[Marxism] Re: ISO and Farber

robert montgomery rrm482004 at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 16 19:52:21 MDT 2004

Paul Bunyan writes, "There is nothing in the article (ISR interview with Samuel Farber)to indicate that Farber is anything more than a critic from the left, of the Cuban leadership," and then asks, "How does Farber stand out from other Trotskyists," who also see Cuba as Stalinist? Firstly, while careful to avoid supporting overt moves against the Cuban revolution like the U.S. embargo and not denying the obvious progress made in popular welfare since 1959, Farber openly identifies himself as an opponent of the regime. Not a critic; an opponent. This is consistent with all his writings on Cuba (i.e New Politics, Summer 1995, Review of Benglesdorf's Problems of Democracy in Cuba). As previous postings have noted, Farber has expressed his opposition repeatedly, to the point of claiming treatment of dissidents as psychiatric patients as in the former USSR. While Trotskyists may see the Cuban state as seriously flawed, whether characterizing it a deformed worker's state, a transitional
 formation between capitalism and socialism, or something such, all lend it "critical support." Such support extends both to its struggle against imperialism, and to its collectivized property. The critical part refers to the abscence of workers democracy (not abstract Democracy), adherence to "socialism in one country," and moves that undermine the postcapitalist property forms like dollarization. Pure and simple "opposition," and abstract and sectarian characterization of the regime as "Stalinist" just like N. Korea, the USSR and the PRC, is Farber's stock in trade. And that is on full view in the ISR article. Trotskyists defend the gains of the Cuban Revolution, seek to solidify them, and extend those gains to other anti-imperialist struggles as in Venezuela. If one sees Cuba as state capitalist, or ruled by a new owning class as in bureacratic collectivism (Farber accepts either characterization), why do Marxists owe it any support at all? This is a question both for the ISO and
 professor Farber.
Bob Montgomery

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