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Hoxha Denies the Existence of Antagonistic Classes under Socialism

In his book Imperialism and the Revolution, Hoxha claims to have had doubts about Mao Tsetung's theses before:

"On many of Mao Tsetung's theses, such as that about the handling of contradictions between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie as non-antagonistic contradictions, the thesis about the existence of antagonistic classes during the entire period of socialism, … we had our reservations…."
"Thus he [Mao] does
not see the socialist revolution as a qualitative change of society in which antagonistic classes and the oppression and exploitation of man by man is abolished, but conceives it as a simple change of places between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat."(93)

Scornfully Hoxha says this is Mao Tsetung's "discovery" and then quotes him:

"If the bourgeoisie and the proletariat cannot transform themselves into each other, how does it come that, through revolution, the proletariat becomes the ruling class and the bourgeoisie the ruled class?" (All emphasis by the ed.)

How can Hoxha assert that this change of place Mao Tsetung talks about is no qualitative change when "through revolution, the proletariat becomes the ruling class"? Marx in his time had already made this "discovery". Stalin, too, writes that there is class suppression before and after the revolution:

"But there is one substantial difference. This difference consists in the fact that all hitherto existing class states have been dictatorships of an exploiting minority over the exploited majority, whereas the dictatorship of the proletariat is the dictatorship of the exploited majority over the exploited minority."(94; emphasis by the ed.)

In attacking Mao Tsetung's statement that antagonistic classes continue to exist throughout the whole period of socialism and that the victorious proletariat as the ruling class commands and suppresses the bourgeoisie, Hoxha takes the opposite stand, contradicting Lenin, who in his work Economics and Politics in the Era of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat stresses explicitly:

"Having overthrown the bourgeoisie and conquered political power, the proletariat becomes the ruling class; it wields state power, it exercises control over the means of production already socialised; it guides the wavering and intermediary elements and classes; it crushes the increasingly stubborn resistances of the exploiters. All these are specific tasks of the class struggle, tasks which the proletariat formerly did not and could not have set itself. The class of exploiters, the landowners and capitalists, have not disappeared and cannot disappear all at once under the dictatorship of the proletariat. The exploiters have been smashed, but not destroyed. They still have an international basis in the form of international capital, of which they are a branch. They still retain certain means of production in part, they still have money, they still have vast social connections. Because they have been defeated, the energy of their resistance has increased a hundred- and a thousandfold. …
But if it is not forgotten, it becomes obvious that by overthrowing the bourgeoisie the proletariat takes the most decisive step towards the abolition of classes, and in order to complete the process the proletariat must continue its class struggle, making use of the apparatus of state power and employing various methods of combating, influencing and bringing pressure to bear on the overthrown bourgeoisie and the vacillating petty bourgeoisie."(95)

By denying the existence of antagonistic classes and the emergence of a new bourgeoisie, Hoxha restricts class struggle in socialism to "remnants of the overthrown and exploited classes" and to "elements who are degenerating and opposing socialist construction", but mainly to external enemies, the "surrounding capitalist-revisionist world" (Shehu).