Taaffe on Cuba

Xxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxx.xx
Tue Sep 4 20:20:50 MDT 2001

Adam Levenstein wrote:

> Well put, Carrol.
> Engineering a society is not the same as engineering a
> bridge. You can't simply say, "ok, we'll do here what
> we did over there." Life isn't that simple - and that
> goes for whatEVER revolution you think is the
> "blueprint," be it Cuba, China, or (in the case of
> orthodox Trots) the Soviet Union.
> You can't simply say "we'll go and do exactly what the
> Cubans did," simply because we're not facing the same
> reality that the Cubans are/were.

Of course not. I'm not saying that there is one "model" or "blueprint" that
must be slavishly followed (although, as I pointed out earlier, many in the
70s, including a good many within the USFI, did view the Cuban Revolution as
such a model and did attempt to follow it with disastrous results.)

I'm simply saying that to be a democratic workers state, to be a socialist
society, certain criteria must be met and Cuba falls short of those
criteria. That doesn't mean we shouldn't defend Cuba against capitalism and
imperialism but it does mean we shouldn't be uncritical of it or harbour any
illusions about Cuba or its revolution or cling to it as a shibboleth as the
DSP, SWP and many of their ex-members and offshoots do.

> (I won't go into the
> specifics, simply because I don't want to insult
> anyone's intelligence.)

> The communists that have accepted and embraced the
> Cuban Revolution have simply recognized that. The
> obvious fact that 2001 Cuba is not the same as 1918
> Russia does not mean "Cuba is not socialist."

No, but the fact that Cuba is *not* a democratic workers state with a
democratically planned economy open to criticism and correction by the
masses and does not have a free press, the right to form independent
political parties or the right to form tendencies within the CCP *does* mean
it's not socialist. If you're view is that Cuba is socialist that calls into
question exactly what your view of socialism is. That being said, Cuba does
have a planned economy and largely nationalised economy and that must be
defended, however imperfect it is, against capitalist restoration and


More information about the Marxism mailing list