Rum do's in the beast's back yard

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Sat Aug 24 17:56:59 MDT 1996

Louis P puffs himself up with some real Frog King rhetoric:

>> This in fact summarizes the generally accepted view on Cuba's economic
>> situation at the time. Find an authority who disagrees, and tell us about
>> it. Then tell us why Fidel contradicts your authority in his confession of
>> economic chaos and failure on 26 July 1970.
>Louis: Well, Hugh, its like this. I'm not sure if you were in hospital or
>stuck in a lift or pram somewhere, but I just put together a carefully
>researched 5000 word article on Cuba for the list. So when you say things
>like "generally accepted view", please excuse me if I don't laugh in your

OK. Louis P is the authority who disagrees. Great. Tell us about it.

>Louis: "Not very controverial"? Don't you realize that the view that
>Castro is a Stalinist belongs to the netherworld of Trotskyite cult-sects
>like the one you belong to.

Too bad.

>Louis: Oh, the Cambridge History of Latin America. How impressive. Now I
>understand why you come across as such a simpleton. You base your ideas on
>bourgeois social science. Where did you get your ideas on Nicaragua? The
>Encyclopedia Brittainica?

All of a sudden Louis's factoid frothing at the mouth evaporates. The
Adolfo-Maoist-Stalinist link becomes clearer, there are *bourgeois* facts
and *proletarian* facts.

Marx got his basic ideas on value from raging red revolutionaries like Adam
Smith and Ricardo, of course, and on philosophy from Hegel and various
other proletarian traditions from the Greeks on.

>> from the revolution) -- if Louis thinks otherwise, let him substantiate his
>> point.

>Louis: Do you have any good almanacs, encyclopedias or bourgeois history
>books to recommend?

Great substantiation.

>> revolutionary upsurge under way. One major event I left out that was still
>> reverberating everywhere was the Cultural Revolution, providing a massive
>> impulse to voluntarist thinking throughout the world.
>Louis: Oh, I see. The Cultural Revolution influenced Cuba's economic
>policies. Brilliant. Is this Morenoite nonsense or did you dream that up

'Socialism in One Country' in a nutshell. Nothing anywhere has any
influence on anywhere else. Each country is an island complete unto itself.
Especially Cuba since it's, well, an island...

>I would take the time to present a
>thorough analysis of the Escalante affair and Castro's speech defining his
>support to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia,

No, you wouldn't.

>but it would be a waste
>of time. You could offer nothing in return but braggadocio.

You *always* personalize things! The list isn't a jousting tournament
between individual champions. If you care about the subject, clarify it. If
it's glory you're after, get a job with some outfit that pays you for it,
or join a party that's going somewhere. (Some hope.)

>When I said
>"write like Trotsky", Hugh, I meant provide solidly researched Marxist
>analysis, not quote from a Cambridge history book. Do you cite this
>because this is where you went to school, you petty-bourgeois twit.

Your level of discourse, Louis.

Damned if you do, with Louis, and damned if you don't. Read Trotsky, boast
about his Hard Intellectual Work, but put an icepick into the head of his
actions and policies and followers. Stay out of a brawl on Cuba and you get
hosed for it. Make a few self-evident points about the place and you get
hosed for it. Louis's into personalized, confrontational apologetics for
the failures of Stalinism. His rejoinders are the emptiest braying the list
has seen -- which is saying something -- and full of self-serving
references to his own towering accomplishments. Never exemplification of
these accomplishments, just references to them.

Kierkegaard once remarked about Hans Christian Andersen that he'd written a
novel about 'a snivelling blubberer whom the author assures us is a hero'
('et flaeb om hvilket det forsikkres at det er en helt'). Louis is also
very good at assuring us of the heroic qualities of his efforts.

Louis obviously disagrees with all the points I listed. So let him cut the
cackle, crawl out of Castro's arse and substantiate his objections. What it
will all boil down to, is that the only way for Fidel to 'save the
revolution' was to betray it. That and some casuistry to gild Cuban
appearances, because Louis's empiricist perspective prevents him from
seeing the real strength of the revolution in its worldwide dynamic, and
forces him to substitute voluntarist prettifying of bureaucratic ugliness
to keep his punctured dream alive.

The central message of Cuba's experience is that the survival of the
revolution lay in the transformation of the island into a workers' state.
That required the support of the most powerful workers' state in the world,
the Soviet Union. The strings attached led to the betrayal of the Cuban
revolution and the setting up of a workers' state that was deformed by
Stalinism from the start. The fate of the October Revolution is thus
intimately linked with the fate of the Cuban Revolution. The victory and
degeneration of October are the keys to understanding the prospects of any
workers' mobilization in the world in our epoch. No leadership that fails
to understand this will be in a position to set up a healthy workers' state
as a stronghold of proletarian revolution and a bridgehead for further

Louis has learnt *nothing* from Trotsky's 'solidly researched Marxist
analysis', because he hasn't learnt this. All we get is squealing and
wriggling to escape the necessity of dealing with this fundamental question
and the other life-and-death questions related to it.



PS  I'll save that cheap place-of-publication jibe for later -- when Louis
quotes something published in Moscow.

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