Soviet statistics

Mon Aug 23 03:24:16 MDT 1999

>>> Andrew Wayne Austin <aaustin at> 08/20
5:30 PM >>>
Peripheralization is not a characteristic of the state
socialist model,
which in a diametrically opposed fashion to capitalism
actually develops
its dependencies, and this meant that when the Soviet core
was dismantled
other socialist countries were weakened, as well (which
would be the
opposite effect if the capitalist core were dismantled).

But this is precisely what worries me. What if there is no
core? Then countries either have to adopt a very different
path of development from the dependent one or give up
socialism or else somehow create their own core. This is the
dilemma that Cuba faced in 1991. The answer was to pull back
from the socialist direction, to expand the sphere of the
market and to promote exocentric activities like tourism.
This entailed the introduction of the dollar, which seems to
be an irreversible step and has led to very noticeable class
differences between Cubans who have dollars and those who
don't. My point is this: can relatively small and poor
countries be socialist at all without a big brother to lean
on? For more than thrity years Cuba did not have to face
this question, and then it hit them with a vengeance.
Ordinary Cubans can tell you what it was like before and
after 'the fall'.


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