In our time as revolutionaries, we at the APL have been exposed to a great many myths propagated about our ideology, our historical perspective and our method of work. In this essay, we will address some common misconceptions concerning our ideology as put forward by our opponents and offer a rebuttal for each.
The first myth about non-revisionist Marxism-Leninism is that by understanding the latter USSR and China for being social-imperialist in their actions and ends, anti-revisionists, in essence, supported the mass murder of revisionist progressives for the reason that they did not completely agree with or accompany Albania in the Sino-Soviet or the Sino-Albanian split.
The notion that not supporting revisionist states is comparable to supporting their annihilation at the hands of Western imperialism is absurd. It is also every bit as absurd as Brezhnevism’s tacit approval of everyone who flies a red flag. The bottom line here is that being “progressive” in comparison to the grossest manifestations of imperialism and reaction does not make one into a communist. For instance, we at the APL remain consistently anti-imperialist, and we support Cuba and Democratic Korea’s right to not be invaded or controlled by the forces of imperial capitalism. Yet, while we do this, we continue to understand that Castroism and Juche are revisionist ideologies, and that both states are objectively not socialist, are not ruled by the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The second myth is that those who don’t conform to “Hoxhaism” are automatically considered revisionist in our eyes, and it is implied that our referring to someone as being “revisionist” comes from some “sectarianism” or “ultra-leftism” on our part, rather than the practiced application of Marxist-Leninist dialectics.
First, it must be noted that “Hoxhaism,” like “Stalinism,” does not exist as a separate tendency from Marxism-Leninism. While we uphold Enver Hoxha and Joseph Stalin as theoreticians, revolutionaries, and leaders of the revolutionary proletariat, we do not see these figures as revolutionizing Leninism in the way that Lenin restored and advanced the revolutionary character of Marxism. Hoxha and Stalin were defenders of Leninism, and put these theories to practice in the Soviet Union and Albania, and their theoretical works served to defend and elaborate on the existing theory of Leninism, not to alter it.
On the other hand, there exist political sects which assert that their leaders, such as Trotsky and Mao, “advanced” Marxist-Leninist theory through their work. These groups even go so far as to call themselves “Trotskyist” and “Maoist” to bring attention to the “advances” made by their particular theories. The reality is, however, that nothing particularly new or revolutionary was asserted in the case of Mao or Trotsky. In addition to plagiarizing existing theorists and asserting classic theory as their own (albeit with minor adjustments in phrasing), Mao Tse Tung and Leon Trotsky adopted opportunistic and counterrevolutionary stances when it suited their immediate political needs. Their theoretical line was reflected in this opportunism, and it is the deviance of revisionist theory from the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism that has led such trends down the road of ineffectualism.
A revisionist is not a revisionist because we don’t like them. A revisionist is a revisionist because they wander off of Leninism’s revolutionary path. Those who advance anti-Leninist positions such as “peaceful coexistence with capitalism,” submitting to the economic domination of the Soviet Union or People’s Republic of China rather than building one’s own socialist industry (as was the case in Eastern Europe and Kampuchea), and head down the path of peaceful reformism are revisionists. Those who would see the construction of socialism in a country halted and reversed, following a theoretical line that would have us throw up our hands because “there aren’t enough proletarians” and “we must allow more advanced capitalist construction before we can attain socialism” are revisionists (as well as counterrevolutionary traitors). There is nothing arbitrary about who the APL calls revisionist, and we are happy to explain who we’d call a revisionist and why.
A third myth has it that we are “mechanical” and “dogmatic.” At this juncture, we must confess that we are dogmatic, in that we insist on world communist revolution, we insist on the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat, and we intend to follow Marxism-Leninism, the revolutionary method which has been tried and proven as the proletariat’s theoretical mainstay against the forces of capitalism, imperialism, and revisionism. In short, we are dogmatic in our intention to win, and the whole of our ideology and activity conforms to the demands of such an intention.
It is for this reason that we continue to be open to debate, and conduct ourselves on the basis of democratic centralism. Marxist-Leninists must always be willing to struggle, because it is in struggle that we find the correct path. It was Lenin’s struggle against the revisionism of the Second International which, in a time when other “communists” were willing to retreat and cling to the trouser-legs of the bourgeoisie in the name of nationalism, gave birth to our theory. It is in struggle that we Leninists are able to remain consistent to the scientific method which Marxism-Leninism provides.
This particular line of attack is the favorite of the Maoists, who assert that it is their theory and theirs alone which offers a historical analysis and revolutionary path that is neither revisionist nor “dogmatic.” Yet, the reality is that Mao’s Philistine theory traded science for bourgeois metaphysics, and in this opportunism concocted such anti-Leninist positions as “the Theory of Three Worlds” and the notion that a society somehow between capitalism and socialism (New Democracy) could exist. These revisionist ideas would inevitably lead to allowing the old bourgeoisie to maintain leadership positions in industry, the support of US imperialism and a whole host of reactionary regimes, including those of Pinochet and Mobutu Sese Seko. Certainly Mao cannot be blamed for subjecting himself to the “mechanical dogma” of Marxism-Leninism in these cases! We at the APL have no need for unquestioning dogmatism, yet we refuse to throw out what is correct and revolutionary in our understanding, or adopt petty-bourgeois and post-materialist positions simply because they are popular among the “left.”
Going along this line of attack, our critics accuse us of supporting every action taken by Enver Hoxha and Joseph Stalin. This is untrue. For instance, we are critical of Stalin for not doing enough to battle his cult of personality. Even though Stalin didn’t actively encourage his personality cult like Mao and Kim Il-Sung did, and even spoke against it, we cannot forgive his failure to act in this matter. We are also critical of Enver Hoxha for banning religion all together, which our party has no intention of doing. Yet, while we hold these criticisms, we must disagree with the Maoists’ 7/10ths assessment of Stalin, being that their method contains more metaphysical garbage than sound dialectical thinking, and hence results in a less than useful synopsis of Stalin’s work.