[Marxism] The two souls of socialism (was: RE: JohnHolloway-AlexCallinicos debate)

Ian Pace ian at ianpace.com
Fri Aug 19 19:02:41 MDT 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition" 
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Saturday, August 20, 2005 1:42 AM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] The two souls of socialism (was: RE: 
JohnHolloway-AlexCallinicos debate)

> Ian wrote:
>>I think that the fact that Cuba is a small country, hardly a major world 
>>industrial power now or previously, makes it of questionable value to 
>>extrapolate from it towards other possibilities.
> I would suggest another way of looking at this. If a country that relies 
> primarily on the export of agricultural goods, that is subject to economic 
> sabotage from the most powerful imperialist nation in history, that is 
> forced to spend an inordinate amount of its national income to defend 
> itself militarily, that has been forced to reinvent itself economically as 
> a result of the collapse of the USSR can achieve Human Development 
> Indicator statistics comparable to Sweden, Canada and other G8 
> nations--this tells me that a country without such obstacles can become a 
> virtual paradise.
> We must study Cuba for the same reason that we might have studied the USSR 
> during the NEP. For all its flaws, Russia in the early 1920s was a 
> incubator for socialist development.
Well, Cuba still isn't of great strategic or economic importance to the USA 
any longer, now that it's no longer aligned with the USSR. That's why I 
believe the antagonism from the USA is largely symbolic. Venezuela, as an 
OPEC member (Chavez is watching the situation in the Middle East very 
closely - on this and other subjects, I pointed out this group to Richard 
Gott, who is a personal friend - he may post some stuff here at some point), 
is quite different - its geopolitical significance is of a different order.

Certainly what Cuba has achieved is incredible given the circumstances - I 
just believe that this would be much harder to do in some other countries. 
Cuba's island status also probably makes a difference to US fears, which 
might be greater if it were a mainland country.


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