[Marxism] It's those damn petty-bourgeois at it again!

Callum McCormick kingcal78 at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 30 15:56:31 MST 2005

Well, I fear we're testing the moderator's patience with this discussion, 
but so be it, I suppose.

"First you posit the existence of a p-b that is fundamentally different
from the one encountered elsewhere in Marxist theory. Traditionally the
p-b is viewed as the soul of vacillation, torn between the two
fundamental class forces in society, indecisive, incoherent.

Yes, incoherent is the right word because it perfectly describes the nature 
of the Cuban leadership's politics. Mainly left-nationalist, some more 
nationalist than others, then of course other more 'Marxist' currents, 
sympathetic with the Soviet Union and China.

You assert that this type of p-b is 'fundamentally diffirent' from the one 
encountered elsewhere in Marxist theory, and this correct to a degree. In 
backward, not fully developed Colonies, the p-b play a diffirent role than 
they do in modern, industrial capitalism. This is because they can have 
common cause with the proletarian movement in fighting imperialism. Thus, 
what is generally considered a reactionary social force can play a 
'progressive' historical role. It is impossible, however, for such a 'social 
force' to build a socialist society. All they can do is fulfil the role of 
the bourgeois democratic revolution.

"d) establish a cradle-to-the-grave "welfare
state" that would put Sweden in its best days to shame and that on the
narrowest imaginable material base, that of a small semicolonial country
permanently blockaded by imperialism"

You see, this is the part where the mythology of revolution comes into it. 
Cuba was not 'blockaded by imperialism', it was blockaded by Western 
imperialism, it was very, VERY cosy with the other imperialist power of the 
day, the USSR. We all know the Beard's enthusiasm for the Soviet's invasion 
of Czechoslovakia - a 'principled anti-imperialist' stance, I'm sure you'll 

This sordid little association guranteed a certain security for Cuba and its 
economy - allowing them to make the 'real gains' that they did in social 

"the theory of permanent revolution is wrong, or at least needs to be
substantially modified -- national and anti-imperialist revolutions do
not have a tendency to "grow over" into socialist revolutions because
that is the only way to accomplish their national goals, but instead to
culminate in state capitalism, which is sufficient to get you at least
as much as Cuba has now, and which is as much as can be gotten until the
working class breaks the back of imperialism on a world scale."

See: Tony Cliff on 'Deflected Permanent Revolution' here 

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