. I. Lenin» Party School, either, because we also have one-year courses of political economy and philosophy there. If we must open again a one-year course for some cadres with higher education, we can do this, too.
In my opinion, this category of cadres who have finished higher school should not go through the same program of the Party School as those with secondary education, but should study Marxism-Leninism more profoundly and advance it further. Why should cadres, who have experience of, say, five, ten or twelve years of work, waste two years? If we need philosophers or economists, we may send cadres with higher schooling to one-year courses of philosophy and political economy, while we may open another parallel class for the other cadres with higher schooling, who we think should be sent to study together with the cadres with secondary education. But it seems to me that it is wrong for the cadres with higher education to do two years of Party School after having finished the state school. Let us calculate roughly the time of schooling for a cadre with higher education. This cadre finishes the secondary school and then the University, which makes a total of eight or nine years at school, without reckoning the time for the 8-year school. If we send him for another two years in the Party School, then he will have to spend eighteen years of his life at school, the time for the 8-year school included. It seems to me this is not right, is not rational.
Here there was talk also about curtailing the duration of courses at the Party School. This has an advantage, because the students who attend them are cultured people and, if you put superfluous phrases in your materials, they can see the redundancies, and may tell you: «Give us the essence here, whatever will help us to proceed on the right road.»
Both from the material presented to us and the contributions of the comrades, I have come to the conclusion that the aim here is to have as many people with higher education attend the Party School. I am not opposed to sending cadres with higher education to the Party School, but I think that to this School we should send more workers with secondary education, but not those with 8-year schooling only. Today we have many workers with secondary education.
Why do I say that more workers with secondary education should come to the Party School? I say so because through this School we give the working class a strong Marxist-Leninist education. The workers should predominate in the Party School, and we should not consider them to be below understanding the Marxist-Leninist theory. If we think so we are making mistakes. The workers understand Marxism-Leninism very well, indeed, they understand it better than those who have finished the general secondary school and have never worked in production.
We must send to the Party School those workers who have done eight or more years in difficult sectors of production, such as forges, factories, mines and saw-mills.
We do not intend to make them Party workers, but by sending them to the Party School we raise the ideological level of the working class. This must not be done only at the Party School, but also at Party courses in the districts and in the army; the same orientation applies to them, too, whereas it is obvious that in the forms of education we include everybody.
The fact that a cadre with higher education stands at a higher level than the other workers who attend the same three-month courses, should make him understand that he plays an educative role, an encouraging role, and prompt him to take a more active part in discussion, because by so doing he helps the workers rise to a higher ideological level. If one of these workers who attends threemonth courses should be sent to the Party School, then his case must be looked at.
Proceeding from the aim that we should give them all the best possible Marxist-Leninist education, the question arises: Why should we exclude cadres with secondary education from attending correspondence courses of the Party School and admit only those with higher education? I raise this problem because the material presented to us reads: «...as a rule, only cadres with higher education are admitted to correspondence courses.» The question is not that the cadre with higher education masters the subject better because he has more efficient methods of assimilating lessons, but that the cadres with secondary education, also, should study Marxism-Leninism.
The cadres of the youth may attend the courses for the youth, provided that the Party has this work under its control. People who study in the courses of the youth, if they are intended to work among the youth, should continue this work for some years, because the time comes when they must leave this organization on account of age limit. The one-year course on work among the youth when they must leave this organization on account of not be an obstacle to sending them to the Party School again.
We can open other courses of a shorter period of three, four or five months, depending on their importance, at the Party School. These may be full-time or correspondence courses.
We have been working and have made all these achievements, but, as I have stressed on other occasions, the question is that the work of the Party, is very beautiful , but it is also a scientific and very strictly organized activity. I am not speaking here about the spirit of initiative, which the communists should have and about other questions, but about it that the leading organs of the Party must necessarily be informed about the life of the Party and supervise it, otherwise, they cannot know the situation. We must not consider supervision only the work done by control teams. I think that this form of work is good, because control teams, when they come back, discuss and report to the Secretariat of the Central Committee or the Political Bureau.
In their reports there are some general problems, but there are also specific, positive or negative questions characteristic of the district. But this is not everything.
In the daily life of the Party there are many things which the Party must explore, activate and enliven.
In regard to this, the method of work and activity of the instructors and sectors in the apparatus of the Central Committee of the Party should be further perfected, because just as they report and are prepared to say everything about economic and political problems, so must they be just as ready, not to say readier, to report about the life of the Party.
In its reports to the Central Committee, the party committee of the district may round things out. If we take up questions in general, this will not give us a complete picture of the situation. But should we have details brought here to the Secretariat? What I am demanding is not this, but that the people at the grassroots should be active. He who drafts the report should call together all the instructors, those who have checked up on the basic organizations, both through the protocols of their meetings and in their practical life and activity. Basing himself on such information, he should come out with his own conclusions before the bureau of the party committee of the district. If the Party, then its instructors should propose to the bureau about presenting a report to the Central Committee of the Party, then its instructors should propose to the bureau of the Party Committee that they make an analysis of the zone of Roskovec or that of Mallakastra, for instance, to examine the situation of the Partylife there. If it appears to be weak, then the reasons should be stated why it is weak, and in what the weakness consists. If the situation is strong, then the good work done should be pointed out.
The report should be based on this analysis and be drafted after securing all-round information from many sources, and not from the member of the plenum only, because he, too, may be subjective, whereas instructors should base themselves on the Party work.
Protocols of meetings have to be kept carefully in each basic organization. In the basic organizations of the
Party we have now communists with schooling who are able to keep the protocols of meetings of the organization properly. There are communists with little schooling, too, but there are also those with more schooling, indeed we have now intellectuals, such as agronomists, teachers, etc., even in the basic organizations of the village.
The instructor of the party committee must have it in his work plan to follow up some basic organizations, to check up on their Party life through them, but even if he has not this particular item in his plan, he should look into the Party life of the organizations to which he goes.
But does he really go to the grassroots? I am not implying that he should go there every day, though I do not agree to it that the instructor should go to an organization only once a month, because in this case he would not do his job properly.
The instructor must go to ten or fifteen basic organizations and attend their meetings at least once a month; or he may first read the protocol of the meeting a particular organization has held the month before, draw some characteristic questions from it and tell them how to proceed in the future. The instructor of the apparatus of the Central Committee of the Party, when he comes back here, to the Central Committee, must also bring along his notes about the organization in which he has been.
Both the instructor of the Central Committee and that of the party committee of the district must be in a position to report instantly about the party organizations of the zones where they have been, at any moment that the Political Bureau or the bureau of the Party Committee of the district may ask information about what is happening
in this zone or that. They may be asked to bring along the protocols, too, but I think that they know the situation even without the protocols, because they have taken the necessary notes from the protocols which they have read at the grassroots.
Is this how they do it or not? Should this be done in this way or not? And if it should, then should the instructors have their particular zones, or should they not?
Division into zones does not imply that an instructor should not go to the zone covered by another instructor, and vice versa. No, it implies only that the instructor of a given zone should feel his responsability for the zone which is assigned to him. Just as cadres working in agriculture hold themselves responsible for the work they have been appointed to, so is the instructor of the apparatus of the party committee assigned to work in a particular zone. He can take part in control teams, too. Perhaps, this work is going on well in some district, but it is not so everywhere, therefore I thing that we must review these questions. The more so, as someone said here that we have abandoned the distribution of instructors to particular zones. This problem seems to be of an organizational character, whereas I think that it is also a political and ideological problem whose solution assists in the all-round education of the communists.
I have another question. We have taken a decision to the effect that the first secretary of the party committee of the district should every month call the secretaries of the basic organizations of the Party, if not all of them at once, at least in individual groups, and inform them about the internal and the international situation. In this meeting the secretary of the party committee of the district should speak about current problems of the economy, the degree of mobilization of the workers in the enterprises and of the members of agricultural cooperatives of the district, assessing the good work done by this or that secretary. He derives his information from the instructors who have studied the situation in the sectors from the reports and protocols of the meetings of the basic organizations, and have actually attended some of them. Also, he keeps the secretaries of the basic organizations in touch with the political situation, making a brief summary of the main world events. So, through these meetings, the first secretary keeps the Party organizations of the district informed about the situation.
That is all.
I have finished with this question.
Thank you, Comrade Jorgji, and send my regards to all the teachers and students of the Party School. On behalf of the Political Bureau, and on my behalf, tell them that they should be unyielding and extend their knowledge through the study of the materials of the Party and Marxism-Leninism which, now more than ever before, is an absolute necessity, like the air we breathe every moment and the food we eat.
"Reports and Speeches 1982 - 1983"