[Marxism] More British SWP co-thinkers

Prem K Govindaswamy govi0006 at umn.edu
Tue Nov 29 15:07:52 MST 2005


On 29 Nov 2005, Louis Proyect wrote:
> The promised abolition of house rents and increasing wages of the lowest 
> paid workers was not kept. Likewise, full pay for sick and retired
workers 
> was eliminated. There was no lessening of the severe food rations in
1973. 
> One of the main resolutions of the 13th Congress of the Cuban
Confederation 
> of Labor (CTC), Nov., 1973, restored the worst features of the capitalist

> wage system -- payment according to output, instead of according to need.

> In this speech to the closing session of the Congress, Castro tried to 
> justify this policy: "... paying the same wage for the same type of work 
> without taking into account the effort required to do it, is an 
> equalitarian principle we must correct ... payment should be measured in 
> physical terms according to the complexity and skill required to do the
job 
> ..." In line with this policy, 132 million pesos were allotted to raise 
> wages for technicians in order to spur them to "increase their 
> productivity." (19) At the First Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba 
> (Dec. 1975), the motto "From each according to his ability; to each 
> according to his WORK." was displayed in huge red letters.
> 
> Wages are linked to work quotas. Every worker is given a quota. If the 
> quota is not fullfilled, wages are proportionally reduced. Purchase of 
> scarce appliances (television sets, refrigerators, washing machines,
etc.) 
> are allotted not according to the worker's need but according to his 
> correct attitude (obeying orders, patriotism, overfullfillment of work 
> quotas, etc.) The faithful wage slave will be allowed to spend his
vacation 
> at the better resorts and be granted first access to housing. (20)
> 
> full: 
>
http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/bright/dolgoff/cubanrevolutio
n/
> chapter13.html
> 
> --
> 
> www.marxmail.org
> 
> 
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I believe this reflects the fundamental problems of Anarchist thought-a
utopian, unscientific analysis based on "phantoms of the Mind" rather than
existing conditions. Before I go further, I will say I haven't been able to
access this article on the website, so I haven't be able to fully read it,
or check it's sources. 
    This criticism's main problem goes back to the fundamental Anarchist
flaw- refusing to see things in scientific terms, and acting according to
what they want to see, rather than what is there. This goes all the way
back to their prescription for action-that all forms of state, (capitalist,
prole., etc.) are abolished overnight. This idea is unscientic b/c it
ignores the question of how do the newly liberated masses deal w/ the
inevitable capitalist violent counterrevolution. Emma Goldman would have
them pray really hard that the capitalists, imperialists, and Fascists
magically decide to be nice and miraculously realize how much better the
new system is. 
     In reference to Cuba, assuming their facts are correct, here are their
problems:
-referring to the "severe rations", how is it they propose dealing with the
genocidal embargo? Do they want the government to promise people food that
they don't have? Again the anarchists seem to be ignoring this glaring
reality.

-In a transition to scialism, people can't be expected to give up the
capitalist training and thought which is drummed into their heads overnight
or w/ the snap of the finger. People have been trained to operate in a wage
system, w/o workers control of the factories. Again, anarchists believe you
can chant spells and all those years of conditioning will be undone in an
instant.

-The same goes for rent. Engels himself said that the day after the
revolution, housing under control of the masses will initially have some
form of rent. The existing condition of how people have been trained and
taught to function. It's simply unscientific and ignores certain objective
facts. 

Basically the anarchists seem to believe in an idea that the only way a
revolution is carried out is how pol pot did, or not at all. Emma Goldmann
is a complete philistine. 






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