Enver Hoxha, Marxism-Leninism and the peasantry

”     In bourgeois revolutions, the transformations in the economy bring about the transformations in state power, whereas in the case of people’s revolutions, changes begin immediately in the state power, and it is the task of the latter, the people’s power, to effect the changes in the economy, to construct the economic system in keeping with the interests of the victors in revolution, in keeping with the interests of the working people.

It is true that, as we said, work on this aspect started in the course of the war; during the war the traitors were attacked along with the occupier; it was in the course of the war that the class differentiation took place, but the main work in this direction had to be carried out after liberation.

The building of a new people’s economy called for radical reforms of an economic character; it was the duty of the Party towards the working masses to create better economic conditions.

Of these reforms, the Land Reform was the most important and urgent. It changed the old relations in land ownership once and for all, liberated the peasantry from centuries-old injustice and oppression, made the poor farmers owners of the produce ofht eland which they had worked on behalf of the beys and agas, sensibly restricted the exploitation of man by man, crushed and liquidated for ever the economy of the feudal lords who had deceived and robbed the poor peasant strata for centuries.

In the policy of our Party for the countryside and in the application of the Land Reform we have also had some shortcomings. This explains why, despite the slogans urging the peasants not to recognize their former masters, a law on agricultural rent was drafted according to which, until the complete implementation of the Land Reform, the peasant-farmers were compelled to give the owners up to 30 percent of the produce of the land, a law which was not well received, and aroused discontent among the peasants. Likewise, at the beginning, the Law on the Land Reform did not allow the adoption of radical measures of expropriation.

The distribution of land presented its specific difficulties, it was a struggle in itself. The Party was fully mobilized, and together with it, all the working peasantry. As for the kulaks, in the beginning they sought to arouse doubts among the peasants, saying that, “it takes years, technicians, to carry out the Land Reform”. They supported the slogans of the clergy, “The land belongs to God”, etc. However, when they found that such slogans were of no avail in coping with the powerful attack of the working masses guided by the Party, some of them managed to join even the poor peasants’ committees in order to sabotage their work, to help themselves and their relatives.

According to the Marxist principle that the sharpening of the class struggle makes the enemy more savage and more determined to fight, the kulaks even went to such lengths as to throw bombs at the peasants who took their land. The people’s courts showed that the exproriation of the land was the most painful blow to the bourgeoisie in the countryside.

However, despite the shortcomings of the Law at the state, which derived from the influence of the land policy of the Trotskyite leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, despite the deliberate sabotage of some technicians, despite the resistance of opposition elements, despite the lack of data and cadres for such an undertaking, thanks to the work of the Party and to the full support of the mass of the poor and middle peasants, the Land Reform was carried out, and one year afterwards the first title deeds were distributed, and in general the job was well done.

The peasants discovered from real facts that they were in power, discovered the great concern and interest in them of the Party and the people’s power. This gave our peasant a courage he had never had; it made him conscious of his strength, convinced him that, just as he had won the war under the leadership of the Party, so with the Party he could achieve new successes.

The peasants were convinced that only the Party, inspired by the Marxist-Leninist teachings, relying on the great achievements and the invaluable experience of the motherland of socialism, the great Soviet Union, was capable of implementing such a reform in the interest of the working masses.

The triumph of the people’s revolution opened a brilliant page in the history of the peasantry, just as it had done for the entire working people. The distribution of land, no doubt, was the first step, but the Party and the state were not satisfied with just this in their policy concerning the peasantry which had thrown off its two-fold yoke but had suffered heavy damage in the war. Despite their good will, the poor peasants were not in a position to recover without assistance. The Party and the state did not fail to tackle this task. Aid in this respect has been allsided, and, with the strengthening of the people’s power, it has been increased from year to year.

In administering this aid, our policy has been, and will be, that the cooperatives and poor peasants should benefit first of all.

The changes in the ownership and relations in regard to land, the beginnings of the use of advanced means, the great material assistance from the state, and the new political and social conditions in our country brought about a new situation for the peasantry. The sweat and toil of the poor peasants no longer go to the benefit of the landowners of yesterday; the peasants own the fruits of their labour. Whereas prior to liberation the labouring peasants were serfs, exhausted, ragged, famished, and despised, with the victory of the National Liberation War they were rescued from that plight and are now perceptibly improving their economies, convince that under the leadership of the Party and with ceaseless work they will see still better days.

We can express ourselves in comrade Stalin’s words: ‘Now the countryside cannot any longer be termed a stepmother to the peasant’.

As is known, up to the liberation of Albania, land was mainly the property of feudal owners, kulaks and, partially, of poor peasants. As a result of the seizure of the power by the people, following the changes in the economic, political and social relations, apart from the private sector in agriculture, conditions were created for setting up two new sectors; the sector of cooperatives of the socialist type and the entirely socialist state sector.”- Enver Hoxha

Source: http://ciml.250x.com/archive/hoxha/english/enver_hoxha_selected_works_volume_2_eng.pdf

Pages 14 to 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

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