Taaffe on Cuba

Adam Levenstein cleon42 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 5 11:04:44 MDT 2001

--- Xxxx Xxxxxx <xxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxx.xx> wrote:
> Well, I've seen criticisms of Taaffe's sources here
> on the basis that they
> are biased or are otherwise unworthy. I'm simply
> applying the same standard
> to August.

I'm not talking about Taffe. I haven't read his
article. I'm speaking more broadly about the orthodox
Trotskyist dismissal of Cuba as a "Stalinist
bureacracy" (which, if I'm not mistaken, Taffe
supports) versus my opinion that Cuba is a healthy
socialist revolution.

> > If you keep beating up this strawman, you're going
> to
> > be dissappointed. In case you haven't noticed, not
> > many are springing to the bait.
> It's not bait. It's simply my main point which is
> that one should be
> critically, not unconditionally,

First of all - nobody here is saying that one should
support Cuba uncritically, or not have any
disagreements with the Cuban leadership, or any BS
like that. The only person claiming such a thing is
you - which is why I call it a "strawman," and your
constant repitition of the accusation "baiting."

I don't believe in uncritically supporting anything or
anyone. That's an attitude more in tune with religion
than politics.

> supportive of Cuba
> because to be the latter
> is to sew illusions and disorient others as to what
> socialism is and what
> Cuba is.

You seem to equate "having criticisms of Cuba" with
"believing that Cuba is a Stalinist bureacracy," and
you've implied that the converse is true - that those
who support the Revolution as socialist do so
uncritically. This is simply fallacious thinking.

> I don't think "free press" has to mean "bourgeois
> press" or that
> "independent media" means "bourgeois media." I don't
> happen to believe that
> a socialist state means there is a uniformity of
> opinion among the people.

Again, muddled issues. A popular-controlled media does
*not* mean "uniformity of opinion." In this case, it
means a central place to discuss differences of
opinion. Pathfinder in the past year has begun to
distribute Cuba Socialista, a discussion/theoretical
journal of internal discussions of the PCC. If your
Spanish is up to par, I suggest you check it out.

> There can be different tendencies, different ideas
> and different parties
> within the workers movement and there is no reason
> why, such currents should
> not be legal within Cuba and should not be free to
> have their own press.

Within the framework of the Revolution, I agree - and
this is one of my criticisms of Cuban policy. While
that is my opinion, the Cubans disagree - as is their
right to.

In fact, there is great difference of opinion within
the PCC, as well as within the population as a whole.
I suggest you read a few issues of Cuba Socialista if
you don't believe me.

> There is also no reason why criticism should not be
> permitted in the Cuban
> press.

Who says it isn't?

> Without democratic criticism a workers state
> atrophies and a planned
> economy becomes inefficient, bureaucratic and
> unresponsive.

Of course. I hate to rely simply on personal
experience here, but I think anyone who's been to Cuba
and seen some of the discussions take place (and seen
them get very, very heated) can't deny that there most
certainly is democratic criticism.

> Just to be clear, I don't think you're referring to
> any off-list discussion
> with *me* as I don't think we've had this discussion
> off-list before.

No, it wasn't you. Sorry for not clarifying - I
shouldn't post before getting my morning caffeine. :)


Adam Levenstein                          cleon42 at yahoo.com
ICQ: 17125158

Svoboda Misli - Svoboda Coda

Do You Yahoo!?
Get email alerts & NEW webcam video instant messaging with Yahoo! Messenger

More information about the Marxism mailing list