Forwarded from Robert Touraine (Sam Farber)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu May 1 15:27:29 MDT 2003

I think that the key to the Solidarity people signing onto this attack on
Cuba is the presence of Sam Farber. Knowing some of people on the list and
the importance of the defense of the Cuban Revolution to any fight for
socialism in the United States, I could not can not see how they can
associate with Sam Farber. And despite the recent posts regarding the
differences within Solidarity, I believe that this is a litmus test for its
other members.

FROM HIS BRIEF BIO: Samuel Farber was born and raised in Cuba. He obtained
his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969 and has been
at Brooklyn College since 1978. He is the author of Revolution and Reaction
in Cuba. 1933-196O,  A Political Sociology from Machado to Castro (Wesleyan
University Press, 1976), and Before Stalinism: The Rise and Fall of Soviet
Democracy (Polity Press/Basil Blackwell and Verso, 1990).  His latest book
is Social Decay and Transformation. A View From the Left (Lexington Press,

Farber is an extremely knowledgeable authority on every error that could
every have been made during the course of the Cuban Revolution. He is a
native Cuban and has specialized in attacking the Cuban Revolution. At
Berkeley in the early 1960s, every word he spoke about the Cuban Revolution
was an attack, "including the 'ands' and the 'thes.'" He was so rabid that
he made other members of the large U.C. Berkeley Schactmanite club look
pro-Castro. In short, I never once heard him express one word of solidarity
with any of the gains of the Cuban Revolution.

List readers should note one of Farber's books in particular: "Before
Stalinism: The Rise and Fall of Soviet Democracy." Farber places a great
deal of emphasis on the terror of the civil war and he has no excuses for
Bolshevik ruthlessness. Historically, however, we should consider what the
immediate prospects would have been had the Bolsheviks lost the Civil War.
Lenin had the example of the Paris Commune. We have even better examples in
Italy, Hungary, Spain, and above all Germany. More recently, there are the
examples of Chile and Argentina.

As I recall, one of the first moves of the Russian Revolution was to outlaw
capital punishment. Lenin criticized this. He had no illusions what was in
store. His honesty made him seem ruthless. Most of us are like those
revolutionists who first outlawed capital punishment. Capital Punishment is
one of the great evils of a class society. However, under the pressures of
U.S. imperialism, in light of what is happening today in Iraq, how can the
Cuban Revolution forego this ultimate weapon?

Robert Touraine

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