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Enver Hoxha (pron. En-vair Hode-ja) (1903–1985) was the
Jedi Stalinist dictator of Albania (from 1944-1985) and author of many[note 1] exercises in sectarian, doctrinaire hairsplitting like Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism.
Under his long administration he oversaw the economic and social transformation of Albania from a feudal relic which was formerly ruled by a despot named Zog (yes, really)[note 2] to a relatively modernized state. In his paranoia, however, he had an annoying tendency to turn on and denounce his former allies as being anti-Communist dupes and revisionists, which he did first with Yugoslavia, then the Soviet Union, and finally with his sole remaining ally China.
After World War Two there was some thought of Albania becoming part of Yugoslavia, but following the Tito-Stalin split of 1948 (provoked largely by Yugoslav leader Tito refusing to submit to Soviet control), Albania sided with Stalin. However after Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin and the subsequent Sino-Soviet split, Hoxha sided with Mao Zedong. Then in the 1970s, Nixon went to China and Mao promoted the Three Worlds Theory which allowed co-operation with non-communist nations, and after Mao's death in 1976 China became more liberal; Hoxha got all appalled at this betrayal of Leninism, and farewell Tirana-Beijing friendship.
As a result, Albania was led into isolation from the rest of the world, without any real help from any world power, a rarity for the era.
Influenced by Mao he launched his Cultural and Ideological Revolution in the late 1960s. This involved bizarre ideas such as de-professionalising the army: military ranks were abolished, professional soldiers stripped of their power, and the army placed under direct party control. He also sent many bureaucrats to work in the fields in an attempt to destroy the state bureaucracy, similar to what happened in China's Cultural Revolution.
Along with Romania, Albania was one of the most bizarre Eastern European Communist regimes. They banned bell bottoms, for example. They also banned beards so the Muslims and Christians couldn't tell each other apart. They also tried, tortured, and executed many clergy and believers. He took Karl Marx "opiate of the masses" line to the extreme and brutally persecuted religion in Albania. After a 1967 campaign as part of his Cultural and Ideological Revolution, he declared Albania to be the world's first atheist state. These campaigns against religion were unsuccessful and probably were counterproductive.
Not to be outdone by Stalin apologetics, there are currently Communist parties in about 25 countries that support Hoxhaism: from the late 70s, Hoxha was seen by many as the last true disciple of Lenin and Stalin.
- See the Wikipedia article on Bunkers in Albania.
- See the Wikipedia article on Enver Hoxha.
- See the Wikipedia article on Hoxhaism.
- "Enver Hoxha".
- Daniel Kalder (2018). The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy. Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 1627793429.
- Enver Hoxha (1980). Eurocommunism Is Anti-Communism. Norman Bethune Institute. ISBN 0888030908.
- O'Donnell, James S. A Coming of Age: Albania under Enver Hoxha. New York: Columbia University Press. 1999. p. 186.
- Yugoslav-Soviet Split. Chapman, B. (2014). In War in the Balkans: An Encyclopedic History from the Fall of the Ottoman Empire to the Breakup of Yugoslavia. Richard C. Hall (Ed.). (Volume 1, 353-354). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO
- History of Albania, Ch 11, Mother Earth Travel
- "Hoxha's Antireligious Campaign".
- "The Revival of Religion".