State Capitalism and Cuba

Tony Tracy ttracy at
Thu Jun 20 10:33:20 MDT 1996

At 8:25 AM 20/06/96 -0400, Louis Proyect wrote:
>There is absolutely no difference between the USSR in its infancy and Cuba
>today. The analogies are actually quite striking if you choose to examine
>Cuba in any kind of depth. There are problems with bureaucracy. It is a
>single-party state. It is making concessions to the international
>bourgeosie through NEP-like measures. It has a revolutionary foreign
>policy. It encourages bold innovations in the arts. It has produced
>dramatic improvements in the everyday lives of workers and peasants.

Absolutely no difference? In Russia, the revolution was attained by the
working class through the use of workers' soviets. In Cuba... no such thing.
The Cuban revolution was clearly a fight for national self-determination,
not a fight for socialism. As Marxists, we argue that "the emancipation of
the working class must be the act of the working class itself"... we do not
buy the argument that a small group of petit-bourgeois intellectuals (such
as Fidel & Che) can come in from the hillsides and "liberate" the working
class *into* socialism. Socialism is something that the working class,
through it's soviets (or workers' councils) must attain itself.

The difference between a soft liberal position and a Marxist position is
that the Marxist position is based on class. What are the balance of class
forces, what is the role of workers' councils, is there real workers' power
and control of the means of production... these are key questions that
consistent Marxist ask in order to analyse a situation. The soft liberal
position bases itself on romanticism and middle-class guilt.

Yes, we defend Cuba against American imperialism. But my vision of a
socialist society looks very little like Cuba. You can speak at length about
the nationalized healthcare system, the progressive education system, etc.
in Cuba -- I see no advances for the working class there that are not
present in, lets say, Canada. And here in Canada, socialists fight to oppose
the state and smash it -- not to prop it up.

Tony Tracy
International Socialists

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