Trotskyism and the Cuban revolution/ratfinks

Sun Jul 6 07:29:12 MDT 2003

<My good friend Jose G. Perez refers us to the
debate between himself and some ultra leftists
regarding Cuba. I remember those articles at
the time. They seemed great and as one who
was a member of the US Socialist Workers
Party at the time, I was duly impressed with
what appeared to be the solid record of Cuba
support by the SWP.

However, imagine my surprise some years
later on when I looked into these things only
to find out that the US SWP had maintained
a completely typically Trotskyists attitude which
guided them toward a deep suspicion of and
hostility toward Cuba's revolutionary leaders.

Trotsky's Permanent Revolution always was
a good description of past processes, but a
poor prescription for what should be done to
advance a revolutionary cause, I now believe.

If you read Lionel Martin's THE EARLY FIDEL:
you can get a good explanation of this, though
without any discussion of Trotskyism. The few
followers of Trotskyism were either drawn into
the process or swept aside by the process.

Guided by the Trotskyists theory of Permanent
Revolution, the SWP was deeply suspicious
of and hostile to the Cuban Revolution under
the leadership of Fidel Castro. In an editorial
Cuban Revolution, the SWP denounced the
leadership of that revolution in the loudest
possible terms. >


Rats and Ratfinks Stool Pigeons

The logic of life and "doing" imposes on all of us a certain set of
conditions - circumstances that the individual or an organization cannot ignore. Last
week my daughter - one of them, had a baby at age 25 and sent me the pictures
by e-mail. She simply will not marry her boyfriend of seven years and explained
to me why but her explanation runs against something within me I cannot
exactly define. She said something about him "not being responsible enough," in her
eyes and according to her logic. He seems to be an industrious young man who
has proposed several times since they met while attending the University of

Her mother - my first wife, long ago told her that she "was just like her
father only with long hair."  The daughter and I talk just alike, same body
language and gestures; think in the same categories and I experience fleeting
moments of discomfort when we enter intense discussion, because it is like talking
to yourself from a different point of view.

I experience a similar feeling, only intensified a hundred fold, combined
with a sense of incomprehensibility, when revolutionaries in the imperial
countries and especially America, analyze "the leaders" and policies in Cuba. I of
course do not believe as you state: that "Trotsky's Permanent Revolution always
was a good description of past processes," and have no reason to disagree with
Lenin's countless statements and explanations of why this "theory" and the
man himself represented a petty bourgeois deviation within Marxism and the
revolutionary process in Russia. The article you reprint from 1960, one year after
the Cuban revolution is instructive and the current underlying logic of many
"progressive" critics of the Cuban revolution.

At 25 years old, it would be an act of insanity to have criticized my
daughter at age 2, on the basis of what I thought she was doing wrong or how I
understood her curve of development 23 years ago. One can say this is a bad example,
but how can one know or have a serious opinion about a revolution one year

My fleeting moments of discomfort with my daughter during moments of intense
discussion flow from our historic and intimate connection. She is part of my
cell structure, personality development and matured in a household -
environment, imprinted with my conceptions and being. The Cuban revolution and the
leaders in Cuba are in a similar situation - only intensified a hundred thousand
times, within the world market as the value system impacts them and they respond
to the overwhelming material power of my imperial bourgeoisie.

The Cuban revolution and its economic policy flow from two interdependent
factors, as does its social and political polices internally and in its relations
with rest of the world. The socialist property relation in Cuba governs the
reproduction process, which is limited, contained and forced to conform to the
limitation of the bourgeois property relations of the world market. The social
and political policies flow from the fact that Cuba was a brutal slave
society, with all its social consequences (the color factor in history was and
remains a real social and political problem) on the one hand and the political
military authority of imperial bourgeois capital on the other.

Socialism in Cuba has been thoroughly grasped by the masses as the necessary
form of the Cuban revolution - a social and political revolution against
American imperialism. Socialism is a material force because it allows for the
constant expansion and consolidation of the content of this revolution against
American imperial authority.  Without this understanding it is difficult to
understand the context of the class struggle.

Is counterrevolution possible in Cuba? Yes, it is. Why is counterrevolution
possible? The various Trotskyite theorists - as recorded in their utterances on
Marxline, state that counterrevolution grows out of the internal policy of
the leadership group. That this wrong internal policy is witnessed as
polarization of Cuban society expressed in privilege and things like prostitution or the
existence of Tourist police, executions and in the past the policy of the
Cuban party on questions like homosexuality. These theorists speak eloquently of
the black market and the open but underground trade in American currency as
signs of creeping degeneracy and bad policy of the Cuban government that is a
sign of growing discontent and counterrevolution.  When these theorists are
called ideological front men of the imperial bourgeoisie they scream in protest
and claim one does not understand or simply scream Stalinism or "Thermidor."

The question remains what is the base of counterrevolution and why is it
possible? Counterrevolution is possible because Cuban society does not have the
material foundation of communism. Until they achieve this foundation, which is
in the distant future, ideological firmness is the key to whether the
revolution can withstand the tremendous pressure the counterrevolution exerts against
it.  The question of military intervention is of course as real as the need for
every country on earth to have a means of participating in the world market.
The theorists position the question incorrectly.  The article you reprint
states the following"

The main danger to the Cuban revolution is in its own
leadership.  The class background of the Castro forces is
petty bourgeois.  From university circles these
revolutionaries moved into rural areas where they gathered
strength as guerrilla fighters dedicated to agrarian reform.
Their aims were nationalist and equalitarian - independence
from foreign domination, and end to government corruption,
reduction of special privileges, improvements for the poor. <

On this basis this thread is called "Trotskyism and the Cuban Revolution,"
following up previous discussions that manifest this rank "political position" -
more than less. What has taken place in Cuba has been revealed for anyone
outside of reactionary bourgeois ideology and politics to see.

It was already stated the basis of counterrevolution is rooted in economic
phenomenon and not policy, which is a secondary factor, although the Trotskyites
assert the exact opposite as proven in their statements, which are
historically and practically retrievable on Marxline.

All social revolutions are divided into their dialectical components and
counterparts. The first stage of social revolution is the destruction of the old
society. This stage goes through a process, from social disorganization to the
overthrow of the existing political order. The next stage, more difficult than
the first is the social reconstruction. In Cuba as in all social revolutions,
numerous bits and pieces of social and economic classes participated in the
process. This was true of the Soviet and Chinese revolution and will be true of
the American social revolution. After the fall of the state, representatives
of all the various groups jockeyed for position.

This was most certainly true in the Soviet revolution, where the Bolsheviks
seized power in the name of the toiling masses, as they existed in class
alignment with the industrial proletariat of the time. Led by Lenin, the Bolsheviks
rapidly absorbed some of the more radical groups and their leadership. By the
end of 1918 they had taken in all of the very best of the radicals elements
and charted a course to industrialize Russia under the dictatorship of the

In Cuba Fidel Castro emerged as the paramount leader because he possessed the
qualities the revolution required at that particular time. Fidel had to do
what Lenin and the Bolsheviks did under Cuban conditions and with help of the
Soviet State. Fidel's background and that of the Cuban fighters has nothing what
so ever to do with class policy. What was Lenin's class background? What was
Marx class background? Who does not know of Frederick Engels life as the son
of a manufacturer?

One earns the label petty bourgeois radical because of a particular policy
and theory, which does not transcend the class striving of a social grouping.
One is called a petty bourgeois ideologist because their theory and ideology
flows from the subjective interior of the mind and not the trajectory and path of
development the proletariat must travel as economic logic. This is why Lenin
himself condemned the theory of permanent revolution as the logic of the petty
bourgeois; an inability to grasp the second stage of the social revolution.
The second stage of reconstruction is in itself a historical process spanning
perhaps two hundred years on a planetary scale. The petty bourgeois views the
second stage as pausing as opposed to the actual process of gathering the
forces for the revolutionary leap in reconstruction and transitions to come.

The Cuban revolution has not paused but must constantly be reconfigured and
this looks like "giving up" and "pausing" to the petty bourgeois ideologist,
who unceasing condemnation of the revolutionary process cast them as the
ideological hit men of the imperial bourgeoisie.

Here is an example. Before the revolution Cuba was 30% black. This was a
large enough section of society to objectively thwart the revolution it did not
deal with the content of what this meant. This content flowed from the fact that
Cuba was a brutal slave society.  Today Cuba is 70% black and a
reconfiguration is inevitable. How this reconfiguration takes place becomes policy. One
cannot look at Fidel, who is not black and the Cuban party today and say if their
policy is bad concerning the color question because transforming political
organizations contains its own process. One can of course gage advancement.

The counterrevolution is not based in the color factor, even if the Cuban
people decide 100 years from know that things could have gone different. The
counterrevolution is based in the economic logic and the world value system of
production, not policy. Policy, no matter how bad cannot change property
relations. Property relations have to be overthrown as in the Soviet Union, where the
bourgeois nationalist waged a militant campaign to destabilize and fragment
the Soviet State, alongside the opportunist. The basis of the counter revolution
was not in the opportunist and bourgeois nationalist but the fact that
counter revolution remains possible until society has reach the material basis to
sustain communism.

What set the basis for the defeat of the Soviet proletariat was the intense
ideological campaign of imperialism and the opportunist need to seek
accommodation with imperialism as a means to retain political authority in the Soviet
Union. Seeking accommodation with imperialism does not mean trade in the value
producing system because it is not possible to not trade. The Soviet revolution
built socialism but could not leap forward to the material basis of

The class struggle in fact intensifies as one advances to and through what
has been called socialism or building the material foundation for socialism. The
Soviet no only held out in the face of reactionary Europe but crushed the
fascist. The weakness in the world social revolutionary was not in Europe but in

The "internal danger" to the Cuban revolution as counterrevolution is in fact
not wrong policy but the role of our proletariat, which has achieved the
material foundations for communism.

The issue has to be presented correctly. If our proletariat went into
revolution and began the second phase of the social revolution - reconstruction, no
matter what policy is adopted in Cuba, this cannot lead to counterrevolution.
The most that can happen is stagnation and discontent. Stagnation does not mean
economic collapse but a slowing curve of expanding reproduction.

In Cuba, all the odds are already stacked against her because this is a tiny
island - socialist without question, but a tiny part of the world market. What
appears as partial criticism of this particular policy of the Cuban
government is in fact betrayal and siding with the imperialist. Why? Because it is not
possible to leap outside the value system. First a development must take place
to unravel the value system and render its law system ineffective. Second a
process of social reconstruction must take place and this presupposes social
revolution in America.

Ideological firmness remains of paramount importance in the absence of either
of the two factors above.

I laugh at the petty bourgeois ratfinks who delight in pointing an accusing
finger at the Cuban people and their government about prostitution in Cuba.
Allow a moment of conjecture. The individuals who make up the world communist and
socialist movements possess enough currency to vacation in Cuba and allow it
to enter world exchange on its own basis, more than less. If hundred and
thousands of these communist and socialist made it a policy to go to Cuba one every
eighteen months, many of them are going to want to get laid - have sex,
including the women. What should the Cuban government do with us - put us in jail
for trying to get laid?

Some people are going to always have more than other people and live in
better homes for a million and one different reasons. Fuck the guy next door if my
needs are met and my family is provided for. Two things always float to the
top in any system - the "cream" and everyone knows that shit floats. Why
pretend, acting like bourgeois hypocrites and as if one is holier than the Pope. See,
the Pope needs to get laid and cut all the moralizing cramp.

The screamers for "workers democracy" and "democracy from the bottom up" have
not thought out the question. Those who profess Marxism, an understanding of
Soviet history and love for the October revolution better read Lenin on this
matter. He is very clear on this question.  Further, outside of the class
content of democracy - democracy is an infrastructure relationship or governed by
the state of development of the infrastructure. Democracy for instance does not
mean the workers in a particular factory have the right to determine what is
produced or for that matter how it is produced. This is governed by the laws
of technique and science and also the culture peculiar to a given country and

After bourgeois property has been abolished on a world scale, bourgeois right
will still reigns or the legacy of how the historic division of labor was
shaped under the impact of bourgeois property will be felt for perhaps seven
generations. Why is this? The children of doctors tend to be doctors in a greater
proportion than the children of engineers, lawyers or hairdressers. The
children of alcoholics tend to be alcoholics in a greater proportion than the
children of non-alcoholics. The children of commissioned officers of our warrior
class tend to be commissioned officers in a greater proportion than nonmilitary
families. History does not vanish because we change property relations. When
history combines with bourgeois right certain structures of historical privilege
persist and will persist.

"They don't let the Cubans in certain hotels for foreigners."  Here is the
thinking and logic of the ratfink punk who feels his so-called defense of the
Cuban revolution justifies stupidity.

"They" don't let American citizens loiter in nice hotels in every single city
in America. If you have no legitimate business someone is going to witness
you doing nothing and ask if they can "help you."  Then you are going to be
escorted out or have the police called on you. There is a reason for this. If
everyone loiters - hang out in hotel lobby's and mess with people going to their
room, there will not be room for the customers and the customers are going to
stop coming.  What about common sense?

The point is that the half-baked Marxist - many Trotskyites, always have a
"rationale reason" for their counter revolutionary utterances about Cuba and in
their petty bourgeois prejudices are devoid of common sense. Their is a valid
reason Lenin condemned all of L. Trotsky theories and this has nothing to do
with Stalin or Stalinism.

Long Live the Cuban Revolution

Melvin P.

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