[Marxism] It's those damn petty-bourgeois at it again!
M. Junaid Alam
alam1 at lefthook.org
Tue Nov 29 14:27:39 MST 2005
"The position of the SWP is quite clear, and all it does is point out
two clear facts:
1) Cuba is not socialist and is not heading towards socialism. The
Cuban revolution was brought about by a petty-bourgeois guerilla
movement seperate from the struggles of Cuban workers. The regime
retains its middle class character to this day."
I am most intrigued by this "clear fact" since it is neither factual nor
clear. What does it mean to say the revolution was brought about by
"petty-bourgeois?" This is the asinane Trotskyist formulation that is
the equivalent of an infant spitting out his peas in the Gerber food
formula. Anything you don't like for any reason is castigated as
The counterpart to this is the romanticization of a non-existing
working-class vanguard, to which the petty-bourgeois is invariably
counterposed. This is neatly washed over in the phrasing that the
guerrilla movement was "separate from the struggles of Cuban workers."
What fucking struggles? You would think Castro beat off a great
proletarian revolutionary uprising with a broomstick to cease power all
for himself and his little latte-sipping "middle-class" buddies. This is
ludicrous. What does it mean to say the regime maintains a "middle class
character?" It drinks Starbucks instead of Dunkin Donuts? What classes
is it in the middle of, exactly? Does that statement even have any
meeting at all?
Then we come to this mentally retarded WSWS declaration:
"The political outlook of Castro and his followers was that of Cuban
nationalism, not socialist internationalism. This was true in 1959 and
remains so to this day."
What the hell? The very meaning of imperialism is that the masses in the
rich countries abet the big bourgeoisie and fail to side with the
oppressed in the periphery. There would be no imperialism otherwise.
That is why people of intelligence distinguish between the nationalism
of the American and the nationalism of the Venezuelan or Cuban or
Bolivian or Iraqi. But according to the WSWS, the fact that the Cubans
were pissed off at American exploitation, ownership of mines, at using
Cuba as their playground, etc., is somehow against the spirit of
socialist internationalism because it is nationalist! What other form
was socialism supposed to take? Were the Cubans supposed to not only
secure their own revolution but cause an American one to prove their
That is quite demented enough. But it appears even more lunatic when you
look at Cuba's offer of international health assistance, which is more
internationalist than anything you could hope for. The medical and
relief work they are now doing in Venezuela and Pakistan, and what they
did in the 60s in Africa, how can you get more internationalist than that?
But let me put this aside from a moment. What really ticks me off way
beyond any of this is the continued attention Louis and others keep
giving, the weight they keep according, to whatever the SWP says or
does. Can the SWP take a shit without it being dissected endlessly here?
I mean who gives a damn what this tiny group does? For all its
pseudo-socialist highbrow dismissal of Cuba as being too "middle-class"
to be socialist or whatever, it's clearly just a bunch of old white
dudes sitting around in Britain who are quite well-off themselves. Why
does this group and its proclamations matter to people here?
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