[Marxism] Stalinism

David Walters dwalters at igc.org
Mon Jul 12 16:00:32 MDT 2004

Nestor wrote:
"May I advance some general definition that what many people understand 
as "Stalinism" dumps into same box an extremely diversified assortment 
of traits, as J. says, but also has an
essential red thread. Which is abandonment of world revolution as the 
basic strategy for
the socialist state. This is what Cuba has _not_ abandoned."

I think it is more complicated than that. On the last statement, if you 
define this by the role Cuba played in the 1960s I couldn't agree with 
you more. If you define this since the 1980s, I couldn't disagree with 
you more. Not just on their actions (or lack there of) but on their 
whole theoretical perspective toward world revolution...which they 
seemed to have indeed abandoned, preferring diplomatic and 
state-to-state aid/trade/political support as a substitute for 
international revolution.

This stems from their concept of Socialism, which, IMO, is not that 
much different from the Stalinist conception of "Socialism in One 
Country", which they clearly never differentiated from in terms of the 
USSR, etc. However, in the other direction, they clearly are not trying 
to 'sell out' any revolutions, per se, nor have they copied the 
bureaucratic repressive rule of their former Warsaw Pact allies.

I think Cuba is more of a jumble or mish-mash of ideas, combing a 
sincere defense of their revolutionary gains, trying to extend the 
revolution in the 1960s and 70s, abandoning this approach, 
socialism-in-one-country, mass mobilizations of the Cuban people in 
their own defense, internationalist in fighting for national liberation 
in Africa, single-party "gov't equals Party", etc.

"Stalinism" to the degree this is a 'negative' connotation is in my 
mind a completely useless term as applied to Cuba, it's Party, and it's 

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