From Albania Today, 1972, 2
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the Fight Against Bureaucracy
The preservation and strengthening of the socialist state cannot be carried out without a permanent and consistent struggle against all manifestations of bureaucracy
By Luan Omari – professor jurist, dean of the faculty of the political-juridical sciences under the State University of Tirana. – He deals with problems of the theory of the state and law.
The practice of socialist construction in Albania has proved the correctness of the Marxist-Leninist thesis that the constant strengthening of the socialist state is the premise for the extension of socialist democracy, for the broadening of the social base of the dictatorship of the proletariat. All the political, economic and cultural successes of our people in the building of socialism, under the leadership of the Party, would have been unthinkable without the major role of our socialist State. 27-years experience has also confirmed, under the specific conditions of our country, the correctness of the Marxist-Leninist doctrine about the decisive role of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a powerful means in the hands of the working class for the construction of the new order, for the development and deepening of our socialist revolution.
The 6th Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania placed important historic tasks before the Party and the whole people for the deepening of the process of revolutionization in the political, economic, ideological, and cultural fields, for the further development of the country on the road of socialism. A fundamental condition for the realization of these tasks is the unceasing strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat. “The key problem of the revolution, – said comrade Enver Hoxha in his report, – has been and will continue to be till the attainment of the victory of communism, the problem of the state power, of the dictatorship of the proletariat. In whatever field the class struggle between the two roads – socialist and capitalist, may develop – in the political or economic, ideological, cultural or military field, it is, in the final account, a struggle over the question of whether the dictatorship of the proletariat will be preserved and strengthened, or will degenerate and be overthrown, as occurred in the Soviet Union and in some other countries".
Experience of the construction of socialism has proved that the strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the all-round development of socialist democracy cannot be ensured without a resolute struggle against bureaucracy. The Party of Labour of Albania and comrade Enver Hoxha have always warned against the danger of bureaucracy, and especially in the recent years, keeping in mind the negative experience of the Soviet Union and of some other countries, they have proceeded with an all-round analysis of its sources and roots, at the same time also defining measures for an effective struggle against it.
This struggle of our Party against bureaucracy has always been waged in the spirit of the teachings of Marx and Lenin. In the Marxist-Leninist theory on the state and society the problem and analysis of bureaucracy occupy a special place. Although other thinkers before Marx have also written in the political theory about bureaucracy, the founder of scientific socialism is the first one that has defined bureaucracy as a social-political category, as a component part of society and state. In Marx's work the theory about bureaucracy constitutes an element of his general world outlook about society and its development, especially about the state. In his "Critique of the Hegelian philosophy of right” Marx criticized Hegel's theory about the administration, i.e. about the bureaucracy in the bourgeois state. Marx's answer to Hegel's thesis that “the administration is the soul of the state” contains in itself the whole Marxist concept on bureaucracy. "Bureaucracy, – Marx wrote, – is not the soul of the state, it is its lack of soul”. Developing and completing his theory about the bureaucracy, especially in his works “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte” and the “Civil War in France”, Marx explained bureaucracy in the field of economic-social relations, disclosing the essence of this phenomenon.
Lenin's concepts about bureaucracy were developed especially under the conditions of the building of socialism, after the October Revolution. He discovered that Soviet bureaucracy had its origin in definite economic relations. Although the old bureaucratic apparatus had been smashed, following the October Revolution at the 8th Congress of the Communist Party of Russia Lenin spoke of a partial revival of bureaucracy, while two years later he said that “we see this evil before us even more clearly, more accentuated and more threatening". (V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, vol. 2, p. 770.)
Lenin pointed out the classical characteristics of bureaucracy: lack of ability, lack of responsibility, administrative procrastination, etc. He showed how these phenomena, arisen on the basis of a backward peasantry, of an undeveloped capitalism, the feudal traditions and police despotism of the past, remained under the new conditions, too, and can develop and reproduce themselves. Aware of the danger of the development of bureaucracy, Lenin pointed out that the Soviet apparatus was still “true to the type of our old state apparatus", therefore he demanded a rapid change in it, seeking new forces in the deepest roots of our dictatorship”, that is in the development of institutions based on the broadest possible participation of the workers and peasants.
Despite Lenin's warnings and despite the struggle carried out by Stalin, who continued his work, against bureaucracy, this did not disappear in the Soviet Union, but under given conditions it became further developed and this, in turn, led to the creation of a parasitic stratum detached from the people, a stratum that became the social basis of the birth of Khrushchevite revisionism.
The teachings of Marxism-Leninism and the critical analysis of the negative experience of the Soviet Union and of some countries of people's democracy provided our Party with the possibility of drawing accurate conclusions about the nature and causes of bureaucracy and at the same time of taking more effective measures to attack the roots of it. Such historic documents of our Party as the Open Letter, comrade Enver Hoxha's report at the 5th Congress, his February 6, 1967 speech “On the further revolutionization of the Party and state power”, "Working class control" and now the report at the 6th Congress of the Party, are important stages in the struggle against bureaucracy. They are materials of great theoretical and practical value the importance of which transcends the borders of our country, for they are based also on the summing up of international practice.
In his report to the 6th Congress of the Party comrade Enver Hoxha pointed out that “the general road for the strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of the entire socialist order, is the development of mass democracy”. Our state power radically differs from the state power of the bourgeoisie. It emerged as the power of the working people, which is reflected in its content, as well as in its construction. The very establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat in Albania as a direct result of the broad National Liberation Struggle, is an original characteristic of our state. The breadth of the social base of the dictatorship of the proletariat in Albania which stems from these historical conditions, is a fundamental characteristic of socialist construction in our country. Our state power, under the leadership of the Party, has constantly strengthened these powerful ties with the masses. The consolidation of our social and economic order is an important factor for the extension of the social base of the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the present period of the building of the material and technical base of socialism the socialist character of our State is reflected not only in the objective it aims at – the complete construction of socialist society –, but also in the fact that it is based on the socialist relations of production, which are predominant in our country today.
This fact creates particularly favourable conditions for the all-round development of socialist democracy, for the eradication of bureaucracy, which is the antithesis of this democracy, for the establishment of the closest possible ties between the state power and the masses. The people's state power can have no interests apart from those of the masses. It relies on the powerful support of the masses, its aim is the broadest possible activation of all the masses in governing the country, in the control of the state apparatus on the basis of the principle that the people in power manage, lead, administer the country.
Since the 5th Congress of the Party appreciable results have been achieved in the fight against bureaucratism, for the development of socialist democracy. The measures adopted against the manifestations of bureaucracy, for the strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat, have promoted the improvement of our socialist superstructure, its strengthening, and cleansing of everything alien, so that it will always preserve its pure proletarian class character. Resulting from these measures the political organisation of our society is responding ever better to the economic base of socialism that has been built. But the swift progress of the productive forces in our country and the improvement of the relations of production cannot be reflected immediately on the whole superstructure of our society. During this process of development separate elements of the superstructure lag behind in comparison with the development of the economic base. This relative lagging behind of the superstructure as compared with the relations of production manifests itself in the existence of some negative phenomena which, in essence, reflect the resistance of the old forces, traditions, ideology and morality of the feudo-bourgeois society. Among these negative phenomena the most important is bureaucracy which is, as comrade Enver Hoxha says, “a great and deep-rooted evil” that can lead to the degeneration of the dictatorship of the proletariat. After the victory of the socialist relations of production and the liquidation of the exploiting classes, bureaucracy is the most dangerous internal enemy of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Our Party has mobilized the inexhaustible revolutionary energies of the working class and of all the working masses to fight these negative phenomena to the finish, to eliminate the “blemishes” which pave the way to bourgeois and revisionist degeneration. In this respect, there is no doubt that our Party has drawn the proper conclusions from the negative experience of the Soviet Union and the other countries where the revisionist cliques seized power. The measures for the further revolutionization of our entire national life are not simply preventive measures, dictated by this negative experience of other countries, but are, in the first place, measures for the further development of the socialist revolution, in conformity with the objective demands of the development of our society on the road of the full construction of socialism and communism. These measures, adopted by the Party of Labour of Albania, especially since the 5th Congress, such as the further enlivening of all the organizations and forms of socialist democracy, the strengthening of the people's control over the representative organs, and of the representative organs over the executive ones and the administration, the direct working class control over anyone and everything, the simplification of the state apparatus and the rejection of over-concentration of competences at the centre, the purge of bureaucratic distortions in the legislation, the abolition of rank in the army and the improvement of the system of command in the armed forces, the closest possible integration of the cadres with the masses through their rotation and direct work in production – all these are measures which, on the one hand, raised an insurmountable barricade to the danger of bourgeois and revisionist degeneration, and, on the other hand, opened the way for the deepening of the socialist revolution and for the complete construction of the socialist society in our country.
These measures taken by the Party are not merely of an organisational character, but in the first place, of a profoundly ideological and political character.
The ideological aspect of these measures is closely related to the significance of the fight against bureaucracy, as a struggle against the concrete manifestations of bourgeois ideology, for the victory of socialist ideology. Since bureaucracy is a form of thinking and acting in open opposition to the people, to their vital interests, the complete victory over bureaucratism cannot be ensured without eradicating hostile ideology, without eliminating the hang-overs and “stains” from the old society in the consciousness of men. During the struggle for the further revolutionization of the entire life of the country many bureaucratic concepts which had taken root in the men of the state apparatus were smashed. They had been leading, among other things, to the replacement of the educative work with mere administrative stands, to the development of officialdom and formalism.
The political aspect of the struggle against bureaucracy is expressed in the deepening of the mass line which has always been the general line of our Party, making the participation of the working people in governing the country broader and more effective, increasing their revolutionary initiatives and at the same time further improving the relations between the cadres and the masses. In this aspect an important role has been played by the consolidation of the representative organs of the state power and the improvement of their composition. Over 30,000 councillors are militating today in the people's councils of districts, localities, city quarters and villages. During the latest elections to the people's councils, the number of workers from production elected increased from 77 per cent to 80.9 per cent, the members of the Albanian Labour Youth Union – from 9.70 per cent to 15.63 per cent, while the number of women reached for 36.12 per cent of the total number of councillors. This strengthening of the social basis of the state organs and their reliance on the masses of the people are an indispensable condition for preventing any undue growth of the administrative apparatus, indeed for proceeding, as far as is possible, on the road of its further curtailment. Lenin used to say, – “We have a “wonderful means” to increasing our state apparatus ten-fold immediately, at a move of the hand, a means which no capitalist state has ever had or can ever have. This wonderful means is the drawing in of the working people, of the poor, to the daily work of governing the state”. (Lenin, Works, vol. 26, p. 109.)
Of course, the improvement of the composition of the state organs and state administration is a continuous process, but it is not in itself a guarantee of the elimination of the danger of bureaucracy. Despite the successes achieved in the deepening of the mass line, comrade Enver Hoxha pointed out that “it would be a mistake to fall into self-complacency and remain at the level that has been achieved". As pointed out by Engels in connection with the Paris Commune, in order to defend and achieve its victory, the working class must not only smash the old bourgeois state apparatus to its foundations, but must at the same time guard itself against its own deputies and employees, taking the necessary measures to prevent that the state, its organs, and men from turning into masters and rulers of the people. For this, our Party teaches us, the control of the masses and in particular the control by the working class, is indispensable. “The control by the workers from below, – comrade Enver Hoxha says in his report, – is a necessity and a basic principle of social life during the whole historic period of socialism... In the workers' control we see one of the fundamental guarantees of averting the danger of revisionism and of a return to capitalism”.
The workers' control, according to the teachings of the Party and comrade Enver Hoxha, must extend over the state organs, party organisations, communists and individual cadres, to discover and eliminate all the alien manifestations that endanger the dictatorship of the proletariat. But to do this, comrade Enver Hoxha instructs, “it is of special importance for the working class to understand in the first place not only its role as a decisive productive force, but also its political role as a vanguard class in our society”. The working class itself, like all our working people, needs to be educated with the class ideology. Seeing the working class as it is, the Party and comrade Enver Hoxha have laid down that its persistent political and ideological education is a main task. This is a decisive link for successfully carrying out the struggle against bureaucracy, and the further strengthening of socialist democracy.
The struggle against bureaucratism, for the further strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the development of socialist democracy, is an arduous and protracted class struggle. The experience accumulated so far especially in the recent years in the carrying out of this struggle on the basis of important Party documents and comrade Enver Hoxha's programmatic speeches on these questions, created the possibility for a deep and complete scientific analysis of the situation, defining clear and correct roads for the future. The synthesis of this struggle and work of the Party, in both the theoretical and practical fields, is reflected in comrade Enver Hoxha's report to the 6th Congress of the PLA, which is a consistent and creative application of Marxism-Leninism, a great programme that arms the Party, the working class and the labouring masses in their struggle to preserve and constantly strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat, to achieve final victory in this struggle.