The Relations Between the Cadres and the Masses and the Struggle Against Bureaucracy
– Professor, Editor-in-chief of
“Zëri i Popullit”
Albania Today, 1976, 5
The historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat, both positive as well as negative, has shown that one of the most important questions in socialism is that of the cadres, the training of the cadres, their revolutionisation and the establishment of correct relations between them and the working masses.
The unceasing advance of the revolution and the construction of socialist society necessarily require the training of a large number of leading cadres, able, revolutionary and loyal to Marxism-Leninism, to the ideals of socialism and the interests of the working class and the people. The creation of a whole army of such cadres in all the fields of our socialist development constitutes an important victory of our party. Comrade Enver Hoxha says: “the cadres constitute a great treasure of the party and the people. They carry heavy burdens on their shoulders and have successfully solved and continue to solve major problems of socialist construction and the defence of the homeland” (Enver Hoxha. Speech delivered at the 4th Plenum of the CC of the PLA, on June 26, 1973).
But whereas the existence of revolutionary cadres, ideologically and politically pure and linked with the masses, constitutes a sound guarantee for the cause of socialism, on the contrary, the weakening of the revolutionary spirit of the cadres, their degeneration and the distortion of the relations between them and the masses constitutes, a serious danger to the socialist order.
It has been proved in theory and practice that without implementing correct relations between the cadres and the masses there can be no talk of truly socialist relations of production, and the danger exists that those relations will be gradually transformed into relations of exploitation and subjugation of the working people by the leading cadres. The implementation of correct relations between the cadres and the masses is, likewise, an essential condition for the all-round development of socialist democracy, for the broad, effective and direct participation of the masses in running the country, of the preservation and continual strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the socialist order as a whole, to bar the way to its bourgeois-revisionist degeneration.
Summing up the lessons of the Paris Commune, K. Marx and F. Engels pointed out that “... In order to avoid losing its newly won domination, the working class must, on the one hand entirely destroy the old oppressive machine which has been used against it, and, on the other hand, must protect itself from its own deputies and officials, must take measures “against the transformation of the state and state organs from servants of the society into masters of the society.” (K. Marx-F. Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, pp. 453 and 454, Albanian edition.)
The danger against which Marx and Engels warned became a reality in the Soviet Union, where, after Stalin's death, the dictatorship of the proletariat degenerated into a counterrevolutionary dictatorship, among other reasons also due to the fact that, as comrade Enver Hoxha points out, in that country “... a worker aristocracy of bureaucratised, privileged cadres, divorced from the people and their lives, who did not have the feeling of the class and class and who were inspired by the bourgeois ideology and the bourgeois way of life was gradually created? This stratum, comprised mainly of cadres of the Party, the State, the economy and the intelligentsia, became the social basis of revisionism. Relying precisely on this stratum, the Khrushchevite revisionists usurped the state power in the Soviet Union, liquidated the dictatorship of the proletariat, established the dictatorship of revisionism and paved the way to the restoration of capitalism." (Enver Hoxha, Report to the 5th Congress of the PLA, p. 84.)
The Party of Labour of Albania has kept these vital teachings in mind and, on the basis of the summing up of more than 30 years' revolutionary experience of the socialist construction in Albania, has worked out a series of effective measures to prevent any kind of distortion in the relations between cadres and the masses or the bourgeois-revisionist degeneration of the cadres, so that the cadres will always be true revolutionaries and servants of the people to the end of their lives.
The struggle for the implementation of these measures is being carried out in two fundamental directions: on the one hand, through broad and continuous educative work for the ideological moulding of the cadres as revolutionaries; on the other hand, by placing the cadres in such material and social conditions, and these are sanctioned by law, so that they will not degenerate, but will think, work and fight as true proletarian revolutionaries.
The ideological work of the Party for the revolutionary education of the cadres aims at moulding them with Marxism-Leninism, with the revolutionary world outlook of the working class, which is the dominant ideology in Albania, with loyalty to the Party of Labour of Albania, the vanguard of the working class and the leading force of the state and our socialist society, with the features and moral qualities of the working class, the most revolutionary and the leading class of socialist society.
This requires a persistent and incessant struggle against any kind of manifestation and trend of economism, technocratism, bourgeois objectivism and political indifference, of deviation, from the proletarian ideology and policy, liberalism and opportunism towards the alien influences of bourgeois and revisionist ideology, for the inculcation in the cadres of the spirit of principle, class tendentiousness and proletarian partisanship, of being guided in everything by the Marxist-Leninist policy of the Party and revolutionary militancy. Socialist society needs cadres who are not only capable specialists in this or that branch, but at the same time, well formed politically and ideologically, genuine proletarian revolutionaries.
A consistent struggle is necessary also against any kind of bureaucratic and intellectualist concept and tendency, any kind of manifestation of conceit and subjectivism, of overestimation of mental and managerial work and contempt for “ordinary” work and the people of production, overestimation of decrees and divorce from the masses and practical work, work with living people, against any spirit of personal ease, careerism and claims to privilege. This is a struggle for the tempering of the cadres “in the school of the working class”, so that they will be characterised by modesty, the spirit of sacrifice persistence, and fighting to carry out one's duty and overcome difficulties, etc. Comrade Enver Hoxha points out: “Socialism has no need for bureaucrats and technocrats who have faith only in their own “genius”, in technology, the power of decree; but it needs cadres who will merge and live with the masses, think and feel in the same way as the working class and the cooperativist peasantry”. (Enver Hoxha, Report to the 6th Congress of the PLA, p. 127.)
Further, it is necessary to combat any separation of the education of cadres in the ideology of Marxism-Leninism from their active participation in the practical class struggle and in revolutionary action together with the workers and peasants, a separation which does not allow the creation of profound and stable ideo-political and moral convictions.
Finally, it is important that the training and ideo-political education of the cadres should not be divorced from the training and ideo-political education of the working class and working masses, because Marxism-Leninism, the ideology of the working class, cannot be a privilege of a minority, but must be a powerful weapon in the hands of the broad working masses, who, enlightened by the teachings of the Party and under its leadership, are consciously building socialism and communism with their own hands.
In our socialist society the cadres can be nothing else but servants of the working class and the working people. This position of the cadres in the service of the working class and the people requires that they must always maintain close ties with the masses, must know the thoughts and concerns of the masses, listen attentively to the voice of the masses, learn from their great experience and carry out the will of the masses. Contemptuous attitudes towards the working masses, whoever they may come from, are alien to the principles of socialism. Especially to be condemned are attitudes of domineering, arbitrarity, injustice and retaliation by the managerial cadres and officials against the working people, through misuse of their positions.
One of the most effective measures to prevent the bureaucratic degeneration and transformation of the managerial cadres from servants of the people into rulers over the workers and the people is to put the cadres under subordination and control from the two directions: from above, by implementing proletarian centralism, and from below, directly from the masses or the working collectives in conformity with the norms of socialist democracy. This is of vital importance. The unilateral subordination of the cadres from above only, which constituted one of the fundamental defects in the Soviet Union, brings extremely negative consequences: it arouses in the cadres the spirit of independence, arrogance, domineering, contempt and commandism towards the working masses, in other words it leads to the bureaucratic degeneration of the cadres.
Experience in Albania up to now shows that the practical implementation of the principle of subordination of the cadres to the working masses and to check up directly from below, includes several main aspects.
This requires first of all the consistent carrying out in practice of the lesson of the Paris Commune that the working class protects itself even from its deputies and officials “by proclaiming them all, without any exception, replaceable at any time”. (K. Marx-F. Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, p. 453.)
Both the elected representatives of the people and all the cadres, in particular those who perform leading functions in the administration and apparatus, are and should be, dependent directly on the working masses from below, for the danger of bureaucratic degeneration is greatest among them. The Party and comrade Enver Hoxha have continually stressed the necessity that, for the evaluation, appointment and movement of cadres the opinion of the masses, of the working collective, absolutely must be sought first (and not formally, after everything has been decided) and only after this should the competent organs responsible for them decide. Comrade Enver Hoxha says: "Irrespective of the nature of our posts, the people elect and approve us, therefore they must also dismiss us when we do not work well... The director's office and the cadres section which will propose the cadre, and also compile his biographies must exist then when it comes to the question of accepting him, or not, this should be thoroughly threshed out by the masses and not decided because this is how the director, the committee or the Minister wants it”.
The subordination of the cadres to the base, directly to the masses, demands that the cadres, be they elected or appointed, must without fail render account before the masses and be subjected to the check up of the masses. In spite of the positive experience accumulated thus far, this is a field in which there is much room for research, to find various and the most effective forms for the cadres to render account before the masses, waging a persistent struggle against formalism on this question. In connection with this, of major importance is comrade Enver Hoxha's instruction that we should not allow the criticism of the masses aimed at the cadres to be hindered under the pretext or the wrong reasoning of allegedly preserving the authority of cadres of the Party and state. The people know very well how to distinguish between the correct line of the Party and various people, whatever their positions, who make mistakes or distort the correct directives of the Party and the people's power. And if the cadres render account before the masses for their work and attitudes, are subjected to the criticism of the masses and make self-criticism before the working people, not only does this not impair the authority of our Party and state power but it further increases it.
Of particular importance for subordinating the cadres to the base is the exercise of the continuous, effective and diverse control by the working masses, in the first place the worker control, over cadres, concerning their activity and attitudes. Nobody can or should remain outside such a control. Comrade Enver Hoxha says: “It is a duty of all the working people, particularly of the working class, to stand up courageously and sternly condemn any manifestation of bureaucracy, to put all the activity of the organs of state power, the economy and the Party, the communists, the cadres and officials, wherever they work, be they elected or appointed, under their control”. This control constitutes one of the fundamental and decisive means of protecting the cadres and, together with them, the socialist order and the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat, from the danger of bourgeois-revisionist degeneration.
Life and experience have confirmed the correctness of the directives of the PLA that the participation of the cadres in work directly in production, in the ranks of the working class and cooperativist peasantry, constitutes an essential condition for the continuous revolutionisation of the cadres, for linking them closely with the masses, for moulding them with the revolutionary moral features and qualities of the workers and peasants, for the preservation of the cadres from the danger of degeneration into bureaucracy, intellectualism, careerism, etc.
One of the important defects which, in the Soviet Union, led to the infection of many cadres with bureaucracy, intellectualism, careerism and the bourgeois way of life, to their gradual degeneration, was, among others, precisely their divorce from productive work, the preservation of a marked separation of mental and managerial work from physical work, which is a deeply-rooted heritage from the society based on exploitation.
The direct participation of the cadres in work in production, along with the direct participation of the broad working masses in running the country, in developing culture and the technical-scientific revolution, etc., constitutes one of the effective ways of the gradual narrowing of the essential differences between mental work and physical work. On this question, in conformity with Lenin's teachings that all the working people must learn to govern as one of the fundamental conditions of the advance towards communist society, the aim is to proceed further and further on the road of the combination and alternation of managerial work with work in production, so that the cadres will be both managers and workers, so that they always manage, work and live together with the masses of workers and peasants.
In socialist society the state power does not belong to an exploiting minority, but to the working people, with the working class at the head and under the undivided leadership of the proletarian Party. The direct and effective participation of the broad working masses in running the country constitutes, as the 6th Congress of the PLA pointed out, the fundamental direction of the development of the socialist democracy in operation in our country at the present stage.
The carrying out in practice of these basic principles requires that the maximum number of working people must be drawn, in turn, into managerial work and learn to run the country. And one of the practical ways to do this is the circulation of cadres from managerial posts and the administration to production. This is one aspect. The other aspect is that circulation is one of the very effective means of linking the cadres closely with the masses and revolutionising them. Both the positive experience of the socialist development in Albania, and the negative experience of the Soviet Union and some other countries, where precisely non-circulation was one of the causes of the bureaucratisation and degeneration of many cadres, making them a social basis for revisionism clearly confirms this. Comrade Enver Hoxha points out that we must send to the base “our people with great managerial experience..., endow them with the spirit of the base so they become fighters determined to eliminate from themselves all traces of intellectualist, bureaucratic and technocratic hangovers. In their place we should bring outstanding working people from the base into the central apparatus”. (Enver Hoxha, Reports and Speeches, 1970-1971, p. 89.)
One of the main objectives of the circulation of cadres in our socialist Society is to bring the maximum number of workers or people of worker origin to leading posts, proceeding from the principle that the working class is the leading class, which exercises the state power of the dictatorship of the proletariat directly too, in the most varied forms. One of these forms is precisely the placing of workers right in the leading organs and apparatus of the state, the economy, culture, etc., in all links and at all levels. In this direction our Party has carried out a determined and consistent struggle to overcome bureaucratic, intellectualist and technocratic hesitations which hinder the bringing of workers from production into the apparatus of management, and the placing of specialists under the direction of workers.
The consistent implementation of the teachings of the Party of Labour of Albania and comrade Enver Hoxha about the circulation of cadres requires that the alien bureaucratic concept, according to which the cadres in socialism are destined to remain their whole lifetime in leading posts, the concept about the “irreplaceability” of cadres, which takes root in the heads of some people and which is completely contrary to the thoroughly democratic spirit of the socialist order, must be combated, smashed and rooted out. Precisely this concept, as well as the putting of the narrow personal interests above the collective interest, is the basis of the unsound inclinations of some cadres to circulate “provisionally” with the aim that they will certainly be returned to the leading posts.
It is necessary, likewise, to eradicate the bureaucratic and petty-bourgeois concept which equates circulation with dismissal for errors or other reasons, implanting instead, the concept that the circulation of the cadres from the leading posts to the base, among the ranks of the working masses, is not a punishment or demotion but a rule in socialist society and one of the most effective ways to keep the cadres genuine revolutionaries to the end of their lives.
An important principle in socialism is that the pay of officials, and here we mean first of all the leading cadres, is in fair ratio with that of the workers and cooperativists, with a view to avoiding the creation of any privileged stratum. This is one of the vital problems of socialist society, and has to do, in the final analysis, with the very fate of the revolution and the construction of socialism. In socialist society, through the liquidation of private property, the inequality of people in regard to the means of production is eliminated and together with this also the exploitation of man by man. But, being a transitional society and the lower stage of communist society, socialism preserves traces of capitalism, among which is inequality in distribution, in other words, in the incomes and the living standards of the working people. This constitutes a material basis for the possibility, for the danger of the bourgeois degeneration of certain categories of people, and this refers first and foremost to leading cadres. The essence of the matter is: Shall we advance on the road of the widening or the steady narrowing of this inequality in socialism?
The negative experience of the Soviet Union shows that the deviation from the principle of the Paris Commune about paying officials and functionaries the average pay of workers (K. Marx-F. Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, p. 454), the absolutisation and generalisation of the system of high salaries, which, for a certain time was imposed and justified by the historical circumstances of a limited category of specialists, as well as laying excessive stress on material incentives, while neglecting moral incentives, led to the bourgeois degeneration of a broad stratum of cadres and exerted a powerful influence to make them a social basis for the revisionist course. After the revisionists usurped the state power, they further extended this inequality or "bourgeois right", as Marx and Lenin described it, using it as one of the principal ways for the liquidation of the socialist relations of production and the exploitation of the working people by the new bourgeois class.
The Party of Labour of Albania has always implemented a correct policy on this question. Without falling into the positions of the petty-bourgeois egalitarianism, it has taken the necessary measures at the proper time to avoid marked disproportions between the remuneration of the cadres and that of the working masses and has consistently advanced on the road of further reducing the differentials in this field. Comrade Enver Hoxha stresses: “In building up the standard of living, great differences must not be allowed, the officials must not live a great deal better than the workers, and the peasants worse than their allies of the town. This stems particularly from the high salaries of officials. Such a situation creates those elements of the new bourgeoisie which arises from the ranks of the class, the ranks of the Party, which, if these elements are not corrected and purged, becomes dangerous... the trimming must continue, high salaries should be reduced further, so that the raised standard of living of one category of people will not incite the desire for a bourgeois life... thus we must take measures so that this inequality in the system of payment for work will be reduced... otherwise we permit the development of the capitalist element...”.
Historical experience has confirmed that the degeneration and bourgeoisification of the cadres in the socialist society also comes from hankering after privileges, exploiting official positions for this purpose.
In socialist Albania, where the| working class in alliance with all the working people is in power, where socialist relations of production have triumphed completely and every form of exploitation of man by man has been liquidated, where the leading cadres have emerged from the ranks of the masses, and represent and defend the vital interests of the people, the relations between the cadres and the masses are characterised by unity, which is a component part of the great unity of the entire people around the Party in the struggle for the complete final victory of socialism and communism. However even in socialist society, various contradictions may arise, and in fact do arise, between the cadres and the masses. As a rule these are not antagonistic contradictions, but contradictions among the people. But, as the PLA has pointed out, if these non-antagonistic contradictionsare not resolved in time and on the correct Marxist-Leninist course, they may be gradually transformed into antagonistic contradictions if the cadres are allowed to counterpose themselves to the working masses, to their interests, if the cadres are transformed into rulers over the masses and into new exploiters, and thus the socialist relations of production are turned into relations between the exploiters and the exploited, i.e. into capitalist relations, as occurred in fact in the Soviet Union and in some other countries where the revisionists have come to power.
On the basis of the summing up of the revolutionary experience of the country, the PLA has correctly defined the fundamental ways of handling and resolving the contradictions between the cadres and the masses, ways which have to do with such norms of relations between them as placing cadres under subordination and control from two directions, not only from above but also from below, directly from the masses, the cadres rendering accounts before the masses, the right of the masses to recall representatives who do not justify their trust as well as to demand the discharge of the unworthy officials and functionaries, the right of citizens to make complaints about unjust actions of officials and functionaries, non-recognition of any inequality and privilege before the law and in rights and duties, due to social position, etc. But in the case that various cadres show themselves incorrigible, take the road to revisionism and capitalism, degenerate into counterrevolutionary enemy elements and raise their hand against the Party, the working class, the people, the homeland and socialism, then the dictatorship of the proletariat strikes them down mercilessly.
On the vital question of the relations between the cadres and the masses, too, the revolutionary experience of the PLA and the teachings of comrade Enver Hoxha constitute a blow against the counterrevolutionary preachings of the modern revisionists and serve the cause of the continuous development and strengthening of the socialist order.