[Marxism] Re: state capitalism

Chris Kerr kerrvert83 at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 17 21:14:24 MDT 2004

While the discussion of state capitalism is being applied to Cuba, Tom 
O'Lincoln doesn't refer to Cuba as an example of how the capitalist state 
was maintained by the revolutionary government but instead refers to an 
example of this under Mao.

Why don't we look at how Castro maintained the capitalist state apparatus.

If the Castro regime was basically similar to the Stalinist regime in the 
Soviet Union, surely we would expect it to follow a similar policy in regard 
to the armed forces, i.e., to transform the 3000 guerilla fighters of the 
Rebel Army into a regular army divorced from the masses and serving as the 
ultimate guarantor for the "uncontrolled domination" of the masses by the 
ruling caste of privileged administrators or "capitalists".

Is this what happened? No which is probably why Tom doesn't make a reference 
to cuba when trying to prove his point. What actually happened was the rebel 
army wasn't dissolved into the capitalist army but instead a 200 000 strong 
workers militia. By the mid 1980s the Territorial Militia numbered 1.5 
million people in its ranks. The Committees for the Defence of the 
Revolution (CDRs) had a membership of half a million people in 1961; 3.2 
million in 1970 (37% of Cuba's population), and 5.4 million in 1980 (56% of 
Cuba's population; 80% of its adult population).

A strange way to maintain a dictatorship of capital by creating a massive 
workers militia and network of worker neighbourhood councils.

In The Revolution Betrayed Trotsky pointed out that concentration of power 
in the hands of a stratum of privileged administrators in Soviet Russia was 
reflected in the relations between the armed forces and the masses: "The 
army not only has not been replaced by an armed people, but has given birth 
to a privileged officers' caste, crowned with marshals, while the people, 
`the armed bearers of the dictatorship,' are forbidden in the Soviet Union 
to carry even nonexplosive weapons".

Trotsky pointed out that a symptom of the usurpation of power by the Soviet 
bureaucracy was the abolition of the militia system: "The divisions of a 
militia through their very character come into direct dependence upon the 
population. This is the chief advantage of the system from a socialist point 
of view. But this also is its danger from the point of view of the Kremlin. 
It is exactly because of this undesirable closeness of the army to the 
people that the military authorities of the advanced capitalist countries, 
where technically it would be easy to realize, reject the militia. The keen 
discontent in the Red Army during the first five-year plan undoubtedly 
supplied a serious motive for the subsequent abolition of the territorial 
divisions", i.e., the organisation of the Red Army on a militia basis.

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