I’ve posted to Facebook another instalment of New Albania magazine, courtesy of the Albaniantrip.com collection of communist-era memorabilia, kicking off with a feature entitled “Enrichment of the Copper Mineral Ore”. Key reading for all commodities traders, if it weren’t a) 30 years out of date and b) probably all lies anyway.
“Tourist Albania” extolls the virtues of Durrës as a holiday destination. My mother visited Durrës shortly after this article was written and the only refreshment she could find was stale brown bread made from something that may or may not have been flour, and red wine that was 30% dead fly. All served with a snarl by an old black-clad woman who threw the bread on the table before stomping off to a back room. Keen readers of New Albania will know that anything of interest in Durrës, with the exception of the Roman amphitheatre and King Zog’s old villa, was knocked down under communism.
“The State of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat” doesn’t need anything as trivial as a photo to improve it. “As Comrade Enver Hoxha has pointed out, ‘In this way, from an instrument of oppression and exploitation of the people for the benefit of the beys and capitalists, the state was transformed by our people’s revolution into an instrument in the hands of the people to suppress and liquidate capitalism and the exploitation of man by man.'” It goes on, perhaps a little optimistically, “… today the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania has a powerful and stable international position. It makes its modest contribution in support of the just struggle of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples for national and social liberation, it enjoys high prestige and well-merited authority, and has won the admiration of numerous friends and well-wishers in all parts of the world.”
“The Steel Roads are Extending” is a plug for Albania’s growing railway network – “Like all the other railways of Albania, this one, too, is being built with the voluntary labour of the youth. The brigades of young volunteers come here from all over Albania and work for a month.” Voluntary labour parties being the natural outcome when the exploitation of man by man is banned.
Best though is “Features and Values of the Contemporary Albania Pedagogical Thinking”. Quite timely for the UK, where there’s currently a bit of a kerfuffle over what’s to be taught in our schools – “This thinking is targed [sic] on the new Marxist-Leninist educational concepts worked out by the leader of the Albanian people, Enver Hoxha. These concepts are – that the school is a place where one not only learns, but also works, that one learns not only in school or mainly in school, but also in life and at work, that the final aim of schooling is not to get a diploma in order to become an intellectual, but to train for life and work, to be ready to serve the Homeland and the people wherever the need exists.”
“Consistently applying the teachings of the classics of Marxism-Leninsim, the present-day Albanian socialist pedagogy has elaborated in detail the idea that in the centre of the three components of our school must be the Marxist-Leninist ideological axis, deliberately giving priority to Marxist-Leninist ideo-political education, its proletarian class spirit and reproletarian partisanship, and rejecting any bourgeois falsification old or new, that education and pedagogy can stand aloof from politics and do without ideology.”