August 14, 2016

DIMITROV: REPLY TO A READER

Introduction

We thank you for your critical letter on our articles dealing with Dimitrov.

With respect, we do not think you are being completely frank when you say that your letter merely asks for 'clarification' of our position. You express - as you have every right to do -- fundamental disagreement with our characterisation of Dimitrov as 'a pioneer of revisionism'.

In present circumstances, where no Marxist-Leninist International exists, each organisation or party which aspires to Marxism-Leninism must necessarily make its own analysis of the world and determine its own policy on that basis. It must then consider with an open mind any criticism which may be levelled at its analysis, and correct this analysis with a self-criticism where this is seen to be appropriate.

In this spirit, we have studied carefully your thesis that Dimitrov's political principles, in particular those adopted at the 7th Congress of the Comintern in 1935: " . . do not appear at variance with the principles upheld by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin". (Your Letter: p. 3).

and our considered, collective response follows. Revisionist Praise for Dimitrov

The first point which must cast doubt on the thesis that Dimitrov was a Marxist-Leninist is the fact that the revisionists, while denigrating Stalin, heap praise upon Dimitrov. For example, at an international conference held in Sofia in June 1972 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Dimitrov's birth, the Soviet revisionist Boris Ponomarev said: "Dimitrov's heritage in the sphere of theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism has withstood this test, preserving its topicality to this day".
(Boris Ponomarev: 'Georgi Dimitrov's Ideological Heritage and Contemporaneity', in: 'Georgi Dimitrov and the Unification of the Revolutionary and Democratic Forces for Peace, Democracy and Socialism'; Sofia; 1974; p. 46).

while Tito sent a message saying: "Georgi Dimitrov was one of those revolutionaries who constructively applied and directed the teaching of Marx, Engels and Lenin in accordance with the special needs of each country".
(Josip Broz Tito: 'His Thoughts and Ideals are still Alive today and are of Topical Importance', in: ibid.; p,. 126-27),

In other words, the same revisionists who present Stalin as 'a mass murderer' extol Dimitrov as 'a great Marxist-Leninist', Furthermore, as the Albanian historian Shyqri Ballvora points out, they hail the 7th Congress of the Comintern as representing a change in the strategy of the Comintern in the direction of the formulations later adopted by the 20th Congress of the CPSU under Khrushchev, that is, as heralding:
" . a new strategy of the international communist movement. According to them, this new strategy was worked out more completely later, at the 20th Congress of the Soviet revisionist party".
(Shyqri Ballvora: 'The Historic Importance of the 3rd Communist International and the Exposure of Revisionist Distortions of its Role and Place in History', in: 'Socio-Political Studies', Volume 1 (1984); p. 149).

Ballvora holds that the revisionists are mistaken in this analysis and that the decisions of the 7th Congress of the Comintern were completely in accord with the principles of Marxism-Leninism:
"The 7th Congress of the Comintern in no way questioned the Leninist idea of the leading role of the proletariat and its communist, Marxist-Leninist revolutionary party in the revolution and socialist construction. On the contrary, it stressed forcefully that the transition from capitalism to socialism can by no means be carried out . . . without . . . violent proletarian revolution and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat".
(Shyqri Ballvora: ibid.; p. 138).

But if this is so, why should the revisionists claim that the line of the 7th Congress of the Comintern represented a change in its strategy in the direction of the formulations later adopted by the 20th Congress of the CPSU under Khrushchev?

Clearly, it is necessary to examine the formulations of the 7th Congress of the Comintern in greater detail than Ballvora has done in the passage cited above. United Front and Popular Front

'COMpass' has always endorsed the Leninist tactics of endeavouring to bring about the formation of united fronts of the working class around specific progressive objectives.

The 'Popular Front' (more correctly, People's Front) is a different kettle of fish, since it aims to include in the front members of the capitalist class and their political parties. Thus, Dimitrov welcomes the inclusion of the French Radical Party in the French Popular Front:
"The practical implementation of this policy in France . . . has given ample proof of the real possibilities of the Popular Front".
(Georgi Dimitrov: 'The Popular Front against Fascism and War' (November 1936) (hereafter listed as 'Georgi Dimitrov (1936)', in: 'Selected Works', Volume 2; Sofia; 1972; p. 146).
which he characterises as a bourgeois party:
"The majority of these parties and organisations, political as well as economic, are still under the influence of the bourgeoisie. . . . Such, for instance, is today the situation in France with the Radical Party".
(Georgi Dimitrov: Report to the 7th World Congress of the Comintern (August 1935) (hereafter listed as 'Georgi Dimitrov (1935)1)1 in: 'Selected Works', Volume 2; Sofia; 1972; p. 36).

Although a Popular Front is a front which includes representatives of the bourgeoisie, Dimitrov maintains that it does not represent class collaboration in the usual sense of the term. He asserts that it is pseudo-Left elements who are ". . . incorrectly identifying the policy of the popular front with the policy of class collaboration with the bourgeoisie".
(Georgi Dimitrov (1936): op. cit.; p. 149).

But what is 'class collaboration'? It is defined as " . . . the 'theory' and practice of reformism, which results in subordination to the capitalist class; the policy that seeks to harmonise, or reconcile, the interests of the capitalists and the workers -- interests which are antagonistic and irreconcilable".
(L. Harry Gould: 'Marxist Glossary'; San Francisco; 1946; p. 21).

In other words, Dimitrov claims that the united front against fascism constitutes an example of the exceptional cases where the working class and the capitalist class have common interests: 

"Under certain conditions, the working class may collaborate for a period with the capitalists when the interests of both temporarily coincide, e.g., during the People's War against Fascism, or in the colonial national-liberation struggles against the imperialists".
(L. Harry Gould: ibid.; p, 21).


Dimitrov's Definition of Fascism

In December 1922, while Lenin was still politically active, the 4th Congress of the Comintern defined fascism as the establishment by the bourgeoisie of an open terrorist dictatorship in the conditions where it has become impossible for it to rule effectively through the machinery of 'parliamentary democracy'. "INTERNATIONAL FASCISM. . .

The bourgeoisie . . . are . . . therefore resorting everywhere to the creation of special white guards for use particularly against all the revolutionary efforts of the proletariat and to a growing degree for the defeat by brutal means of every attempt by the workers to improve their lot.

The characteristic feature of Italian fascism -- 'classic' fascism, which has for the present triumphed throughout the country -- consists in this, that the fascists not only form strictly counter-revolutionary fighting organisations, armed to the teeth, but also try by social demagogy to gain a footing among the masses, among the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie, and even among some sections of the working class, cleverly using the inevitable disappointment in so-called democracy for their own reactionary purposes. There is a danger of fascism now in many countries, in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, practically all the Balkan countries, Poland..."
(Theses on Tactics, 4th Congress of Comintern (December 1922), in: Jane Degras (Ed.): 'The Communist International: 1919-1943: Documents', Volume 1; London; 1971; p. 421).

At the 7th Comintern Congress in 1935, however, Dimitrov took over the definition of fascism adopted by the 13th Plenum of the ECCI in December 1933:
"Fascism in power was correctly described by the 13th Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International as the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital".
(Georgi Dimitrov (1935): op. cit.; p. 8).
It is clear at first glance that this definition differs radically from the 1922 Comintern definition in that it attributes the imposition of fascism no longer to a capitalist class, but to finance capital.

Furthermore, this definition attributes the imposition of fascism not to finance capital as a whole, but only to certain elements of finance capital -namely, the 'most reactionary', 'most chauvinistic' and 'most imperialist' elements of finance capital.

But this is in clear violation of Lenin's classic definition of imperialism as 'the monopoly stage of capital': "Imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism. . . .
Imperialism is the epoch of finance capital and of monopolies".
(Vladimir I. Lenin: 'Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism' (January-July 1916), (hereafter listed as 'Vladimir I. Lenin (1916)'), in: 'Selected Works', Volume 5; London; 1935; p. 80-81, 111).

And if there are 'most imperialist' elements of finance capital, then clearly there must be 'less imperialist' elements. In other words, Dimitrov accords with the pioneer of revisionism, Karl Kautsky, who characterises imperialism not as the monopoly stage of capitalism, but as a policy: "Kautsky . . . decisively attacked the fundamental ideas expressed in our definition of imperialism. Kautsky said that imperialism must not be regarded as a 'phase' or stage of economy, but as a policy; a definite policy 'preferred' by finance capital. . . .
Kautsky's definition is not only wrong and un-Marxian. It serves as a basis for a whole system of views which run counter to Marxian theory and Marxian practice all along the line".
(Vladimir I. Lenin (1916): op.cit. p. 82. 94)

Dimitrov's un-Marxist definition of imperialism and fascism also 'serves as a basis for a whole system of views which run counter to Marxian theory and Marxian practice all along the line'. For if fascism is the dictatorship of the 'most reactionary', 'most chauvinistic' and 'most imperialist' elements of finance capital, then there must be 'less reactionary', 'less chauvinistic' and 'less imperialist' elements within finance capital which are not pro-fascist in policy and so may be recruited into a popular front against fascism.

The 4th Congress of the Comintern in 1922 correctly put forward for colonial-type countries the slogan of an anti-imperialist united front including the national bourgeoisie: "At first the indigenous bourgeoisie and intelligentsia are the champions of the colonial revolutionary movements. . . .
In the conditions prevailing in the West, (i.e., in non-colonial-type countries -- Ed.) . . . the slogan put forward is that of the proletarian united front, but in the colonial East the slogan that must be emphasised at the present time is that of the anti-imperialist united front".
(Theses on the Eastern Question, 4th Congress of Comintern (November 1922), in: Jane Degras (Ed,): op. cit.; p. 388, 390).

On the basis of Dimitrov's false and anti-Marxist-Leninist definitions of fascism and imperialism, the 7th Congress of the Comintern took over the 1922 Congress's conception of the anti-imperialist united front, which was correct for colonial-type countries, and applied it incorrectly to imperialist countries. The Formation of a United Front or Popular Front Government

Dimitrov's theses support the formation of a united front or Popular Front government:
"A situation may arise in which the formation of a government of the proletarian united front, or of an anti-fascist Popular Front, will become not only possible but necessary".
(Georgi Dimitrov (1935): op. cit.; p. 63).
Dimitrov is somewhat vague about the manner in which such a government could come into being. However, he makes it clear that he is speaking of a government formed before the victory of a socialist revolution:
 "I am not speaking here of a government which may be formed after the victory of the proletarian revolution".
(Georgi Dimitrov (1935): op. cit.; p. 63).
that is, he is speaking of a government formed through the parliamentary process, as in France:
"The policy of the Popular Front . . . found a strong echo amid the working people of all countries. The practical implementation of this policy in France . . . has given ample proof of the real possibilities of the Popular Front".
(Georgi Dimitrov (1936): op. cit.; p. 146).
Yet although such a government is to be formed without socialist revolution, through the parliamentary process, it should carry out a programme of revolutionary demands, that is, a programme that makes significant in-roads into the power of the capitalist state:
"A united front government . . . should carry out definite and fundamental revolutionary demands. . . . For instance, control of production, control of the banks, disbanding of the police and its replacement by an armed workers' militia, etc."
(Georgi Dimitrov (1935): op. cit.; p. 68).

It is true, as Ballvera says, that Dimitrov does not completely discard at this time the Marxist-Leninist principle:
" . . . that the transition from capitalism to socialism can by no means be carried out . . . without . . . violent proletarian revolution and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat".
(Shyqri Ballvora: ibid.; p. 138).
In the 1930s, when the Comintern was still functioning and Stalin was still in an influential position in the CPSU, it was impossible to put forward within the frontiers of the Soviet Union a political line which was openly in violation of this principle. Thus Dimitrov's 1935 formulation states:
"Final salvation this government cannot bring. . . . It is necessary to prepare for the socialist revolution".
(Georgi Dimitrov (1935): op. cit.; p. 69.
No one at the congress appears to have asked why, if a Popular Front government had already carried out 'fundamental revolutionary demands' which had changed the character of the capitalist state, a socialist revolution should still be necessary! The Decentralisation of the Comintern (1935)

On Lenin's insistence, the Comintern was a highly centralised international organisation:
"All decisions of the Communist International's congresses and of its Executive Committee are binding on all affiliated parties. . . . The Communist International must be far more centralised than the Second International was".
(Vladimir I. Lenin: 'The Terms of Admission into the Communist International' (July 1920), in: 'Collected Works', Volume 31; Moscow; 1974; p. 211).
In fact, even under revisionist leadership, a centralised Comintern was a significant barrier to the adoption of openly revisionist ideas, since individual parties could raise objections to these ideas.

Consequently, as soon as the 7th World Congress of the Comintern was over, its revisionist leadership initiated steps to decentralise the organisation, giving individual parties 'day-to-day management' of their affairs:
"In September 1935 the Secretariat of the ECCI passed a decision to reorganise the apparatus of the ECCI. This was endorsed at the meetings of the ECCI Presidium in October. The day-to-day management of the parties passed directly into the hands of the parties themselves. In view of this, the regional secretariats, which previously effected a measure of operative leadership, were dismissed. The body of authorised representatives of the ECCI attached to the parties was likewise abolished. . . . Initiative and self-dependence on the part of every party acquired more and more significance".
(Institute of Marxism-Leninism, CC, CPSU: 'Outline History of the Communist International'; Moscow; 1971; p. 403-04).
Dimitrov's Concept of the 'Intermediate' State (1936)

Lenin had in 1919 dismissed as 'a reactionary, petty bourgeois dream' the concept that there could be a form of state intermediate between the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and that of the proletariat: 
"There can be no alternative but the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie or the dictatorship of the proletariat. Dreams of some third way are reactionary, petty bourgeois lamentations". (Vladimir I. Lenin: 'Theses and Report on Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat' (March 1919), in: 'Collected Works', Volume 28; Moscow; 1974; p. 463-64).
At the 7th World Congress of the Comintern in August 1935, Dimitrov had endorsed this view, dismissing as 'Right opportunism’ the concept that there could be some intermediate kind of state between the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and that of the proletariat:
"The Right opportunists . . . tried to establish a special democratic intermediate stage lying between the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the dictatorship of the proletariat, for the purpose of instilling into the workers the illusion of a peaceful, parliamentary passage from one dictatorship to the other".
(Georgi Dimitrov (1935): op. cit.; p. 68).

By September 1936, however, Dimitrov had repudiated this position and was presenting a state with a Popular Front government as precisely such an 'intermediate state':
"Challenging the old guidelines to the effect that a state essentially was always either a capitalist or a socialist state, Dimitrov said there was now coming into being a democratic state in which 'the popular front is of decisive importance"'.
(Institute of Marxism-Leninism: op. cit.; p. 417, citing: Central Party Archives: 495/18/1135/417).

The Character of the 2nd World War at its Inception (1939)

Although the 2nd World War broke out in September 1939, it took the Comintern two months to publish an analysis of the character of the war. This analysis appeared in November 1939 under the signature of Georgi Dimitrov, who characterised the war as an unjust imperialist war on both sides, but in which Britain and France were principal warmongers:
"The second imperialist war . . . has now developed into a war between the biggest capitalist states. . . . 
The present war is, on the part of both warring sides, an imperialist, unjust war. . . .

It is the British and French imperialists who now come forward as the most zealous supporters of the continuation and further incitement of war."
(Georgi Dimitrov 'The Tasks of the Working Class in the War' (November 1939) (hereafter listed as 'Georgi Dimitrov (1939)', in: JaneDegras (Ed.): 'The Communist International: 1919-1943: Documents', Volume 3; London; 1965; p 449, 451).
The Formation of the CI 'Triumvirate' (1941)

On the day of the German attack on the Soviet Union, 22 June 1941, leaders of the Comintern reorganised the ECCI so as to place management of ECCI's work in the hands of a triumvirate of three leading revisionists Georgi Dimitrov, Dmitry Manuilsky and Palmiro Togliatti:
"A meeting of the Secretrariat of the ECCI was held on June 22 (1941-- Ed.). . . . The decision of the Secretariat called for an urgent reorganisation of the entire work of the ECCI apparatus. A group was formed, consisting of Dimitrov, Manuilsky and Togliatti, for day-to-day management of all the Executive's work".
(Institute of Marxism-Leninism: op. cit.; p., 479, citing: Central Party Archives: 495/128/1335/1-3).


The Dissolution of the Comintern (1943)

In June 1943, the Comintern was dissolved, and this was followed by the appearance of blatant open revisionism in the international communist movement. Browder and Dimitrov

In 1944, the leader of the Communist Party of the USA, Earl Browder, initiated the adoption by the Party of a totally revisionist programme. He presented the agreement between the Soviet Union and the Western imperialist powers at Teheran as an indication that inter-class antagonisms had been largely eliminated, so that American capitalism could be peacefully transformed into socialism by class collaboration through the institutions of 'American democracy'.

William Foster, who was opposed to Browder's Teheran theses, wrote to Dimitrov asking for his support in opposing Browder, but Dimitrov wrote back supporting Browder:
"Dimitrov transmitted a message to Foster, through Browder, strongly urging him to withdraw his opposition. 
Dimitrov's reply was a severe blow to Foster, who did not attack Browder's Teheran theses again for more than a year".
(Philip J. Jaffe: 'The Rise and Fall of Earl Browder', in: 'Survey', Volume 18; No. 2 (Spring 1972); p. 47-48).

Dimitrov and Peaceful Transition to Socialism (1946)

In March 1946, Dimitrov publicly supported the concept of peaceful transition to socialism, maintaining that "in certain conditions socialism may be attained without an uprising. These conditions now exist . . . "
(Georgi Dimitrov: 'The Young Workers' League must be a School of Socialism' (March 1946), in: 'Selected Works', Volume 2; Sofia; 1972; p. 342).

The editor of Dimitrov's 'Selected Works', Spass Roussinov, explains this change of line by 'changed conditions': 
"In putting forward the question regarding the roads of transition to proletarian dictatorship in one way up to 1944 and in another way after that, Georgi Dimitrov proceeds from the concrete conditions of the epoch. . . . These are two theses for two different periods".
(Spass Roussinov: Introduction to: Georgi Dimitrov: 'Selected Works', Volume 1; Sofia; 1972; p. xx).

Dimitrov and the Inevitability of War under Imperialism (1948)

In November 1939, Dimitrov accepted the Marxist-Leninist thesis that war was inevitable under imperialism:
 "Wars are the inevitable accompaniment of imperialism".
(Georgi Dimitrov (1939): op. cit.; p. 449).

In April 1948, however, Dimitrov put forward the concept that, as a result of new international conditions:
 "a new world war today is neither inevitable nor imminent".
(Georgi Dimitrov: 'A New World War today is neither Inevitable nor Imminent' (April 1948), in: 'Selected Works', Volume 3; Sofia; 1972; p. 227).

In February 1952, Stalin refuted this revisionist concept of Dimitrov's, emphasising that war remained inevitable under imperialism:
"Some comrades hold that, owing to the development of new international conditions since the Second World War, wars between capitalist countries have ceased to be inevitable. These comrades are mistaken. . . .
To eliminate the inevitability of war, it is necessary to abolish imperialism".
(Josef V. Stalin: 'Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR' (February 1952), in: 'Works', Volume 16; London; 1986; p. 327, 332).

To sum up,

Contrary to the mythology which international revisionism has built up around him, INCONTROVERTIBLE FACTS CONFIRM THAT DIMITROV WAS A PIONEER OF MODERN REVISIONISM.

Hoxha and Dimitrov

You make the point that the Albanian leader Enver Hoxha paid tribute on several occasions to Dimitrov as a 'heroic Marxist-Leninist figure'.

Now it is undoubtedly true that Hoxha was a staunch Marxist-Leninist and we differed from his assessment of Dimitrov only after exhaustive examination and re-examination of the facts had convinced us beyond doubt that it could not be reconciled with those facts.

However, it is necessary to bear in mind that in a Marxist-Leninist Party democratic centralism necessarily operates, so that it is not always possible to know whether an individual member of such a Party -- even a leading member -- agrees with the line of that Party or not.

It must be remembered that in both the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Party of Labour of Albania there were numerous concealed revisionists in influential positions, so that at times both Stalin and Hoxha were in a minority on certain questions.

In any case, it is always dangerous for a Marxist-Leninist organisation or party to accept without question the line of any other organisation or party. This is illustrated by the nature of the influence which the Soviet revisionists were able to exert on the international communist movement after they had secured control of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. If the line of a party or organisation is correct, it will stand up to any scrutiny; if it does not stand up to such scrutiny, then it needs to be, and should be, amended.

It appears that you are suggesting that because the PLA regarded Dimitrov as a Marxist-Leninist, the CL must be wrong in holding a contrary view. We do not accept this thesis.

Facts show that the Cominform's characterisation of Tito in 1948 as a revisionist was correct. When, therefore, in 1955 Khrushchev 'rehabilitated' Tito as a 'Marxist-Leninist', those who later formed the Communist League were correctly able to characterise Khrushchev as a revisionist and so to reject the line of the infamous 20th Congress of the CPSU the following year.

And yet, after 20th Congress of the CPSU, we find Enver Hoxha telling the 3rd Congress of the PLA:
"The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has made a profound Marxist-Leninist analysis of the decisive role played in the building of socialism and communism by the masses of the people, and the great damage caused by the cult of personality, alien to Marxism-Leninism. . . .

These incorrect and non-Marxist conceptions on the individual . . . were developed and cultivated over a long period in regard to Comrade Stalin. . . .

The great error of J. V. Stalin lies in the fact that not only did he accept the praises and flatteries addressed to him, but he himself supported and encouraged these anti-Marxist viewpoints.

The cult of personality and the leadership practice of J. V. Stalin were marked by the open violation of Leninist principles of the collective leadership of the Party, were marked by violations of the Leninist norms of the Party. The contempt of J. V. Stalin for the norms of Party life and for the principle of collective leadership of the Party, the solution of problems in an individual manner on his part, the contempt for Party opinion, taking even severe measures against those who expressed a contrary opinion to his own, could not fail to cause, and did cause, great harm, producing grave deviations from Leninist rules of the life of the Party and the violation of revolutionary legality. . . .
He did not show the necessary vigilance on the eve of the Patriotic War against Nazi Germany; he did not devote the necessary attention to the further development of socialist agriculture and to the material well-being of the collective farms; he supported and incited an erroneous line in the Yugoslav affair".

(Enver Hoxha: 'Rapport d'activite du comite central du Parti du Travail d'Albanie au IIIe Congress du Parti' (Report on the Activity of the Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania to the 3rd Congress of the Party) (May 1956); Tirana; 1956; p. 180, 181, 182-83.

Again, those who later formed the CL published in 1968 their analysis of 'Mao Tse-tung Thought' as a brand of revisionism, and the CL basically accepts this. Although it is clear from Hoxha's political diary ('Reflections on China', published in 1979) - that he personally had been critical of the CPC for some years - then in 1966 the PLA itself was still maintaining:
"The Party of Labour of Albania greets the Chinese Proletarian Cultural Revolution which aims at fighting unmercifully against the bourgeois and revisionist ideology . . . (Applause) . . . Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and Mao Tsetung's Thought, she (the People's Republic of China Ed.) marches triumphantly ahead. (Prolonged applause. Ovations). .

In the forefront of present-day struggle against US-led imperialism, against modern revisionism, stands strong and steadfast the Communist Party of China and the great People's Republic of China, headed by the prominent Marxist-Leninist, comrade Mao Tse-tung (Prolonged applause. Ovations). (Enver Hoxha: Report on the Activity of the Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania (November 1966); Tirana; 1966; p. 219, 220). 
Indeed, it was not until 1978 that the PLA first publicly criticised Chinese revisionism: 
"'Mao Tse-tung Thought' is a 'theory' devoid of the features of Marxism-Leninism. - 'Mao Tse-tung Thought' is a variant of revisionism".
(Enver Hoxha: 'Imperialism and the Revolution' (December 1978), in: 'Selected Works', Volume 5; Tirana; 1985; p. 649, 658).

Should we have waited to characterise Khrushchev and Mao Tse-tung as revisionists until the PLA had corrected its erroneous line on them? We do not think so.

Is there any evidence that, before the counter-revolution in Albania, the PLA was moving towards an amendment of its line on Dimitrov? We believe that there is such evidence in relation to the Balkan Federation affair. The Balkan Federation Affair (1948)

Prior to the Second World War, the Communist International, in conjunction with other organisations, fostered the concept of a Balkan Federation:
"Albanian democrats and anti-Zogites, including some communists in exile, had come into contact with the Comintern and had formed the political organisation KONARE (National Revolutionary Committee -- Ed.). In contact with Comrade Dimitrov, this organisation had adopted the Comintern's idea about a 'Balkan Confederation"'.
(Enver Hoxha: 'The Titoites: Historical Notes'; Tirana; 1982; p. 285).

The situation changed following World War II. Spass Roussinov, the editor of Dimitrov's 'Selected Works', tells us:
"After the 2nd World War the situation in the Balkans was radically changed. The peoples of Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia and Albania embarked on the road of socialism. In Greece and Turkey capitalism still held sway. Under these circumstances this slogan became meaningless".
(Spass Roussinov: Introduction to: Georgi Dimitrov: 'Selected Works', Volume 1; Sofia' 1972; p. xxi).
Nevertheless, on 17 January 1948, Dimitrov was asked, in a press interview in Bucharest, about the prospects for the formation of a federation or confederation of Balkan states. He replied:
"If and when this problem becomes ripe for discussion, the democratic countries - Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and perhaps Greece -- will decide how and when such a federation should come about. What the people are doing now, is, in fact, to prepare for such a federation in the future".
(Georgi Dimitrov: Statement at Press Interview in Bucharest (January 1948), in: 'Times', 29 January 1948; p. 4).
However, on 28 January 1948, 'Pravda' came out:
 "..In direct rebuke of Mr. Dimitrov, the Communist Prime Minister of Bulgaria. Mr. Dimitrov has commonly been supposed to be as keen as Marshal Tito to create a wider federation or confederation. . . . 
'The editors of 'Pravda' . . . believe that these countries do not need a problematic and artificial federation or confederation or Customs union of the countries concerned. What they do need is the consolidation and protection of their independence and sovereignty"'.
(Editorial in 'Pravda' (January 1948), in: 'Times', 29 January 1948; p. 4).

On 2 February 1948, at the 2nd Congress of the Fatherland Front, Dimitrov expressed Bulgarian acceptance of the Soviet line:
"The critical notes of 'Pravda' . . . in connection with that part of my last interview which refers to the question of a possible establishment of a federation or confederation of Balkan and Danubian states, including Poland, Czechoslovakia and Greece, . . . are wellfounded and are a timely, valuable and useful warning around possible inexpedient exaggerations harmful to the People's Democracies".
(Georgi Dimitrov: Report to the 2nd. Congress of the Fatherland Front (February 1948), in: 'Selected Works', Volume 3; Sofia; 1972; p. 166).
Dimitrov died in July 1949, and in December at the trial of Traicho Kostov and others, the Balkan Federation proposals were correctly described as treasonable, but no blame was attached to Dimitrov in connection with the proposals:
 "The federation thought up by the titoists and Traicho Kostov's group had as its aim fully to destroy the national independence of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, making her a simple appendage of Yugoslavia. . . .
For the Titoites and for Traicho Kostov's group, . . . the federation was envisaged as a true assault upon our friendship and collaboration with the Soviet Union and the People's Democracies, an assault upon the socialist development of our country. The economic and political submission of Bulgaria and her enslavement by Anglo-American imperialists was being aimed at".
(Vladimir Dimshev (Prosecutor): Speech at: 'The Trial of Traicho Kostov and His Group'; Sofia; 1949; p. 512-13).

Hoxha condemned the plan for a Balkan Federation as having the aim of annexing the whole of the Balkans to revisionist Yugoslavia:
"Tito was a savage anti-Marxist, a nationalist, chauvinist and agent of the bourgeoisie and imperialism. He was a 'Trojan Horse' in the socialist camp, in the international communist movement and, more especially, in the Balkans. By seizing on the idea of the 'Balkan Federation' he aimed and struggled to annex the whole of the Balkans, including Albania, to Yugoslavia".
(Enver Hoxha: op. cit.; p. 287).

Since Hoxha was aware that the plan for a Balkan Federation had been revived by Tito:
 " in contact with Comrade Dimitrov",
(Enver Hoxha: ibid.; p. 285)

it is difficult to believe that Hoxha still considered Dimitrov, the accomplice of the traitor and fifth columnist Tito, to be a Marxist-Leninist hero'! Conclusion

WE HAVE CAREFULLY RE-EXAMINED OUR POSITION ON THE ROLE OF DIMITROV IN THE LIGHT OF YOUR VALUED LETTER OF CRITICISM, BUT FIND NO REASON TO AMEND OUR ANALYSIS. Published by The Communist League (UK).