[Marxism] Deutscher Prize: Who Moderates the Moderator?
Amaral1871 at aol.com
Amaral1871 at aol.com
Mon Nov 28 20:09:44 MST 2005
In a message dated 11/28/05 8:13:49 PM, jbustelo at bellsouth.net writes:
> I've yet to see the state capitalist comrades really engage to where we
> got to the political level. Snide remarks about the "veneration" of Cuba
> aside, do the comrades actually *have* an analysis, a *political*
> analysis, or do they think it is enough to derive the politics from a
I am very interested in engaging in this discussion in a comradely way though
I am only just getting up to speed on some of the literature. I am hesitant
both because of my trepidation in serving as a polemical straw-man but also
because I am not presently situated - given time constraints on my life - to do
true justice to this debate in this context. But I am willing to open up the
discussion so long as people don't mistake my failure to respond in length and
in kind as some submission or sulky defeatism. I am hopefuI that the
discussion might take us beyond the slinging of labels and engage in a real
historical/ theoretical analysis.
Though this is not the entirerty of my knoweldge base, I have recently read
Hansen's Dynamics of the Cuban Revolution, some of the Wohlforth/Robertson
responses to the early 60s internal SWP debates and the Binns/ Gonzales (state
cap) article from 1980 "Cuba. Castro and Socialism". (I am interested in
suggestions for future readings.)
I would say a few things on a preliminary basis.
First I think some of the supporters of the state cap. position (of which I
consider myself a supporter) have done a poor job of stating first, foremost
and loudest that Cuba deserves defence against US imperialism.
Second, I have not yet seen a coherent argument - certainly not from Hansen
- that there are actual organs of the working class in power in Cuba.
Third, to frame the debate as one about which state form best meets the
material interest of the working class - absent a debate about which class has
state power - is not a debate about socialism. I strongly believe, on any
number of levels that the liberation of the working class must be an act of the
class itself. This is not a function of some idealist deviation, of holding up
some abstract principle that needs to be met in order to satisfy the smugly
situated intellectual living fatly in the belly of the beast. This is, rather, a
defence of the most fundamental philosophical bases of Marxism.
Fourth, I think with the fall Stalinism the role of Cuba viz. the world
socialist movement fundamentally changes. It seems clear that from the late 60s
until the early 90s Cuba's economic and foreign policies were very much dictated
by the demands of the Soviet Union. If one's assessment of Stalinist state
capitalism is as a competing imperialism then the Cuban regime's internationalism
takes on a different flavour in that context than in the present one.
Finally, I am not engaging in a debate about whether Castro and the
progressive nationalist regime had the real interest of the people at heart or not. I
believe in the sincerity of the revolutionaries. There were certain in-built
contradictions for an entirely dependent (neo?/post? - )colonial country. To
think that they would be able to build socialism in Cuba , and thus pursue the
revolutionary internationalism that that required, while fighting the most
powerful imperialist power on earth and (perhaps necessarily) simultaneously
aligning themselves with - and serving - the Stalinist underminers of
revolutionary internationalism is too much to be believed. Was there another path that
would have better served the future building of workers power; better served the
future defence of the gains of the revolution?I don't know enough of the
history though I suspect, with hindsight, the answer has to be yes. But this debate
should not just be an academic one about the past but rather one about how to
assess the future paths for Cuba and others like Venezuela.
More information about the Marxism