Expressions About the “Naiveté” of the Albanians

– B. Paul –

2022 marks 25 years since the Albanian civil war in 1997. During that year, that glorious and heroic people showed their true expression, not for a “return” to socialism, but to a way forward towards socialism. No such anarchy and chaos, no such depression, poverty or uncertainty, no pyramid schemes or money tricks, existed in the Albanian people’s free and happy life during the period of socialism. Their livelihoods were drained, the Berisha clique and other traitors to the homeland responsible.

During this time, those friends with Albania during its socialist period saw the yearning of their people as closely connected with their own struggle. Little Albania, who just some years before provided them the utmost aid, was itself fighting against the old and for the new once again. Of course, this ended with the betrayal of the “Socialist” Party who promised to end all the ills of the Berisha era. It ended this way in part because the Albanian people did not have their advanced detachment, a communist party in the vanguard of their struggles. Instead, they responded spontaneously and were bound to come under this or that bourgeois faction which would, in the fashion of typical parliamentary deception, promise to change everything and actually change nothing.

These days, the Albanians were on the mind of B. Paul, pseudonym of Comrade Hardial Bains. He wrote this short column in “The Marxist-Leninist”, organ of CPC(M-L), on March 19th, 1997. Every fibre of his being was connected with Albania, where he had visited many times in the warm embrace of their comradely people fighting for socialism and independence. Even in this column, he expresses the emotions about Albania most potent in every internationalist — indignation and hope. Indeed, it is an indignation turned into hope. For the indignation of all peoples, including the Albanian people, will certainly open up humanity’s path to progress. It is an indignation that causes one to act, an indignation which makes the question of solving humanity’s problems the order of the day.

“The cunning of history is on their side, telling them that there was something about their past which will serve them well in the future.” — B. Paul


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Being a long-time friend of Albania, I am extremely angry about what has been done to these heroic people. My anger multiplied at the way those responsible for this chaos are shamelessly patting themselves on the back.

“Albanians are simply naive. They do not know what a ‘free market economy’ and ‘free institutions’ are all about and that their prosperity depends on them.” This refrain is heard everywhere. The fact that they have risen against the “free market economy” is supposed to be proof positive of their “naiveté.” The “free market economy” and the disaster it has wrought in Albania is, of course, not faulted.

Another refrain is that the Albanians are nostalgic about their past. This is also supposed to be proof of their “naiveté.”

About the only true statement which can be made, is that the Albanians hate their present. One of the reasons is that they see in this present no future for themselves. Yes, their detractors can accuse them of being “naive,” but history will absolve them. The cunning of history is on their side, telling them that there was something about their past which will serve them well in the future.

Their “naiveté” is such that they believe that governments must work for them and protect their interests. Is their demand for the resignation of the president, who presided over the pyramid schemes, and for the return of their money, “naive”?

To absolve itself, the government claimed that it could not interfere to protect his or her interests because in a “free market economy” anyone can compete. But the Albanian people have raised another question — a question with far-reaching consequences. A government, they believe, is duty-bound to protect the interests of the people under all circumstances.

Yes, the Albanian people are “naive” about this. But so are the peoples of the entire world who believe the same thing and are demanding the same thing. They want to be able to exercise control over their lives and believe that they have the fundamental right to do so. The angrier I got, the more I drew the conclusion that like everywhere else in the world, the Albanian people need deep-going transformations. Some wise-acres may think that it is naive to think that it will happen. Others, however, know that it is the order of the day.

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If You Love Your Class…, Toronto 2002, pp. 193-194

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