By Vasil Qesari
The ninth part
Memorie.al/ The overthrow of the great totalitarian edifice in Albania would leave behind, not only the change of the system, accompanied by lots of hopes, mirages and cries of happiness but, unfortunately, also many wounds, dramas, victims, dust, milk and whatnot lies of all kinds. Ten years and more after that event, which deeply shook society, completely overturning many previous codes, rules and concepts, people still continue to ask themselves such questions as: What really happened in society Albanian, during the last 50 years of the dictatorship? How was it possible that the system managed to warp everything? Why did people accept it? What was the totalitarian logic of the transformation of society and the individual? How were the structures of totalitarian mechanisms conceived and functioning: propaganda, secret police and the exercise of the ideology of terror? How did it happen that among all the communist countries of Eastern Europe, Albania was considered an exception or a special case? Why did Enver Hoxha remain blindly, fanatically loyal to Stalin until the end, turning the country into a prison where violence, fear and purges continued until the end of the 80s? Why was the country so insanely isolated, locking people up between bunkers and barbed wire? Why, then, did all the above phenomena happen…?! The book “Post-scriptum for Dictatorship” does not claim to provide definitive answers to the above questions, or the complexity of the reasons that brought and maintained the totalitarian power in Albania. Nor is it a complete, deep and comprehensive fresco of the life and suffering that people experienced during that system. Its author, perhaps, has the merit that together with the retrospective view of the totalitarian period as well as the zeal of a passionate analyst, he has tried to turn his head back once again, to give not only his personal memories and opinions, but also to return once again to the vision of that era with the simple philosophy of preserving the Memory and supporting the Appeal to never forget the well-known maxim, that…the corpse’s nails and hair continue to grow even after death! Ten years or more after the great revolution, the book in question has current value and we hope it will be appreciated by the reader because, as an Albanian researcher also says… the greatest evil that can happen to a people comes when he fails to analyze his own past. An amnesic people are forced to be constantly neuropathic and repeat their painful experiences…!
Continues from last issue
Essay on propaganda
Modern totalitarian regimes, in their two most typical variants, Nazi and Communist, regardless of the differences or similarities, in the institutions and methods of their existence, had as common fundamental elements, terror and propaganda. They were also the two main pillars, on which their buildings were kept. And this was natural, because without terror propaganda, a good part of its psychological effect would be lost, while without terror, propaganda would not be fully effective.
Such brutal systems were so extreme that, not only the institution of propaganda as a whole, but also any other kind of message or announcement, seemingly ordinary, was bound to contain within itself, necessarily, certain doses of threat. Otherwise, propaganda would not achieve its proper effect and play the role of psychological warfare.
It is already known and confirmed that, in totalitarian countries, propaganda and terror are two sides of the same coin. (…) But, this finding is only part of the truth. Wherever totalitarianism manages to finally install its absolute control, it replaces propaganda with indoctrination and begins to use violence against the people, not simply to intimidate them, (which it does violently especially at the beginning, when there is still opposition political), than to constantly realize his deceptions and ideological doctrines.
Because the main goal of totalitarian ideology is not the revolutionary change of society, but the transformation of human nature itself.
This is also the motive, the reason and the basic goal, why the totalitarian state constantly has the individual and, with it, the whole society in the ‘shooting table’. He, like a wild beast, pursues his prey without ever feeling tired. At every moment, at every hour, in every corner and step of life. I pursue him, with all the forms and means at his disposal, and above all, of course, with the giant propaganda arsenal. With speeches, rallies, gatherings, newspapers, radio, television, publications, lectures, spartakiades, parades, festivals, exhibitions, voluntary work actions, etc.
Every propaganda message is accompanied, meanwhile, with the promise of building a new society. With a life similar to heaven, with its appearance full of dazzling rainbow colors. With justice, equality and prosperity, etc. But, in fact, the daily reality for the individual becomes more and more oppressive and gloomy, covering the souls of people four-fold, with a thick curtain of disorientation, confusion, deception and lies.
In the endless pressure of dizzying illusions, finally, the individual is forced to surrender and, little by little, his brain begins the process of alienation. Promises, beautiful words, temptations, utopian dreams and illusions – these are just some of the distinguishing features of totalitarian hypocrisy and, at the same time, important components of its destructive strategy. Basic elements of its ultimate objective, which is to fashion new beings through deception laced with violence.
For the construction and modeling of the so-called new order and man, totalitarian propaganda starts work, as early as the day after taking power. For this purpose, it sets in motion all possible mechanisms that serve to completely destroy the codes and laws of the old system. In this context, all existing human relationships are hit mercilessly, such as family, school, culture, art, historical memory, religion, etc.
So, in short, the whole soul and individuality of man. Thus, systematically and without interruption, with all means and forms, it intensively continues the work for the final dissolution of the individual and the creation of new human models.
Another feature of totalitarian propaganda, among others, is the use of a completely original vocabulary. It consists in the fact that everything around her is judged, interpreted and presented upside down. Thus, for example, the totalitarian state apparatus, which she otherwise calls the power of the people – (although, in reality, it is only an instrument for exercising violence and oppressing the individual) – she glorifies it full of boasting, naming it without the slightest hesitation, as the highest degree of exercise of freedoms and human rights.
On the other hand, he considers the distortion of real information in everyday life as the height of freedom of information. Whereas, he considers the violation of human rights and his systematic repression as an exemplary respect for the laws and implementation of popular justice. It propagates the total lack of freedom of expression and the fear of telling the truth as the highest form of proletarian democracy, etc. However, he defines the transfiguration of culture and its political militancy as a new space and wonderful inspiration for creators.
(With all its poisonous and intoxicating smoke, which is getting denser and denser, the battle is not considered won. Because totalitarian propaganda knows very well that to win the minds, especially the souls of people, is a very difficult task difficult which requires a lot of effort. Because each individual, in general, has a complicated self-defense system …).
However, in the end, after some time, she gets to see the fruits of her labor. Little by little, the vast majority of society feels to change its behavior. To transform and surrender. All this long process, in every individual, is accompanied by fear, with fatalism before the arrogance of the state and its propaganda. And, then, as a result of the constant coexistence with the deception and his omnipresent presence, it does its job.
Against this strange and dizzying atmosphere, those categories of people who try to resist, even though they do not accept or believe the deceptive propaganda, are ultimately condemned to coexist and spend their lives in society with it and within it. Breathing her air, becoming part of the collective community of the new man. Thus, eventually, the abnormal becomes normal and they, whether they like it or not, turn into cells of the totalitarian society…!
First, we need to underline the fact that, just like in all other former communist countries of the East, the model, structure and exercise of the Albanian totalitarian propaganda was initially based on the experience of the Stalinist school. It was that experience, which was copied, implemented, and put into practice, with exemplary meticulousness and fanaticism, and then enriched with other new elements.
In this regard, connoisseurs of the history of the totalitarian regime in Albania emphasize the fact that almost every stage of political, ideological and economic history, as well as every stage of police repression in the Soviet Union during Stalin’s regime, had an amazing coherence, equivalence and agreement, with the historical course of the stages and events that accompanied the chronology of the Albanian totalitarian state. Stalin’s loyal disciple until death, Enver Hoxha, implemented his teachings in detail, with an unparalleled dogmatism and blindness, thus transforming himself into one of the most violent dictators of modern times.
In the background of such a tradition, it was natural for the Propaganda Institution to be completely under the control and direction of the One, that is, the Dictator. He was the one who thought, formulated, decided and ordered every line, direction and orientation of it. The others did nothing but supplement them, according to the cases, with concrete elements and examples, and then apply them to the end one by one. Of course, by conveying them down through the familiar Leninist mechanisms of transmission belts.
The scheme of transmission of orders, circulars, directives, political ideas of the ALP from the Dictator to the Base, had more or less the following structure:
THE DICTATOR – Political Bureau – Secretary of the Central Committee for Propaganda
Albanian Press and Radio Television – Party Committees in the districts.
At the base – Political sector in committees: Professional Unions of Albania – Union of the Youth of Labor of Albania – Democratic Front of Albania, Basic Organizations of the Party and then at the base
As can be seen from the scheme above, propaganda and the mechanisms of its operation were the absolute monopoly of number One, that is, of the Dictator. But how was it conducted, realized, scaled and effective, specifically…? What were its links…?
The transmission of the Party’s propaganda from top to bottom was carried out by means of a complex system of gears, levers and belts. (Common terminology of the Stalinist vocabulary of that time). Specifically, they were:
First, the Press and Radio – Television, as the most typical and efficient means of totalitarian propaganda. They had the property of penetrating quickly and directly, in every cell of society, without the need for other intermediate links.
The structures of the Party, starting from the highest, up to their committees in the districts. There, the ideas and directives were broken down, detailed and then brought down to every office and basic party organization. Then, in every sector of life without exception, starting from work centers, production centers to schools, hospitals, military units, agricultural cooperatives, etc.
The third link was mass organizations. In them, dozens and dozens of such were included, from that of the pioneers to the various associations of pensioners. The most important ones included the working class, youth, women and the whole people in general.
It is no coincidence that, at the head of the scheme which represents the belts and levers of the Party’s propaganda, we have placed the press and Radio-Television. Not only in the case of Albanian totalitarianism, but in all systems of that nature in general, these means of communication are rightly considered the most vital.
Their role, influence and efficiency are so important and necessary that we can say that the totalitarian state cannot exist and exercise its power over the masses, without their help, support and extraordinary role.
This was exactly the reason why the Party’s control, interest, care and connection with those organizations and institutions had a primary importance. Even, we can say that, over time, the latter, i.e. the Press and Radio-Television, turned not only into loyal and absolute spokesmen of the Party’s propaganda, but also into identical images of its frightening face and image. . This was the reason why, in every plenum, political balance or ideological campaign, you heard the fact that the press and radio-television were the heavy artillery or the superpower of the Party’s propaganda.
Precisely, to illustrate this fact, it is interesting to bring just one testimony, from the role of Radio-Television at that time. Marash Hayati, its leader for more than two decades, (in the wildest and most frightening period of totalitarian existence), in one of his books, among other things, confesses that, in terms of the Party’s orientations for the press Radio-Television, apart from the big door of orders for propaganda directions, also had another back door, which:
… it was the door of the unexpected from which they came out: orders and secret announcements that started from seemingly simple and small things, up to the big issues that overthrew facts, attitudes, figures and personalities up to the high leadership and the party and the state.
So, Television, at the same time, was not only the image, vision and expression of the Eye of the Party, but also the oracle and barometer of the storms and cleansing cyclones that passed and happened in the country. The news, chronicles and reportages that reflected the official meetings, receptions and party parties, were often the first sentences of the trials, macabre punishments and purge campaigns that were predicted to happen in the country.
This is the reason why, the senior managers of Radio-Television, were among the first who, through orders from above, apart from implementing the orders, also found out who should appear on television, who should be left out or who should be highlighted more. Often, it was precisely through the news chronicles that the first signal was given (long before the unmaskings, the organization of trials and executions), which of the senior leadership it was their turn to throw away, who to step forward.
It is no coincidence that, at the head of the scheme which represents the belts and levers of the Party’s propaganda, we have placed the press and radio-television. Not only in the case of Albanian totalitarianism, but in all systems of that nature in general, these means of communication are rightly considered the most vital. Their role, influence and efficiency are so important and necessary that we can say that the totalitarian state cannot exist and exercise its power over the masses, without their help, support and extraordinary role. Memorie.al
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